This time we’re headed off to the great state of Texas to talk with Stephen of Curiosity Gaming.
How and when did you first hear of The Game Crafter?
I found out about TGC over a year ago after several years of self publishing. I had several decks I was self publishing. It was extremely time consuming and expensive. I am thrilled with the ability to have such a great resource like TGC.
What games have you published through The Game Crafter and what is the name of your game design label?
Rivaling Royals, Royal Execution, Candy Catchers. Now helping to publishing the Winning Awareness series of personal empowerment and self help decks such as Inner Awareness and Environmental Awareness. This is a fantastic direction totally away from games, yet extremely enjoyable to bring to market.
Had you ever published a game before using The Game Crafter?
Yes, Royal Execution was self published for several years before TGC. That was a labor of love. With TGC, it was so quick and easy to bring to market.
How long had you been designing games before using The Game Crafter?
I started designing games back in 1974 or so. Merle (Ray) and Sissy Robbins (inventors of UNO) were my second cousins and encouraged me to develop games as a youth. They inspired me to create games that bring people together. My parents (both teachers) inspired me to make games that were educational and thought provoking.
How much time do you spend on designing and playing games?
In the winter months, I spend the most time… it is my creative outlet from the higher stress, fast paced work I do. I find it extremely relaxing and enjoyable. In the summer, I’m on a sail boat, so not as much.
What keeps you motivated to continue designing games?
Being creative and wanting to bring something fun, innovative, and novel to others. I have always enjoyed playing and creating games that bring people together. Therefore, I gravitate towards board and card games over on-line / video / computer games. There is no replacement than sitting down, face-to-face with friends and family.
Have you learned anything from your experiences that you’d like to share with The Game Crafter community?
Playtest, playtest, playtest. Write, rewrite, rewrite. I think it’s very important to provide quality games that have been well tested and rules that are concise and easy to read. Neither of these concepts are quick, but are vert important to the enjoyment of your audience. Don’t rush… it is a journey not a destination.
What is The Game Crafter’s killer feature and why?
The whole image upload and proofing capability is great! Also, the recent addition of different card sizes (poker, tarot, square, hex, etc.). THANK YOU. This really opens up new possibilities for not only games but teaching aids and non-game decks.
What game conventions do you usually attend?
None, unfortunately. But I do follow local gaming meetup events. This is helpful on a local level and affordable for the small game designer.
How would you describe yourself?
Successful businessman, creative individual who loves learning and sharing fun times with friends and family.
Are you married, dating, or otherwise involved? Do you have any kids?
Married, one child.
Do you have any pets?
Our family Yorkie, Tony.
If someone visited your area, what’s something they must see or do?
You have to go to the Mequite Rodeo. It’s authentic, fun, and inexpensive.
What do you hate?
Behaviors that are exclusionary or elitist.
What do you love?
Being in nature with friends and family. Nothing better than sharing a campfire, lake, beach, or mountain view.
What’s the last CD/MP3 you bought (or downloaded)?
João Donato’s The New Sound of Brazil
What’s the last movie you watched?
Loved the Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr.
You’re stuck on a train/plane for 6 hours and bored out of your mind, how do you pass the time?
Old fashioned journal writing, solving business problems, and dreaming up new game concepts.
Any last words?
Thank you TGC! I applaud your services that empower creative games, educational aids. Have you thought of teaming with Lulu to expand the cards and games into instructional manuals so we can make higher quality bound manuals?
Most people don’t realize this, but Lulu doesn’t actually produce any of their own products. They outsource it to a variety of print shops around the world. This was the original goal for The Game Crafter as well. We tried it twice, but failed miserably both times, because games require a lot of specialized parts and equipment to produce. Also because not everything is something you can completely automate, you really need to have people on the ground with an eye for detail and a commitment to quality control. In addition, if we partnered with Lulu, you’d have to pay shipping fees twice (once for the game and once for the book), plus a markup from us on the book. If we ever decide to do perfect-bound books, we’ll do them ourselves in-house.