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The Stephen Baker Interview

Discuss general topics relating to HeroQuest that don't fit well in the categories below.

The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby Daedalus » Friday November 15th, 2013 2:09pm

At long last I hit upon how to locate the lengendary interview with Hero Quest's creator. Secreted away in Italy, my Geek Holy Grail has been attained. :ugeek: |_P :ugeek:

[From later in this thread, an alternate and probably better translation by a Spanish fan along with an introduction and concluding, expanded history. -edit]

[Jump to the English translation provided by the author (recommended.) -edit]

[From still later in this thread, a Games International interview dating back to 1989-edit]

[Another interview--this time in a podcast called The Best Damn Nerd Show on 9/28/20. Here's the link to episode 17. The actual interview portion begins at 25:40 and runs to 53:14.-edit]

(Apologies for the Google translation of the original document.)

Andrea Angie interview Stephen Baker
Date: Thursday 07 April 2005 at 19:59:34 EDT
Topic : Authors , Producers and Sellers

A chat with Stephen Baker of Andrea Angie The author of best- sellers like mythical Heroquest and Starquest us behind the scenes of his brilliant career.
Meeting Stephen Baker at the Toy Fair in Nuremberg , where it is present as Research & Developement Manager of English Bluebird .
The Fair , the scene of all international affairs in the gaming industry and toy, is a continuous run from stand to stand , but Stephen kindly offers us some of his precious time to tell us about his career as a songwriter .
In the quiet of the press sheet Kaos ; makes us compliments of ritual and regrets that in England there is an independent review of role-playing games such as ours.
Then the interview begins.
[Interview by Andrea Angie executed in 1998 for Kaos ]


Kaos - The story of Heroquest and Starquest starts in the days when you were at Games Workshop , right?
SB - I was Store Manager for them, but when I worked in those games I was not part of their staff.
I started working full time for the Games Workshop in 1984 already collaborated since 1982 with their part-time on weekends.
My real job was in the bank, ever since I got out of college , but I worked for GW over the weekend to expand my collection of games ( GW is one of those companies that prefer to pay its employees in goods rather than in money, Ed) .
In 1984 I took a runner and after three months I was Store Manager.
After two more years, I received a phone call from a man who worked for the British branch of the Milton Bradley .
He had seen the advertisement of Games Workshop and realized that we were a kind of carpentry : he was looking for wooden toys , but also groups of testers .
I then offered as a test of games : I took a week off from GW to go to the Milton Bradley game prototypes to try and give advice on their projects .
At the end of the week that man, Roger Ford , who was the Vice President of Research and Development , asked me if I wanted to stay with them full time.
Of course I said yes.
I went into the MB in 1986 and I started working on Mysteries of Old Peking : a game invented by Mary Danby , that did the trick is in France for several years.
Then I worked on Inkognito , helping to fine-tune it .
I have also been three days in Venice, to collaborate with Alex Randolph on filings to the game system .

Kaos - And here we come to Heroquest . How is the idea ?
SB - Roger had shown interest in the genre of fantasy games .
I showed him many examples of securities that setting , drawing from my personal collection.
I started to describe to him how I imagined it might be a game of that type that Pern was intended for the mass market .
We argued at length about fantasy games .
We have also discussed with GW: their designers were at their volt interested in a project for the mass market.
Roger and I thought it would be good to use the thumbnails of the production Citadel / GW because he contributed a lot to the atmosphere.
To be honest, the first prototype was quite more complicated , but within two or three months I've simplified a lot.
In the initial release there were individual pieces of cardboard for each room or hallway , but there were far too many components .
So I redid the game with a single , huge billboard , foldable in three parts, such as Inkognito : but it was too expensive ...

Kaos - Why , when designing Heroquest , you decided to mix the classic board game with elements of role play ?
SB - I wanted to create a game for the older ones had a real role-playing game .
The player who plays the evil wizard is a master , has even a ' screen of the arbitrator ' .
It ' a game that has the mechanical properties of a boardgame but that looks like a role-playing game .
This, to me, is like a lot of people .
In the field of fantasy , existing games were stuff that was going to end the night.
I rather liked the idea of ​​creating a game Talisman style that was suitable for people between nine and eleven years .
And I wanted to make a game that had the flavor of the role-playing game , where you have to cooperate even if the collaboration between participants is not regulated.
There is not a target of type ' win or lose ' : you must accomplish the assigned mission , but we must also improve more that He can your character so that in later games is more powerful .
We did several meetings in Milton Bradley to review the prototype.
We discussed for several weeks with management.
On the eve of the crucial meeting there was still a lot of concern about the cost and difficoltŕ of a production like this .
The night before the meeting I had the idea to make a single board with a map of where it would be used every time the different sectors.
It was like having a new board every time for different scenarios ...
Among other things, write the different missions was a lot of fun.
Returning to the board, the problem is that if you explain the role playing fantasy games or those who do not know them and maybe is not even gotta be interested in listening , the message must arrivargli as quickly as possible .
At these meetings I reached the I with a box and began to pull out all the pieces.
In real terms, it was as if I had a unique map , but the marketing people are reassured if you instead open a nice board , explain that it's a classic board game and they do not have to make the mental leaps to move to who knows what other category of games.
This helps the marketing, the advertisement television and everything else.
Better something more immediate to understand, that does not create confusion.
The concept of modular rooms into separate pieces instead has remained in Advanced Heroquest .

Kaos - Also what is your project?
SB - What no, it was entirely developed by the designers of the Gams Workshop 18 months thereafter.
At the time of the agreement , we were required to keep open the possibility .
Heroquest has been launched in 1989 and has won recognition as a ' Family Game of the Year ' in the UK.
Over there has sold 126,000 copies , during the first year.
Then it's also released in France, Germany, Holland, Italy , Spain, Scandinavia , Switzerland, and later in the United States , Greece, and a bit ' in all markets reached by the MB .
In the space of two years, Heroquest and Starquest have become a part of the total turnover considerably MB of Europe.

Kaos - Heroquest is a game entirely yours? After you have created , the development has been entrusted to a team ?
SB - I made it and I personally made the most of the development , with the help of Ben Rathbone .
He is still the Milton Bradley : in particular, has been deeply involved in the design of the expansions .

