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AuthorWe make LEGO videos for a living, ask us anything!

Feb 13th 2017 by davidmpickett • 35 Questions • 121 Points

In October of 1997, I was a vault supervisor for armored truck company Loomis Fargo, when I made off with $17.3 million. At the time it was the second largest cash robbery ever to happen on US soil.

A movie based on the heist starring Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones and directed by Jared Hess (the guy who made Napoleon Dynamite) is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.

My Proof: https://twitter.com/DavidGhantt/status/827476087596789760

My AMA time is up now, but thank you all for your participation in the Ask Me Anything session :-)

Q:

At 5:55 and 9:03 I saw Megabloks. Gross.

A:

That was really insightful! Followup question, whats the biggest single "OMG, this feels like a wild dream" moment you experienced while working in the role of cheerleader or ambassador for the team?


Q:

Congrats!

How did you navigate the process of taking a game from design to reality (production, art, freight, fulfillment, etc...)?

A:

Every medic has their own strange NOPE type of injury or call. Mine was anything with fingers or toes. What's yours???


Q:

What happened to the 2 mil that is still unaccounted for? Did you really only go to Mexico with 50k?

A:

Hahaha, are you a Spite Your Face Productions employee? Their stuff is great (though The Peril of Doc Ock is my favorite film by them), but I’d have to go with Henri & Edmond – Droits d’auteur (Copyright) mainly because David already had dibs on Robota as his favorite.


Q:

There are so many moments! One that really stands out is a championship game I cheered at. It was the last few minutes of the game and we knew we were going to win and go to the super bowl. The entire crowd started chanting "SUPER BOWL". You hear so much about all the negative things in this world it's refreshing and surreal to see an entire community of people pull together and rejoice!

A:

The board game community was really helpful in pointing us in good directions.

We found an illustrator through a university's job board, did the graphic design using Illustrator and Photoshop, used a company in China called Panda Games to manufacture the games, and were connected to some good freight and fulfillment companies. Lots of pieces that come together!


Q:

Yea, of all the shit i've seen fingernail avulsions make my skin crawl. haha

A:

No idea where it is I only ever had what I took with me and what was sent to me.


Q:

Hi guys, really big fan over here. Have you seen the Lego Batman movie? If you did, what did you think about it?

A:

Have you ever experienced/witnessed any considerable falls during a performance? What happens during falls like that - does the routine continue or is it stopped typically?


Q:

Did you have any difficulties getting used to the business side of making your own board games (e.g. accounting, procurement, insurance, shipping, etc.)?

A:

What is the worst thing that someone "accidentally" got stuck in their butt?


Q:

Would you tell us if you knew? ;)

A:

Yeah! I saw it on Thursday on opening night! I thought it was fun. I love the stop-motion-esque animation style that is the "LEGO __ Movie" house style. I also liked how thoroughly the film deconstructed (pun intended) the idea of Batman and how relentlessly upbeat the movie was. All that being said, there were a lot of moments of tonal whiplash and stuff that just felt tacked on. It doesn't approach the awesomeness of The LEGO Movie, but it was the best DC film in nearly a decade (and probably for the next decade is Zach Snyder has his way).


Q:

I assume you are referring to the more classic form of cheerleading where stunting is showcased. Only a few organizations actually have stunt groups and our organization was not one of them. Most other squads in the NFL just dance and maybe incorporate some tumbling. I only observed a team member slip and fall once during a routine (very rainy game). You just bounce back up as quickly as possible and keep going. It hurts your ego but I've never seen a serious injury....biggest threat is getting tackled by a player or camera man.

A:

It was definitely a trial by fire - but jumping into it has been really educational. I was also a business major in college, so spreadsheets and business decisions and budgets didn't scare me too bad.


Q:

One of those battery operated toothbrushes?

Gets properly securable items for your butt play, people.

A:

hahahaha! nope


Q:

The Office for Questionable Toy Purchase Decisions
Attn: Bob Johnson
P.O. Box 12345
Fakesville, AK 54321

A:

There was a popular post on reddit a few weeks ago about how NFL cheerleaders make less than minimum wage. I'm sure it was just propaganda but could you elaborate?


Q:

Would you attribute your business major for a reason for your success?

While I'm kicking around the idea of games, it's the actual production and procurement is the most daunting to me.

A:

So the brush part was all the way in? Was it in brush side up? How deep did it go?


Q:

Did you get to spend much time on set? What was it like to have a movie based on your story?

A:

No judgement here. I had many non LEGO bricks mixed into my collection back in the day. I have only been meticulous about separating them because other fans get angry if I use them in my creations, but I am not a purist. I also have a growing collection of McFarlane toys bricks that is commingling with my LEGO collection


Q:

Do you have the link?

As a result of all the law suits I don't think you'd find a squad that pays less than minimum wage at this point.

While I felt we were always compensated fairly. We actually moved to a new pay structure so that it was very clear that we were being paid for every hour worked.

Since everyone has been so polite and not asked yet (but I know you're dying to know), here are the numbers: Practices: ~$9/hr Games: $20+/hr (depending on the number of years you were on the squad) Appearances: $100/hr

Note: this is not representative of all organizations across the board. Some teams make less and some teams might make more.

Edit: We also had hair, tan, and gym sponsorships. You also make money from selling calendars. You were also reimbursed for drive time if the appearance was outside a certain radius.

A:

I would give more credit to my exposure to start-ups and entrepreneurial minds. That atmosphere really builds some boldness.

Reach out to Panda Games for a quote on pieces you'll need for your game ideas. It's a good step in the right direction.


Q:

Brush side down and it had apparently worked it way up past finger reach. I didn't go hunting for it. :)

A:

I did get to spend a good amount of time on the set in North Carolina and having a movie based on my story was a bit surreal and a bit funny to be honest. When I first got there nobody knew who I was, they just thought I was another producer or something and when they realized they were very gracious and curious.


Q:

In all seriousness, I do believe that Mega Bloks did a much better job with the TMNT license than LEGO did. How we never got even one retro LEGO product while they had that license is beyond me.

A:

What will you do now?


Q:

Can you make The Cones of Dunshire a reality?

A:

how many crazy/stupid drivers do you have to avoid? have you, yourself, almost been in an accident with your siren on?


Q:

I've read that once the FBI actually closed in on you, you were relieved because you were fearing for your life at that point. Any truth to that? How did it actually feel when the FBI took you in?

A:

Also, someone once called me "the George R.R. Martin of LEGO animation" and I thought that was very apt :)


Q:

While I maintained a full time job as an engineer throughout my time as a cheerleader, I ultimately retired to pursue new career opportunities. I moved into R&D, which requires a lot of travel. It simply would not have worked with the demanding cheer schedule.

A:

Haha, not a bad idea. It's funny - that is completely me. My office is full of random game pieces that I'll combine in fits of madness during game creation. Also, looks like someone beat me to it: https://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/cones-of-dunshire-board-game/


Q:

In my experience it's actually safer for us to drive with the siren and lights off. People go straight stupid when they see the lights. I've seen people pull into oncoming traffic to get out of the way.

