Today we are featuring Heather Wilson a designer with 9th Level Games. 9th Level is a game indie game publishing house that is best known for Kobolds Ate My Baby! And Schrodinger’s Cat card game. Their games focus on a blend of playability and unique humor. G2S Organizer Mike was pretty excited to hear that somebody behind Kobolds Ate My Baby! would be showing in Designer Alley this year and asked me to add in “ALL HAIL KING TORG!” into my email reply. Heather will be showing off of a few of 9th Levels smaller games at #G2S18, make sure to stop by and check them out!
THREE RANDOM FACTS ABOUT HEATHER:
- She thinks vanilla is gross.
- Heather worked in the video game industry since 2005.
- Left to her own devices, she would spend her time reading books until her eyes fell out.
Questions by Kimberly Revia (KR) and answers by Heather Wilson (HW).
THREE BOARD GAME DESIGN RELATED QUESTIONS:
KR: Which came first for you designing games or working at 9th Level?
HW: They both came together. I have been friends with my 9th Level partners, Heather, Chris, and Dan for a really really long time. 9th Level Games has been around for over 20 years. It used to be a partnership between Chris and Dan. A few years ago they decided to Kickstart Kobolds Ate My Baby in Color. If the game did well, they’d keep going, if not… With the success of that title they decided to put more effort into the company. That came alongside working on Schrödinger’s Cats. We designed the game and brought it to Kickstarter where it was received really positively. The growth that came through that changed the company and lead to Heather and I coming on board officially.
KR: Do you have a favorite part of the design process?
HW: My absolute favorite part of designing games is taking mechanics and theming to create a whole game. I love designing worlds around the skeleton of those mechanics.
KR: What process do those of you at 9th Level use to get from concept to finished game?
HW: We tend to come up with funny or interesting ideas and then throw them at the wall to see if they stick. Can we make some puns and laugh a lot in a car talking about this game? If yes, then it might go further. We also do this with mechanics. If someone on the team has an idea for a mechanic they’ll work on that and then we’ll all get together and play it. If the results are fun we’ll keep going. If not, we make changes or move onto the next idea.
THREE QUESTIONS JUST FOR FUN:
KR: What game (not one you’ve designed) have you played the most?
HW: The most? If it’s a tabletop game and we’re basing it on hours played then DnD. If the question is based on the game I want to play most, but can’t always convince people to play with me it’s Tem-Purr-A. I love that game, because it’s fast paced, fun, and ridiculously cute.
KR: Which indie designers do you think are making great games?
HW: There are SO MANY! I am super lucky and get to interact with and play in development games with a lot of designers who I also get to call friends! That being the case, and because I don’t want to overlook anyone, I am going to stick to one indie company. Nicole and Anthony of Cardboard Fortress make amazing games that have a lot of meat to them while still being casual and fun. Plus I love their aesthetics.
KR: If you had a time machine, what point in time would be your first stop?
HW: The future, I want to know how everything turns out. And maybe get some spoilers that can help make a difference today.
You can find out more about Heather and 9th Level Games by following the linksHeather below!
9th Level’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/9thLevel
Heather’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/heatherary