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#38 – Dan & Connie Kazmaier

Patrick Rauland: Hello everyone and welcome to The Indie Board Game Designer Podcast, where I sit down with a different independent game designer each week to talk about their experience in game design, and the lessons they've learned to get to where they are today. My name is Patrick Rauland, and today I'm going to be talking with Dan and Connie Kazmaier from Deep Aqua Games, who are the designers behind an upcoming game called Chai. Dan and Connie, welcome to the show.

Connie Kazmaier: Thank you, Patrick.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, thanks.

Patrick Rauland: So you are the first … so you are the guinea pigs, I'm trying a new segment out with you.

Dan Kazmaier: Awesome.

Patrick Rauland: Are you ready for this exciting new segment, where there's a little game in the beginning?

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, we were born ready.

Patrick Rauland: Born ready, I love it. So, I just want to get to know you a little bit better, I mean I tell everyone you are about to come out with this game called Chai, but I want to have people know a little bit more about you, so if I were to meet you at a convention, what is a game you would play, guaranteed?

Dan Kazmaier: I would probably say Scythe.

Patrick Rauland: Ooh, Scythe, alright.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah.

Connie Kazmaier: Yup, and I would definitely do Pandemic, all the expansions.

Patrick Rauland: All the expansions, wow, alright. Alright, that's intense. What is your favorite die?

Connie Kazmaier: Ooh.

Dan Kazmaier: I'll be honest, I didn't know what a D12 was 'til a year and a half ago, so. I grew up as a chess player. Probably just a D6. Playing Risk.

Patrick Rauland: Uh-huh.

Connie Kazmaier: Yup. Probably the same. I use one in my classroom all the time.

Patrick Rauland: And if a storytelling game, a card game, or your game, and dudes on a map game fight … were to get into some sort of brawl, who would win?

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, I'd have to say for me, probably the storytelling game. We tried Fog of Love about a month ago, and it was really interesting. It was super neat for me to do … go through that game, it was something I've never seen before.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, probably a euro game for me, just looking over here on the shelf.

Connie Kazmaier: Surprise.

Dan Kazmaier: Shelf of shame, or opportunity.

How Did You Make Your Game so Global?

Patrick Rauland: Very cool. Alright, so that's a little bit about you, now I want to talk about your game Chai, and I want to give you kudos, because I think you're the only guests so far to send me … you were so excited about it, and you're like, “Oh Patrick, we just got this new artwork in!” Which I love, 'cause it gave me more stuff to talk about, and I immediately noticed that, you sent me three pieces over, and I noticed there's like a Chai walla, which is a guy who does something with Chai, looks very Indian, and then there's this old granny, with a hundred cats around her. More like, I think, two cats. And then actually this cute couple camping in the forest, and I was just sort of appreciating how global it is, and in the pre-show it seemed like you did that intentionally, so tell me a little bit about the art and what you're trying to do with your game.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, we really wanted to be super diverse. Right now our artist is just wrapping up the first eight pieces of art. So kind of like Splendor, where you can have different colors of the same card, we hope to have 40 unique pieces. It's gonna take a few months, but we really just want to showcast a lot of different ethnicities. So we put up a few polls in our play testing group, and on all these Facebook groups, and got probably three or four hundred ideas of different characters we could put into the game.

Dan Kazmaier: So we've kind of just filtered them down to some top ideas we want to do. So even this week our artist sent us one of Moroccan mint tea being served in the Sahara.

Patrick Rauland: Oh, cool.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, with the traditional garb, and there's contextual camels that would show up there, and different cacti, so it's being really fun, just figuring out what each card is, and what story is behind it.

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Patrick Rauland: So number one, I've actually had, I've been to Morocco, and I've had their delicious tea. And it's delicious because they add more sugar to their tea than anyone I know, which I love. I'm all for sugar tea. But I want to go back. You said you put up … you asked your play testing group, and we will get to the play testing group in a minute, but you asked your play testing group, like for different … you said characters, is that more like people drinking tea? Like a people and a setting?

Dan Kazmaier: Exactly, yeah.

