That's How I Roll Episode 46 - Origins!

That's How I Roll Episode 46 - Origins!

It’s a special Long Commute edition of the show as Jeremiah is joined by Joshua Sepos and AJ Skifstad, and they recall their time at Origins!

 Topics covered include:

  • Stand out Games
  • The past, present, and future of Kickstarter games
  • How a great demo experience is not all that common
  • Surprise games

 And so much more!

Jeremiah also teases a new segment coming in the next episode!


Produced by Jeremiah Isley

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Kickstarter Weekly - August 28, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly - August 28, 2014

Here we are, just rolling through the month of August. GenCon is over, kids are going back to school, football season is quickly upon us, and this all means that fall is on its way. That means cold temps and the perfect weather to stay inside and play board games with friends and family! Here's a look at games that want to be on your tables in the months to come...

Let's jump in!

Let's jump in!

Featured Campaign

Clockwork Kingdom - Mr. B Games

Mr. B continues their march of big box games, having successfully funded Spurs, and Alien Uprising and getting them to market. Clockwork Kingdom is a worker placement game -which is unique to titles previously released by Mr. B, it's also set in a pretty sweet looking steampunk land as players attempt to become the next ruler of the Clockwork Kingdom. Mr. B has a great track record of delivering games as promised, and so far they've been well worth the investment! Be sure to check this one out!

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An Interview with Draco Magi Designer Robert Burke

coverIt’s time for another sit-down and chat with a game designer, and this week we’re chatting with Robert Burke of Robert Burke Games, co-designer of the currently Kickstarting Draco Magi, among other things.

Robert, thanks so much for taking some time during your Kickstarting to share your thoughts with us and our readers.

First, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a husband and father of two from the Charlotte, NC area. I’ve been designing games for a few years now, and hope to continue since I have so much fun with it! I still have a full-time “real job,” but found that designing games is an excellent creative outlet for me. It’s also a great way for me to rationalize board game purchases to my wife. “But honey, if I’m going to improve my designs, I need to own and play more games!” :-)

What can you tell us about Draco Magi?

Draco Magi is a strategic and thematic card game where you play a Dragon mage apprentice vying for the throne of the dragon king. You do this by commanding dragons into battle on different landscapes to win gems. It’s a contest to become the head honcho.

Robert Burke Games is an “indie game publisher,” but you have some pretty heavy hitters who have contributed to Draco Magi. How did you get so well connected in the industry, and how did you manage to assemble this cast of characters to help develop the game?

Well I guess it boils down to two things. The first was putting out some games that were recognized--namely, Cartoona and Battle For Souls. And the second is, I was lucky enough to meet some great people in the industry, whom I meshed very well with.  I value the friendships I’ve made since I’ve entered the fray more than anything else.

You and Richard Launius co-designed Draco Magi; where did the concept of the game come from? And can you share a little about the design process?

The short version:

1. Draco Magi started as an abstract strategy game that was in my head for some time. It was just cards of numbers and colors.

2. I saw the dragon artwork of Kerem Beyit and fell so in love with it that I purchased a seed license to use it in my game

3. I played it with Richard Launius who loved it, but rightly let me know it had no connection to the theme, so we developed a partnership to design it together

So the rest is history. We think we have an excellent 30-minute game that is highly strategic and thematic, has world class art, and that we can sell on Kickstarter for $15. We hope this is the right combination for success.

The design process was fantastic mainly because we had two different perspectives and play testing groups helping to develop the game. The collaboration really forced us to look hard at every change since there was always another designer to review it, critique it, and streamline it.

You’re no stranger to Kickstarter, and the process of getting a game from idea to market. What is the most crucial piece of advice you would give an aspiring designer/developer before they jump into a Kickstarter campaign?

Get the word out from day one. Show people your design process publicly. You can’t be fearful of people stealing your idea. That won’t happen! Show them your art as you find it. Be transparent about what the game is. Make as much media available as possible: review copies, art, rules, videos, podcasts, etc. If you wait until your Kickstarter begins to do this you’ll have a difficult road indeed.