Remember: Slow down/stop and pull to the right.

A:

I felt relieved, I knew that things were getting ready to come to an end and getting caught was a stress reliever even if I knew I was going to jail.


Q:

So obviously there's a lot of attention on Legos with "The Lego Batman Movie" coming out this weekend and "The Lego Movie" coming out a few years ago. How do you feel about those movies replicating the stop motion style artificially?

A:

What kind of Engineering?

I was recently in a town hall with our division president and one of our young female engineers asked a question about diversity. She is one of two female engineers in the 24-25 Engineers in my group. I don't know how to encourage more women to pursue engineering, but it is always heartening to see more female engineers. I have an 8 yo daughter and I secretly hope she follows in my footsteps.

Anyways, Good luck in R&D, I am staying on the less stressful Operations side of things.


Q:

Besides money from kickstarter how much have you made selling your games, if any?

A:

What do you do during rush hour?


Q:

What are Jandice and Kelly up to now? Did you stay in touch with them? Masterminds was a fun movie. Were you offended that they portrayed you as an idiot being so easily manipulated?

A:

Great question! This is a topic we've talked about a few times on our blog The Set Bump:

In short, we generally approve of this approach as it enables the producers to create stylish animation that respects the physical limitations of the LEGO system at a scale that would be nigh-impossible with traditional animation.


Q:

My degree is in chemical engineering but I've mostly worked in mechanical.

I'm the only female engineer on my team, so the lack of diversity is something we struggle with as well.

The great part about being a cheerleader and engineer was that I was able to introduce young girls to engineering. Through our junior cheer program, I coached 6-8 year olds. Most had never heard of engineering. At the beginning of each new season I would ask, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" You get the typical responses: teacher, cheerleader, mommy, veterinarian. By the end of the season, I would ask the question again and at least one of the girls would say "engineer"! One girl even told me she had signed up for engineering camp that summer because she wanted to be an engineer just like me. I feel like the key is to introduce young kids to the possibility of STEM at an early age. Young kids think they can do anything, by the time they get to middle school or high school it's too late. They've already set boundaries on what they think they're good at and is hard to break down those walls later on. That's one theory, for what it's worth...

Continue to encourage your daughter to pursue engineering, I think it will pay off! My dad is an engineer too :)

A:

We make several thousand each month from sales online and in game stores.


Q:

I'm not in that big of a city, but just lay on the siren and wait, basically.

A:

No idea. No. Glad you like the movie. And it would take a lot more than that to offend me, I thought it was funny.


Q:

On a more personal level, what are some of your favorite films?

A:

Pics?


Q:

Gross or profit?

A:

I work in a big city, we just shut down the sirens and sit with our lights on until the traffic starts to move. No sense in sitting on your horn and siren while sitting behind cars with no where to go. Plus I've seen cars jump on the sidewalk before and crash into each other trying to make space where there was none.


Q:

The movie is hilarious. How accurate was the movie?

A:

I love films with stunning visuals, magical worlds, and strong narratives. This tends to mean animated films by Laika, Pixar, Disney, or Ghibli, but also live-action films by Gilliam, Lucasfilm, Joss Whedon, etc. In 2016, Kubo and the Two Strings and Arrival were personal favorites.


Q:

Sorry, no can do. Maybe after I finalize my retirement . Don't want to get blacklisted from the league for exposing their secrets.

A:

Profit


Q:

The way people respond is unbelievable!

A:

Well, it's 'based' on a true event, and there are accurate bits sprinkled throughout. However, it's a Hollywood comedy.


Q:

For our LEGO-minifigure-based projects, I try to allot a minimum of one month of production time per minute of screen time. That means if we're making a film that's 5 minutes long, it's going to take at least 5 months to complete from start to finish.

That doesn't even take into account the complexity of whatever it is we're doing. A 30-second scene of one person standing around talking is not going to take as long to build or animate as a 30-second scene of a dozen characters flying around in robot spaceships, shooting lasers at each other as they explode. (Which is my favorite example of ridiculous brickfilm content. I should actually make that film one of these days.)

A:

How did you get into cheerleading and in the team? Like the audition process?


Q:

How did you get that many people to see your kickstarter?

It's one thing having a great product, but it's another thing getting people to your kickstart page.

A:

I've seen one accident. It had two kids under 16 ejected, two kids under 12 pinned, and the mother walking around. The ejected kids looked to have really bad head and neck injuries possibly paralysis, one pinned kid lost all their teeth and I think a broken back, and one was stuck under the dash somehow, and I know nothing of their injuries. The mom had a broken arm.

The mother, and maybe the kid under the dash were the only people wearing a seatbelt. They left in ambulances, everyone else left by Life Flight.


Q:

Has this affected your ability to get a job? Being a quasi-famous bank robber and all?

A:

It depends on how complicated the video is. This one took me 50+ hours of work spread over 4 months. This one took about 5 hours of work over 4 days. Guess which one made me 10x as much money?


Q:

I grew up dancing. I went to college with several of the girls who moved on and became cheerleaders. I didn't know them personally, at the time, but I thought it sounded so cool. So that's when I started looking on the teams website for info.

Most teams will start advertising open auditions and prep classes this time of year. I went to the prep classes to find out more about the team and learn the dance style. Then, on the day of auditions you just show up with a photo of yourself and fill out an application. ANYONE can audition as long as you are older than the minimum age requirement. The audition process varies from team to team, you would need to check each teams website for details. Typically you learn the choreography, they break you up into smaller groups, and you perform the routine for the judges. They'll make cuts along the way and eventually move into a finals or boot camp round. During this stage you're interviewed by various staff members from the organization, tested on your football knowledge, judged on your technique and eventually the team is announced.

For me, it was a one week process. Starting with prelims and finishing with a finalists showcase, which the public is allowed to come see. It's stressful but very rewarding.

A:

I would argue that a really great product has a way of getting found, especially on Kickstarter. Kickstarter users tend to browse the site pretty thoroughly, and if people like the product then they'll put money towards it, and then it starts to float up at the top of the Kickstarter page.

But we definitely did some of our own marketing as well - emailing our company subscribers, emailing backers of our first game, social media posts and ads, reaching out to websites to publish stories about us, etc.


Q:

I've certainly witnessed it being the deciding factor in life or death.

A:

Good question , Oddly most employers are very understanding as long as you are honest with them up front .


Q:

My question for David:

If you could have any lego series added to Lego Dimensions, what would it be?

My question for Dave:

May you tell me some of the struggles of being a Dave that is working with a David?

A:

Have you traveled overseas as a team ambassador and if so, what was your favorite place to visit?


Q:

Is that the same kind of marketing you did for your first game?

A:

You or the willow moving that fast?


Q:

Have you had problems getting positions of trust at all?

A:

May you tell me some of the struggles of being a Dave that is working with a David?

