Tuesday, August 8, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 81: Andrew Platt

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:Andrew Platt
Day Job:Senior Artist for EducationCity: A digital resource of educational games, learning and assessment for Primary aged kids.
Designing:Two to five years.
BGG:Andrew Platt
Facebook:Off the Rails Game
Find my games at:Tabletopia, Kickstarter, PnP (website)
Today's Interview is with:

Andrew Platt
Interviewed on: 7/31/2017

Andrew Platt is a designer from the UK that has successfully Kickstarted one game (Flippin' Fruit) and has a second (Off the Rails) launching today! Read on to learn more about Andrew and the projects he's working on.

Some Basics
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 have loved board games ever since I was old enough to play them and have always made up my own games. These days I am a professional artist working for an education company, so making digital games is what I do for a living. There’s nothing like physical pieces though, and when I discovered Kickstarter a few years ago, I found a great outlet to express both my passion for tabletop and illustration in a single form, and actually get my games made and distributed worldwide for everyone to enjoy.
What game or games are you currently working on?
Off the Rails, which will be going live on Kickstarter on August 8th. [GJJGames] That’s today! Check it out here.
Have you designed any games that have been published?
I almost had one. Flippin' Fruit was Kickstarted successfully in 2014 and reached the final 5 in Blue Orange's yearly publication cycle. Steve Jackson also was interested but nothing came of it. The KS ran 200 copies across the world.
What is your day job?
Senior Artist for EducationCity: A digital resource of educational games, learning and assessment for Primary aged kids.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
With friends in a social setting.
Who do you normally game with?
I have a few gaming groups made up of friends and friends of friends, but I also play with my wife and my brothers at family gatherings.
If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I’d start with Colt Express, maybe follow with Oracle of Delphi or Conan, perhaps One Night Ultimate for a break before Above & Below or Tales of the Arabian Nights.
And what snacks would you eat?
Ha, Doritos and dips.
Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Thematic usually. Soundtracks or atmospheric tunes.
What’s your favorite FLGS?
Shadow Games in my hometown of Rugby
What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
I’m loving Oracle of Delphi. Least would be something simple like Spot It or Animal Upon Animal. My worst was probably 1960: the making of a president because I was really uninvested in the theme.
What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I love risk reward and race mechanics. I’m not a huge fan of worker placement, although there are some worker games I do like lol
What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Conan. No one ever wants to play!!
What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG Games, Video Games
Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, Video Games
OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
When the occasion calls for it

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?
I usually try adapting a mechanic to a game then add a theme. Off the rails was a lot of other things before it became Goblins in minecarts.
Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Stefan Feld
Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Usually from playing other games and watching movies.
How do you go about playtesting your games?
I start with local tests with my brothers who are all gamers, before setting up blind playtests with gamers and non gamers in my social and work circle. Then I circulated print and play and prototypes through Facebook groups collating feedback and making changes where frequently raised.
Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I work alone.
What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Working alone lol Getting inspiration and feedback on ideas can be tricky without fellow designers at hand.
If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
ToeJam & Earl. I was in talks with Gregg johnson a while back but nothing came of it.
What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Play more games first!
What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Invest in the concept with time, not money. Make sure you are making something that not only works but is fun before adding cash to the mix.
Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Flippin' Fruit
I'm planning to crowdfund: Off the Rails: August 8th
Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Yes, most of the above and Boardgame Exposure

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, Pepsi and VHS
What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Art and illustration, computer game design, animation, pro wrestling (I used to perform, now its just watching)
What is something you learned in the last week?
Deluxe is spelt with two e's
Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blues Traveler, Creedence, Tenacious D. Skullduggery Pleasant, Gotrek & Felix. LA Story, Die Hard, Jurassic Park, The Killer, Shawshank Redemption
What was the last book you read?
Skullduggery Pleasant #8
Do you play any musical instruments?
I dabble with the guitar
Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I spent 10 years pro wrestling under the pseudonym The Spindoctor.
Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I once suplexed a guy from a wrestling ring to the matted floor outside. We were supposed to be caught. We weren’t.
Who is your idol?
Ronnie Van Zant or Matthew Le Tissier
What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go to an original Lynyrd Skynyrd gig.
Are you an extrovert or introvert?
If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Have any pets?
Yes, golden retriever called Amber

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

Check out Off the Rails coming to Kickstarter 8th August!

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

Did you like this interview?  Show your support by clicking the heart at Board Game Links , liking GJJ Games on Facebook , or following on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

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