So you want to make a tabletop game? Interview with Allen Chang & Jason Kotzur-Yang.


Christy, Allen, Jason & Toby

Sunday the 7th of September 2014 was a rather busy day for me.  I was up early, packing my bags and heading to the train station.  I was on my way to Oz Comic Con at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.  Aside from assisting fellow ATGN contributor Lin with his coverage of Comic Con I had also been kindly invited to sit on a panel by Dylan Shearer of The Four D4.

The panel was titled “So You Want to Make a Board Game?” and featured some of the leading personalities in indie tabletop game development in Australia.  Well… leading personalities and myself.  Christy Dena who is Game Design Lecturer at SAE QANTM amongt other things and has a long history in game development both digital and tabletop.  Allen Chang of Rule & Make who recently completed a successful Kickstarter Campaign with his game ‘Rise to Power‘.  Jason Kotzur-Yang of End Game Games who also recently completed a successful Kickstarter Campaign with his game ‘Hedron‘.

All these people had some fantastic experiences and knowledge to share with those who attended and there was definitely some great dialogue.

I was lucky enough to be able to get Allen and Jason aside to sit down and really take us through the journey of creating a tabletop game.  From idea to the final product in hand.  I specifically wanted to create a piece that would take someone with little to no idea of the process through every step.  How does the average ‘Joe’ go from concept to a game in the hands of thousands of players?  What sort of hazards should he watch out for?  What where some of the keys to success?

The result is a lengthy, albeit entertaining and informative (I hope) interview.  For anyone who has ever fantasized or dabbled with the idea of making their own game, whether it be a card game, board game or role-playing game then I urge you to put the kettle on, slip your comfy slippers on and get comfortable for this fascinating journey.

Apologies in advance for the sound quality, as it turns out expensive equipment doesn’t make you immediately amazing and this fool had the gain up way too high.  It didn’t help that the room we where in was large and fairly empty either.

There are currently two Facebook Groups for those looking for further help, although there is some discussion presently going on to merge the two into one.  Those interested should check out the ‘Board Game Designers of Australia‘ Facebook Group and the ‘Australian Game Designers‘ Facebook Group.  The folks in these two groups are very approachable and very happy to help others looking to develop tabletop games.

A special thankyou to Tommy for his musical wizardry that you can hear playing in the background.  You can hear more of his outstanding 8-bit Chipstep sounds over at his Bandcamp page here.  If you particularly enjoyed his work you can also purchase his complete discography there for a modest price (I did).

I hope you enjoyed the interview, we hope to be bringing you more engaging and interesting interview in the future.

~ Toby

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