INTERVIEW // Jamey Stegmaier

INTERVIEW // Jamey Stegmaier - English version of the interview

 Jamey Stegmaier has enriched the board game world with a few more highlights in recent years. In addition to Viticulture and Scythe as well as other successful titles, his publishing house has landed another direct hit with Flügeschlag 2018/2019. We had an interesting interview with the author, designer and owner of Stonemaier Games.

Find out how successful Scythe has been so far, why there is only an expensive version of Tapestry and how flapping wings was developed. // First of all, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. Your publisher certainly celebrated a massive success with Wingspan here in Germany. Wingspan won both the German Games Award and the award for best expert game of the year. Did you expect such a success at all?

Jamey Stegmaier // I love Wingspan, and I was certainly hoping that gamers would embrace it…but I had no idea it would reach this level of success so quickly! // How long did the development of Wingspan take?

Jamey Stegmaier // I think Elizabeth had been working on it for about a year before she pitched it to us, and then it took 2 years in development. // When you first saw the game, did you love it right away or did it take a lot of tweaking?

Jamey Stegmaier // I loved the unique cards, and I immediately knew Elizabeth would be great to work with. But the core of the game changed significantly during the development period. // Let’s get to your hit game Scythe: It is still selling strong, how many copies have been produced so far?

Jamey Stegmaier // Currently there are over 300,000 units of the Scythe core game in circulation. // In Tapestry you’ve already announced a new strategic game. It is now facing criticism for its high retail price. We know that is due to the detailed and coloured miniature figures – why have you not decided to produce a cheaper version without the miniatures?

Jamey Stegmaier // The sculpts were a big part of the inspiration for Tapestry—I wanted players to create something magnificent on their table, a beautiful, colourful, and memorable civilization. There are plenty of games with tiles if people prefer them to the landmark miniatures in Tapestry. :) // How many titles is Stonemaier Games planning to release in 2020 other than Tapestry?

Jamey Stegmaier // We typically release 2 new games each year, so that’s probably what will happen in 2020. Oh, and Tapestry releases in 2019 (except the German version). // At Stonemaier Games, how does the development of a game look like when it’s created by other authors? Are you involved in all titles?

Jamey Stegmaier // Yes, I’m the lead developer for all of our games. Basically this means that the designer sends me the most recent version of the game every few months and I playtest it. I send them feedback (ideas, questions, etc), we talk about it, then they implement those ideas. At various times I’ll also coordinate blind playtesting (usually 3-4 waves). // What is important to you when producing a game with Stonemaier Games? Is there something like a core concept that needs to run through all games published by Stonemaier?

Jamey Stegmaier // We have a robust listing of guiding principles and tenets of game design outlined here: // The games that you create or co-create usually have very diverse and innovative settings. How do you keep thinking of these new worlds and what inspires you?

Jamey Stegmaier // I love worldbuilding and exploring games in interesting worlds. I think it helps to work with talented artists. // Imagine you could create a game without constraints of budget or licenses. What game would you like to develop?

Jamey Stegmaier // I’m currently designing such a game, so I don’t want to give away any secrets at this point. :) // How did you get into board games? When did you start creating games and how?

Jamey Stegmaier // I started playing and designing board games when I was 7 or 8 years old when my parents shared them with me. Right away I was excited to make my own. // What games do you like to play with your friends and family?

Jamey Stegmaier // A pretty wide variety! Though we mostly play Euro-style games. // Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Jamey. We at wish you all the best on your future endeavours.

Jamey Stegmaier // Thanks, you too!

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