Tuesday, November 28, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 97: Charalampos Tsakiris

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:Charalampos Tsakiris
Location:Athens - Greece
Day Job:I am a youthworker, mainly for underaged and unaccompanied refugee teenagers.
Designing:Two to five years.
BGG:Charalampos Tsakiris
Facebook:Tsak Man
YouTube:Future Games
Find my games at:FLGS, online stores
Today's Interview is with:

Charalampos Tsakiris
Interviewed on: 8/1/2017

Back in 2014 Mage Company had a successful Kickstarter for a game called Raid & Trade, and in 2015 they ran another successful Kickstarter for the first expansion, Raid & Trade: War on the Streets. Both were designed by today's interviewee, Charalampos Tsakiris. In addition to Raid & Trade he has a number of other games that he's been working on. Read on to learn more about Charalampos and his other projects!

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 wanted to play a specific themed game and there was none published. So I decided I will create it.

What game or games are you currently working on?
1. A cyberpunk euro storytelling legacy game 2. A set collection dungeon crawl 3. A set collection worker placement adventure game. 4. Various other ideas

Have you designed any games that have been published?
1. Published from Mage company 2. Self published with limited copies.

What is your day job?
I am a youthworker, mainly for underaged and unaccompanied refugee teenagers.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
1. At a home setting 2. At a BG coffee shop/flgs

Who do you normally game with?
2-3 different groups and a lot of other designers for playtesting reasons mainly

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
1. we would play medium euro games 2. some new games never played that can be anything 3. games that people from the group would like to play but they don't find opportunities to play them often.

And what snacks would you eat?
Only takeouts and drinks

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
If its a thematic game, thematic music or if we need something upbeat, then some upbeat music, various genres.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Game Rules, western Athens.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
1. Lords of Waterdeep with fan expansions 2. Ticket to ride 3. Seafall

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
1. Worker Placement 2. Bluffing

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

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 let the inspiration drive me, it can be both ways.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Entered yes, won no. Entered only 1 though.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Simone Luciani

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Watching trends, playing games, watching movies/TV shows, reading books, talking to other games about what they like.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
1. With myself 2. With friends 3. With an expanded list of gamers i know 4. Blind testing 5. Feedback from companies. And many if not all of them are targeted in things i want to know in every step of the design process.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
So far i worked alone but i really want to find someone to work with. The main problem is the time.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
When having money (day job) not having time and when having time not having money (day job). But the biggest challenge is wanting to work full time in the boardgame industry and seeing that it’s quite farfetched.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
1. Dungeons and Dragons 2. Blade Runner

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Start earlier, I had to try many things until I found my creative calling.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
1. Volunteer in playtesting groups for publishers. 2. Study other designers that you know you enjoy their games and understand what is that makes their games stand out. 3. Study the psychology of a gamer and various stuff that make a gamer think something is fun or challenging... 4. Network with a lot of people and teams so you can contact them and ask them to participate in your playtests.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: 1. Raid and Trade (Mage Company) 2. Kalamwars (Self Published)
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Rebuilding Atlantis
Games that I'm playtesting are: Golem: Magnum Opus
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: 1. Streams of Fire 2. Finding Redemption.
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: 1. I scream, Ice Cream.

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

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?
1. I like both but don't have a favourite (sorry) 2.Pepsi FTW 3. Only knew VHS so...

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
TV Series and Books

What is something you learned in the last week?
Don't sacrifice your resting hours/days, because it’’s going to backfire every time. Learn how to prioritise the reasons for it and decide if it’s worth the burnout.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
1. Everything with a good melody but mostly electronic. 2. Theology and Psychology books 3. Comedies, sci-fi, fantasy.

What was the last book you read?
Purpose Driven Life by pastor Rick Warren.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Piano (I don’t read notes though).

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I have a youtube channel that i do reviews of board games and recently add some comedy bits. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ8wFwy71lvrqGqX0joYIfg

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I participated in funny clips that i was a boyband member.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
In a hot hot summer day, my grandma asked for water so I grabbed a bottle from the fridge and gave her a full glass of it. On the 4th big ship her hand started shaking and on the fifth she stopped drinking, shouting at me, YOU GAVE ME FIRE TO DRINK ? It was a type of vodka and not water...

Who is your idol?
A lot of people that sacrificed themselves trying to help others, holding their Christian values high, and the top example of that Jesus, being used as a model of a person that united the word love with the word sacrifice in the most profound way.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Finding key points in history where everything went down and trying to change it. At the process i might be having some fun also...

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert with extrovertive inclinations.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Superman or Legion. or the two combined !!!

Have any pets?
Joy, my dog.

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?
1. RPG games for sure and games that can strengthen a community's past time, rather than a specific group's options. 2. That is a serious question and i can't reply to that now.

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):
To anyone that can create this: Start an online (board) game design class with WELL known designers that are still creating hits in the market... It will be amazing !!!

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

only LOVE :)

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment