Today’s featured designer is Bobby Fowler, of Space Chase, a not yet published game. He lives in scenic Manchester, NH and is currently raising several young prototype games. He has high hopes that one day they will grow up, get jobs and move out of the house, but is unsure of when that will happen. Bobby enjoys both designing games as well as creating artwork for them. You can see his current games in progress at http://almostagame.com and follow along with the steps of his design process on his blog: http://almostagame.com/blog/.
Three random facts about Bobby:
- He thinks mayonnaise is gross.
- He thinks egg salad is delicious.
- He constantly contradicts himself.
Questions by Kimberly Bullock (KB), answers by Bobby Fowler (BF).
Three board game design related questions:
KB: What part of the design process have you found the most enjoyable?
BF: Somewhere in between the time you're working through a new idea and polishing up all the content you've created. It's the point where you figure out that one mechanic and everything just clicks into focus. Suddenly you have too many ideas and not enough time to get them all out.
KB: Your games look beautiful, are art and design a major piece of your process?
BF: Art and design really go hand in hand for me. I spend a lot of time (sometimes too much) working on the graphic art for my games. The process of choosing layouts, symbols and color schemes helps me think about how the game will feel during gameplay. Many times I'll find ways the art can help better explain a mechanic. Other times a mechanic will suggest a specific art style which will change the look of the entire game.
KB: What is your playtesting process?
BF: I generally do a lot of self playtesting before I bring games out to my test groups. When I do brings games to a group I don't just watch how people play, but also how people want to play. If everyone continually breaks a certain rule then maybe removing that rule would make the game better. Playtesters may not always know how to fix your game, but they'll always know when it's broken.
Three questions that are just for fun:
KB: What designers do you feel inspire you the most?
BF: Definitely the other people in my game design groups. Having people around who will talk for hours about a single game mechanic just to help get you over a design hurdle is an amazing experience. In the industry probably D. Brad Talton Jr. at Level 99 Games. His games scratch a very specific itch in my brain and he's also a really nice guy.
KB: Where is your favorite place to get out and game with other people?
BF: I don't have a specific place. I just go anywhere there's a good group who play games for fun.
KB: What is your current favorite song?
BF: That one. By that guy. With the hair. You know the one.