Tuesday, September 19, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 86: Peter Cricchiola

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:Peter Cricchiola
Email:admin@Cstargames.com.au
Location:Sydney, Australia
Day Job:Backup software support for CommVault
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:www.cstargames.com
Facebook:CStar Games
Twitter:@cstargames
Instagram:@cstargames
Find my games at:Tabletopia
Today's Interview is with:

Peter Cricchiola
Interviewed on: 7/31/2017

Peter Cricchiola had Head Chef on Kickstarter last month, but unfortunately the campaign failed to gain the traction to fund the game. That's OK though, because he's working on getting more people familiar with Head Chef before he relaunches. Head Chef is a quick, light, action selection game that uses some unique mechanics. Peter has other games he's working on, too. Read on to learn more about Peter and what he's working on.

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?
The love of the hobby

What game or games are you currently working on?
Head Chef - Coming back to Kickstarter soon!

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Not yet

What is your day job?
Backup software support for CommVault

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home with family or out at a club with a group of friends

Who do you normally game with?
Family and boardgame groups (friends)

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Depending on their skill, CamelUp for new gamers and a worker placement like Lords of Waterdeep for more skilled players.

And what snacks would you eat?
Normally gummies/lollies, stuff that doesn't crumble or leave your hands dirty.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
no

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Games Empire

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favorite: Viticulture // Least Favorite: Innovation

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite: Worker placement. Least: Bidding

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

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, Card Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
No

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?
Some games I think of a theme and what makes that theme unique and build the mechanics around it. Others start with a mechanic and change theme a few times.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Phil-Harding Walker, Fellow Aussie who seems to hit the mark a lot.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
By playing other games you get ideas on mechanics

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Print and play with me, myself, and I. Then to board game groups and protospiels.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
No one person can do it all. Especially art you have to have a certain skill to be a good artist.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Exposure, there are a lot of board/card games out there now.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Something Sci-Fi from the Metroid series would be awesome!

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
You can't please everyone, so don't change your game too much based on feedback.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Design for fun, don't over complicate and don't be disheartened by bad feedback, draw from it and evolve your game.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Games that will soon be published are: Head Chef
I'm planning to crowdfund: Head Chef
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Royal, Loyals and the Underhanded

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
TGDA (Tabletop Game Designers Australia)

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, Pepsi, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Any Nintendo video game

What is something you learned in the last week?
Dogs use the underside of their tongue to drink!

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Metal/Progressive Rock, Fantasy, Action

What was the last book you read?
David Eddings "The Elenium" series

Do you play any musical instruments?
No

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I used to run a Guild in World of Warcraft of over 200 people.

Who is your idol?
Shigeru Miyamoto

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go forward in time to see what the future holds!

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Bit of both. When I'm out people know i'm there, but I do enjoy spending time at home.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Ironman, he has no special abilities, he is just rich, intelligent, and has a great sense of humor.

Have any pets?
A little Havanese pup called Bubu (Male)

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?
Dice, I think dice were the precursor to all boardgames, surely even dinosaurs used dice shaped rocks right? We could use less reality tv shows... please stop!

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):
Nicolas Cage, I'm sure he is reading!


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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 85: Jon Moffat

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:Jon Moffat
Email:jon.stonecirclegames@gmail.com
Location:Virginia, USA
Day Job:I work for the US Patent Office
Designing:Over ten years!
Webpage:stonecirclegames.com
Twitter:@jonTexMo
Find my games at:stonecirclegames.com
Today's Interview is with:

Jon Moffat
Interviewed on: 7/31/2017

Jon Moffat is part of the team from Stone Circle Games and has brought us titles like Horrible Hex, Pirate Kings, and more! You may have seen him and his team playing some of their games at some of the conventions this summer, like Gen Con or WashingCon. Read on to learn more about Jon, Stone Circle Games, and the other projects he's working on!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Over ten years!

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Fun and curiosity. I played lots of games with my brothers growing up and always had the urge to "improve" on them.

What game or games are you currently working on?
So many half-finished projects... an asymmetrical hidden movement assassins game, a grand sci-fi epic negotiation game, a resource management game about taxing medieval lords, a game about going insane...

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Yes: Horrible Hex, Pirate Kings, and Traders, Raiders & Runners.

