Tuesday, October 17, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 91: Alfred Vesligaj

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. Support me on Patreon!

Alfred on the left, Matt Leacock on the right.

Name:Alfred Vesligaj
Location:Slovenia and Philippines.
Day Job:Product manager / Business consultant
Designing:Over ten years!
Find my games at:Tabletopia
Today's Interview is with:

Alfred Vesligaj
Interviewed on: 10/13/2017

Alfred V. is a game designer and game development lecturer from Slovenia, currently living in the Philippines. Over the years he's worked on several different games, a few of which have been published. From educational games to strategic games, his designs incorporate mathematical models, simple rules, and high variability. Read on to learn more about Alfred and the projects he's working on.

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?
Improving classical games (Monopoly, Risk ...) we had as kids.
What game or games are you currently working on?
Pumpkings, an innovative Halloween deck builder and Firefighters, cooperative game
Have you designed any games that have been published?
What is your day job?
Product manager / Business consultant

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Public gaming events.
Who do you normally game with?
Who ever wants to play.
If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Cooperative games.
And what snacks would you eat?
Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Just something for the background, not too loud so we can talk. I guess it would be classical rock.
What’s your favorite FLGS?
We don't have one where I live.
What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Dominion, Bang!, Monopoly.
What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Worker placement. Hidden roles.
What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Pandemic Legacy.
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 Board Games, Card Games, Video 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?
I start from the general mechanics and theme idea and then develop both to match as much as possible.
Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Hippo Dice, Gencant. But no cigar.
Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Matt Leacock
Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
It is just random.
How do you go about playtesting your games?
Gaming Events, fairs, Tabletopia.
Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I usually work alone, but I don't mind teaming up.
What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Writing compelling, complete and easy to understand rules.
If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Game of Thrones - it just allows for so much of otherwise prohibited content.
What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
How to make prototypes fast and simple.
What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Make the simplest possible prototype and test as much as you can.
Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Talking Angela: Shopping (branded Talking Angela, family game), IQ (branded Talking Tom, card game), Five Elements (card game), Walk to Jesus (religious family game), Black Diamond (adventuring family game)
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Pumpkings (innovative deck builder), Firefighters (cooperative)
Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Mostly all of James Mathe’s groups.

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 Trek. I don't drink bubbles. To young.
What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Outdoors, farming
What is something you learned in the last week?
Riding bus is cheaper and usually faster in the city.
Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Rock, Classical. Fantasy, biography, history. Drama, biopic, war.
What was the last book you read?
Do you play any musical instruments?
Some guittar.
Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
With my wife we have a coconut plantation in the Philippines.
Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I have circum-walked Slovenia in 1999. It was first local reality show in Slovenia.
Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I find nothing awesome about the accidents.
Who is your idol?
Leonard Cohen.
What would you do if you had a time machine?
Travel in time ;)
Are you an extrovert or introvert?
If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Super Pumpkin.
Have any pets?
Two dogs in the Philippines.
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 sure hope my games will survive :). Greed and corruption.

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: http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html

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