Tuesday, March 2, 2021

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 269: David Collins

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:David Collins
Email:Contact me through FB: vegoilbenz
Location:Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Day Job:Analyzing architectural drawings for energy efficiency
Designing:Six months to a year.
Webpage:www.rebelravengames.com (still working on producing something decent)
Facebook:David Collins
Today's Interview is with:

David Collins
Interviewed on: 11/21/2020

Unfortunately, Climate Change can be a somewhat controversial topic in some circles. It's a global threat to life as we know it, yet there are some that continue to deny or misunderstand the severity. Fortunately there are people that are tirelessly working to inform and educate people through all sorts of methods. This week we get to meet David Collins, a designer working on several games about Climate Change, with the hopes of both educating and entertaining people. Read on to learn more about David 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?
To bring awareness to climate change

What game or games are you currently working on?
1) Climate Change 2030: We're Running out of Time (card game)
2) Climate Change 2030: The PHD Card Game
3) Climate Change 2030: The Board Game

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Analyzing architectural drawings for energy efficiency

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home or Interactivity Game Cafe (Victoria, BC, Canada), because they have a side where you can get wine.

Who do you normally game with?
My partner and a few friends. Once a month with a game design group; play-testing games we're designing. Since Covid, twice a month with the Victoria, BC play-testing group and weekly with a Vancouver, BC play testing group; both on Discord and TTS or Tabletopia

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
7 Wonders and Power Grid are some of my favourites.

And what snacks would you eat?
popcorn, cheese and crackers

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Nah, let's stay focused

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Interactivity Board Game Cafe (IBGC)

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
There are quite a few 2 player games that I really like: 7 Wonders Duel, (I can't think of other names right now). Quarkle, Blokus, Guillotine, Bonanza, Shōbu. Ticket to Ride, Power Grid. I will walk away from the group if people start playing Card Against Humanity. I don't even want to sit there while it's being played.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favourite: Simultaneous play. Reduces the wait in-between turns. Least: {can't think of one}

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Power Grid, I just don't seem to hang out with people who enjoy that heavy of a strategy game.

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, RPG 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?
Theme first. It was the theme (increasing awareness about climate change: mitigation and adaptation) that first got me into designing board and card games.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
no, neither

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I think Jamey Stegmeier has an all around positive outlook, although I've never played any of the games he's designed.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Hearing the stupidity with which some people discuss climate change

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Right now it's only on TTS

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I always gravitate towards working alone, but really need to have an artist/graphic designer and marketing expert on board.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Building the following. I'm pretty solidly an introvert.

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?
The implementation of the idea is never as good as just the idea.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Poor cash flow can make a profitable company go bankrupt

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
I'm planning to crowdfund: 3
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Climate Change 2030: We're Running out of Time
Climate Change 2030: Get Your PhD

And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Climate Change 2030: The Board Game, although I have a physical prototype that I can't play-test, and have not gotten this one on TTS

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Yeah, lots, and quite recently. So I really don't remember the group names.

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?
Wow, tough choice. Slight leaning toward Star Trek.
Neither. I only drink things that start with 'w': water, wine, whisky, and wodka
Haha, youtube!

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Other hobbies?? This is consuming me right now. I've been a member of the local Makerspace for several years, so woodworking, metal shop, just making things. This place has really helped out with developing prototypes.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
70's rock
Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Clan of the Cave Bear series
X-Men series, Avengers series, Happy Potter

What was the last book you read?
Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era.

Do you play any musical instruments?
fiddle, but just barely

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I flunked out of undergrad

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Rode a bicycle down a mountain up to 55mph

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Got rear ended while riding my bicycle. Smashed her windshield with my head. Broke my neck plus two other vertebrae, and got a traumatic brain injury. Doctors kept telling me I needed to move toward a job that requires a low mental capacity. 25 years later I now have a PhD in mathematics: applied mathematics, the mathematics of climate change.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

Have any pets?

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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