Tuesday, October 24, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 92: Petter Schanke Olsen

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!

Name:Petter Schanke Olsen
Day Job:A producer at a video production company
Designing:One to two years.
BGG:Donning the Purple
Facebook:Tompet Games/
Find my games at:http://killtheking.no/
Today's Interview is with:

Petter Schanke Olsen
Interviewed on: 8/1/2017

Last year Petter successfully Kickstarted his first published game, Kill the King. Next year he has his second game coming out on Kickstarter, Donning the Purple. In addition to designing games, Petter manages a blog where he interviews creators and others involved in Kickstarter campaigns. Be sure to check out the Tompet Games blog for some more awesome interviews with movers and shakers in the board game industry!

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?
One day I got an idea for a game mechanic. I tested it out and it was quite cool. From that moment on I was hooked.

What game or games are you currently working on?
I am currently working on several games but the game that has come the longest is Donning the Purple. Donning the Purple will be on Kickstarter in early 2018

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Kill the King was my first game. The Kickstarter campaign was in september 2016 and the games were delivered in february 2017

What is your day job?
A producer at a video production company

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home, the office or with friends.

Who do you normally game with?

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
It depends on the friends but maybe Axis & Allies, Lords of Waterdeep or Lewis & Clark.

And what snacks would you eat?
Pizza. If you can call it snacks.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Some kind of soundtrack that matches the theme of the game.

What’s your favorite FLGS?

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
My current favorite games at the moment are perhaps Scythe and Blood Rage.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I love deckbuilding and worker placement. I don’t like party games like CAH.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Axis & Allies. It takes 6-8 hours so it is quite difficult to find the time to play.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board 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?
On Kill the King I came up with the mechanics first. On Donning the Purple I listened to a podcast about the Roman Empire. That podcast inspired me to make a game about being an emperor over a large empire with nothing but problems. Why did anyone want to have that job?

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Jamey Stegmaier!

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
That can happen everywhere. The inspiration for Kill the King came when I took a shower and Donning the Purple from a podcast.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
1. I playtest it by myself.
2. I test it on some close friends.
3. I test it on strangers.
4. I blind playtest it with some strangers.
5. I send a PnP to all my mail list subscribers.
6. repeat 2-5

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I work best alone but have a sparring partner/co-designer that I playtest and share ideas with.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Playtesting your game enough times

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
How fun it is!

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Play a lot of games and playtest the hell out of your game before you publish it.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Kill the King
I'm planning to crowdfund: Donning the Purple
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Donning the Purple

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

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 and VHS!

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Reading history, video games and watching movies.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
AC/DC and Lord of the Rings

What was the last book you read?
50 Strategies that Changed the World

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I served in the Royal Guard when I was in the military

Who is your idol?

Have any pets?
A golden retriever called Puffen.

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):
Everybody that backed Kill the King on Kickstarter!

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

Donning the Purple will be on Kickstarter in jan/feb 2018. Sign up to our mailing list at tompetgames.no if you want to be notified of our launch.

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?  Pleasse show your support: Support me on Patreon! Or click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

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