Kaos - You mentioned Starquest .
How is this game?
SB - After the success of Heroquest seemed natural to think of a sequel.
The obvious choice was to make it a version of sci-fi , continuing to work on the imaginary that GW and Citadel had put together for Warhammer 40,000 , with their Space Marines .
Starquest The project was developed with different objectives.
Firstly stabilize the success of Heroquest , which had been the first game ' mainstream ' of this type .
Of course , there was already Talisman , but had never become a product from television commercials.
The success of Heroquest allows me to create a game in which the board was made ​​up of four separate pieces , which could be rotated .
There have , however, kept very much to the fact that , in the illustration of the back of the box , all look like a normal board.
As in Heroquest , there were several elements of the scenario that gave an impression of tridimensionalitŕ .
In Heroquest there were pieces of furniture both cardboard and plastic ; SpaceQuest I put in a central cross- section .
The board was something a little half and half '' ' : it was not exactly of rooms and corrido the individual , but the four pieces could be recombined to change the layout , or maybe even be placed in a row or in other ways.
The second major objective was related to the fact that Heroquest liked, but for the mass market player who played the evil wizard was a bit ' too limited in what he could do.
There were two points of view, of CIN : the kids loved doing the evil wizard for the sense of power that CIN offered .
They had their secrets , they were the only ones who knew where everything was .
The price paid for this was that they were not of Pern active players, but rather passive .
With Starquest , I wanted the player to become much more dynamic evil : for this he too has its objectives, and He can really win .
Hence the idea of segnlini ' blip ' , which can be really effective for a system of hidden movement , or at least for a movement in which players Marines do not know what are the various counters .
The game works : it is my favorite of the ones I've invented .
The Marines must work together, which is not always easy .
The missions do not always allow one to rush to the aid of the other so easily .
The combination of cards for different commanders of the Marines allows everyone to play with their own style of personal combat .
Even the cards of the player alien to arrangements are very funny .
In the supplements I have tried to create missoni in which it was necessary to survive more than anything else , but in general the game is more like a series of scenarios of Space Hulk .
Who loved this game could gradually to promote their captain to higher grades and get more equipment cards .
Of Starquest were made a couple of expansions, dedicated to the Eldar and the Dreadnought .
I am often asked if it is possible to succeed in the missions of the expansion on the Dreadnought .
Especially in the last scenario, where you attack the same factory that produces the Dreadnought and if they can build a new one: if you do take out one, the player with another alien He can fabricate those pieces .
And ' circumstances were very tough, but the Marines can win .
It is not easy , many say it is impossible , but the trick is not to destroy the Dreadnought ! The scenario is based sull'assedio of Stalingrad during World War II , where the Germans have gone to the attack of a tank factory from which they continued to jump out more of them.

Kaos - And Starquest has been a success.
SB - Yes : Adato is good since its launch in England in 1990.
Or was it '91 ? No, it was the '90s.
After two years I did Battlemaster : I do not know if he arrived in Italy ...

Kaos - Yes .
It was a game aimed at children ...
SB - It is a very simple wargame .
The goal was to offer more than 100 miniatures in the same box .
It ' a game much less strategic , but the strategies are not enough pure luck.
A skilled player beats a bad player .
It ' was designed to be played in an hour , without many problems .
Kaos - Even Battlemaster 're the only author ?
SB - Yes .
I later made ​​other games: I created Dinosauria for Schmidt Spiele and I worked for them on other titles such as Village of fear , Dragonsgate ...
Here, too, was trying to have more pieces that could be a three-dimensional effect , pretty nuts ...
The basic system was pulling some nice handfuls of dice to hit , and then to defend themselves.
I liked to keep these elements in various games designed by me .

Kaos - continued How is your career ?
SB - In 1992 I left the Milton Bradley to become a freelance writer.
It ' was in the year and a half later I did Dinosauria and other securities of Schmidt .
I worked a lot with Roger Ford, who had left the MB a couple of years before me.
After two and a half years , in 1995 , I went to the Bluebird ( a major British company mainly devoted to toys , Ed) to help them rebuild their range of games and to work in the field of toys for boys.
And this is in principle what I've done in the last three years I have considerably strengthened their assortment of games .
Last year we launched Havoc ( a sci-fi wargame , see Kaos n . 45 , Ed.)
Again, the idea was not very different from that of the other games I've done in the past.
The system is very easy for most young people want to be who I am by Games Workshop games for older children and experts.
We put on the market cheap a nice range of miniatures, on top of that already painted , with a system of rules that allows anyone to be able to fight a battle that has all the typical elements of the more complex three-dimensional wargames .
But here the rules are much more easy .
From my point of view , I try to create games that I'd like to play or that I would have loved to play when I was a child .
When I started playing wargames and boardgames I was seven or eight years: I used to do very simple games , and when I began to invent tired of the optional rules , or passed to the games more complex .
But if it were not for those games more easily , I never started .
So I think it's a shame when sometimes , the environment of the game, the securities are treated with more simple lack of consideration or with contempt.
And I like to think that , over the years , Heroquest and Starquest they did bring new people to the world of simulations and role plays.

Kaos - This is certainly true for many of our readers .
Thank you for your 's availability , and also for beautiful evenings I spent on Starquest hunt down the aliens ...

The play of Stephen Baker

Axis and Allies : Pacific

Battle Masters
Battleball
Battlemasters : Chaos Warband
Battlemasters : Imperial Lords

HeroQuest
HeroQuest - Adventure Design Kit
HeroQuest - Against the Ogre Horde
HeroQuest - Kellar 's Keep
HeroQuest - Return of the Witch Lord
HeroQuest - Wizards of Morcar
HeroScape
HeroScape Expansion Set : Jandar 's Oath
HeroScape Expansion Set : Mallidon 's Prophecy
HeroScape Expansion Set : Utgar 's Rage
HeroScape Expansion Set : Zorlac 's Quest

Risk - Lord of the Rings Expansion Set (incl. Siege of Minas Tirith game)
Risk - The Lord of the Rings
Risk - The Lord of the Rings - Trilogy Edition

Schlacht der Dinosaurier , die
Space Crusade
Space Crusade - Eldar Attack
Space Crusade - Mission Dreadnought








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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby GimmeYerGold » Friday November 15th, 2013 2:19pm

The creator speaks o_o

Thanks for finding this, Daedalus!


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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby torilen » Friday November 15th, 2013 3:33pm

Thanks for posting this. I love reading/listening to authors and designers on their work.
It gives such an insight to the process and the industry.


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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby knightkrawler » Friday November 15th, 2013 4:32pm

Thanks for posting. Now go translate into English.
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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby Daedalus » Tuesday June 28th, 2016 8:33pm

I found a page with English-translation available here. I copied and pasted the article below, sans pictures.

