Nikki Valens

#105 – Nikki Valens

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 Nikki Valens, who designed Quirky CircuitsArkham Horror, and Eldritch Horror. Nikki, welcome to the show.

Nikki Valens: Thank you very much. Hello, everybody.

Introduction

Patrick: I like to start with a lightning round game in the beginning. Ready?

Nikki: Let's do it.

Patrick: All right. If you could have a robot completely automate one chore, what would it be?

Nikki: I'm going to go with checking my mail because I always forget to do that, and then I forget to pay my bills, and that's terrible.

Patrick: Yes. Have you heard of automatic deposits?

Nikki: I do it for everything that I can, but sometimes there's that one thing, they just won't let me put it in the email.

Patrick: Yes. No, I totally know you're talking about, that's funny. On a scale of 1 to 10, how worried are you about the robots taking over the world?

Nikki: I'm going to go with a two, not because I don't think robots are going to take over the world because that's obviously going to happen. But I'm going with a two because I've been pretty nice to robots, and I think that our robot overlords are going to take mercy on me.

Patrick: I think that's a brilliant strategy. Then what is a game you play with someone every single time at a con?

Nikki: I'm going to go with MahJong, not because I can get people to play it every con, but because I'm desperate to play that game because it's really hard to get people to play it.

How Did You Get Into Board Games and Board Game Design?

Patrick: Sure. Love it. First real question is, how did you get into board games and board game design?

Nikki: I've been into card games and board games since I was a little kid. My family is really into board and card games, so we did that as our family time together. Then I got into Magic The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons when I was pretty young as well. That caught my attention and sparked my curiosity and creativity of trying to design my own stuff to continue to play things when I ran out of content in those systems.

Patrick: So basically, the open-ended world where you could add new cards and all that stuff inspired you and made you think creatively?

Nikki: Yeah. I just wanted to make all my own stuff.

Tell Me About Quirky Circuits

Patrick: Very cool. You used to work at Fantasy Flight and now you design games for yourself, I believe Quirky Circuits is the first published game on your own. What was that experience like? Sorry, listeners, Quirky Circuits is an awesome game that I played at Gen Con with Erik Summer. I will share a photo of that in the show notes. Now, go ahead and answer the question.

Nikki: Quirky Circuits is my first one as a freelance designer. It was a really fun experience. I had the idea for it before actually leaving FFG, but it's one of those ideas that wouldn't fly for their catalog. Once I went freelance, I was like “This is definitely something I want to do.” I played around with it and worked out a bunch of weird bugs, and then decided “I think Plaid Hat would be a good fit for this.” I showed it to them last Gen Con, and they thought it was a good fit for them as well, so the rest is history.

What Was It Like to Publish Your Own Game?

Patrick: That's fantastic. What was the experience– You helped make games at Fantasy Flight, what is it like making games on your own now that you're going freelance?

Nikki: It's a lot more free, but also there's a lot of different challenges that you don't think about. The designers in-house at Fantasy Flight have a lot of resources available to them, other people that they can work with, different teams as well like the production team or the marketing team or the graphic designers that are all specifically doing those things. Whereas when you're doing something freelance, you have to find that network for yourself or learn how to do it for yourself.

There's definitely a lot of other challenges to being a freelancer compared to working with a studio. Like I mentioned, there's also just so much freedom. Quirky Circuits isn't a game that I feel like I would have been able to make with Fantasy Flight, but on my own, I got to do something cute and something that I wanted to create and put a cat on a Roomba, because who doesn't like cats on Roombas?

Patrick: Yes. No, that is fantastic. Bonus question, do you have any advice on how to train my dog to sit on the Roomba?

Nikki: Duct tape.

Patrick: Duct tape? I'm not 100% against that idea. I'm like a 3 out of 10 interested in that idea. I will have to think on that.

Nikki: Either duct tape or dog treats, I'm not sure which.

What Design Challenges Did You Run Into?

Patrick: There we go. Tell me about– I always like to talk about people, like with your game design, what are some problems you ran into with Quirky Circuits? Because I imagine it didn't come out perfect the very first time. How did you overcome those challenges?

Nikki: The first time was actually a ridiculous mess and didn't make any sense at all, but incidentally it spawned the theme of the game. I started out, and basically, all I knew was I wanted to create a cooperative action programming game. I didn't know how I wanted to do that yet, so I looked at a bunch of other ones that existed and figured out what I didn't like about them so that I could try to figure out what I wanted out of those systems that I wasn't getting.