What is your day job?
I work for the US Patent Office

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home with friends

Who do you normally game with?
Friends, coworkers, siblings

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I'm always interested in trying something new: but I'll always bring my favorites to the table: Cosmic Encounter, Blood Rage, and Libertalia

And what snacks would you eat?
Chips and dip... just be careful with the dip

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Usually movie soundtracks: Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars are favorites

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Labyrinth in DC

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Cosmic Encounter is my current favorite. Least favorite that I still enjoy is probably BANG! I have a secret, irrational, and long-felt hatred for Ticket to Ride

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Bluffing, I love to be unpredictable. Set-building is probably my least favorite.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Captain Sonar. You need exactly the right number of the right sort of people for it to be fun.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, RPG Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
No

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?
It varies. A lot of time it's more of a feeling I want to capture, and then I either assign a theme or mechanic to that feeling.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Not really

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Usually when I'm bored or watching a movie

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Due to schedule constraints, I usually do a lot of mental and solo testing before putting a game in front of others. From there I usually start with my regular game group, they're very open to playing broken games.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I usually prefer to design alone, but to get as much feedback from as many people as possible.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Reining myself in and finding time to playtest.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I think a lot could be done with Penny Dreadful: that show just screams semi-coop to me.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
It's not always fun.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Be open to criticism, and to the fact that some ideas aren't as good as you think they are.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Horrible Hex, Pirate Kings
Games that will soon be published are: Burned
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Dry County Dash
Games that I'm playtesting are: Tallage, Solar Treaty, Aberwyvern Besieged, Eye of Madness, Radio Dead
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Plague City, Sulfer

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

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 Trek has my head, Star Wars has my heart. Coke Zero R.I.P. VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Brewing, writing

What is something you learned in the last week?
How to spell "genius". I'm a terrible speller

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Folk Metal for music, science fiction for movies and books

What was the last book you read?
American Gods

Do you play any musical instruments?
Not now, but I have played Piano, drums, and guitar

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
That I had a real mean streak as a kid: and got suspended twice. I'm fine now, I promise.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I once put my brother in the dryer: and ran it

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Meeting my wife

Who is your idol?
Bruce Campbell. That guy is a real working man's actor.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Destroy it!

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert, but a social one.

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

Have any pets?
Nope

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?
Mostly, I'd hope our books survive: Tolkien, Martin, Lewis, Ursula Le Guin

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):
Tom Vasel: his hatred of my game has inspired me to try harder. :)


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.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Eye on Kickstarter #28

Welcome to my Eye on Kickstarter series!  This series will highlight Kickstarter campaigns I am following that have recently launched (or I've recently discovered) because they have caught my interest.  Usually they'll catch my interest because they look like great games that I have either backed or would like to back (unfortunately budget doesn't allow me to back everything I'd like to).  But occasionally the campaigns caught my attention for other reasons.  Twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, I'll make a new post in this series, highlighting the campaigns that have caught my attention since the last post.  In each post I'll highlight one campaign that has really grabbed my attention, followed by other campaigns I've backed or am interested in.  I'll also include links to any reviews I've done.  Comments are welcome, as are suggestions for new campaigns to check out!

You can also see my full Kickstarter Profile to see what I've backed or my old Eye on Kickstarter page that was too unwieldy to maintain.  Also, check out the 2017 Kickstarter Boardgame Projects geeklist over on Board Game Geek for a list of all the tabletop games of the year.
So, without further ado, here are the projects I'm currently watching as of the second Friday of September, 2017:

Live Campaigns from Past Eyes:
Radiant
Wanted Earth
Now Boarding


HIGHLIGHTED CAMPAIGN
Mint Delivery
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • Last year Justin Blaske had a huge hit with Mint Works, a great little worker placement game that fit in a mint tin. Now he's back with a second mint tin sized game set in the same mint crazy world. Mint Delivery looks like a great pick-up and deliver game with simple rules and a tiny size (although it looks like stretch goals are going to push this into a slightly deeper tin). I backed for my copy, and you should check it out, too!


Mint Delivery is a refreshingly light pick up and deliver game for 2 to 4 players with easy-to-learn rules and exciting strategic gameplay, all in about fifteen minutes. Its compact size makes it easy to put in your pocket and take it anywhere. Coupling that with its approachable ruleset, Mint Delivery is a great tool for introducing new players to the genre of pick up and deliver.




Scrooge
  • A Christmas Carol is by far my favorite Dickens story, and the artwork in Scrooge looks incredible. The gameplay looks light and fun, very reminiscent of classic roll-and-move games, but with enough options and choices to keep it interesting.


