Tuesday, June 18, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 176: Danielle Marie Reynolds

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:Danielle Marie Reynolds
Email:danielle.reynolds@dmrcreativegroup.com
Location:Chicago Area, IL, USA
Day Job:I work as a Marketing Coordinator at Williams Architects full-time and as a Graphic Design/Social Media Coordinator for the Neurofibromatosis Network.
Designing:Six months to a year.
Webpage:https://www.dmrcreativegroup.com/games
Blog:https://www.dmrcreativegroup.com/blog-1
BGG:Danielle Reynolds
Facebook:www.facebook.com/NutStashGame
Instagram:@daniellebatgirl
Other:https://tabletopia.com/games/curbside
Find my games at:https://tabletopia.com/games/curbside
Today's Interview is with:

Danielle Marie Reynolds
Interviewed on: 1/13/2019

Danielle Reynolds is another designer that's fairly local to me. She's from the Chicago area and is currently running a Kickstarter for her first game, Nut Stash. Danielle has a number of other games in the works, too, including Curbside, which she recently playtested at her first Protospiel event in Indianapolis last month. I look forward to meeting Danielle at a local designer meetup someday. Read on to learn more about Danielle and the variety of projects she's working on!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Six months to a year.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I've been making games since I was a little kid. It wasn't until I graduated college and started doing freelance graphic design jobs for game companies that I realized I could make games for more people than just myself, friends and family. Over the past year I have designed my first game and am working towards my first Kickstarter. Thanks to many supportive friends in the industry I am researching and preparing to launch in 2019!

What game or games are you currently working on?
Currently, I am finishing up a Kickstarter for a card and dice game called "Nut Stash" that I designed. I am in the pitching and tweaking stage of my game "Curbside" that I hope to release through another publisher in the next year or so. Beyond that I have two games submitted to design competitions and a few others in the works.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Nut Stash will be my first published game. It is currently on Kickstarter until July 4th and can be found at www.kickstarter.com/projects/nutstash/nut-stash.

What is your day job?
I work as a Marketing Coordinator at Williams Architects full-time and as a Graphic Design/Social Media Coordinator for the Neurofibromatosis Network.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
I have a weekly game night Friday nights at my house. I prefer my home but love gaming conventions as well. If I'm playtesting games I go to one of my two local meet-up groups.

Who do you normally game with?
Typically, I game with my fiancé, friends, local game designers and board game meet-up groups.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Depending on the number of people over is what we play. Recently, I've had larger game nights so we've been playing a lot of social deduction games and party games. With smaller groups we have been playing a lot of strategy games with tile placement and deck builders recently.

And what snacks would you eat?
This past game night featured cheesy bread and popcorn chicken. Normally we have some sort of chip and dip. Also, pizza or some other heavier appetizer. Everyone brings their own drinks.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
My friends are too easily distracted so we don't play music while gaming.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
I don't have a current favorite game but every holiday my family plays Loaded Questions so that game holds a special place in my heart. I have recently been playing a lot of Dominion, Flamme Rouge and Gaia. My least favorite game I played recently was Fox in the Forest which was unfortunate because the illustrations were great. I can't remember the worst game but for years I avoided every spelling game since I always lost.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I love any game with tiles in it. They pull my attention in. I'm not a fan of trading card games anymore. I use to love Pokemon but Magic never interested me.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
I love playing Settlers of Catan and I just got Catan Game of Thrones Edition but I never have the right amount of players to play it. I've only been able to play it twice.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Yes

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?
Typically it's the theme then mechanics. Creative themes come easily but finding unique mechanics takes longer for me.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I entered my first design competition for Genius Games to design a game about Caffeine with my co-designer Ryan Costello. I am also working on a roll and write for another competition.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
My friend Ryan Costello of Blind Ferret Entertainment is my favorite designer but that's because he's my best friend and idol. He took a passion and made it a full-time job.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
My best ideas come at completely random times. I like having people to bounce them off of to fine tune them.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I start with anyone in my house then grab friends. After getting their opinions I go to conventions, meet-ups, local game designer groups, and game shop events to playtest.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Depending on the project I may work alone or bring in an artist if my skills don't fit the look I want for the game. I enjoyed my first experience co-designing.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Figuring out how to market the game to the right backers as well as shipping/production.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I have some good ideas for a twister spin off I'd love to explore. As far as television/movies I'd love to work with DC or Marvel Comics on a game. My game Nut Stash would work great with a Marvel's Squirrel edition.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Write down any half way decent idea and work on a small project first to test the waters.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Sometimes you need to take a break from designing your game, especially during the art phase. That way you get a fresh pair of eyes on it.

