Tuesday, February 19, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 159: Patrick Rauland

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:Patrick Rauland
Location:Denver Colorado (Mile High City)
Day Job:eCommerce Entrepreneur & Educator
Designing:One to two years.
Facebook:Laid Back Games/
Find my games at:For right now Fry Thief on Kickstarter. Eventually I might sell through my own site.
Today's Interview is with:

Patrick Rauland
Interviewed on: 2/4/2019

I first met Patrick Rauland at Protospiel Milwaukee in 2018. He had this fun little card game that showed promise, but needed a bit of work. Fast forward almost a year later and that little game is Fry Thief, currently over 500% funded on Kickstarter and making Patrick's dreams of having a game published come true! I had the good fortune to play and review an updated version of Fry Thief and loved it. So be sure to check out Fry Thief on Kickstarter (just six days left) and read on to learn more about Patrick.

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 challenging myself. I do this by setting audacious goals like "I want to design a game and release it or have it ready for release by the end of the year".

What game or games are you currently working on?
Fry Thief is on Kickstarter right now. I also have two games that are in the initial prototype stage. The working titles are Samhain (https://twitter.com/BFTrick/status/1082653920562987010) and Light Cycles (https://twitter.com/BFTrick/status/1091825448579944449)

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Running a campaign for my first right now. :)

What is your day job?
eCommerce Entrepreneur & Educator

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At someone's home or a coffee shop

Who do you normally game with?
When I have a romantic partner I love playing a game with them every weekend.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Totally depends on the friends. I always try to cater the right game to the right group. I like lots of games so whatever works best for them.

And what snacks would you eat?
Whatever is around honestly. But I do like pretzels since they aren't greasy on the cards.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Sure! I like to try to find a play list for each game. Ex. playing a horror game find a horror movie soundtrack.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
I quite like The Tabletop Tap which is a bar that has great board games. You can't buy any there but it's a great place to play and chat.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
My favorite: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Least favorite: Carcassonne Worst game ever played: Twilight Imperium

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Input randomness. I love drawing something (a card, or something from a bag, or a random die roll) and figuring out what I can do with that input. I love when there's 2-3 choices for each input.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (still only 1/2 way through the campaign!)

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

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 tend to come up with a LOT of dumb ideas and then I have a bank of mechanisms I use and I try to see if they work with that theme. I wish I could come up with a mechanism first but my brain doesn't work that way.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I've entered a few and gotten onto the more advanced rounds.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I don't. I looked at my favorite games and there's not a single designer who made the top 10 twice.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
When I have time. I hear something funny, smart, entertaining, etc and get a board game title or premise in my head. I need and empty block of time to turn that into a few different concepts.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
We have a monthly (usually twice monthly) prototyping group in Denver. I try to have new versions for that meetup. It keeps me constantly improving.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
It can be really hard to work with people who don't have a similar vision so I'm hesitant to work with people.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Time to make prototypes. Often I find it better to test crazy suggestions and figure out if they work or not. But to do that you need to make a lot of prototypes.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Warhammer 40,000. I love that universe.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
There's a ton of rules of thumb and all of them can be broken under the right circumstances.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Follow your gut. If a game is fun for you it'll be fun for other people.

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: Fry Thief
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Fry Thief
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Samhain & Light Cycles

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, sugar is sugar, & streaming services. :)

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I love acroyoga

What is something you learned in the last week?
My friend used the term "loverfriends" to describe one of her relationships. I love that term!

What was the last book you read?
The Mask of Masculinity

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I've run every week since 2017

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Life 😁

Who is your idol?
Brene Brown

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Ambivert! I often score introvert on personality tests but it's really somewhere in the middle.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
The Flash. I could super clean my house.

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 want abstract games to survive. Cards are great but they require reading skills & a specific language. I don't want any knowledge lost forever. Every thing humanity has gone through can teach us about future problems we can (hopefully) avoid. I want to preserve all knowledge.

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):
I couldn't have done any of this without Jeff Swiggum, Gerry Hazen, Kristie Wirth, Ralph Rosario, & Neil Edards. Thanks!

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

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