Patrick Rauland: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Indie Board Game Designers podcast, where I sit down with a different independent game designer every single week, and we talk about their experience in game design, and the lessons they've learned along the way.

My name is Patrick Rauland, and today I'll be talking with Thomas Shepherd, who designed Viking Games, Dodgeball, Pirates, Wizards, and Witches, Djinns of the High Desert and a ton more. I should say, he's also in my local playtest group and I also saw him at Tabletop Network. So Thomas, welcome to the show.

Thomas Shepherd: Hey, Patrick. It's good to be here.

Continue reading “#117 – Thomas Shepherd”

Patrick Rauland: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Indie Board Game Designers podcast, where I sit down with a different independent game designer every single week, and we talk about their experience in game design and the lessons they've learned along the way.

My name is Patrick Rauland, and today I'll be Fertessa Alyse, who designed theBook of Villainy. We're going to be talking about how she's working on the Book of Villainy, her awesome work in progress thread, and we're also going to chat about the Tabletop Network Event Conference, which is where we met. Fertessa, welcome to the show.

Continue reading “#113 – Fertessa Allyse”

Patrick Rauland: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Indie Board Game Designers podcast, where I sit down with a different independent game designer every single week, and we talk about their experience in game design and the lessons they've learned along the way. My name is Patrick Rauland, and today I'll be talking to Josh Mills, who designed Big Easy Busking. Josh, welcome to the show.

Josh Mills: Thank you for having me, I'm ready to hear some more music.

Continue reading “#73 – Joshua J Mills”

Patrick Rauland: Hello everyone, and welcome to a bonus episode of the Anti-Board Game Designer podcast. Normally I sit down with a different independent game designer every single weekend. We talk about their experience, but I want to experiment with a new format. The Game Crafter recently announced the Simple Elegance Contest, which I will link in the show notes, and what I want to do is I want to go through every step of the game design process with you. And I, also, figured you've heard enough about me blabbing, and I still want a conversational tone. So, I invited another Game Crafter enthusiastic, Cody Thompson, to join me. Cody, welcome to the show.

Cody Thompson: Hey, thanks for having me, Patrick.


Patrick Rauland: So, I think people have heard me blab for many hours. So, tell us a little bit just about yourself. What do you like about games and what you're excited about?

Cody Thompson: Well, just about everything about games is what I like, but I'm actually the owner of Gold Nugget Games, a little startup publishing company here in Seattle, Washington area. You just contacted me not too long ago and asked me about being on this show with you, and I think it fit perfectly because the Simple Elegance Contest from The Game Crafter that we're going to sit here and talk about over a few episodes fits perfectly in line with what I'm looking to publish for my own company.

Patrick Rauland: That's fantastic. Yeah, yeah. You actually … In probably a couple of months you'll have one of your own games coming up, right?

Cody Thompson: Yeah. So, Vamp on the Batwalk should be our first game, hopefully, here in a few months. We've had some delays with moving and life stuff, but everyone knows how that goes.

Why Make the Series

Patrick Rauland: Well, I'm super excited about this. So, I think the first thing I want to talk about is I want to talk about why we are making the series. For me, personally, I want to number one, I like experimenting. So listeners, if you don't like this format, if you're like, I only want interviews, please tweet me and I will take that feedback into account. But I want to try new stuff in number one.

Patrick Rauland: Number two, I, I really want to inspire people or to help people make more games. So, we'll mention a hashtag (#SimpleElegance) at the end of this episode, but I want to see what you guys make. So please, follow along with us. We're gonna be doing, I think, probably an episode every other week or so, basically, as we get ready for this contest, telling everyone what we're doing. And I would love for you to all to join me.

Patrick Rauland: And I think the last thing is selfishly, I want to hold myself accountable. So by forcing myself to have an update every two weeks, I'm going to have an update every two weeks. So, that'll help me move along and actually submit something in the contest. Cody, what about you?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, I think the biggest one for that is a holding myself accountable as well because it's just so easy to just be like, oh this isn't a top priority. I'll push it back a little bit. But when you have another person that you're like, “Oh, hey two weeks we're going to check out where you got,” and you don't want to just turn up empty-handed.

