Tuesday, December 15, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 257: Tony Robles

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:Tony Robles
Location:California, USA
Day Job:Designer in the toy industry. Concepts, graphics, 3D design, production.
Designing:Six months to a year.
Webpage:Nano Battle
Blog:Nano Battle Blog
Facebook:Nano Battle
Find my games at:Subscribe to our email list to download the print and play to try out Nano Battle!
Today's Interview is with:

Tony Robles
Interviewed on: 11/20/2020

This week we get to meet designer Tony Robles. Tony has been working on a game system called Nano Battles that use some awesome miniature characters, similar to the old M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestling figures I used to have when I was growing up. Look for a Kickstarter for the game next year, or click through to Tony’s site to get the pnp files or play on Tabletop Simulator now! Read on to learn more about Tony and his projects.

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?
Make the game I always wanted to play as a kid.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Nano Battle - Ultimate Keshi Combat!

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Designer in the toy industry. Concepts, graphics, 3D design, production.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Bringing a new one over to friends and family to teach and play.

Who do you normally game with?
Wife, kids, and family friends.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Any of the new Kickstarter games I've received during this pandemic!

And what snacks would you eat?

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Laughter is music to my ears.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Barnes and Noble is my go to.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Ticket to Ride I will never turn down! Cards Against Humanity has become tiresome but everyone always asks for it. Worst would have to be Keyforge, could not get into it, rather play Magic or Pokemon TCGs.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Tile placement is always pretty great. Don't like needlessly complicated victory point systems, end up doing all the math at the end and most have no idea where they stood in the end, a clear victory is always more fun.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Gloomhaven and Warhammer Quest games, no one has the time.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Ehhh not again, but okay...

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?
Kind of at the same time, start with a cool mechanic then think about how it would work thematically. Then it's all about layering the complexity in ways that would befit the theme.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Never entered any.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Any designer that can do it all on their own has my admiration. It's a lot of work to be in full control of all the different aspects to make a game come together just right.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Right as I'm falling asleep usually, keep a notebook by the bed.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
My super supportive wife is always a willing guinea pig. Then it's friends and anyone with interest! Print and play and Tabletop Simulator are fantastic options but hard to get feedback.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Alone, artists to help with sketching but ultimately the final vision is up to me.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finishing a project.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Transformers is such a neat universe and transforming into bot and alt modes as part of the game has too many fun possibilities.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Start with as few mechanics as possible and try to find the fun first, don't just add everything you can think of and bloat the game into this grand vision that will take too long to play.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
I'm planning to crowdfund: Nano Battle, building a following on social media with a planned Kickstarter early next year. Toy figures in tactical combat with a fast simultaneous battle system that all fits in a deck sized box to take and battle anywhere!

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

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, VHS!

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Mini painting and video games are my jam!

What is something you learned in the last week?
How to create my own alpha textures to make 3D sculpting so much faster

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?
Live in California so I'd be long gone, have fun surviving suckers!

Thanks for answering all my crazy 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

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