Tuesday, February 13, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 107: Adam Rehberg

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:Adam Rehberg
Location:Minnesota - USA
Day Job:Packaging Engineer
Designing:Two to five years.
Facebook:Adam’s Apple Games
Find my games at:http://adamsaplegames.com/games
Today's Interview is with:

Adam Rehberg
Interviewed on: 2/1/2018

Adam Rehberg is the founder of Adam's Apple Games, a new publisher out of St. Louis Park, MN. So far he's published two games, after successful Kickstarter campaigns - Brewin' USA was his own design and Truck Off by Ryan Lambert. Next week, his third campaign launches on Kickstarter for Swordcrafters, a really cool looking game where you get to build a three-dimensional sword! Read on to learn more about Adam, Adam's Apple Games, and the projects he's working on!

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 saw a great opportunity to merge two things I am passionate about. Board games and running my own business.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Swordcrafters coming to KS Feb 20th. You build a 3D sword that you hold as you play!

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Self-published Brewin' USA

What is your day job?
Packaging Engineer

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Outside on the deck

Who do you normally game with?
Family and Coworkers

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Between Two Cities

And what snacks would you eat?
Cheese and Crackers

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Yes, we let the google home roam.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
This one is tough! The Source in Roseville and Level Up in St. Paul are tied based on their open and accepting communities.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Ra, Acquire, My latest prototype of a game called Dungeon Munchers

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Drafting, Memorization

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Lords of Waterdeep

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

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 and mechanics combined to make a rich experience.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Entered and featured on Tabletop Deathmatch season 2 with Brewin' USA. 3rd place!

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Vladimír Chvátil

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
When listening to a game design podcast.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Family, then Coworkers, then meetups, then PnP, then KS and Publish.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I like to work as part of a team. However I work pretty quickly so keep up!

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Managing both game design and development piece while also progressing and running Adam's Apple Games which is my publishing outfit. We have two games currently and working on our 3rd right now. Swordcrafters.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Tough question! Most of the advice I have heard has been true, but I wish I had followed it closer. The one that still trips me up is creating too many assets before having a game fully designed.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
A great sign you have a game, is when the first prototype finds the fun. When this happens, I usually move forward with the project and test the extremes of the current mechanics and balance. I open the flood gates to discover the answers to the "What If" questions, and then I close them when I'm confident which mechanics and balance feels best for the weight and audience the game is intended for.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Brewin' USA
Games that will soon be published are: Swordcrafters, Brewin' USA - Taproom Takeover
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Swordcrafters - Going live February 20th
Currently looking for a publisher I have: None currently, but would look for a publisher if I create a game that does not fit within Adam's Apple Games audience.
I'm planning to crowdfund: Brewin' USA - Taproom Takeover
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Brewin' USA - Taproom Takeover
Games that I'm playtesting are: Planet Unknown
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Too many!

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Yes most 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, Neither

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Brewing Beer, Golfing, hiking, soccer

What is something you learned in the last week?
How to drive in Mexico

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Rock music, Non-fiction, Documentaries

What was the last book you read?
I wear the black hat - Chuck Klosterman

Do you play any musical instruments?
Guitar, Drums, Piano, Trombone

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm afraid of goats.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Mudslide at a rock concert

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Swordcrafters tile design. It was initially designed as a 3-sided 3D object but it actually worked out really well as a 4-sided 3D object.

Who is your idol?
Sam Calagione

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Hmm... invest in bitcoin and open a brewery.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Down the middle solves the riddle.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Not really into super heroes myself, but I suppose Batman.

Have any pets?
3 dogs, two terriers and a weimaraner

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?
Abstract games

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):
Shout out to Rob Couch from building the game podcast... one of the inspirations to get into the hobby.

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

Go check out Swordcrafters live on KS Feb 20th! It's a game where you craft a 3D sword as you play.

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.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Eye on Kickstarter #37

Welcome to my Eye on Kickstarter series!  This series will highlight Kickstarter campaigns I am following that have recently launched (or I've recently discovered) because they have caught my interest.  Usually they'll catch my interest because they look like great games that I have either backed or would like to back (unfortunately budget doesn't allow me to back everything I'd like to).  But occasionally the campaigns caught my attention for other reasons.  Twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, I'll make a new post in this series, highlighting the campaigns that have caught my attention since the last post.  In each post I'll highlight one campaign that has really grabbed my attention, followed by other campaigns I've backed or am interested in.  I'll also include links to any reviews I've done.  Comments are welcome, as are suggestions for new campaigns to check out!

You can also see my full Kickstarter Profile to see what I've backed or my old Eye on Kickstarter page that was too unwieldy to maintain.  Also, check out the 2018 Kickstarter Boardgame Projects geeklist over on Board Game Geek for a list of all the tabletop games of the year.
So, without further ado, here are the projects I'm currently watching as of the second Friday of February, 2018:

Fields of Agincourt
  • GJJ Games Review
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • I really liked this tile-laying, area control game and so did everyone I played with. This one is a winner! It's a great mid-weight strategy game that would work great as a gateway, yet has enough going on to keep even seasoned gamers thinking. It's easy to teach, plays quickly, has great player interaction, and has great strategic choices. Fields of Agincourt made it onto my top Kickstarter previews of 2017, and I expect it to land on my top 10 games of 2018 at the end of the year (and probably be pushing a Full Review rating of 90/100, especially if the component quality is top notch).

Fields of Agincourt is a combative tile-placement game featuring area control, tile drafting, tile stacking, and the plague! Our game is inspired by the Battle of Agincourt, but it is not a historical simulation. However, like Henry, players will use positioning, terrain, and tactics to win the day. The map will form as the game is played, with each player fighting for position for the final battle.The goal of the game is to defeat your enemies and be named victor... of the Fields of Agincourt!

  • I love science games and have most of the Genius Games line. They're a great combination of science and gameplay and Subatomic looks great!

Endeavor: Age of Sail
  • This is a reimplementation of 2009's Endeavor, which has been out of print for a while now, despite pretty excellent ratings on BGG. This new edition has updated artwork and top notch components.

Calamityware Platter: Gang's-All-Here
  • It's not a game, but it's still pretty awesome. My wife loves the blue and white patterned porcelain dishes and I love dinosaurs (ok, she thinks they're pretty cool, too). This is an awesome combination of both!