Patrick Rauland: That's awesome. And I should say this will be on top of regular interview episode. So I think for at least the next couple of months, there will be about two episodes a week.

Simple Elegance Contest

Patrick Rauland: So, maybe the first thing we should do is just talk about the contest rules basically what we're gearing up for.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, that sounds good to me.

Patrick Rauland: Cool. So, it's called the Simple Elegance Contest. You can find out it on The Game Crafter. I will include a link in the show notes. There's a lot of like little rules, but the summary is the game explanation has to be less than 10 minutes. And I assume, I don't know if I need to maybe contact the judge, but I assume that's like the rules and the theme. So, all of the pitch and the rules, if that makes sense, has to be less than 10 minutes. The game play has to be less than 60 minutes. Now this is a Game Crafter contest. So, everything has to be done through them. The cost of the game cannot exceed $29.99, which actually is pretty low, right Cody?

Cody Thompson: Yeah. Well, especially for The Game Crafter because what you would expect in … I almost equate The Game Crafter's components adding up to what it costs to make a copy of the game being even less than what you would actually … No, more than what you would retail the game for sometimes.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah. No, I think … Yeah, yeah. So, I … Actually, that's a really good … So literally with Fry Thief, I think my current prototype is like $18, $19 on The Game Crafter. And when I go to a factory in China, the MSRP that I'm selling it for is $15. So, realistically we're going to be making what would look like on a shelf to be a $20 to $25 game.

Cody Thompson: Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree.

Patrick Rauland: So, the last thing is so we're recording this a little bit early. 75 days out is how much time we have until this contest ends, and we have about 68 days or so probably before the episode comes out. I have a little bit of a backlog to get through, first. So if you're listening to this, you have over two months to follow along and submit a game to this contest as well.

Ideas for the Contest

Patrick Rauland: I think we should start with ideas. Let's just talk about ideas in this episode. What are things that excite us, what do we want to do for this contest? It's pretty open. One of things I love about the Game Crafters is it's super open, right? We can do any theme. In this case there's a limit of 60 minutes but everything's open.

Cody Thompson: Yeah. No, I think that's something that's really cool about this contest where some have a lot of real heavy component restrictions where in this one, it's just the maximum costs, which is an arbitrary component restriction. But other than that, it's just pretty loose guidelines. And so, there's a lot of design space to play with.

Patrick Rauland: That's awesome. So, why don't we start with some of yours, Cody?

Cody's Metal Coin Game

Cody Thompson: So first, I don't know if this one will be viable for The Game Crafter, but I have a a metal coin game idea that's purely just metal coins in a bag, except I don't think The Game Crafter offers metal coins. And I haven't looked to see if they even offer bags. But this is one that I have been wanting to design anyway. And it fits along the lines of the contest. So, maybe using like some chipboard tokens in a box, even though it wouldn't it be close to the final product.

Patrick Rauland: So, number one they have bags and actually the bags are really cheap. I want to say they're like less than 50 cents.

Bags on The Game Crafter

Cody Thompson: Oh, interesting.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah. So, if you want … Because boxes are a lot of money. There's a good episode on a different podcast, which I can't think of right now. But there's a good episode on another podcast where JT from The Game Crafter was explaining why. Basically all boxes are a little bit handmade, but boxes are, I want to say, the small stout box is $6 or $7. So, you could save a ton of money if you can put your game in a bag.

Small Stout Box

Cody Thompson: Oh, yeah. That's actually interesting because I was just out at a convention this last week in GameStorm and I helped organize a factory tour for Print & Play, which is one of The Game Crafter equivalents for prototypes. And so, we actually got to do a hands-on tour and really got to see why components are as expensive as they are.

Tour of Print & Play

Patrick Rauland: Okay. Wait. We need to take a detour. What was that like?

Cody Thompson: It was awesome. It was really the highlight of the whole weekend. I don't know how long you want me to go on about it, but we got to do a whole factory tour. I would have thought that it would have been this thing in a warehouse with all these people and all sorts of machines and stuff.