We get confused for each other a lot. When we’re at the same LEGO fan convention, we try to make it easier for people by doing things together so they can just wave at both of us and yell “Hey Dave and David” and not have to remember who is who ;)


Q:

Yes, I was lucky enough to travel to Asia! My favorite place was Singapore. It's a beautiful country. There's so much more to see, I definitely want to plan another trip soon. I think Japan will be next!

A:

Yes, very similar.


Q:

Damn thing came outta no where! You shoulda seen it!

A:

I ll be honest and say I probably have to put forth a bit more effort


Q:

Hi Dave and Dave! Love your book!!

I would love to know how you guys got into LEGO animation to begin with. What made you start animation with LEGOS as opposed to something like clay?

A:

Are you really Lebanese?


Q:

Any advice for marketing your first game? I am still debating if I should crowdfund myself or pitch to an existing game company.

A:

Has anyone died because you couldn't get to them fast enough because of bad traffic? I think about that on my ride home, that if I had a heart attack at 5pm in the heaviest parts, I'd die because an ambulance couldn't get near me.


Q:

Why did you do it?

A:

Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying the book :)

I’ve been building with LEGO bricks my entire life. I learned how to build before I learned how to speak. My family got a video camera (one of the big old ones that used tapes) when I was 8 and I was excited to make my own movies. Naturally, all my actors and sets were built out of LEGO. Over the years I’ve tried other creative mediums, but I always come back to LEGO filmmaking.


Q:

No but its a great Thievery Corporation song!

A:

For our Kickstarters we do several things for marketing: ads on boardgamegeek.com, social posts, facebook ads, instagram ads, reaching out to sites to write about us, etc. However, most traffic and sales comes from internal traffic on Kickstarter itself. Focus on making a great product and a lot of the marketing will take care of itself when people share your project!


Q:

Oh yea. More often than I think anyone realizes.

I don't think people realize that the call they are blocking us from getting to could be someone they love.

A:

I just wanted to change my life, in hindsight the quick and easy way is not always the best way. I do not recommend doing what I did.


Q:

How many book signings have each of you done and how many more do you expect to do?

A:

How bad was the harassment from the crowd? Do you have a story of an extreme case from a disrespectful fan?


Q:

[deleted]

A:

My sister has numerous deathly allergies, gets hospitalized at least once a year unfortunately. People comment on how I move over and get the heck out of the way so quickly, I tell them "that could be my sister in there, I want them to get where they're going."


Q:

But would you recommend it if you had not been caught?

A:

So far I’ve done 6 signings, and have 3 more scheduled in the coming months. I’ll probably do at least a few more this year, but haven’t planned anything past June.

/u/paganomation has done 2 and has another 1 scheduled. We'll be doing our first joint signing at Brickworld Chicago in June.


Q:

Our fans were always very gracious and you develop a kind of rapport with the season ticket holders in the lower sections. One section had a fun cheer that they would do on first downs. You'd have fans you wave to at each game or before half time for good luck. (Cheerleaders are very superstitious)

Disrespectful fans get ejected immediately. You'd have to be pretty dumb to pick on a cheerleader or even over aggressively taunt another fan. I've been a spectator at games where I've seen fights break out, I just sit back and enjoy the show.

A:

We're not hiring people right now. I've found that there are enough resources out there to hire contractors for design, marketing, video-making, etc that it makes much more sense to not bring on employees.

Plus, when you don't have employees your overhead is super low and profit is much quicker to come by.


Q:

For sure. People are incredibly selfish though.

A:

No....philosophically I would not recommend it, however a life in the Caribbean wouldn't have been soooo bad I think.


Q:

Why lego and not other things like plastic soldiers or duplo?

A:

Did you sleep with any players?

Who is the hottest NFL player currently ?


Q:

Employees are the #1 overhead in a business.

A:

If I'm by myself at home and I break my wrist, is calling 911 appropriate? Or is that a "get your friend to drive you to the emergency room" kinda thing....

I've just always been curious about things that are kind of an emergency but not really


Q:

Prior to planning and executing the robbery, would have you ever thought of yourself as an armoured car robber? If not, when was the turning point?

A:

LEGO has always been my favorite medium. I've made a few animations with other stuff (food, clay, toothbrushes, etc.) but I always come back to LEGO.


Q:

I personally, did not.

Hottest NFL player currently? Definitely not Tom Brady. Sorry ^

A:

So true. It's nice not having them!


Q:

If you feel you can drive yourself or can easily find someone to drive you then it's up to you. You may get some pain medicine, and youll get it splinted, but depending on where you are it's sometimes faster to drive yourself.

When in doubt give us a call. I'd rather someone call us and not need us than need us and not call.

A:

Prior to, I would have never even considered it but one day life kinda slapped me in the face. I was working sometimes 75-80 hrs a week for $8.15 an hour, I didn't even have a real home life because I was never there I was working all the time and unhappy which is understandable considering how old I was at the time. I felt cornered and one day the joking in the break room about robbing the place suddenly didn't seem so far fetched.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

You shouldn't talk badly about employees, they might see this


Q:

This is your best comment.

A:

Hello David! How was life in prison? And what is the biggest lesson you learned from this whole experience?


Q:

Who says I'm not a Pats fan?

A:

Haha, well none of them exist to see it, so I think we'll be fine :)


Q:

Well thanks!

A:

well move into a broom closet with two other people ,and eat hospital food every day . That part really sucks , its supposed to suck to discourage returning . Freedom is a precious , precious thing


Q:

How long were you a cheerleader for? Has a player ever run you over on the sideline? Also I'm gonna take a guess and say you were either a cheerleader for Denver, Seattle, New York Giants, Pittsburgh or New England?

A:

How did you go about getting designers? Unless you're the graphical genius.


Q:

My sister had the same job North of Cincinnati. She told me about picking up people OD on heroin and hear a clunking sound. Then she looks down and ice cubes on the ground. She says people believe shoving ice up their butts will save them from an OD.

So any odd "home" remedies you come across?

A:

How much did you make off the movie?


Q:

I'm still worried about getting blacklisted from the NFL so I'll say 2-10 years. Lol

I'm pretty stealthy, so no, haven't been run over. I had a teammate that got taken out twice actually. She's fine. :)

Giants, Steelers, Bears, Bills, Packers*, and Browns don't have cheerleaders. *Packers utilize collegiate cheerleaders at their games

A:

We found our illustrator from a university's job board. My wife does the graphic design.


Q:

I've never seen ice in the butt, but ive had people shoved in ice baths.

The stuff people put on burns... Butter etc... No, no, no.

A:

I didn't get money for this, what I got was a great vacation and a chance to tick something off of my bucket list. I know that isn't exciting to most people but I, regular Joe, had the chance to be on a movie set...who wouldn't want to do that? Plus the food truck was awesome, my wife called me a hobbit for having second breakfasts.


Q:

Bring back the Honey Bears!!!!

A:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/travishancock/tortuga-1667-a-pirate-game-of-mutiny-plunder-and-d/

Who does your videos/marketing for you (if you are willing to share over PM)?


Q:

Was there any moment that made you think, ok I quit?