Stephen Baker

details
Category: Articles
Posted on August 6, 2012
Views: 5773
Stephen Baker is an author who has left his memory in the history of the games. A footprint that began to mark when he convinced a company like Hasbro to dare to publish the game HeroQuest . Unknown authors like almost all previous games XXI century (and as almost all authors who make games for Habro even today), we present one of the few interviews he ever gave.

About Stephen Baker less is known than he deserves his work, as with so many other authors of games for years. He began working as a manager for the British company Games Workshop in August 1984. Two years later he was signed by the section in that country of the multinational toy MB , had a risky idea: Post a game style theme of Games Workshop of fantasy adventure, mixing elements of the board and role, but with the power of Hasbro (owner of MB since 1984) to enable production with high quality materials, including miniatures and all kinds of components.
A board game so new and expensive was not well seen by the company in principle. The process was not easy, but the result in 1989 is historic and worthy for many reasons: HeroQuest .

After the success would come more games Stephen Baker who have passed into history playful, stellar Crusade , Battle Masters ... - extensions and almost all of them, of which Stephen however was not the most responsible in many cases.
Theirs was also the custom in 1991 of MB to adapt to board the TV game show Knightmare - titled Rescue Talismán in Spain.
Stephen Baker left MB in 1992. He worked for other brands ( Bluebird , Schmidt Spiele ) and participated in various projects of toys and games, several of them published in editions in Castilian.
It is at those times, after leaving MB , where appropriate the interview that we show below.
The interview dates from 1998 and is made ​​by the author and expert on Italian games Andrea Angiolino ( invited Cordoba Not only Parcheesi - Eutopía 2008, co - author of Wings of war among other games ) for the magazine Kaos Magazine , an Italian publishing then during the Nuremberg Fair that year. In La Tana dei Goblin remains the Italian text originally published interview.
We present an adaptation to the Castilian, by maloib in heroquest.es , which have made ​​some corrections and added images, and includes a section extending rearward and continuing with the author's work from 1998 to the present:

Interview with Stephen Baker
Interview with Stephen Baker by Andrea Angiolino . The legendary author of bestsellers such as HeroQuest and Cruzada Estelar reveals the background of his brilliant career. The meeting with Stephen Baker at the international toy fair in Nuremberg (Germany), which is presented as research and development director of the British firm Bluebird. This fair, a showcase for all businesses in the area of any game or toy, is a continuous coming and going of stands; but Stephen Baker gives us a bit of your precious time to tell his career as author. A part of the press he read the magazine Kaos, makes us some compliments and tells us that there is no independent magazine RPGs like ours [Kaos Magazine] in England. After the interview began.

1. Kaos: - The story of HeroQuest and Stellar Crusade when belonged to the team of Games Workshop starts, right?

Stephen Baker: - I was manager of a GW store, but when I played those games was not part of his team . I started working full time for GW in 1984, since 1982 I was already working with them part -time on weekends. My real job was as a clerk banking since I finished my studies, but worked with GW weekends to expand my collection of games [ GW is one of those companies who prefer to pay their employees with products rather than money - note interviewer ]. In 1984 they took my regularly and after three months I became store manager. Two years later I received a phone call from someone who worked for the English section of Milton Bradley. He had seen advertising GW and thought it was a kind of "shop molds" was looking for some wooden games, and some game testers. Anyway I volunteered as a game tester: I enjoyed a week's holiday GW to go to test prototypes of games MB, giving advice on their plans. At the end of the week, Roger Ford, then vice president of research and development, I was asked if I wanted to continue with them full time. Obviously I said yes. I joined MB in 1986 and started working with " Mysteries of Beijing ", a game created by Mary Danby , which worked very well in France for some years. Then I worked with " Inkognito " helping to set it up. I also spent three days in Venice to collaborate with Alex Randolph details on the game system.

2. Kaos - And here we come to the part of Hero Quest, how did the idea?

SB - Roger had shown interest in a series of fantasy games. I showed many examples based on the atmosphere, taking my own collection of games. I began to describe him as I had imagined could be a game as such, but aimed at a mass market. We spent a long time thinking about fantasy games. GW also were discoursing with his plans were aimed at a mass market. Roger and I thought it would be good idea to use miniatures produced by citadel-GW because it would be a very good contribution to the game atmosphere. Honestly, the first prototype was more complicated but in a couple of months we simplify it a lot. In a first version they appeared loose cardboard sections for each room or hallway, but decided we were too. So we redid the game with a single and huge game board, folding into three parts, like the game Inkognito: but it was too expensive ...
[-edit. This last section was Google translated directly from maloib's post at Herouest.es. It was missing from the Jugamos Tod@s article cited in this post.]

3. Kaos - Why, in creating HeroQuest, you decide to mix a classic board game with some elements of RPG?

SB - My intention was to create a game that for an adult was a true RPG. The player fetch the evil sorcerer role would be the DJ (Gamemaster) and even dispusiera a "display manager". It is a game with the mechanisms of a board game but is self-presented as an RPG. And this, to me, was an idea that many people would like. In the field of fantasy, existing games were regarded as something that you headed into the darkness. On the contrary, I liked the idea of creating a game of " style Talisman " [classic game of Robert Harris ] designed for people between nine and eleven years. And I wanted to make a game that had flavor RPG, where there must be collaboration even if the collaboration between players is not regulated. There is no objective "win or lose": the assigned mission must be completed and it is also necessary to improve more and more the character to the following items is more powerful. We did some meetings in MB to examine the prototype. We argued for weeks with management. The day before the decisive meeting had much concern about the costs and difficulties in production. The night before the meeting took the decision to make a single board, with a map, where to use each time, several sets. It was like having a new board every time, for several stagings ... Besides other matters, write the different missions was fun. Returning to the subject of the board, the problem is that if you explain the role playing fantasy games or who do not know them and even are neither interested in listening, the message must reach them the soon as possible. I came to these meetings with a large box and began to draw from it a lot of parts and components. Actually, it was as if I had a single map made ​​pieces, but the marketing men were more reassured if they showed a board and explain to them that this was a classic board game and they did not have to make mental efforts change the chip to another kind of games. This helps the marketing, advertising on TV and everything else. It is better to get an idea right away that create confusion. Instead, the concept of mounting rooms with spare parts remained in Advanced HeroQuest .

