Tuesday, May 18, 2021

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 280: Timothy Olinger

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:Timothy Olinger
Day Job:At an oilfield construction and welding company
Designing:Five to ten years.
Facebook:Kingdoms of Erden
Find my games at:Kickstarter
Today's Interview is with:

Timothy Olinger
Interviewed on: 1/7/2021

This week I'm happy to introduce you to Timothy Olinger, the designer of Kingdoms of Erden and other games! Kingdoms of Erden has had a number of expansions successfully funded on Kickstarter over the years. Right now he has a set of dark fantasy themed playing cards available on Kickstarter. Read on to learn more about Timothy and his projects.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Five to ten years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I had an idea I thought would make a great game.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Kingdoms of Erden: King of the Mountain, I'm working on an expansion for it.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Kingdoms of Erden: King of the Mountain, the core game and some expansions.

What is your day job?
At an oilfield construction and welding company

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At the coffee table.

Who do you normally game with?
My wife or brother and my children.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Kingdoms of Erden, Risk, Stratego, Monopoly, Catan

And what snacks would you eat?
Ritz mini snack pizzas

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

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Wizards Asylum Tulsa

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Kingdoms of Erden is my favorite. There is a lot I would change about Catan, but its still fun. Worst game, or the one that I enjoyed the least was a horror game, I don't remember the name.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Grim Forest

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, RPG Games, Video Games, Other 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?
Both, whatever works.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Think of what I want to do in a game, and try to find a way to make it happen.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Playing with friends.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?

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

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?
Everything I don’t know yet

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Make it quality.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Kingdoms of Erden: King of the Mountain
Games that will soon be published are: Sigils of Paragon
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: "Glazed" Dark Skies Limited Linen Playing Cards
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Kingdoms of Erden and Sigils of Paragon
I'm planning to crowdfund: More of both games, and more playing cards
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Kingdoms of Erden: Quest for Arcadia
Games that I'm playtesting are: An expansion for KOE: a market mechanism
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: More KOE games

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Not yet

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?
Classic lyrics both ST and SW, now, not so sure. Coke. Still using my VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Video games

What is something you learned in the last week?
A small train uses less steam, metaphorically speaking

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Soundtrack. Fiction. Fantasy.

What was the last book you read?
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nihm.

Do you play any musical instruments?

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?

Who is your idol?
John Reese Davies

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go back and do it sooner

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

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

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?
Books and reading needs to survive. Chess, Yahtzee, phase 10, risk, stratego make it. We need to forget about the movie adaptations that kill the IPs.

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):
My artist Sebastian

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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