These pages contain inspiration in the form of my favourite quotes from the interviews featured on this site.

Use them as a quick notes how-to-guide to entering the games industry, for when you need to read something uplifting or for something else entirely.

However you choose to use them, I hope it helps.

I knew Magic was a special game – the playtesters passion was a testament to that – but I also knew many of my favourite games were not ‘smash hits’, so I didn’t think that meant Magic was destined for big things.

Richard Garfield, design of Magic the Gathering, Bunny Kingdom, King of Tokyo and many more
TWWE

Play as many games as you can.

Scott Moore, designer of This War Without an Enemy

Frank west

Getting a design in front of people early is a good idea. I can’t emphasise that enough.

Frank West, designer of The Isle of Cats
Gaming rules logo

I was just happy to be part of something I was passionate about.

Paul Grogan, Host of Gaming Rules

At Any Cost Wargame

Designers, for the most part, do this because it’s fun and gets the creative juices flowing. For me, it keeps me thinking, active and involved … and it cleans out the brain plaque. So design for your entertainment and mental health – not to buy a new Porsche.

Hermann Luttmann, creator of the ‘Blind Swords’ wargame system (see also this post on game design)
Solar Storm inspiration quote

The great thing about the UK games industry though is that people genuinely want each other to succeed

Ayden Lowther, designer of Solar Storm
Surprised Stare Games

Be inventive, be creative, try out new things but make sure you finish something. Game design is not about starting projects, it’s about finishing them.

Alan Paull, co-founder Surprised Stare Games
Adversity Games logo - Inspiration quote


I had to learn very quickly what I could do, what I could learn and what I needed help with.

Joseph Norris, founder of Adversity Games

stuff by bez


Not everything has to be mass produced

Behrooz ‘Bez’ Shariari – Stuff by Bez

StarSeeker Games logo

Trust is key. If we can build trust, people will be willing to support us, and we can then make more games. 

Salvo Guastella – founder of StarSeeker Games
Tony Boydell prototypes

It was brilliant when (playtesters) broke the game…it was even better when they didn’t break it because I had finally foiled them!

Tony Boydell – designer of Snowdonia

Survive Escape from Atlantis cover

It was literally a rags to riches story. Prior to the success of Survive! I was broke and unemployed, scratching a living doing odd jobs. But I persisted with my dream.

Julian Courtland-Smith, creator of Survive! Escape from Atlantis
Tristan Hall

When you play a game you can feel how much fun the designer had making it. Ensure that you maintain your own passion for what you love throughout the process. Enjoy yourself, so you know that your players will too.

Tristan Hall, designer of Gloom of Kilforth and 1066, Tears to Many Mothers

Matthew Dunstan Chocolate Factory

Don’t be afraid to try something whacky or that breaks the rules.

Matthew Dunstan, designer of Monumental, Chocolate Factory and many more

It takes effort to make a game. You spend an entire year making a game – you create it, then test it and test it until you are happy with it-  then you show it to a publisher and they say: “no, it’s not good enough”. Argh!  

Rita Modl, designer of Men at Work

Anachrony

When done well, there is no ‘theme first, mechanism first’. Both enhance each other.

David Turczi, designer of Anachrony and many more

Brian Train Featured Image

Don’t be afraid of doing things by yourself, for yourself. It’s a lot easier than it was in the ’70s when there was no Internet and even photocopiers were hard to come by.

Brian Train, wargame designer (COIN, Winter Thunder, Brief Border Wars)
Richard Breese Key

Being part of a team is one of the pleasures of board game designing.

Richard Breese, ‘Key’ series creator

Regardless of whether you are a designer or just a player, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Cameron Art – Designer of Vowl and publisher of The Board Game Bulletin

There really are no rules. Go new places. Experiment away: no lives will be lost.

Volko Ruhnke, creator of the COIN series
Gemma Newton veggies

The rejections [by publishers] were important lessons

Gemma Newton, founder of Moonstone Games

Sushi Go

It is ok if your first designs aren’t fantastic. You will learn from each game you make.

Phil Walker-Harding, designer of Sushi Go and Barenpark

In the end it’s a matter of what you’re trying to say and how you’re trying to say it.

Tom Russell, Co-founder of Hollandspiele

Shem Phillips

The more you design, and get positive feedback from players, the more the imposter syndrome begins to fade away.

Shem Phillips, co-designer of the West Kingdom series

Automa

Tenacity and hard work beats talent every day of the week

Morten Monrad Pedersen, founder of Automa Factory

Suburbia

Games evolve over time…until one day you simply realize it is finished.

Ted Alspach, designer of Suburbia and CEO of Bezier Games
Undaunted Reinforcements

Do the stuff you enjoy and see where it leads.

David Digby, solo mode designer and developer for Undaunted: Reinforcements, Merv, Waggle Dance and many more

I decided to try designing my own deck builder and to give it a civilisation theme, so making each deck very asymmetric. Of course that is far easier to say than actually do, it’s taken over a decade!

Nigel Buckle, designer of Imperium Classics

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