Tuesday, October 8, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 192: Royce Anthony Banuelos

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:Royce Anthony Banuelos
Location:St. Louis, MO
Day Job:Art Director
Designing:Two to five years.
Blog:Loose Screw Board Games
Facebook:Royce Banuelos (there's only one)
Other:Loose Screw Board Games (just in general)
Find my games at:The Game Crafter and find me in St. Louis
Today's Interview is with:

Royce Anthony Banuelos
Interviewed on: 8/13/2019

This week we get to meet Royce Banuelos. I met Royce a few months ago at Gen Con where we played a few prototype games together. Royce is part of the St. Louis game design community, which includes some great designers (Jamey Stegmaier, John Coveyou, etc.) and some great publishers. Read on to learn more about Royce and his current 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?
My band broke up and I needed something else to do.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Multiple titles but the main focus currently is "Bag of Dicks."

Have you designed any games that have been published?

What is your day job?
Art Director

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
My home and friends homes.

Who do you normally game with?

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Prototypes and family weight games.

And what snacks would you eat?
Nachos, pretzels, and stuff like that.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
I prefer either thematic, atmospheric music appropriate for the game's theme or rap/indie rock.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Miniature Market (STL local)

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favorite is Dark Moon, least favorite I still enjoy would be Monopoly, and worst ever is CSI the board game.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I like a lot of area control elements in games. My least favorite would be games that are constantly awarding players with stuff for doing nothing, Space Base, Machi Koro, and Dice Forge are all examples of this.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Sons of Anarchy

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, Video Games

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, Other 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?
I've done both, but usually I have a vision for a finished product and then work out a game for that vision. Bag of Dicks for example was a thought of both theme and mechanisms at the same time.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I have entered two before and have not won any.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Brian Suhre is a favorite.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
My best ideas are from not thinking about ideas. Being around game designers and talking about games though will always stir some parts of my design mind.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I'm friendly and work within the St. Louis community to get play test in. We've got a great, supportive community so it's a little bit easier here.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I co-design a lot with Mark Wisdom but also do my own stuff as well. Either way works fine for me, I can work well with others.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finances and time. I'm a parent and have limited time to dedicate towards going out all the time.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Fortnite, Beyonce, and anything else that would move a lot of units.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Don't give a publisher your prototype at a convention.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Get your games played and play other people's games.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Pigskin, 2 Count
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Multiple titles that are medium - light weight games
I'm planning to crowdfund: Bag of Dicks, Gravitational Drift Racing, and more TBA
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Three Fiddy

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Multiple, they're all pretty good.

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?
Biking, art, glasses, and talking.

What is something you learned in the last week?
How to properly use bike gears.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Punk rock is my favorite music, biographies are my favorite books, and documentaries are my favorite movies.

What was the last book you read?
"I'm supposed to protect you from all this"

Do you play any musical instruments?
Drums, bass, and guitar.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
Anyone can give me a call for any reason.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I pitched a game to a publisher and didn't actually have a game designed or prototype made yet.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
All of them.

Who is your idol?
My mom, she's rad.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I would be really sad and likely would accidentally destroy space-time.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
My mom, she's rad.

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?
I think mancala games and social games like paper, scissors, rock would likely have lasting power. I would hope people getting together to eat food would continue. If anything would be wiped out I would hope it would be racism/sexism and that whole thing.

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):
Hi Joe Queer, thanks for making cool music!

Just a Bit More
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?

Evangelize the hobby! And love yourself. Thank you for having an outlet like this for designers. :)

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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