Eric is a fellow Chicagoland game designer that also owns Sky Kingdom Games. Unfortunately we haven't crossed paths yet, but hopefully someday we will get to meet in person. In the meantime though, he is currently Kickstarting an absolutely gorgeous game called Land of Zion that is worth a look, even if it's just to oggle the artwork (but consider backing the project, too). Read on to learn more about Eric!
Interviewed on: 09/23/16
Tell me a bit about yourself.
Over ten years!
I had a love for gaming, and a desire to get people together. In a world that's consumed with digital entertainment and a generation that's stuck looking at their phone screens everyday; I wanted to create something that got people together - face to face. There's nothing like sharing a great game with great friends and good conversation.
I've been working on Land of Zion since around 2000 which will be the foundation for several titles by Sky Kingdom Games.
No - Land of Zion will be the first title published if our Kickstarter is funded this February.
I work as a Network Analyst in an underground data center in the Chicagoland area, and I have been playing and teaching percussion (drums) for nearly 30 years.
Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.
At home or at the several FLGS places locally.
The last few years it has been with my development team at Sky Kingdom Games.
I'm personally a big fan of deck builders and story driven games.
Dr Pepper and Twizzlers :)
That depends on the game and group I'm playing with, but I prefer something that doesn't distract from the game experience itself. Sky Kingdom actually brought on composer Bill Piyatut H to write an OST for Land of Zion which some gamers may enjoy during matches.
No question - I have several Gaming Goat stores in my area that have a great selection and a great group of gamers! [GJJ Games] I love The Gaming Goat! They’re a great chain!
I'm currently enjoying Scythe and several titles from Red Raven. I don't particularly have a least favorite or worst game choice. I'm not a huge fan of games that are strictly luck based with no skill involved.
Resource Management - Player Elimination
Many of them since most of my time lately has been spent developing Land of Zion :)
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, RPG Games, Video Games
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, RPG Games
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.
Land of Zion had a theme first and mechanics were slowly added and refined over years of playtesting and feedback.
Big fan of Eric Lang and Jamey Stegmaier.
Many of my ideas and inspiration stems from childhood gaming moments that I enjoyed. Every mechanic I add to a game I have to enjoy doing.
Land of Zion was play tested for multiple years by a group of about 12-15 gamers. Each session was about 4-5 hours long and we played focused on refining all of the elements of the game. How long the game took, balancing numbers, removing broken abilities and mechanics, and adding aspects we loved were all part of the play testing process.
Team based design and art is definitely my preference!
Finding that perfect balance of fun and replay-ability using a theme that many gamers will appreciate. We hope Land of Zion has those qualities.
I'd love to create a project using the characters and world from Chrono Trigger - an old school RPG from Squaresoft (now Square Enix). I think the world and lore would open many possibilities because of the time travel used in the game.
The challenge of designing and publishing at the same time as a first time publisher! lol
Do what you love doing. If you're enjoying yourself and using your natural gifting and passion you're where you should be.
Games that will soon be published are: Land of Zion
I'm planning to crowdfund: Land of Zion - Into the Depths - single/Co-op campaign 2017
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Land of Zion - Into the Depths
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Multiple Titles from the Land of Zion world and lore
Yes - multiple gaming 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!
Both, Neither - Dr. Pepper, VHS
Music - Percussion and Piano
That I need more sleep than I've been getting the last month preparing for a Kickstarter launch :)
Symphonic, Fantasy, Classic fantasy or Sci-Fi
The priest with dirty clothes by R.C. Sproul
Percussion and Piano
Nothing too surprising :)
Went out in -25 degree weather without insulated boots in Ukraine :)
Big fan of Carter Beauford - drummer
I'd love to visit my ancestors and find out what they did for their professions years ago.
Both - depends on the day and who I'm with.
Silver Surfer so I can travel through space.
Yep - 2 dogs, some fish and a guinea pig.
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions!
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