Lori Love & Lea Velocci

#150 – Lori Love & Lea Velocci

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'm very excited to be talking to Lea Velocci and Lori Love, who designed Word Hustle and BUNGEE, which are going to be coming out very shortly. Lori and Lea, welcome to the show.

Lea Velocci: Hi, Patrick.

Lori Love: Thanks for having me.

Introduction

Patrick: There's obviously two of you here, and I'm pretty sure you're my first two female co-designers, which I'm very excited to get into. But before we get into all the fun game design stuff, I want to ask you some lightning round questions to introduce you to the audience. Sound good?

Lea: Yeah, sounds great.

Patrick: All right. So let's start with you, Lori. What is your favorite thing about the fall?

Lori: I always forget that I love the fall until fall arrives, which is funny to me. But as soon as I feel the crisp air, I relax. My favorite thing is definitely just the air temperature, and the general feeling that you have, and everyone in my family feels the same way. My kids always comment on it when fall comes. It's definitely the crisp air.

Patrick: I totally get that. What about you, Lea?

Lea: I'm going, to be honest here. I don't have anything that is my favorite thing about the fall. I'm a summer gal all the way. I love the heat, I love the sun, and when they fall comes I'm bummed that time of my life is over. The one thing I will say that I love about the fall, and Lori was a little modest when she spoke about what she likes about the fall, is Halloween. Because that's Lori's birthday.

Lori: Yeah.

Patrick: That's fun.

Lea: Yeah, super fun.

Lori: It was a good birthday to have. You get to be whatever you want on your birthday, and that was always a treat. It's still a treat.

Patrick: That's great. All right, Lea, we'll start with you this time. Favorite pandemic activity?

Lea: This is a struggle for me, Patrick. I'm incredibly social, so I love to be out and about, and the pandemic has halted that for me. But I would say probably the Zoom meetups with some friends that I have not gotten to connect within many years. This has almost been a reason to connect with people that I'd never even thought of, so it's been great. That time of my life, the Zoom sessions.

Patrick: I hear you. What about you, Lori?

Lori: At the beginning of the pandemic, my family started watching The Hobbit trilogy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and it was nice to huddle together and do that. I would have said that was my favorite pandemic activity, except since then they've made me watch it twice more. I've calculated the number of hours I've spent on that, and it's quite a lot. So, it's mixed. I love that we did that, but I prefer not to do it anymore. It's the Lord of the Rings.

Patrick: That's– Now, did you watch–? Are these the extended editions that are like four hours?

Lori: They felt like those. I'm not sure, honestly, but I've seen more orcs die than I would like to for a while. It was quite a lot of time, but it was nice in the beginning.

Patrick: That's hilarious. All right, last question here. What's a game that you play with someone every single time at a convention? Lori.

Lori: This is funny because we had started this game company, People for Goldfish, in January. We scheduled every single con on our calendar, and we were going to figure out exactly which ones we could go to, and then lockdown happened. We have not yet been to a con, so we can't say which one. I am dying to go to a con. I can't wait to try out other people's games, and it's been hard in this way that we haven't been able to join the community at cons.

Patrick: So, let me rephrase the question. Let's say it's the end of your family game night or something like that. Or you're just playing games with just the two of you, what is a game that you'd play with them–? Like, you're about to leave, you're about to head out, and then they're like “Just one more game of this.” And you're like, “I've got to play one more game of that.”

Lori: I like Camel Up, I love Camel Up. I love the feeling it gives you, and it suits our family well. I would say Camel Up, for sure.

Patrick: Awesome, love it. I haven't played it, but I've heard good things. What about you, Lea?

Lea: Right now, I would have to say Ticket to Ride. It's become my absolute favorite. I know I was introduced to it by one of my sisters, and at first, I thought, “This looks like it's going to take a long time.” No, it was great. I loved it. I wanted to keep playing, and I wanted to keep playing so much so that I have it on my phone now, and every night before I go to sleep, I play it on the digital app.

Patrick: That's great. OK, now do you have a preference between the digital app and the board game?

Lea: I love the digital app for the speed of it because I get frustrated while I'm playing the board game when someone else is taking a long time to decide what they're going to do. Whereas I'm into the digital app with whoever I'm playing, and honestly, right now, I'm forgetting the names of the standard players that you play against, but I love how the minute I make my move, their move is done.