4. Kaos - The last game that you mentioned is your idea?

SB - No, this is not, was fully developed by staff GW , 18 months later. At the time the agreement was kept open this possibility. HeroQuest was launched in 1989 and gained recognition as "Family Game of the Year" in the UK. Approximately 126,000 units were sold during the course of the first year. Then he also edited in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Switzerland and subsequently in the United States, Greece and covering all markets MB . In two years, HeroQuest and Cruzada Estelar became a significant part of the business of MB Europe .

5. Kaos - Do you think HeroQuest is totally yours? After you were the creator, the development was entrusted to a team?

SB - I invented and I personally participated in much of the development, with the help of Ben Rathbone . He still works in MB , in particular he worked on a lot of ideas expansions.
[youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2BXmQ-EwmI]
Announcement HeroQuest with its first two expansions.

6. Kaos - You mentioned Stellar Crusade. How did this game?

SB - After the success of HeroQuest , it seemed natural to think of some below. The most obvious choice was to create a version with a science fiction backdrop, continuing work background that GW and Citadel had devised together with Warhammer 40,000 and Space Marines. The idea of Star Crusade focused on several points. The first, ensure the success of HeroQuest , which had been the first "original" game of this type. Surely, he had been Talisman , but never became a product with TV advertising. The success of HeroQuest prompted me to create a game with a board consisting of four separate parts which could rotate. However, I laid special emphasis on the fact that in the illustration on the cover of the box seemed like a conventional board. As with HeroQuest , several elements of scenario existed on the board giving a three dimensional effect. In HeroQuest had furniture pieces made ​​of plastic and cardboard; in Stellar Crusade I arranged a central cross section. The board was something "half and half" was not exactly a collection of rooms and corridors loose in separate sections, but the four parties could be combined to change the layout and even arrange them in a row or otherwise. The second major objective was the fact that although many people liked them HeroQuest , the player who played the evil sorcerer (DJ) was a little limited in their actions. There were two views: the children liked the role of evil sorcerer (DJ) by the sense of power it offered. They had their secrets, were the only ones who know where everything was placed. But the price they had to pay in return was not acting as active players, were rather passive. With Stellar Crusade , I wanted the player wicked become more dynamic: thus also had goals and even could win. Hence the idea of "blip" markers, which can really be an effective system of hidden movements, or at least movements in the Marines players do not know what some markers represent emerged. The game works: is my favorite among those who have invented. Marines must cooperate together, and that is not always easy. The missions do not allow always relieving each other so easily. The combination of cards for different Marine commanders allows everyone to play their own style of combat. Also letters of alien player makes it fun. In the expansions I tried to create missions that survival was needed more than others, the game is usually more like a series of scenarios Space Hulk [of Richard Halliwell ]. Who loved this game could go gradualmentea promoting its marines from captain to higher ranks, obtaining turn over equipment cards. They made ​​two expansions of Stellar Crusade , dedicated to Eldar and Dreadnought. I often wondered if it was possible to overcome the missions of the expansion of the Dreadnought. Especially in the latter scenario, in which the very factory that manufactures the Dreadnought and can build new attacking. If you killed one, the player could make another ally themselves with those pieces. This is a very difficult stage, but the Marines can win. It is not easy, a lot of people say it is almost impossible but the trick is not to destroy the Dreadnought! The scenario is based on the battle of Stalingrad during World War II, where the Germans attacked a tank factory which did not stop out new ones.

7. Kaos - And Stellar Crusade succeeded.

SB - Yes, it was great since it was launched in England in 1990 or was it in '91? No, it was in 90. After two years created Battlemasters do not know if arrived in Italy ...

8. Kaos - Yes. It was a game aimed at children rather ...

SB - This is a very simple war game. The aim was to offer more than 100 models in one box. This is a much less strategic game, but strategies exist, pure luck is not enough. A skilled player can defend a mediocre player. It was designed to play a game in an hour without much trouble.

9. Kaos - Also on Battlemasters, you are the only author?

SB - Yes And then I created other games. Die Schlacht der Dinosaurier for Schmidt Spiele and I also worked for them with other titles like World of Korak , The Village Terror , the Kingdom of the Dragon [published in Spain by Diset] ... I have also tried to develop ideas loose, three - dimensional effects, given nice ... based systems where a lot of throwing dice to hit and then to defend game. I liked to keep these items in some games I designed.

10. Kaos - How did you continue your career?

SB - In 1992 I left Milton Bradley and became autonomous. A year and a half later I Die Schlacht der Dinosaurier and other titles Schmidt . I worked a lot with Roger Ford , who had left MB two years before me. After two and a half years, in 1995, I joined Bluebird [ a British company dedicated to toys - note the interviewee r] to help them redesign their range of games and work in the area of children 's toys. And this has been what I've been doing mainly the last three years: considerably strengthen its range of games. Last year we launched Havoc . Again, the idea was not very different from any of the other games I've created in the past. The gameplay is very simple: get the youngest what games GW are for adults and experts. We have put on the market a wide range of good miniatures, and even painted, and a system of rules that allow anyone to perform a battle with all the typical elements of the most complex three - dimensional wargames. But in this case the rules are much simpler. From my perspective, I try to create games that I would play or who would have liked to play when I was a child. When I started playing wargames and board games, she was seven or eight years I made ​​very simple games, and when I got bored, I invented additional rules or exchanged for more complex games. But if those easiest games had not existed, I would have never started playing. So I think it's a shame when sometimes in the atmosphere between players, the simplest titles are treated with little consideration or indifference. And I like to believe that, over the years, HeroQuest and Cruzada Estelar have attracted new people to the world of RPGs.

Kaos - That is very true for a lot of our readers. Thank you for your time and also for the wonderful evenings we have spent with Stellar Crusade, fighting aliens ...


In late 1998, not long after the interview we've read, Stephen Baker returned to Hasbro and in 2000 went to live in the United States near the company headquarters. He has worked in publishing many games since then classic company as Monopoly, Cluedo, Life Game, games subseal Avalon Hill, etc. and also new games although we can not always find their trail - Hasbro insists on not accredit the authors of their products.
In 2001 we know that Stephen Baker colaboraró in relaunching the classic Axis & Allies (1981) creating Axis & Allies: Pacific alongside Rob Daviau and the author of the original game Larry Harris Jr .

In 2002 he participates in the recreation of Risk (Albert Lamorisse, 1957) themed films of The Lord of the Rings , getting one of the best versions of Risk of recent times.

In 2003 it published its extent, also the work of the same team.