Patrick Rauland: Okay, and then how did you pick those?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, well everything from like Captain Picard drinking black, hot tea, to Alice in Wonderland. She's just working on that one, too. There's a lot of overlap, to be honest, so we kind of just picked the to ones, and we're refining it as we go along. Just to make sure that everything's pretty consistent to the feel of the game.

Patrick Rauland: So you're kind of just getting input from your audience of what are the most likely places, or the most neat, or unique, or cool looking places that people drink tea?

Connie Kazmaier: Exactly, and we're looking for stories as well, so you know, the granny with the cats, it's kind of telling a story around being home, and having that sip of tea, feeling comfortable and warm. So we want people to really feel that from the art, as well.

How Did You Build Such a Big Community?

Patrick Rauland: Which I think that's awesome. Now, I was actually real excited to talk about your … the little community you've built around your game before it launched. And this is before it launched, and you already have a community. How did you build this community, and I know you … I think there's a print and play? I imagine that's a factor?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, so we're just reading different blogs. Mostly Jamey Stegmaier's, he's done a lot of successful Kickstarters, and he even released a book that focuses on building a community around your game. So we thought, hey why don't we just start our own private group, and see if people would join. There's a lot of local people, friends and family, and then people who are interested in the artwork, which we released a few months ago. They're all really excited to learn more about the game, so yeah, we've just been messaging people. And it's such a helpful and wonderful gaming community as it is, that most people have joined.

Patrick Rauland: Nice. Now is this … so okay, I imagine if I was doing this myself, I would get my friends and family in, and then I wouldn't know where to go. Where do you go after friends? Like do you kind of go into other Facebook groups and go, “Hey, here's some stuff I'm working on, and if you want to know more go to this group,” or is that not good? How do you do that?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, we're trying to figure out as we go along, too, but there's some really good Facebook Kickstarter groups, and tabletop game design groups, so everyone's helping each other. We've met a lot of people who have helped edit our manual. We've edited theirs, we've play tested their games. And then collectively we're like, “Hey, here's 10 or 15 groups that produce content that's not related to your game, and then also occasionally mention your game.”

Dan Kazmaier: So we've been doing that, more or less. Whether that's on Twitter, or especially Instagram as well.

Patrick Rauland: So when you mention your game, are you basically linking to the Facebook group?

Dan Kazmaier: Not usually. We just keep it super simple, like, “Hey, here's our front box art for our game Chai. What are some characters you think would be in this game? Like or comment, or we have a free print and play. Message us if you're interested.” We've replied back to every comment that people have posted, so that was probably … I'd say four or five hundred comments, throughout all the groups.

Patrick Rauland: Wow.

Dan Kazmaier: And then, yeah, through that, maybe 70 to 80 percent of the people were able to join the play testing group, so, yeah.

Connie Kazmaier: A lot of it's natural curiosity as well. So from our Instagram page we just have people who see the artwork, or see what we're posting, and then they just natural click on the link that's there, without us really directing that.

Patrick Rauland: And is that the link in your Instagram bio, or whatever?

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dan Kazmaier: That's the one, yeah.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, exactly.

Patrick Rauland: Really?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, bit.ly/ChaiDec4, and we probably get maybe 10 to 15 a week.

Patrick Rauland: 10 to 15 a week is huge, right?

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah. Maybe it's just a market opportunity too, where there's not too many family games based on tea.

Patrick Rauland: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dan Kazmaier: There's a few for children, like The Tea Dragon Society. There's another big euro coming out this fall, by the maker of Snowdonia, so we're really excited for that game to try, but we thought, hey, why don't we figure out how to make a tea game?

When Do You Need to Build a Community?

Patrick Rauland: So when did you start building community, and when are you gonna launch your game? What is the distance between the two?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, we got our box art, which was the first part to start generating a community, I think around May? It took about a month, just to get the right invitational, warm feel to it. Then we started promoting it online right away, just to see who would gather around. I'd say we're about 95% done all the rules and the play testing, so we'll continue doing that. We've had a few giveaways as well, like each month we'll do a Kickstarter deluxe edition. And then we're hoping somewhere, probably end of October, start of November, to actually launch. ‘Cause it'll make a nice Christmas gift.