Patrick: Yeah, I think Ticket to Ride, because I love it on my– I play it on my iPad. I want to say, and I get done through a game of Ticket to Ride in 25 minutes when it's on the– When you're playing with AI computers who are very fast.

Lea: It's awesome.

Patrick: Yeah. It's great, whereas I think with humans and thinking time it's probably an hour.

Lea: Exactly. It gets more into that Monopoly phase where you feel like it's never going to end.

How did you get into board games and board game design?

Patrick: Now I know a little bit of the story already, but for the listeners, how did both of you get into board games and board game design?

Lori: I guess it was mostly because of me, and then I roped Lea into it. But I had always had a little bit of a game designer in me; I just didn't realize that's what it was. Even on first dates, I would play games that I made up on the fly. I'm sure that some of those first dates were questioning my sanity, but I think that I've always been designing games on the fly, and I just never really saw it as something that I could do in a more polished or finished way as an actual board game until one New Year's Eve– Actually, this past New Year's Eve my son and I were about to start playing a game, and when he opened the box he immediately lost one of the die. We couldn't play the game as it was designed, and he took it upon himself to come up with a new game that we could play with the pieces that we had left. It was a light bulb moment for me. I just realized that this is something that we could do that I could do, and it was a part of me that was waiting to happen. As soon as I figured out that I wanted to go down this path, I called Lea.

Lea: Because– Just to fill you in a little bit, Lori and I have a very big history of gaming together. Any time we were together from the time we were teenagers, if we could play card games or if we could make up scavenger hunts, if we could make up a game at any moment we were in, we were doing it. Again, like Lori said, we didn't realize we were making up games. We just constantly wanted fun, and that was our story together. It was great. This venture has been really exciting because it's allowed us to pursue that in a real way.

What was it like to get into game design accidentally?

Patrick: That is awesome. OK, I want to tie a couple of things together here. I love your very organic discovery of game design, that's a very cool thing. Just the realization, “I can just create a game.” That's cool, and I love that. Talking to you earlier and also just now, you mentioned at some point you went, “I need to get into game design.” You had all these cons scheduled for this year, so you must have– I know you've been listening to my podcast a little bit, but when did you get into game design? Maybe, let me rephrase it this way. When did you start researching game design as more than just something that you just did intuitively?

Lori: Go ahead, Lea.

Lea: Do you want to take this, Lori? Or do you want me to–?

Lori: I'll start, and then you can help me. I think we met up early in the year and started brainstorming ideas about where we could go with this. This year, in January.

Lea: Yeah, in January, we had a big think tank meeting.

Lori: Then we named the company, and we set our direction, and that direction was to create games that had a feeling of relaxation when you played them or just calm socialization. As soon as we set that direction, we dove in, and it was a lot. It was overwhelming at first because we not only had to figure out how to set up the company but also really had to start playing games. We were, like many who hadn't discovered some of the new hobby games yet, so we had to not only– We had to buy games that some hobby gamers have been buying games over time, and we were investing in buying a lot of games all at once. We were buying games, and we were reading reviews, we were getting to know BGG, which we didn't know even existed before January. So you can imagine there was a lot for us to do, and so much catch up to play. That was fun. It was a whole world we didn't know existed, but it was also really time consuming, and it helped us that we moved forward because of all the great resources out there. I quickly realized that the game community was one that I wanted to be a part of, and I think that Lea is an extrovert, and I'm an introvert. I think opposites attract, and you'll probably see a lot of our answers are opposite to the same questions. For me, I've somewhat felt like an outsider in a lot of social circles. There was something about the game community that was not like that at all, and I instantly felt like I had found my tribe. Going a long time and living a lot of my life without that, and then seeing all these creative people and intelligent people– Not that I'm saying I'm intelligent, but creatives who are welcoming, it was a wonderful discovery. Even though it was overwhelming, we're really happy to have found it.

Patrick: I love it. OK, I want to highlight one thing, and then I want to hear your answer, Lea, or if there's anything you want to add. But I think something that you did different than most people is you created the company first, and you set a direction. I think most people go straight to “I want to make a new Magic: The Gathering,” and they go straight into the game design, and they're just tweaking things and adding mechanics and doing this. I think it's cool that you set an intention if you're a company first. That's cool. I do want to put– So, I wanted to highlight that, and I want to put a pin in one thing which we may come back to. You said you felt overwhelmed by some things, can you give me an example of one–? Like, what is something that you felt overwhelmed by at first? Because I think we forget that, as people who have gone through the process of designing a game, I think we forget, “What is overwhelming?” Because there's a million things, you have to learn. What was it for you, Lori?

