Today we are featuring Dan Hundycz designer of Affliction: Salem 1692 and Pirates. Dan formed DPH Games Inc. 5 years ago and was formerly a school counselor. Getting people together, interacting, problem solving and having fun is a priority for him. The interpersonal aspect of board gaming is one aspect that really really adds to his enjoyment with games. Since starting the company they have released 4 games (Cache Me If You Can! - Zombie and Superhero Expansions, Psychological Warfare, CATS a sad but necessary cycle of violent predatory behavior, and Affliction: Salem 1692). Dan loves the creative process and none of these titles (or the ones in the pipeline) are similar in theme or mechanics to each other. Dan is clearly striving to mix it up in the games he produces. This will be Dan’s first time at Granite Game Summit, so be sure to stop by and check out his games.
THREE RANDOM FACTS ABOUT DAN:
- He has 2 cats (Carl & Marvin). One of them is pretty sure he’s a dog.
- The Firefly series is Dan’s favorite Science Fiction Show/Movie.
- He travels WAY too much.
Questions by Kimberly Revia (KR), answers by Dan Hundycyz (DH).
THREE BOARD GAME DESIGN RELATED QUESTIONS:
KR: How did you first find yourself in the board gaming hobby?
DH: Entirely by accident. I introduced a friend of mine to Geocaching. His kids wanted to have a Geocaching themed birthday game and I looked for a board game on the subject. There wasn’t one, so instead I developed one for his party. The boardgamers there thought it was unique and that I should make it. We started going to conventions, improved upon the original design and released the game in 2013.
KR: When did you decide to start designing games? Was there a moment that drove the desire to design?
DH: I remember making games as a kid (typical roll and move type things). But after in my professional life I found them to be a useful tool for education. “Games” I developed were Crime Scenes (College Biology class), Computerized Space voyages (Special Summer Program), A Supersized Napoleonic Wargame that was used as a final exam for the Military History class. At the same time I was playing RPG’s, computer/console and board games (Cosmic Encounters, Diplomacy, Avalon Hill Games). I guess they have always played a role in my life. What I have always enjoyed about them is the social interaction and problem solving elements.
KR: Is there a common process or order of operations you follow to turn an idea into a game?
DH: I wouldn’t say that it is a rigid process, but I definitely start with theme first and try to build everything around that. While play-testing I will push decisions towards those that fit the theme. I will explore which mechanics achieve that goal while making the game as much fun as possible. Once I hit a point where the game seems close, I will start to streamline as much as possible. Is there a more efficient method to achieve the same goal? Can the information be presented in a way that makes the game less “fidgety”?
THREE QUESTIONS JUST FOR FUN:
KR: Aside from board gaming, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
DH: Volleyball, Softball, Hiking.
KR: If you could live in any alternate world from a game/book/movie what would it be and why?
DH: Game of Thrones, because everyone seems to get along so well. (did I mention I was sarcastic?)
KR: If you could have any ONE superpower what would it be?
DH: To heal others.
You can find Dan and what he is currently up to here: