GamingIamA Game Designer, Magic the Gathering Hall of Famer, and the CEO of White Wizard Games. AMA!
Feb 14th 2017 by RobDougherty • 22 Questions • 120 Points
I founded White Wizard Games in my garage with my best friend, and have raised over $1M on Kickstarter to fund the development of 3 games and 2 apps. Our first game, Star Realms, has won 7 Game of the Year awards. Last year I gave away $100,000.00 in the first Epic Card Game World Championship.
I have over 20 years of industry experience spanning nearly every aspect of hobby gaming: • Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Champion and Hall of Famer • Game Designer • White Wizard Games CEO • Designer and Co-Creator of Epic Card Game • Co-Creator of the Star Realms Deckbuilding Game • Co-Creator of the Hero Realms Deckbuilding Game • Co-Founder/Co-Designer of the Ascension Deckbuilding Game • Gary Games Inc. COO • EpicTCG CEO • Your Move Games Inc. Co-CEO • Stoneblade Entertainment Organized Play Director • Game Store Owner • Premier Tournament Organizer for WoTC and Konami • Tournament Judge (Level 3 Magic Judge) • Organized Play Designer/Consultant
I am also a dad to 7 kids and a St. Bernard.
Ask me about running a game company, designing games, running a Kickstarter, playing professional Magic, marketing/sales distribution for games, game manufacturing, developing game apps, or .... anything :)
Here's a link to the Kickstarter that we are currently running: http://tinyurl.com/EpicDigKSiAMA
The White Wizard Games website is here: http://www.whitewizardgames.com/
My Proof: There will be a post in the Kickstarter comments on the Kickstarter page http://tinyurl.com/EpicDigKSiAMA and also on our White Wizard Games instagram https://www.instagram.com/whitewizardgames/ that I am hosting this iAMA.
I will start answering at 4 pm EST today, February 14th, so ask away!
Hi Rob, With a lot of attention going into Hero Realms and Epic, what do you see in the future for Star Realms, both the physical game and the app? I personally am not into the fantasy theme that Hero Realms and Epic involve (although I did back them both during their kickstarters) but I love the space theme of Star Realms, and it is currently one of my favorite games. I'd like to see it continue to grow.
Good news for you, we also LOVE Star Realms.
I, in fact, have a proxy deck of a future set on the table next to me. Playtest new designs is definitely the most fun part of the job!
We have more sets coming out this year. We are working on adding sets and features to the digital game. So much more Star Realms to come!
Hey Rob! Thanks for doing this!
As a father to seven kids, a store owner, a game designer... it seems like you have a ton on your plate. How involved are your children in game design/testing and running your store? Are your jobs a family function or do you find a way to keep them separate, and still spend time with the family?
I sold my game stores a while back, so they are no longer on my very full plate.
My family does get involved with my work. CJ (age 20) has worked the booth at my shows, plays a lot of Epic, and has done commentary and judging. Nate (10) and Maia (8) love playing Star Realms with me. Sabrina (13) is a aspiring author and wants to work on game lore. Ryan (14) and AJ (13) are more into other video games than the games I make, but they sometimes help out with playtesting and work projects. Daisy (2) isn't playtesting yet, but she is cute and loveable. Debbie is the best partner I could ask for. We raise the kids together and work together. She is WWG head of marketing and the studio manager.
Steve Walsh here (came to your neck of the woods three years ago as part of the Star Realms Kickstarter)- I'm so excited to see WWG's success! I want to start out by saying thank you again for the opportunity- it was a blast!
1- You mentioned sometime that people's perception of a "successful" CCG/TCG is one that "stands the test of time" so to speak, however you don't believe that to be necessarily true. Could you elaborate on how you as a game producer/designer/developer see success?
2- Have you won the rubber match?
Hey Steve! We loved having you as a guest Wizard!
1) Yes, CCGs/TCGs are judged differently than normal games. If a normal game sells a bunch of units, they can print more or an expansion later (even years later) with no problem at all. A CCG/TCG however needs to be in print constantly or it is "dead". There are two different measures of success I put on my games: do people have fun playing them and do they make money. I have had some games that players love, but didn't make any profit, but I am still consider those games successful. Obviously you need some of the profitable ones in there too if you want to eat...
2) I win all matches! :)
Hey Rob thanks for doing this. My wife, friends, and I have really enjoyed Star Realms, Hero Realms, and Epic. However, the one thing we miss is the "collection" factor that we go to MTG and Pokemon for.
Are there any plans in the works for a collectible card game?
I currently don't have plans to do a collectable game.
Recently I've been trying to focus on games that give a massive amount of play for a relatively small number of dollars.