Tuesday, March 12, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 162: Mike Nudd

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:Mike Nudd
Day Job:Head of Product for an internet telephone service provider
Designing:Five to ten years.
BGG:Mike Nudd
Find my games at:Online
Today's Interview is with:

Mike Nudd
Interviewed on: 1/11/2019

You may have heard of this week's designer since he's had a few successful games published lately. Dice Hospital and Waggle Dance were both hits for Mike Nudd last couple of years. He has more games in the works, too! Read on to learn more about Mike and his other projects.

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?
As a rewarding intellectual exercise.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Captain Scarlet, Dice Hospital expansions, Termite Towers (a sequel to Waggle Dance), and more!

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Head of Product for an internet telephone service provider

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Anywhere there are players

Who do you normally game with?

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Right now Underwater Cities and Teotihuacan

And what snacks would you eat?
Not big on snacks, some Walkers crisps or Pringles maybe.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Yes, preferably film soundtracks that fit the theme.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Leisure Games

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Too many to single out. Coaster Park is possibly the worst game I've played in recent years. Love big epic games with spectacle, theme, and narrative such as Twilight Imperium, Eclipse, Clash of Cultures, Cthulhu Wars. Battlestar Galactica is also a long-time favourite.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Most: Dice worker placement. Least: anything dependant on random luck of the draw.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
High Frontier by Sierra Madre, the level of think is an acquired taste.

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, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG 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?
There is no particular formula, although it usually starts with a setting or theme.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I am impressed with the wide variety of good games that Vlaada Chvatil has designed.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Often when I am playing other games.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Just put a prototype in front of as many people as possible.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I have mostly worked alone to date, but I am open to more collaborative projects.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Trying to come up with a combination of theme and mechanics which are fresh enough to see it out in today's competitive market.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Die Hard. Underworld. Supernatural TV show. Mad Max. Inception.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Difficult to think of anything specific.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
It’s a labour of love - and you have to enjoy the process because the financial reward is generally very low. Listen and learn from critical feedback, and be prepared to kill your babies if you have to. Research the market to inform your decisions, spot opportunities, and make sure you're not treading on already well-trodden ground.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: 3
Games that will soon be published are: 1 (not including expansions)
Currently looking for a publisher I have: 3
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: 3
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: 20

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Most 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 Trek, Star Wars and Babylon 5.

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Playing other kinds of games. Keeping abreast of cool TV and film. Live gigs and theatre.

What is something you learned in the last week?
There was more than one French Revolution.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I listen to all kinds of things but gravitate towards heavy rock/metal.

What was the last book you read?
Thin Air by Richard Morgan.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Drums, guitar, violin, and I sing.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I studied astrophysics at university.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I won a holiday to Australia off the radio.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Visit the future to see if humanity wipes itself out or not.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Somewhere in between, but tend more towards introvert.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Iron Man, for all the cool toys.

Have any pets?
1 cat

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?
Chess should survive if humans do, maybe Go too. Not that I'd wish ill of anyone, but right now a collision in midwest USA or Saudi Arabia would seem like it would do a lot of good for global politics and economics.

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):
Thanks to anyone who has backed or bought my games so far!

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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