Interview : Jamey Stegmaier Part 4. (VO)

Jamey Stegmaier is the designer of Euphoria – Build A Better Dystopia and Viticulture. 2 boardgames that are distinguished themselves on Kickstarter these last two years. Exclusively for GeekMate, he accepts to answer my questions by mail.
This is the last part of the interview. You can read the first part here, the second part here and the third part here.

GM : I saw that you backed a lot of projects on Kickstarter ! Can you tell us what points are critical to you and lead you to back a project ?
JS : I’m very passionate about Kickstarter! I think I’ve become a more discerning backer over time, though. For a while I was backing any project by anyone who asked for my advice, until I realized that it would be a lot better if those creators simply gave me a copy of their product if I was spending a lot of time to help them be successful. 🙂
So now when I look at a project that I’m thinking about backing, I look at a few things: value ($ paid versus what I receive), engagement (how do they connect with backers in updates and in the comments), uniqueness (is the product new and special, or just a retread of something that already exists?), capability (will they be able to deliver what they said they’re going to make), passion (is it a cold corporation or an individual/small group trying to bring their dream to life), and generosity (do they back other projects? Are they constantly asking backers to do things for them, or are they reaching out to people to see what they can offer?)


GM : I must say that as an european player, what decides me to back up euphoria was the free shipping for Europe. It’s really a great performance.
You seem to be an enthusiastic gamer. Can you tell us what games you expect to play in 2014 ? For me it’s the new Vaccarino Cards Game : Pina Pirata because I really liked Ghooost from Richard Garfield last year and this game seems to be the Vaccarino respond to this type of game.
JS : I haven’t played Ghooost, but I’m always curious about Vaccarino’s designs—he’s very talented. In 2014, I’m the most excited about Seafall, the follow up to Risk Legacy by Rob Daviau. I also have a number of games from previous years that I hope will hit the table more, including a few that I haven’t quite decided how I feel about them (Seasons, Among the Stars, the Agents, Eclipse). The game that’s probably number 1 on my “want to play” list is Kemut. And I also find myself enjoying lighter games more…I actually prefer to play heavier games, but I get tired teaching them! So having a few good light games on hand is a good way to not burn out while teaching them.
I’m the most excited about Tuscany, though. Tuscany is the expansion pack to Viticulture. I’ve never seen an expansion do what Tuscany does, and I can’t wait to share it with people. And I have one other design in the works that I’m really enjoying—I look forward to seeing how it evolves.

GM : Seafall of course. I loved Risk Legacy too. Not especially for the Risk mechanics because I still thinking that there are too many dice in this game but for the commitment you can have when you play it games after games. It’s almost a story you wrote on your board and an unique experience. Very clever. Okay last question :
Can you promise you will never ever design a game with a Zombie Theme ?
JS : My experience with Kickstarter has taught me to be very careful with promises, so I can’t promise this for sure. But I can definitely say that I have no interest in playing or publishing a zombie game. I have nothing against the theme; it simply doesn’t excite me. I would say the same about Cthulu.

GM : There are too many Zombie Games. Designers need to stop using that theme again and again. Most of the time they use it in a bad way. The only one who can still make it is Nicolas Normandon because City of Horror was really enjoyable. 🙂
One last word Jamey ?
JS : I’m glad you’re excited about Seafall too! I recently had the good fortune of being on a video podcast with Rob Daviau—he’s brilliant. Like you, I wasn’t excited about the Risk portion of the game, but I really got into the story and the unlocks and the permanent changes. Risk Legacy had a big impact on the way we’re approaching Tuscany. Although I was a year late, I gave Risk Legacy my Top Game of 2013 award.
GM : Thanks a lot Jamey ! It was an honour to speak with you. I wish you great success for all your future projects !


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