Cody Thompson: But it was … The guy … So, I met the owner of Print & Play, and he had to have been mid to late twenties. Much younger than I would've expected of someone running that company. And I guess he started in his basement and grew quickly into … Now they're in a little hodgepodge of office spaces with just machines like, “Oh, here's the card machine and over, here's where we're rolling things through manually through a die cut.”

Cody Thompson: So, I gotta make some sample-like tiles that I got to take home with me and yeah, I pretty badly messed mine up.

Patrick Rauland: Oh. How?

Cody Thompson: So, they take a piece of chipboard that the tiles are made out of it and you wrap a sticker paper around it and then, yeah, but the thing was sticker paper is it sometimes likes to stick a little too early. And so, I got it all really bubbled up and then just ran it through. So, I had a couple of tiles that are super rippled.

Patrick Rauland: Okay. So, what was something that you were like, “Oh, that's why that's so expensive.” Was there a component or something?

Cody Thompson: Yeah. So, the biggest thing was the boxes. So, I went through the process of … And I've made boxes myself at home of amp Von the Batwalk. But here, they had a cricket machine that cuts just sticker, [inaudible 00:09:14] the sticker paper into the shape that they need to wrap the box and then they pull those off. And you take a box, you have to fold the box up and taped the corners and everything, and then you have to like peel the sticker, which the sticker papers is one of the hardest parts. You pull this sticker paper off, it takes forever, and then you have to set it on a light table and you have to make sure that you line up the box perfectly onto the sticker paper and then you have to wrap the sides. It's a pretty labor intensive process

Patrick Rauland: I have to say, it's so … When you hear that stuff you're like, “Oh, that's why it costs $6, right?”

Cody Thompson: It took me probably a good 15 minutes to do one of the boxes.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah. Cool.

Cody Thompson: And I only did one side.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah. Okay. So, I like your idea on the bags, right? That'll save you a ton. I think that will save you a ton of money with a game that's only $30 or $29.99 maximum, that gives you a lot of play space.

Patrick Rauland: Oh, The Game Crafter does offer one metal coin. So, it's a little bit smaller. It's about the size of a penny. It looks a little bit bigger in the photo. I got some just for components, but I do have one tiny metal coin. So, if that's all you need then you're good to go.

Some of the coins on The Game Crafter including one metal coin

Cody Thompson: Yeah, well, I think I'm going to need a few different types of metal coins, but I'll have to check out all their options here in a little bit.

Patrick's Metal Coin Game

Patrick Rauland: So, why don't we go to one of mine? What's funny is you and I actually emailed a couple of weeks ago about this. So, I've been obsessed with metal coins for weeks, probably a month at this point. And I even reached out. I think I was on … I don't remember exactly what episode. I think it was episode #356 of Building The Game. And I even called in. I'm like, “Hey, what do you guys think about … What are some good ideas” and reached out to them. Whenever I have an idea for a game, I just create an Evernote file and I create variants. So, it's cool metal coin game and I have literally, I think, 18 or 19 variants in this Evernote's of one of them is worker replacement game, one of them is this game, one of them is that game.

Patrick Rauland: So, I've been obsessed with them and I finally landed on something about a week and a half ago. It's an abstract game like Tic-Tac-Toe. What does a five-by-five grid and there's different levels of coins. So, bronze, silver, and gold. And you can move over people's pieces. You can upgrade your pieces from a bronze to silver, you can split them, turn a silver back into two bronzes and it lets you capture pieces. It's a little bit hard to define right now, but I even got a play test in, which I think let's … I'm just trying to … Yeah, I'll talk about that.

Patrick Rauland: I got a play test in, and Cody, like you said, you mentioned basically not having a board and I tried that. And with my game, basically you're trying to make a certain pattern on the board. It's hidden information. So, I have … Boy, how do I explain this? I have two cards. Each one has a pattern and I can make either one before my opponent and then I win. So, there's hidden information which, helps with abstract. So, if I can make a pattern I'm going to win. And that works but you don't really know where the edge of the board is until you expand to it.

