Jason Tagmire is a prolific local board and video game designer. This loving father, husband, brother, and son hails from over the bridge in New Jersey, where he’s been designing games for several years.
His most recent announcement, that he developed the latest Quarriors expansion, Quest of the Qladiator, is pretty close to one of the coolest things I have ever heard. Did I mention we went to high school together?
Yeah, I know a superstar. I got to interview him and I asked him some questions about his Kickstarted games, as well as what to do to make it big in the tabletop business.
What got you into designing board games?
I have this constant need to create. Whether it’s making a game, writing a story, making music… I just love the idea of having an idea. And then seeing where I can go with it.
Can you tell us a little bit about the first game you designed?
It’s still incomplete, but it was very ambitious. It was a full on trading card game called “Magic Gone Mad” based off of a web series that I made with my brother and brother-in-law. I think we made a full 108 card set, but we only printed a short run of 10 promo cards. Around that time I discovered a print-on-demand / short run playing card company and started to self-publish my own games.
In 2008, I self-published my first game, “Maze Game.” It’s a solitaire card game where a player will try and complete a maze by twisting and removing cards from the grid layout. It was pretty simple, but it was the game that kicked off this whole adventure.
What’s up with the Pixel Lincoln DS game? Can we expect to see that anytime soon? [or can I at least come play it? ]
Pixel Lincoln DS is now Pixel Lincoln Steam! The DS version was bumped for Steam for a bunch of reasons, but one of the best reasons is that Steam uses Unity.
The team has made so much progress by converting over and I think it’s a much better platform for the game. From there the game could easily port over to other platforms. And you can come play anytime!
Is there anything you can tell us about the Quarriors expansion you worked on, Quest of the Qladiator?
Working on Quest of the Qladiator was awesome. I really look up to designers Mike Elliott and Eric Lang (I just had the pleasure of meeting Mike at Gen Con!), and Quarriors is one of my favorite games… so having that opportunity was really wonderful. Not much about the game has been released yet other than the new lock mechanic, but I can say that I’m just as excited as you to see it when it hits stores.
What’s up next for you? Can you tell us anything?
I’m just at the tail end of my Pixel Lincoln duties. We’re making 125+ custom cards for our backers, and it’s been so much fun. Immediately afterwards I will be launching a new game called ZombieZone on The Game Crafter. It’s a strategic head-to-head human vs. zombie battle game, with amazing artwork by Carey Pietsch.
I’ll also be exploring some options with a family-friendly resource management game I made called Sandwich City. Then I want to design something new! It’s been all work for me since May, so I’m ready to jump back into designing.
Do you have any plans for Famous Missions?
I love Famous Missions. The game is so much fun, but it’s been hard for people to get past the crude artwork. It’s a game about assigning A,B,C and D-list celebrities to silly missions like “Dismantle A Bomb”, with glorified stick figure art. I’ve stood by it for the past three years, so I won’t give up just yet.
It could easily be text-only (in the style of Cards Against Humanity), but I think the celebrity drawings give it some character. I think my biggest priority with Famous Missions is getting it into gamers hands at upcoming events. Then I’ll see how I can clean up the art/layout.
Is there anything you can say to aspiring board game designers out there?
Talk to other designers and enter contests. Talking to other designers opens everything up for you.
The game design community is very active and everyone is very open. Not only will you receive great feedback for your games, you’ll receive great support when you make a move with your own game. And game design contests are a wonderful way to improve your design methods. Most contests will limit you to a specific theme or components, but more importantly they will restrict your time.
Being able to fully complete a project is one of the hardest things in game design, and the contests will force you to do it. And both of these ideas will eventually merge together as you enter contests with friends from the design community.