So, I just tried a bunch of different weird ways that players could work together to play these cards that are controlling the robots. The first one that I tried, it had no good way for the players to interact with each other and know how to help each other accomplish this goal, which resulted in the robot getting stuck in corners constantly.

But part of me was like “I've seen a robot do this before like it's trying to do something hard, and it just keeps getting stuck in a corner and then spinning.” I'm like “Where have I seen this before? Wait a second, that's just a Roomba.” My whole design changed from I wanted to have players– Originally, I wanted to have players do intricate and hard to maneuver stuff.

My whole design changed over to just really light and fun and wacky stuff, and you get to play some cards and then the robot's gonna do something outrageous, and you're just like “Oh no, we got stuck under that chair and rotated five times.”

Patrick: Yeah. Sorry listeners, I should have said a little bit about Quirky Circuits. It's basically– I would describe it as RoboRally meets The Mind. You're cooperatively playing cards to move a robot, but you don't know what the other person's playing, but you have a couple of clues based on the back of the card.

Nikki, I have to say, in the game that I played there was at least one or two turns where someone did something unexpected, and then the robot was spinning in the corner or bumping into the wall five times in a row. I think you captured that theme pretty well.

Nikki: That's always the best part, I love how it plays out because sometimes you're really in sync with the other players and you're just like “We have played these eight cards, and they all resolved exactly how we wanted them to, and we've done everything.” And then sometimes you think that's what's happened, and you flip up the first card, and it's like “That's not what we thought was happening.” Suddenly the whole queue is just running off into a table or something.

Theme-First Design vs. Mechanics-First Design

Patrick: Yeah. That definitely happened. I would say in the first scenario, four out of five turns we were in sync, perfect. Then one out of every five turns, the wrench goes into your plans, and you're in the corner. But let me ask you this, does that mean you usually start– Because that sounds like a mechanics-first approach. Do you normally start with mechanics first, or do you sometimes start with a theme in mind?

Nikki: It depends. Sometimes I like to start with the mechanics first, like that one I said I just wanted to make a cooperative action programming game. Sometimes I start with a story, or maybe even just some characters in my mind that I want to make a game about. It comes from both ends.

Patrick: I know in the first couple of missions– Which by the way, there's this cool booklet and you open the booklet and that's your board, and you put little tokens on it. I know in the first couple missions you're basically playing the cat on the Roomba. But there's three other robots, why do you add those in there? Why not just stick with the Roomba?

Nikki: I mean, I just wanted to have more cool stuff. The Roomba made sense right away, but then also I was immediately like “What if I had a drone, like a delivery drone?” Which ended up being the lovely bumblebee that we see, then I had a mechanical idea for a different robot that would functionally act differently.

The key difference for this robot was that it picks up and drops objects that are directly in front of it. At some point, I suddenly realized, “That's just a dog. I've just created a robot dog.” A lot of the theming of them fell into place after I had already created the mechanics, but they all worked out nicely.

Pitching Prototypes with Miniatures to Publishers

Patrick: I don't think I've ever had– So you have these cool miniatures in this game, and I'm a big fan of games with just a few cool miniatures. I love that your game has that. Did you use a dog? How did you pitch this to the publisher? You obviously had the cat on the Roomba in mind, and the robot dog and the drone in mind, did you have meeples or tokens or were they just little black cubes and you said “Pretend this is a cat?”

Nikki: My printer does art, so I had him drop a little bit of art here and there. The cat on the Roomba, it was pretty clear what that was going to look like. I knew I wanted the robot dog and the bumblebee, and the other one is this almost humanoid-looking robot with just two arms, where one arm is long. But I prototyped these up because they're functional, they hold the tokens that they're moving around, the plastic pieces do.

Patrick: What?

Nikki: Yeah, did you not know this?

Patrick: No.

Nikki: The plastic robot dog mini will hold the things that the dog is trying to pick up and move around, including the giant dinosaur bones that rover is trying to dig up.

Patrick: That is so cool. No, I did not know that. That is awesome.

Nikki: Yeah. That was a big part of it. I wanted those to be functional pieces, which means when I was prototyping, I had to find a way to make those functional pieces. For Rover, I took– Plaid Hat has this other game called Stuffed Fables and in it is an enemy unit that's called a mongrel, or something like that.

It's basically this toy bear trap dog thing, but it's vaguely dog-shaped, and it has a mouth. That was good enough for me to get what I needed done, but the shape of it wasn't quite right that it would hold a token. So I used some hot glue to perfectly fashion the size of the mouth of this thing to hold a token for me.

