Jason (GameGobble): Raptor is a 2 player card-driven board game that has been praised for the gameplay, theme, and art. Can you share some background of how the initial ideas for the game led to the final product?
Bruno (game designer): I had this idea in mind for a long time without really knowing what to do with it. When Bruno Faidutti asked me to build a pure 2 player game with him, we discussed the idea further. We wanted special abilities strongly connected to a theme, and less emphasis on the mathematical aspect. We worked with Vincent Dutrait and asked for artwork to tell the story in the cards, as if we were watching a movie.
Jason (GameGobble): Sunset Over Water has different card types that provide randomization during gameplay. But each player gets to make some interesting decisions too. What was your intention in balancing the amount of luck vs. strategy involved?
Ed (product lead): Sunset Over Water always had the same audience/player as Herbaceous in mind. We wanted to make a game Herbaceous players could easily transition to, so while there are more mechanics in the game (it isn’t quite the simple, beauty of Herbaceous) we wanted to make sure the experience was more than a taxing strategy game.
Sunset Over Water is a game that should be easy to teach, play, and one where you can have a hold conversation with your friends.
Jason (GameGobble): The look and feel of Herbaceous work really well with the game’s mechanics. Talk about how the artwork and theme came together during development.
Ed (product lead): Herbaceous was art/audience first, mechanics second. Beth Sobel had posted a number of the herbs as part of a Bonanza reskin and I felt there could be an incredible game there for a casual, non-gamer audience. Steve Finn understood the idea and designed a game to deliver that. We iterated a bunch, but the audience always was paramount.
Jason (GameGobble): I know when designing a game you like to start with theme, and The Witches board game is based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. Can you share some of the research you did to come up with your design ideas?
Martin (game designer): After making the decision to design what became Discworld Ankh-Morpork I read all of the Discworld books related to the city. Once that design was out of the way I made a start on all of the witch related books, including the Tiffany Aching series. It was the Tiffany series that gave me the best insight into the world of the witches, as the stories are all about becoming a witch, which is the most interesting part of the process.
Jason (GameGobble): Your games company Smirk & Dagger has a tagline of “cause games are a lot more fun when you can stab a friend in the back.” What are some of the ways those gotcha moments appear in Nevermore?
Curt (game designer): The game is filled with them and it is baked right into the core drafting mechanic. To play well, you are not just drafting the best cards for your hand and purposes, but carefully minding what you pass to your opponent. By sending them cards that set an expectation – and then breaking the pattern to suddenly deprive them of what they need and hand them junk instead, you bust their hand. “Hate drafting” is often more important than actual drafting in this game – and they will curse you for it.
Jason (GameGobble): Favor of the Pharaoh was a Mensa Select winner in 2016. Why do you think your game stood out?
Tom (game designer): It’s accessible, fairly quick to play, and offers interesting decisions without too much “analysis paralysis”, due to the strong random element and luck that dice games offer. Most important, it’s fun and often leaves the players wanting to play it again.