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: Nut Stash 2019, Curbside 2020
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Nut Stash at www.kickstarter.com/projects/nutstash/nut-stash/
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Curbside at https://www.dmrcreativegroup.com/curbside
I'm planning to crowdfund: Nut Stash 2019
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Nut Stash
Games that I'm playtesting are: Curbside, Caffeine
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Excursions, Forecast
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: A Heist Game, a Christmas Themed Game, a Daycare Game (No Titles yet)

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Tabletop Game Kickstarter Advice, Board Game Reviewers & Media, Game Retailers Who Back Kickstarters

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 if I have to choose, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I travel, volunteer, play whirlyball, read and stream shows/movies.

What is something you learned in the last week?
Origins is an amazing Convention!

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
My favorite is probably Pop or Rock. My favorite book is the Count of Monte Cristo but I love most Fiction books.Right now I mainly read Marvel's Runaway comics because I have no free time. I don't have a favorite movie. That would be like choosing a favorite child.

What was the last book you read?
The first Game of Thrones book.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I use to play clarinet when I was younger.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I can speak like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I once made snow angels in shorts and a tank top.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
The best accident was coming back to my apartment early because my friend was running late to go to the mall. Since I went home to wait I was able to meet my roommates new friend Jessa. Now she's my fiancé.

Who is your idol?
For the longest time Lois Lane (fictional character from Superman) was my idol. She was a human with no super powers that I felt was an equal to Superman. She was always sure of herself, adventurous and always willing to do the right thing.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Nothing. As much as I'd love to view the past. I'm too afraid of the butterfly effect.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Supergirl! She has the best powers and our earth doesn't have Kryptonite, the red sun or magic to stop her.

Have any pets?
I have three cats: Nova, Sansa and Banshee.

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?
My guess is any game that doesn't use paper may survive. I hope snakes don't survive, they are my least favorite thing in the world.

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):
Ryan Costello

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

I am currently submitting Curbside to publishers and will be at GenCon if anyone is interested. I will be in the First Exposure Hall.




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.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Eye on Kickstarter #67


Welcome to my Eye on Kickstarter series!  This series will highlight Kickstarter campaigns I am following that have recently launched (or I've recently discovered) because they have caught my interest.  Usually they'll catch my interest because they look like great games that I have either backed or would like to back (unfortunately budget doesn't allow me to back everything I'd like to).  But occasionally the campaigns caught my attention for other reasons.  Twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, I'll make a new post in this series, highlighting the campaigns that have caught my attention since the last post.  In each post I'll highlight one campaign that has really grabbed my attention, followed by other campaigns I've backed or am interested in.  I'll also include links to any related reviews or interviews I've done.  Comments are welcome, as are suggestions for new campaigns to check out!

You can also see my full Kickstarter Profile to see what I've backed or my old Eye on Kickstarter page that was too unwieldy to maintain.  Also, check out the 2019 Kickstarter Boardgame Projects geeklist over on Board Game Geek for a list of all the tabletop games of the year.
So, without further ado, here are the projects I'm currently watching as of the second Friday of June, 2019:

Live Campaigns from Past Eyes:
Mammoth


HIGHLIGHTED CAMPAIGN
Afternova
  • I was fortunate enough to play Afternova at Protospiel Milwaukee in April with Andrew Nerger, one of the designers. They were trying a variant that didn't quite work out they way they'd have liked, but the game was still pretty interesting. The main way to play (which is described in the Kickstarter) looks much better than the variant I played at Protospiel. It still has all the good parts, but streamlines the rough parts. The last game by Andrew Nerger and Jeffrey Chin was Crypt, which has quickly become my favorite game of 2019 so far, so I'm very interested to see where Afternova goes.


In the aftermath of a supernova, form uneasy truces with your competitors to extract resources from unstable planets.

Afternova is a negotiation game for 3 to 6 players with easy-to-learn rules and highly interactive gameplay. Plus, its compact size makes it easy to put in your bag and take it anywhere!