A:

David, what do you feel like was your biggest mistake in the heist? Getting too many people involved? It seems like you got away with it for a while until all of your cohorts started talking too much.


Q:

I agree! The curse won't be lifted until they do! :)

A:

We do it all ourselves. I made the video on my iphone in my apartment :) I got a film minor in school.


Q:

Recently I had a string of like 8 bad calls in a week that just completely emotionally wrecked me. I couldn't quit, but it confirmed that I was making the right decision by being in school to move on from this.

A:

To be honest, doing it at all was my biggest mistake but that thought comes with a bit of perspective. I will say though, if you have a "secret" it's best to keep it to yourself, lol.


Q:

As far as I can think, no other sports have it (feel free to correct me here). As someone who isn't American, could you explain it to me? Genuinely seems a bit weird. Honestly can't imagine us Brits doing it.

A:

What are the common traits of bad board games?


Q:

Mine was the 600 lb patient who had been in the floor for 3 days, completely naked, shitting and pissing on himself with open sores everywhere...good times

A:

What is the biggest difference between the real you and how you were portrayed in the movie? Something that was super accurate?


Q:

Really great question, this one is going to be fun!

Cheerleading/Dance Teams are actually very common across a wide range of sports teams in the US: Football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball.

Bottom line: it's all about money.

A sports team is a business. Now, imagine you own that business. If there's opportunity to get relatively cheap marketing by paying (usually minimum wage) a pretty girl to wear your teams apparel, it's a strategic move on the teams part. The fans want to be involved with the team and the team wants them obsessed, but you can't send the players out to every event. First, they're too busy and second, they're too expensive. So, you appoint a second team to do community outreach. A group of beautiful women. You announce that they are part of the team and for fans, this is the next best thing. So you deploy women all over the city to go to openings of the local super market, zoo, and library, as well as, school events, corporate events, and charities. You charge top dollar to have your team represented at their event. Aside from events, you're also looking at swimsuit calendars, merchandise, and junior cheer programs.

For the most popular teams, this translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (potentially more, I'm not privy to this information). If marketed correctly, you're making a lot of money for relatively little investment. From a business standpoint, you're missing out on a lot of money if you don't have a cheer team.

THAT, my friend, is why sports teams have cheerleaders. However, I'm open to alternative opinions should anyone care to discuss further. :)

A:

Here are some that bug me:

-Games with too much luck -Games with zero luck -Games that have lots of "Gotcha!" mechanics - meaning you can just skip someone really easily with a card you happened to draw -Games that are WAY too complex -Games that don't match the theme with the mechanics of the game


Q:

Aww, memories...

A:

Well I'm taller than Zach and we have different Carolina accents. He even says that he played a much 'dumber version' of me, I'm actually pretty laid back. Something that was very accurate was the victory dance when leaving the vault.


Q:

I'd figured the first part out, I just though there might be some traditional thing for it. I imagine it started out as a burlesque show, because it seems very similar.

Sounds like an awful lot of 'corporate cock sucking'. the real wonder is, does it not degrade the sport itself? especially if there is so much of it: I mean advertisements to help pay the wages etc, but half time shows, cheerleaders and celebrity endorsements? its a bit garish really, innit.

Glad you enjoy it though thats the main thing. Didn't know you did all the rest though, so thats informative.

A:

If I could add to that list it would be games where there is only really one strategy that can be used to win. Monopoly is one of these and pandemic is a little bit too. If there is no depth to the strategy then they have little replay value if I've.paid forty pounds for a game it needs a lot of replay value.


Q:

Do hospital doctors think 911 medics are dumb?

Have you ever applied pressure to an otherwise fatal wound?

Is defibrilation used as often as movies make you think?

How ready is the staff for snake bites?

A:

Was the victory dance caught on cctv like in the film? If so, is there anywhere we can go to see the real victory dance? lol.


Q:

I'm no history expert but it appears cheerleading was invented by the Brits! All that chanting done at soccer games inspired Americans to put men on the sidelines to lead the cheers. Women weren't allowed to participate until much later on.

So based on a little research and a bit of speculation, this is my theory. It was probably introduced to the NFL because the game moves so slowly. So how do you keep a crowd entertained? Cheerleaders! Who was the primary audience of football games in the 1950s? Men! So, who do you hire? Attractive women to perform dance routines when the game is moving at a painfully slow pace.

The 1950s was a rather prudish time period in America so I imagine seeing young women in revealing clothing(for the time period) dancing on the sidelines was exciting but still wholesome because SPORTS! Once the team started seeing revenue, I imagine the corporate machine took over. After all, America is the land of opportunity. I'm not sure when celebrities and halftime shows were introduced, but at a certain point it wouldn't have been as exciting to go to a game to see the cheering girls. So you start having celebrity appearances and huge halftime show extravaganzas. Everything to keep the crowd coming back and spending more.

I think the number of people that watch the super bowl compared to the amount of viewers that watch a football game on any given Sunday is proof that people aren't really watching it for the game. They're watching it for the spectacle. Not to say people don't enjoy watching the game, I'm sure the audience would just be smaller without the commercials and the halftime show.

Whether or not it diminishes the game itself... what came first? The chicken or the egg? Was football always slow paced and lackluster? Or did the addition of all these other distractions make it that?

Certainly thought provoking! Thank you for your questions and comments!

A:

It's true - you have to provide people with several "non-obvious" decisions or it's just going through the motions. Great point.


Q:

It depends on the DR. I have had some Drs have me hold up and go over a head CT of a stroke pt, and I've had some who think i'm a moron when they had no room to judge anyone. Usually though unless it an arrest or incredibly traumatic call we deal strictly with nursing staff in patient transition.

Yea, I had a guy put his arm through a window because he was fighting with his girlfriend. He severed his brachial artery and by the time we got to the er we were both soaked in blood.

I could count on one hand the times I've rolled on scene with a patient already hooked to a AED. I think thats more a cost related thing though.

I've actually never dealt with a snake bite call, though we have some severely venomous ones around here. There is antivenin kept pretty close though. If not in the hospital itself its a short flight away.

**Finally edited out my mistake. I got it people! lol

A:

Truthfully I don't know , I kinda hope its out there somewhere , lol


Q:

Does having access to pro football players kind of balance out the issue with low wages?

A:

Alot of boardgames these days dont hold up with less than 3 players. Any thoughts on how (or plans) to make something equally engaging for a party of 2?


Q:

Thanks for the quick answers. Best of wishes.

A:

How is your life now? Can you relate to the one you were before all this?


Q:

Interesting question!

I think the women who audition for a NFL team view it as symbol of high status. I thought that if I could make the team, it meant I was pretty enough and talented enough to cheer on arguably, the most prestigious sporting event in the US. I think it's less about access to the players and more about the image of the NFL overall.

Honestly, I think all the focus on cheerleader wages is just a flashy news story and distracts from the real issue. The NFL has a moral obligation to pave the way and create a culture of diversity and inclusion. They'd do well to promote women into positions of power. Allow women to compete for spots on the team's roster and promote men joining the women's cheerleading squads.