Lori: For every single idea pertaining to a game, even everything from the name to the mechanics that we were trying to use. We had to decide and discover if something already existed that did it or did it better. Every time we named a game, I think we went through a thousand names for the company and the name of the game. Because I would go out there and be like, “This exists and it's similar. We don't want to seem like we're copying that.” Every tiny little thing had to be verified before we pursued it, and that took time. Those types of things. And then just getting out there and playing games with the mechanics that we loved, you can imagine how much time that would take. For instance, we wanted a betting system in one of our games, so we had to investigate all of the betting games that were out there and try them out to see how they did it before we could move forward on our own ideas. There was a lot in that area, but also starting a company at the same time and making sure that you do everything right. For areas that you know nothing about, it just takes time, and it takes a lot of dedication to just pushing through and finding the answers to questions that aren't easy to answer off the bat.

Patrick: Let me–

Lea: I'd like to cut in just for a second if it's OK. I think one of the other things that was overwhelming to us is just in the game design space, just understanding the psychology of all of it and just the different ways that anybody you are playtesting with or designing for come at things that you think are just instinctive, and you just know, and your idea that you feel is so great, you can put it out there. But to get people to understand that, that was a big revelation for us. Like, “Sure. Why wouldn't they just know this? Or why aren't we able to just communicate our idea easily?” Because everybody has their own ideas about play, about how the rules work, about their own previous experience with games, and that was a really big learning process.

Patrick: I can absolutely see that. So, Lea, sorry. I've mostly been bugging Lori, but did you want to add anything? Was there other things that either overwhelmed you or just other things you want to talk about? Like, how you got into the game design side?

Lea: A big part of this was initially before Lori, and I decided to take on this venture together, I don't think I would have ever expected to become a game designer or to work in this space the way that it happened organically. I don't know how to explain it, it was a little bit of a struggle at first because I loved play and loved games, but I couldn't imagine how I was going to incorporate into the space. As we researched and learned and started doing it, I realized, “This is so inspiring and exciting,” and it was great. It was a great discovery, but it was overwhelming at the same time because, as Lori said, we were learning it soup to nuts, start to finish. There was no, for myself, there was no history there. I come from the magazine publishing world and event management and graphic design, and this was– Even though this was something that was instinctive and in both of us, to pull it out into being able to work in this industry was difficult at first.

Patrick: I think the thing I was trying to put– I was trying to put my finger on something earlier, I think game design is a little nebulous. You can start anywhere, and you can finish anywhere, and you can basically take a really good game and add a couple of things on top of it. That can be a brand new, really awesome game. Or you can start from scratch, and there's a million different ways you can go. God, the graphic design, and the illustration and the theme of the game is totally up in the air. It's nebulous. It's not– If you wanted to run a marathon, you'd look up “How to run a marathon plan.” And it's hard, but there's a plan. It's like, “50 weeks before your marathon, run three miles.” There's this step by step plan on how to do it, and game design doesn't have that. I think Lori, I heard a little bit of that in your answer. And I think, Lea, you just helped me understand that a little bit more.

Lori: I can add to that, iteration is hard for me because I feel like in life I'm a decisive person. With game design, we'll feel we've worked out all the kinks, and if we've decided how this particular part of the game is going to work, and then we'll playtest, and it won't work at all. We won't have decided something that I thought was decided. Like you said, it's cloudy, and you don't know– You do. I think now with Word Hustle, our word game, and we know that we've finished it, but there was a long time when we would go through a stage, and we thought it was done, and it just wasn't. You just really– At that stage in design, you can't see when you'll be finished.

You’re working on two games at the same time. How do you move both projects forward?

Patrick: That's a good time to talk about your game. You are currently at the moment designing two games, BUNGEE and Word Hustle. Word Hustle, it sounds like that's the one that's coming out imminently in the next couple of months on Kickstarter or the next couple of weeks on Kickstarter. Number one, I just want to ask– Because I'm very much a person who can only focus on one creative project at a time, and then just somehow my brain blocks out all the other creative projects. How do you work on two games at the same time? I'm fascinated.