Patrick: Yeah. That's cool. Here's my question, because I try not to put too much effort into my prototypes. Do you think modeling some of these prototype pieces was helpful?

Nikki: For this one, I think it was a lot. Because these were going to be only these couple of plastic minis that go in this game, because I wanted them to be functional pieces that would be able to hold tokens and things, I wanted to be able to show that when I presented it to the publisher.

Any New Ideas or Mechanisms for Future Games?

Patrick: Very cool. I like the game. It's not often that I get to play people's games before I have them on the podcast, so it's cool to have played your game and then get you on the show a little bit later. Changing topics a little bit, what are other fun ideas or mechanisms that you're looking into? What is your next project?

Nikki: I can't say what my next project is, because that one is already under NDA. But there are some cool ideas that I don't have signed yet that I'm playing around with and trying to figure out what I want to do with them. One of those is, I've been trying to figure out how I would want to do a cooperative roll and write game. I think there are at least one or two of these out there that already exist in the wild that I'm going to have to look into and do some research on.

I haven't put a ton of thought into this one just yet, but it's been in my backlog of things that I want to try making at some point. It's been there for over a year now. At some point, I want to figure that one out. One other mechanism that I've been playing around with, and this doesn't even have a home, I've just been playing with a mechanic and I don't even know what it's going to be eventually, is a hand management mechanism where you have a hand of cards that you have to control the order of it very precisely.

Almost similar to a game called Bonanza, we just called it “Beans” all the time, I don't know if “Bonanza” is the right name for that game. It's just that one mechanism of controlling the shape of your hand and how you have to play those cards in a certain order. I don't even have a home for it yet, or a theme to put on it, just weird ideas.

Patrick: What's exciting about your roll and write idea is there was a bunch of roll and writes at Gen Con this year. I feel like if you figure out– Let's say you figure out your theme in the next year, and then you iterate on the mechanisms two years from now, and then you sign it to a publisher three, four years from now, maybe it'll be trendy again. Because I feel like they maybe even peaked this year and there'll be less the next year and the year after. Maybe by the time you get through the whole game design process that roll and write could be perfect timing.

Nikki: Yeah, it comes back around. Last year at Gen Con there was a ton of roll and writes too, and there was clearly a big surge of that popularity, and it's dying out now.

What Is Your White Whale of Game Design?

Patrick: Is there a white whale of game design? Is there a mechanism that you want to get into a game, and you just haven't figured out how to make it work yet?

Nikki: I don't know if I would call it a mechanism, but I definitely have a white whale game design that I've been talking about for years now. All of my friends are excited about it and waiting for me to figure out how to do this thing. I'm not sure if you're familiar, if your listeners are familiar, with the game Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley is more popular nowadays on Steam.

Patrick: I know of it, but I'm not that popular– Or, not that familiar with it, but go on.

Nikki: It's essentially a game where you show up in this community, this rural community, and you can do whatever you want there. You can choose to, “I'm going to farm vegetables,” or “I'm going to raise livestock,” or “I'm just going to go mine, or go fishing, or something.” You can also form all these relationships with the people in the community, and you can date people and have a family and go to holidays and special events and stuff in the town.

There's so much to these games that you can do, and it's a very human experience. I've been trying to figure out how to capture that on a board game level for a while now. I've got some things that I think might finally work, but I have to find the time to sit down and work those out.

But I'm excited about it, and it's absolutely that white whale design like you're talking about, I've been trying to figure out how to do this for a long time. I've played Harvest Moon since I was a kid. Someday I will find a way to make this game, in table top.

Patrick: Would you say it's a little bit like the Sims, where you're just living your life and doing whatever you want to do with those characters?

Nikki: Kind of. I would want it to have a little bit more structure than that, but essentially, I want it to be a game about building a community where you get to play as this character that's part of this community and other players are playing as other members of the community. There's NPCs as well that you get to interact with, but essentially it's about not necessarily the day to day life, but just how time passes in this community and how the community evolves and adapts to anything that happens.

Like having an event where it's like “The library has burned down,” how do we as a community react to this situation? Do we build a new library? How do we help those that have been displaced, or that have lost their homes because of this fire? Stuff like that. Like I said, it's a human thing. It's not even about the technical or gamey stuff, and it's more of this story of “How do we live as humans”?