He is responsible for Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition in 2003.

Also in 2003 Stephen Baker published his game Battle Ball .

His great modern creation is Heroscape , designed in team by Stephen Baker , Rob Daviau & Craig Van Ness , and first published in 2004 in the USA and then in other countries, coming to Spain in 2005 by Hasbro Iberia .

The game had a huge global launch and many extensions and continuations, in which Stephen Baker continued to work.

Heroscape had great success among the amateur public, being Finalist 2005 JdA the board game of the year in Spain.

Heroscape began produced, always within Hasbro , the subseal MB and then moved to subseal Wizard of the Coast . Stephen Baker was the creator and developer of the game and its expansions to date.

The last published version of the game was adapted to the theme of Dungeons & Dragons ( Wizards of the Coast maintains the rights of all the games that follow the wake of the original role playing D & D Gary Gygax and Dave Arnold ).

But in 2010 Wizards of the Coast announced the closure of the line Heroscape , having decided to focus almost exclusively on its flagship products ( D & D and Magic: The Gathering of Richard Garfield ). The fondness Heroscape however still very much alive worldwide.

[Youtube: http: //www.youtube.com/watch? V = UNIKHtncnmc]
Heroscape announcement (in English).

Since then, nothing more we work or the person of Stephen Baker , beyond their successive positions within the company Hasbro : Design Manager ( from 1998-2005 ), Director of Product Design ( from 2005 to 2010 - working in preschool products , children, families and adults on all platforms including DVD and electronic games ), and as a director and Senior director Product Design since January 2011. resides near the center of Hasbro in Pawtucket, Providence County (Rhode Island , USA).

In his own words, says Steve Baker about himself:
"Husband, father, designer, player, historian and a kind of big boy.
Self - taught, a creative leader with experience in all apectos design and development of toys and games."

We play us!
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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby Daedalus » Tuesday July 5th, 2016 3:21am

Some take-aways from the interview:

  • Stephen Baker didn't invent Hero Quest while at Games Workshop, as some believe. Baker states he started work in Milton Bradley in 1986, while Hero Quest wasn't first published until 1989.
  • Baker's board was originally meant to be almost 50% larger than what saw production. Inkognito's box measures 20x12.68 inches, so a triple-fold board measuring just short of 20x38.4 could fit. I imagine larger rooms would have been included.
  • Hero Quest was released in Switzerland! Was Baker mistaken, or do we need to add a new box to the Home Page?
  • Roger Ford helped in some of the original direction, while Ben Rathbone helped with development. Baker seems to have written the original 14 Quests.
  • Hero Quest sold 126,000 games in the first year of release in the UK. That commercial really worked!
  • Baker says the Evil Sorcerer gets power and secrets at the price of not acting as an active player. Because of this limitation, he best likes Space Crusade where the bad side has goals and can win.
  • Baker worked on Dark World, Village of Fear, and Dragon's Gate--I didn't know that! No wonder the components make such a cool addition to Hero Quest.
  • He also worked on the Lord of the Rings Risk and Axis and Allies Pacific--didn't know that, either.
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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby Daedalus » Monday August 13th, 2018 6:27pm

knightkrawler wrote:Thanks for posting. Now go translate into English.

I've finally rediscovered the English-translated Kaos interview I read years ago at La Tana dei Goblin/The Tomb of the Goblins. Written by Angiolillo on 07/04/2005. Waaay better than the previous computer translations.

Andrea Angiolino interviews Stephen Baker

Four chats with Stephen Baker by Andrea Angiolino The author of legendary best-sellers like Heroquest and Starquest reveals the background of his brilliant career. I meet Stephen Baker at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, where he is present as Research and Development Manager for the English Bluebird. The Fair, the theater of all international business in the gaming and toy industry, is a continuous rush from one stand to another: but Stephen kindly offers us a part of his precious time to tell us about his career as an author. In the quiet of the press office browse through Kaos; he compliments us and regrets that in England there is not an independent magazine of role-playing games like ours. Then the interview begins.
[Interview by Andrea Angiolino made in 1998 for Kaos]

Kaos - The story of Heroquest and Starquest begins in the days when you were at the Games Workshop, right?
SB - I was the Store Manager for them, but when I worked on those games I was not part of their staff. I started working full-time for the Games Workshop in 1984: since 1982 I had been working with them part-time on the weekends. My real job was in the bank, ever since I left college, but I worked for the GW on weekends to expand my collection of games (GW is one of those companies that prefers to pay its employees in products instead of money, Editor's note). In 1984 they took me regularly and after three months I was the Store Manager. After another two years, I received a call from someone who worked for the Milton Bradley branch in England. He had seen the Games Workshop publicity and understood that we were a kind of woodworker: he was looking for wooden games, but also for playtesters. I then offered myself as a game tester: I took a week off from the GW to go to Milton Bradley to try out game prototypes and give advice on their projects. At the end of the week that guy, Roger Ford, who was the vice president of Research and Development, asked me if I wanted to go and stay with them full time. Obviously I said yes. I joined MB in 1986 and started working on Misteries of Old Peking: a game invented by Mary Danby, which has been fine in France for several years. Then I worked on Inkognito, helping to fine-tune it. I've also been in Venice for three days to work with Alex Randolph on filing the gaming system.

Kaos - And here we come to Heroquest. How was the idea born?
SB - Roger had shown interest in the lodging of fantasy games. I showed him many examples of titles with that setting, drawing on my personal collection. I started describing them as I imagined it could be a game of that kind that was destined for the mass market. We were discussing fantasy games for a long time. We also discussed this with the GW: their designers were interested in a mass market project. Roger and I thought it would be good to use the miniatures of the Citadel / GW production because it would have contributed a lot to the atmosphere. To be honest, the first prototype was rather more complicated: but I simplified it a lot in two or three months. In the initial version there were individual pieces of cardboard for each room or corridor, but there were definitely too many components. Then I redid the game with a single, huge board, foldable in three parts, like that of Inkognito: but it was too expensive ... Kaos - Why, in designing Heroquest, did you decide to mix the classic board game with role-playing elements? SB - I wanted to create a game that was a real role-playing game for the older kids. The player who plays the villain is a master, he even has a 'referee' screen. It's a game that has the mechanics of a boardgame but that presents itself as a role-playing game. And this, in my opinion, liked a lot of people. In the field of fantasy, the existing games were stuff that ended up late at night. Instead, I liked the idea of ​​creating a Talisman-style game that was suitable for people between nine and eleven. And I wanted to make a game that tastes like role-playing, where you have to cooperate even if the collaboration between the participants is not regulated. There is no "win or lose" goal: you have to accomplish the assigned mission, but you also need to improve your character as much as possible so that it is more powerful in later games. We had several meetings in Milton Bradley to examine the prototype. We have been discussing with management for several weeks. On the eve of the decisive meeting there was still much concern over the costs and difficulties of such a production. The night before the meeting I had the idea to make a single board, with a map that would be used every time in different sectors. It was like having a new board every time for the various scenarios ... Among other things, writing the different missions was great fun. Returning to the scoreboard, the problem is that if you explain role-playing games or fantasy games to those who do not know them and maybe not even interested in listening to you, the message should get there as fast as possible. At those meetings I would come with a box and start pulling out all the little pieces. In real terms it was as if I had a unique map, but the marketing men are reassured if you instead open a nice board, explain that it is a classic board game and they do not have to make mental jumps to go to who knows what other category of games. This helps marketing, television advertising and everything else. Better something more immediate to understand, that does not create confusion. The concept of modular rooms in separate pieces remained in Advanced Heroquest.

