We are pleased to announce that Danny Devine has been inducted into The Game Crafter’s Hall of Fame.
Tell us about yourself and how long you’ve been designing games
My name is Danny Devine. I am 30 years old and live in Sparks, Nevada (Near Reno) with my beautiful and supportive wife Rachael, our 2 year old son Dustin, and our hyper wiener dog Lola. I am a Graphic Designer/Illustrator who moonlights as a Game Designer, or a Game Designer that moonlights as an Illustrator, I haven’t decided yet.
I have been designing games as long as I can remember, but I never really took it seriously until about a year ago. I would spend a week on a game, convince my family to play it, and then throw it in the closet with the others until I needed parts for a new one. I eventually discovered a group of guys at work that enjoyed playing board games and I quickly formed a “Game Group” which I had never been a part of before. At some point it came out that I design games in my spare time, I brought a couple in and it has been amazing ever since. I not only discovered a group to play games with, but a group that was willing to try an unfinished, potentially broken game and give it honest thoughtful feedback. Their support has made a huge impact on my designs.
Please describe Mob Town
Mob Town is a 2-4 Player area control game featuring hidden agendas, set collection and exciting last second victories. Every game starts out with a randomly generated town that practically builds itself. Players take the role of rival Mob families trying to achieve their specific goals before the Law shows up and ruins their plans.
The illustrations and artwork look great. Tell us more about it!
Thank you, I did all the artwork myself. Like I said above, I am a Graphic Artist by trade which definitely comes in handy when designing my own games. I love creating and designing new characters and will often tailor my games to fit that in.
Did you create a design journal for your game? If so, did you publish it somewhere?
I didn’t, and I regret this. I have recently been getting into social media and am now trying to be very open with my new designs on sites like BGG and Twitter. Mob Town started out as a very basic and standard medieval theme. Knights and Archers trying to take over Castles and Forests, stuff like that. I showed this early prototype to a good friend of mine, Bill West. After one play through, Bill said “This game would be better with a Mob theme”. That’s all it took, it was off to the races from there. I had reached out to Bill because of his expertise in writing, I knew with his help we could translate my chicken scratch rules into something humans could read and understand. With a solid theme in hand, cohesive rules, and as many playtests as I could muster, a fun solid game quickly emerged.
Did you already have the idea for Mob Town in your head before our Map Building Contest?
I had the idea about a month before the contest, as well as the first prototype. When I saw what the new contest theme was, it was too perfect a fit to pass up.
What made you decide to enter your game into the contest?
As I said above, it was just perfect timing. The game I had already started developing was a perfect fit so it felt like it was meant to be.
Would you have been motivated to work on the game as much as you did without the contest?
No, I don’t think I would have. The contest and encouragement from my friends were the only real motivators. There was, however, an interesting development pretty early on in the process. An early version of Mob Town found its way into the hands of Phil Kilcrease at 5th Street games; he showed a really strong interest in the game and kept in touch with me while I finished up the version of the game for the contest. His interest in the game gave me the turbo boost to get it done! I just signed with 5th Street this week and they will be publishing Mob Town as the 7th game in their line-up. I am beyond thrilled with this; Phil and 5th Street do amazing work, so I know I am in good hands!
Has winning inspired you to enter more contests or design more games?
Winning has definitely motivated me to make more games, and to actually share those games with the community. I have already started my next game, currently being called “Ghosts Love Candy”, 2-6 players play as ghosts with an incredible craving for candy, which they can only eat by temporarily possessing unsuspecting Trick-Or-Treaters on Halloween. It’s going to be very light hearted and easy to play. I have full intentions of releasing it here on Game Crafter in the future.
Could you describe any influence The Game Crafter has had on your success as a game designer?
It has had a huge influence. If I had not stumbled across The Game Crafter I don’t think I would have found the motivations and desire to not only finish a game, but to get it out of my closet and into the hands of people that love playing games. The Game Crafter is an amazing service that is constantly getting better. Thank you for existing!
What’s next for you?
I am going to be working with Phil at 5th Street to make some updates to Mob Town before it’s published which will include a theme change and most likely a title change to reflect that. I will also be working on Ghosts Love Candy in my downtime to try and get that going as well. Please follow me on Twitter @3ddevine for updates and info on Mob Town, my other projects, or if you have questions or just want to chat about games.
Any last words of encouragement or advice to all the designers reading this?
By now you know that you need to playtest, playtest, playtest, but it is worth mentioning again because it is that important.
My advice would be to play as many games as you can and research or watch videos on games you haven’t played before. It never hurts to know what’s out there and what others are doing, you will get inspired and see mechanics in ways you didn’t think possible before. Read rule books, read designer blogs, listen to podcasts about game design (there are more than you think). There is a lot of information out there, go out and find it.
On that note, I would also point out that Networking is important as well. I am relatively new to it myself, but I have already seen some amazing results from using social media. I have talked with designers I admire, found a group of game designers that meet once a month less than 2 hours away from me and generally have a great time discussing my favorite hobby with like-minded people. Put yourself out there, you will be surprised at the difference it makes.