Thursday, December 15, 2016

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 32: Grace E Olugbodi

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:Grace E Olugbodi
Day Job:Health and Nutrition, Entrepreneurship
Designing:Over ten years!
Today's Interview is with:

Grace E Olugbodi
Interviewed on: 8/25/2016

Grace Olugbodi is a game designer and entrepreneur from London. She first became interested in designing games back in 2003 when she came up with the idea for making a game that will help children learn maths. Over the years she continued to develop her game and just recently started a new business called BeGenio that will produce a series of educational games. The first was successfully crowdfunded on IndieGoGo and is called Race to Infinity. You can learn more about Grace's company and games at and

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?
To help children love maths

What game or games are you currently working on?
BeGenio games and Race To Infinity

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Health and Nutrition, Entrepreneurship

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home

Who do you normally game with?
My kids

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Chess and Monopoly

And what snacks would you eat?

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I love any mechanics with dice

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games

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?
Mechanics first and build a theme around it

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Never entered

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?
By talking to potential play testers

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I go into schools and send them to tuition centres and parents

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I prefer to be Part of a team but I work alone at the moment

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Writing the rules, reviewing and changing according to what play testers' feedback is.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That it takes ages

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: One - Race to Infinity, part of the BeGenio series
Games that will soon be published are: Five
I'm planning to crowdfund: Yes
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: One
Games that I'm playtesting are: Three
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: One

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?
Coke, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Music, working

What is something you learned in the last week?
How to expand my thinking even more

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Motivational and personal development Books, pop music, family movies

What was the last book you read?
Zero to Hero

Do you play any musical instruments?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm a programmer by trade

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
My MSc full Time while working full time in Investment banking

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Re-designing my board for Race To Infinity

Who is your idol?
Richard Branson

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I'd publish my game sooner to help children love maths

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Super woman 😊

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?
Poverty and hunger

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):
My family and my mentor

Thanks for answering all my crazy questions!

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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