Tuesday, June 29, 2021

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 287: Tim Lampasona

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:Tim Lampasona
Location:New York
Day Job:Entomologist
Designing:Two to five years.
Find my games at:New Games will be soon available on our website.
Today's Interview is with:

Tim Lampasona
Interviewed on: 2/7/2021

If you're on any of the game design groups on Facebook you've probably seen Tim Lampasona's posts about his new game, coming to Kickstarter in October, called Demon Castle Mononoke. In addition to Mononoke he has several other games that he and his design cooperative, Cardboard Revolution, are working on. To learn more about Tim and his projects, read on!

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?
Purely for the joy of it

What game or games are you currently working on?
Several, but primarily a semin co-op bidding game called Mononoke

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
My kitchen table

Who do you normally game with?
Members of our game design co-op

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Terra Mystica, or The Game of Thrones Board Game

And what snacks would you eat?
Something unhealthy and salty

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Yes! Usually something either thematically appropriate for the game, or something with no lyrics. Post-rock, instrumental hip-hop, or even film scores are great.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Flipside Gaming in Albany, NY

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
In order: Terra Mystica, Photosynthesis, Cards Against Humanity (just not my thing)

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Love drafting, not a big fan of purely luck based mechanics

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Twilight Imperium (too long!)

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, Miniatures Games, RPG 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?
Usually theme first, but occasionally I'll have a neat mechanic in mind that translates well to a particular theme.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Entered: yes. Won: no.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Big fan of Elizabeth Hargrave for blending science and gaming

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Usually by brainstorming with the rest of our co-op after having a germ of an idea

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Make a quick TTS prototype, get the co-op online, and test it out! Then we tear it apart and start again!

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Team all the way! We started a cooperative devoted entirely to designing board and card games

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
The Locked Tomb series of books

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Fail fast, kill your darlings, and don't worry about an idea falling apart.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Ave
Games that will soon be published are: Mononoke, Sunrise City Smackdown
I'm planning to crowdfund: Mononoke is set for KS in October
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Mononoke
Games that I'm playtesting are: Sunrise City Smackdown
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: About 100 projects
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: About 100 projects

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

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?
Wars, Coke, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Music, hiking, and insect collecting are the big ones

What is something you learned in the last week?
A lot about childbirth (just had a daughter!) [GJJ Games] Congratulations!

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Music: instrumental post rock Books: surrealism Movies: sci fi

What was the last book you read?

Do you play any musical instruments?
Guitar, ukulele, banjo

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I've never lost a thumb wrestling match

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I was once confronted by bandits who claimed to use black magic when I lived in Madagascar

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Literally half of my design decisions!

Who is your idol?
Edward O Wilson, the entomologist who revolutionized ant behavioral Ecology

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Probably try to stop various historical atrocities.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert for sure.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Spiderman, he's just too cool.

Have any pets?
An adorable dog named Molly

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 Magic the Gathering survives, but it would be cool if only one really weird set made it. I'd like to see every -opoly cash in obliterated.

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 legendary economist Yanis Varoufakis

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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