Company of Heroes Board Game
  • Company of Heroes was a great WWII strategy video game and now it's a board game with all the strategy of the original. It features a streamlined combat system that's (mostly) diceless (dice are used for status, upgrade, and effect indicators), interesting tactical and strategic decisions, and a whole ton of awesome components, including great looking WWII miniatures from US, German, British, and Soviet forces. If you're looking for a WWII game, this one looks awesome.


Stockpile: Illicit Investments
  • Stockpile is known as one of the best stock market games available and this campaign brings the base game, Continuing Corruption expansion, and the new Illicit Investments expansion to Kickstarter for a great price! Illicit Investments adds new investment strategies to the game without adding a lot of game rules overhead.


Exploration
  • This is Exploration's second time on Kickstarter. Last time it made the top spot in my Eye on Kickstarter, but the campaign just didn't take off. Now it's back with some updates and has taken off. It's already funded and knocking out stretch goals. Check this one out if you're interested in space themed 4x game. The artwork is great and the gameplay looks interesting.


Dwarven Miner - Reforged
  • I've been very happy with all the games I have from Rather Dashing Games and Dwarven Miner is one of their classics. It's back now, with some updates, including artwork from Larry Elmore, an amazing fantasy artist. Years ago I used to collect artist trading cards (like baseball cards, but nerdier), and Larry Elmore was one of the artists I collected. His artwork really stands out in this game.


Sovereign Skies
  • Another space themed resource management and area control game, Sovereign Skies has some interesting mechanics and a cool modular board that should keep the game interesting and different for quite a few plays.


Dungeon Drop
  • Dungeon Drop is a light dungeon crawler that's different every time you play! At the beginning of the game, and throughout the game, cubes are dropped into the playing area. These cubes represent treasure, mosters, and more that you can collect by creating rooms formed by black pillar cubes in the playing area.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Thank You James

Over the past four days I was at a Scout camp with my son.  We played several games during breaks between swimming, archery, activities, meals, a bit of rain, and lots of fun activities.  However, I was mostly cut off from civilization, with only spotty cell and very slow, limited wi-fi reception.  It was a sad end to an otherwise very happy extended weekend when I came home yesterday to find out that James Mathe passed away.

James Mathe was, and still is, an icon in the hobby games industry.  He was a publisher, designer, retailer, innovator, teacher, blogger, and entrepreneur.  Most of all though, James was passionate about gaming and helping others.  He was known for being blunt and honest with his opinions and feedback, which sometimes rubbed people the wrong way, but I found refreshing.

I first met James in 2014.  Our first interaction was online.  He sent me a copy of Dragon Flame to review (the second game ever that I was sent to review by a publisher).  Shortly after that I met him in person at Protospiel Madison 2014.  It was a brief meeting; I introduced myself and thanked him for sending Dragon Flame for me to review.  Over the years I interacted with James more online through many of the groups he set up to help board game publishers, designers, and hobbyists, and reviewed more Minion Games titles.  I also met James at several other Protospiel events, played games with him, and even got feedback on several of my designs.  I was encouraged to keep working on 8 Seconds after he told me that it was one of the few games he played that wasn't crap at Protospiel Milwaukee in 2016, and was thrilled when he picked The Manhattan Project: Loaded Dice (now Pharmacology) as the winner of his The Manhattan Project Dice Game Contest in 2017.  It wasn't right for him to publish, but his encouragement prompted me to keep working on and improving the game.

 Although I wasn't super close with him, my interactions were amazingly influential in my development as a designer and content producer.  He always struck me as someone who cared about people, the truth, and telling people what they needed to hear.

James was a big man, and his absence in the hobby games industry will leave a huge hole.  He will be missed greatly and my heart goes out to all his family and friends.  Thank you James!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 175: Omar Tarancon

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:Omar Tarancon
Email:omar@taranconboardgames.com
Location:Miami, Florida
Day Job:I make I.V.s for newborn babies at a hospital.
Designing:Over ten years!
Webpage:http://taranconboardgames.com/
BGG:Omar818
Facebook:Omar Tarancon
Twitter:@omartarancon
Instagram:@safariturbo
Today's Interview is with:

Omar Tarancon
Interviewed on: 1/12/2019

Omar Tarancon plans to self-publish his first game, Safari Turbo. Safari Turbo is a game about a race across a magical island where each character has special powers and abilities. Look for it on Kickstarter soon, and read on to learn more about Omar and his plans to bring Safari Turbo to your tabletop!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Over ten years!