Lea: At the beginning of this process, while we were starting to work on two games at the same time, it was a blessing that we had both of them. Because they're both in two completely different spaces. BUNGEE is a dexterity game that has one main component, and Word Hustle is a tabletop board game. With BUNGEE, we started to develop that first. That was at the genesis of our company, and we were trying to come up with gameplay for it, and we kept going through many different iterations of the gameplay. One day we said, “Let's do a word game with it so that you're earning letters for the game.” We were going to– It was like BUNGEE was going to be a word game with this component, and Lori and I had a push and pull on that. I love word games, but at the time, Lori did not like word games. This is part of our opposites attract and why we work so well together. BUNGEE was able to create Word Hustle because Lori looked at it and said, “Wait a minute. Something's off here, and we need– The word game part of this works, but we need a different mechanic with it. BUNGEE is not the mechanic for it.” So Word Hustle was born, and at the time, we could not abandon BUNGEE, we had to keep our minds going on both because we were at the beginning of that process too. Then Word Hustle now started to develop out of it, so it was a blessing that we were working on both at the same time.

Lori: For me, when we stalled in design or we hit a point where we just couldn't solve the riddle that needed to be solved to push the game forward, then we would be able to pick up the other one. It was nice to keep designing even when we were stuck on one or the other of the games. So in that way, it worked. It was a good thing. But right now, it feels like a bad thing because we have them both developed, and both requiring attention to get made, and that's hard to do for two games at one time.

Patrick: Do you ever–? Just speaking of how you have two games that are nearing completion, do you–? Are you going to–? Are you going to self, or are you going to consciously just put one on the–? Are you going to put BUNGEE on the back shelf for a year, or are you going to try to basically move them both forward as fast as you can?

Lori: We're going to try to move them both forward as fast as we can. Which sounds like insanity, and it is, but we're going to try and move them both. They're both ready, so there's no reason to wait except for overwhelm. I think if we pace ourselves just a little bit, we'll be able to move them both forward. Word Hustle will come out on Kickstarter on October 13th, and then we'll give ourselves some time to manage the campaign well and then pick up BUNGEE again. So, BUNGEE will be shelved until the Kickstarter campaign is done.

Patrick: Nice. Listeners, this episode should be coming out in October. The Kickstarter campaign should just have come out by the time this episode comes out. If you're listening to this, the Kickstarter campaign should be live. Man, this is awesome. I love hearing this. Really interesting stuff. One of the things we talked about a little bit earlier is, did you run into any manufacturing challenges with either of the games?

Lori: Initially, we didn't even know which manufacturers to contact. I was doing crazy research, looking at the back of boxes. I didn't know the standards in the industry, I didn't know Panda GM existed. We started from nowhere. Then one day, I was like, “Look. Exploding Kittens used this card publisher,” and it started. We didn't even know Facebook group resources existed, and eventually, we landed on the main manufacturers that we could contact for quotes. With Word Hustle, the challenge is getting the cost to us low enough that we can produce it. With BUNGEE, the challenge is finding a manufacturer that can make complicated dexterity components, and of course, we haven't even gotten to the cost phase of that yet, which we're trying to be careful in the design of that. We're trying to think about ways that just in the design, in the 3D design phase, that we can design it so that it needs very little in the manufacturing stage. And that requires a lot of thought, so we've tried to rope in some experts to help us.

Patrick: Cool.

Lori: I don't know, is there something else? The manufacturing stage we're about to enter it, and we're glad to have found the resources to help guide us, but when it comes to doing it, we're not there yet. We're just getting quotes.

Patrick: I think I got, I want to say I had two manufacturers before I launched my Kickstarter campaign for Fry Thief. I think I had one of them send me a prototype right around the time my campaign started, but yeah, it's a very complex process. The prototypes for manufacturers are pretty expensive, and I want to say– I don't remember, this is off the top of my head. But I want to say my game Fry Thief MSP is $15-20 dollars, but the prototype was $50-60. Then it's shipped from China, and there's all sorts of stuff. But it's complicated, so yeah. Manufacturing is complicated, and sometimes I think we forget that. So, I wanted to go back a point, and I was looking at my notes– This Covid time is just crazy. I feel way more drained than I normally do, just during a week or a day. The other day at work, I left work an hour earlier than I normally do because I'm just like, “I am exhausted. There's stuff going on, and I just got married, and all this stuff.” There's a lot of things on my plate. How did you even decide to continue? Like, you haven't gone to a single board game con. I think it's pretty audacious in a good way to launch games on Kickstarter. How did you make that decision?