We know you’re neck-deep in the Draco Magi campaign, but is there anything on the horizon you can tell us about?

Yes, I am working with Steve Avery on a dungeon-delving card game with a traitor mechanic called Doppelganger. You have to complete quests as a team, but one player is a doppelganger trying to kill a party member off.

And another is a still-untitled, bluffing game. It was inspired by Coup, a game I love, but that I have some issues with. Namely, the limited number of roles and the player elimination. For this one I am focusing on removing player elimination and will have a lot more roles. Money is the key to victory in this. It should end up being small and inexpensive, but pack a lot of interactive punch.

You’re a self-described “music freak.” What does that mean, exactly, and what are five bands that we might not have heard of that we should be listening to?

I love and play music, and I write playlists for Yahoo Music and the brand new Beats Music.

Here’s a link to my top 100 albums of last year.

Hopefully, that’s better than 5. :-)

KS Promo cardsOkay, it’s time for the Rapid-Fire Section! We ask the questions; you answer them with one word (or super-short phrase)! And, GO!

Favorite dragon in Draco Magi?

Brass Dragon

TP: over or under?


Favorite minor character in a book or movie? Queequeg

Smaug vs. Draco? (You know, the dragon from Dragonheart… Ok, maybe this one doesn’t need answered.)


Favorite Kickstarter Game You’ve Backed?


We'd like to thank Robert for spending some time with us today!

We've reviewed Draco Magi and you can find that review right here, and you can still get in on the Kickstarter campaign of the game for a meager $15 until Feb. 21, 2014 by clicking right here!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy TOG, we'd love it if you subscribed to the blog over on the right, and if you liked/shared us on Facebook, followed/tagged us on Twitter and Instagram, Subscribed/commented/shared our YouTube Channel, and subscribed/shared/reviewed our Podcast on iTunes!

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An Interview With Zeppeldrome Co-Designer Anthony Gallela

ZepeldromeToday we’re joined by Anthony Gallela of 12SP Entertainment, co-designer of the currently Kickstarting Zeppeldrome: a zany zeppelin, puzzle, race game.

Anthony, thanks for joining us today!

Thank you for having me!

So for those who don’t know much about you and 12SP, can you give us a little back story?

I’ve been in the game industry since the 80s. I started as a play-tester and a convention-runner (including KublaCon), and then moved on to being a game broker, game developer, and the like. I’ve managed a couple of game stores, run the Game Manufacturers Association (including Origins and GTS), and, of course, designed a couple of games.

12SP Ent is a new company I’ve started with my friend, and “Zeppeldrome” co-designer, Jeff Wilcox. We’re looking to publish a few titles that we’ve been working on over the years while we’ve been helping other folks get their games to market.

Tell us a little about Zeppeldrome.

“Zeppeldrome” is a humorous strategy game for 2-4 players where players race dirigibles through a silly and hazardous, floating obstacle course. The course is laid out next to a giant, floating zeppelin castle, and the dirigible pilots use anything at their disposal to help themselves, and to hinder their opponents.

The game is played with cards that are either your planned route for the turn (top half of the card), or actions that you play to hinder other players or to help yourself (bottom half of the card). “Zeppeldrome” has four sections that each have interchangeable boards. This modular board allows players to set a different courses each time they play.The core game comes with four boards for each of the four sections. The four for each section includes one blank and three with hazards. The blank board is for players to use with downloadable hazards that will be available on our Web site. These boards are both puzzling and challenging in game-play, and funny and lighthearted in theme and artwork.

Lately zeppelins have become a “thing” in the gaming world: There have been a few popular titles on Kickstarter featuring zeppelins, with a few more on the way. Did the theme come before the game design, or did the game design push you into the zeppelin-air-race theme? Or was it just because the name wouldn’t make any sense with another theme?

We’ve been working on “Zeppeldrome,” off and on, for about ten years. The idea came from a long-time love of, and interest in, airships. As we’ve worked on the game over the years, steampunk has become more and more popular. This is great for us, of course, though it might seem like we’re coming late to the party.

