Intervju: Steffen Benndorf, najboljše družabne igre še ne obstajajo

Objavil Jure Pucko dne

5 minut branja

Avtor nagrajenih iger Qwixx in The Game ter Ohanami-ja, informatik, ki v prostem času rad igra golf, o tem, kako je začel, kako najboljše družabne igre še niso bile ustvarjene in kako veliko sanja o...  

ENG interview down below!

Katera igra je vam najljubša?

SB: Na to vprašanje ne morem odgovoriti. Obstaja toliko sijajnih iger, najboljše pa še niso bile niti ustvarjene.

Koliko vaših iger je do danes že izšlo?

SB: 23.

Kaj najraje počnete v prostem času?

SB: Dizajniram družabne igre, igram igre in golf ter uživam.

Steffen Benndorf in ekipi NSV in Pravi Junak

Foto: S Steffenom na enem izmed srečanj. Steffen smiling as always.

Kaj ste po izobrazbi?

SB: Po končanem šolanju sem se vpisal na študij medicine. Tekom študija sem si premislil in začel pripravništvo kot informatik. Kasneje sem nekaj let delal kot programer in se nato zaposlil pri Siemensu, kjer sem delal 10 let kot inženir. Danes sem profesionalni dizajner družabnih iger.

Dve izmed vaših številnih iger sta bili nominirani za Igro leta, Spiel des Jahres (SDJ), Qwixx in The Game. To je velik dosežek, še posebej zato ker so manjše igre s kockami in kartami redko nominirane za SDJ. Številni uspešni dizajnerji čakajo na nominacijo celotno življenje, vi ste pa prejeli dve v tako kratkem času. Zakaj menite, da so ljudem vaše igre tako všeč?

SB: Po eni strani sta Qwixx in The Game zelo preprosti igri, igraš ju lahko z otroki in starimi starši hkrati. Pravila so enostavna in ne potrebuješ dosti časa, da odigraš eno igro.

Po drugi strani pa obe igri slonita na odlični osnovni zamisli, saj sta tako Qwixx kot The Game inspirirali številne druge dizajnerje. Menim, da je SDJ žirija zelo zgodaj prepoznala kvalitete teh iger.

Kdaj ste začeli z dizajniranjem družabnih iger? Ste si kdaj predstavljali, da bodo milijoni po vsem svetu igrali vaše igre?

SB: S prvimi zasnovami iger sem začel pred 25 leti. Na začetku sem se osredotočal na kompleksne igre, toda noben izmed teh dizajnov ni bil izdan. Z rojstvom mojega drugega sina pred 15 leti sem pa začel ustvarjati enostavnejše igre. Večina njih so bile igre s kockami. Končno je leta 2010 Ravensburger izdal mojo prvo igro. Nikoli si ne bi mogel misliti, da bodo milijoni po svetu igrali moje igre. To je res lep občutek.

Vaše igre so zabavne in zanimive ne glede na število igralcev. Ali temu posvečate posebno pozornost, ko dizajnirate igre?

SB: Da, zdi se mi pomembno, da igra deluje ne glede na število igralcev. Vedno sem vesel, ko je igra dobra, če jo igram v dvoje, troje ali četvero.

Ustvarili ste številne igre s kockami in kartami. Ali obstajajo razlike pri razvoju iger s kockami in s kartami?

SB: Da, ampak to težko razložim.🙂 Mislim, da obstaja razlika, povezana s haptičnostjo kocke.

družabne igre Ohanami Qwixx in The Game založba Pravi Junak

Foto: The Game, Qwixx in Ohanami

Je bil Qwixx vaša prva igra? Ali drži, da ga najprej nihče ni želel založiti?

SB: Qwixx je bila moja 4. igra. Ostalo mi je nekaj starih barvnih kock, zato sem začel razmišljati, kako jih najboljše uporabiti. To je bila ena mojih najboljših odločitev.

Da, imate prav. Prototip Qwixx-a sem predstavil številnim založbam, a ga nihče ni želel izdati. To je bilo zelo frustrirajoče. Zato sem začel načrtovati, kako bi igro izdal sam. Iskal sem proizvajalca in spoznal Reinharda Staupeja in NSV. To je bilo rojstvo izjemno uspešnega partnerstva.

The Game je ena najbolj priljubljenih sodelovalnih iger s kartami. Zakaj menite, da so sodelovalne igre tako popularne?

SB: To (sodelovalne igre) je bilo nekaj novega. Zdaj obstaja že veliko sodelovalnih iger, toda leta 2015 je bil The Game prava mala revolucija. Predstavil je nov način komunikacije med igralci. The Game je lahko trdoživ nasprotnik. Včasih igre ni možno premagati, toda sčasoma postajate boljši. In nenazadnje gre za zelo dobro ekipno izkušnjo.

Ste vedeli, da je Ohanami najbolje ocenjena vaša igra na BoardGameGeek (izmed iger Qwixx, The Game in Ohanami)? 🙂 Kako vam je uspelo ustvariti “card-drafting” igro, ki tako dobro deluje z dvema igralcema?