Lori: Actually, it's interesting. This is a good point. We have had to work around the fact that cons don't exist, and initially, of course, we relied on friends and family and neighbors to test the games. But then we found the BGG forum, and we started cold emailing members that said in some form or another that they liked word games or they lived with someone that liked word games, and we asked them to put themselves out there. We said our game is best played, and it is because it uses letter tiles, and it uses dice, but our game is best placed with actual components. We said, “I know that this is asking a lot of you, but would you be comfortable with us sending you one? It would mean you would have to give us your address.” There were a few out there that really did that for us and moved our game forward in leaps and bounds because of the type of feedback you get from people who play a lot of games, who design games that we don't have access to locally during the pandemic. We only really feel comfortable going to Kickstarter at this stage, or feel like our game is ready because of the types of eyes we were able to get on it. That was only because of the communities that existed virtually. We weren't able to use Discord just because of the way our gameplays, so we had to get it into people's hands. We did sink some money that we would have put into cons and travel and that type of thing, instead into prototypes to send out to these wonderful volunteers, some of whom have become pen pals. We feel super connected to them. Lea and I have both said that no matter what happens with this game, with Word Hustle, with our business, the fact that we were able to make something and that we met so many generous people along the way has been a reward in and of itself.

Patrick: That's great. Lea, anything to add onto the last couple of points?

Lea: I just got a little emotional when Lori talked about the connections and the rewarding moments of connecting with people, but truthfully I'm getting a little bit off track. No, I don't want to add on to it. I think Lori put it perfectly. I would just like to say, and I think the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for us in some ways. We had such a tight timeline given that we were trying to do so much in a year span, and it's not like we said to ourselves, “We're just going to give ourselves a long runway and whatever comes out of it comes out of it.” We had a goal in mind, we wanted to reach that goal within a certain amount of time, and as far as limiting it as it is to not be able to join the community face to face and in person, I almost feel we were able to accomplish so much more virtually on some level. A lot of that comes from Lori, she's the networking genius of our company. I'm not saying that to puff her up, I'm saying that truthfully and honestly. Lori's mind thinks very much out of the box, and she would say, “I'm going to try this, I'm going to try this reach out.” And I'd be like, “I never would have thought of that, but excellent.” And it would lead us down a lot of roads that I don't know that we would have ever even found just at a convention, and I'm not saying “at a convention” to minimize a convention. In-person, we may have made the same connection, but I think a lot of relationships were developed through this virtual networking that we never would have even known. We never would have tried if not for the pandemic.

Patrick: Yeah, it's funny. Lea, you're the extroverted one, and Lori is the introverted one. It's funny that this pandemic is the only time where the introvert is like, “They are a networking genius.”

Lea: Yeah, exactly.

Lori: That's so true.

Lea: And when we started this company, one of the things Lori and I discussed was, “Lea, your expertise is getting out there and just talking to people. You'll be the one who, when we go to these cons, you'll talk to people.” It's funny, like a hidden skill that Lori had, has come out because not having that opportunity, it's been really exciting. It's great.

Lori: I think too that I wanted it to work, and we had this timeline of a year, and so I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I think I've heard, Patrick, on your podcast of other people who say they're introverts and they are game designers. I don't know if it's uncommon, I think it sounds like it could be common. I think in order for a game designer to make it happen, I think they often push themselves way past the limits they thought they had before. Whether it be to solve a riddle, but I ended up doing things I didn't think I would be able to do before. Maybe that was the pandemic, and I don't know. Maybe I did love designing these games, and I can see why it's addicting. I could see, and I could hear it in other game designers when they talk about their games like I understand the drive and the passion about games.

Patrick: That's great. I love hearing it, and you're right, there's a lot of introverts in the game community, and somehow they're able to do pretty well networking. There's something about the community, and maybe just because it's a community of introverts, people are more used to how introverts network, I guess. I don't know.

Lea: I think it's also just such a welcoming community. Anyone we've spoken to, anyone we've interacted with, they are so willing to share of their time and their experience. It's amazing. It's I think part of the reason the game community has come so far with innovating new concepts and what the modern board game industry has morphed into, I think it's because everyone is so willing to help each other through the process. It's really– That's one of the best things. This experience, for me, is seeing that it's an exciting moment about human nature. Like, the happy moment. It's good.

What one resource would you recommend to another indie game designer or an aspiring game designer?

