Tuesday, March 3, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 213: Jordan Nichols

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:Jordan Nichols
Location:San Jose, California
Day Job:Construction Project Manager
Designing:Two to five years.
Today's Interview is with:

Jordan Nichols
Interviewed on: 1/30/2020

I've always been a huge fan of science-fiction and fantasy artwork, including comics. When I learned that there was a game coming out based on the artwork of renowned artist Jack Kirby, I was pretty excited. This week's interview is with Jordan Nichols, the designer of The Lost Worlds of Josh Kirby, which is on Kickstarter for only two more days! Be sure to check out the game, and read on to learn more about Jordan and his projects.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Two to five years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I have always been a gamer and a maker so it was an inevitable merging of the two.

What game or games are you currently working on?
The Lost Worlds of Josh Kirby from Bard Games

Have you designed any games that have been published?
One so far! We need to Talk from Smirk and Laughter

What is your day job?
Construction Project Manager

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Everywhere! I host at home, I attend public game meetups, and go to conventions!

Who do you normally game with?
Mostly friends and family.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I like a lot of games and styles my next game on the table will be Dinosaur Island

And what snacks would you eat?
Anything from Trader Joe's Haha. I love me some spicy hummus!

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
YES!! I like to put on theme appropriate background music I find on youtube.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Game Kastle, Isle of Gamers, and Victory Point Cafe

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
I love Yedo from Pandasaurus!

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Worker placement is my fav. I feel it's a beautiful expression of opportunity cost

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Wow too many! Mostly the big ones like Eclipse, Hyperboria, Anachrony, Xia, etc.

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 usually start from theme first I find it gives much needed context to mechanics

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I have never entered one but maybe that was a mistake haha!

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Probably Eric Lang I think he has a way of making big experiences with small rules.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
A lot is from classic themes and genres I like or from video games.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I like to test a long time with other designers until I feel I understand the core of the game and have that locked in so that I have a clear path forward prior to bringing it in front of a general audience.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I really enjoy working with co-designers. I think it is immensely valuable to have a second perspective to problem solve and to stay on target

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Depends on your goal. If it's getting published then I think the biggest challenge is bringing something new and different to the table.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Wow too many and I have had a lot of prospective deals fall through with IP. I am working on a Starcraft inspired game and that would be a dream come true.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Take everything a publisher says with a grain of salt. They like to get excited and throw out ideas and promises and in their world nothing has happened or will happen until they spend money on it.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Get involved with the design community. Nothing will make you a better designer faster.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: "We Need to Talk" from Smirk and Dagger
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: The Lost Worlds of Josh Kirby from Bard Games
Currently looking for a publisher I have: A bunch of Games!!!

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!

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Rock Climbing, Video Games, Snowboarding

What was the last book you read?
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Extroverted Introvert

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


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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