I think that the idea that you’re negotiating obstacles in a flying machine works quite well with dirigibles. Other kinds of flying machines feel too fast and uncontrollable to really have the silly fantasy of a floating obstacle course. I don’t think that “Zeppeldrome” would work with anything other than the “zeppelin-air-race” theme, and that’s great, as Jeff and I both love the idea of crazy airships.

zeppelboardWhy do you think steampunk is so popular right now?

I have no idea, of course, but I think that it’s because 1) science is popular, 2) science fiction and science fantasy are popular, 3) cosplay is popular, 4) many people like the idea of a seemingly more civilized society, and 5) it’s just so cool. I think that steampunk feeds nicely into several trends: those I’ve mentioned, the rise of geek culture, the hipness of stylized dress … it’s just the right time for it.

This is the second time you’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign for the game; what’s the difference between this campaign and the last—what lessons did you learn?

We learned that we needed to give folks a thank-you -- a bonus -- for backing us right away. Rather than paying MSRP ($35) for a copy of “Zeppeldrome,” when you back us, you’re only paying $29. We also learned that our page needed to be more graphical, and that we needed some lower reward tiers. And that getting any press we can toward the beginning of the project was important too.

What are some of the fun rewards and stretch goals you have set up for the game?

First off, rather than paying MSRP for a copy of “Zeppeldrome” when you back us ($35), you’re only paying $29. Additionally, we’ve (mostly Jeff) designed a two-player-only, mini version of “Zeppeldrome” that backers get for free as a PDF.

Our higher backer levels let you get in the game by being able to name cards, the airships in the game, different characters in the game, and more.

photo (1)Why do you hate lemmings?

We love lemmings! So why do we have a hazzard board called the “Tragic Lemming Migration,” where the last-place player controls lemmings who slowly fall in the way of the racers? Well … we have no good excuse. They do fall slowly, though. They flap their little arms, and when their tokens falls off the bottom of the board, they do come back to the top to be used again …

So aside from Zeppeldrome, what else does 12SP have on the horizon?

We will be republishing my (and co-designer Japji Khalsa’s) award-winning board game, “Dwarven Dig!,” with it’s yet-unpublished expansion, “Ancient Rivalries.” The expansion adds six more dwarf types, allowing you to build your party before the game. We’ll also be coming out with a brick bridge-building game called “Hoshi.” It will come with MEGA BLOKS- / LEGO- type bricks (though neither of those brands). Each player rolls dice in an interesting way, and uses the results to determine which bricks he or she will use each turn to build a bridge as expeditiously as they can.

And later, we’ll be publishing Jeff’s awesome adventure game, “Phantasy Realm.”

Okay, it’s time for the Rapid-Fire Section! We ask the questions; you answer them with one word (or super-short phrase)! And, GO!

Cannonball_runFavorite race movie?

“Cannonball Run”

Favorite Zeppelin song?

“Since I’ve Been Loving You”

Favorite hazard board in Zeppeldrome?

Four Old Folks Looking for the Farmer’s Market

Favorite steampunk novel?

Agatha H and the Airship City

As you’re walking through the woods one day, you pass an old woman struggling to make her way home. She drops her basket of bread just as you’re walking by, and you help her pick up the bread. She thanks you, and tells you that as a reward, she will cook you your favorite meal in the whole entire world—once-a-week, for an entire year. You just have to tell her (and us) what that meal is…

Italian Sausage and Sweet Peppers in a Red Sauce

Well that's it! We'd like to thank Anthony Gallela for joining us today. Zeppeldrome is on Kickstarter right now, and it needs some help to make it to the funding goal! A mere $29 gets you a copy of the game shipped to your door. And it's a good game--just check out our Double-Take Review and see for yourself. Thanks for reading!

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Kickstarter Digital: The Manhattan Project

manhattanMinion Games, makers of the new 4x game Hegemonic, and Kingdom Of Solomon, have launched a Kickstarter for a digital version of their game The Manhattan Project.

