John D. Clair

Interview date September 5, 2019

Designer of such new classics as Mystic Vale and Space Base. If not the creator, certainly the perfecter of the card-crafting system. We discussed games past, present and future over lunch at Tara’s Himalayan, a little Nepalese restaurant in L.A.

Matt Leacock

Interview date September 18, 2019

Designer of Pandemics of all shapes and sizes, Matt Leacock did not invent the cooperative game, but he certainly brought it to the forefront. Matt and I enjoyed festive Greek fare at Evvia in Palo Alto, CA, discussing intricate aspects of game design.

Scott Caputo

Interview date September 28, 2019

Designer of Whistle Stop and its Rocky Mountains Expansion, as well as Völuspá, Unearth and the upcoming One Hundred Torii. We had an amazing breakfast at Stacks in Campbell, CA. Blog posts coming soon.

Friedemann Friese

Interview date October 25, 2019

The first of 3 interviews from Essen, Friedemann Friese has designed well over 100 very different, very bizarre, very green games. We had an amazing visit at Tatort Essen, one of the most efficient gourmet restaurant experiences of my life.

Frank West

Interview date October 26, 2019

The designer of City of Kings, Isle of Cats, and Vandoran Gardens, Frank is both a good friend, and a master of the business of game design. Frank and I found a random Poutine restaurant in Essen, of all things.

Uwe Rosenberg

Interview date October 27, 2019

The last interview at Essen, Uwe Rosenberg needs no introduction. Uwe started his career with one of the most popular card games of all time, Bohnanza, then followed that up by reinventing the worker placement game with Agricola and Caverna. And not satisfied with that achievement, Uwe has been most recently innovating the tile laying, polyomino market with Patchwork, Feast for Odin and many others.

Rob Daviau

Interview date January 9, 2020

I was lucky enough to meet up with the master of Legacy games in San Mateo, CA, while Rob was on a whirlwind Return to Dark Tower tour. Rob is, of course, known as for Pandemic Legacy and Risk Legacy, but is also an instrumental part of Restoration Games. Rob is also an unabashed foodie, so the food is a co-star here.

Jonny “Pac” Cantin

Interview date January 15, 2020

JonnyPac and I drive around gold country in the Sierra Mountains of California, before partaking of extraordinary Chinese food. Jonny is the hot designer of recent hits Coloma, Sierra West and Fistful of Meeples.

Glenn Drover

Interview date January 28, 2020

Stuck on a cruise ship in the Carribbean, Glenn Drover had no choice but to talk with me. The founder of Eagle Games, Glenn is best known for Empires: Age of Discovery, as well as recent hits Raccoon Tycoon and Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! from his company, Forbidden Games.

Emerson Matsuuchi

Interview Date February 28, 2020

During Dice Tower West in Las Vegas, I sat next to an unassuming, incredibly nice guy at the opening dinner, and hopefully have made a lifelong friend. Emerson Matsuuchi is the amazingly wonderful, friendly, and brilliant designer of Century: Spice Road, Reef, Specter Ops and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid board game.

John Coveyou

Interview Date March 10, 2020

Self-made Genius Games designer John Coveyou has taken the world of educational board games and elevated them up out of the museum gift shop. Hits such as Subatomic and Cytosis are now compared to the best of hobby tabletop games.

Colby Dauch

Interview Date March 12, 2020

Right before the world was plunged into darkness, I cornered Colby Dauch in a fine steak house in Reno during the GAMA Expo. The founder of Plaid Hat Games, Colby had one of the first studios absorbed into Asmodee, and is one of the first to become independent once again. Hits such as Summoner Wars, Crystal Clans and Dead of Winter made the studio the powerhouse it is today, and new release Forgotten Waters looks to continue that trend.

Geoff Engelstein

Interview Date March 12, 2020

In-person interviews are no longer possible, and after much deliberation my first foray into the uncharted world of dinner-over-the-internet has occurred. And I could not have picked a better test subject than Geoff Engelstein. Not only is Geoff a world expert on games of all types and author of several books on game design, he is of course, the designer of The Expanse Board Game, Dragon and Flagon, Space Cadets: Dice Duel, and the recent roll and write, Super Skill Pinball 4-cade. I join Geoff and his family for some imported Cajun food to celebrate a slightly obese Tuesday.

Andreas “Ode” Odendahl

Interview Date October 12, 2020

My second foray into distanced dinners, and this time the social distancing is at 5,500 miles. At this rate, I will be interviewing people on the moon. Ode is best known for designing the euro game hits La Granja and Cooper Island, although he has been equally influencial as a developer for many high profile games from the like of Uwe Rosenberg and Stefan Feld. I have lunch while Ode tolerated my rambling over some late night coffee.