Thoughts on Games Without Winners

Patrick: Let me dig into this for a second, because I think one of the elements of this game that you have to figure out would be– To me, it sounds like a game where you can't win. It's not about crushing your enemies, and it's not like you're trying to have the biggest army and wipe out everyone else on the map. I think it's challenging in games to make this peaceful flow that you have, the only game I know is the Sims.

I think it's challenging to have that peaceful flow. I think the first piece would be like, “How do you make a game where no one wins, but everyone is still happy?” I think Telestrations also fits that bill, a little bit, but that's different. That's a very party game thing. I don't know the answer to that, do you have any ideas on how to make a game where no one wins, but everyone has fun?

Nikki: I would want it to be that it's self-imposed goals, so the players come into it and they get what they want out of that game. So if you come into it, and you're like “I want to have a farm and be a really productive and make a bunch of money on my farm,” or someone can come into it and be like “Literally all I want to do is find a cute person to marry and then have kids with.” I want both of those to be options in the same game.

Patrick: Yeah. I do wonder if you could do this in a legacy format, where there's different cards, and you can draw different romance cards, or different house cards, or different shopping cards, or different job cards. I could totally see it. Then you have to pick one of these three jobs, to start. I could totally see this in a legacy format because then there's that surprise and delight as you open up new packs and reveal cards you haven't seen before.

That to me sounds cool, and I'd love to see something like that. It might be a ton of cards, but also cards are cheap. I bet you can make a game with a card heavy focus that has that real-life feeling. That sounds like a ambitious and awesome goal.

Nikki: Yeah, it's ambitious. Legacy elements are definitely something I would love to be able incorporate into it. I think like you said, it helps that excitement factor of “Something new has happened that we weren't expecting because we just didn't even know that these components existed yet,” or stuff like that.

Is There A Game That You Wish You Could Change?

Patrick: One of the questions I don't always ask, but we chatted about it ahead of time, and it sounds like you have a good answer here. Is there a game out there that you wish you could change? Maybe either add something to it or take something away from it, to make it a better experience?

Nikki: I'm going to link our white whale discussion to this. In terms of a white whale game design, not one that I want to create, but one that I've been trying to find is a good tactical combat game. They always either have too much stuff, or it doesn't do enough tactical focus that I want it to have, or it's at the wrong scale. There's always something wrong with every tactical game that I've ever tried to play.

But I have recently found one that I think hits the closest to what I want, and that game is Gloomhaven which is vastly surprising to everyone that knows the types of games that I like to play. Because that game is huge and I don't normally like complex games, but someone recently mentioned something that struck true for me, which is “Gloomhaven is 95% just the combat mechanic.

Everything else in the game, all of the weird extra components, are just that last 5%.” Which is I think why I can put up with Gloomhaven's ridiculous amount of tokens and everything else. Because I like the combat system and how it lets me plan ahead and know what's going on in combat. It's cool, but I would still gut so much stuff out of that game.

There's just tons and tons of stuff that I would be like, “This doesn't even need to be here at all” and throw it out, or just minor changes to things to be like “That functions, but it's weird. What if it worked like this, and then was more consistent?” Or something like that.

Would You Ever Take Your Favorite Mechanism and Make It Your Own?

Patrick: I was thinking, I wonder how fast you'd get sued if you made a Tiny Epic Gloomhaven. Like, steal two people's trademarks and combine them. On a serious note, would you ever– Sometimes there are those huge games like Gloomhaven is probably one of the biggest in terms of box size, one of the biggest games out there.

I wonder if– There probably is a desire for a mini, shortened down version where you don't have to punch out 500 tokens, and you don't have 50 million cards and 20 bajillion miniatures. I wonder if you could make mini Gloom or something, and keep what you like and then theme it and make your own universe, make your own characters, etc. Would you ever consider that? Would you ever take your favorite mechanism and then make it your own?

Nikki: I mean, I do that in some ways. Like you mentioned, Quirky Circuits is like RoboRally meets The Mind. The Mind was a huge inspiration for Quirky Circuits, and the mechanic is very similar. It works on that same idea of an empathic link that you have to make with the other players in order to get there. Almost all of game design is that way, we're inspired by these things that we love, and then we put them into our own works.

Quirky Circuits has a little bit of The Mind in it. That same trying to mind-meld with people and get on the same page even though you can't communicate with each other directly. I don't know if I would take the exact mechanic of Gloomhaven, but making a tactical combat game is something that I'm interested in doing at some point. Or, if I meet up with Isaac at a convention or something, I'm like, “What if I made a slimmed-down version of Gloomhaven?” And he just went, “Sure, go for it.” I'd take a stab at it.