Patrick Rauland: Got it, sorry, you said end of October, early November?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, around there.

Patrick Rauland: Got it, and I'm doing math in my brain, that's about six months to build a community?

Dan Kazmaier: Roughly, yeah. So we're kind of streamlining things, and we're first time game designers, but, like, “Hey, we'll give it a try. A chai.”

Patrick Rauland: Ah. Alright, how many tea puns do you have ready to go?

Connie Kazmaier: So many.

Patrick Rauland: Cool. I really like the look and feel of the game, and I love that you are building community, and I love that you have this little community of people who do print and plays.

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Patrick Rauland: I think a lot of people, like design in a little basement, and they never get their games out there, but it seems like you are absolutely getting your game out there, and sharing it with everyone who would want to know.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, it's been kind of a global venture of sorts, too. When we were on our travels last month, we tried it out, what was it, three or four times in Thailand? In different parts of Thailand. And then once in China, as well, so it was super cool seeing how people from different cultures react to the game as well.

Dan Kazmaier: Which is different to other places in the world. I used to play chess, semi-competitively, for 15 years. So if you played chess in Germany, they'll have a different style than America, which is a bit more tactical. So having play testers globally … we have a little Google map that we'll put a pin in, for all the different play testing, but hearing people's perspective really helps define a game that we couldn't do locally.

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Patrick Rauland: Wow, that's really … I didn't know that different regions had different chess styles.

Connie Kazmaier: Yup, totally. Even with Chai, we've noticed that in North America people like to get rid of their supplies really quickly, whereas in Thailand, we notice that people really like to hold on to their supplies. So we had to figure out if we had enough tiles in our game for ingredients or not, because in North America we never ran into that issue. So it's really good to know, and to play test in different cultures.

Why Self Publish?

Patrick Rauland: Yeah, awesome. So, why are you going the self-publishing route, that seems to be so much harder than the find a publisher to do the game for you route?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, to be honest, we didn't know that there was any other way. We've only been in the hobby for a couple years, and we backed a few games on Kickstarter, most people are first time designers, trying to make their dream a reality, and like, “Hey, we could try doing this.” We have a bit of a background in social media as well, so it just seemed natural to try to figure out how to do that. At the same time, we have a lot of good friends who have approached different publishers, and gotten really cool contracts. Just like having a book royalty or whatnot, but we know that it takes a couple years to really get going, and we thought, hey the market's ready for a tea game.

Dan Kazmaier: You can't really lose just putting up something on Kickstarter and seeing if it works or not, so we'll give it a try and see what happens.

Patrick Rauland: Now, I want to ask you a question that I've been thinking about. Is I've been putting a lot of time into my game, Fry Thief, and I'm probably … I'm very likely to self-publish, probably just a couple months after you, and I've been asking myself that question of, “If this doesn't fund, am I still gonna be happy with my results?”

Patrick Rauland: And if I asked you that question, I don't think that's gonna be the case, 'cause it seems like you've done a phenomenal job already building community, but if it doesn't fund, are you gonna be happy with the time you put in?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah.

Connie Kazmaier: That's a good question.

Dan Kazmaier: It's probably expectations, too, and figuring out what I want out of this, what we want out of it. So, we've heard from a lot of people that actually having a failed Kickstarter is one of the best ways to run a successful Kickstarter the next time, because it's a really good way to self-promote the game and get people excited again. So, I think there's even one that canceled today, actually. There was a dice thrown comic book.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah, I saw that.

Dan Kazmaier: So there's two seasons of dice throwing going on, and the comic was just released a week ago, but it didn't generate enough hype, so I think they canceled it today, but who knows, maybe if they launch it again a month from now, there'd be a lot of hype to it. So yeah, I'm not sure what we'll do if it doesn't fill, but either way, there's probably different publishers that are looking around at Kickstarters.

Patrick Rauland: Mm-hmm (affirmative), totally. Well, I really like that answer, and I actually don't know how I'd answer that myself. I think there'd be some amount of disappointment, right?