Patrick Rauland: Anyway, I experimented for a week and a half without a board. And for the next week and a half I'm going to try with a board. I wish you luck, Cody. I had a hard time with it.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, that's interesting because mine is almost along the same lines of playing on an imaginary five-by-five grid with different levels of coins to do different things. Yeah. So, it'll be interesting.

Patrick Rauland: So, what was your … I think you have another idea, right? What was that one?

Cody's Homeworld

Cody Thompson: Yeah, so I'm tentatively calling this one Homeworld. I plan to have it be purely just two player game. And so, that'll be fun because me and my fiance is my main gaming partner. So, like 90% of my games I play just two player. And so, I really wanted to … I was actually inspired by a Pencil First Games' Skulk Hollow, which I'm super excited whenever that's going to come out. So [crosstalk 00:13:22] What's that?

Patrick Rauland: Did you back it?

Cody Thompson: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I was the first hour backer for sure. So yeah, I'd been pumped for that one for a while. But yeah, so this draws off that of having an asymmetric two player game. You have experience with that with Fry Thief. So, maybe you know this process a little better than I do.

Patrick Rauland: Everything I've learned has been by accident.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, so I'll get to the core concept of this game. So, it's tentatively called Homeworld. I plan to have it one player takes on the role of space explorers, going and colonizing planets, and the other player takes on the role of the planet and the native wildlife of that planet. And so, I plan for it to be a tile lane game or whatnot.

Cody Thompson: So, essentially the space colonizer will start on a tile and then they'll have different actions and stuff that they'll be able to take, which I haven't defined out yet. But then the Homeworld player, they will actually have all of the tiles and that's going to be their main like action sources. When the space colonizer faction goes to explore, I think they're going to have a certain hand of tiles, maybe three or five, that when they go to explore, they actually get to choose the tile that the other player explores, too. And they'll all have negative or positive effects for either one of the players. And so, in that way the other players doing the exploring, but then the planet player is choosing how the world shapes to try to optimize to make it difficult for them to like colonize the planet.

Patrick Rauland: That sounds really interesting and I want to give you … So, Fry Thief is, yes, asymmetric but it's basically cards. Everyone has … One player has different cards than the other player. That's basically it, and one person starts with the resources. That's about it. Your game is one person has the tiles and one person has, I don't know, cards or actions or something. That sounds really interesting and also really challenging.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, yeah. So, it's probably Fry Thief++. But yeah, so it'll be interesting because I haven't worked on designing an asymmetric game. I don't have any games signed currently that are just purely asymmetric either. So yeah, it'll be a fun design challenge for me.

Patrick Rauland: That sounds really interesting. Can you … Sorry. What type of game is it? So, I know tiling for the planet. What is the other person? Is it action selection or was it cards?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, so I haven't quite decided that yet. It came to me as this core concept of “oh, I wanted … ” It really came from I wanted a game called Homeworld where one player was invading a planet and the other person was the planet. And then I thought that out and was like, “Oh, what if like one player was exploring and the other person chose what they explore?” And now I'm in that third spot of “what are their goals? Is the space colonizer trying to extract a certain amount of resources from the planet? Are they trying to like explore all of the tiles before the Homeworld player can destroy their units?” I haven't quite defined what is a win yet.

Patrick Rauland: Cool. I'm excited. Okay. So, I'm very excited to hear more about this because this sounds like a very challenging design problem.

Cody Thompson: Yeah. And I'm hoping to keep it nice and just super simple actions. But then complexity in the … All the actions are super simple, but then the choices from that become complex.

Patrick Rauland: Super. Those are some of my favorite types of games.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, my mine as well.

Patrick's Streak

Patrick Rauland: Cool. So, I have one more, which is tentatively called Streak. It used to be called Light Cycles, and I have a hashtag #LightCycles on Twitter so you can see the old tweets about it. Now I'm switching to actually just calling it Streak.

