Tuesday, April 10, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 115: Julio E. Nazario

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:Julio E. Nazario
Day Job:I am a Civil Engineer for the National Forest in Tennessee, a lot of my inspiration comes from my time driving to projects when my mind just goes and does its thing and a get interesting ideas.
Designing:Six months to a year.
Facebook:Tennessee Boardgame Designers
Other:Junazaru everywhere (very consistent)
Find my games at:I’ll be at Unpub 8 in Baltimore in march, Protospiel Atlanta in May and Origins in June
Today's Interview is with:

Julio E. Nazario
Interviewed on: 2/7/2018

Today's interview is with Julio Nazario, a newer, but very enthusiastic designer from Tennessee. In the past year he's organized regular meetups of other designers within Tennessee and started several groups on social media. He has a number of designs, some of which are already being looked at by publishers. So keep your eye on Julio and his 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?
I was playing more and more boardgames in the past year or so the hobby was starting to creep into my daily life. While I was working out on the forest, my co-worker was talking about all the different type of trees around (yellow pine, black cherry, red maple) and I got to thinking that those colors represented by trees could have a board game in there. So it all started with an idea.
What game or games are you currently working on?
I started in July 2017 and since then I have worked on 8 prototypes, 4 of which I am currently working on, the others are currently on the shelf, they are not good enough. I am currently working on Timber Tactics (1st prototype), which is a map discovery, resource management Medium Euro. The World Tree (5th prototype) which is an abstract area control puzzle game with three elevated boards. Hunted: A Race for Survival (7th prototype), which is worker placement racing game and last, but not least I’ve got Global Towers (8th prototype) which is an abstract tower building educational game.
Have you designed any games that have been published?
Not yet, Timber Tactics and The World Tree are currently being looked at by publishers, I am pretty excited about it.
What is your day job?
I am a Civil Engineer for the National Forest in Tennesse, a lot of my inspiration comes from my time driving to projects when my mind just goes and does its thing and a get interesting ideas.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
There are four local game stores within an hour where I live where I love to go and play games. I also play some at home, but I mostly design when I’m at home.
Who do you normally game with?
Whoever comes to the game nights, I love meeting people. I don’t really have a dedicated gaming group.
If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
My wife loves to play Ticket to Ride UK, so we will lay that often with new people. Lately we’ve had friends come and play Pandemic Legacy Season 1, we are at game 5, it’s a fun game. We usually stick with games that play under an hour and 30 minutes.
And what snacks would you eat?
We usually order pizza and eat before or after we play, eating while playing is not something we usually do, maybe some chips and coke.
Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Yeah, maybe some low alternate rock or christian rock in the background.
What’s your favorite FLGS?
Each one that I go to has some good perks, I really don’t have a favorite (saving myself in case any of them read this XD)
What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
As of now, I don’t really have a favorite game, there isn’t a game that I have played that I would play more than a couple of times if I had anything to say about it. The Resistance, not a big fan of social deduction games. I don’t remember the name, but it was a social deduction game, and I hated it because the owner of the game was quarterbacking through the whole thing.
What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Action selection is my favorite, it just invites simple fast gameplay and the game can still have a lot of depth. Just mechanics that use dice to determine big outcomes, not a fan of the game being run by randomness.
What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
I don’t know, I usually like to try out new games whenever I get the chance.
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?
Played it a lot when I got into the hobby, don’t anymore

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?
As of now, my prototypes have been theme first, I have some mechanics ideas that still haven’t been developed. I also have a game idea that started with a name and what I want players to feel.
Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I entered Timber Tactics, The World Tree and Hunted: A Race for Survival on the Cardboard Edison design contest this year, they had 196 submissions this year. They’ll announce the finalists at the start of March 2018.
Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I would love to meet Alan Moon.
Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Already touched on this a little earlier, but most of my best ideas come when I am driving in the forest(themes) or when I am in the shower (mechanics).
How do you go about playtesting your games?
When I started, there wasn’t a designer community, so I created one. I started the Tennessee Boardgame Designers Facebook group and BGG guild. I started posting one tip a day about things that I have learned about board game design through research or design process, currently on Tip #128 and we have 69 members. We meet bi-weekly between three FLGS in southeast TN (Chattanooga to Knoxville)
Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
As of now all my designs have been alone, but I would be open to work on some co-designs.
What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Probably the lack of knowledge of past games, I’ve been in the hobby about two years and there are just so many games I haven’t played. On the other hand, not having so many existing themes and mechanics in my head just keeps me from “borrowing” ideas from other games.
If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
The Legend of Zelda, I am a huge fan and I’ve got quite a collection.
What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
I am still new so I feel I haven’t made a mistake that calls for regret. Probably “get into boardgame design sooner”
What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Playtest your game with other designers, their feedback is invaluable, you can learn so much from them as well and getting to know them is great way to start your networking circle.
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 all my active designs.
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Hunted: A Race for Survival
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: The World Tree
Games that I'm playtesting are: Hunted: A Race for survival. Currently working on a variant of Timber Tactics to make it a heavy euro, it involves Medieval Warfare.
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Global Towers
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Too many to name
Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
A lot, but mainly Tennesse Boardgame Designers

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, VHS
What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Video Games
What is something you learned in the last week?
Engineering is awesome, seeing those SpaceX boosters land back in Florida shows how far we’ve come.
Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Alternate Rock, Lit RPG Books (Way of the Shaman), Adult Fiction
What was the last book you read?
I mostly listen to Audio books, but the last book I read was Harry Potter and the cursed child
Do you play any musical instruments?
Heck no! I can barely clap and sing at the same time.
Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I was part of a Concrete Canoe team in college. It is a Civil Engineering competition where the team has to design, build and race a concrete canoe.
Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
As part of my job, I was doing chainsaw training and crushed my left middle finger tip in four pieces.
Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Got into boardgames by buying a cheap game at a thrift store (Pixel Tactics 2 for $5)
Who is your idol?
Jesus Christ is awesome!
What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go to the future and see where we are at in increments of ten years.
Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Definitely an extrovert, love socializing with people and meeting new people.
If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Probably Wolverine, I like the idea of super healing and living longer than most. Probably wouldn’t use the adamantium much though.
Have any pets?
Yes, 1 dog. Her name is Sheik and she is awesome.
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?
Hopefully, live close to the mountains so water rising may not be a problem. Probably the last asteroid that hit that place, full of War of the Worlds’ alien invasion ships.
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 the Game Designers of North Carolina, it was the first board game design podcast that I listened to and the first designers that I showed my games to.

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

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, it was fun.

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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