Kaos - Is that your project too?
SB - The no, it was entirely developed by the designers of the Gams Workshop 18 months later. At the time of the agreement, they had kept us open to that possibility. Heroquest was launched in 1989 and won the 'Family Game of the Year' award in the UK. Over there he sold 126,000 copies during the first year. Then it also came out in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and then also in the United States, Greece and a little in all the markets reached by MB. Within two years, Heroquest and Starquest have become a significant part of MB Europe's global turnover.

Kaos - Heroquest is a game entirely yours? After you designed it, was the development assigned to a team?
SB - I invented it and personally did most of the development, with the help of Ben Rathbone. He is still at Milton Bradley: in particular, he has worked extensively on the design of the expansions.

Kaos - You mentioned Starquest. How is this game born?
SB - After the success of Heroquest it seemed natural to think of a sequel. The obvious choice was to make a version of science-fiction setting, continuing to work on the imagery that the GW and the Citadel had put together for Warhammer 40,000, with their Space Marines. The Starquest project had been developed with different objectives. First of all, to stabilize the success of Heroquest, which was the first 'mainstream' game of this kind. Sure, there was already Talisman: but it had never become a product of television commercials. The success of Heroquest allowed me to create a game in which the board was made up of four separate pieces that could be rotated. However, I was very attached to the fact that, in the illustration of the back of the box, everything looked like a normal board. As in Heroquest, there were several elements of scenery that gave an impression of three-dimensionality. In Heroquest there were pieces of furniture both in cardboard and in plastic; in Spacequest I put a cross section in the middle. The board was something a little 'half and a half': it was not exactly about rooms and corrido the individual, but the four pieces could be recombined to change the arrangement, or maybe even be lined up or in other ways. The second big goal was related to the fact that Heroquest liked it, but for the mass market the player who played the evil wizard was a little too limited in what he could do. There were two points of view on this: the children liked to be a bad magician for the sense of power that this offered. They had their secrets, they were the only ones who knew where everything was. The price they paid for this was that they were not active but passive players. With Starquest, I wanted the evil player to get a lot more dynamic: that's why he has his goals too, and he can really win. Hence the idea of ​​'blip' signs, which can be really effective for a hidden movement system, or at least for a movement in which the Marines players do not know what the various counters represent. The game works: it is my favorite among those I invented. The Marines must work together, which is not always easy. Missions do not always allow one to help each other so easily. The combination of cards for different Marine commanders allows each person to play with their own personal fighting style. Even the cards available to the alien player are very funny. In the supplements I tried to create missos in which more than anything else needed to survive, but in general the game is more like a series of Space Hulk scenarios. Those who loved this game could gradually promote their captain to higher grades and get more equipment cards. A couple of expansions have been made of Starquest, dedicated to Eldar and Dreadnought. They often ask me if it is possible to succeed in the Dreadnought expansion missions. Especially in the last scenario, where you attack the factory itself that produces Dreadnought and you can build new ones: if you take one out, the alien player can make another one with those pieces. It's a pretty tough scenario, but the Marines can win. It's not easy, many say it's even impossible: but the trick is not to destroy the Dreadnought! The scenario is based on the siege of Stalingrad during the Second World War, where the Germans went to attack a tank factory from which they kept popping out new ones.

Kaos - And even Starquest was a success.
SB - Yes: it is well suited since its launch in England, in 1990. Or was it '91? No, it was 1990. After two years I did Battlemaster: I do not know if he arrived in Italy ...

Kaos - Yes. It was a game aimed at children ...
SB - It is a very simple wargame. The goal was to offer more than 100 miniatures in the same box. It's a far less strategic game, but there are strategies: pure luck is not enough. A skillful player beats a poor player. It was designed to be played in an hour, without many problems.

Kaos - Are you the only author of Battlemaster?
SB - Yes. Later I made more games: I created Dinosauria for Schmidt Spiele and I worked for them on other titles like Village of fear, Dragonsgate ... Even here I tried to get as many pieces as possible, a three-dimensional effect, nice dice ... The basic system was to pull nice handfuls of dice to hit, and then to defend yourself. I really liked to keep these elements in the various games I designed.

Kaos - How did your career continue?
SB - In 1992 I left Milton Bradley to become a freelancer. It was in the next year and a half that I made Dinosauria and the other Schmidt titles. I worked a lot with Roger Ford, who had left the MB a couple of years before me. After two and a half years, in 1995, I joined Bluebird (a large English company mainly dedicated to toys, Ed) to help them rebuild their range of games and work in the field of children's toys. And this is in principle what I have done over the last three years: I have considerably strengthened their assortment of games. Last year we launched Havoc (a sci-fi wargame, see Kaos No. 45, Ed). Again, the idea was not very different from the other games I did in the past. The system is very easy: it wants to be for the younger ones what the Games Workshop games are for the older and more experienced. We have put on the market a good range of miniatures, moreover already painted, with a system of rules that allows anyone to fight a battle that has all the typical elements of the most complex three-dimensional wargames. But here the rules are much easier. From my point of view, I try to create games that I would like to play or that I would have liked to play when I was a kid. When I started playing wargames and boardgames I was seven or eight years old: I was playing very simple games, and when I got tired I started to invent optional rules, or else I would go to more complex games. But if there were not those easier games, I would never have started. That's why I think it's a pity when sometimes, in the game environment, simpler titles are treated with little consideration or contempt. And I'm glad to think that, over the years, Heroquest and Starquest have brought new people closer to the world of simulations and role-playing games.