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
It blew me away when I found out as a kid that I can create fun by drawing a few lines on a cardboard.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Safari Turbo.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Not yet, Safari Turbo is almost there.

What is your day job?
I make I.V.s for newborn babies at a hospital.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At a game store.

Who do you normally game with?
Maritza Garneff, she is my muse when it came to creating the Safari Turbo.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Tokaido, King of Tokyo, X-Wing Miniatures, Safari Turbo, Pandemic, Time Stories.

And what snacks would you eat?
Chips

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
80's

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Coolstuff Games

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
My favorite game, you guessed it . . . Safari Turbo! I couldn't find what to play one day so I decided to create what I wanted. A racing adventure while playing as a character who has powers and abilities on a magical island. Least favorite would be like a Monopoly of some kind. I can't remember any "worst game".

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Roll and move, but you have to have some kind of control; otherwise, the game is playing you. My least favorite would be group voting of some kind during the game.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
X-Wing. For some reason nobody around me likes it, I love it.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, RPG Games, Other Games?

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Never played it.

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?
It kinda happens at the same time for me.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Never entered.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
No

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
When I'm by myself, it just comes to me.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
First by myself. Then with friends. Then with strangers.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I have to work with illustrators and other graphic designers. They are much more talented than I am. I feed off of their illustrations.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Getting a non-gamer to realize that $50 for a game is not expensive.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I created a great Battlestar Galactica Game when I was a kid (yes I know there is already one out there), the one I made was "different".

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Start as soon as you can, don't wait until you have money.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Make the game that you like. Although constructive criticism is helpful, don't get swayed by everyone's idea of how they think it should be.

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: Working on Expansion Packs for Safari Turbo.
I'm planning to crowdfund: Yes, Safari Turbo will be back on Kickstarter again.
Currently looking for a publisher I have: I'm self publishing - Tarancon Board Games.
Games that I'm playtesting are: Command Center - It's a military game.
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: I have several but don't have names for any.

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Almost all of them

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 (removing The Last Jedi from my mind), Coke, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I play a game that I've been playing since I was a kid, it's called Galaxy 818. It's a space battle that is drawn on paper. Basically all the forces of evil against the forces of good. In other words, all the evil spaceships against all the good. I have solid rules, it plays with 2 Dice (D6).

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I love all types of music. My favorite song is Dancing Queen. I have some Sci-Fi books and of course the BIBLE. My Favorite movie of all time is Superman (1978).

What was the last book you read?
Currently reading the Silmarillion - Tolkien

Do you play any musical instruments?
I wish I did.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm not a heavy gamer. I like games that are more on the simple side, not "Candy Land" simple but not too heavy.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I can't go there.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Can't think of one at the moment.

Who is your idol?
My Mother.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go back in time and try to prevent historic tragedies. Yes, it would violate the "Prime Directive", but i'm not in Starfleet so it's ok.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert, but seem to be the vocal one when action is required.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
"Duplicate Boy". It's someone I made up when I was a kid. He could turn into any super hero. Can't think of no one better.

Have any pets?
Not at the moment, used to have three dogs.

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?
Hold on a second while I look up "caldera" . . . .

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):
Andy

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

If they are still reading at this point then I thank them for giving me their time.




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.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 174: William James Wilson

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:William James Wilson
Email:Williamjwilson80@gmail.com
Location:Kansas, U.S.A
Day Job:I deliver papers for the Manhattan Mercury newspaper for 10 years now. Before that, I was working as a Security Guard on Fort Riley for 9 years and 10 months, where most of my board game came to fruition. Showcasing and bouncing ideas off the other guards.
Designing:Five to ten years.
Facebook:Hot Rod: The Drag Racing game
Instagram:Nature's Force: To Be Born Strong
Find my games at:Not accessible to play at this time.
Today's Interview is with:

William James Wilson
Interviewed on: 1/11/2019

Today we get to meet William James Wilson, a game designer, author, artist, and poet. After spending several years working on Hot Rod: The Drag Racing, he set it aside, and has recently come back to the game with input and support from other designers in the online communities. To learn more about William, read on!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Five to ten years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I am more creative than social, so time was spent on writing, poetry, sculpting, drawing and the like. My love of board games fully started when my PS3 died, and watching reviews of board games on Youtube and investing time in it, helped me understand board game mechanisms, graphic designs, and the love of sharing my creative side. I was inspired by a dice app, Formula D, a drag racing app, and one board game that was on Kickstarter that featured dice as archetypal characters (wizard, barbarian...): from there on, Hot Rod: The Drag Racing game was created.

