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: 8/24/2016 23:17:20
Gabe Shultz is a designer from Columbus, Ohio that's been working on a really cool looking game called XYbrid that uses transparent plastic cards. The game should be coming to Kickstarter in the spring, so be sure to keep your eye out for it!
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?
I love making things people want to interact with, and analog games are the most accessible.
What game or games are you currently working on?
Have you designed any games that have been published?
What is your day job?
User Experience Designer
Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.
Where do you prefer to play games?
My home or at a friend's
Who do you normally game with?
If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Magic:The Gathering, Ascension, Sushi Go
And what snacks would you eat?
Chips. Lots of chips.
Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Host's choice. Anything goes.
What’s your favorite FLGS?
What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
M:tG is my favorite. Pokémon TCG - It's not a great game but I enjoy playing with my son :) Worst is Candy Land, easily.
What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Fav: drafting. Least fav: performing.
What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Video Games
Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design 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?
Either works. My current project is theme-first.
Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No and no.
Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Repetitive physical activity like jogging helps free my mind. It's my version of sensory deprivation :)
How do you go about playtesting your games?
Friends, friends-of-friends, interested strangers, myself
Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I like working alone.
What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Elegance. It's easy to fix problems with more, but hard to fix problems with less.
If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I'm not sure I would enjoy working with someone else's IP.
What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
You can't and shouldn't listen to everyone—especially online.
What advice would you like to share about designing games?
For me, it's more helpful to study players than to study games.
Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
I'm planning to crowdfund: XYbrid
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: XYbrid
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: I have a couple of vague ideas for future games. But I like to commit to one idea at a time.
Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
C&BG Designer's Guild, CABS, others I can't remember the names of
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?
Alien. Water. M4V. :) sorry
What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
What is something you learned in the last week?
I learned about stuxnet. It's crazy.
Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Electronic music. Books about dystopia. Movies about dystopia :P
What was the last book you read?
Ready Player One
Do you play any musical instruments?
The computer :)
Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
The only Star Wars movie I have seen is Episode 2.
Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Went to art college :0
Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
My dog's name came from accidentally saying a person's name wrong
Who is your idol?
What would you do if you had a time machine?
I would go thousands of years into the future
Are you an extrovert or introvert?
If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Possibly Raphael from the TMNT. My kid likes Raph.
Have any pets?
A dog named Mixie [GJJ Games] I used to have a dog named Moxie! She passed away last year though =(
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?
Erase everything and start from zero. The less derivative the future is, the more interesting it sounds to me.
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):
Shoutout to anyone in a submarine
Just a Bit More
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?
Hey people, you are pretty cool.
Art is hard.
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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