NonprofitI started a program that rewards people for picking broken glass and cigarette butts off the beach AMA!
Mar 5th 2018 by raddlesnake • 24 Questions • 99 Points
Hi everyone! I am Niall Ferguson. I am the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard, where I served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. I am also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. I have written fifteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. I am an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for my PBS series The Ascent of Money. In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, I am the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. I also serve on the board of Affiliated Managers Group. My new book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the U.S. in January.
You can find me online here:
EDIT: And that's it folks. It's 11:02am in Stanford and I have to get back to my day job. Thanks to all of you for really great questions. My RSI is now killing me, but it was fun!
Usually when I hear ideas like this that will benefit the environment or help clean up the beaches, they sound great initially, but I highly doubt that they can be sustainable for a long period of time.
However, your project sounds awesome! The businesses have an incentive to encourage their customers to clean up the beaches to get people back in their business, and people have another incentive to clean up the beach.
That said, do any people from putting their own trash in the jars and getting the discount?
Are there any other organizations that have similar goals to yours but have failed? How are you doing things differently from them?
Thanks for making the world a better place my man!
How did you investigate producing the game when you first decided to dive in?
What did the athletes think of the Canadian skier who drunkenly stole a car?
Thanks for doing this. Visited the distillery last summer and had a blast.
1) How closely does HH follow r/bourbon, if at all? Are you aware of how highly regarded Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is there?
2) What is one recent, readily available bourbon or rye (i.e. not secondary market or super $$) from a different distillery that made you say "Damn, that's good"?
If you answer, I commit to 3 fingers of Pikesville tonight in your honor.
In your recent interview with Sam Harris, you seemed to sidestep criticisms of Kissinger by saying that if he's a war criminal, then so is Obama, etc. Since this is not a political question but a legal one, and since many of us are perfectly willing to follow you on your point about Obama, what is an actual substantive argument for your lenient stance on Kissinger's actions?
Thanks for the kind words!
We were initially worried about people discarding their own trash- we use the businesses to help self police that kind of stuff, but it honestly hasn't been an issue. Part of offering the incentive is that it's something between 2-5 dollars. It's enough to make the effort worth it, but not so nice that it would be worth it to cheat. This has been a concern for the businesses and we haven't had any of them come back to us saying it's a problem, so I think we're doing something right!
Plenty of organizations do cleanups and plenty of organizations try to create buy in. I think a key point where we differ from those other programs is that we target the people in local businesses, most of which are residents of the community. When the businesses support the community, the community supports the businesses. If anything, the role of our project is to facilitate that relationship in the background rather than lead from the front and have everyone fall into place behind us.
I went to a local game convention and talked to a lot of game makers who were a few years ahead of me. The community is super helpful in pointing new creators in the right directions in terms of manufacturing, logistics, etc.
Laugh, but also they were appalled. While talking to some of skiers there, they said that there is a drinking/partying culture in Alpine Canada, so they weren’t surprised.
Hi Denny! I'll start us off simply. Based on all factors including price, what's your favorite whiskey? If it's one you make, what's also your favorite that you don't distill?
If I had a dollar for every time people asked me something about Cones of Dunnshire :) I am totally Ben Wyatt in so many ways. Haha, we even made our last Kickstarter video using stop motion I just realized.
I'll see what I can do!
Yes! I'm currently in the phase of ”what do I do now?”
Did the people who won medals walk around high and mighty inside Olympic Village?
big fan of heaven hill brands. elijah craig barrel proof, in particular. i have a few questions:
do you have any favorite independent or small distilleries you think we should be watching? people who are doing it right and not rushing product to market?
any chance of barrel/high proof offerings of other heaven hill labels?
what is heaven hill doing to stymie the oncoming pop to the bourbon bubble? does heaven hill even think this is a bubble or does hh see the current fervor as a sea change for the whiskey world?
I attend a festival that had something like this. They used to give a free ice cream cone to anyone for a 20oz soda bottle full of cigarette butts. It was a great idea but was eventually scrapped due to sanitary concerns.
