Tuesday, July 30, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 182: Nicholas Yu

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:Nicholas Yu
Location:Rochester, NY
Day Job:Operational Excellence Analyst and Robotic Process Automation Modeler
Designing:Two to five years.
Facebook:Zucchini People Games/
Find my games at:Wherever board games are sold!
Today's Interview is with:

Nicholas Yu
Interviewed on: 7/12/2019

Nicholas Yu has been designing games for a few years now and has two published. His third published game, Adventure Tactics: Domianne's Tower, is on Kickstarter right now, through Letiman Games. Adventure Tactics launched yesterday and is doing great already! Be sure to check it out, and read on to learn more about Nicholas and his other projects.

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?
It was on my bucket list!

What game or games are you currently working on?
Adventure Tactics: Domianne's Tower

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Yes, two previously: Hero Brigade and Eternal Dynasty.

What is your day job?
Operational Excellence Analyst and Robotic Process Automation Modeler

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At a friend's house

Who do you normally game with?
Close friends

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Something new we hadn't played before.

And what snacks would you eat?
Popcorn and pretzels.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Usually not. Sometimes theme music for a tabletop RPG.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Millennium Games.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current Favorite: The Mind. Least Favorite I Still Enjoy: Ticket to Ride. Worst Game: Some of my own play-test designs that I've tossed.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite: Deck-building (and engine-building). Least Favorite: Roll and move.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Twilight Imperium.

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, Video 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 and then mechanics.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Eric Lang, Mike Selinker. Not only for the game designs but how they conduct themselves as individuals and professionals.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Other interests. Seeing something else and saying, "Hey, that'd make for an interesting board game."

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Guilt-tripping my friends.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Alone to start but bring in a team once the core design is complete.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finishing a design, not moving on to the next shiny idea.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Final Fantasy or Marvel Comics

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
There's no money in it!

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Design for yourself first. Don't make a game that you think will be a hit or that others will want to play. Make a game you want to play.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Hero Brigade, Eternal Dynasty
Games that will soon be published are: Adventure Tactics: Domianne's Tower
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Adventure Tactics: Domianne's Tower launched on July 29th!
Games that I'm playtesting are: Hex-based tactical shooter.
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Auto-card battler, row mechanic 2-player co-op
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Solo survival horror game

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

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?
Both but Star Wars if I have to pick. Coke. VHS.

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Video games, movies.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Alt-rock. Fantasy and detective novels. Wide range of love for cinema.

What was the last book you read?
Child of the Daystar by Bryce O'Connor

Do you play any musical instruments?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'd be a terrible person without my wife.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Tagged a bridge (graffiti art) when I was a teenager.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
My youngest son.

Who is your idol?
Corny, but probably my Dad.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Destroy it. No one needs that kind of temptation or paradox-inducing doom.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Both. Took the full Myers-Briggs test, ended up right in the middle.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
The Flash.

Have any pets?
Not currently, but I love them!

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?
Card and dice games, they're durable. Or we'll go back to dice precursors (rolling literal bones). I hope reality TV is wiped out forever.

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 wife and kids!

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?  Pleasse 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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