Elizabeth Hargrave

Interview Date December 3, 2020

Dinner over the internet has become a regular thing now; hopefully for not too much longer. I had the great honor of eating and chatting with Elizabeth Hargrave, the designer of the mega-hit Wingspan, as well as Tussie Mussie and Mariposas. Ethiopian food was requested, and therefore on the menu, much to my delight. So expect some spice stained hands and lips.

Gil Hova

Interview Date January 11, 2021

Another virtual reality meal, this time with board game designer, academic and Ludology podcast host Gil Hova. Gil is the designer of The Networks, High Rise and cult classic Wordsy. Gil and I chat till the wee hours over some designer burgers.

Shem Phillips

Interview Date February 8, 2021

From halfway across the world I am joined for a dinner by Shem Phillips, founder of Garphill Games and designer of the North Sea and West Kingdom trilogies. Shem introduced me to the joy of New Zealand meat pies, and gives me a peek into the future, both literally (since he lives across the international date line) and figuratively.

Phil Walker-Harding

Interview Date May 23-24, 2021

Since I was already in Oceania, virtually, the next logical step seemed to be the master of simple, elegant games, Phil Walker-Harding. Designer of Sushi Go, Bärenpark, Gizmos, and many many other beloved classics, perhaps no one designer has introduced more people into the hobby. And of course, we had sushi.

Ryan Laukat

Interview Date June 14, 2021

My first in person meal with a designer since the world changed in March 2020, and I traveled to the mystical land of Utah. Ryan Laukat is the gold standard for board game renaissance man, doing his own game design, art, layout, and publishing, producing hits such as Above and Below, Near and Far, and Sleeping Gods. We feast in true Utah style in a log cabin within Wabash National Park.

Tim Fowers

Interview Date June 15, 2021

I joined Tim Fowers, designer of Hardback, Paperback, Now Boarding, and many others, for breakfast – my favorite meal of the day. Tim is known for taking a laid back approach to design and self-publishing, and this absolutely shines through over pancakes and eggs.

Donald X Vaccarino

Interview Date June 30, 2021

Donald X Vaccarino, designer of Kingdom Builder and Dominion, creator of the deck building phenomenon, was nice enough to join me for dinner at a little California diner. Join us for some deep design talk.

Isaac Childres

Interview Date September 16, 2021

Isaac Childres is the designer behind arguably the greatest game series of the past decade, Gloomhaven, and is one of the smartest people I have met. Isaac took time off of his busy GenCon to join me for lunch at an artisonal Mexican restaurant – Chipotle.

Christian T. Petersen

Interview Date September 18, 2021

Christian Petersen has a truly deity-level resume in the board gaming world. He not only founded Fantasy Flight Games and designed Twilight Imperium, he also held the CEO position for Asmodee North America. Plus he tells GREAT stories.

Curt Covert

Interview Date 3/15/22

Curt Covert is the founder of Smirk & Dagger Games, and the designer behind Cutthroat Caverns, a truly influencial game in poor Corey’s past. While at the GAMA Expo in Reno, NV I got to have a lovely breakfast with Curt.

Eric M. Lang

Interview Date 3/17/22

Eric Lang is one of the few designers in our industry that really needs no introduction. Designer of Dice Masters, Blood Rage, X-COM, Marvel United, and many, many, many more. Eric and I had a fantastic chat during the GAMA expo, one which I was sad was cut a little short. I forsee a part two in the future…

Daryl Andrews

Interview Date 4/15/22

Daryl Andrews is a force to be reckoned with in board games. Co-designer of Sagrada, Bosk, City of Gears, and many, many more, Daryl is a co-designer’s co-designer, having worked with the best in the business. Plus, he is truly one of the kindest, most charasmatic people in the industry. And we ate a TOWER OF SEAFOOD.

Luke Laurie and Peter Vaughan

Interview Date 5/30/22

During KublaCon, the largest convention in California, I was able to corner designer Luke Laurie and publisher Peter Vaughn at … Pete’s Diner. Luke is known for Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, Whistle Mountain, Cryo, and the over the top Dwellings of Eldervale. Luke’s next title, Edge of Andromeda, is going to be published by Cardboard Alchemy, headed by Peter.

Henry Audubon coming soon

Interview Date 6/26/22

At RageCon in Sparks, Nevada, I met and got to be good friends with Henry Audubon, the designer of the immensely popular title Parks. Henry and I broke free from the hotel and sought out Indian food, chaatting about life, the universe, and everything. But mostly Cosmoctopi.

Ignacy Trzewiczek coming soon

Interview Date 7/7/22

Years of cookie bribes and begging have finally paid off. The designer of Neuroshima Hex and Imperial Settlers, the founder of Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek might be solely responsible for the explosion of board games in Poland. And I managed to drag a jet lagged legend off to a steak house at Dice Tower East.

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