At the beach you have cigarette butts, glass, all kind of plastic, etc... Do you provide people with latex/rubber gloves or things like alcohol wipes to keep potential cleaners, well... clean?
I know it sounds like a non-issue but you may be surprised by the amount of people who want to help but don't want to get their or their kid hands dirty or cut by random broken glass.
I love the game box aesthetic. I hope we can have a whole shelf for you on the Kallax at some point :)
Salem to Tortuga to Deadwood. Where are you headed next?
Hi Denny! Thanks for doing the AMA. I had a couple of questions.
1) What's one aspect of the master distiller job that surprised you once you assumed the role? 2) I'm a big fan of the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof releases and the Elijah Craig barrel picks. Do you think that Heaven Hill would ever release a barrel proof store pick Elijah Craig?
We're not revealing Volume 4 just yet, but we're hard at work on it. But whereas the first 3 are all in the Americas, the next one will not! So many possibilities though for the series. Pick a city and a year and build a game around it.
Norway (except Kristofferson)
Why not Kristofferson? Haven't been able to keep up with the news... Did something happen between you guys?
How aware and tapped into the secondary/black market are you? Have your recent pricing increases for limited edition bottlings been related to prices you've seen on the secondary? or more from sales increases and market research?
as a consumer, i lament the price increase, but as a fan, it's good to see the higher end bourbon releases starting to get luxury prices more in line with products in the same family (ie, scotch)
Dude had childish tantrums at security guards and told one them to ”fuck off” when they asked to check his bag in the village. I lost a lot of respect when I saw that.
I am not a collector so I am not tapped into the secondary market at all. Mainly what we know is what the consumers tell us. That market does not dictate at all what pricing is for our releases. We do try to manage special releases because we truly want people to drink these products and not just collect and/or resell them. However, it’s a market that has been created out of necessity so it is not a bad thing at all. It is filling a niche. I know that some products have seen increases but it is tough for us to control what the price is when it makes the shelf. We suggest pricing but that does not always dictate what it sells for. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is a great example of that. Our suggested pricing is $59.99. Obviously we have seen it listed a lot higher than that. It also still amazes me that we can offer products such as Elijah Craig Small Batch and Henry McKenna 10yr BIB in the $30 price range. Unbelievable products for the price.
I am writing an update to the Ascent of Money which will tear into Dodd-Frank as a really badly designed mess that didn't address more than a tenth of the causes of the financial crisis. Should be out in September.
do you have plans for helping other beach cities kickstart a similar program?
Was the stop motion scene comparable to Avatar?
Seriously though. If you were to make The Cones of Dunnshire I would find it very, very difficult to not throw money at you and your family : D
We have the same last name. You get a lot of Harry Potter references anytime someone notices your name?
-What finally made you quit your job? -How far were you into the board game business journey when you quit your job?
What was the food like? I suspect athletes have pretty strict dietary standards leading up to their events, but if I was there I would want to try out all the local delicacies.
Hey Denny! Thanks for opening your doors to Heaven for a little bit.
Can you speak on the Bourbon industry and where you think it's going. Everyone claims the bubble is about to burst.
Also, can you explain the farm to distillery relationship and where you might get your corn, wheat and rye from? I've heard that a lot of distilleries, HH included use GMO products to keep up with demand. Any shift towards organic!
Who’s been the most influential historian in your career? Most overrated? Most underrated?
And why is Cambridge better than Oxford?
We were lucky that our first game did really well right out of the bat. It had made $100,000 on Kickstarter, so some of the risk of leaving was mitigated. At that point I ran another side gig of digital marketing for small companies. When we launched our 2nd game and it also did well then I started doing only games full time.
They had everything! French fries, pizza, pasta, sushi, etc.! You name it, and they had it available.
1) Can you speak on the Bourbon industry and where you think it's going. Everyone claims the bubble is about to burst.
