Tuesday, May 16, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 70: Eddie Zakoor

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.

Name:Eddie Zakoor
Email:pavestal@gmail.com or eddie.zakoor@aol.com
Day Job:Shadow Squirrel Games
Designing:One to two years.
YouTube:Shadow Squirrel Games
Find my games at:Kickstarter starting May 11th
Today's Interview is with:

Eddie Zakoor
Interviewed on: 4/19/2017

Eddie is a fellow Chicagoland game designer that I met back in March when he introduced me to his game, Wanted Earth, at one of the monthly game design nights I host. He is the imagination behind Wanted Earth and the Wanted Earth universe. Wanted Earth is a miniatures game currently on Kickstarter, that I reviewed last week. I also interviewed his design partner, Phil Vestal, last November. To learn more about Eddie and his other projects, read on.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
One to two years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I wanted to create a miniatures game that was AWESOME and able to be easily and comfortably played anywhere. I wanted to get rid of periodic effects and anything tedious that could be mentally draining. I wanted to reduce setup time to less than a couple minutes and to reduce the overall time it takes to play a miniatures game significantly (we are down to 60-90 min atm). I wanted to create fun and unique hero/faction abilities. AND! I wanted to create a new epic sci-fi story to coincide with the boardgame (Comics).

What game or games are you currently working on?
Wanted Earth, On the Bus, and a top secret game I can’t discuss atm :P

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Shadow Squirrel Games

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Anywhere as long as I am in good company.

Who do you normally game with?
Many groups of friends.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Wanted Earth, Arkham Horror Card Game, Mage Wars, many more...

And what snacks would you eat?

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Sometimes. Depends on the Game.. I can listen to anything.. I like chill alternative music with sick beats. Wanted Earth will have its own soundtrack!

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Game Storm in Lemont IL

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current favorite is Arkham Card Game. I have a love and hate relationship with Candy Land.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite is Wanted Earth.. least favorite.. a couple miniatures games that I won’t mention.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Mage Wars

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG Games, Video Games, Other Games?

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Miniatures 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?
Theme first.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Joe Bergmann

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Things I like and I think are cool

How do you go about playtesting your games?
MANY different groups of friends and strangers. Word of mouth and contacts..

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Team. My team is SiCK

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Working with Phil Vestal

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
SWG star wars galaxies MMORPG

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That it was fun :O

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
It’s a process but well worth it. Find the right people to help make it possible and listen to good advice!

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Wanted Earth, soon
Games that will soon be published are: Wanted Earth, On the Bus, and my super secret game
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: May 11th was our launch date for Wanted Earth on Kickstarter
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Some balancing but we're mostly finished.. (Wanted Earth)
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: On the Bus
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: I can’t discuss it. It’s so secret

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

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?

What is something you learned in the last week?
That I have learned nothing. Thanks :/

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Love it all. I’m eclectic and eccentric. I’m eclentric.

What was the last book you read?
Killing Pablo

Do you play any musical instruments?
I will beat on anything with my hands?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I have friends

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Got stuck on a small boat off the coast of Mombasa. Had to use my beach towel as a sail.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?

Who is your idol?
Joe Bergmann hands down

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I would mess with people

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
introvert mostly

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Wolverine without the claws

Have any pets?
I have 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?
I would like squirrels to not go extinct. LOVE those guys! And I would like Phil Vestal to be under that asteroid.

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):
Joe Bergmann - you are the most interesting man in the world

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


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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