Connie Kazmaier: For sure. Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, understandable.

Patrick Rauland: But I think as long as you get back up and try again, that's not that bad, right?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, and this is all for fun, so …

What Games Got You Into the Hobby?

Patrick Rauland: Very cool, so you said you got into games a few years ago. What sort of games are … maybe what sort of games got you into the hobby? Let's start with that.

Connie Kazmaier: Well, I mean Daniel's played chess for many, many, many years, so I guess that that was the big trigger, but we used to both play Catan, and yeah that was probably the gateway game, I guess, and Puerto Rico was our first official, more euro type game.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, we were just going through Toronto, and my uncle busted out a game, and yeah, we were hooked. All these games are like a breath of fresh air to chess, which I'd studied, and used computers, and prepared for people, and it's just been really fun playing different games with family, and trying out new mechanisms. For us, we slightly differ, but we both enjoy a good resource management game, or worker placement. And yeah, it's indicative of different personalities, and you can bring food a lot easier to these different events than a chess tournament where you could hear pin drop during a six hour game, so this has been a lot more fun.

Dan Kazmaier: You don't have like a Puerto Rico rating system.

Patrick Rauland: Right.

Dan Kazmaier: Well, maybe it does exist, but you can bust out Azul really quick and have fun with grandma, so …

Patrick Rauland: Totally. You know, I was thinking about that actually earlier today, so this is totally off the wall, but I was thinking about how it seems lots of games can sort of be played out, you know what I mean? Like where you play them so much, where they just get so boring, and I wonder if that's kind of what makes gamers buy so many games, right? ‘Cause if you play the same game 20 times, you kind of got the basic … you got probably the basic, and some of the advanced strategies down, and you can only make these little incremental games, and then at some point, the game is just complete.

Patrick Rauland: I'm thinking of like tic tac toe, right, like you first learn it when you're a kid, it's fascinating, then you learn all the strategies, then there's like one or two more little things you can learn, and then you've just got it. I wonder … anyways, this kind of isn't going anywhere, this is just my brain going like, “I wonder if that's why,” … like lots of long term games, I play Warhammer 40,000.

Patrick Rauland: That game has been around for 30 years? Yeah, 30 years. But one of the things they do, is they have different editions, and Fantasy Flight just came out with a second edition for X-Wing. And I wonder if the reason … and Twilight Imperium has four editions? I wonder if the reason people do that is just to like keep the game interesting? You know, if you change the rules, and the game's strategies and the tactics change, and then people will continue to have fun.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, I'm wondering even if the current … the legacy trend, right? So I wonder if that's actually because of what you're saying, and how people like to reinvent the wheel once in a while, or once a month, whenever they play.

Dan Kazmaier: Try something fresh.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah.

Dan Kazmaier: We're reading a bit about explorative factors in gaming, so there's a lot of games where you'll play it once and just have an incredible time, exploring different areas of the game, but you're less likely to pick it up again. Whereas other games have an appeal over time. So for me a good example be Concordia. So it's a top 30 game on BGG, and simple, elegant mechanisms, where you're just playing a card every turn, but you have no idea what's going to happen at the end of the game. Where you're kind of remembering, did the one guy play a blue card? Do I have to pick up this orange to prevent another person? And you're trying to calculate things, and yet you can't, so there's a huge appeal there.

Dan Kazmaier: Whereas some of the latest games, like The Hotness, we've played it, really enjoyed it, but then we haven't played it again, and we're wondering why. So there's got to be some kind of measurable factor in there.

Patrick Rauland: Hm. Yeah, I think you're right. It's so funny, like Concordia's totally not my game.

Dan Kazmaier: That's okay.

Patrick Rauland: Like I played it and I was like, “Well, this was like,” it was like … it was one of those games where the theme doesn't match the mechanisms?

Dan Kazmaier: Huh. Yeah, I could see that.

Patrick Rauland: Like if this town makes rugs, I will conquer this town, and take all the rugs. Like I don't understand rug towns, but whatever. But it's a super fun, super elegant game, right, like the way the economy works is awesome.