The Little Flower Shop
  • The Little Flower Shop comes from designer Steve Finn, who also designed Herbaceous (which I recently reviewed), Biblios, and a slew of other light, filler games. The Little Flower Shop has a really interesting card drafting and set collection mechanic along with a really unique theme and great artwork that would be amazing in any collection.


Horizons
  • Are you looking for a huge space themed civilization building 4x game, but don't have four hours to play? Horizons condenses that into just one hour without sacrificing the thematic or mechanical elements that make for an epic space opera game. Keep an eye on this one, it looks really cool.


戦國 ZiPANG Portable
  • 戦國 ZiPANG Portable is a fast, draw-one, play-one card game about being a rising samurai in 17th century Japan. Will you manage your resources and attack your enemies well enough to become a shogun? This is a game that I almost reviewed, but it didn't fit into my schedule. It looks pretty fun though.


Warehouse 13: The Board Game
  • My wife and I loved Warehouse 13 when it was on and were upset when it was canceled. So I'm very interested to see how this game does and how it uses the Warehouse 13 story and theme in its gameplay. So far it looks promising!


Into the Black: Boarding Party
  • This semi-cooperative game about space piracy was on my list to review about a year ago, however the prototype copy I received had a lot of flaws, so I ended up not posting a review. However, in the past year or so the game has gone through a lot of changes (some of which I suggested, so I'm thrilled to see that they worked out). The new game looks a lot more interesting and hopefully fixes the early flaws.


Ancient Artifacts
  • Roll and write games are becoming more popular lately, and Ancient Artifacts looks like a very interesting take on the genre. Take a dash of Lost Cities, a bit of Tomb Raider, throw in some dice and you have a board game version of Indiana Jones.


Gridstones: Night Sky
  • I've mentioned that I like astronomy, right? Well, Gridstones: Night Sky is a retheme of (ok, just adding a theme where there was none previously) the 2008 Gridstones. This new version adds in shooting star cards and adds some really cool components with the new constellations theme. At only $15 ($19CA), plus shipping, this looks like a great, casual abstract strategy game.


Zero Gravity
  • OK, the gameplay looks decent, but nothing too original... Except for one thing. That's the gimmick. And it's a really cool gimmick. Gravity is played on a three dimensional board, kind of like playing on the inside of a box. But the board and pieces are magnetized, so you play in three dimensions! Your units can move around on the floors, walls, or ceiling and attack at a multitude of angles or locations. This will definitely attract attention at a game night.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 84: Marshall Britt

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:Marshall Britt
Email:marshall@yanaguanagames.com
Location:Rhode Island
Day Job:I am a game publisher full time.
Designing:Two to five years.
Webpage:www.yanaguanagames.com
Blog:http://www.yanaguanagames.com/archivedposts
BGG:Yanaguana Games
Facebook:Yanaguana Games/
Twitter:@yanaguanagames
YouTube:Yanaguana Games
Find my games at:Our website, Stir Fry Eighteen is also available online at Board Game Arena for free. Re-Chord Kickstarter will offer worldwide shipping, and Stir Fry can be added making it available outside the US for the first time.
Today's Interview is with:

Marshall Britt
Interviewed on: 8/1/2017

Today's interview is with part of the Yanaguana Games team, who brought you Stir Fry Eighteen (an 18 card game, and those that know me know I love 18 card games) and Shipload o' Gold. His latest game has won some awards and will be on Kickstarter this month. Keep an eye out for Re-Chord, a game about playing the guitar that uses actual guitar picks as components! It looks pretty cool!

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?
I love games and being creative, after years of office work, I decided to start designing and publishing games.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Re-Chord (Kickstarter launches Sept. 2017) and three new projects without final names yet.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Shipload O' Gold and our hit game Stir Fry Eighteen

What is your day job?
I am a game publisher full time.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
The Board Room in RI

Who do you normally game with?
A large group of members from the Board Room, as well as friends worldwide on Tabletop simulator.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I'd ask the friends, but left up to me I'd choose a big game like Great Western Trail.

And what snacks would you eat?
Pizza, beer, and anything grubhub delivers!

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Usually no because the game space we play in is fairly loud just from gaming.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
The Dragon's Lair in San Antonio, TX and Newington Tabletop Shop in CT.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current favorite may be Ethnos but I rarely label a favorite. Least favorite that I still enjoy is probably Dominion.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
My favorite mechanic is probably Deck building, my least favorite is Math heavy mechanics used for scoring. I hate playing spreadsheets if that makes sense.