SB: Ocene na BoardGameGeek so včasih malo čudne. 🙂 Ocena je odvisna tudi od števila ocen, imajo po lažje igre nižje ocene.

Pri Ohanamiju ni bilo lahko ustvariti načina igranja, da bo tudi v dvoje deloval (tako dobro kot za 3 ali 4 igralce). Menim, da deluje, zato ker moraš izbrati dve karti iz svoje roke. Nasprotniku je težje predvideti tvojo izbiro kart.

Imate v rokavu kakšni skrivni dizajn bolj zahtevne igre?

SB: Sploh ne. Sanjam o nečem še bolj preprostem kot The Mind.😉

Sanjate kaj tudi o številkah?

SB: Zakaj pa to mislite? 😉

Ali imate kakšno sporočilo za nadobudne dizajnerje družabnih iger?

SB: Najboljše igre še niso bile ustvarjene. Tako da je še veliko za postoriti.

Kako bi opisali svoje igre v treh besedah?

SB: To mi ne gre najbolje od rok. Drugi so v tem boljši.

In za konec. V eni povedi nam povejte, zakaj bi naj igrali še več (vaših) iger?

SB: Igre so najhitrejša pot v druge svetove.

5-minute read

Author of the internationally awarded games Qwixx and The Game, and Ohanami, IT specialist, who loves to play golf, on how he started his craft, why the best games have not been invented yet and what he dreams about...   

What is your favourite game?

SB: I cannot answer this. There are so many brilliant games out there, the most have not even been designed yet.

How many of your games have been published to date?

SB: 23.

What are your hobbies?

SB: Designing games, playing games, playing golf and enjoying life.

What is your profession?

SB: After primary school, I went to medical school. Still during this time I changed my mind for the first time by starting an apprenticeship as an IT specialist. Afterwards, I worked as a software developer for a few years before I joined Siemens for 10 years as an engineer. Today I am a full-time game developer.

Two of your games, Qwixx and The Game, have been nominated for the Game of the year. This is a great achievement, especially since not many card or dice games get nomination. Many designers do not get nomination in their lifetime, but you got two in such a short time. Why do you think people like your games so much?

SB: On the one hand, Qwixx and The Game are very simple games. You can play them with children and grandparents at the same time. They have simple rules and do not need much time to play.

On the other hand, both games are great ideas, and Qwixx and The Game have inspired many designers. I think the SDJ jury recognised the qualities of these games very early.

When did you start designing the games? Have you ever imagined that millions around the world will be playing your games?

SB: I have started designing games 25 years ago. First, I focused on complex games, but none of those early designs was published. With the birth of my second son, 15 years ago, I started to design easier games. Most of them were dice games. Finally in 2010, Ravensburger published my first game. I never expected that millions of people would play my games all around the world. However, it is a nice feeling.

Your games are fun and interesting no matter if played in 2, 3, 4 or more players. Do you pay special attention to this, when designing a game?

SB: Yes, for me it is important, that a game works with several player counts. I'm always happy when a game works well with all numbers of players.

You have designed many dice and card games. Are there any differences in approach, when designing dice games or card games?

SB: Yes, but it is hard to explain. 🙂 It has to do with the haptic of the die.

Was Qwixx your first game? Is it true that at first no one wanted to publish it?

SB: Qwixx was my 4th game. I had some coloured dice left and started to think about how to use them best. It was one of my best decisions.

Yes, you are right. I gave the prototype to many publishers, but none of them wanted to release it. It was very frustrating. I started planning to publish the game on my own. When I was looking for a manufacturer a got in contact with NSV and Reinhard Staupe. A very successful partnership was born.

The Game is one of the most popular cooperative card games. Why do you think cooperative games are so well received by people?

SB: It was new to people. In the meantime there are lots of cooperative games, but in 2015 The Game was a little revolution. It introduces a new way of communication. The Game could be a mean opponent. Sometimes it is not possible to beat it, but the more you play the better you get. And finally it is a very good team experience.

Did you know that Ohanami is your best rated game on BoardGameGeek of the three (between Qwixx, The Game and Ohanami)? How did you manage to make a card-drafting game that works so well also with two players?

SB: The ratings on BoardGameGeek are sometimes a bit strange. I’m sure that it depends on the number of ratings. The easier a game, the lower the rating.

It was not so easy to make Ohanami working with two players as well. I think it works, because you have to select 2 cards from your deck. It is harder for your opponent to predict your selection.

Do you have any secret designs of more complex games?

SB: Not really. I dream of something more simple than The Mind. 😉

Do you dream about numbers a lot? 🙂

SB: What makes you think so? 🙂

Do you have any message to aspiring game designers?

SB: The best games have not yet been invented. So, there is still a lot to do.

How would you describe your games in 3 words?

SB: I'm not so good at this. Others are much better at it.

Please, tell us in one sentence, why should we play more (of your) games?

SB: Games are the fastest way into other worlds.

Authors of the interview: Jure and Gašper Pucko. Feel free to share the interview with your audience. Please, credit us with a back-link. May 2020.


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