The fact is, cheerleading is a part time job. A pretty good paying part time job. I did it because I loved it. I made lifelong friendships, got to pursue my hobby (dance), and got to experience some pretty cool things. Money is nice but it isn't everything.

A:

Our current game goes from 2-9. The 2 player games are really fun because they draw a lot from chess. Each player gets 1 move at a time and has several actions to choose from. You have to think ahead 2-3 steps, etc. So yeah, chess is the most classic game for a reason!


Q:

Not a problem. Thanks!

A:

My life is actually pretty ordinary, the movie really did not change a thing. I still get up in the morning and go to work just like everyone else.


Q:

Have you ever hit a guy in the balls (accidentally or intentionally) or wanted to? What happened and how did he react?

A:

Really impressed that you go as high as 9. I used to have a quite well attended gaming group night and we always struggled for games up to that kind've player count...nice one!


Q:

Why not use a tourniquet? I understand there are ideas that it make cause tissue damage. But it's going to be a lot more effective than holding proximal pressure.

A:

You didn't hide any of the money???


Q:

I'm not sure how this scenario would come up. But no, I haven't. At least not intentionally.

A:

Thanks! Yeah, I had the same issue - which is one reason why we focused on having games with high player counts. There is definitely a need for more games that accommodate so many players but still have good structure to them.


Q:

I did eventually, but tourniquet isn't first line in bleeding control. Ended up using a bp cuff to control it.

A:

nope


Q:

Do you believe football players get paid too much or the right amount?

A:

With a game of 9 do you have quick pacing for turns or do the other players have to tolerate lots of downtime?

Reason I ask is that we shy away from games higher than 4 or so, even if they go up to something like 7 or 9 because the downtime between turns can be super high, which causes people to lose focus, and become bored. There are exceptions to that, which become the go-to games for times we just can't split up into 3-4 players, so we're always on the look out for that kind of game.

With the assumption that you've carefully worked out that 9 players is not only possible, but also fun, what considerations do you take into account for designing games of that size?


Q:

What's the craziest interior decorating decision you've seen in a patient's home?

A:

Did you manage to bury any of the money before you got busted?


Q:

They're the whole reason people show up to a game so I think it's fair to compensate them accordingly. They also take on a lot of risk. The chance for injury is very high and they have to deal with long lasting health problems. Considering the average lifespan of a football player is mid to late 50s is pretty startling.

A:

In games of 9 people are still very engaged since people often have to choose who to give good cards to and who to kill with bad cards. Lots of politics and persuasion.

People have turns, but everyone stays very engaged.

Just lots of playtesting! If people get bored then we know the game needs work.


Q:

I dont know that anything intentional springs to mind. I have seen people with shit stacked up through out the house to where there was only a small path from room to room, and I was in a trailer that had a bunch of holes in the floor where cats were climbing in and out!

A:

Nope. And FYI, American currency uses an ink that never really dries and burying money can lead to mold and rot and thus worthless money.


Q:

Got wood for sheep?

A:

That cat trailer sounds incredible.


Q:

What did you dream of spending the money on?

A:

Nobody wants your sheep...


Q:

The smell was what was really incredible!

A:

well my long term plan was to bank the money , buy a boat and kinda cruise around , the Caribbean fish and dive . Kind of a permanent tourist if you will.


Q:

Hey, don't you knock sheep. I always usually aim for double sheep and the sheep port and I do alright.

On an unrelated to that side note - my wife does video work and I have a background in project management and marketing - if you need a contractor or two for future projects we'd love to be involved - we're huge board gamers.

A:

What's one of the nicer things you've had happen on a call?


Q:

Why didn't you do this? I assume you got caught first but why not make a beeline for a country with no extradition laws/international water?

A:

Yeah, it's true. Sheep ports can definitely win games!

Reach out to me again in a couple weeks when things slow down over here and we can chat about collaboration in the future!


Q:

After a call, we had a husband of a patient bring us some snacks and thank us for taking care of his wife. It was really nice to be remembered after the fact.

A:

Well, you know what they say about hindsight.


Q:

What is your take? How much money did you knock down in the past two years for yourself?

A:

I've been one of those people!!!! If it wasn't for the medic that saved my kid's father, and the heart wrenching story he shared with him in regards to the loss of his own son, my kids wouldnt have a dad nor would he have ever sought rehab. The next day I brought 2 baskets of baked goodies and a case of tea into the station and thanked everyone there that night and thanked the medic for convincing someone to get help when I had tried to convince him for so long. He even shed a little tear cause he was glad to see he stopped one person from going the way his son did. Thanks guys for all that you do!!!


Q:

What do they say about hindsight?

A:

Roughly half of what we make goes towards manufacturing, freight, shipping, etc. The other half is profit to sustain my family or re-invested into the company to grow and keep building new games.


Q:

We really appreciate it! Sometimes it definitely feels like we aren't noticed till we are needed.

A:

Hindsight is 20 /20


Q:

As a business owner myself, boardgames have always seemed like a really bad way to make money to me. The cost to advertise, the cut someone like Kickstarter takes, design, art, manufacturing, shipping, fulfillment, taxes, etc. seems like it would eat up most of the money really quickly.

How do the economics work out? I imagine most people see $325k and are amazed but the reality has to be that you're netting a slim percentage of that. I mean, $325k over 2-3 years is still a very small business.

Are you saying that you basically made $50k over the last two years before taxes (half of $100k from the first Kickstarter)? I mean, I know it can be rough, I had one year when I had started my company that my personal income for the year was under the poverty line.

I realize you've got the money from this new Kickstarter that will be coming in soon, but that will probably need to last you another year or two I imagine, when hopefully you have another game that rakes in big money to keep things moving. I know there are a lot of relatively big name designers who still have their day jobs - obviously they aren't doing everything from design to fulfillment.

It just seems like a lot of risk and work for a relatively small payout, even if you're fairly successful in boardgame terms. Is it more a matter of doing something you really enjoy rather than doing it for the money or do you see this as a big moneymaker in the future as things grow?

A:

What do you eat during your shifts, specifically after seeing something gross?


Q:

So basically this was you

A:

One thing that board games do have going for them is that they are very cheap to make. Its true that the retailers/Amazon/Kickstarter take big cuts, but you can still make 40% margins on what you sell if you are smart about it.

We generally profit/re-invest 40-50% of the Kickstarter total. But remember, we also make ongoing monthly sales once Kickstarter ends. We don't make all of our money just during the Kickstarter campaign.

One advantage we have is that because we are a small company (it's just me and my wife), there aren't a lot of mouths to feed or employees to pay. That really contributes bigtime to keeping the margins good.

I love board games, so if I don't become a millionaire from it, that's fine. If I can sustain my family with it, then that's my dream job right there. Make enough to live comfortably and do something I love. Also, with each game we make it creates a new revenue stream since games are very shareable. The more solid games you have out there, the higher your "salary" becomes.

Good questions!


Q:

Yea, at this point I could eat and suction a trach at the same time.