Neither Jeremiah nor I have played it, so here's the description from the Kickstarter page:

"The Manhattan Project is a low-luck, mostly open information efficiency game in which players compete to build and operate the most effective atomic bomb program. Players will mine yellow cake, train workers, operate factories, use both reactors and enrichment plants, direct espionage against one another, and test The Bomb. Players do not 'nuke’ each other, but they can direct conventional air strikes against the facilities of the other players. The Manhattan Project is a game of Cold War posturing.

This game features the worker-placement mechanic with a twist; There are no rounds and no end-of-round administration. When players run out of workers, or are otherwise forced to by game situations, they skip their turn and retrieve their workers. This allows the game to continue from beginning until end in a round robin fashion. So the game continues round-robin till the end.

Build the best "engine" for creating bomb fuel on your own player board.

Espionage actions allow players to activate and block an opponent's building, representing technology theft and sabotage.

Attack actions send squadrons of planes to bomb the buildings of other players and stop their research until repairs can be made.

Attempt to build the best "engine" for creating bomb fuel on your own player board."

$10 gets you a copy of the game on iPad, Droid, or PC. you can chip in extra to be a beta tester and play the game early.

Stretch goals include Game Center support and included expansions. Check out the campaign. It looks to be the bomb!


An Interview With Warfields Designer Chris Green

Today we have the pleasure of talking with Chris Green from Menaveth Games. He’s got a Kickstarter campaign running for his new design, WarFields. Chris, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.

ChrisGreenThanks Scott for giving me this opportunity to talk about myself and WarFields.

I've been playing games for as long as I can remember. Some of the first games I played were on the Apple II. As I grew up, there was always a game console in the house. I must have logged hundreds of hours for each game we owned.

After high school, I went to school and studied graphic design and digital media, graduating in 2011. I married my beautiful wife in 2009 and our first child was born in 2012. Now I buy my own games and look forward to when my son can beat me.

How were you first introduced to modern board games?

I was at my best friend's wedding, and while us groomsmen were waiting for the time of the wedding, someone randomly pulled out Settlers of Catan. We had about an hour to kill so we all starting playing. I had never played before so I just stood and watched. The game looked like a lot of fun and I really wished at that moment I could have joined in. I had played video games that had similar game mechanics, such as resource gathering and building, and loved those games. I knew I would love Settlers the moment I'd get a chance to play. I wondered at that moment what other games like this I had been missing out on. I then got the chance to play Dominion with a few friends and was instantly hooked to board games.

I wish I could say I have a huge game collection, but I don't. But don't count me out just yet! I'm still working on it!

warfieldsSo how does a graphic designer become a board game designer?

It took a long time to figure out what I was passionate about...

I've always loved to draw. I was fascinated by comic books and manga, not for the story, but for the pictures. I'd try to draw that style and thought I'd be an animator when I grew up. I took a class in high school on web design and was first exposed to Photoshop 6.0. I loved the creative freedom that it brings, and decided to go to college to study design.

When I started playing Minecraft, I didn't play it to "beat the game," I played it to create. When I learned people could create adventure maps (adventure maps being a created story and adventure that could be downloaded and played by other Minecraft users) I jumped all over that. When I had made about five different adventure maps, I realized this is what I enjoy doing the most: creating games.

I dabbled in a few video game engines, but creating a video game is a ton of work for one person. So I went for a simpler route just to get my feet wet. I created a Chess adaptation with achievement cards. The game was called Rooked! I had so much fun making the cards and play-testing the game, I decided to go big and started working on WarFields.

WarFields—at first blush—sounds similar to some other card-based tactical games, such as Summoner Wars. So what makes WarFields unique in this genre?

I would be dishonest if I didn't say the games are strikingly similar. I was aware Summoner Wars existed, but I created WarFields without the knowledge of how to play Summoner Wars. Even with that, there are great differences between the games.

The way combat is done in Summoner Wars is that you roll a die for a hit or miss, basically. In WarFields, combat is taken to a whole new level. First you have choice. Most characters have two types of attacks of variable strength and ailments. One attack is usually stronger, but the weaker attack costs less. That’s just for the attacking side. For the defender, each character has a Defense number and a Health number. The attack hits the defending character's defense first. If the character withstands the attack, no damage is done to the health. But the offense may have more characters to attack.

