Thursday, November 17, 2016

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 24: Abdul Rahman Ibrahim

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 and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples.

Name:Abdul Rahman Ibrahim
Day Job:I'm a programmer
Designing:Over ten years!
Facebook:Blue Mana Games
Find my games You can also drop me a mail and we can go from there.
Today's Interview is with:

Abdul Rahman Ibrahim
Interviewed on: 8/24/2016 17:40:13

Abdul Rahman Ibrahim is a programmer from Malaysia who also designs board games. He successfully published his game Monster's Hero Academy in 2014 through his company Blue Mana Games and is currently working on a few new games, including an update to Monster's Hero Academy. Read on to learn a bit more about Abdul and be sure to follow along to find out what his next project will be!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Over ten years!

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Started as a passing interest which turned into a passion

What game or games are you currently working on?
A 4X space game titled Star Horizon for now.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Yes, Monster Hero Academy

What is your day job?
I'm a programmer

Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.

Where do you prefer to play games?
At a coffee shop

Who do you normally game with?
Friends who leave nearby, usually via Facebook gaming groups

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Kingdom Death: Monster

And what snacks would you eat?
Cheese nachos

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Never really had music played while playing before.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
It's been ages since I've been to one.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Fav: Game of Thrones 2e, Enjoy: Cleopatra, Worst: Dudab

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Fav: Push your luck dice(a la Yahtzee), Least: Hidden movement

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Descent 2e

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG 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?
Usually theme, but usually it changes down the road while the mechanic evolves.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Only BGG contests

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Reiner Knizia

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
While being loaded with caffeine

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Usually once every fortnight via Facebook announcements.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I'd like to collaborate, but it's hard to find a match that clicks a lot of times

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Space: Above and Beyond

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That you need to be a businessman too

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Don't follow your passion, but bring it with you.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Monster Hero Academy
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Elves vs Goblins, or might be renamed to Ninja Fox vs Samurai Geese
I'm planning to crowdfund: Haven't thought of it yet
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Elves vs Goblins
Games that I'm playtesting are: Star Horizon
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Samurai 15

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Card and Board Game Dev Guild, Malaysian Tabletop Designers

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, Coke, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I paint miniatures

What is something you learned in the last week?
Random card design via programming, which I recently coin Surprise Designing

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
90s pop, Dune series, Batman vs Superman Ultimate Edition

What was the last book you read?
Mike the Knight and the Scary Dragons (I have 2 kids)

Do you play any musical instruments?
Yes, guitar

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I work from home and haven't been commuting to work in 2 years

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Nearly going to jail the first time I went to Essen

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Mostly related when I cook.

Who is your idol?
Michael Jackson

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I wouldn't use it

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?

Have any pets?

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?
Survive: Dice games. Wipe out: The finger family song.

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):
Hi Mama! (my wife, she's awesome)

Just a Bit More
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?

If you're designing games, always remember why you did it in the first place and get it published.


I like cheese, but not the strong ones

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:

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