Dan Kazmaier: But it's kind of boring, and yet, as we've at least played it a few more times, that's where the excitement builds when you explore it, so …

Does Design Energize or Exhaust You?

Patrick Rauland: So when you're designing games, are you getting pumped up, or does it take energy from you to do so?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, have you ever done Strength Finders, by chance?

Patrick Rauland: Yes. Like the Clifton Strength Finder?

Connie Kazmaier: Yes.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, by Gallup.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah, I love it.

Dan Kazmaier: So Connie's certified in that, and both of us, we have ideation in our top five.

Patrick Rauland: Ah, cool.

Dan Kazmaier: And I think, do you have connectiveness? I have it.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, we both have connectiveness as well.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, and I have input. So, just buying games feeds not only us playing games, but just figuring out what is fun, what makes sense, what's really thematic, what can we borrow, so yeah, really not sure how to answer, apart from you just take different things then figure out if you can create something new out of that, too.

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative). We've really love the initial collecting ideas, looking at different combinations of ideas, and innovating. In terms of the actual, all the logistics that follow, after you come up with a really good idea.

Dan Kazmaier: The process.

Connie Kazmaier: The process. It's a little bit harder. It takes a little bit more discipline. So, yeah, so sometimes that part can feel like a lot of work, right? So yeah, I guess to answer your question, the first part definitely gets us so excited. Yeah, and we just have so many ideas on the back burner, even right now, that even .. I mean, it's gonna be hard to actually bring all of them to-

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, and execute them.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, to actually execute them.

Patrick Rauland: So I used to work at this much bigger tech company, and lots of people just, they sort of said, “Oh yeah, I'm like an ideas person,” but sometimes that translated to they just didn't want to do the work. How do you, as a board game designer, how do you … and especially if you have ideation as one of your top five strengths, how do you do that? ‘Cause it's so, so easy to sit down and write a new idea, or sketch a new this, or look at the mechanism, how do you finish a game?

Dan Kazmaier: I guess it's just an exercise in project management-

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah.

Dan Kazmaier: [inaudible 00:21:46] a game, so a lot of my ideas come from the shower, I guess. So you're wasting all your hot water, and then, “Oh Connie, grab the notebook, here's a great idea!” And we'll scribble it down, but that's the first step, if you don't scribble it down, it's not gonna go anywhere.

Patrick Rauland: Sure.

Dan Kazmaier: So I guess we started delegating tasks within the game process. So knowing that artwork's gonna take a couple months, and there's no way you can jump past that, like, “Okay well, we better lock this in quickly, or else nothing's gonna happen down the road.” The next step for us is figuring out reviewers, 'cause they need a couple months as well, and you have to get the proto …

How Are You Handling Reviewers?

Patrick Rauland: That's something I haven't really talked about with a couple other guests, or I haven't really talked about with my guests so far, is how many reviewers do you want? And how many do you think you have to reach out to to get that number?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, we did a poll in our play testing group again, and just had people ask, or answer, what their favorite reviewers are, or who they thought would best appeal for Chai. So we thought a few of them would be really high up there, but our group felt a little bit differently, so we're just in the process of reaching out to them in the next couple weeks, to see if people have a bit of time in their schedule. ‘Cause as more Kickstarter games come out, there's gonna be less of the high quality reviewers looking into things.

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Patrick Rauland: So sorry, can you say that, I don't think I quite got that. So you need to wait a little bit? Why is that again?

Dan Kazmaier: Oh, just that we have to look into connecting to the reviewers right away, 'cause it can take a couple months for them, especially the really good ones.

Patrick Rauland: Right, so okay, we're recording this, and my brain is turning off, we're recording this at the end of August, and you want to launch by end of October. So yeah, if you want to, that gives you two months, right?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah.

Patrick Rauland: Wow, okay yeah, so you want to start finding out who they are as early as possible, in your case, this week.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, we've had a lot of … some of the smaller ones reach out to us already, or they've been part of the play testing community.

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dan Kazmaier: So, I think we just need probably two or three of the larger ones.