Patrick Rauland: So, number one it's a Tron-inspired game. I love the motorcycles in Tron. It's just super cool. I didn't realize that they are literally called “light cycles”. So, that was a terrible first name for a game. I literally accidentally used the exact name from the movie. I just assumed, “Oh, they're light. They're motorcycles that have these cool lights that come out of them.” So, I had to rebrand it. This started probably like two months ago as a roll and write game. So, it was … Do you remember that game in middle school or high school where you put like 10 rows of 10 dots?

Cody Thompson: Oh, yeah, yeah. I know what you're talking about.

Patrick Rauland: So, that is the board. That is the entire board. Everyone gets a different color highlighter and you roll dice, which are go forward, go right, go left, take a U turn, and you just basically roll dice and choose. I think it was two out of the six year old or something. And you just draw on the map until your line collides with someone else's line and then you explode.

Patrick Rauland: What's really interesting is this turned into an actual … It started as a roll and write and after the first game, people were like, “No, I want to see … ” I found this super cool, clear acrylic Catan roads but clear and acrylic on Game Crafter. So, right now I have … I ordered them a couple weeks ago and got red, blue, pink, green and yellow. So, I have … I could even play up to five players. I have little race cars, which show where you're had the front of your line is and you just … And I have a board and you just lay stuff out and can move around.

Patrick Rauland: What's really cool is a friend of mine laser cuts these little holes in wood for me. So, the roads fit perfectly in these laser cut holes. What's amazing about that is if you bump the table, the roads don't move because the roads are super important in this game. If you run into someone else's road, you're going to die. I don't know how to do that on The Game Crafter, there's large cutouts, I think, or custom large cutouts. But I'm pretty sure if I do anything with holes in a board or they have to laser cut it, there's also a acrylic pieces. Those are gonna be super expensive.

Patrick Rauland: So, I'm concerned that if I make the game with holes … the board of holes in it'll be too expensive. I'm almost positive it'll be too expensive or I have to come up with a different mat. A regular board. But then if anyone bumps the table once, all these little acrylic row roads are just going to slide. So, that's … I'm stuck there, Cody. I don't know. If you have ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, that sounds like an interesting problem. Yeah, and I also instantly, when you were talking about that, I was like, “Oh, man, I can make that because I have a laser cutter. And I have some acrylic as well.

Cody Thompson: But yeah, The Game Crafter does do the acrylic like you talked about. I don't know. The only thing I can think, but it wouldn't be as cool as laying a laser road down, would be maybe doing holes in a board like how you were talking. You do the dots and then putting a peg in there like Cribbage. But I don't think that give the same cool effect of “I'm leaving this trail.”

Patrick Rauland: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I don't think it would be great either. So, I just checked. There is … If you just look up the hashtag #Streak with my Twitter handle BFTrick, you can see a picture of it and you can see … I think I was pink and my friend was blue and we were just driving around and I think I exploded.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, I'll definitely be looking that up right now.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah. So, those are … We have basically four ideas. I'm always open to more ideas. I'm getting started with both of these. I'm going to do a couple of play tests of each, and we'll just see what happens.

Patrick Rauland: But again, Streak is really fun. I've already done maybe eight or nine play tests with it because I've been thinking about it for a couple months. I just haven't put it on The Game Crafter yet. So, I might enter Streak, but I have cost problems and the metal coin game is abstract, and I have no idea if it's going to be fun. We'll see. I've done one or two play tests but it has a lot of work and I don't even have a name yet.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, that's about where I'm at with my metal coin game as well. I have a thing where … I didn't get into where … I think I have four different coin types. So, there's the king and the knights and there's a dragon coin, and they all have different, different values. So, the king is a zero. And then you have these archers and these nights and stuff that are one and two and then some calvary that's three and then a dragon, it's five. And you have different amounts of each like unit types. So obviously, the one or the knights or whatever are the most common just like in chess. But then …

Cody Thompson: So, they each have those values and you place them on the grid. Yeah?

Patrick Rauland: Knights are common? Do you mean pawns?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, it's like pawns in chess.

Patrick Rauland: I was thinking the knights in chess.