Everyone has their own perspective on this, but from my position I don’t think Bourbon is going anywhere any time soon. We’re only halfway to where the industry was in its peak in the 1970’s. And we have huge growth potential in the international markets. As the second largest holder of aging American Whiskey, we’re in a better position than most to prepare for the future.
2) Also, can you explain the farm to distillery relationship and where you might get your corn, wheat and rye from? I've heard that a lot of distilleries, HH included use GMO products to keep up with demand. Any shift towards organic!
All of the corn comes from four local farmers who we have worked with for generations. We typically get our wheat from these same farms since they will grow the wheat on the same property once the corn is harvested. Our rye comes from the Northern US and Canada. We just cannot grow it economically here in KY. As for GMO, we do not dictate to the farmer what they should grow. They know what is best to grow on their land. That being said, no GM material makes it through distillation thus the reason why we do not mandate what the farmer must grow.
- A.J.P. Taylor. He could write.
- Richard J. Evans.
- Maurice Cowling. With Oxford it was like marriage. With Cambridge it was a passionate affair.
Congratulations on competing in the Olympics! My question is about the Kim Jung Un impersonator. What was the North Koreans reaction to him?
Do you see the future of American Brandy exploding in popularity much like Bourbon has in the last decade? If so, does Heaven Hill have any plans for this?
Thank you for doing the AMA! I wrote a term paper on The Pity of War in college and thoroughly enjoyed your challenges to the conventional wisdom about WWI—I’ve even read the book a second time independent of any course work.
Do you consider yourself to be a historical contrarian? If so, at what point in your education and/ or career do you think you realized this? What do you think has led you to view many historical events and phenomena differently from other historians and commentators?
They absolutely hated him. He apparently tried to get close to their delegation, and their security detail tackled him.
With the popularity of Bourbon, we continue to see people trying other brown spirits like Brandy. Heaven Hill currently owns the number-two selling Brandy with Christian Brothers. We just launched the first Bottled-In-Bond American Brandy two years ago, Christian Brothers Sacred Bond. I get to work with our distilling partners in California, O’Neill, which is an interesting collaboration as they are managing a different production process using grapes and copper pot stills.
Worth reading / seeing The History Boys by Alan Bennett on this. I was always taught to challenge conventional wisdom when writing history essays. Otherwise, why bother? So the conventional wisdom on the First World War was just sitting there waiting to be challenged: that the war was a tragedy, but somehow inevitable. The Pity of War is a direct assault on that. Probably teaching the subject at Oxford pushed me further along the contrarian path. Students would come in with essays that said the same old thing, and my job was to ask: "Are you sure about that? What if Britain had simply stayed out?"
Did you see any serious partying, like lots of booze and irresponsibility? If so, which country's athletes drank the hardest?
In what ways do you feel like the bourbon industry (or American whiskey in general) has been influenced by distilling traditions in other countries? Inversely, in what ways do you think distilling in other countries has been influenced by the U.S. (beyond barrel exports)?
You defend Kissingers alleged war crimes by pointing to the crimes of other secretaries of state. Aren't you dodging the question of whether or not Kissinger himself committed war crimes in Indochina?
We do not. We work with factories in China to manufacture the games. There is a lot of sending designs and samples back and forth to get everything just right.
Oh yeah! On the last night, I went out to the only bar in PyeongChang, and it was packed!! The eastern Europeans and Americans were the hardest partiers.
Saw a few of them walking around piss drunk in the dining hall and harassing the staff there.
Well, most of us trace our roots to Irish and Scotch Distillers so it’s safe to say we have been greatly influenced. They brought the knowledge and expertise over with the founding of our country and we’ve benefited ever since!
Read volume II. First I need to write it. The book will at least have a consistent definition of "war crimes."
Was just out of curiosity. The games look amazing by the way, very elegantly put together.
What were the shady/controversial things you saw?
Thank you! Having cool components are super important to us. We try to avoid typical cardboard punchboards as much as possible :) So it's a lot of communicating with the factory about what is possible. I've found that manufacturers can make almost anything that you can envision.
