Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I've Been Diced! episode 22: Alan Emrich of Victory Point Games

Alan Emrich drops by to talk about designing games, publishing games, and teaching game design. What's his company, Victory Point Games, working on next? How do you teach game design? Is it harder to design a small game than a big one? What's the plan for getting VPG's titles onto mobile devices? Plus, the strange case of a game that deftly blends politics and war, A Line In The Sand, but didn't get the attention it deserved. (c) 2011 Tom Grant


  1. Hi Tom,

    I recently listened to your podcast with Alan Emrich of Victory Point Games and I was quite fascinated by what Alan said about how difficult it was to create a good simple game. So as I was listening the to your podcast while riding the bus, I dreamt up a solitaire boardgame idea which I believe meets Alan’s definition of simple and I documented it in my blog:

    Please check it out and let me know what you think?

    That Cowboy Guy

  2. Update!

    So I posted a link to my blog in the Board Game Geek forums.:

    The first person to post back was the Steve Carey who designed We Must Tell the Emperor. He had read my blog and offered some really great feedback.

    Then the second person to post was Alan Emrich...I nearly fell out of my chair. He told me to contact their games producer Nathan Hansen to find out how they do things at VPG.

    Sooooo Tom, thank you very much for your podcast. Maybe someday you will be interviewing me about boardgame design... :

    That Cowboy Guy

  3. So the solitaire boardgame inspired by this podcast has been published by Alan Emrich at Victory Point Games:

    In Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp, by designer John Gibson, you are the director of the Department of Plague Control (DPC) field office in New York City. You make the decisions about what parts of the virus to study, which personnel to hire and what equipment to purchase. You’ll soon discover you are working with an eccentric group of scientists who don’t always work well together—and one very resourceful lab rat named Marvin. As the casualties increase, so does the stress and mistakes made, as you try to complete your vaccine before time runs out for all of mankind!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    John Gibson