What game or games are you currently working on?
I am about 90% through on my first game: Hot Rod: The Drag Racing game. The work into calculating the currency is above my head on finishing it the right way. All the other mechanisms are sound, with great and helpful input from the fellow gamers of the board game groups I am a part of. I could not have designed it further without them.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
No I have not. I am hoping to one day find a publisher that would be willing to take that chance. I have even contacted the NHRA in seeing if they would be willing to sponsor me in developing my game. No response from them as of yet.

What is your day job?
I deliver papers for the Manhattan Mercury newspaper for 10 years now. Before that, I was working as a Security Guard on Fort Riley for 9 years and 10 months, where most of my board game came to fruition. Showcasing and bouncing ideas off the other guards.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Most of the time spent gaming is at home, usually family game nights once a week depending on everyone's schedules.

Who do you normally game with?
My gaming group involves my stepson and his cousins, during Black Friday, we game all night til morning while my wife, her sister, their mother and my stepdaughter do the crazy shopping for Christmas. They are pros at it. I am not. I'll just stick to my cardboard pieces.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Very thematic games is a must. Either quick and luck based games like King of New York, or strategic and tactical ones also Conan.

And what snacks would you eat?
The basic 101 of snackage: sodas, chips, candy for in between and during. A special meal I cook up in advance during the big break. I really make a big deal out of my gaming nights.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Absolutely!...and maybe not at times too, because of a person's mindset at the time. I do keep the music play lists in tune of the theme of the games. Like Bang! The Dice Game, "I Shot The Sheriff", or any of the bgm of War of the Monsters PS2 video game for Smash Up and King of New York. Even spooky sound fx I play for Betrayal at House on the Hill, lights out with only flashlights.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
I forgot the name of the one in Junction City that I used to buy loads of Marvel Comics before the closed down, my intro to HeroClix was born in that store. Since I moved to Manhattan, not too much time was spent at Goblin Games before our devastating flood several months ago. They were a very FLGS.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
My current favorite has to be Memoir '44 that I bought specifically for my stepson and I to play. He is a major WWII history buff, and a strategic/tactical gamer. He fell in love with the first dice roll. The "least" as a loosely worded tag for this one is my wife's copy of Lord of the Rings: Monopoly. I do dislike the generic Monopoly, but the Ring variant I really enjoy playing. The Resistance was the worst, ONLY because of my gaming group did not mesh well with the lying and calling out type game play.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Resource Management via Conan from Monolith games and on the sidestep of that, the "River" mechanism of the Overlord. Fantastic in design and game play. The least is a general answer where the game is on rails. No real choices that the players make. Where the game plays you. Best answer I can give on that. I have yet to see one mechanism I really dislike.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Heroscape. Hands down. Only because of the set up and tear down, which I love also. Make the landscapes is like playing with Legos.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
No

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?
With Hot Rod, the theme came later which in hindsight, was an obvious choice. Since I had that drag racing app, which solidified the theme, I built the dice mechanisms first. The gear dice ala Formula D, but instead of turn based, it is real time.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No, but I would love to enter. So many ideas to run with. Get that creative mind going. It is why I pursue so many venues of creativity. Maybe a true renaissance man?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
My idol off the top of my head is Eric Lang because of his diversity in his creativity of his games. I admire the scope of that.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
When I am at work. My best ideas started from there and I let time take care of the rest. Time spent in hours drawing, redrawing and reworking. Time spent away from it. To regain that focus and not burnout. For me, I cannot make myself "create", only a blank page is the result. I look at the surroundings: sounds, images, feelings and situations that feed those needs for me to put ink to paper.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I have spent more hours play testing my mechanisms than creating the game itself to prove it is sound. Then I get the help of the guards and new soldiers to try it out. Family and my game group. Unfortunately, I put my game on the backburner before I could blind playtest it, for my other project at the time.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
For several years I have worked alone on my game. Too scared to even share it, besides the guards I trusted. After hitting that roadblock for several months, I took the chance to join my current facebook board game groups. Received a lot of helpful input. Took the critiques to heart to create a better product than it was originally.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Once it is a physical product, that is the game good enough to even call myself a board game designer.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Mighty Max! As said by Tiny Ninjas😎, they were inspired by Mighty Max for the board gaming INSIDE the box, just like the toys. I would love to really design with that IP.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Do not treat it like Golem and the One Ring. "It's mine, everyone is going to steal it. Keep it hidden". Take a chance to share it, embrace it, let it evolve into a game that it needs to be. Not just to stay as it was from the beginning.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Keep creating. Do not let one idea go unwritten. It could just be the creativeness you are looking for tomorrow.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Yes.
Games that I'm playtesting are: Right where I put it on the backburner. I reached the point I need more of a professional help. >