In Summoner Wars, you have a small deck you can burn through pretty quickly. In WarFields, both players draw from the same deck, leaving no room for a distinct advantage. The deck is also 90 cards. In all of the rounds I've played we left cards in the draw deck, making each game unique. There is also no deck-building or card-burning. Everything is driven by gold.

Gold is collected by workers and selling cards. The more workers you have in play, the more you have to work with each turn. At the beginning of each turn, you'll collect the gold from your workers and have the option to sell one card from your hand. Gold is then used to recruit characters into your army, used in their attacks, or used for powerful scrolls.

warfieldscardsWhere did you come up with the idea for WarFields?

I started out with the idea of fields. I wanted characters to have a starting position that was separated from the standard combat zone. So I started with four fields, but quickly learned that wouldn't work if I wanted ranged attacks. So six fields became the standard.

At the same time I was making that decision, I chose the theme of Fantasy for several reasons. The first is I love the fantasy genre. My favorite movie is Lord of the Rings and my favorite game is Skyrim. The second reason is that it is well received by the gaming community.

Once I had made those two decisions, the ideas about characters, attacks, power ups, and every other idea just flowed naturally out of that.

What is you favorite mechanism in the game?

My favorite mechanic is the fields. There are six fields in the game and that opens up a wide variety of bonuses and obstacles for each game. But the reason I like it the most, is because the opening fields are separated so you and your opponent start out far away from each other. What makes that even better is, when characters are played they still have the ability to move, and even attack, in the same turn.

What’s your favorite Character in the game, and why?

My favorite character would have to be... the Summoner and Necromancer. I know I'm supposed to pick just one, but both these characters open the door to more than just human characters in your army. The Summoners can add beast creatures, and the Necromancer can add undead characters. These two characters are also balanced so that neither is better in any way. So I can't choose just one, but I can choose these two.

Any expansion ideas kicking around in your head?

Absolutely. I had so many ideas for different cards, there was no way I could throw them all into one game. Since this is a game where the owner of the game decides how they want to play, and since so many other cards could be made in the future, adding expansions to make the game their own is a must.

What are your three favorite games right now?

My three favorite games right now are Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Skyrim. You didn't say they had to be board games. :P

MountainDewLogoHere’s the 5 Questions with 1-Word Answers section!

Favorite board game designer?

Donald Vaccarino

Favorite beverage?

Mountain Dew

Favorite science fiction show ever?


What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year?

Ender's Game

Band you’re ashamed to admit you like?


Chris, thanks so much for talking with us. And thank you for reading! Make sure you check out the Kickstarter campaign for WarFields.

The Real Princes of the Dragon Throne—An Interview With Fred and David MacKenzie

photo (9)Today we have the pleasure of interviewing the team behind Clever Mojo Games’ Princes of the Dragon Throne: Fred and David MacKenzie.

Guys, thanks so much for taking a few minutes to answer some questions with us today.

Let’s start off by having you guys tell us a little bit about yourselves.

FRED: Hi! Happy to be here. Well, what’s to say? I’m just a typical middle-aged guy who loves playing games. To be honest, I might actually enjoy designing them even more.

DAVID: Well, I’m just this guy, you know? I’m more of a game adjuster than a designer. I look at game ideas that Fred and others have, offer feedback and suggestions, then help them bring the design to tip top performance.

FRED: Don’t let David fool you. He’s a good designer with a couple good ideas already in prototype stage. He just doesn’t have time to work on his own designs now.

How did you get mixed up in this crazy gaming industry?

FRED: That would be David’s fault. We grew up playing all the standard fare that everyone else was playing in the ‘70s and ‘80s, then just party games with the family, then pretty much nothing for several years. I was introduced to Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne in 2006 and I showed them to David soon after. We were hooked. The discovery that games like these were available re-awakened David’s creativity. One day he told me he was working on a game design and asked if I would like to help. This game became Ogre Castle.

