I was sitting in my livingroom with no one to play with, contemplating what to do. Roaming the internet relentlessly as I often do when I am bored. Suddenly an idea popped up. What if I could have an Q &A with different game designers. I sent an email to Jamey Stegmaier hoping, but being quite sure it was gong to be put in the wastebasket. Less than a minute later I recieved an email from a very friendly 37 year old game designer in St. Louis. A couple of emails later I had my Q&A. I think I will try to make it a series.
14 Questions for Jamey Stegmaier:
Q: Who is Jamey Stegmaier?
A: Jamey Stegmaier is me. I’m a 37-year-old game designer and publisher who runs Stonemaier Games in St. Louis.
Q: How long have you designed board games?
A: Since I was around 8 or 9 years old. I’ve been pursuing them as more than a hobby since
Q: Which game made you a gamer and designer for life?
A: That’s difficult to answer…I played a lot of games in my youth that got me hooked on gaming. Perhaps I should mention Magic: The Gathering, though, as it’s a rare game that I played as a teenager and still play–and learn from playing–as an adult.
Q: Cats, Dogs or both?
A: I love both, but I only own cats.
Q: How do you think the insanely huge amount of new games affect the business. Is it positive or negative?
A: For the consumer, I think it’s mostly a good thing. We’re seeing a tidal wave of innovation in gaming. From a publisher perspective, it means that we’ll see smaller print runs of new games due to the plethora of options, which sometimes results in a first print run being much smaller than actual demand if the game is hot.
Q: I first noticed your company well after the KS campaign for Scythe. I bought scythe without knowing anything except loving the art. It blew me away. Later the same evening the game itself did the same. How important has Jakub Rozalski`s art been for Scythes success?
A: Jakub’s art and worldbuilding provide a huge hook to catch a person’s eye and make them want to learn more, exactly like your experience. I think the sheer amount of art in the game affirms a person’s choice to buy the game when they open the box. And from a design perspective, I think it had a hugely positive impact on the game to have a strong theme to work from.
Q: My Little Scythe seems like it is for both kids and adult who wants to bring kids into board gaming. Or is it a case of a wolf in sheeps clothing?
A: That’s an excellent way to put it! The first sentence, that is. 🙂 It’s a family-friendly game that can certainly serve as a gateway game (though I think existing gamers of all ages will have fun with it too).
Q: You seem to just as happy to pimp your games as I am. Do you think that some of the success you enjoy is because you release new content for your games. Both promos like coins and new cards. Most recently visit from Rhine Valley for Viticulture?
A: Oh yes, I highly value the tactile and aesthetic experience of playing games. I try to make all of our games feel like premium games, but we also offer certain enhancements, like promos, our realistic resource tokens, and expansions.
Q: In Norway there is a problem getting good games in norwegian. Mostly mainstream games here (some exceptions like splendor, century, ttr and so on). Would you release norwegian translations on your webpage as pdfs if some one translated them for you?
A: Yes, absolutely. We have a great team of volunteer translators (we pay them a little bit), and we do have a Norwegian translator among them. However, because they’re volunteers, they sometimes simply choose not to translate the projects I send them.
Q: What about board game design gives you the most joy?
A: I would say it’s the joy itself that gives me the most joy–I love to see happy people playing games. As for the process of designing games, I really enjoy the brainstorming stage, as it’s the point that anything is possible.
Q: Charterstone is one of my favourite legacy games, will there be more games like this or was the one enough?
A: Thank you! While I don’t have any plans to design other games that feature permanence–the defining aspect of legacy games–there are certain elements inspired by legacy games that I will continue to explore, like discovery.
Q: Do you get to play as many games as you want to or is the business side of gaming take up all your time.
A: I work a lot (70-80 hours a week), but fortunately that still gives me plenty of time to play games. Not only do I love to play a variety of games from other designers, but I also find those games to be really helpful for me as a designer.
Q: Which game is your baby. Or is it impossible to pic one.
A: The answer I like to give are the games we publish that I helped to develop but didn’t design myself: Between Two Cities and My Little Scythe. There are several others on the way!
Q: Thank you so much for taking the time! Do you wish to say anything to your norwegian fans?
A: My pleasure! Thank you to the people of Norway for inspiring the Nordic faction in Scythe. It’s one of my favorites. 🙂
Thats all folks. Thank you to Jamey for being a sport!
The Rise of the Fenris can be ordered from Grimfield games
Grimfield Games ia a friendly local boardgameshop in Grimstad. They have a discount policy for several gaming clubs. Check if your gameclub has a discount deal there.
Other non US retailers:
US Customers can order it here