Tuesday, July 27, 2021

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 291: Brandon Conrade

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.  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:Brandon Conrade
Location:Kansas, USA
Day Job:Health Information Administrator
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:Buyers & Liars sell sheet
YouTube:Buyers& Liars playthrough
Other:Ten Minute Teach Channel: https://youtube.com/channel/UCjkCN-wt6PCqUPEA4d2AGvA
Today's Interview is with:

Brandon Conrade
Interviewed on: 7/7/2021

This week I'm happy to introduce you all to Brandon Conrade, a newer designer working on a game about car salesmen called Buyers & Liars. He also runs the Ten Minute Teach YouTube channel where he'll teach you how to play board games in 10 minutes or less! Read on to learn more about Brandon and his projects.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
One to two years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I felt there was an unfulfilled need for games that are affordable, economic in nature, and simulate professional work environments.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Buyers and Liars

Have you designed any games that have been published?
I have not

What is your day job?
Health Information Administrator

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home

Who do you normally game with?
Friends and Family

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Pax Pamir 2e, or just about any Splotter title.

And what snacks would you eat?
Dot's Pretzels

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Usually music from movies. Space themes get the FTL soundtrack by Ben Prunty. It is great.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Mission Board Games in Mission, KS.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Pax Renaissance is my top favorite. Least favorite that I play is probably Scythe. Worst game I have played is probably any kind of roll and move (Candyland, Monopoly). There are significantly better ways to waste your time.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Card markets are my favorite, hidden traitor maybe least favorite.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Pax Pamir 2e

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

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.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Entered, but have won (yet).

Do you have a current favorite game designer?
Cole Wehrle and the Joris Jeroen from Splotter

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
When things are quiet and I have nothing else on my mind.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Friends, local Kansas City Game Designers, random Discord people.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I would love to work on a team, currently going it alone.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Getting the game playtested. Secondary is getting people that will tell you the truth and not blow sunshine up your ass. We need more "sorry, your game about goblins sucks", and less "it was the best thing since sliced bread".

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

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Have your sell sheet ready before trying to broach publishers. Your game idea might be amazing, but so are the other 100 text based emails you send a publisher.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Playtest like crazy, write down everything immediately when it comes to mind, and discard ideas that don't work. If a game is good but has a big flaw, ditch that idea or fix it. Accept nothing less than the best effort you can put out.

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: Buyers and Liars
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Buyers and Liars

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?
Being a dad.

What is something you learned in the last week?
Medical coding.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I really like 90's grunge. I don't read as much as I should. Starship Troopers is probably my fave movie.

What was the last book you read?
The Watchmen

Do you play any musical instruments?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I have a YouTube channel that teaches games in 10 mins or less that seems well received.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I deployed to Afghanistan as a Medic.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Completely changing my game design.

Who is your idol or hero?
Elon Musk

What would you do if you had a time machine?
See the future, perhaps what peak humanity looks like.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be and why?
One that could teleport. That would be so useful.

Have any pets?
2 Dachshunds

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?
Boardgaming would do so we'll in an ice age. I bet I would be very popular. Hopefully focus tested mass market music gets wiped. It's all pretty terrible.

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):
Thank you to the publishers who gave me time and feedback for how things should go, and thanks to the publishers who didn't give me the time of day. It motivates me greatly to prove myself.

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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