Cody Thompson: Oh, no. No, no. It's not a complete rip off from a chess piece. Yeah, so in this the knights, I think, are the two where the archers are actually lower. But they're the one but you have less of them. But that's because they can attack from range as archers do.

Cody Thompson: And then, so I think the whole thing is trying to capture the other players pieces just like chess, except it has that numerical value tied to it. So like a dragon will beat down a knight when it goes into it. But there's a … I'm going to try doing this thing where when you go to move into a piece just like in chess to capture the other player's piece, you also add up the surrounding value of the units that you have within attacking range. So, you could team up three knights and defeat the dragon.

Patrick Rauland: Ah, got it.

Cody Thompson: But you know, I'm hoping there's some interesting trying to maneuver your way around to actually make it to where you can get the dragon stuck in a position to where you can actually defeat it with lesser units.

Patrick Rauland: Cool. So, is this going to be an abstract game like chess where there's basically perfect information and no luck?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, for the most part. The only part that's not perfect information is … I didn't explain where in my head, anyways, is each player starts with just the king and a knight on the board and then a space in between. So, that sets the middle row of the board, this imaginary board. And then when you have your reserve of units and then when you bring them on the board, you can only place them adjacent to your furthest, like up on the board unit except not in front. So, you can place to either side or behind of a unit you already have on the board. So, during your turn, I think you'll probably have the action of either moving a unit or placing a unit until you … It's a finite amount of units, though. So, you can't just place units infinitely.

Patrick Rauland: Right, right. So, it's like Hive where you get to choose what units you put down and when?

Cody Thompson: Oh, I'm not familiar with Hive. I think I've seen the name of Hive and I've seen people talk about it as an abstract, but I don't know actually mechanically.

Patrick Rauland: Oh. So, you should check it. Check it out if you can.

Cody Thompson: Yeah I will definitely right now.

Patrick Rauland: It's an abstract game and some of the versions, because there's a bunch of versions of Hive, come in a bag. And it's just, in this case, they're all tiles instead of coins. And they all have different rules. They all very different movements. It's different but it's cool where you, I think, start with just two pieces on the board. Three. No, I think you start with … Each starts with one piece on the board. You're trying to capture each other's queen, which has to be placed later, but you can always choose when you add a certain piece to the board. So, I think that's a really cool little mechanic. When do [crosstalk 00:25:58]

Cody Thompson: Yeah, these Hive pieces are fantastic.

Patrick Rauland: Oh, they're great. Checkout all the images on Board Game Geek. There's people that custom made their own [crosstalk 00:26:09]

Cody Thompson: I'm looking at that right now. And there's a golden platinum edition. Those are really sweet.

Patrick Rauland: So, Hive is one of my favorite picnic games or camping games. I can go camping and bring Hive with me. There's no cards that are going to get wet or ruined or stepped on or anything. It's just hard tile. Plastic, not even tiles.

Cody Thompson: Yeah. You don't have to worry about a drunk family member spilling their beer on your precious board games.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah. There are certain games that basically don't leave the house or they go to only board game enthusiast houses.

Cody Thompson: Yeah.

Commitments / Homework for Next Show

Patrick Rauland: Cool. So, I think one of things that we want to do on the show is I think both of us … I know I want to have something to do for next show. So, I want to have commitments. I think you want to have commitments too, right?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, exactly.

Patrick Rauland: Cool. So, what are your commitments for the next show, which will be about two weeks from now?

Cody Thompson: So, I'm going to finish out, try to figure out the goal for Homeworld and then also a start getting that put into a spreadsheet so that I can rapidly prototype it. I use a … I don't know if you, when you do prototype for yourself, if you use a … I don't know how to explain it. A data merge. If you use InDesign, there's data merge, a program where you just build the game in a spreadsheet and then all of a sudden push all the data into a graphic program.

Patrick Rauland: Like Component Studio?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, just like Component Studio on The Game Crafter. I haven't used the Component Studio, but the tool I use is called Multideck I believe. And it's only on the Mac, but essentially you can just use set categories in a spreadsheet and then populate that information and then you set up your card layout in a Multideck and it just pushes all that information wherever you laid out the information to be. Obviously, you put the title up at the top. So, you create an item and link that to that row or that column in your spreadsheet. And so, it just auto populates all of the cards that you've made in the spreadsheet.