Saw a lot in-team fighting and a fight between a Russian and Canadian athlete.
I heard a lot of Canadian athletes were pissed that Russia was even allowed to participate at all after the doping scandal. Was this the case?
As far as I know! We talk with dozens of factories for each game and look into their practices and what other games are using them for production.
Yeah, there was a lot of shade being thrown at the Russian's from Canada.
I am super intrested in getting into this. I usually have a lot of ideas for the design and mechanics yet I really suck at creating artwork. Any Idea how to roll with this? Hire someone? Do you think a bigger budget is required before financing it on kickstarter?
So you guys got custom Samsung Galaxy Note8’s, right? Did you get to keep them?
Still gonna taste like bourbon. If your fill levels aren't great or it was stored at high temperature or in sunlight it could taste not optimal, still gonna taste like bourbon though.
Hello Niall, a big fan of your work. Even if I don't always agree, I always find your arguments interesting.
In light of your work on the legacies of the colonial era, I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the recent vote to expropriate land from white farmers in South Africa?
Don't worry so much about the artwork at first. Make sure the game is super fun to play and is "flawless" in terms of mechanics.
For artwork, a good place to start is upwork.com. They have lower cost artists who do good work.
Here is some other advice about getting the project ready for Kickstarter that we wrote: https://facadegames.com/our-advice-to-kickstarter-creators/
Yup, but I sold mine as soon as I got home.
This is a tough one. Bourbons that have been in the bottle that long are unpredictable. There are just too many variables … exposure to sunlight, quality of the cork seal, etc. Just enjoy the experience of tasting such an old bottling.
It worries me, but I haven't yet seen the small print. History generally gives very low marks to most expropriations of land, because of the effect on rule of law of direct attacks on property rights, as well as the inefficiencies that arise when you break up big units. But there are ways to get this kind of thing right. Hernando de Soto would be the person for the South Africans to consult.
How many times have you playtested each of the games you made?
What was your least favorite experience during the whole thing?
Our current game is on Version 74 :) But each of those versions also has had about 3-4 tweaks along the way and 3-4 playtests. So literally hundreds. It's my favorite part of the process though!
The media. I had media approach me while I was out on personal trips with my family, which really irritated me. They lacked respect for athletes personal space.
What steps have you guys done to ensure there will not be another fire?
Hi Niall What historians/historical works have shaped your historical thinking?
I wish I could say that we could absolutely prevent it but that is not the truth. I will say that we have put many measures in place to minimize the risk of another fire. 2 major components is installing fire sprinklers systems in new and old warehouses and also berming around warehouses that will either contain flaming liquid or directionally flow it away from other warehouses. The reality is, if you have a major lightning strike you have mere seconds for the fire sprinkler to extinguish the initial spark.
And that's it folks. It's 11:02am in Stanford and I have to get back to my day job. Thanks to all of you for really great questions. My RSI is now killing me, but it was fun.
Do you have a group of gamer friends who are willing to play test the games with you?
How well did the hosts/event organizers manage cultural/language barriers? Did you witness any issues with this?
We do, yes. We've found that a lot of people love being on the innovative side of things and helping create the game. A lot of fulfillment in that.
There was some issues as a lot of the volunteers didn't fluently speak English. So at times it was frustrating to talk to them when you had an issue. Overall they were incredibly hard working and always friendly.
What country's delegation was the most obnoxious? Privileged/snobby? Nicest?
There are often board game clubs at universities, or just local community groups. Also, friends of friends. Everyone has a friend who plays games, so it's just a matter of asking for introductions and getting new people over for game nights.
USA: Obnoxious France: Privilege/snobby Norway: Nicest
Edit 1: Didn't read that question properly.
How did you navigate the legal aspects, like intellectual property right to your game, copyright, etc. Were legal fees built into your original business plan?
$1 million in revenue, but how much in profit if you don't mind me asking. Obviously feel free not to answer that if you don't want to.
What were the accommodations like? Were they nice or shoddy? Did you feel the games were run well by the host country?
