Tuesday, October 30, 2018

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 144: Lorne Kletke

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:Lorne Kletke
Location:Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Day Job:I'm in public relations.
Designing:One to two years.
BGG:Friendly Manitoban
Find my games at:
Today's Interview is with:

Lorne Kletke
Interviewed on: 6/14/2018

This week we welcome Lorne Kletke to the People Behind the Meeples. Lorne is a newer designer who has been working on several games that he hopes to Kickstart soon, including Borders of Kanta next week. Read on to learn more about Lorne and his current 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?
There is so much excitement and innovation in the tabletop game world. It is one of the greatest activities I've found to bring friends and strangers alike together and form lasting bonds while being creatively and strategically challenged. I thought that my life experience and education would make me a good candidate for making games of my own.

What game or games are you currently working on?
I read on a major blog - I can't remember which one - that a designer should be working on several games concurrently. This is so that you can jump to another game when you're at a creative or technical roadblock to give you a break, and also to be in different places in the process so that you don't get fatigued in some of the more thankless stages during any one game.

On November 6 I’m launching my first commercially produced game on Kickstarter, called Borders of Kanta. It's a strategic tile laying game that makes an excellent gateway game, while also offering challenge to more experienced players. Each player is leading their clan to reclaim land after a plague has swept the realm of Kanta.

Each state has six borders. By sending a peace council (your hexagon tiles), you control which of three languages is spoken at each newly opened border. To control a neighboring state, another council must speak the same language established at any shared borders. You earn wealth by creating rings of occupied states and also generating resources.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Borders of Kanta will be my first published game. I suspect I’m like many other designers, in that I have lots of games that I've designed just for fun to play with friends and family.

What is your day job?
I'm in public relations.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
With friends at home, as well as game cafes. Game cafes provide exposure to new games, new strategies, and new people.

Who do you normally game with?
Friends 70% of the time. Future friends at cafes 30%.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I seem to be learning three new games per week, so my answer would change from week to week. I just learned Queendomino and it's a fantastic little game. I also just purchased Lords of Waterdeep.

And what snacks would you eat?
I'm a bit of a germophobe and clean freak, so I tend to stick with just a beer.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
I find music distracting, but my friends usually play it when they're hosting. Maybe because it distracts me!

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Edmonton is fortunate to have many. The most convenient for me are the excellent Gamers' Lodge, and King's Court.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
I never get tired of Catan. It's evergreen.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I don't think I have a favourite. For least favourite, I hate drawing so anything that involves that!

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
I enjoy abstract games but most of the folks I know don’t share that feeling. So while it’s not my favorite, the game I find hardest to bring to the table that I like is Yinsh.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games - I mostly play board games, but I pull the cards out on trips and camping.

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?
Sometimes one, sometimes the other.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Everyday life.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
With great difficulty! Finding willing players is always a challenge. I recommend getting married so that you always have at least one person to guilt into playing.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I enjoy working with skilled illustrators and designers. I'm big into respecting skill specialization.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
The challenge of finding play testers consistently.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I'm a huge Star Trek fan.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That if you want to do it, then by all means go ahead and start!

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
I'm too new to believe I should be doling out advice.

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: Borders of Kanta (Spring 2019), Rainbow Worms (Summer 2019), Minotaur (Fall 2019)
I'm planning to crowdfund: Yes. See “to be published” above.

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
FB: Alberta Boardgame Designers & Playtesters

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 Trek, no pop, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Swimming, craft beer

Have any pets?
Two beagles.

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.

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