Tuesday, January 12, 2021

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 261: Taylor Hayward

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:Taylor Hayward
Location:Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Day Job:UX Designer
Designing:Two to five years.
BGG:Taylor Hayward
Facebook:Green Meadow Games/
Find my games at:https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1809204170
Today's Interview is with:

Taylor Hayward
Interviewed on: 1/1/2021

This week’s People Behind the Meeples interview is with Taylor Howard of Green Meadow Games. In 2018 he successfully Kickstarted Darkness and next month he’ll be Kickstarting the next game in the series, Dawn. Read on to learn more about Taylor as well as the next games in his series!

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 love making them and I think there's room for even better games

What game or games are you currently working on?
My next game, "Dawn" is launching on Kickstarter on 23 Feb 2021. I'm in the process of designing my next game in the series, "Daylight"

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Yes. Darkness was published by Gamewright Games.

What is your day job?
UX Designer

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At friend's homes

Who do you normally game with?
I belong to a few gaming groups. One meets in a nearby home, the other meets at a game store about 45 minutes away.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
If it's a casual game night, Just One, and Hanabi. If it's serious gamers, Gloomhaven, and Twilight Imperium 4.

And what snacks would you eat?
Pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, Chinese food, or sushi.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Ambient background music, or D&D playlists from Spotify.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Pandamonium Games in Central Square, Cambridge.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favorite: Gloomhaven, Least favorite that I still enjoy: Carcassonne, Worst game I've ever played: the video game, "Frog Bog". Laughably bad.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite: cards can be used for multiple functions in combinations with other cards and the player has to choose which way to optimize their hand. Least favorite: coin toss.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Camel Up for money. Most people don't want to play for real money even if there's no pandemic. I find the game is much more fun that way.

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

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

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Used to. Got bored of it.

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 first try to think of a pattern I think people would feel is valuable to learn, then build from that.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Yes. I won entry into the Festival of Indie Games.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
No idols, but I think Bruno Cathala is an exceptional game designer.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
I look at what patterns people would gain the most value learning and make a game around them.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Through the various online and in-person game design guilds that are around.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I'm happy to work either way, but I haven't found the perfect co-designer yet. Maybe someday.

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

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I'd have to think about it, but my first thought would be something involving Skyrim.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That it's a skill like any other that gets better with practice.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
There is a LOT of opportunity for innovation. We've only scratched the surface of what's possible.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Darkness
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Dawn
I'm planning to crowdfund: Dawn
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Daylight
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Dusk

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

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?
Poker, music composition, and stock market analysis.

What is something you learned in the last week?
That SWATing has become a bigger and bigger problem.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Music: ambient electronica, Books: educational, Movies: accessible, novel, highly produced films.

What was the last book you read?
Adventures in Business

Do you play any musical instruments?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I designed the modern Captcha test we use today as an afternoon project.

[GJJ Games] Very cool! You can reaqd more about this here: 3D images: A human way to create Captchas on CNET

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Did donuts in the snow in a traffic intersection.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Ate live lobsters and got free sushi.

Who is your idol?
I don't have any.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go to the future and come back to the present with information about how we could improve our fate.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Reed Richards. Loving family and most likely to be able to constructively help the world.

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?
I hope music creation continues past our current age. There is a litany of "old code" in our DNA that was once valuable but is now harmful and should get removed from our DNA. Things like tribalism, and adversarialism.

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):
Shout out to Saweetie. Stay true to yourself.

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

Come signup for my upcoming Kickstarter here: https://greenmeadowgames.com/dawn.html

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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