Right off the bat I want to ask, are you an actual professor?
LOL. Yes, I am an adjunct professor of game design. I teach at the University of Southern California and at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.
Biography of a board game is one of my favorite segments. I’m glad it was picked up by ludology. What inspired you to start the series?
Dice Tower host and creator Tom Vasal personally invited me to create it. Well, to be more precise, he personally invited his entire listening audience to create a new segments for the show back in spring of 2016. I had been talking with Ludology's Geoff Englestein about how he got involved with the Dice Tower and he said that he answered Tom's call for segments back in 2007. I figured it was a sign and decided to do the same. Biography of a Boardgame was just one of three or four ideas I pitched. It was the one that was the best received and so that's the one I went with.
I was a senior designer on the game. I designed the first level of the game, all of the bosses and the "challenge of the gods".
I bought a PS2 right after i watched my friend play God of War. I literally went right to the store and bought a system and that game.....sorry I got sidetracked…Rayguns and Rocketships is your new game being published by IDW. The game market is currently a massive amount of games with miniatures. What do you feel is the main things that sets this game apart from just being another game with minis?
We've been getting more games with miniatures than ever before. Which makes it very hard to stand out in the current marketplace. However, I feel that Rayguns and Rocketships is special because no one and I mean no one is creating a 1930's sci-fi themed board game with miniatures. Even if you don't fall in love with the game, I dare you to not fall in love with the miniatures. The character designs are great (if I do say so myself) and they look amazing in the final game. I can't wait for players to see them and I'm even more excited to see how players paint them - mind you they don't need to be painted or even assembled - which I think is another reason why they are so great. You can play right out of the box. Don't get me wrong, I love Warhammer 40K and Kingdom Death: Monster as much as the next guy, but these days time is tighter and when I open a box and see that I still have to glue together dozens of minis, I get a bit fatigued. Not an issue with Rayguns and Rocketships. Plus the game plays fast and is lots of fun.
Every faction has a unique look to it reminding me of various sci-fi I have watch throughout my life. Were there other factions that did not make the cut?
There are several factions that are in-the-works. Hopefully the game will do well enough that IDW will want to make expansions. Let's just say, if you look at the game and think "where's (fill in the blank)?" Odds are I'm already working on them.
From the videos I have watched the thing I love about the game is the raid option. Was that always in the game?
Yes. The game started as a video game pitch with this concept at the heart of it: You fly your ship, you jump out of your ship, you fight your way onto your enemy's ship. This was the main reason why it was never made. The technology at the time just couldn't do the large environments and continuous gameplay. I bet the latest gaming systems now could, but back then? No way.
Finally, what is a game that you love that we may have not heard of?
I have a pretty large collection of games - 350 and growing. The most obscure one I have is either "Vampyre" - a precursor to "Fury of Dracula" published by TSR or "Red November" which is a cool little game about Gnomes piloting a doomed submarine.
Weekly Blog Schedule.
Starting In January
A Gloomhaven Campaign
First Sunday Of The Month