Any questions for Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games?

Supporter

Jamey was one of the first people I interviewed back when I was green and when my interviews were half as long as they are now haha

Well I contacted him today and he'll be available for a video interview with Trent after Thanksgiving! So, with that said, are there any questions you'd like to see us asking Jamey? No promises on whether they will all make it, but we'd like to hear your thoughts/ideas.

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12 months ago

I don't know if this is a jerky question or not, but I'm curious.

With Wingspan's first printing having typos and errors that required a separate pack and Tapestry getting errata for civilizations shortly after launch, what is SM doing to improve quality control going forward? It feels like Tapestry early adopters were beta testers and while the Wingspan errors were unfortunate, it's not something we expect from a quality publisher like SM. What is SM doing to be sure the game that comes out is the best game it can be?

12 months ago

I think this question is a must. 

Supporter12 months ago

I want to hear spoilers for upcoming games. LOL

He just hired his first full time employee. I'm curious what his thoughts/plans/hopes for the next 2 years. 

What are the games he and his girlfriend enjoy playing together? 

Currently he has a very decent game portfolio. If you figure the average rankings for his games on BGG it is quite high. They are mostly midweight euroy sorts of games with beautiful art. He has only one game that is specifically for younger players. Does he think that there will be other games in the near future for younger players? They could be spinoff of current titles, "my little lemonade stand" or they could be completely independent from current roster of work. 

12 months ago

The kid game (My Little Scythe) was designed by a kid (and her dad). Perhaps Jamey could outsource more of that. I'm sure people would be willing to work with their kids or on their own to create kid-level games of Wingspan and his other games. May the best design win!

Supporter12 months ago

He is very open to good designs. Have at it. See what you can do. 

12 months ago

That's one thing I like about him. He'll consider anything good. His level of good, in terms of design and production, I find is higher than most.

Supporter12 months ago

In Order to even be considered you have to meet some super strict criteria. They are quite selective there. 

Supporter12 months ago

Yes, but it does mean that he has generally good games. 

Supporter12 months ago

Can’t argue with that!

Supporter12 months ago

Oh boy, how I wish I could drag that out of every person I've interviewed lol. One thing I do know is that they have an upcoming game set for 2020 with codename "Sand"--according to their time table the playtesting is complete but needs work on the graphic design and the production side of things.

I also had similar questions in regards to his recent updates on his relationship as well as his first full-time employee.

All great questions that will help with Trent's prepping!


12 months ago

I don't like sand. It's course, and rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere.

Supporter12 months ago

You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them!

Supporter12 months ago

Yes. I have heard of "sand." But, I wanna hear more. Ah well, I suppose that he won't leak anything. 

Supporter12 months ago

Well, it doesn't hurt to try. And like Brian said, hopefully some will slip :)

Supporter12 months ago

Maybe a few grains will slip through the cracks?

Supporter12 months ago

LOL. 

Supporter12 months ago

I'd be curious if he has ever considered trying to design a game that might not focus on mechanisms he likes.  I love SM but I also see a common theme of engine building in his games.  I know he doesn't like "dudes on a map" style games.  But would he ever consider going outside the box and possibly create a game that isn't his favorite style?  I think there are a lot of people that love SM but would like to see some stuff go beyond just what he knows and likes himself personally.

Supporter12 months ago

He’s also into reading and I’d love to hear his current read and what he’s liked the most this past year. 

Supporter12 months ago

Are there any new board games planned for the Scythe universe?

Supporter12 months ago

I’d like to hear about his process for the games he designs and the ones he picks to publish. They all have the Stonemaier flair to them.

12 months ago

I'd like to know how I can start copyediting his rule books haha

All jokes aside (not that I was kidding...), I've love his insight on what, in his opinion, makes a good game. This is a generic question, sure, but Scythe is a great game, but so is Ticket to Ride for many others. Each have a different outcome and play style, so what makes a game great in his mind?

Obviously, rule books are something I always look at more deeply than others might since I edit them. I also design game and work on my own rule books as I go along. So, I am curious as to his approach with thee rules and rule book. Does he have a rule set first before making the game and then play to see if they work? Or does he tinker around with mechanics and play through some ideas and then write down what works? Also, other insight to the rule book timeline as he sees fit and deems important.

Supporter12 months ago

+1 for that question 

12 months ago

For me editing his rule books? You’re too kind haha 

Supporter12 months ago

Sure. Not exactly what I meant, but, you can take it that way. That way you can slip blurbs for BGA in the rulebooks. 

Supporter12 months ago

I'll start slipping in @BenjaminK's name to designers/publishers I talk with

12 months ago

*insert meme of that Simpsons guy drumming his fingers together while saying "Excellent"*

Supporter12 months ago

I really enjoy his Sunday sit down videos and Jamie comes off looking like a super great guy. I’m excited to see this interview and I bet it’ll draw a lot of attention to the website.

I’d like to learn what some of his favorite gaming memories are and the games he was playing while he was making those memories. 

It’d be interesting to learn what his first modern board game was. 

Has he always been making/designing games, even as a youngster? Or is it something he started doing later on?

I know Stonemeier games have very strict requirements that potential games need to meet before they will even consider publishing a game. I’d like to learn where those requirements came from and some of the reasoning for being so strict. It seems like being so absolute in your requirements means you might miss out on publishing a great game, but at the same time I appreciate that they have standards and SM wants to meet those standards  

Does the criticism about various aspects of his business practices bother him? (All the stuff with the Wingspan stock, Tapestry pre-order kerfuffles, etc) How does he manage to stay so positive above all the noise?

Would he change anything about any of his games, given what he knows now? (Hindsight is always 20/20)

Supporter12 months ago

One thing I learned as a content creator is--if you want exposure/a great boost in your metrics, cover content related to Stonemaier Games. Out of all of my written content, they performed far better (Jamey's interview had around 4K views, and interview of the artists of Wingspan had around 8K views). It just goes to show the popularity/visibility of Stonemaier Games in the industry and speaks volumes of all the time Jamey spends to build his brand through social media/blogging and clever marketing. 

I do know from interviewing him before that he has regularly designed games starting as a kid. I like how your questions have lots of interesting angles, especially your question related to the pros and cons of having a high standard in their selection of games to publish. Thanks!

Supporter12 months ago

I feel like I’m a little bit more knowledgeable with questions to ask Jamey because I watch more of his content. That makes it easier to think of questions. 

I’m really excited for the boost you’ll get from this video!

Supporter12 months ago

Thanks for the great questions! I'm really looking forward to it. I'm sure Trent will do great and honestly, I'm glad I stick to "paper and pen" interviews because I think I'd be too nervous around Jamey lol