Tuesday, November 3, 2020

People Behind the Meeples- Episode 251: Fabien Suarez

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:Fabien Suarez
Location:Paris, France
Day Job:Screenwriter for feature films
Designing:Six months to a year.
Facebook:Fabien Suarez
Today's Interview is with:

Fabien Suarez
Interviewed on: 7/19/2020

This week we get to meet game designer and screenwriter Fabien Suarez. Fabien has written a number of French movies and TV shows, including the Bell & Sebastian trilogy. Now he's bringing that love of story telling to the world of board games. Read on to learn more about Fabien.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Six months to a year.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
My passion is for boardgames. I am a big boardgamer and was sometimes disappointed by coop story driven games I played, so I decided to try to do a game that I would love to play with my friends. And the success of Kickstarter seems to allow unknown people to try :)

What game or games are you currently working on?
I'm working on a semi-coop legacy game set in a fantasy world. Like Gloomhaven, Tainted Grail, etc...

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Unfortunately not.

What is your day job?
Screenwriter for feature films.

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?
My 2 to 5 best friends. 4 men and one woman :(

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
My favorite would be The Thing and Spartacus

And what snacks would you eat?
Sushi, Candy, peanuts...

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?

What’s your favorite FLGS?
One in the center of Paris. Le cocon ludique.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Glenmore2. Least favorite I still enjoy : Scythe. Worst game : Badlands : outpost of humanity

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Tiles. Least favorite : real time game.

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

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Miniatures Games, RPG Games, Video Games

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board 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 would answer both comes together like Jamey Stegmaier is doing.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Ryan Laukat, Jamey Stegmaier.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Where : anywhere. When : I like boardgames so much that I think about it a lot! My inspiration comes by reading art books, and playing lots of games. I love to learn new ones.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Not yet at this stage.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I hate to work alone. I love teamwork. It is challenging, uplifting, creative, etc...

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Balance the game.

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

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
It's long, and it costs money to do prototypes when you need miniatures!

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
I'm a beginner so I try to stay humble. When my first game will be published I will maybe try to share something but right now I am learning. Maybe one advice : play and read and watch tons of youtube channels or blogs on the subject.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: A semi coop legacy games that takes place in a fantasy world. A game with miniatures and no dice!

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Lots of them! Too much to say. Board game design lab community, 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 ! Coke ! And VHS !

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Movies, RPG, travelling.

What is something you learned in the last week?
Art design needs money andNa not too expensive graphic designer is hard to find in France. And a last one : when you want to go on kickstarter you need a project manager !

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Soundtracks, Catastrophe, Peter Gabriel. Books : Lots of Art of, making of, french comic books. Movies : Spielberg, Hitchcock, Soderbergh, Villeneuve, and lot more.

What was the last book you read?
Open bar by Fabcaro

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, I'd love to play piano but is it too late ?...

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I love to tell stories, and I love soccer !

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Yelled Georges Lucas in a big reunion where he was. He looked at me and waved... I was happy...

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Me drinking poison when I was 8 and spitting it on my shoes. Accident but surviving it was awesome :)

Who is your idol?

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go back in Antiquity. Go back to my 18yo and warn to me to spare me some times

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert trying to cure himself and becoming more and more extrovert

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Any flying one.

Have any pets?
Unfortunately not

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?
Soccer ! Not sure to understand the last question sorry I'm french !

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):
Enjoy the day ! And go for your dream (I know it sounds obvious but...)

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

Thanks for doing this and keep going !

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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