This is a Q&A / AMA with Dávid Turczi, designer of Anachrony, Kitchen Rush, Dice Settlers, and new games Tekhenu and Rome and Roll, among many others. This is your chance to get into the head of an experienced, published designer and ask him (almost) anything about his games, game design, playtesting, pitching, publishing, etc.

Recorded 9 September 2020 in the Virtual Playtesting Discord server.

Timestamps for questions

00:45 – introduction
01:58 – What are some trends in board game design and publishing (i.e. themes, mechanics, production, etc.) that you think will stick around for a while? what are some that you think will fade?
04:43 – Which statement do you agree with more:
a) All good board game mechanics have been invented, to make great games all we can do now is re-implement existing game mechanics, OR
b) There are still many great, undiscovered game mechanics that will surface in the future.
07:05 – Who is your favourite board game designer and why?
08:37 – What are the biggest flaws in your favourite games, and why do you forgive them?
11:47 – What are your favorite questions to ask after a playtest? What do you look for most during a playtest or what and how do you write down feedback during and after a playtest?
14:34 – How are you currently doing playtesting during these wonderful times of coronavirus?
16:12 – Do you have any advice coordinating blind play tests or general advice to get the most from it? Any survey questions you think are good to ask?
18:44 – How many different designs are you working on right now?
20:54 – How do you keep things straight (how are you taking notes, tracking information, etc.)
22:16 – If you look back at games that you have designed and have been published and consider how they have been received by gamers, what sort of changes would you now make to them? And why do you think that might have been missed during development?
27:45 – What did your pitch for Rome and Roll look like? Pretend you’re pitching us now, or tell us how the meeting went.
32:00 – Think back to your first few pitches. How did those look?
36:14 – What have you done to be in the right place at the right time?
37:21 – Can you talk about your attitude and approach to collaboration? How have you worked with collaborators in the past?
41:05 – How do you identify what a weak part of the game is?
44:14 – When you are bringing together multiple different mechanisms in a complex game how do you make your first prototype? Do you have a series of mini games? Do you have modules that you plug in or pull out?
47:04 – Do you know of any perfectly designed and executed mid-heavy games by indie publishers & first time game designers? What makes it perfect?
52:41 – Put on your prognosticator hat – from a 10,000 meter view, where do you see board games going in the next few years? What do you think is coming up in the industry?
53:22 – Do you win your favourite games more often than not? Or do you have a play group which challenges you?

Catch up with Dávid Turczi on his Board Game Geek profile.

Great takeaways

  • 14:28 – “Polishing turds will never make steaks”
  • 37:00 – “It’s not about whose idea it is. It’s about how good we can get it.”
  • 38-minute mark – Dávid talks about understanding the difference between ‘how can I help?’ and ‘where can I be helped?’
  • 39:41 – “I can expand other people’s ideas, and other people can improve or polish my ideas.”
  • 49-minute mark – Dávid talks about player interaction, and how caring is more important than racing. What other players are doing should always matter.
  • 50:59 – “Everything [in a game] interlocks with what everyone else is doing in a positive way, in a positive interaction sort of way”
  • 51-52 minute mark – Dávid talks about player interaction, and how being able to predict what’s coming makes you more engaged.
  • Don’t be afraid to stay out of the mainstream.
  • Be prepared to give two very different pitches to two different publishers.
  • Never underestimate the power of sheer, unadulterated luck
  • Know yourself — know your strengths, how others can take your idea to the next level.

Love these events? Check out the interview we did with Zev of Wizkids, or join us live for the next one!