Tuesday, September 18, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 138: Nat Sanderson

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:Nat Sanderson
Day Job:I paint houses.
Designing:One to two years.
Blog:On the website, don't have a link though
Facebook:Borken Things (yes, the typo is on purpose)
Find my games at:Kickstarter in September
Today's Interview is with:

Nat Sanderson
Interviewed on: 8/8/2018

Nat Sanderson is another designer from Canada who also makes up part of the Broken Things team. They'll be releasing Builder!, a deck-building game about building skyscrapers, on Kickstarter very soon. He was also part of the design team on 2016's Neverland Legacy. Read on to learn more about Nat and his projects.

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?
I love the math behind the games, and creating mechanics.

What game or games are you currently working on?
A game called Builder! It's a game you play where you play competing contracting companies vying for a big city grant.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Neverland's Legacy

What is your day job?
I paint houses.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Usually my place or a cafe

Who do you normally game with?
Often the same people I design games with, but also with childhood friends.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Terraforming Mars. I'm obsessed with that game.

And what snacks would you eat?
Uh... dinner?

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Usually no.

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. Risk, I don't particularly like it, but it still has my heart. Worst game is monopoly.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
The way Evolution's watering hole food mechanic. Least favourite is using dice to move along a static board.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Axis and Allies Europe and Pacific. People don't like that it can take upwards of 30 hours to play.

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, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG 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?
I usually go for theme first and build mechanics to marry to the theme so that they work together in harmony.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I have not.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Eric Lang is pretty awesome.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
While painting houses. The monotony allows me to mull over ideas.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I start small with the team I design with, slowly opening it up to my friends. Finally I bring it to cons so to get a larger crowd.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I prefer to be part of a team, as each member brings different skills that I definitely don't have.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Graphic design, it is my nemesis.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Any IP ever? Harvest Moon. Love that game so much.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Simpler mechanics tend to easier to learn games with higher skill caps.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Every idea is great, they just may need to be refined a little.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Neverland's Legacy
I'm planning to crowdfund: Builders!
Games that I'm playtesting are: Magical Girl, Ragnar is Okay
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Star Fighter, Tower Defense

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Canadian analog game 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(I don't think I remember this battle)

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I play video games and read quite a bit.

What is something you learned in the last week?
High charisma can overcome many a great challenges.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I really like punk music, sci fi books, and most movies.

What was the last book you read?
A book called Iron Gold by Pierce Brown.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Sadly no.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm a 90% extrovert

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I left my house once...

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I tripped down a flight of stairs into a flip once, people said it looked rad.

Who is your idol?
Terry Crews, the man is quite inspiring.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Literally nothing. Time is not a thing to be messed with.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?

Have any pets?
I wish I had enough spare time to own a pet.

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'm open to most games surviving, but I certainly hope that monopoly never makes a comeback.

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):
Tyler Omichinski is a wonderful human/genius

Thanks for answering all my crazy questions

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.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait for his next game! Builders I believe it's called. Super excited and great interview Nat!