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Yes. Board Game Revolution Community, and their sister pages. I cannot remember their exact names for the 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. Coke. VHS. (My dad still has his Betamax. I miss those small cassettes)

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I sculpt out of FIMO polymer clay: selling Angel figurines named after my stepdaughter. I write poetry. Even won editors' choice with "Dream Girl". And writing a five book series and illustrations called "Nature's Force: To Be Born Strong".

What is something you learned in the last week?
The do's and don'ts of running a Kickstarter. I try to keep up with the trends.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Rock/Metal. SciFi books. Action/Adventure movies.

What was the last book you read?
Conan the Cimmerian

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, but would love to learn the drums...do to my love of japanese lore, Raiden.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
That I fell in love with Elsa from Frozen the moment I saw the movie. My favorite color is blue and if you know Mortal Kombat, that means I always choose Sub-Zero.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Challenged my oldest brother, with a bet attached...again, that I could beat him in Jenga. During Christmas of last year, I won several games, as "the board gamer" of the family, beating out my mother and nieces. I thought I was hotstuff. One last block. If I made it, he WOULD have lost. The bet...a haircut, including beard. I now look stunning.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Bowling with my own family, my brother's family and our parents, as the ball slipped out of the hands and flew backwards, the momentum carried me forward onto the oiled floor. I did a comical slip and landed on the back. Laughter ensued. Couple years later, seeing my stepdaughter laugh and smile while reminiscing my goofy tropes with my parents.

Who is your idol?
My parents. Through the calm and rough times, in the end, family will always be family. What I need to remember at times with my own family.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Find the technology of the future to record dreamscapes and nightmares and watch them like movies. Why I got into art in the first place, to draw out the dreams as if they were tangible.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert most days.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Moon Knight. My wife's favorite, and I love Egyptology. And better than Batman?...

Have any pets?
My stepson's service dog, Kipper. A maltipoo. Born on my stepson's birthday.

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?
Apples to Apples is the Alpha, Cards Against Humanity is the Omega. 'Nuff said.

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):
To Board James and Board Games with Scott. My first channels that got me hooked into board gaming. Much appreciated.

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

I am also a lyricist, but cannot sing to save my life. I wrote lyrics inspired by the DooM video games, that hopefully will catch the attention of those involved.😎




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.

Press Release: Company of Heroes on Kickstarter Now!

Support me on Patreon!

This World War II board game captures the drama and excitement of the beloved Company of Heroes video games. The video games, originally inspired by the memoirs of veterans as well as the Band of Brothers HBO series were developed by Relic Entertainment and published by SEGA.
The project is a dream come true for Bad Crow Games, who developed the board game. Spearheaded by Colonel Bryan Green (retired, 2018) the team is comprised entirely of US Army veterans. As long-time fans of the Company of Heroes series and World War 2 strategy games, they have faithfully adapted their favorite mechanics and experiences into this beautifully crafted board game.


Game highlights from the development team:
“Our goal was to streamline the tactics, choices and moments of the video games into an accessible board game that could be played by anyone, even those new to the wargame genre. Like the video games, we wanted players to experience a relationship with their units, starting when they are initially purchased, and growing as they are given better equipment and accomplish tasks, eventually becoming veterans as they see combat.” Colonel Bryan Green
“It is different from our favorite tactical skirmish games because it focuses so heavily on seizing objectives to capture resources and increase supply production. Supply is spent on constructing new buildings, new units and upgrading their equipment; just like in the video games, but on your kitchen table.” - Staff Sergeant Brian Gabrielson
“A big aspect of the Company of Heroes board game is operating on teams. Similar to the video games, each player will need to focus on their aspect of the battlefield but also support their team-mate to achieve the overall strategy. It really creates a memorable camaraderie when you come to the defense of your partner, or you combine tactics to pin and flank your enemies.”
- Captain Aaron Gabrielson
The Core Set, available for $99 on KickStarter, includes US, British, Soviet and German armies. It can be played with 2 to 4 players but an optional add-on pack provides solo and cooperative components and missions. It includes a beginner, standard and hard-core mode to adapt to the players’ preferred complexity level.
The Company of Heroes Board Game is on Kickstarter now!  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/223137030/company-of-heroes-board-game?refGJJGames
LINKS:
Notify Me Page: www.CompanyofHeroesBG.com
KickStarter Link: TBA


