Thursday, January 16, 2014

UNPUB4 Preview: Ben Rosset

For some reason you are still not yet excited for UNPUB4 ( then you need to check out my next interviewee, the Ben Rosset.  You know...designer of Nevermore Games' Mars Needs Mechanics and Dice Hate Me’s Brew Crafters.  After salivating over what Ben is bringing to UNPUB4 you can also check out my interview with Alf Shadowsong & Kiva Fecteau and Josh Tempkin who will also be demoing their games at UNPUB4.   But enough with this chitter chatter and onto the main attraction.

Dr. Wictz:  Mr. Ben Rosset could you give the readers a quick overview of the games you will be playtesting at UNPUB4?


Ben Rosset: I'm still working on getting 4 or 5 different games ready and not entirely sure what I'll be presenting. I'm working feverishly to have Homebrewers ready. Its a stand alone prequel to Brew Crafters, my upcoming game from Dice Hate Me Games. That's my number one priority right now. I will also be bringing Brew Crafters the Travel Card Game with me. Its a 54-card version of the full Brew Crafters that plays in 20-30 minutes. It was inspired by Dice Hate Me's 54-card Unpub challenge. In non-beer related developments, I may also bring Stranded, a wilderness survival game that I've been working on for a couple of years, as well as Building the British Royal Navy, an auction game about building ships for the British Navy in the 19th century.
Dr. Wictz: From my understanding only Stranded has been presented at other UNPUB events, how has Stranded changed since you started presenting it at UNPUB events?
Ben Rosset:  I've recently redesigned the way players gather resources in Stranded. I'm very excited about the changes I've recently made and looking forward to getting it in front of a few publishers.
Dr. Wictz: What inspires the themes in the games you are taking to UNPUB4?
Ben Rosset: I'm always inspired by topics that interest me or by everyday events. For Stranded, I was camping with friends, and we got on the topic about surviving in the woods if we somehow got lost. Building the British Royal Navy was really inspired by my old Axis and Allies days. I've always had an interest in the history of the British Navy. And Brew Crafters (and all the derivative games) was originally inspired by a tour I took of Dogfish Head Brewery in 2012.
Dr. Wictz: How did you get into designing board games?
Ben Rosset: I was hanging out with a good friend who I played games with all the time, and he was showed me a game that he and a couple other friends started working on. I thought that was the coolest thing---up until then I had never thought about designing my own games. I went home that night and started thinking about ideas. That was about 6 years ago. I've been a designer ever since.
Dr. Wictz: Why do you love making board games?
Ben Rosset: First, I love the challenge of seeing what I can create. This is my creative outlet. I don't paint, draw, dance, or write, etc. So designing games for me is a way to engage the rational side of my brain, but also to balance it out with the creative side. To put it succinctly: It makes me happy.
Second, I love sharing what I've created with other people.
Dr. Wictz: You have attended a number of UNPUB conventions, what is your favorite moment from a past UNPUB?
Ben Rosset: At UNPUB 2 (January 2012), a playtester bought my prototype from me on the spot because he loved it so much. That was really cool. Its part of what gave me confidence that I was a good designer.
Dr. Wictz: How does UNPUB compare to other game conventions you have attended?
Ben Rosset: UNPUB is so focused on unpublished games, so its very different from everything else. The great part about UNPUB is the opportunity to connect with other designers and publishers, people really engaged in the industry. Its an intimate affair (even though its growing rapidly, which is great).
Dr. Wictz: What draws you the most to UNPUB?
Ben Rosset: Hungry, motivated people attend. Hungry designers and hungry publishers. Its a great match.
Dr. Wictz: Any shout outs to your most dedicated game testers (cough  cough, wife, gf, etc.)?
Ben Rosset: I had a lot of wonderful playtesters for Brew Crafters, but the game was immeasurably helped by Kevin Barefoot, Lauren Kologe, Eric Handler, Clyde Wright, and Chuck Hughes. I can't thank them enough.  I'd also like to give a shout out to the Table Treasures Game Design Group in the Baltimore/Washington DC area. I probably wouldn't have 2 published games today without them.
Dr. Wictz: Thank you very much for talking to me today.  If you want to learn more about Ben Rosset and his games you can follow him on twitter @BenRosset or connect with him on Boardgamegeek: user name rosset37 .

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