Are you guys going to bring back the Elijah Craig Small Batch 12 Year at any point, even as a limited release? It was my go-to daily drinker for years but, since the age statement was removed, the ECSB has lost the depth and complexity that it had.
In the modern political context, and maybe drawing on your knowledge of some historical examples, how exactly can a government or society counter negative social engineering and radical ideas in a free and open society without trampling over first amendment rights?
A lot of people recently will accuse people who have conservative views of being Russian trolls. I guess my question is, in the hypothetical case that say a huge surge in conservative views was an act of some sort of foreign influence, how could a government or power counter it ethically? How can you counter division and radical ideas from the governmental level (as is often discussed with recent events) without trampling over free speech?
There's actually not too much to do since natural copyrights are built in. You can't patent game mechanics, so there's that.
So much of the value of games is actually executing them right. Making it all come together. So someone who "stole" the idea of the game would still be years behind. Also the game community is very protective- if they see a copy of another game, then they will point out the faker and won't buy the new one.
Profit is about 50% after all the manufacturing, shipping, advertising, illustration costs.
The accommodations were pretty average, kinda what you expect for a college dorm room. My room was really big and had a nice view of the village. The Korean definitely put on a good show! All of them were friendly, generous, and always willing to help everyone.
We do not have any plans to release Elijah Craig Small Batch as a 12 year. When we made the decision to drop the age statement instead of drastically raising the price due to a shortage of barrels, we made a commitment to continually release Elijah Craig Barrel Proof as an aged stated 12YO.
Regulation of all political advertising exists for TV and newspapers. It didn't exist for the Internet in 2016. That needs to change. If those ads had said words to the effect of "Sponsored by the Russians," they would have been far less effective.
Did you have kids at the time you quit? Serious props to you if you did, as that would make most people second guess themselves.
Your games look really fun
In your opinion was there anything going on between Virtue and Moir, or are they just amazing actors?
We did not at the time. Hard to say what I would have done if we did, because it is something to consider.
I still don't understand their relationship dynamic??? I saw them at the opening and medal ceremonies, and their chemistry was undeniable. Pretty sure they're ”dating”.
Were you able to talk with any North Korean athletes?
Are there any generally hated Olympians? Maybe ones that think their sport is superior to others and look down on other athletes.
Depends on the avenue. Generally about 50-60 percent goes towards profits for our living expenses, and to reinvestment into the company and other games. But yeah, the cuts that Amazon takes, that distributors take, that retailers take, that Kickstarter takes, all vary.
Unfortunately, no. I wanted a pin from their country.
Elizabeth Swaney was the least respected Olympian there. Henrik Kristofferson was also not very friendly.
How do you handle the artwork of the cards and boxes? Also is their any website coding knowledge internally or do you use a basic template? Do you have paid game testers or volunteers/ friends
How much time did you have to actually relax? How much time did you spend practicing? Did you have any other people who were not teammates/ olympics related travel with you to South Korea? And how do you olympians deal with nervousness/ generally being nervous and the pressure before actually performing in the Olympics?
My wife does the graphic design in Adobe Illustrator, and we hire an illsutrator to draw the pictures.
We have a weekly playtest group that comes to our house. We also have a network of a few other groups around the country that we send print and plays to test out.
I didn't have a lot of time for myself. I spent a lot of time training or doing my rounds of media interviews. I did get to go out a couple times in Seoul and explore Korea after my events.
My family came out to see me and stayed for the entire games.
It's the Olympic man, enjoy yourself and compete like you always do!
Do you think board games will still be popular a few decades from now?
What was the most controversial thing you witnessed?
I do. They are actually growing in popularity- I think because people are needing a retreat from technology because it is advancing so much. Something about sitting around a table with friends and touching physical pieces that really can't be beat.
-In team fighting -Elizabeth Swaney -Dave Duncan’s drunken night
What are your top 3, not made by you, board games? Where do you draw your inspiration from? How do you see the board game genre developing in the coming years with the advancement of technology?
Did the north Koreans stay in the Olympic village?
