Tuesday, January 30, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 106: Cody Thompson

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:Cody Thompson
Location:Tacoma, WA
Day Job:Architectural Drafter
Designing:Six months to a year.
BGG:Gold Nugget Games
YouTube:Gold Nugget Games
Find my games at:Hopefully we will find out soon
Today's Interview is with:

Cody Thompson
Interviewed on: 12/29/2017

Cody Thompson is the founder of Gold Nugget Games, a new game publisher from Tacoma, Washington. He's working on publishing Chef's Choice by Charlie Hoopes and also has his game, Mine Mine Mine, in The Game Crafter's hookbox challenge. He's an active member of many of the game design groups on Facebook and elsewhere, so if you see him, say hi! Read on to learn more about Cody and his current projects.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Six months to a year.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Because I love games of all types and have recently gotten into modern board games and have fell in love. (And of course so that I can quit my job and buy and Island... Duh)

What game or games are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a game of my own with the working title of Mine Mine Mine. And just signed a game to publish from another designer, with two more designers in that I am interested in signing and we are working out the details.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
In 2-4 months I will have :)

What is your day job?
Architectural Drafter

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Preferably on a table, but until just recently before we got a fold up table we have been playing on the floor

Who do you normally game with?
My girlfriend 99% of the time currently. Unless its video games, then I can play with my family and friends that live farther away

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Currently Charterstone, but I just recently picked up Hellapagos which is designed for 3-12 players but we have only played it with 2 so far. But games like Cards against Humanity is fun to play with my family whenever we all get together.

And what snacks would you eat?
I would eat all of them. (New Years Resolution is to leave some for guests as well)

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Never really thought of that. There might be background noise from the TV, but we have never intentionally played music while playing.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Uncle Games in the Tacoma mall. My wallet wants me to do more online shopping. But the convenience and their staff (Becky) keeps us coming back and emptying the wallet.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current favorite, Charterstone. Least favorite that I still enjoy, Citadel of Time, Just because we haven't beat it yet, we have come 1 turn from beating it 5 times, once I beat it I will never play it again. Worst game ever played, obviously Monopoly (thats the game I'm supposed to say as a designer right?)

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite mechanic has got to be deckbuilding (also my girlfriend’s favorite). Least favorite I don't think I have played enough yet to determine.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. We have only played it about 5 times so far. We both love the game. Have bought more expansions then times played. And just can’t seem to get it to the table no matter how many times I try.

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, 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?
THEME, THEME, THEME. And then come up with mechanics to fit it. (Except coincidentally the first game I am going to publish was mechanics first. It started as X's and O's and bombs. But then got a theme and then the mechanics changed to fit it

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No. But entering into my first in a couple weeks. So hopefully yes.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Jamey Stegmaier, Ryan Laukat, Brian Henk

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
At work, driving in the car, taking a shower, or reading.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I have a playtester form on my website, and then just direct marketing in facebook groups with links to a google drive

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
So far most of my work is alone with the services of an artist (I can't draw to save anybody’s life), but I really like the aspect of being a project manager working as a team

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finishing (which I think is everyone's biggest challenge). Ideas are a dime a dozen. Actually bringing that idea to life... maybe a few hundred dollars

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Monster Hunter for passion. Any Nintendo or Monopoly IP for money.

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

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Just do it!

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: 2 currently (possibly 4)
I'm planning to crowdfund: 2 currently (possibly 4)
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: 1
Games that I'm playtesting are: 1
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: 1
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Googolplex

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
A ton. If you’re on there, chances are I'm on there.

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. Neither. Netflix

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Sports of all kinds, Video Games, Cooking, and Learning

What is something you learned in the last week?
I spend about 25 hours a day learning, so take your pick

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
All types except Metal and Screamo. Blogs. All types

What was the last book you read?

Do you play any musical instruments?
I wish

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I went to a school that was P-12th grade that had 186 kids. My sister’s graduating class was 4

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Everything in high school. Small school. No rules

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I spun my ankle around backwards in high school. Now I have a sweet scar. Still deciding if that is worth the price of admission.

Who is your idol?
Elon Musk

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go back just before the industrial revolution and do things the right way.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert until I get in trouble, then introvert.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Iron Man (aka Elon Musk)

Have any pets?
We just got a puppy. A corgi/Pomeranian names Nugget!

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?
Doesn't matter because I would be in the ocean or on mars at that point. But if it did matter I would hope that as many games as possible made it because everyone has a different taste. And I would want all destructive human technology to be wiped away but with the current knowledge of how to proceed better without them

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):
Brian Henk for giving me the inspiration and confidence to become a designer/publisher, Jamey Stegmaier for building on what Brian started, and my girlfriend Asia Reese for being behind me every step of the way

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

Play games, have fun, and only take life seriously enough.

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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