Tuesday, December 3, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 200: Elisa Prashad

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:Elisa Prashad
Location:Toronto, Canada
Day Job:I operate a specialty marketing agency - Boomer Branding, with a focus of reaching the 55+ with clients primarily in real estate, healthcare and financial services industries.
Designing:One to two years.
YouTube:Analog Game Studios
Find my games at:www.analoggamestudios.com
Today's Interview is with:

Elisa Prashad
Interviewed on: 11/29/2019

This week marks my 200th People Behind the Meeples Designer Interview! I can't believe how many incredible designers I've had the privilege to feature on my site. The 200th designer to be featured is Elisa Prashad, a designer and ballet dancer from Toronto who is responsible for On Pointe, the ballet themed game that is currently on Kickstarter. I'm really excited about this game. It looks like a fun, simple, family game, but it's the theme that really captured my attention. Last year my son discovered ballet and the world of dance and has fallen in love. He also loves board games, so I'm thrilled that I can get him a game about a theme that he really loves, especially since there are boys featured in the game, too! I hope Elisa continues to make games with interesting themes. If you want to learn more about Elisa and her current projects, read on. And be sure to check out On Pointe on Kickstarter now!

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?
With a background in ballet, and noticed that there was a shortage of girl-themed games, I was inspired to create On Pointe.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Right now I'm looking at a dragonfly themed game and also looking into an extension to On Pointe involving cooperative play.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
On Pointe will be my second game, I also co-designed #demidancer. They will both be available Spring 2020.

What is your day job?
I operate a specialty marketing agency - Boomer Branding, with a focus of reaching the 55+ with clients primarily in real estate, healthcare and financial services industries.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At the cottage, near a lake.

Who do you normally game with?
My partner Richard, and good friends.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
LISTIT or another fun new party game, CATAN or Deep Sea Adventure

And what snacks would you eat?
Salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips...with cider

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Always! Pink Floyd, Drake, Post Malone, I have a wide ranging taste, depends on what I'm in the mood for.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Even though there's 20 FLGs in Toronto, where I live, I love the 'Boardwalk Cafe' in Peterborough and 'The Loft Board Game Lounge' in Ottawa is amazing; they have custom-made game tables.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Azul is always fun to play. Milles Bournes I still play (40+ years later). Pokemon Master Trainer is really bad for many reasons.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Tile placement is fun however deck building I really don't enjoy.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?

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

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?
Always the theme first.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Yes, On Pointe was a finalist for the CGDA (Canadian Game Design Award) for 2019.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Joe Slack & Susan McKinley Ross

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Through my hobbies and outside pursuits and being inspired by others who design amazing games.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Every month at Designer's Nights at Snakes & Lattes Board Game Cafe

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Definitely with others to bounce ideas off of and brainstorm together.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
It's hard for me to take criticism sometimes and I often need a little help with the mechanic.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
How long it takes and how %$^& hard it is!

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Start with a theme that you know and are passionate about and go from there. Listen to the help of others but remain focused on your vision.

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: On Pointe & #demidancer
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: On Pointe
Currently looking for a publisher I have: I've got Analog Game Studios.
I'm planning to crowdfund: DragonFlyers plus a Co-op ballet-themed game - to be named later.

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Yes, Girl's Game Shelf, Analog Gamer Grrrls, Tabletop Backer Party, The Boardgame Group

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, Pepsi, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Ballet, Kayaking, Reading, Gardening

What is something you learned in the last week?
That Tina Turner just turned 80.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Pop, rock, rap Biographies & Fiction French Movies & James Bond and anything with Kriisten Wiig or Alexander Skarsgard.

What was the last book you read?
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Do you play any musical instruments?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I love cars and Formula One racing.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I swam with sharks and stingrays.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I honestly can't recall anything but I will when I do.

Who is your idol?
Nelson Mandela

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go to Ancient Egypt and hang out.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert all the way.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Wonder Woman

Have any pets?
A big furry grey cat named Buttons.

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'm packing Pandemic, Scrabble, a deck of cards and Centrix. Oppressive dictators and polluters can go.

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):
Michelle Obama, she loves board games.

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

Diversity is important, inclusion is necessary and love is best shared.

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?  Please 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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