I am awful at picking favorite board games, because it always changes on my mood. But my most recent favorites are Code Names, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, King of Tokyo, One Night Werewolf.
Inspiration comes from testing our games a TON, playing other games, learning about history (our games all have historical tie ins), and traveling! Traveling really jogs the brain for creativity.
Honestly I think the advances in technology make people want to go back to the basic cardboard and paper and tangible pieces in their hands. They need an escape from their phones and the mess of the internet. I think board games are getting more popular because of that.
They did indeed! They had a massive flag hanging from their building in the village. They usually kept to themselves and only walked in the town with their delegation and security detail.
How does it feel to be Lily's dad from How I Met Your Mother?
Did Lindsey Vonn find a Valentine's date? Asking for a friend.
She did, apparently, it was a news anchor. However, I did spot her on bumble.
Do you need someone to help you test out games? Lol. I love seeing more non-traditional board games (read as Hasbro repackaging a 50 year old game). What gets the idea for the game started, do you find the theme first then figure out gameplay mechanics or try to figure out what kind of interactions you want players to have with the game/others and go from there?
What was the gossip about Elizabeth Swaney?
It really varies. Sometimes there's the idea of a mechanic that I build around (like in our 2nd game I built the game around the idea of a mutiny- working with a captain and then betraying him), and sometimes it's a historical setting (like in our current Deadwood game I learned about the town a lot before building the game around it). Really depends! Every game is a conglomoration of lots of inputs from life.
Saw her around the village a couple times; she seemed very fake. After all the bad press, she went into hiding.
A lot of athletes from the smaller countries were floored because she made them look really bad in the media. They felt that she was a scam and didn't earn her place there.
How hard was it to come up with the concept/theme/idea? What do you do with concepts/themes/ideas that just don't work? Are you afraid of running out of game ideas?
Being that these were your first Olympic games, what surprised you the most that you weren't expecting? Also, how much was free for you?
The ideas for the games really just snowball from one little thing. We think of some core concept, or some city and year from history, and then build from there. We test a ton and keep improving as we go.
Not worried about running out of ideas :) There are infinite ways to play a game, and infinite themes to pull from.
Nick kroll deciding to randomly show up in the village. Everything was free!
Any big plans now that you have a million in revenue? Other business interests or personal interests outside gaming you would go after? Just looking to live vicariously through you haha.
Have you had sex with any other Olympians?
Good question! We want to keep making games! It's so much fun and it lets my wife and I work from home and not work crazy hours. So why mess up a good thing?
That being said, I'm interested in innovating in this world a bit. Creating cool interesting apps out of our games, inventing new genres of games, building on the worlds our current games are in, etc. There's so much room for creativity in the game world so it brings a lot of fulfillment.
Where were you when you got the first idea of making a board game?
OK... How did sex with Olympians compare to non-Olympians?
I was up there working for a summer and my friends and I designed a "Harry Potter Mafia" game that tweaked the traditional mafia/werewolves idea. That morphed into a game called "Cities" and then it became our first game "Salem." It was all just for fun of course, but then when it went big we found a way to keep making games.
Better than expected.
What would recommend to someone for making a board game? Like what sort of skills and resources would help with making games?
What were the cliques like? Was it mostly athletes from the same nation sticking together or did cliques/groups form according to their sport etc?
Check out boardgamegeek.com and look around those forums.
Don't be afraid of criticism! Print out a game and test it over and over again. Just jump into it and you'll pick up skills as you go.
Most athletes stuck together with their own countries.
How do you start designing the game when you just have the idea and nothing else?
How efficient is the IOC anti-doping agency?
Have you come across any cases/hearsay where an athlete won a medal because of performance enhancement drugs but cleared the official doping test?
You just start! You get something printed out and test it. It's always awful the first 20 times, but you take little pieces of each version and keep making it better. But that's the key- test test test and don't be afraid of feedback and admitting the game sucks for a long time.
After Sochi, they definitely step up their game. I was tested three times in the week before my departure to Korea and once before competition.
