Tuesday, September 22, 2020

People Behind the Meeples- Episode 245: Adam Sadiq

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:Adam Sadiq
Location:Kansas City, KS
Day Job:Going back to school Fall 2020 to get an MBA, but before that I worked in banking.
Designing:Five to ten years.
Facebook:That’s a Wrap Board Game
Find my games at:BGG
Today's Interview is with:

Adam Sadiq
Interviewed on: 7/15/2020

This week we get to meet Adam Sadiq, a Kansas City area designer responsible for That's A Wrap, the game where you are a movie director competing to win the most Oskies. Read on to learn moreaboutAdam and the other projects he's working on.

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?
I just like making things, so when I was introduced to the world of game design, and had my first idea for a game, I decided to run with it just because I could.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Temporal Trouble - A 2-player asymmetric co-op with a time travel theme. One player is a Time Pilot searching for treasure and the other player is their Time Ship trying to fix itself in time to escape the dangerous past. Can also be played solo.

Sync - Family-weight logic-based game with a very low number of components. Has similarities to the Mind, Hanabi, and the classic game Set. Try to get "In Sync" with partners/opponents by finding cards that match characteristics.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
That's a Wrap! - A movie-making game where players compete to win the most Oskies. Kickstarted late 2019, and fulfilling in Fall 2020.

What is your day job?
Going back to school Fall 2020 to get an MBA, but before that I worked in banking

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home or someone's house, but getting a lot of mileage from Tabletop Simulator lately

Who do you normally game with?
Casually is usually my girlfriend or close friends, but I've really enjoyed networking with other designers through virtual playtest events recently

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Definitely depends on who I'm playing with, and how many people there are, but my standard favorites are Azul, Castles of Burgundy, Camel Up, and Coup. If it's just 2 people, I'll break out Baseball Highlights: 2045, or Star Wars: Rebellion if the other person agrees to it.

And what snacks would you eat?
Game nights are usually preceded by dinner so we don't snack during usually. Typically it'll be tacos, but I also love making homemade pizzas if I end up hosting.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Not particularly! My friends and I prefer to just chat over the game.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Spielbound in Omaha, Nebraska. Even though I moved away 4 years ago, it will never stop being my #1

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Baseball Highlights: 2045 is my perfect game, I love it to death. Exploding Kittens is not my cup of tea, but I have family who enjoys it, so it's fun to enjoy with them. Worst is a random Kickstarter game I backed, it was supposed to be very simple but me and my friend couldn't even figure the rules out so that was frustrating. Don't want to namedrop though!

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I love bidding, it's a mechanic that speaks to me, but it's tough to execute correctly. Can't really say a mechanic I don't enjoy, although dice rolling implemented poorly can be painful (looking at you, Catan)

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Star Wars: Rebellion for obvious reasons

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card 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?
I would never choose it, but if someone was adamant about wanting to play, I'd play along

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?
It depends! My first game, the theme ended up informing mechanics, but the two games I'm working on were the opposite - I wanted a 2P asymmetric co-op, and the time travel theme just made a lot of sense (Temporal Trouble) and I wanted a game that could be played easily on a blind date (Sync, it's a long story)

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No, I've thought about it but never pulled the trigger.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Oddly, I never pay attention to the designer of a given game, though I have met many wonderful designers at conventions.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
I wish I could control it but it's super random. Often when I'm doing something like driving or running, where I can zone out and have time to be in my own mind. But unfortunately, I can't write things down in either of those situations so the ideas don't always follow me home.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I force my girlfriend or other friends to play. Lately I've been doing a ton of digital playtesting, which I think is honestly ideal because of how quick and easy it is to implement feedback and make dynamic changes.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I wish I could be part of a team, design-wise, but honestly don't know where to look. Artists I absolutely must hire out, but at least I know that I'm terrible, so I don't micromanage my artists. I've found letting them do their own thing gets the best results.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Knowing when a game is "good enough" (it never is). I probably spend an inordinate amount of time at 99% trying to get to 100% even though it's not attainable, and agonize over things I wish I had designed into a game. Trying to get better, change what I can change and all that.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Honestly not the biggest fan of IP! I'm obsessed with trying to be original, for better or for worse.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
"Get ready because once you start doing this it's hard to stop."

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Be incredibly open to feedback, and always do your best to respond to criticisms you feel like you don't agree with. By having a coherent reason for why certain feedback doesn't apply, you are strengthening your understanding of your game, or you're realizing that maybe this idea actually holds some water and exposes a blind spot you didn't know you had.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: That's a Wrap! The Game of Filmmaking Frenzy
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Temporal Trouble & Sync
I'm planning to crowdfund: Temporal Trouble & Sync (could be persuaded to self-publish if I can't find a publisher for either)
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: President's Legacy - A riff on the classic card game that takes the idea and turns it into a quasi-civilization builder. One of my weirder ideas.
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Futuristic sports bidding game with robots, aliens, and humans Competitive somewhat asymmetric door-to-door sales game Sentinels of the Multiverse-esque game where players control minor holidays fighting corrupted major holidays

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

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 (never watched Trek) Don't drink soda I was born in 1994, grew up with VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Travel, movies, cooking, running

What is something you learned in the last week?
I can run a 10K with a sub 10-minute pace, that was cool to accomplish

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I love all kinds of music, but mostly indie rock, rap, and show tunes - I was a major musical kid and still am. Stephen King is my favorite author, but I've been reading a lot of presidential biographies over the past few years, trying to get through them all. I will literally watch any movie, I'm already at 130+ movies in 2020 that I haven't seen before (it's July); I typically watch dramas, but also love horror, and like I said, I'm really not that picky.

What was the last book you read?
Finished was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, but I also recently finished Mornings on Horseback, which was an early biography of Teddy Roosevelt.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Trombone in elementary/middle school, tuba briefly in high school. I also sing which counts I think?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
My top two most listened to artists in 2019 were Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Saw Hamilton on Broadway, then immediately went to the airport to catch a 4 AM flight home.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I got hit head on by a car crossing a crosswalk, and literally had no injuries. So not awesome but a whole lot more awesome than it could have been.

Who is your idol?
Stephen King, I just wish I was that creative.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Age of Exploration, I would love to see the world when it was relatively untouched.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert who needs time off rarely

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
One that can move stuff with their mind, that seems like the best power

Have any pets?
Only vicariously through my parents and my girlfriend

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?
Let's keep them all! If Monopoly is erased, we run the risk of someone bringing it back even more powerful than before.

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):
If you're reading this, you know who you are.

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

I'm currently in the middle of moving, it sucks

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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