Tuesday, September 11, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 137: Tyler Omichinski

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:Tyler Omichinski
Day Job:Writer/Game designer for RPGs, tabletop, etc
Designing:One to two years.
Find my games at:DriveThru RPG, BGG, etc.
Today's Interview is with:

Tyler Omichinski
Interviewed on: 6/15/2018

Tyler Omichinski is a Canadian designer with quite a bit of experience writing for RPGs. He's even had stories and scenarios nominated for awards! Coming in a few weeks he'll have his first card game on Kickstarter. Builders! is a deck-builder about building skyscrapers that he designed with a group of friends with various talents and experience in game design that call themselves Broken Things​. I'll be interviewing a few of them in the next few weeks. Be sure to keep an eye out for Builders! on Kickstarter on September 25!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
One to two years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Started in getting work for RPGs, transitioned to tabletop games due to access

What game or games are you currently working on?
Builders! The Building Buildings deck Building Game, Magical Girls and Victoriana Remix

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Yes (Reanimator & RPG stuff)

What is your day job?
Writer/Game designer for RPGs, tabletop, etc

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home

Who do you normally game with?
A bunch of friends

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Terraforming Mars has currently taken over our lives

And what snacks would you eat?
I love to cook - so whatever I have whipped up for the day. In the past has included blueberry scones, homemade pizza from scratch, and much more

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Thematic & non-lyrical, based upon game

What’s your favorite FLGS?
The Dragon

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Terraforming Mars, Munchkin, and Magic the Gathering

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
This is like asking me my most favorite and least favorite tool - I don't think there is one because it is all in the execution

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Diplomacy or Scythe

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 Board 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?
Depends on the game; some have started with the core of a mechanic and grown from there, some have grown from a specific design challenge, and others have started from an attempt at a specific theme and gone from there

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
200 word rpg challenge

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Woof - Kenneth Hite probably?

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
From working hard, or in the shower

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Minimum viable product with co-designers, testing with co-designers until at an acceptable beta, testing with outside designers. Bring to a beta state then wider testing with friends and gamers we know. From there bring to a near final and get to yet wider still testing including blind testing.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
team - have a team I'm trying to work with a lot right now that includes a few of us as co-designers

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
having enough time

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

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Not to take a specific contract

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
It is one part art, and one part science. You're going to need to wear a lot of hats, but project management and a lack of ego are probably your two best friends.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Reanimator + RPGs
Games that will soon be published are: Builders!, Magical Girl, Victoriana Remix
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Builders! on September 25th
I'm planning to crowdfund: Builders!
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Builders!
Games that I'm playtesting are: After Ragnarok
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Magical Girls, Victoriana Remix
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: LOTS - Starfighter Game, Turret D, Starve, etc

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Lots - both of the above, a Canadian game developers one, RPG brain trust and others

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, No, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Writing, ukulele, fitness lamestuff

What is something you learned in the last week?
that no one in Columbus Ohio seems to know that Coywolves are a thing

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
nerdcore, all of them, heist movies

What was the last book you read?
The Quantum Thief

Do you play any musical instruments?
bad at guitar, bass clarinet, and ukulele

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I have been stabbed

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I was in a fight club

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
blurting out I wanted to marry someone at totally the wrong time

Who is your idol?
Neil Gaiman

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Probably stop myself from going to law school

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Depends on the day? Probably slightly introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Any of them with healing/immortality based upon not dying of old age

Have any pets?
Yes! technically one dog, not counting the family farm

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?
Jeez - hard questions here. I'm a proponent of creative destruction, so I really just hope that at the very least records of a bunch of the things going on in the industry last. Maybe something really cool at the edge of how we play and understand games like that lantern game who's name escapes me. As for the other side - probably Magic the Gathering honestly, but I'm weird.

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

check out my latest project with a bunch of awesome teammates I feel lucky to work with at www.brokenthings.ca :D

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.

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