I haven't, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was one athlete there at PyeongChang.
What do you REALLY eat when you're in a foreign place to compete?
Our illustrator works in Adobe Photoshop, and my wife primarily works in Adobe Illustrator doing the graphic design
Everything and anything on my plate. The dining hall had a good selection of different foods.
A couple of friends and I are a little over a year into creating a board game, aiming to have a finished product to start looking to sell (on kickstarter or to an existing company) by the end of 2018. I think we're on version 5 or 6 of the rules at this point. Do you have any recommendations for who to work with once we get to the printing stage? What parts of the design process are pitfalls to watch out for, in your opinion? How did you balance players who want to do nothing but betray in an initially cooperative game vs players who don't ever want to backstab?
What was your "dating" app of choice for Olympian hookups?
We used Panda Games for our first game. They are a little more costly, but make it easy for first time creators. pandagm.com.
One thing to watch out for in the design process is to not fall in love with your baby too much. Don't be afraid to hear points of criticism or recognize that your game might be clunky or flawed. Rip it apart to its core!
For your third question, just make sure incentives line up correctly. Reward them for staying just enough that they think about staying. But reward them for leaving if the opportunity comes up. Our new game Deadwood actually does this a lot.
Tinder! Everyone staying in the village got upgraded to gold for free. Surprisingly a lot of the athletes shut their account down because ”NBC” had an Instagram page that exposed everyone. So most of the people you matched with were not in Korea and were using the passport feature to match with all the Olympians.
Hey 'a dad'! I'm a huge fan of boards games and so I very much respect and envy you!
Where would one go to patent their own board game idea or to get the ball rolling?
Did you get to see or meet the North Korean cheerleaders?
What was your impression of them? They always looked sort of unreal or doll like when I saw photos of them.
We don't worry about patents, since it's really tricky to "patent" an idea of a game mechanic. So honestly don't worry too much about it. Just start making a game, testing it out, getting art slapped onto it, and then getting it out there!
But make sure you're making a game for the fun of it, not to make money. Most games don't make a lot of money. But if you passion shows through then people will see that and it may get big.
I did see them at my event when I was competing and at the short-track race.
I think it was a hilarious propaganda tool by DPRK, and they seemed very doll like and fake. Around them, there were escorts that made sure none of them escaped.
Since you were presumably not running a business before, what advice would you give to new business owners that could make life much easier now knowing the potential pitfalls?
What was the general stance towards German and Norwegian(etc.) athletes like, especially those who won multiple medals. Like where they not well seen or was everyone just happy for them?
Start using accounting software right off the bat to keep track of all income and expenses and taxes and such. Makes all the "boring" stuff easier in the long run so you can focus more time on the fun stuff of the business. Wave is a free software you can use. Quickbooks is what many people use.
Nobody had hard feelings to them. Only OAR and their athletes who won medal.
What’s the process like starting a new game? Like what’s the process from ideation to shipping the games out. :)
What was the general stance towards Russian athletes? Did you interact with them? Do they discuss the doping scandal?
Ah man, tough question :) Short version: come up with basic idea, test test test test test, get illustrations, get graphic design to put all designs together, proof rules, create kickstarter page, do Kickstarter campaign, manufacture game, freight game across ocean, ship out game. For longer version read more of this whole AMA.
Most of them were really quiet and kept themselves. Everyone respected their space and didn't bother them much (*Except the Canadians). There was already bad vibes from everyone so they didn't really talked to anyone except their own delegation members. However, I talked to a few of them in the fitness centre and they were really nice.
I've been thinking about a game that is mainly card based. Where do you get to get your cards produced?
From the perspective of an athlete, what is the best and worst part of competing at an Olympic level? Is there anything that you wish was handled better?
We use makeplayingcards.com for prototype decks. Then when we actually manufacture we use factories in China.
Best: Competing against some of the best athletes in the world
Worse: High pressure to succeed for sponsors, nation, etc
Handled better: Media!