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

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, Video Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Not anymore, it's overstayed it's welcome for my groups.

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 a mechanic followed by theme, but if I am designing around theme the mechanics generally personify the theme.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
We recently won the Connecticut Festival of Indie Games "Most Innovative game of 2017" award for Re-Chord. We are also part of the 2017 Boston Festival of Indie Games Showcase with Re-Chord.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I'm a big fan of most of what Uwe does.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Late at night is when I brainstorm best, but I keep a 3 inch notebook near me most of the time. When an idea pops into my head I try to write it down in the book to pull from later.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
We have playtest groups in TX that play everything we design before we test it publicly. After the initial testing we will take it to shows, game shops, or friends houses often.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I have a development partner named Andrew Toth who is the other half of Yanaguana Games. We have recently begun working with outside artists as well.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Holding onto mechanics or bits of a game I personally like even though I know they do not fit a design.

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

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That designing games and publishing your own games are two different worlds.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
It's a career not a hobby. Don't wait to be "inspired", sit down and work on games every day.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Shipload o' Gold & Stir Fry Eighteen
Games that will soon be published are: Re-Chord, Food Fights Back, and one I can't talk about yet.
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Re-Chord launches Sept 2017


I'm planning to crowdfund: Re-Chord, and Food Fights Back
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: We have roughly 5 games in this state
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: We have 12+ projects in this state

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Card and Board game designers guild, Board game publishers guild, and board game design group I believe.

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 Trek, No Soda for many years, VHS.

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I play the guitar regularly, I also love video games and digital art. Occasionally I also embarrass myself on a golf course.

What is something you learned in the last week?
How senate reconciliation bills work!

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Anything with good guitars. I enjoy Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, and various cartoonist books. Huge fan of the Muppets, Guardians of the Galaxy, and most things geeky.

What was the last book you read?
Ready Player One

Do you play any musical instruments?
The guitar, banjo, mandolin, keyboard, and lap slide guitar. All in a mediocre fashion of course.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm a champion roller hockey player (JCC 1990's kids roller hockey league).

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I've caught a shark in the ocean and held him in my arms after fighting him in.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I've had a number of happy mistakes, but I can't remember one that stands out.

Who is your idol?
I..... I do not know. You've awakened a sense of loss, I don't think I have an idol.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I'd take a film crew and document history, without changing anything.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Aquaman, just because I really want to know what is going on down deep in the ocean.

Have any pets?
No.

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 the idea of creating fun with tiny bits of rock or wood survives at the very least. I'd hope that the idea of severe poverty being acceptable to any other human would be crushed and at least that very basic level of empathy was inherent.

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):
The entire New England game scene, but specifically, The Board Room RI which is where I found a home after moving from TX to a city of strangers.


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.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Get Your Exclusive Coupon for PWNs: A Game of Strategic Mayhem

Congratulations to Tom O. from Oak Lawn, IL for winning a copy of PWNs: A Game of Strategic Mayhem!  I hope you enjoy the game, and it's already been shipped out!



The contest is over, but you can still get a coupon for a free Enhancers Pack with a purchase of PWNs: A Game of Strategic Mayhem from the AWRY Corp store!  The Enhancers Pack is the first mini-expansion for PWNs and is a $5 value!


After you have your coupon, visit the AWRY Corp store and pick up your copy of PWNs: A Game of Strategic Mayhem: http://awrycorp.com/store/

Coupon is good through Sunday, September 10, 2017

If you liked this giveaway and would like to see more, please show your support: Support me on Patreon!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Abandon Planet - Unboxing

Abandon Planet
Designer: Don Eskridge
Publisher: Orange Machine Games
4-8p | 40-60m | 14+
Abandon Planet - by Orange Machine Games - Unboxing
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Way back in April, 2016 I played a game at Protospiel Milwaukee that I thought was a ton of fun.  It brought the social aspects of games like The Resistance, Avalon, Secret Hitler, and Werewolf to a resource management game with a bit of worker placement, and enough luck to keep tension high.  Abandon Planet, by Don Eskridge (who also designed The Resistance and The Resistance: Avalon) ended up in the number one spot on my list of Top 15 prototypes I played in all of 2016!  Abandon Planet successfully funded on Kickstarter late last year and I've anxiously been waiting for it to arrive.  There were a few delays (pretty common for Kickstarters, especially a first time publisher - Don is self-publishing this through his new company, Orange Machine Games), but communication throughout the production process was great and I finally received my copy in today's mail!