A:

lol, good meme, thank you.


Q:

I'm always looking at different businesses and wondering how some of them work financially. I understand my own business, but others I just don't know enough to understand how they really work. I imagine I overestimate the cost of physically making games (printing, assembly, etc).

A:

I don't think eating the trach is going to help anyone, but good on you Dr. Lecter.


Q:

What kind of boat would it have been?

A:

Yeah, China can make things really cheap, and board games use wood, plastic, paper, cardboard. That helps keep margins alive and well.


A:

I wanted something that would go mostly unnoticed . I was looking at a small (40 ft. ) trawler


Q:

Can you talk to the Stranger Things people and make a board game out of that please?

A:

Has anyone ever tried to seduce you when you were called out? If you were, what's the story?

Also, have you ever had to go to someone you know?

Edit: /u/wildfire701


Q:

How do you feel about your actions 20 years later?

Would you have not done it altogether, looking back, or would you have done things differently to make sure you got away with it?

A:

Oh my gosh yes!


Q:

I had a guy invite me back to his place after my shift to "hang out" with his two girls and him. I didn't go... lol

A:

If I hadn't have done what I did, my life would be completely different now. The things that have happened in my life since then have led me to having a lovely wife that I wouldn't have met if I didn't move here after I got out which led to us having a wonderful child. That being said my actions years ago were from someone who was very different than I am now and while I think what I did was wrong, well, at this point it is what it is.


Q:

I don't even play many board games but I would 100% purchase a Stranger Things themed DND-influenced board game.

One person is trapped in the Upside Down, and the other people have to keep them alive with items and weapons to run/fight the Demogorgon, while trying to open up the 'portal' to bring them home.

I just want to roll for Perception and Dexterity. 'Do I see the monster, and can I react in time to stay safe?'

Aaaaah, I'm already fantasizing about it~ The guys who make that show seem really cool, I bet you could get licensing for it!

EDIT: Oh! Not to mention, the Demogorgon could switch 'sides' of the board, and pursue the 'main group' for a while, under certain circumstances.

A:

Why???


Q:

Honestly, you've accomplished a pipedream fantasy that many people hold. Embrace your success and failure both. I note you as being inspirational, not criminal. Hey, very few people have done what you have and that makes you absolutely an interesting man, not to say that other things don't, but you are elite.

A:

You have me intrigued. I'll reach out to them!


Q:

Why didn't I go back?

A:

I humbly and honestly Thank you .


Q:

How did you get started? What inspired you to come up with ideas for board games?

A:

Have you ever felt your life was at risk due to a patient? What's the story?


Q:

If you could have anyone besides Zach Galifianakis play you in a movie, who would it be?

A:

I was in Alaska for a summer and was playing the party game of Mafia. My friend and I decided to tweak the game to make it better and eventually turned it into "Harry Potter Mafia." From there I realized that I loved designing games and started on my first project, Salem.

Life inspires my ideas. Movies, phenomenons, culture, history (this is a big one). Everything can be equated to a game, you just have to pull the right parts out of it.


Q:

Yeah, Ive been unexpectedly caught in cross fire. I've found myself locked in a back room of a run down house with a self proclaimed white supremacist with a bunch of guns laying around. Several near misses from traffic working on highway. Improperly secured vehicles starting to tip while I'm in them. It a more common occurrence than I think we realize. Most of the time it's not until after the fact you realize how bad a situation was.

A:

Morgan Freeman, he's calm like I am and has a great voice, like, he could read the back of a lunchable and I would listen.


Q:

oh man, has anyone made a Harry Potter type of Mafia game? I'm generally not a fan of those 'social deduction' games, for lack of a better word; but that one sounds like it could have massive appeal; there's only that little bit of licensing to consider...

A:

Brand new baby medic here: any advice? Ive been an emt now for 4 years.


Q:

Did you have to claim the stolen money on your tax return that year? That might sound like a dumb question, but think about it... Once you were caught and everything was sorted out, there must have been a known amount of money in which the FBI, etc. determined that you had spent at that point. The spent money would have technically been untaxed income, so I'm just curious if the IRS or someone contacted you one day said "so yeah... we need you to pay taxes on the $_____ that you spent". Or did they not even bother and consider it lost currency? All my other questions were already answered :(

A:

Yeah, the whole licensing thing is the only thing that stopped us from making one :) Maybe I'll reach out to Warner Bros and see what it would take to make it happen.


Q:

Start working on your RN? lol

Nah, well yea, but If you love it keep on. The issues with the job pushes all the decent well intentioned people out. Also, lift with your legs!

A:

good question the short version is that it was all added onto my fines which add up to around 3.8 million .


Q:

So you have raised money on kickstarter... How many games have you actually sold? I am starting to see South Park accuracy.

A:

Have you ever had to use your training outside of work?


Q:

Do you get royalties from the movie? That's kind of a roundabout way to get rich off of robbing an armored truck.

A:

Our first game, Salem, was released at the end of last year. It has now sold around 10,000 copies.


Q:

Yea, I've rolled up on some wrecks in my personal vehicle. It certainly has helped me learn to keep calm in a crisis.

A:

Nope, not a dime. That would be profiting from a crime which is a no no and I'm on the straight and narrow.


Q:

Wait, you made Salem? That game is incredible!

A:

What is your favorite feature in the ambulance?


Q:

What was the dumbest thing you purchased with some of that $?

A:

We did! Thank you!!


Q:

The times I get to use a cot that is automatic are good days.

A:

The 4 pairs of boots I bought in one day [shrug] what can I say they were nice and I was impulse shopping.


Q:

I love Salem it made my family like board games and not see them as a pointless hobby

A:

What's the promotion potential like for an EMT? Like could you get promoted to Life Flight?


Q:

Whats your favourite film with zach galifianakis in?

A:

Oh good!


Q:

It isn't a promotion per se. It is just a different company to work for. To work on a helicopter you have to have 3-5 years of experience in 911.

In ems in general there is like 3 steps on the ladder. Field medic > Supervisor > Director. It's a very stagnant field in terms of advancement.

A:

Actually my favorite thing with Zach in it is his show Baskets however Due Date was pretty hilarious.


Q:

I'm so glad you didn't end up like Lily's father in How I Met Your Mother! Any plans to make a 'Slap Bet' game?

A:

Have you ever been assaulted or other wise aggressively treated by patients or bystanders? In The Netherlands this problem has garnered some attention, and I was wondering whether we're the only country that deals with this.


Q:

So I haven't read your story or anything but what was your thought process going into the heist?

A:

Haha that would be so legit! I'll think about that one :)


Q:

The hardest i've ever been hit was by an 80 year old diabetic lady, though that was unintentional. But, yea i've been pushed around. Mostly with overdoses. Bystanders will call and the patient wakes up in the mean time and gets aggressive thinking we are going to get them arrested.

A:

I planned backwards, where I wanted to go and then how much I would need to get there.


Q:

Out of everything you could be making. Why board games?

A:

Got any good gunshot stories?