Patrick Rauland: So, Cody, you and I have very different styles of gaming. I only do spreadsheets at the very end. I just I have crazy ideas, I make lots of bulleted lists, and I just write stuff on index cards and give it a go. I applaud people who have a more analytical thinking this way.

Cody Thompson: I will say that this is a decently new thing for me. And so, I'm really hot on it right now. It's just I have had times where I'm just scribble stuff out and then when you make changes, and you can only put so many scribbles, you cross out stuff before … “That card can't really be used anymore for play testing.”

Cody Thompson: And so, I've been just trying to focus on really making the play tester experience better instead of just my … Because I have really bad handwriting. And so, I don't want anyone to suffer through that. So, I'm trying to … With this, also, it's just super fast to make the revisions because you just go change the … If you have attack and defense value in a game, you have your column for that and you play test and you're like, “Oh, the knight is two points too strong for attack. You go and just update it in that spreadsheet. And then it also auto-populates a print sheet for you so that you can-

Patrick Rauland: Print and Play?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, to make a Print & Play and all that stuff. And it also is set up so that you can do it in different sizes too. So, if you want to use Print & Play, the factory that I just toured, they do everything on 12 by 18 or 11 by 17 or whatever. But you can just set. They have that built in so you can just set your a template for that so that it's already formatted how Print & Play wants it. You can export them all as like single images so that you can upload them to The Game Crafter or you can just do eight and a half by 11 sheet of paper so that you can just do it at home.

Patrick Rauland: That is super cool. I want an update next week or next time we record.

Cody Thompson: Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

Patrick Rauland: Anything else or is that a good amount of work for you?

Cody Thompson: It's a decent amount of work. I'll probably try to get some chipboard tokens or something cut out for the metal coin game. And I don't know if I'll have the spreadsheet fully set up for the other one because I've got some other projects that I need to work on still. But yeah.

Patrick Rauland: Right. So, wait. Let me ask you a question. Is this spreadsheet for Homeland or for the metal coin thing?

Cody Thompson: Oh, so this will be for Homeland. The metal coin one won't really benefit from it, I don't think, because it's not on cards. So, I'll just have to make up some tile layouts and like cut them out on my laser cutter and then that's just it. The revisions in that doesn't come physically onto the coin, onto the component itself. It more comes from the rules.

Patrick Rauland: Totally. Cool. So, I have a bunch of small commitments. You have a big one. So, I happen to … What's great is I already a couple of months ago I planned to go to Protospiel Milwaukee. So, I'm going literally tomorrow. I'm going a couple of days early just to see some friends in Wisconsin. We're gonna go down to Milwaukee and play our games. I'm going to be testing Fry Thief. I'll be testing the metal coin game and Streak. So, it's just perfect timing. There's a chance the judge will even be there, in which case I am definitely going to try to sit down with her and … That's great, right? If I can get feedback from her.

Cody Thompson: Yeah, exactly.

Patrick Rauland: But I don't know if that'll work out. I know I saw her there last year and she played Fry Thief. So, hopefully I can sit down with her again and play some games with her.

Patrick Rauland: I will be creating a rules document for a metal coins game because I've already made a couple of … Between every game I like to make at least a minor change. It's just really hard to track. I originally write the rules in Evernote and that's just terrible for longterm editing, at least for me. So, I need to basically transfer them to Google. I need a name. I can't keep calling it the metal coin game. The only idea I have right now is Purse like a D&D fantasy world. It's a purse of coins but purse also means a woman's purse, and that's not what I want people to think of. So listeners, if you think Purse is a great or terrible idea, please let me know. That's the only thing I have right now. I'll try to come up with some more ideas.