Does Game Design Energize or Exhaust You?

Patrick: That's awesome. Something I'm pretty curious to ask you, does game design energize you? Does it give you energy? Does it make you more excited and passionate, or does it take energy away from you and you're left exhausted, for lack of a better word?

Nikki: I think it's a little of both. There's definitely the moments of trying new things and testing things out and seeing things for the first time. That's exciting and is energizing like you're talking about. You try out some new stuff, and something works, or something doesn't, but even if the things don't work you learn from it, as a designer, and you get to have that excitement and desire to keep playing around with it to find what does work.

Then once I've locked in what the mechanisms are and how they function and I know what the design looks like, then it's like “Now I have to make all this content for this game that follows the same thing.” That can start to be a little more draining because it's like “OK, I'm doing the same thing over and over again in order to make this game long enough to be a game on its own.”

But it's going back to those roots of “What was it that made that interesting, to begin with, and how can I spin that off in different directions so that it's the additional content that's been created is unique in its own way and is still fun to play with, both as a player and designer?”

What's a Resource You'd Recommend?

Patrick: Very cool. I like it. Moving on to the wrapping up questions, you've been in the game design world a long time, and you're one of– I think you're the second person that's worked at a big company like Fantasy Flight. What is the resource that you'd recommend to someone who is just getting started on their game design journey? Let's imagine they want to sign their first game, so they're getting close. What one resource would you recommend to them?

Nikki: There's all the different game design books that people recommend. I think a lot of those are really useful, even if you're looking at stuff that's not specifically about the type of media you're creating. You're trying to create board games, video game design is still very similar, and the core tenants of game design is the same regardless of the medium you're working with. Everyone's talking about game design books, and there's a ton of them that you can get recommended from anyone.

One of the sources that I always found inspiring and I've been reading since I was in middle school, I want to say, is the weekly articles that get posted by Mark Rosewater who is the lead designer of Magic The Gathering. He's very open about his design process and will talk about it and what he's learned over 20 years of him doing the same job. Those design lessons that he talks about, that he's figured out through trial and error and through his experiences are extremely insightful.

They apply not just to Magic The Gathering, but to all game design and even beyond game design. A lot of those lessons apply to the rest of your normal life and how you approach everything within your life. If you haven't ever read any of those, I would recommend looking up Mark Rosewater. His articles are on the Magic The Gathering normal website that they have, and they have an archive of all of his old articles that are cool and insightful.

Patrick: Yeah. Listeners, I just pulled this up. It's Magic.Wizards.com, you can filter by Mark Rosewater, and it looks like the series is called Making Magic, is that right?

Nikki: Yeah.

What's the Best Money You've Spent?

Patrick: Cool. It is basically the first result on Google is that archive, so cool. I'll have to take a look at these. Also, it's like “Why does diversity matter? Let's talk about themes. Let's talk about color stuff. Let's talk about constraints.” There's a lot of different topics here. OK, I'm a frugal person. I try not to spend money if I don't have to. What is something that was definitely worth every single cent you paid for in terms of game design?

Nikki: There's all the normal things, like “I need a computer to make stuff, and a printer to print prototypes, and all the different prototype tokens and bits and meeples and whatnot that I have to just be able to quickly prototype things.” But I think one of the things that maybe a lot of people undervalue is the cost of going to a convention.

Dedicating that time and that money and knowing you can go to a convention where you can have face to face meetings with publishers to show them your games, that's probably the best money that I've ever spent as a freelance designer. Going and being able to meet and talk to publishers face to face and show them my prototypes in person.

Because you get such a better experience for them when you're teaching them the game, and when you're there to share that excitement of their first experiences with it with them. It sells the game that much more. You're more likely to be able to show people why your game is cool if you can do it in person.

Patrick: I definitely hear you on– I think in person is the one of the best mediums to convey all the meaning of whatever you're saying or showing. I debated if I wanted to go to Gen Con this year just because it is pretty expensive. The flight, the hotel, and all that stuff. How about this– Would you recommend a specific convention or a number of conventions?

Nikki: If you have publishers in mind who you want to meet with, you can follow their media and figure out what conventions they're going to so that you know where they're going to be and what's a good place to meet with them. You might be able to find a convention that's closer to you, or that is in a city where you have friends or family that can help you alleviate the cost of staying there for the few days of the Con. Those things can be really important.

