Tuesday, February 23, 2021

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 268: Wout Veranneman

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:Wout Veranneman
Email:wveranneman@gmail.com - will change to our professional address in the next few months.
Day Job:I'm a financial advisor. My business partner is a web designer.
Designing:Less than six months.
Webpage:www.fatdwarfgames.eu - coming soon!
Blog:Will be on the site.
Facebook:Not up yet, but will be. Fatdwarfgames
Twitter:Not yet
Instagram:Not yet but will be @Fatdwarfgames.
Find my games at:Nowhere yet.
Today's Interview is with:

Wout Veranneman
Interviewed on: 1/2/2021

Wout Veranneman is a newcomer to the board game design community, but he has big ambitions! He's working on a game called Portal and has a bunch of other ideas that he hopes to publish with his partner someday soon. Keep your eyes peeled for Fat Dwarf Games coming to social media soon, and read on to learn more about Wout and his projects.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Less than six months.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Because it is my dream to work fulltime as a boardgamepublisher.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Portals. It's a fantasy card game. You choose with wich creatures you're going to play and those start already on the field. Each person also creates a deck before the game. In this game the goal is to be the first to conquer 3 portals by playing different allies or by destroying al the opponent's creatures. Conquering a portal though influences the playing field.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Not yet. But my partner and I already have some other game ideas for future projects.

What is your day job?
I'm a financial advisor. My business partner is a web designer.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home or at a friends place. To bad that this can't happen as much now because of Covid

Who do you normally game with?
My fiancé, one of her sisters and with my best friend and his girlfriend.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Not an easy one to answer, but it would probably be Heroscape , Lobotomy or D&D

And what snacks would you eat?
All kinds of chips

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Sometimes I will play some music fitting the game. For D&D some fantasy music ( Dragony) for Lobotomy some horror music otherwise it could be just a playlist with rock and pop music.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
t'Spelgeweld. It is has only opened its doors for a few months. But it is near my home and it has a lot of games and a lot of D&D material. They're super friendly and take the time to help you find the perfect game.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
My favorite game is ascension. I still enjoy a game of lobotomy from time to time and the worst game i have ever played is Runewars.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Deckbuilding is my absolute favorite, to bad it is my fiancé's least favorite. My least favorite mechanic would be collecting cards and forming groups of the same cards.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
City of thieves..My fiancé hates it because it's a game where you really stop the other player in his tracks and steal his/her stuff.

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

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?
First, we come up with the theme and create some characters without any stats or effects. Then I write a short story about the characters and the environment where the game takes place. After that, we come up with the mechanics.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Not yet, but we'll get there!

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Jamey Stonemaier. I really love his work, but I especially like what he does for the community with his blogs and interviews! It really helps starting board game designers to design better games and to do it in an effective way.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Just thinking in bed, by playing other games or just in the everyday life.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
First, my business partner and I try it out ourselves to exclude the very obvious errors. Then we let our friends try it to look if they like it or not. If they like it, then we'll look for playtesters we don't know to get the really objective opinions.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
It's really fun to work with two persons. We motivate each other and it's easy for the first playtesting. Also, there is more experience and skills we can use with two persons than alone.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finding the right mechanic that works all the time, but is still fun and easy to understand.

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

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
For the moment I wouldn't know. But ask me that question again in a year.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
It is a fun hobby but it is time-consuming. Not to mention you really need to have a business mind for it as well.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Currently looking for a publisher I have: 0. We want to be self-published. Our intention is to build a publishing firm
I'm planning to crowdfund: Portals.
Games that I'm playtesting are: Portals
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: We have a lot of ideas. But an idea is just an idea. We write them down and will look in them in depth after we developped Portals.

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
The dice tower. The board game design lab.

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?
Guitar and local politics

What is something you learned in the last week?
Not everything that is cool and fun actually works.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
High medieval fantasy with magic and dragons. Books: Draconis memoria. Movies: Marvel

What was the last book you read?

Do you play any musical instruments?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I really love animals. We have a dog Marie, a cat Minouh and two leopard geckos named Jack and Jane. And I would take some more pets in house, but my girlfriend has to stop me, because we need a bigger house for that :D

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Not passing my exams for my master degree. Then I started working in a bank and now I am a financial advisor with my own clients.

Who is your idol?
Tommy Vassel

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Return one week so I know the outcome of the lottery and then buy loads of games and design and publish all the games I want.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

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

Have any pets?
Yes. See previous question.

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 all the ascension games survive and I hope Rumikub dies.

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 Yves-Laurent Meeuws, my business partner, best friend and playtesting companion.

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

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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