I'm happy to say that everything looks great!  I wasn't a huge fan of the artwork during the Kickstarter campaign, but it all seems to have come together in a game that looks (and plays) very unique.  The quality is good, the rocket miniatures have a ton of character, and all the components feel great.  The cards aren't super thick and not linen textured, but they don't get handled or shuffled a whole lot in the game, so they should be fine.  All the tiles are nice and thick, as is the box, and the insert holds everything snugly.

I can't wait to bring it to the table.  I think it'll be perfect for my game group since we've been playing a lot more social games lately, but we really like games with strategy, too.  As my friends' sons have been getting older they've been joining us in games of Secret Hitler, Avalon, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, etc.  These have been great for including all the kids in some great games, but we really want our strategy itch scratched, and I think Abandon Planet will do just that in a game that's still social, plays up to 8, and takes less than an hour!  I'm sure it'll be a hit!

So, without further ado, here are the unboxing pictures of Abandon Planet!




























Did you like this unboxing?  Show your support: Support me on Patreon! Also, 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.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 83: Benjamin Friedman

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:Benjamin Friedman
Email:Pokemon.journey.deckbuilder@gmail.com
Location:Indiana, USA
Day Job:IT Service Desk Advisor
Designing:Two to five years.
Facebook:Pokemon_Journey: The Deck-Building Card Game
Find my games at:Facebook and Tabletop Simulator
Today's Interview is with:

Benjamin Friedman
Interviewed on: 7/31/2017

Benjamin Friedman has been working over the last couple of years on a deckbuilding game set in the Pokemon universe. Pokemon Journey looks like a really cool alternative card game to the TCG, definitely more of my interest. I think its a great idea as a way to merge multiple interests. I know I'd be much more likely to play this with my kids than Pokemon TCG, and anything that brings families together is a winner in my book! Read on to learn more about Benjamin and the projects he's working 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?
I love mechanisms, rules, strategy, and competition. This lead me to game design.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Pokemon Journey, a deck building game

Have you designed any games that have been published?
No

What is your day job?
IT Service Desk Advisor

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
In person at hobby shops or at home

Who do you normally game with?
Friends and family, as well as strangers

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Start with something casual, evaluate any new players, then work our way to something heavier and complex

And what snacks would you eat?
Chips, soda, and healthy snacks

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
It depends on the game and group, but usually music is omitted

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Games to die for, Avon indiana

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favorite: Shogun. Least favorite I still enjoy: rummy. Worst game ever played: DC Deck-Building game

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite: Anything that presents meaningful choices. Specifically hand management. Least favorite mechanic: push your luck

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

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

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
With the right group

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 usually comes first, unless an abstract style design works best.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I entered the BGG game design contest. I didn't win any categories

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Richard Garfield is an all time great

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
My best ideas come from working with the theme, however, sometimes you have to approach designs from various angles

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Blind, blind, and blind

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I absolutely love working in groups, however, I'm 100% comfortable on my own.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Networking, thus, I've filled out this survey

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

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Don't be afraid to throw every single idea into the garbage. Most of them will end there anyway

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
You will fail. Use failure as a reason to keep going. Game design is as much of a passion as it is a process.

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: Pokemon Journey: The Deck-building Card Game
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Pokemon Journey
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Many ideas are in place, please contact me for more on this subject

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Designer/Publisher Speed Dating, Card & board game designer guild, tabletop game play tester group

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, Pepsi, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Graphic design, intellectual conversation, fantasy novels

What is something you learned in the last week?
I learned how to create a sell sheet

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Progressive instrumental, fantasy books, fantasy/horror films

What was the last book you read?
The Black Company

Do you play any musical instruments?
I’ve played percussion instruments for over 20 years

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
For a year, I ate the same thing for breakfast. Three eggs and an apple

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I once entered Central Park in NY City after dark and got mugged haha

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Meeting my lovely fiance

Who is your idol?
All the members of the band, Animals as Leaders

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I would go back and kill hitler

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Can be a bit of both, depending on my current goals.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Powdered Toast Man

Have any pets?
3 cats, 1 dog, and a four year old girl

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?
This question is hilarious. My first answer is that the asteroid should not have hit Earth in the first place. We are too advanced for that. But if it did happen, I would hope that chess and a deck of playing cards would survive. I would hope that the sense of entitlement would be wiped away.

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 my design confidants. The best thing they've ever done is tell me when my ideas aren't good enough

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

I love French toast




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.