Obviously, Gen Con is such a big convention, and basically, every publisher is at Gen Con, and it's also long enough that there's time to have those meetings and publishers are expecting to have those meetings during Gen Con as well. So they're ready to have that, and they're ready to see lots of designs at Gen Con, they know that's coming. Other good ones that I've been to, Pax Unplugged is pretty good.

It's still small, it's still growing, but there's definitely a lot of publishers that go to that. It's that same mode, and they're ready to have meetings with designers and see what you want to show them. Being able to do that is very important.

What Does Success Look Like?

Patrick: Cool. That's helpful. I like to end with one of my favorite questions, which is what does success look like to you?

Nikki: It's an interesting question. For me on a personal level, if I get to publish a couple of games a year, that's enough that I'm making this my living and I don't have to do anything else, which is nice to have that freedom, because it's my passion. I love making games. I love creating things that make other people happy. If I can spend all of my energy and my attention on that as my career, that sounds pretty successful to me.

Patrick: Love it. You want to keep publishing games to make it your career.

Nikki: Yeah, I want to make cool stuff and make something that people enjoy.

Overrated / Underrated

Patrick: Fantastic. I like to end with a silly little game called Overrated/Underrated. Have you heard about it?

Nikki: I haven't.

Patrick: Fantastic. I'm going to give you a word or phrase and then you have to tell me if you think it is overrated or underrated. If I said ice cream, you're obviously going to say “Underrated, and it is the best dessert on the planet.” Something like that, makes sense?

Nikki: Cool. Let's go for it.

Patrick: All right. I hope you know what I'm referencing here, the giant RoboRally event at Gen Con. Overrated or underrated?

Nikki: I'm going to go with underrated because I've seen it and it looks pretty cool, but I've barely ever heard anyone talk about it. I absolutely want a giant Quirky Circuits at a convention.

Patrick: That was the answer I was hoping you'd say, fantastic. Listeners, if you haven't gone to Gen Con, they have giant RoboRallys set up with all these cool, custom robots and they're programmed, and it's very cool. How about this– Amazon delivering packages by drone, overrated or underrated?

Nikki: I'm a shut-in, so I'm going to go with underrated. Because if I never have to leave my house, that sounds just brilliant.

Patrick: Fantastic. How about cardboard inserts in boxes? By that, I mean the super generic inserts that prevent things from sliding around. Are those overrated, underrated? Something else?

Nikki: I'm going with overrated, even though I've never heard a positive thing about them because they're literal trash.

Patrick: So you don't mind a little bit of shuffling in the box without cardboard inserts?

Nikki: I would rather have no insert than the cardboard inserts that come in games. I will make a custom insert with foam core, or something, or literally just put things in bags and shove them in the box.

Patrick: Very interesting. Cool, good to hear. I'm hoping you get this reference, The Steven Universe movie which is coming out in a little bit. Overrated, underrated, or you don't know what I'm talking about?

Nikki: Couldn't the underrated enough, because I want to see it so bad.

Wrap Up

Patrick: Yes. I guessed correctly with you. I was like, “I bet Nikki knows Steven Universe.” Fantastic. Yeah, it's a great little show. Listeners, if you haven't checked out Steven Universe, they're like 10-minute episodes, and they're really good. Nikki, thank you so much for being on the show.

Nikki: Thank you very much for having me.

Patrick: Where can people find you online?

Nikki: The best place would be on Twitter. I'm at @Valens116. That's the best place you can find me because I'll respond and do stuff on there. I also work around on BGG, but finding me there is like finding a unicorn, so it's not a great place to look for me.

Patrick: Yes. Where can people find Quirky Circuits?

Nikki: Hopefully at whatever their local game store is, and if that doesn't have it, then go ahead and pre-order that from the Plaid Hat website.

Patrick: Awesome. Listeners, if you like this podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes. If you leave a review, Nikki said that she would let you program her Roomba, which is fantastic. Then one personal note, I am working on a game which I'll submit to The Game Crafter mint tin contest called Mintsugi. I will have more information on that later.

I am curious listeners, how would you prefer to follow projects like these? Do you like hearing little footnotes at the end of an episode? Do you want me to have an audio diary, like in episode 55, or maybe a series of bonus episodes? Like the Simple Elegance series, which starts at 64? Let me know if you're interested. Or, you could say “Patrick, I wanna hear other people talk. Stop talking.” That's also a valid response.

So let me know by leaving comment on this post or hitting me up on Twitter. That is all I've got, so you can visit the site IndieBoardGameDesigners.com and leave a comment, or you can follow me on Twitter, I'm @BFTrick. Until next time everyone, happy designing. Bye-bye.

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