Tuesday, December 26, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 101: Bobby Westrick

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:Bobby Westrick
Location:Kansas City, Missouri
Day Job:I am a service technician for in ground sprinkler systems
Designing:Five to ten years.
Facebook:Astrologic Game
YouTube:Smash Gordon
Today's Interview is with:

Bobby Westrick
Interviewed on: 9/24/2017

Today we get to learn about Bobby Westrick, a designer from Kansas City, MO. He has a few games in progress, including Astrologic, which will be hitting Kickstarter on February 1, 2018.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Five to ten years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I am an artist at heart & I love all types of games so, natural progression I guess!

What game or games are you currently working on?
Astrologic - A strategy game Astrology & Magic

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
I am a service technician for in ground sprinkler systems

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Boardgame house parties

Who do you normally game with?
With friends or with other peeps in a local boardgame group I'm in

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Either of my finished games (Astrologic & Valgursnatch), Small World, Pandemic, Betrayal at the house on haunted hill, crokinole

And what snacks would you eat?
Cookies, Chips..Anything not too greasy/messy

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Absolutely, Ambient music, Radiohead, Gorillas, Phantasmagoria..Not too loud tho

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Tabletop G&H, There's a cool new BG cafe called Pawn & Pint

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Well my own current - Astrologic. Least fav would be yahtzee. Worst um, Monopoly comes to mind.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I like flipping over things, cards or tokens that reveal things or change gameplay. Least: Overly complex systems where you need books or charts to figure out what to do.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Chess, I'm not even super good at it but no one wants to play me! LOL

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Other 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?
Both, I'm kickin around an abstract idea with a pinball plunger and a ball as a mechanic, but no theme has came to mind...yet.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Yes, 2016 Hasbro Game competition. I didn’’t even get honorable mention!

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Not really

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Totally out of the blue. I'll either be watching something, or playing something and an idea will just creep up and bite me on the butt.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Usually with a group of other game designers first. Then enthusiasts, kids/teens, and family too

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I've only worked alone, but would love to Co-design with someone. A team sounds like there would be too many cooks in the kitchen.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Not getting discouraged and staying on track. I'm a notorious procrastinator, and I don't take criticism very well sometimes.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Anyone who likes one of my ideas :)

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Don't be afraid to show it to others because you're afraid they might steal it. The only person who thinks it's the greatest game...Evar is YOU.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Take other designers’ criticism with a grain of salt. Everyone's got an opinion and you can't make a game that pleases everyone or it will never get done.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Games that will soon be published are: Hopefully Astrologic, in a manner of speaking.
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Yes, for an adorable game involving Puppies for children.
I'm planning to crowdfund: I am currently planning a Kickstarter campaign for Astrologic
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Astrologic & Puppies at the Park
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Revitalized more focused version of my twisted dungeon crawlish/commerce game Valgursnatch
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: A few ideas are rollin' around my noggin.

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
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?
VHS, Star Wars 4-6, I prefer Mountain Dew

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Mountain biking (minus the mountains), Composing Music, Billiards

What is something you learned in the last week?
That I'm more capable and driven that I give myself credit for

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I'm currently enthralled with Queens of the Stone Age. I love the Hitchhiker series. Horror Movies..Plus TWD, GOT & Stranger Things.

What was the last book you read?
Something by James Patterson..can't think of the title

Do you play any musical instruments?
Keyboards, Does Tamborine count?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I used to be best friends with Puddle of Mudd singer, Wes Scantlin as a teenager.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Back when I sang for a Rock band called Dropzero, I spontaneously leaped off the stage and crowdsurfed...It was epic.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
My Lovely daughter Lydia

Who is your idol?
I'm not sure anymore...The older I get, the stranger everything & everyone becomes.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go back and see how they built the Pyramids

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?

Have any pets?
I Beagle girl named Lucy that I adore.

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?
First, I hope to have died of old age when this occurs...With that said umm. I kinda hope boardgames in some form resurface as a form of entertainment and I would love to see that space rock wipe out Capitalism as a whole, to be replaced with something better for future humanity as a whole.

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):
A big thanks to all who do read this, even tho im not even a blip on the gaming worlds radar...yet!

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

If people are curious about my games, here's 2 things to know. Astrologic used to be called Imagica (changed because it's a theme park in India). And Slaughterama was the first incarnation of Valgursnatch. You can find videos for both on YouTube.

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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