Do You Want any Specific Reviewers?

Patrick Rauland: Are there any that are, like for your game, would just be perfect? You know what I mean? Like, you're like “We have to have blank.” Like are there any that are like that for you, and you think will make a huge difference?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, people thought The Dice Tower, for sure. They have a preview segment on YouTube. Whether they look at the game down the road or not, that would be really good. Surprisingly, Rahdo came pretty high on the list, but I think we know he's planning an international move from Malta to the states. There was a few other ones in the UK. Just attending different conventions, we'll quickly find out if we need to push back the date for the Kickstarter a bit, just because the reviewers, or there's a con in Calgary, this weekend actually, and I think Watch it Played is coming, so Rodney Smith out of eastern Canada, so who knows? I mean, if we just have a couple, the big ones, then I think we're good to go.

Patrick Rauland: Sure. You would imagine that The Dice Tower gets pitched with five hundred million bajillion-

Dan Kazmaier: Like every day.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah, so what is your strategy for getting through their, you know, the other five hundred million bajillion?

Dan Kazmaier: Well on Instagram, I think we have a few people associate with them, so we, at least for us, we just like to play our personal connection, and yeah, people have really appreciated that, so win them over with kindness.

What Does Success Look Like?

Patrick Rauland: Very cool. Alright, so we're getting a little bit close to the end here. My last question, that I sort of really enjoy asking people, is what, besides the Kickstarter funding, what does success look like in the board game world?

Connie Kazmaier: Huh. That's a really good question. I think for us, meeting people, and being with people is really important. It's been really cool, like I said before, on our travels, meeting different gamers around the world, and getting to know their stories. Also, for Chai specifically, we're hoping to do some social justice stuff with Chai, as well, so having maybe a portion of Chai going towards a sustainable farm in Thailand that grow tea ingredients, and they do lots of work with the local communities around the farm. So just really cool things like that.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, I think games bring people together, like a lot of things, and it's a healthy place that families can need. And a local convention says it brings communities together as well. In our game, at the end of each round, you can even take a break and drink tea together, so I think as a gaming community gets a little bit bigger, and it advances, having diverse experiences will also be important, because we're educators with whatever we do, and games, books, all kinds of forms of media, they teach us things, indirectly or even directly, so yeah, we just gotta be mindful of that, and if we can have a positive message of welcoming people at a table, regardless of their background, I think that's a step in the right direction.

Patrick Rauland: Now is one of your Kickstarter rewards going to be like, “Have tea with us,”? ‘Cause I feel like that is an opportunity that you can … not exploit, but take advantage of.

Connie Kazmaier: Never thought of that, actually.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, I guess some Kickstarters have a meet the designers kind of thing.

Connie Kazmaier: Hm, yeah, even over Skype or something. Like a virtual tea.

Patrick Rauland: Call it Chai With Chai.

Connie Kazmaier: I love that.

Dan Kazmaier: That's right.

Connie Kazmaier: Whoa.

Patrick Rauland: Boom. Alright, that'll be ten thousand dollars. That is my consult[inaudible 00:27:59]

Dan Kazmaier: Cheaper in Canada.

Overrated/Underrated Game

Patrick Rauland: It is. Alright, so I like to end my show with a little game. It's called Overrated/Underrated, have you heard of it?

Dan Kazmaier: Sure. I don't think so, no. Just Bigger or Better.

Patrick Rauland: Bigger or Better?

Dan Kazmaier: Where you go door to door with an item, and ask someone at the house if they can trade you something bigger.

Patrick Rauland: Wait, what? I've never heard of that.

Dan Kazmaier: Oh, you've never done that?

Patrick Rauland: No!

Dan Kazmaier: Okay, we used to play it as kids. So your mom would give you a toaster, and then you would go around the neighborhood, you know like, “Hey, could you trade me this toaster for something else?” And they would go in their house, and come back with like a sofa. So we had one friend who had a car by the end of the evening.

Patrick Rauland: Someone gave them a car?

Dan Kazmaier: Like a really bad one, but yeah.

Connie Kazmaier: You just keep trading, yeah.