Patrick: it's nice, going back to Covid times, it's nice to see just the bright spots. It's nice to have like, “There's this cool thing I didn't know existed. Thank goodness. It's not just terrible things that are new this year, there's good things that are new this year.” That's great. So, let me get into some of these ending questions here. I need to get a better– These are not ending questions, these are like our– What do you call it in the airplane? These are final approach questions, there we go. We're at the final approach. You guys, both of you have gotten into the game community in the last year. I think both of you would be able to answer this well. What is one resource you'd recommend to an indie game designer or an aspiring game designer? And by resource, I mean something free or cheap and easily available, that's my definition of a resource. And whoever wants to start first.

Lori: Lea, you go.

Lea: I'm going to probably just circle back to what Lori said earlier, which is BGG. That forum and that community is invaluable to us. We could not have gotten where we are without that.

Patrick: Love it. What about you, Lori?

Lori: I agree. Online resources like Facebook, which I discovered late, there's the Facebook Kickstarter advice group. In those ways, we are able to get answers to questions even though we're stuck in our houses. Of course, your podcast I love because I've had to drive to Florida– 15 hours straight without stopping and having you to keep me company and your guests was really helpful. It was such a nice time to just be reflective on where I might take the games that we were working on and how other people were handling game design. It was really helpful.

What was the best money you ever spent as a game designer?

Patrick: That's good to hear. All right. So, I'll go with you again, Lori. What's the best money you've spent in game design?

Lori: I guess it's toner for my printer, which I owned before we started game design. But we iterate so often, and we're printing out all of these parts and color. When I have toner, and I can print, I can move forward a lot faster. So, it's my toner for my printer.

Patrick: Love it. What about you, Lea?

Lea: I would have to say, following up on that, the best twelve dollars I've spent through this entire process was on my Amazon basics paper cutter. It's a tool of the trade that I cannot live without, and every time I need to make a prototype or test a score pad design or any of that. I can't live without it.

Patrick: Great. Lori, you may know this is from listening to other episodes, but I cannot believe how many people love the paper cutter. That comes up like every fourth episode. It's great. People love it.

Lori: Yeah, I love it.

What does success in the board game world look like to you?

Patrick: All right. I'll start with you this time, Lea. What does success in the board game world look like to you?

Lea: I would say the first step would be that we'll be able to manufacture this game because I love this game, and I love Word Hustle, and I can't wait to see it on someone's table. That would be the number one success, but I feel in some ways we've already really achieved the success that we're looking for just in the rewarding moments that we've had when people playtest the game and just want to keep playing. That, to me, is success right now.

Patrick: Love it. And you, Lori?

Lori: I definitely agree with Lea that we've had some internal success when we did send it to those BGG forum members, and they were surprised at how they liked the game. That surprise was rewarding, for someone to not know you and to try something that you send them, and to like it. That in itself– And of course, the relationships. But I have run a business before. I'm a photographer, so I'm also used to calculating costs. Right now, this is a really expensive hobby. I would really– There's the emotional success, and then there's the financial success. And for me, actual success would be breaking even. At this point, we just look for a zero. We're not in the red, and we're not in the black, that would be an enormous success. Truly, to both Lea and I. Which is so funny when you think about why somebody might design a game and want it to be evergreen or want it to be massive, and all we want is to know that enough people liked our game and that we didn't go into debt over it.

Patrick: I hear you there. When you talk about having to buy games– You want to buy games to play them and to test them, and then you need to make prototypes. Game design can be more expensive than you think it is, for sure.

Lori: Yeah. We had to restrain ourselves. I would be buying so many more games, but you just have to stop at some point, or you really could do damage. We'll get back to buying more games, but we did have to pause.

Patrick: I totally hear you. I don't know if you have any of these near you, and maybe not in these Covid times, but just about– I think it's six blocks south of me. There is a board game cafe, for lack of a better word, and it is so good. Every time– I don't go there often, especially now this year, but last year when I went for a little bit more often, maybe once every two months, I would just go down there, and then there's at least three games that have come out that “I need to play that because I heard about it on a podcast.” Oh my God, it saves you so much money. I don't know, when this Covid nonsense is done, try to find one of those board game cafes. Because it saves you so much money on having to buy all the games yourself.

Lori: Yeah, I couldn't even imagine that right now because we started during the Covid times. But that sounds like a dream. We definitely will take advantage of that resource when it could affect us.