Patrick Rauland: And then I'm going to try to upload some files for Streak into The Game Crafter. I just need to cost it out and see is it even possible to laser cut this because if not, then I need to basically … I just either need to … I don't even know if I should do the game for this contest because it might be so important or I'll see what I can do. So basically, I'm going to upload some basic files into The Game Crafter just to see if the board will fit and how many pieces I need and how much it'll cost just to see if it even fits the criteria.

Patrick Rauland: So I got four things. So, hopefully two weeks from now when you're listening to this, you will hear me go, “I got them all done.”

Cody Thompson: Yeah. And you'll probably hear me say, “I got halfway.”

Patrick Rauland: You only have one. Is that rounded up or down?

Cody Thompson: Maybe. Hopefully up.

Wrap Up

Patrick Rauland: Okay, good. Yeah, half rounded up works for me when you have one item. So Cody, first of all, thank you for being on the show and basically you're going to be on here for this series. We, again, hope there's going to be about six episodes. Where can people follow you online?

Cody Thompson: Yeah, just on all the social medias at Golden Nugget Games, except Twitter is Gold Nugget Game without the S because some random person does squatting on Gold Nugget Games. So yeah, Gold Nugget Game on Twitter, Gold Nugget Games on Facebook, Gold Nugget Games on Instagram, and then also I'm on Twitter myself as Cody Thompson. I think it's Cody M. Thompson or Cody Thompson M is my Twitter handle. And then, of course. So, that's where you can find the most info about all our upcoming games.

Patrick Rauland: If people want to follow you throughout this process, what is the best channel? I like that you listed all of them, but what is the best one?

Cody Thompson: So, probably the best one, besides all the Facebook groups, is where I do a lot of interaction but you don't really follow me there. On Twitter is the second place where I do … that's where I do a lot of conversational, just talking to random people.

Patrick Rauland: Cool. Very good. Oh, yes. The hashtag that we are talking about is going to be hashtag #SimpleElegance. Obviously it's a hashtag. It's all one word, but yeah, hashtag Simple Elegance. Definitely try to …

Patrick Rauland: Let me … Okay. You know what we should have done before we started this, Cody, we should have looked if there is Simple Elegance on Twitter before this. I'm going to look right now and there's basically nothing for hashtag Simple Elegance. There's a couple of things but it doesn't seem like it's very popular. So, we should be good with hashtag Simple Elegance. Otherwise you can do hashtag Simple Elegance and then our Twitter handles. So yes, listeners, if you like this, please just tweet me. You can visit the site at I will have links to all the things that we talked about. I found Multideck. So, I'll have a link to that. You can also follow me on Twitter. I am @BFTrick. That is B as in board game, F as in fun, and trick as trick taking names. Boy, that's all I got. So, please design games, make awesome stuff, and maybe even submit something in the contest. You've got anything to say, Cody?

Cody Thompson: Bye. Thanks for having me.

Patrick Rauland: Bye-bye.

Patrick Rauland: Hello everyone and welcome to the Indie Board Game Designers Podcast where I sit down with a different independent game designer every single week and we talk about their experience in game design and the lessons they've learned along the way. My name is Patrick Rauland, and today I'll be talking to Brian who designed Ludus Senatus. Did I pronounce that right?

Brian Compter: It's Ludus Senatus but that's close enough.

Patrick Rauland: Senatus. All right. Ludus Senatus is live on Kickstarter right now. It happens to be in the Concrete Canoe campaign along with last week's guest, Michael Cofer's game Sengoku, so you can get these games together if you like. So it's kind of cool to interview two people on the same campaign back to back. Brian, welcome to the show.

Continue reading “#59 – Brian Compter”

Patrick Rauland: Hello everyone and welcome to the Indie Board Game Designers Podcast, price it down with a different independent game designer every single week and we talk about their experience in game design and the lessons they've learned along the way. My name is Patrick Rauland and today I'm going to be talking with Lillian Medville, who designed, Your Privilege Is Showing and she has a Ted Talk basically about her game and I will definitely include both links to both of those in the show notes. Lilian, welcome to the show.

Lillian Medville on TEDxBeaconStreet

Lillian Medville: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Continue reading “#58 – Lillian Medville”