Het spel van...
Bordspellenbedenkers en -makers. Op het eerste gezicht mensen zoals jij en ik. Maar bedriegt de schijn? Wat drijft hen eigenlijk, hoe verzinnen ze het, en vooral; wat bezielt hen?
Daar proberen we in deze reeks interviews achter te komen. En ook in hoeverre onze helden overeenkomsten hebben en waarin ze van elkaar verschillen. Deze keer zijn we in gesprek met...
Hi David, how are you?
Great, and yourself?
Not too bad, enjoying myself
Do you mind kicking off right away?
David, can you tell us something about yourself? For example, do you have a relationship, children, pets? How do you live? What do you do for a living? Do you have any other hobbies? Tell, tell, tell!I
have been married for 19 years and I have two sons, and a cat. We live in Ontario Canada. I have been an animator for 20 years in the film and television industry and most recently I run my own business Mesa Game Lab creating animated trailers for the board game industry.
The game we are going to talk about today, can you please introduce that to us?
The game I designed is called Fossilis
What kind of game is Fossilis? I really like the box.
It is a family game about paleontology where players will be pushing tiles off a 3d dig site to discover hidden bones which they will use to complete dinosaur skeletons.
In what does your game differ from similar (same type) games?
Instead of using cardboard tiles or cards I designed the game to utilize a 3d molded dig site that miniature bones can be hidden in. It is then covered by 2 layers of chunky tiles that can be strategically pushed off the board to reveal what is underneath.
It was published by which publisher?
Kids Table Board Gaming
Is it still for sale? What's the price?
Yes it is. It's around $45 USD
Do you think that's a good price? Is it worth this?
I thin it is very much worth it. KTBG always does a stellar job with their production.
When did you come up with it and what exactly triggered that first ideas?
I started to design the game in 2018. I was originally designing a large skirmish game about cybernetically enhanced weaponized dinosaurs and my wife encouraged me to maybe start with something simpler and suggested paleontology as a theme so it would still have to do with dinosaurs which I love.
Can you tell us about the development process. How does something like this work for you?
The idea for the 3D board and tiles came to me immediately once my wife made the suggestions. The initial game I designed around that central mechanism was much more a children's game with just cards that determined what type of tile they could slide and how far. The game it is now grew from there
Did you get help from others, are there people you play the prototypes with?
Yes I of course playtested it with other designers in Toronto and I knew right away that I was onto something when I received such great feedback even after the initial playtests.
When you went searching for a publisher. Was this a hard road??
I was lucky in this respect and happened to be in the right place at the right time. I happened to bump in Helaina Cappel who runs KTBG at a convention and told her about this dinosaur game I was designing. She happened to be looking for a dinosaur game at the time so a few months later, once I had it ready to play for her, she playtested it and loved it. The next day was the real test when she brought her kids to play it and they enjoyed it as well. She pretty much signed it on the spot which was amazing!
Then the publisher is going to produce it... do you still have contact or influence in that process on how it will look?
KTBG loves to work closely with their designers on the games allowing them to have a heavy influence on the development. It was a wonderful first experience and made me feel like I still had a lot of say on how the game finally turned out.
Finally the game is ready and the boxes are in the shops. What is your role then?
Now that it is out I don't have much to do. I try and stay active on BGG to answer any rules questions that pop up and I love to attend conventions with KTBG to help out at the booth and demo the game with fans.
In which countries (and languages) has your game been released?
The game has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian
Are you currently working on expansions, or busy with another game? Tell!
I am working on a sequel to Fossilis as well as a few other prototypes.
Are you now a full-time professional game developper?
I am not a full time designer but creating my game did in a way lead me to becoming a full time board game trailer creator.
If you could start all over making your first game, what mistake would you not make again?
I would pay more attention to balancing the end game scoring vs completing dinosaurs so that players who play in different styles could all be competitive
And illustrators, are you a fan of any of them?
My favorite game illustrators are Mr. Cuddington and Kwanchai Moriya.
Did you enjoy this interview?
I did very much enjoy looking back at the journey I took to create Fossilis
Do you maybe have pictures? At least one of your own. Photos from the development process, sketches, rejected versions? It would be nice to show these.
I for sure do. Here are a selection of photos from the very beginning to when I received the production copy