Q:

Did you help at all with the movie, directing, explaining how it went, etc? If so how was working with them?

A:

I'm a thinker, and I love coming up with the mechanics that make games fun. There's a lot of testing and thinking and creativity involved. I also love that games can bring people together, and that they can then take those groups away together to the world of the game for a little while. I view games the same way others view music or movies - they provide a really fun escape. For those reasons and more, making board games feels very fulfilling for me.


Q:

I had a hooker who's legal name was sparkle get shot in the ass by her pimp.

A:

I consulted on some of the props and sets in the movie, it was a joy working with Jared, Zach and the rest of the cast and crew.


Q:

Do you think the market for board games is expanding? Do you think you can market board games outside of the usual target market?

A:

IDK if it's too much detail but was it on the cheek or directly into the bum?


Q:

how did you feel with Zach Galifianakis playing you?

A:

I do, yes. I think with the huge explosion of technology/phones, people find comfort in the simplicity of board games.

I think with games that focus on being aesthetically pleasing and "cool", there is definitely a market outside of the "board game crowd." Our games come in faux books and I'd say about half of our players are people who wouldn't call themselves big board gamers. There's lots of room for innovation in the board game world, and that innovation catches new eyes.


Q:

Haha. Couple cheek shots.

A:

I feel fine. I think he did a good job and is a really great guy.


Q:

The thing I like best about board games is that they bring us together. When you are all sitting down together and interacting it seems to become less about the game and more about the friendship.

A:

Just wanted to thank you for the work that you do, I ended up getting knocked off my bike by a car yesterday (I'm fine!), and the fact that there was an ambulance with 5-6 people within a few minutes was incredible. I'm happy knowing that there are people like you who are ready to respond to an incident within a moments notice.

My question is, what's the happiest experience you've had with your job?


Q:

Did u enjoy your time as lead singer of the Spin Doctors?

A:

It's so true. Can't beat the classic "game night" feeling.


Q:

Delivering a happy healthy baby!

So rarely do I get to be on that side of the life.

A:

Hahaha, sadly that wasn't me and my wife doesn't recommend singing as a career for me.


Q:

It's funny you mention the simplicity of board games. I recently started playing board games again because my girlfriend's cousin has a huge collection and that is his thing. Every time we visit them, we always play a couple of games with their kids and then we play a more "adult" game for us.

I actually find that most video games, be it mobile or on an actual platform are very simple, where as board games tend to be more complex, require a lot more thinking and have way more replay value. One of the things I value about board games is that they aren't that simple to play. Of course, this applies to games like Settlers of Catan and Monopoly, not kid's games.

A:

Did you know that I'm your arch nemesis?


Q:

That's a good point. There's definitely a range of simplicity going on.

I partly mean that games get us "back to the basics" before technology. You don't need a phone or fancy buttons or internet connections to play. You just need tangible pieces and a rulebook to dive in.

A:

Battling stupid every day! lol


Q:

What's your favorite classic boardgame? Have you always had an interest in boardgames?

A:

Do you take your work home with you? If not, how do you block the troubling stuff out?


Q:

Yes, I come from a family of 9 kids and growing up we always had a board game out! I felt a strong affinity for Clue and Monopoly as far as the classics go. Recent classics that I really like are Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan.

A:

The really bad stuff I do. Kids are especially rough for me. I mentioned a call somewhere else in here about having to hold the corpse of a newborn for about an hour drive and it fucked me up for probably the better part of two months.

For the most part though you desensitize yourself to it with a humor callous. I've seen stories of people in EMS getting in trouble for being caught making fun of a patient on a dash cam after a call, but what the public doesn't understand is that it isn't personal and that if we didn't do stuff like that we would all last approximately a year be fore being committed.


Q:

What's your opinion on Agricola?

A:

A similar thing happens in hostile deployed areas. You have to find humor or else you'll go mad. People that don't understand tend to demonize. PC goes out the window. Dark humor ensues. Keep fighting the good fight. You certainly earned my respect. I'd buy you a beer if I could.


Q:

Actually, never played it! On my to-play list.

A:

Exactly. Cheers, mate.


Q:

As a designer of board games, you need to put that at the top of your to-do list.

A:

What presser do you use up there? We have to switch between dopamine, and levophed depending on the mood of the pharmacy packing or drug box that day.


Q:

Righto

A:

Dopamine. Never been a fan of leavemdead. lol


Q:

What board games do you find yourself playing the most when you're not working/playtesting?

A:

Since this will probably be asked eventually, what is the worst thing you've ever seen on the job? And thank you for doing this!


Q:

Honestly, I prefer playing the games I create. Haha :) But I think that's important --- if I don't absolutely LOVE my own games then I wouldn't release them.

But I do occasionally pull out Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Monopoly Deal, and Rummikub.

A:

It involved holding a dead baby for about an hour drive. We were transporting the mother to another facility and the corpse had to come with us, but I couldn't bear just to lay it somewhere.


Q:

What is your main method when it comes to selling your games? I imagine selling online comes easiest and reaches a much larger number, however every time I'm tempted to buy a board game it's been from seeing the box art and holding the box in person.

A:

Former medic here. I did CPR on a newborn with PEA during a return. (For the laypersons, that's no breathing, no pulse, but an organized heart rhythm. Very low chance of a happy ending in this case, and it yielded the expected outcome.) Definitely not an hour drive, but felt like an eternity.

There aren't many people who want to talk about this stuff. Nice to hear from someone who had a similar experience. That's all.


Q:

We sell most of our games on Amazon. Our only released game so far is played with 4-12 players, so a lot of people play the game with friends who already own the game and are able to enjoy it and see it before buying online.

Our games really focus on looking beautiful though, so we're trying to get into more stores so people can pick up the game like you said.

A:

It's either get it out or go nuts.

The air of machismo when it comes to feelings in the profession really worries me. I'm sure it causes much more problems than it helps.


Q:

If a grilled sandwich with melted cheese has anything other than cheese on it, would you still consider it "grilled cheese," or would you call it a "melt?"

A:

Have you ever gone to a call that has made you question why you still do this?

Thanks for everything you do and everything you will do!


Q:

I definitely wouldn't call it a grilled cheese. I'd probably call it a "sandwich I stuck in the George Foreman"

A:

Do you mean due to the frivolous nature, or because of how traumatic it is on the psyche?


Q:

I missed "the" on my first read. Thought you said "I'd probably call it a sandwich I put in George Foreman." Now that's a board game, try to put things in George Foreman without getting clobbered.

A:

Traumatic.


Q:

Haha there we go.

A:

Yea a MVC i had recently referenced here...

https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/5t3zaj/everyone_wants_to_be_a_hero_until_its_time_to_do/?utm_content=comments&utm_medium=user&utm_source=reddit&utm_name=frontpage

I was with the patient who was close to my age for the last hour of their life. It weighed really hard on me.


Q:

How did you get pass the fear of failure?

A:

So... Why did you want to get into this profession??

Also, do you put anything extra inside your grilled cheese besides cheese?


