Tuesday, October 9, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 141: Pablo and Tove Jomer

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:Pablo & Tove Jomer
Day Job:Software architect at a startup called Spotscale, Environmental consultant for WSP
Designing:Two to five years.
Other:We are on BGDF and Indie game alliance: Worldshapers on both.
Find my games at:You can find Zoomaka in various stores and over on etsy https://www.etsy.com/se-en/listing/572079156/zoomaka-delivery
Today's Interview is with:

Pablo & Tove Jomer
Interviewed on: 6/26/2018

Pablo and Tove Jomer are a husband and wife team that play and design games together. Last year they successfully Kickstarted their first game, Zoomaka, last year. They have plenty of other projects that they're working on and you'll hopefully be able to find more of their games on Kickstarter soon! Read on to learn more about this game designing duo.

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?
Because the games we played were more fun with our changes.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Chill: Capsicum Capacity, Witching Weald, Townsfolk

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Software architect at a startup called Spotscale, Environmental consultant for WSP

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
No particular places but we do play a lot at home. I also like playing games in a themed room.

Who do you normally game with?
Ourselves and our local design hub.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
We would probably start with one of our developments and then move on to something like Scythe. Yesterday we received Gloomhaven so that would probably be a likely candidate

And what snacks would you eat?
We usually eat dinner rather than snacks during our game nights.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Sometimes we put on thematic music. But mostly we just enjoy socializing.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Since we have sold a lot directly to stores we appreciate shops where the owner takes the game to heart, helping us with the marketing. It could be things like sending a copy to a reviewer; Hosting a competition or just promoting the game a bit extra in the store.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Pablo's current favorite is Scythe. Tove's current favorite is Ghost Stories. We both used to love Small World and Ticket to ride a lot but after playing over 100 games of each we have gotten a bit tired of those games.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
We both like worker placement a bit too much to be honest.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Cosmic Encounter. Everyone gets so scared of this relatively simple game.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, Other 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?
Both ways have happened. Also sometimes we move mechanics in between games. Townsfolk is a clear design first theme after while Chill is a theme first mechanics later.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Never entered, and strangely never won either.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
We listen a lot to board game design lab and most of the designers on that podcast are inspiring in some way.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Anywhere all the time. It could be an image we see on Instagram, A pattern on the floor or just a leaf flying by in a certain way. The hard part is consolidating the ideas you get. Taking out all the bad stuff in each idea and conserving the small good parts.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Usually we start out testing ourselves, then we move on to trying it in our local designer hub. After that we spread the word on social media that we are looking for people who want to test. I gather in the future we should also go to conventions a bit more.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
We always work as a team. We love getting feedback since we tend to make games that are too challenging from the start.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Getting more people to try our games. Also not sure if it counts as a designer’s job but art is a big problem for us. Since we are a new company we have to consider releasing smaller games at the moment because art is pricey.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
We usually like to come up with our own worlds, that is part of the fun.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
How publishers, distributors, designers and shops work together in the industry.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Concentrate on the fun parts.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Zoomaka
Games that will soon be published are: Chill: Capsicum Capacity, Townsfolk
I'm planning to crowdfund: Curators - A museum tile builder (Kickstarter April 26th 2019), Chill: Capsicum Capacity, Townsfolk
Games that I'm playtesting are: Curators - A museum tile builder, Chill: Capsicum Capacity, Townsfolk
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Witching Weald

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Game Maker's Lab, Board game desgin lab, Conradargo recenserar and many more

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?
Whoa I barely know any of these things.

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Pablo: I think Tove's friend once said - is there a hobby your husband doesn't have?
Tove: I like Hiking & Baking, but I am usually up for anything.

What is something you learned in the last week?
That I can ask shops to help me with marketing and that marketing games in the right regions is super important.

What was the last book you read?
Pablo: The gloomhaven rule book.
Tove: A book about motherhood.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Pablo: Guitar

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
Pablo: I once punched a baboon. (He had it coming).
Tove: I usually win at board games.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Pablo: I once punched a baboon. (He had it coming).
Tove: I once swam with sea lions.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Destroy it.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Pablo: Introvert trying hard to be more extrovert.
Tove: Extrovert.

Have any pets?
Just our daughter Lilja.

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?
Isn't this really just the same question as what is your favorite game? It would be cool if one of our copies of Zoomaka was preserved somehow though.

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 all of those who help us in some way with our games. Everything from rules reviews, backing to promoting the games in shops or on the internet.

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

Please help us playtest our current developments. Email me for details.

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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