Welcome to People Behind the Meeples, a series of interviews with indie game designers. Here you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about the people who make the best games that you may or may not have heard of before. If you'd like to be featured, head over to http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples.
Interviewed on: 8/25/2016
This next interview is with designer, developer, and boardgame enthusiast Danica Enyart. Danica has been a big part of the convention scene, helping to organize events and more. However, about two months ago, on September 12, Danica collapsed and was raced to the hospital. This was just a week and a half after Danica filled out the questionnaire for this interview. Over eight weeks later and Danica is still in a coma. You can learn more about Danica's status on the Danica Enyart info page on Facebook. Members of the game community, friends, and family have all banded together to help her family out in this time of need, offering to bring meals for Danica's three kids and husband. If you would like to help out you can contact or send donations to family friend, Patrick Havert. He is accepting donations via PayPal, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds will go to family dinners. Just check sending money to a friend, so he doesn't have to pay taxes on it.
To Danica and her family, know that even though we haven't met in person, you are still in the prayers of my family and I.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Two to five years.
Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Originally, I wanted more modern games for my kids and then someone told me I couldn't mix two mechanics. Once the ideas start...
What game or games are you currently working on?
At the moment, there are eight.
Have you designed any games that have been published?
What is your day job?
N/A with a business degree in Human Resources
Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.
Where do you prefer to play games?
At home, at Panera Bread, at Corner Bakery, at friend's houses - you name it!
Who do you normally game with?
Our meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/Brandon-Boardgamers/)
If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Imperial Assault, Descent, Viticulture, or the newly arrived Kickstarter
And what snacks would you eat?
chocolate covered almonds
Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
I could do or do without, it all becomes white noise during the game.
What’s your favorite FLGS?
Cool Stuff Inc (Maitland)
What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
I'm hardcore cult-of-the-new so whatever is bright and shiny in prototyping
What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite: any action point allocation method. Least favorite: trick-taking.
What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games
Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games
OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
You as a Designer
OK, now the bit that sets you apart from the typical gamer. Let's find out about you as a game designer.
When you design games, do you come up with a theme first and build the mechanics around that? Or do you come up with mechanics and then add a theme? Or something else?
It depends on the inspiration, I tend to lean more mechanics first
Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No and no
Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Eric Lang and Daniel Solis
Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Everywhere! I'm the idiot trying to write blindly while driving because I don't want to forget a detail.
How do you go about playtesting your games?
I playtest and develop more than I design my own games, so my games are usually on the backburner.
Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
All of the above. Stinky Thief, Rat King and TerraForm are mostly mine, B.F. and H.S. are co-designed, and my friend Anaisita is extremely accommodating when it comes to art needs. (obviously working titles and nicknames)
What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Time. I volunteer a lot in both the board game community, Girl Scouts, and other causes. My friends usually pin me down at Design Nights to force my titles to see some table time.
If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Stranger Things, Agent Carter, Grimm, among others!
What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Ignore public forums and talk to people one-on-one
What advice would you like to share about designing games?
There are big differences in developers and playtesters, artists and graphic designers. But, all of these roles deserve respect and payment... don't offer to pay them "when the Kickstarter funds."
Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Stinky Thief
Games that I'm playtesting are: TerraForm
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Rat King, B.F., H.S., Monster Bash
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Hoots, Mystery
Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
SUP Guild (Tampa and Orlando), Game Maker's Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, Card and Board Game Designers Group, Tabletop Game Playtesters Guild, Board Game Broads, Consortium of Game Developers, Gamer's Grind Play Testing, Art & Graphic Design for Tabletop Games, Playtest HQ, Tabletop Game Design Competitions
And the oddly personal, but harmless stuff…
OK, enough of the game stuff, let's find out what really makes you tick! These are the questions that I’m sure are on everyone’s minds!
Star Trek or Star Wars? Coke or Pepsi? VHS or Betamax?
Star Wars. No soda - coffee! VHS
What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Girl Scouts, binge watching at 2am, Vikings: War of Clans (phone app)
What is something you learned in the last week?
I discovered the existence of Game Jams.
Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
90's grunge/rock. Fantasy/epic. Supernatural/SciFi/Fantasy.
What was the last book you read?
(cringe, it's so cliche) Girls on Games
Do you play any musical instruments?
Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I strongly prefer campaign games and building empires.
Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Watched a grizzly through a glass window less than 15 to 20 feet away.
Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I. Cannot. Think. Of. One. But am sure there are some!
Who is your idol?
What would you do if you had a time machine?
Take a picture with Albert E.
Are you an extrovert or introvert?
If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Have any pets?
1 dog, 2 cats, 2 bearded dragons, a snake on order, and three kids
When the next asteroid hits Earth, causing the Yellowstone caldera to explode, California to fall into the ocean, the sea levels to rise, and the next ice age to set in, what current games or other pastimes do you think (or hope) will survive into the next era of human civilization? What do you hope is underneath that asteroid to be wiped out of the human consciousness forever?
Internet must survive somehow and Kickstarter. But buried, never to be unearthed: tequila.
If you’d like to send a shout out to anyone, anyone at all, here’s your chance (I can’t guarantee they’ll read this though):
Patrick and Lori Havert for growing the awesome local gaming community and affording us the opportunity to explore our development interests; Allen Enyart my best friend and hubby
Just a Bit More
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?
I'm always game for an idea hash or to lend a hand during development or playtesting. Shoot a message my way!
Sounds like a great series! Looking forward to it!
Thank you for reading this People Behind the Meeples indie game designer interview! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples and if you'd like to be featured yourself, you can fill out the questionnaire here: http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html
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