Tuesday, September 3, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 187: Luke Peterschmidt

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:Luke Peterschmidt
Location:Lebanon, PA
Day Job:I split my time between Fun to 11 – a small game company and doing consulting for larger (fortune 500) companies who want to do more in the gaming segment. I also occasionally teach a game related course at Harrisburg University – a STEM school here in PA.
Designing:Over ten years!
Blog:JRPG Tabletop Adventure Designer Blog
Facebook:Fun to 11
YouTube:Fun to 11
Find my games at:Funto11.com for the most recent ones
Today's Interview is with:

Luke Peterschmidt
Interviewed on: 8/13/2019

This week's interview is with designer Luke Peterschmidt. Luke has designed a number of games, including the hits Epic PvP, Castle Dice, and more! His latest project is the very ambitious JRPG Tabletop Adventure Game, which was on Kickstarter briefly last week and will hopefully come back soon with a stronger campaign, so keep your eye out for it. To learn more about Luke and his projects, read on!

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?
I was playing a game of D&D in high school when the DM introduced one of his house rules and it blew my mind that players could change the rules to a game! During college I started tinkering with my own RPG system and homebrew expansions to Axis and Allies. It was during that time that I realized that designing games really speaks to the part of my brain that enjoys process and process analysis.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Currently, my big project is The JRPG Tabletop Adventure Game.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
About 60 or 70… 

What is your day job?
I split my time between Fun to 11 – a small game company and doing consulting for larger (Fortune 500) companies who want to do more in the gaming segment. I also occasionally teach a game related course at Harrisburg University – a STEM school here in PA.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Out of my house. I like social gathering places and to go to friends' houses and I don’t get out much, so it’s nice for game night to be an event.

Who do you normally game with?
Local friends, and then on some Tuesdays I make the trek to a place called Beer Mongers for The Secret Cabal (podcast) meet-up to play with whoever shows up. I also like to play with my family when they are up for a game!

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Something new. I love discovering new games. I don’t get a chance to play many games multiple times other than the classics like cribbage (a family casual favorite).

And what snacks would you eat?
Something not messy like hummus or chips mostly.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
There is usually something in the background, but it can’t be distracting.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
The JRPG Tabletop Adventure Game is my current favorite game. I always fall in love with the games I work on.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Sounds dumb, but a hand of cards. I love when what you can do each turn changes in a way that is hidden from your opponents, but semi-knowable based on how people are playing.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Epic scale 40K. Love that game, but it’s been out of print so long (at least the version I like) that my minis just gather dust…

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

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?
Theme first 90% of the time. Sometimes that theme is given to me by a client.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I’ve won a few awards over the years. Toy of the Year x2 (Bakugan), A bunch of magazine awards for my CCG work, JRPG TAG won “Best Tabletop” and “Best in Show” at let’s play PA. I’m sure there are others too, but I don’t get hung up on awards much.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Elisa Teague and Ryan Miller. I love how versatile Elisa is and no one in my book designs themes into game mechanics as well as Ryan. Both also love to help other designers, which is a big plus to me. We who have made careers in this crazy industry should help where we can.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Knowing where you are on the bell curve for likes/dislikes and how that positions matches up with your target market. For instance, I absolutely hate some games that are best sellers. But I accept that those games are great and speak to an audience, so my challenge is figuring out what the audience sees in those games and know that if I ever make a game for that audience, I’ll need to embrace concepts that I might not enjoy playing myself. Designing for someone with different tastes than you is hard, but necessary for growth.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Do it. Even if you never publish, the act of making a game is just fun.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: This list is too long…
Games that will soon be published are: The JRPG Tabletop Adventure Game, Go Cats Go!
I'm planning to crowdfund: The JRPG Tabletop Adventure Game

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

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, Diet Pepsi, and what?

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Motorcycling, guitar player, gardening badly, making limoncello.

What is something you learned in the last week?
I have a future in medical device creation.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
The Book Thief

Do you play any musical instruments?
Guitar, Bass

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Skydiving – 17 jumps.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Me. I was a totally unplanned baby!

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?
A deck of playing cards.

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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