How exactly are the 3 games different from eachother? All it says on the kickstarter is that each "have a dark, mysterious, or secretive element in its gameplay". I don't want to get into a Forbidden Island/Forbidden Desert situation where the games are almost identical
Do you think PyeongChang was well prepared to host the Olympics? Any unsafe things or weird shit happen?
They all play very differently.
Salem: a group trying to find the witches. The witch team spreads during the game so it's a race against the clock. Lots of lying.
Tortuga: two hidden teams, so you have to figure out who your teammates are. Trying to get the most treasure for your team. Some lying, lots of strategy and using turns wisely.
Deadwood: work with a team to get the most gold, but at the end you have to kill your own teammates! Balance of teamwork, and self-preservation.
It was safe, nothing out of the ordinary happened from what I remember. They definitely had their shit together well in advance!
How does the work life balance compare to your previous job? Do you work more hours now?
You've mentioned in-team fighting a couple of times. Can you give us an example? What's going on to incite things like that?
It's great! I work less now, and I get to be home all day with my wife and daughter, which is awesome.
Sure, it's harder to "clock out" since I never "clock in", so sometimes I have to force myself to not check emails over weekends. I also have to set hours for myself so that I will indeed "clock out" on some days. I really love what I do so I need to make myself stop.
But yeah, it's great being able to travel whenever we want and take days off whenever we want.
Apparently, there was drama going on in the CAN woman bobsleigh team, and none of them sat together. One them left the dining hall in tears a couple of times.
Not exactly sure about the details, but I believe it has to do with competitiveness or the team positions.
the kickstarter page says 2-9 players but the FAQ says 4-9 players- which is it? i'm seriously considering getting the 3-pack!
edit: 3-pack secured!
So how many athletes are doping?
Nice! Salem is 4-12 players, Tortuga is 2-9, Deadwood is 2-9. That's why we say each game in the series is "at least" 4-9.
Everyone is doping
I hear that for people from poorer countries, the highlight of going to the Olympics is actually getting much needed health care. Are they able to receive that?
Also, are companies just throwing things at you as far as gifts and goodies?
There is a polyclinic that has everything in terms of health care. You have access to physio, acupuncture, dentist, medicine, etc. You'd be surprised that it's not just smaller countries that take advantage of this, but in fact a lot of American athletes were using the dental care access.
Samsung gave every athlete a free Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phone. Got a backpack, a lot of clothing, headphones, goggles, and a lot of free equipment.
How is Shaun White off camera? I have heard he can be kind of rude in person, but that's something I read on the internet so could be completely false.
No, it’s very true! My brother got snubbed by him when he asked for an autograph.
Dating... or secretly married
I know you want to keep this pretty anonymous, so I'll try to be general. What continent are you from?
What did you do to spend the time when you were not attending the ceremonies and events?
Went to Mcdonalds, watched other events, trained, did some interviews, and toured Korea.
It's was pretty average, very low selection of items. I went about 5-6 times and not as often as I’d like because there was only one stand in the gangneung village and it was a 38min ride from the Pyeongchang village. It was definitely worth it because you could order as much food as you wanted.
Autocorrect learns what to say based on what you have previously typed.
Into gangbang porn?
I should clean my internet history then.
Hmmm... This may reveal my identity
Did you meet Pita, the Tongan athlete? Was he nice and authentic?
I did meet Pita! He was nice.
Honestly, he posed for the camera and with other people, but he's a kind of fraud like Swaney. Most of his delegation members were very snobby and kinda had this high glory vibe around them.
I think it's cool and all what he did, but now he's going on and loathing up all the media attention after he said ”he would be return to Tonga after the games to help repair the damage after the storm”. He's currently in LA doing more self-promoting. I don't think he's as genuine as people perceive him.
since olympics is a huge sex fest. What country's olympians are the most 'popular' and 'unpopular'? I know this question is probably messed up and I asked it in an inelegant way, but I still would like to know. thanks!
USA, Italians and Australian athletes are always DTF!
Germans were unpopular