Tuesday, October 20, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 249: 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:Solutions Consultant for a telecommunications company.
Designing:Over ten years!
BGG:Mike Nudd
Find my games at:In game stores, on ebay
Today's Interview is with:

Mike Nudd
Interviewed on: 7/17/2020

This week I'm happy to introduce you to designer Mike Nudd. Mike has several published games to his name, including Waggle Dance and Dice Hospital (with Stan Kordonskiy). Read on to learn more about Mike and his designs!

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?
For fun. For the intellectual challenge.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Dice Theme Park. Lindisfarne Monastery. Dice Dungeon Keeper.

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Solutions Consultant for a telecommunications company.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?

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: Root, Dinogenics, Darwin's Choice

And what snacks would you eat?

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Depends on the game. For example, when playing War of the Ring I always put on the Howard Shore 3-film score.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Leisure Games

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
It's very difficult to pick out a single favourite - Trickerion, Eclipse and Battlestar Galactica are all up there. I would still play Settlers of Catan if you put it in front of me but I'd never seek it out. Worst: Coaster Park.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I like all kinds of mechanics. The use of the app in Chronicles of Crime really impressed me. Using dice in innovative ways is my particular oeuvre in my own games right now. Least favourite: anything based on roll and move, or that has a similar level of randomness

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, 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?
It starts with theme, but the synergy of theme and mechanics is really important to me.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No but I did win an award one year at the Salute war games show in London for most innovative game at the show.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
It changes quite a bit. The versatility of Vlaada Chvatil impresses me.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
It could be anytime or anywhere. There's a part of my brain that never stops thinking about games!

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Usually I take a physical prototype to meetups and conventions. During the Covid crisis though I've been relying luch more on Tabletop Simulator.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Primarily alone. I'm open to the possibility of collaboration though.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finding novel combinations of theme and mechanics which are good enough and novel enough to stand out in today's crowded marketplace. Also just finding time to work on games!

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Oh so many! Star Trek, Doctor Who, TRON, Supernatural TV series, Travelers TV series, Westworld TV series, Pierce Brown's Red Rising novel series

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
I'm not sure. If I could go back I would tell myself to take it seriously a lot sooner!

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Do your research. Check to see what's already out there. Ask yourself why your game is different and why people should buy it.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Vampire: Prince of the City. Waggle Dance. Dice Hospital. Vampire:The Eternal Struggle. The Fall of London supplement for the Vampire:The Masquerade 5th Edition RPG.
Games that will soon be published are: Captain Scarlet. Dice Theme Park.
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Waggle Dance (reprint). Termite Towers. Supervillainous. Savage Land, Daylight Robbery, Lava Run, TRON: Lightcycle, Battle Dohm
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Dice Theme Park
Games that I'm playtesting are: Lindisfarne Monastery
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Dice Dungeon Keeper

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?
Babylon 5 trumps SW and ST but I love them all. I don't drink any kind of cola. Tapes are dead - these days it's all about Blu Ray, and will probably upgrade to 4K soon!

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Reading fiction and comics. Watching films and TV. One day I will write a screenplay or a novel.

What is something you learned in the last week?
The Carnevale miniatures game is definitely not scaled to 28mm like they claim, the figures are way bigger (40mm?)

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
All kinds of music, but my soft spot is still for rock/metal. I dig quality science fiction, and interesting history non-fiction. There are so many good and inspirational films to choose from, I could be here all day!

What was the last book you read?
Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Do you play any musical instruments?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
20 years ago I won a free holiday to Australia through a radio competition.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Pitched my first game to White Wolf Publishing when I had no idea what I was doing!

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Meeting people who became lifelong friends at my university's gaming society

Who is your idol?
I'm not sure I have one, although there are plenty of people I respect and admire.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go back and see how the Pyramids were really built.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Mostly introvert.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Iron Man

Have any pets?

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?
If you look at the corruption, nepotism and greed displayed by many of those in power right now, it's tempting to wish for a hard reset, but it may be optimistic to assume that the aftermath would be any better. In any post-apocalypse scenario I would expect storytelling, music and simple games to survive.

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):
A big thanks to Caezar al-Jassar at Alley Cat Games for trusting me and taking my design career to the next level!

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

Thanks for the 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?  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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