Overrated/Underrated

Patrick: All right, I like to end my show with a game called Overrated/Underrated, which I'm pretty sure you're familiar with it. But let me go ahead and just recap for anyone who's listening for the first time. I'm going to give you a word or phrase, and then you're going to say if you think it is overrated or underrated. So, if I said “Apple laptops,” you might say– Hold on, you're a photographer, Lori. You're going to say, “Underrated because they have lots of nice photo tools built in.” Something like that. So, like “Overrated,” or “Underrated,” and then a one-sentence description of why. I think we'll have both of you do each of these.

Lea: I love this game, and I'm so excited.

Patrick: All right. OK, great. Lea, you get the first one, or you get to go first in the first one. Mint tin games, overrated or underrated?

Lea: 100% underrated. Pocket-sized fun at all times? Genius.

Patrick: Love it. What about you, Lori?

Lori: I agree, underrated. Anything that can be made smaller, I think should be made smaller. Underrated.

Patrick: All right. It is fall, so pumpkin spice lattes. Overrated or underrated, Lori?

Lori: I've never had a pumpkin spice latte, and I think that's by choice. I just think that they're overrated. I don't know, and I just don't want one.

Patrick: It's a cultural touchstone, even if you– Fascinating. I love it. All right, Lea?

Lea: I'm going to go 100% with overrated, and I'm going to circle back to my disliking of fall, like a fall seasonal themed drink? Nope, no, thank you.

Patrick: Got it, love it. OK, so I'm going to start again with you, Lori, this time, because you just talked about driving in the car. So, games you can play on road trips as in the car. Overrated or underrated?

Lori: Definitely, underrated. I think there should be more iterations of the existing ones, and that's basically what I was doing to my poor first dates when I would play games on the fly, road trip games. I think that's fun. I think making fun in the time that you have when you're doing nothing else is great. So, underrated.

Patrick: OK, and Lea?

Lea: 100% underrated, and if you can't play the license plate game with me in the car, you should drive with someone else.

Patrick: Yeah, great. Love it. OK, so the last one– Boy, I'm just trying to think of the right way to phrase this. We're recording this a couple of days after that very first presidential debate, so I want to– I want to talk about things that are in the culture without being super political. So, just political debates in general. Overrated or underrated? We'll go with you first, Lea. I'm going to put you in the fire first.

Lea: Overrated. I'm fairly certain, based on our most recent political debates, that's my answer. Overrated.

Patrick: OK, fair. Lori?

Lori: Overrated. I wish that what they said during the debates was something that they were held accountable to, and that's been a problem for a long time. In this last one, I don't know, just the last one I have no words for. So, overrated. Overrated.

Wrap Up

Patrick: Got it. All right, good. I wanted to acknowledge that there's a crazy presidential debate happening. We've touched on it, and we're going to move on. Lori and Lea, thank you so much for being on the show.

Lea: Thank you for having us.

Lea: Yeah, it was really fun.

Patrick: Good, I'm glad. Where can people find you and your games online?

Lori: We're PeopleForGoldfish.com, and on Twitter, we're @People4Goldfish. On Instagram, we are @PeopleforGoldfish, and on Facebook, we're People for Goldfish. The only one we couldn't fit all the characters into was Twitter.

Lea: I would say, if you want to learn about our games, PeopleForGoldfish.com is the best place. But if you want to talk to us about game design, about what's happening in the community, reach us at Twitter. That's probably the best place for us to have a back and forth conversation.

Patrick: Love it. Listeners, if you liked this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. If you leave a review, Lori and Lea will help you accidentally start a new hobby. So in 2021, reach out and leave a review, bug them, and then maybe you'll find a brand new hobby. Sounds pretty cool. Then instead of talking about my Patreon, I just wanted to mention that I am running a Black Friday special on my Fry Thief game. If you want to get a whole bunch of games, I think I'm going to put ten of them in a package. I have yet to figure out the exact pricing, but it's going to be about 10 copies of the game super discounted. If you just want to get a whole bunch of little games for friends, family, etc. That'll be available. I will give you more details in the near future, listeners, but I just wanted to try a Black Friday deal and see what happens. So, just follow up with that. You can visit the site at IndieBoardGameDesigners.com, or you can follow me on Twitter and BoardGameGeek, I'm @BFTrick on both platforms. Until next time everyone, happy designing. Bye-bye.

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