Tuesday, July 24, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 130: Joriam Philipe

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:Joriam Philipe
Location:Berlin, Germany
Day Job:CEO of a game company - Hard Question Studio
Designing:Two to five years.
Facebook:Jojojo Cards/
Today's Interview is with:

Interviewed on: 6/14/2018

This week we get to learn about Joriam Philipe. Joriam is the designer of the social party game, Jojojo Cards. He also runs Hard Question Studios, a game publisher based out of Berlin. When Joriam moved from Rio de Janeiro to Berlin he was inspired to create Jojojo Cards to help foster communication. The game features a ton of wacky or profound questions, actually pretty similar to a lot of the questions in this interview. So read on to learn more about Joriam and see how he answered my questions!

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?
A lifetime passion for Magic the Gathering and the need to stay out of the screens once in a while!

What game or games are you currently working on?
It's a secret =X but also my next release is a digital game (also make those)

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Yes! Jojojo (www.jojojo.cards)

What is your day job?
CEO of a game company - Hard Question Studio

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Bar table at 1am

Who do you normally game with?
Of course with my friends, but my profession also pushes me to game with a lot of strangers and other game designers. It's pretty fun!

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
My favourite game of all times is Go, the ancient boardgame. Not a lot of people play it, but it's my go-to option.

And what snacks would you eat?
Is wine a snack?

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Oh yeah! Hm not any specific genre, but I just left a vaporwave phase and now I'm deep into Simon & Garfunkel.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Redbox back in Rio de Janeiro

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Apart from Go, I recently tried Get Your Rocks On and thought it was hilarious. Least favourite, but alright is Bang. Worst is the Warcraft boardgame — good god who approved that?

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Storytelling mechanics are my weapon of choice. Dexterity mechanics are meh.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Go — it's very complex, I admit

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Card Games, RPG Games, Video 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?
My gamemaking process can start anywhere really — from one idea I can generate 10 games. But my latest release was based on a problem. A real life problem. I guess that's a theme? Not sure.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I... guess? My first-ever game (www.mairoj.com) got a sort of prize, but it was all very confusing. I got a medal though.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Jenova Chen. He's in digital, but still my idol.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Combining my ideas with other people's ideas. Aka: talking.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I have a very meticulous playtesting process and philosophy. Jojojo went through more than 700 iterations 'till it was complete.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I have one teammate, but he was only recently added to the studio.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finding funding.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Honestly I'd love to work with Invisibilia or Welcome to Nightvale. I'm sure those folks would be more enjoyable to work with than Lego or some shit.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Here's 8000€, you have two months to deliver me a game.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
When you playtest, write down everybody's facial expressions while interacting with different systems. Sometimes their tongues won't talk, but their frowns mostly won't lie.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Jojojo

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Oh so many, at least 15

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. Pepsi. VHS.

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I'm a huge youtube nerd, have a couple of channels.

What is something you learned in the last week?
German frozen peas are remarkably good! Oh my.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I really dig all types of music, but if I had to choose one I'd say prog rock. I'm currently enchanted by Terry Pratchett, but I do have a Stephen King tattoo. I'm not sooo into movies, but Monty Python gets me every time.

What was the last book you read?
Terry Pratchett - Sourcery

Do you play any musical instruments?
I used to sing in a band! I'm a little rusty, but I can beat any karaoke amateur.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I've experienced several ayahuasca rituals. It's pretty amazing actually.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I played a note (just a single note) in an ancient instrument that used to belong to Chopin.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
So I was working in Rock in Rio, a big music festival, and this beer truck got stuck in the mud. They gave everyone free beer to lighten the truck so it could move.

Who is your idol?
I'm gonna go for Hank and John Green.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
At first be extremely afraid. Then I'd just vanquish my enemies throwing them in the future.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Oh man, extrovert.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Roland Deschain.

Have any pets?
A dog! His name is Matrix.

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?
I really hope go, tarot and poker survive. Pretty sure we can rebuild everything else.

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):
Jacinda Ardern, you are such a legend.

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

Be weird. Be very weird indeed.

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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