Kaos - This is certainly true for many of our readers. Thanks for the availability, and also for the beautiful evenings I spent on Starquest to hunt down the aliens ...


Stephen Baker's games

Axis and Allies: Pacific


Battle Masters

Battleball

BattleMasters : Chaos Warband

BattleMasters: Imperial Lords


HeroQuest

HeroQuest - Adventure Design Kit

HeroQuest - Against the Ogre Horde

HeroQuest - Kellar's Keep

HeroQuest - Return of the Witch Lord

HeroQuest - Wizards of Morcar

HeroScape

HeroScape Expansion Set: Jandar's Oath

HeroScape Expansion Set: Mallidon's Prophecy

HeroScape Expansion Set: Utgar's Rage

HeroScape Expansion Set: Zorlac's Quest


Risk - Lord of the Rings Expansion Set (including Siege of Minas Tirith game)

Risk - The Lord of the Rings

Risk - The Lord of the Rings - Trilogy Edition


Schlacht der Dinosaurier, Die

Space Crusade

Space Crusade - Eldar Attack

Space Crusade - Mission Dreadnought
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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby benvoliothefirst » Monday August 13th, 2018 8:49pm

Thanks for sharing... Very cool!
wickedmetal.blogspot.com <--I paint HeroQuest!
My players' monthly game results
Mods I Use:
Base Quests in four difficulty steps by Anderas
Random Events by Jacob Busby (pg.5)
Karlen's Circlet by AerynB/drathe/sajungzak
Heartfelt thanks to all of you who have worked to enrich the world of HeroQuest!
Goblin-King wrote:When life gives you lemons, squeeze those lemons into your eyes, enter a berserker rage and punch life in the face!


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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby JCool » Wednesday August 22nd, 2018 8:12am

Great read - thanks for sharing!

It's always interesting to see the list of games a designer has made and the story of how they progress from one to the next and what they hope to accomplish.
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Re: The Stephen Baker Interview

Postby Daedalus » Tuesday October 27th, 2020 2:07am

The re-release of Heroquest by Hasbro has prompted a new interview at mojo-nation:

HeroQuest inventor Stephen Baker on his creative process, designing the legendary game… And its upcoming revival
Posted on 19th October 2020 By Deej Johnson
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Stephen Baker, HeroQuest

Few games are as beloved as the 1988 classic, HeroQuest. We caught up with the HeroQuest hero himself, inventor Stephen Baker. Here he tells us about his creative process, designing the game… And its 2020 revival.

Stephen Baker! Pleasure to catch up; thank you for making time. Let’s start on the obvious place… How did you get into the games industry?
My lifelong passions developed early on. As a boy I was keen on history, modelling and games. I would make model tanks, planes, and paint plastic soldiers. My friends and I would play simple stand ’em up, knock ’em down type games.

Just with the models; no dice or cards or anything?
No, not at first! However, this damaged the models and chipped off the paint. So I soon made up some rules. These were all very basic and included cardboard templates for movement, and simple dice rolls for shooting. My dad then found a book at the library called The War Game by Charles Grant. That book, which I still have, changed everything. It was 1973 and I was nine years old.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
I know The War Game was something of a bible back then. What was it, exactly? Not just a set of rules I understand?
No, The War Game wasn’t just a set of rules! It provided a high-level overview for warfare in the eighteenth century. Grant then shared his thought process and method. He outlined how to convert the realities of troop organization, troop manoeuvres and rate of fire into game rules based on ground scale, troop ratios and the time each turn represented.

So it’s really how to play war games based on historic principles?
Exactly. And the idea you could take something real and interpret a representative play experience like that fascinated me… I began designing games for other time periods, and for sports – anything that interested me.

And this held your interest throughout your teens, too?
Absolutely. Later, when I left college, I went to work in a bank. However, at the weekends I worked at the London Games Workshop store in Dalling Road.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
Oh, wow. The very-first store? Kudos!
When the opportunity came to become full time, I jumped at it… Much to the concern of some friends and family! But things worked out; I quickly became the manager. One day, I was contacted by someone from Milton Bradley. They were looking for some game pieces. As we talked further, they asked if I’d be interested in doing some playtesting for them. I took a few days off and spent three days playing games and writing reports. On the final day, they asked if I wanted to join as an Associate Games Designer. Of course, I said yes.

That’s a heck of a story! And you sound very energised by it; very passionate. Let me ask you this: of which work are you most proud?
I don’t know that there’s a single product or project that I’m most proud of. What does give me a great sense of pride is what I do; what we all do in this industry… We make smiles. We craft fun that brings people together. Deliver experiences that will be remembered. We enable people to explore, to create and to imagine through play. I love being part of an industry that puts more smiles into the world than we take out of it. We’re a positive influence.

Fantastic! I think that’s a difficult question; you’ve breezed it! So… Okay. You’re probably best-known for the game HeroQuest. It’s Milton Bradley’s approach to Dungeons and Dragons, working with Games Workshop. For those that don’t know it, can you give us some background?
Sure! My initial vision for HeroQuest was “role-playing in a box”. It’s still the way I describe it to people today. The goal was to give players who’d never experienced role-playing their first taste of adventure gaming.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
Which is more or less how I’d describe it; a gateway to that style of game…
Right. So I wanted to simulate all the attributes of a role-playing game. I wanted to provide miniatures and 3D dungeon terrain. Just as I was inspired as a boy by images of grand wargame tables, beautiful terrain and large, painted armies, I wanted the game to be a spectacle. I wanted maximum visual appeal that would inspire people to want to play.

And what was your biggest challenge working on the original?
Managing cost and keeping it simple! As an example, the early versions of the game had room and corridor tiles. That seemed the obvious way to go. It gave maximum flexibility for quest layouts. However, when I play tested with kids it was just too much. Given all the pieces, it took too long to reveal what was round the next corner, and it was too easy to make a mistake and place the wrong tile.

Okay…
That’s when I decided to have a set gameboard. People understand a gameboard; it felt more familiar and took away a lot of time trying to find the right tile. Every quest was now the same template. This was easier to manage in the page layout for quests. It was much faster to set up the board as the players journeyed through the game.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
Which is interesting to me; the idea of a welcome solution hiding in a limitation…
Well, likewise, I’d originally planned a three-panel gameboard. I had it similar in size to the old Gamemaster games like Axis & Allies. Unfortunately, I had to reduce this to a standard two-panel board for cost reasons. No point having a huge dungeon if you can’t afford monsters to put in it! And with each iteration of the game, I simplified it more. I wanted maximum experience for the least number of rules.

