Interview met Peter McPherson – De bedenker van Tiny Towns!

Interview met Pete McPherson

Op 14 maart 2020 brengt WhiteGoblinGames het langverwachte spel Tiny Towns in Nederland uit. In Amerika werd dit spel vol lof ontvangen dus de verwachtingen liggen hoog!

Lees hier mijn Tiny Towns review!

De bedenker van dit spel, Peter McPherson, had ik nog niet van gehoord. En wat blijkt? Dit is zijn eerste spel! Daarom kende ik ‘m dus niet. Daar moet verandering in komen!

Ik heb contact gezocht met Peter en hem 15 vragen gesteld. Wil je meer over hem te weten komen? Lees dan mijn interview met Peter McPherson!

SVHJ 2020

Hieronder vind je het interview met Peter McPherson. Peter is Engelstalig, daarom heb ik het interview in het Engels afgenomen. Dit heb ik niet vertaald, zodat zijn antwoorden ook zo dicht mogelijk bij de waarheid blijven :).

Mochten er veel vragen komen voor een Nederlands antwoord, dan zal ik overwegen om het alsnog te vertalen!

1 – Can you tell me something about yourself?

I am a freelance writer and boardgame designer living in Upstate New York with my fiancee, Indiana. We don’t have cats, but we plan to have at least 6 someday.

Upstate New York

2 – When did you find out about your passion to design board games?

I first started making prototypes in college, where I had a group of friends I gamed with regularly. My early designs were very terrible — though I haven’t had the heart to throw them out!

3 – What do you think is the hardest part of designing board games?

Playtesting and getting good feedback. I can make prototypes and come up with ideas at a far faster rate than I can test these ideas. While I do a decent amount of solo playtesting, I rely heavily on in-person playtests where I can gauge the reactions of players and watch them make decisions.

I am fortunate enough to have a great local playtesting group, but I am usually only able to get in one or two playtests a week.

4 – What would be your advice for new board game designers?

Don’t worry too much about making your games look polished. Make your prototypes quickly, and make them cheap and ugly. Playtest as early as possible — first on your own, then with a group that you can count on for honest feedback.

5 – Your first game, Tiny Towns, was a direct hit. How did you get the idea for this game?

I had a slow day at work a few years ago and put down some notes about the idea. It started with the concept of laying out resources on a grid in specific patterns that would collapse down into buildings.

I made a quick, cheap, and ugly prototype as soon as I got home and played it with my fiancee (then girlfriend). The first playtest went well, and from there it was just lots and lots of playtesting.

6 – How did you feel when you held the very first copy of Tiny Towns in your hands?

It was surreal. I didn’t get to see the game until I demoed it at PAX Unplugged 2018 — one year after I had pitched it to AEG. I arrived at the booth, and there was a group waiting to learn to play. I remember telling them I had to take a moment to look at the finished product, and they kindly obliged.

Pete McPherson

7 – What is your maximum score with Tiny Towns?

I think 54 is my personal record, and it involved lots and lots of Cloisters. 56 is about the highest I’ve heard of (also with Cloisters). But I have gotten negative scores many, many times.

8 – Do you have a strategy for playing Tiny Towns?

When I first look at a building setup, I look for the “problem” resources and figure out how I’m going to deal with them. I think about resource management before I start thinking about points. If you don’t have a plan for when a certain resource is called, you’re going to be in trouble quickly.

9 – I saw that an expansion, called ‘Fortune’ is on the way. What element does it add to the first game?

Fortune is an expansion that adds more of the same with a small twist. It introduces coins, which are worth 1 point each at the end of the game, and you can spend a coin to place a different resource than the one named by another player as Master Builder.

You earn coins mostly by constructing two buildings in a single round — which is not easy to do. It also adds two sets of new buildings and ten monuments, most of which interact with coins in a variety of ways.

> Lees hier mijn Tiny Towns Voorspoed review!

10 – What are your favorite board games?

Some of my all time favorites are Roll for the Galaxy, Castles of Burgundy, and Flamme Rouge. Currently, I am hooked on Taverns of Tiefenthal, Q.E., and Silver and Gold.

11 – Who is your favorite board game designer?

Though he is fairly new to me, I think I’d have to say Wolfgang Warsch. I love Quacks of Quedlinburg (Kwakzalvers van Kakelenburg), The Mind, Wavelength, and Taverns of Tiefenthal. His games are pure fun, and they all have an addictive quality to them. I’ve yet to play a game of his I didn’t enjoy.

12 – How many times a week do you play board games?

I would say I play one or two times a week, plus a night of playtesting with my local design group.

13 – How many board games do you have?

I have a relatively small collection — 102 games, according to boardgamegeek. If a game in my collection doesn’t get played often, I trade it away. My “shelf of shame” has only a couple of games at any given time.

Spellenkast van Pete McPherson

14 – What does your workday look like?

I spend most workdays writing and editing, but on my game design days (the best days), I usually work on new prototypes and do a bit of solo playtesting. I also spend many afternoons video chatting with Josh Wood, my co-designer for Tiny Towns expansions.

15 – Besides ‘Fortune’, are there any new games you’re working on?

Josh Wood and I are always working on more Tiny Towns expansions, though time will tell whether they get published.

Otherwise, my main projects this year are a light euro called Wormholes, which is about making wormholes across a solar system and delivering passengers to destinations. I’m also working on a co-design with my friends Erin and Jacqueline called Umbrellas, which is a party game with a bit of a logic puzzle to it.

Nu ben jij aan de beurt!

Via deze weg wil ik Peter McPherson bedanken voor de tijd die hij heeft genomen om mijn vragen te beantwoorden. Heb je nog vragen voor Pete? Stel ze in een reactie. Ik zal hem dan vragen ze te beantwoorden!

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