Q:

Baby steps into the unknown. Start with some smaller side endeavors and learn the ropes a bit before jumping.

A:

To be honest, I had no idea the profession really existed. I was in college working on my bachelors in biology when my girlfriend got pregnant, so I had to find a job sooner than later. She was looking in the paper one day and saw an ad and said "Hey, how about working on an ambulance?" and the rest is history...


Q:

Do you think you'll ever get ... board?

A:

And the grilled cheese?


Q:

Haha, nice. I don't think so. The possibilities of game mechanics and themes are endless.

A:

Oh right, sorry. I am plain jane with mine.

Though I had a friend make some where he put apple in them. It was ok, but I'm not one to mix sweet and savory.


Q:

Thanks for doing this AMA and for being so responsive to everyone's questions.

A friend and I are trying to do the same thing! In our research though we've discovered a lot of potential pitfalls with going the Kickstarter route. Namely, the "pre-marketing."

Do you have any advice for people who are trying this? Could you give us your top 3 things that made your first Kickstarter successful?

Thanks!

A:

Thank you for doing what you do.

Ninja edit: Whats the longest shift you've worked?


Q:

Good luck with yours!

My main advice: worry less about the pre-marketing and more about the product. With our first game we did zero pre-marketing and the game raised $100K. Make a great game and the people will find you.

Also, here's an article I wrote about my takeaways from last time: http://travhancock.com/2015/06/how-i-raised-100000-on-kickstarter/

A:

When I was a young'n I worked 5 24 hour shifts in a weeks time.

All in a row 70ish hours? Not any more though. Way too old for that.


Q:

First of all congratulations for all these great achievements. Was there ever a time when you wanted to get back to your old job?

A:

Whats the rarest condition that you have diagnosed on spot? And how? What was the treatment after that?


Q:

Thanks! And so far, nope. I guess there were a few moments of uncertainty when the risk-free environment sounded nice, but the freedom and flexibility of working for myself just feels awesome.

A:

I had a patient with some insane looking rash that went diagnosed for like a month. Never found out if it was contagious or anything. It's been a while so I guess I am good.


Q:

Congrats. The game looks like fun.

How do you find manufacturers for your products that you can trust? Are you working on new games all the time and how many do you have planned?

A:

Is it true that you drive with a pan of water in the ambulance? To make sure you drive safe enough for the patient in the back or something


Q:

Thanks!

The board game industry is really supportive - we were pointed towards some good manufacturers that are based in the US/Canada but have factories in China. That made it really easy.

Yes, we're always working on new games! So far we have released 2, and we're currently testing the next 3 in line. New game ideas are constantly on my brain!

A:

It isnt mandatory, but it is the way I was taught and subsequently teach newbies. The exponential difference between being in the front and back is rough if you're the one in the back.


Q:

How much of the $325k went towards income versus expenses related to production of the game?

A:

Hello Fellow Ohioian and person in he medical field. I do home rehab I work with fragile and elderly people. I have my med CPR but...

What can those of us that have to call a squad for our patients due to help you? Besides CPR if our patient is breathing on their own but need your services what can we do or get ready for you


Q:

About 40-50% goes towards profit and re-investment in the company. The rest goes to production, Kickstarter fees, and shipping costs.

A:

First of all, big props. I dunno if i could handle being with some of the bad patients i've had for days upon days.

As far as calling 911... Put up any animals. Clear us a path to get the stretcher in (it seems a lot of older people have a tendency to hoard), and if your patients do not already have one help them get together a paper that has all their pertinents ie. name, birthday, social, allergies, medical history, and medications. Having all that info waiting and ready to go saves so much time. :)


Q:

Did you start to make board games first and quit your job once it took off, or did you have an actual business model and quit your job hoping for the best?

A:

I feel like this should be something everyone keeps in their wallet and most definitely something all geriatricians recommend to their patients.


Q:

I quit my job right after our first game raised $100K on Kickstarter. So I definitely wasn't leaving blind. It was nice to have that safety net to start with!

I also had a few other side ventures that I was working on as well at the time that were bringing in some revenue.

A:

For sure. That and an ICE (In case of emergency) labelled contact in their phones.


Q:

Are your games being sold anywhere other than kickstarter? Will this remain viable when you're not "kickstarting" a new project?

A:

Do you take lots of heroin overdose calls? What % of calls are due to drug abuse these days?


Q:

Yes, we sell our games on our website, on Amazon, and in game stores around the world. They bring in a great monthly income even outside of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a great way to get the ball rolling on a project and build interest and awareness in a new game.

A:

It comes in waves. You can definitely tell when a bad batch comes into town. I was a part of that, what was it, 45 overdoses in a day spree i'm sure you heard about recently.


Q:

Had a friend OD two weeks ago, a neighbor OD two days later. Everyone sort of shrugged and said there must be a bad batch going around. Like it's a bad storm or the flu. Baltimore. Heroin. Shrug. Stay away from that shit and just shake your head and frown when these things happen.

A:

Check into narcan from the pharmacy for your friend. Obviously kicking the addiction is preferable, but in the mean time...


Q:

What happens when you are called to a scene and person has died prior to arrival? Do you turn around?

Also when you get to a scene and there is a body do you handle the dead at all or does a coroner?

I live in canada and those are rumors i have heard about ehs drivers

A:

We confirm asystole. Note the presence of lividity and rigor to insure it isn't recent and I pronounce them dead. From there law enforcement takes over if its suspicious. If not a funeral home comes and gets them.


Q:

Do you feel like people need to be more educated about what your job entails?

And do you feel people should be more thankful or respectful to first responders?

A:

I think everyone should have to take an, at least abridged, EMT course in highschool. Everyone knowing how to preform cpr and to stop bleeding would be invaluable. Other than that, I think knowing when to or to not call 911 or to visit an ER vs urgent care is something that should be more widely known.

As far as respect goes... You cant force people to respect something. I try to conduct myself in a respectable manner, but there are certainly dicks in this job like in any other that don't deserve an ounce.


Q:

I work as a receptionist at an Urgent Care facility. It is insane when a pt will walk through the door with life threatening conditions and assume that we have the facilities to treat it.... All in an effort to avoid going to the ER. Pt will come in with symptoms of stroke and come here first just to be referred to the ER, wasting precious time. I totally agree with educating people on what kind of situations are an Urgent Care visit vs. an ER visit/when to call 911.

A:

Oh for sure, and I get calls at 3 am for "My mouth tastes funny." haha


Q:

What would you say is the hardest aspect of your job, mentally? And how do you handle it?

Thank you for your service!

A:

Just the repeated struggle of dealing with death and dying. The best way I've learned to explain it is "Imagine the worse moment of your life. Now imagine doing that 5-10 times a day several times a week."

I man up and go to therapy. A lot of alcoholism and broken relationships in the job though. I think last I heard we have one of the highest suicide and divorce rates.


Q:

Craziest story? Like craziesssttt

A:

I picked up a passed out drunk chick in her car on the side of the road. She woke up enough on the way to the hospital to start rubbing one out. haha