Patrick Rauland: Canada seems like a magical place. That's what I've decided. If you can eventually trade a toaster for a car.

Dan Kazmaier: That's right.

Patrick Rauland: That is amazing. Alright, so this game is not like that. This game is called Overrated/Underrated, because I'm going to say a phrase, or a single word or a phrase, and I'm gonna force you to take a position, if you think it's overrated, or if it's underrated. So if I said chess, you'd probably be like, “Oh, that's underrated because of…,” and give me a one or two sentence description. Got it?

Patrick Rauland: Alright, local board game conventions, are they overrated or underrated?

Dan Kazmaier: I'd say they're underrated, because you can make friends that will last down the road. What would you say Connie?

Connie Kazmaier: Yep, I would probably agree.

Patrick Rauland: Alright, and a pumpkin spice latte, from Starbucks. Connie, you go first.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, I would say they are underrated. They are the most amazing, magical things in the fall.

Dan Kazmaier: I'd say they're overrated. It's kind of like a back to school specials, or deals that come out a little bit too early.

Connie Kazmaier: Hey, we need those to deal with the fall.

Patrick Rauland: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Alright, I wrote this one before I heard about your chess story, but abstract games, are they overrated or underrated?

Dan Kazmaier: I'll say they're, I actually say they're overrated-

Connie Kazmaier: Me too.

Dan Kazmaier: ‘Cause every game is kind of an abstract, if you just condense it down to little bits and pieces, so I think a lot of abstract game, if you put a really cool theme on it, it would be a lot more successful.

Connie Kazmaier: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I like themes and stories, so I would agree, overrated.

Patrick Rauland: Overrated, alright, that's the [inaudible 00:30:30]

Dan Kazmaier: We'll still play 'em.

Patrick Rauland: Alright. Now this one is, did you click the link ahead of time, this is cool tea infusers. I just found … one of those listicles that show like 15 ridiculously cool tea infusers, I'm looking at one that's like a candy cane, and there's holes at the bottom, so you put the tea leaves in the candy cane, not obviously a candy cane. So cool, fancy tea infusers. Overrated or underrated?

Connie Kazmaier: I would say underrated. They are so amazingly looking. I really like that submarine one. There's a little Yellow Submarine.

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, like The Beatles.

Connie Kazmaier: Yeah, wow, super cute.

Dan Kazmaier: I'd say probably overrated. I'm a purist. So, if you have green tea, don't put anything in it. That includes an infuser.

Wrap Up

Patrick Rauland: Alright, I like seeing the tension here. Thank you for being on the show Dan and Connie.

Connie Kazmaier: Oh yeah, thanks for having us.

Patrick Rauland: This worked out well timing wise, this is probably gonna come out just a few weeks before your Kickstarter, where can people find you online?

Dan Kazmaier: Yeah, you can go to deepaquagames.com. Down the road we should have a few contests up. Or you can also find us on Facebook, there's a play testing community. I think it's as simple as bit.ly/ChaiDec4.

Patrick Rauland: Cool, got it. Well thank you again, and dear listeners, if you like this podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts. If you leave a review, Dan and Connie said they'd have a cup of tea with you at the next convention. You can-

Dan Kazmaier: It's true.

Patrick Rauland: Alright, but no submarines, and add nothing to your green tea. You can visit the site, indieboardgamedesigners.com. You can follow me on Twitter, I am at BFTrick, that is “B,” as in board game, “F,” as in fun, and “trick,” as in trick taking games. And just recent news, I just put up a page on my site that shows my game Fry Thief, since I'm going to be launching in probably two or three months from when this posts, so if you want to follow along with my game, and learn about the upcoming Kickstarter, go ahead and sign up for Fry Thief on the podcast, or on the website.

Patrick Rauland: Until next time, happy designing everyone. Bye-bye.

2 comments on “#38 – Dan & Connie Kazmaier

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  1. I rarely listen to podcasts, but really enjoyed this one. I’m part of the “Chai community” and really enjoyed getting to hear Dan and Connie. Patrick, you did a great job hosting. Thanks!

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