Did you like this press release?  Show your support: Support me on Patreon! Also, 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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 173: Anthony T. Riddick

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:Anthony T Riddick
Email:atyrone30@gmail.com
Location:Washington, DC USA
Day Job:Truck driver
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:www.quietstormgames.com
Blog:www.quietstormgames.com
Facebook:ATR Designs
YouTube:AntMan6791
Instagram:@atr-designs
Find my games at:I post print and play options on my site www.quietstormgames.com
Today's Interview is with:

Anthony T Riddick
Interviewed on: 1/11/2019

This week we get to meet Anthony T. Riddick, and artist and game designer who has only been designing games for a bit over a year, but has quite an impressive collection lined up already. To learn more about Anthony and Quiet Storm Games, read on!

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've always been an artist and love to express myself in many forms. I decided to create a boardgame for my family for Christmas 2017. They all loved it and from that point I got into board game design.

What game or games are you currently working on?
I have 3 full prototype board games finished. I am currently working on a card game with a little educational element for young kids but anyone can enjoy.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
No

What is your day job?
Truck driver

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home and or friend's home

Who do you normally game with?
Family and friends

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I would like to try anything new that I have but also open to anything

And what snacks would you eat?
Chips and possibly pizza.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Not so much. Might get a little distracting

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Labyrinth Games in Washington DC

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current favorite is Star Realms. My least favorite is probably Monopoly and I don't believe there is a worst game I've played. Maybe a few mobile games.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Dice roll. I love the randomness

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Hard to say right now. I have plenty favorites but no problem in playing them.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Yes

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?
Its vice versa but I try to stick with a theme first or just follow my imagination.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I have recently entered my first one. SaltCon 2019 in Utah

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
No not really

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
I take inspiration anything. I've been an artist since I was 6 years old so creativity is no issue.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I usually ask family and friends to try first. They have no issue pointing out any flaws.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I usually work alone but I go to my best friend Bobbie for any suggestions she may have.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Promoting has always been my biggest challenge.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I can't give an answer right now

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That designing is the easy part. Publishing is a hard game all in itself.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Never be afraid of doing something you enjoy even if its been done before. You can always add your own twist to something. No one owns a game mechanic. Also create something you yourself would enjoy.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
I'm planning to crowdfund: Twist of Life: Out of Your Control, Crash Fury
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Takedown, 1 Up Double Up
Games that I'm playtesting are: 1Up Double Up
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Maze Master

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Yes I'm a member of a few Facebook groups for game design. Break my game, art and boardgame design, game design speed dating for example

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, coke and VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Working on my jeep, off roading, learning to rock climb

What is something you learned in the last week?
California gets a lot more snow than I thought

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Pop, rock and r&b, Harry Potter is my favorite movie and book

What was the last book you read?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Do you play any musical instruments?
No but I still want to learn

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I've been hit by a car 3 times but never any major injuries. One incident was on mother's day by a car my mom was in.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
When I was a kid I rolled across a busy street four times one night

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
March 2018 my 94 Ford explorer flipped over while crossing a bridge. Declared totaled. Afterwards my next and current vehicle is a a 2 door lifted Jeep Wrangler. My dream vehicle. Never thought I would own one.

Who is your idol?
Honestly my mother has always been my biggest idol. She has always been a person I can look up to and learn from.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Travel back in time to prevent the titanic from sinking but then the 1997 movie wouldn't exist.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert

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

Have any pets?
Yes a cat named Lucky

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 hope my games survive of course in addition to Star Realms and red 7. Maybe Twister too because it was fun growing up and the God of War video games. Uno and monopoly can disappear.

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):
Special thanks to all that have supported me and all who will. Fans do make q difference.

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

Art is my life and bringing joy to others with is my goal




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.