You might be interested to know that – in a recent set of Mojo Nation interviews – two out of four guests picked HeroQuest as the game they’d most want with them on a desert island! Do you get that sort of thing a lot?
Happily, I’ve had many people over the years reach out to me to say how much they loved playing HeroQuest when they were younger! People often tell me it was the game that got them into role-playing, or the game that made gaming their hobby. Given the colourful look of the overall game, many people were inspired to paint the miniatures, so for some this was also the game that inspired them to get in to miniature gaming.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
And if you had to guess, why, do you think, it’s so beloved?
I guess it was the first game of its kind, and unlike anything that was on the market at the time. It was like a miniature stage on which the players own adventure story would be told. In the simplest way possible, it delivered narrative, characters, adventure, tricks and surprises. It was an uncomplicated contest between the heroes and the monsters. This was all a new and unique experience for many kids and their families. I think this is why it remains such a treasured memory for so many.

Dare I ask… How does it feel to see HeroQuest coming back?
It’s a little surreal. I first started designing the game in 1988. It’s definitely the game people talk to me about the most. Hasbro contacted me earlier this year and asked if I’d be interested in writing a bonus Quest Book. I was delighted to hear they were bringing the game back, and honoured to have the opportunity to play a small role in its relaunch. Going back through the rules and all the past quest materials certainly brought back a lot of memories.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
And what was your biggest challenge working on the new version?
I don’t think it was a challenge! I had some homework to do. It had been quite a few years since I’d really familiarised myself with all the game elements. What was notably different is the means by which I created the Quest Book. When I was designing my first quests – 30-odd years ago – everything was pen and paper. I literally wrote out the materials…

Oh, my! I hadn’t thought, but yes; this was before desktop publishing?!
Yes! So I cut and pasted photocopies of hand-drawn symbols onto printed board templates. Making things larger or smaller was done through percentage changes at the copier. It was definitely old school!

Amazing, though…
Fast forward to today, and I can create a finished Quest Book that looks no different than the originals. However, while the tools have changed, the process remained the same. I scoped out a rough story. Broke it down into chapters and used these as the script for each quest. I challenged myself to use the board in some new and different ways. I planned how I’d add those surprise moments for the heroes… I wanted returning players to experience once again the heroes’ shared, excited reaction as they opened the door and found what lay beyond.

HeroQuest aside, in which other games have you had a hand?
I’ve worked on many games over the years. I spent 26 years at Hasbro over a 35-year period… 17 of those were spent as part of the Games team, first in Europe and later the US. During that time, I worked on just about every Hasbro game brand.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
But you’re not at Hasbro now?
No. I left Hasbro in September 2019; since then I’ve been partnering a number of other designers and inventors around the world. I also do a little freelance game design and consulting.

Terrific! Hey, feel free to give yourself a proper plug. Some of my articles attract upwards of a dozen views…
Well, if any of your dozen readers are interested, they’re welcome to contact me at stephen@stephenbakerdesign.com, or find me on LinkedIn. I enjoy meeting and working with new folk, and am always happy to talk about games.

You say that… Perhaps I should’ve warned you, eight of those people are loons! Let me ask you this, though: in terms of your creative process, how do you generate ideas? How do you develop them?
I use a number of different methods. Even when working alone, there needs to be some process. I like to create a bunch of high-level ideas. These are not full concepts. It’s a name with a few lines to describe the essence of the experience, along with a sketch or two. Very rough thumbnails.

Without any filtering, presumably?
No, at this stage I don’t judge; I’m just trying to create a bunch of ideas.The goal is to capture an idea quickly in a way that allows me to return to it later. Then I filter. Here I’m looking to find the ideas that seem to have the most value… Sometimes ideas merge or morph into something a little different. I’m also doing some light research to make sure an idea is sufficiently unique.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
And what happens next? Presumably you pick some ideas over others?
Yes. Once selected, I add ideas to my active-project list and plan how much development time to invest in getting a first prototype. I like to have structure to my week, and find it’s important to set myself targets and dates. That all being said, there are also days when a thought pops into my head over morning coffee. The rest of the day is then a frenzied pursuit of that idea!

Forced into a cul-de-sac of immodesty, what one piece of advice would you give other designers?
A game is only as good as the players say it is. Playtest, and listen to feedback. We touched on this earlier: sometimes the thing that needs to go is the thing you like the most. Don’t be too precious with your ideas!

Right. It’s only very-new or very-doomed inventors, I think, that absolutely cleave to one idea…
I always say, “Anything is possible, everything is not.” Early on, as your idea takes form, make sure you have a clear sense of who you’re designing for, what you imagine the likely play scenario to be, and the attributes of the experience you’re trying to create for your audience. If you’re just adding clay and you haven’t formed the underlying wire armature, the end may not live up to your expectations – or those of your players.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
Great analogy! Love the saying, too.
And finally, I would say don’t worry if early playtests don’t work well. You have to get it wrong before you get it right.

Excellent! This has been very insightful, Stephen, and I’ve taken a lot of your time so we should probably wrap this up… I’m curious, though, what question have you never been asked in an interview that might be fun to answer? And what is the answer?
The question would be… “If you could meet anyone past present or future who would you like to meet?” Now, people who know me would say my answer would surely be Napoleon. But it’s not. My answer would be Charles Grant. It would be cool to let him know how much his books inspired me. Cooler still to stand across the table and refight one of his classic battles.

Great answer… Finally, then, what’s the most interesting thing on your desk?
It’s an interesting question. As I looked around for an answer, I saw a small clear acrylic seahorse. It is a simple design, one that my youngest daughter drew. I then converted the linework into a PDF and laser cut the image. She was thrilled to see her creative work materialise into a tactile, tangible object. I equipped a small studio when I set up my company. I have a large-format printer, 3D printer and laser cutter. As designers, we often take all the maker technology for granted. But for kids, it’s still a source of great wonder.

Stephen Baker, HeroQuest
Again, you sound very passionate; I hope it comes across to those twelve readers! Any last thoughts for them?
The world of gaming has never been stronger. There are more games being created and more games being played by more people than ever before. Some of these players will be inspired to design their own. I encourage them to do so. Become a smile maker.
..
UNCLE ZARGON
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