DAVID: Actually, Fred and I each had game ideas independently of each other and we just dove in and started designing and playtesting. Fred’s idea was called “Oubliette” and mine was “Ogre Castle.” Oubliette was going to be the first game we published, but we lost momentum after a game agent turned it down. We put more work into Ogre Castle and in mid-2009 we put out a homemade garage production and Clever Mojo Games was born.

So let’s talk about Princes of the Dragon Throne: Where did the idea for the game come from?

FRED: It needs to be said that the game we now call Princes of the Dragon Throne was originally intended to be something quite different. My first inspiration came from the fact that I love dragons and wanted to design a dragon game. My second inspiration came from a poem David wrote, which tells of the life of a dragon, from birth to death. My first version (in 2009) of a game based on that (which was called Dragon Frenzy) required 125 dice! I knew there was no way a game could be affordably made with that many dice (this was before Quarriors) so I scrapped that idea. I won’t bore you with the details, but Dragon Frenzy went through many iterations over the next two years as I attempted to discover just what this game wanted to be. Near the end of 2010 I played my first games of Dominion and Ascension and I just knew I wanted deck-building in the game. For the next four months Dragon Frenzy was developed to be similar to those games, with a few tweaks. But the game just seemed to be missing something, so I told David of my ideas for adding worker-placement and area-control to our current resource-management and deck-building mechanics, and actually making a board game instead of a card game. This is the game we have been developing ever since. With these changes the name Dragon Frenzy didn’t fit anymore and Princes of the Dragon Throne was born.

DAVID: Yup, what he said.

Can you tell us how the game plays?

FRED: Thematically, players are dragon princes making a claim on the now-vacant dragon throne. Mechanically, players use their starting decks to gather resources. They use those resources to recruit more influential prospects into their hands. They use those recruits to place supporters on the board. They use those supporters to gain control of as many kingdoms and guilds as possible. They use that control to influence the clan houses in the dragon parliament. When all members of the dragon parliament have chosen a prince to support, a new king is crowned.

Dave MacKenzie—Fred wouldn't hold still for a pic...

What about Princes of the Dragon Throne will make it stand out from other games in its genre?

FRED: I guess that depends on what genre it is placed in. Is it a deck-building game? Then its area-control mechanics will make it stand out. Is it an area-control game? Then its rich theme will make it stand out. Is it a highly thematic game? Then its worker-placement mechanics will make it stand out. Is it a worker-placement game? Then its deck-building mechanics will make it stand out.

 DAVID: In my mind, what makes PDT stand out is that it uses deck-building in a non-traditional way. Deck-building is not the game; it’s the engine that drives all of the other game systems. The cards you recruit into your deck control the resources you can acquire and the guilds you can control and the clan houses you can pack with your loyal dragon lords. It’s really a whole new animal, and we think gamers will be intrigued.

Can you tell us a little more about the designing process—did one of you handle certain aspects and then put them together, or was it a collaborative effort from beginning to end.

DAVID: As I mentioned before, I’m less of a designer and more of a project manager and game doctor. PDT is Fred’s game and he was the driving force throughout. He’d give me a new version to try and I’d run it through my local play testers and then give Fred the feedback and ideas we had. He’d consider them, reject most of them, keep a few, and then we’d do it all again the next week. So, yes, it was collaborative to a point, but Fred was always “THE” designer.

Is there anything else you guys are working on that we should keep an eye out for?

FRED: I have a small press-your-luck dice game called Monsters and Maidens that has already launched for support on I have dozens of other ideas, several of which are at varied stages of development, but none of which are actively being worked on at the moment due to concentrating on getting the first two produced.

DAVID: Well, PDT is the major project for Clever Mojo Games at the moment, but I’m also working with several other designers on projects you’ll see on Kickstarter later this year. The two closest to the top are Magnum Opus by Ian Steadman and King’s Forge by Nick Sibicky. Magnum Opus is yet another riff on the deck-building mechanic that will make people re-think that genre, and King’s Forge is a dice-building and management game that’s fiercely competitive. Oh, and there’s a new expansion for Alien Frontiers coming to Kickstarter in a couple of months. 2013 is a VERY busy year for the Clever Mojo Game label.

Since launching the initial Kickstarter you’ve taken down the campaign to re-tool and re-boot it. Can you tell us a little bit about your thinking behind that decision and what changes were made to the campaign?

DAVID: Basically we learned that games are not like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Chocolate and peanut butter might taste great together, but Euro-game mechanics and Ameritrash minis just cause confusion. Euro-gamers maintained that the game was overproduced and Ameri-trashers were wondering why their minis were bogged down with a game. The other lesson I learned personally, or rather I should say “re-learned”, is that Kickstarters don’t really want a FINISHED game. They want to see a game at bare-bones and then get the thrill of building it up through stretch goals. I learned this in Formula E and I learned it again on Princes of the Dragon Throne.

We’d love to hear your top three games of all time, and why you love them!

FRED: There are so many games I haven’t played that any list of favorites will seem severely lacking to most people. Currently my favorite light game is a tie between The Great Heartland Hauling Company and Biblios. Both games are easy to learn and fast to play and just a ton of fun. My favorite medium game is Finca. I love rondels and hope to design my own rondel game at some point. For my favorite heavy game I am totally going to cheat. I have only read the rules and watched several reviews but I know that I will absolutely love Stronghold when I finally get to play. If that answer doesn’t count, I also love Trajan and Castles of Burgundy.

DAVID: When people ask me “Have you played X, or Y, or Z”, I always tell them it’s best to assume I have not played it.  I spend so much time playing prototypes that I can hardly remember the last time I played a published game. The games that are my favorites now will be your favorites 2 years from now. That’s the best answer I can come up with for that.

So why board gaming?

FRED: I love the challenge of testing my mental aptitude against my opponents. I love the fellowship of hanging out with friends, or making new ones. I love the escapism when I just want to get away from the daily grind. Of course, these days the daily grind includes board game design, so sometimes it‘s hard to distinguish between the grind and the escape. But I still love it.

DAVID: It’s about the socialization for me. I’m no Brainiac and I lose nearly every game I play, but I have fun with the people who are playing. If a game is too serious and thinky and tense, then I’m not having fun.

David, your email signature says you are the “Shepherd of Games” at Game Salute, could you explain the thought behind that title?

DAVID: Game Shepherd is the summation of what I’ve been saying about my role in game development. I work with designers to bring their games to life, grow them into strong healthy titles, and then lead them through the production process. It’s very rewarding when a game I’ve been shepherding for a year or two finally hits the dealer table at a convention.

reeses-peanut-butter-400x4001 Word Questions - Please answer these next 5 questions with only 1 word (or phrase).

Favorite director?

FRED: Spielberg

DAVID: del Toro

Do you have an archenemy?

FRED: Social Anxiety Disorder

DAVID: Sweets

Favorite ice cream flavor?

FRED: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

DAVID: Caramel

Favorite lyrics?

FRED: I don't really care if they label me a Jesus freak.

DAVID: We Will, We Will, Rock You!

Let’s say there was some sort of crazy cyclone thing that picked up you and one book, and took you out to sea where you were stranded alone on an island for one year: What would you want that one book to be...? (Let’s assume this island has plenty of fresh water and food. And no hatches or polar bears.)

FRED: The Bible

DAVID: Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary

You can check out the rebooted Princes of the Dragon Throne campaign here. Thanks for joining us for this fun interview!

Dragon Whisperer—Kickstarter Weekly

dragonThanks to our Top 10 Games of 2012 post yesterday, we bumped the Kickstarter Weekly to today. This one is Dragon Whisperer, a game from Albino Dragon Games and the famous designer Richard Borg—whose credits include Memoir '44, Liar's Dice, and RoboRally. This is a fantasy themed trick-taking game for 3-6 players. I checked out the rules, and it looks interesting: It seems to follow fairly standard trick-taking rules, but depending on the numbered card you play, you'll get to take different, extra actions and benefits. It launched Wednesday, and they've already hit their goal! The campaign is no-frills: 25 bucks gets you the game. My (Firestone) game group really likes trick-taking games, so I'm definitely looking forward to trying this one. Head on over to their Kickstarter page and check out the campaign for yourself!cards