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Subject: Geek of the Week #330 - AEGTodd rss

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Jordi Boscà de Vasconcelos
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Congratulations Todd!

Have a great GotWeek!
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Kakaris Maelstrom
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d10-0 First - a softball. Who shot first - Han or Greedo?
d10-1 What color was your dad's race car?
d10-2 So Tomb of Iuchiban - when/if this releases, are we going to see a big shake-up in Tomb mechanics, or more like just a rethemed version of Tomb?
d10-3 Do you get a lot of feedback about how good AEG is to the community here? Like with the charity auctions or making promos (relatively) easy to get even if you weren't at the show? (I hope like heck it pays dividends in more than just good karma!)
d10-4 How do you guys get any work done on developing games when your staff is always on BGG?
d10-5 Micro-farming huh? Are you actually doing that or just interested in it? I've read a few things myself about how a family can generate all of their food on 1/4 acre of land but then found a pick-your-own farm 8 miles away which was close enough
d10-6 Has AEG explored the possibility of doing more imported games?
d10-7 When you play MMOs, do you try to play with people you know or remain anonymous?
d10-8 Has your boss ever threatened to block BGG.com because you guys are always on it?
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Congratulations Todd!!!!



Enjoy your week arrrh
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Congratulations, Todd! You deserve your week in the spotlight!

Questions time!

1) Ring, ring! It's your boss and he's in a pickle. "We came up with the great idea to have Ryoshun not really be dead. Quick, we need another clan and something to make them special!" What animal do you make the tenth great clan and what sort of character does it favor? (feel free to disregard this question if it violates some in-house rules regarding game development)

2) What's a game you really wanted to love because of its theme, but the rules got in the way?

3) What's a game you really wanted to love because of its rules, but the theme held no appeal to you?

4) Do you think a hybrid of those two games, the good rules and good system, could work, and if not, would you try it anyway?

5) I spent most of my life living on the Gulf Coast. What's your favorite thing about Mobile/the Coast?

6) What's the misconception that people have about living in Alabama that you have to correct the most?

7) Favorite gaming memory?


Congratulations again, by the way!
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Congratulations Todd! Enjoy your week.
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Congratulations Todd!
Enjoy your week!
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Congratulations, Todd!
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Todd Rowland
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Moonleaf wrote:
Congratulations Todd! I used to playtest for you for Warlord, great times

Would you mind going on a memory trip back to the card game I loved the most?


Absolutely! My first job at AEG was managing Warlord, so I'm more than happy to go back there.

Quote:
- Do you remember Warlord as a successful game?


Yes, definitely. Warlord launched HUGE. It was as big as L5R at the time. It dropped some, but Campaign Edition and the World Tour kept it going strong for a number of years. It began to slow down once Epic Edition came around, and didn't really recover unfortunately. That said it's still a game I enjoy playing. I have a ton of Dragonlords still in my desk drawer.

Quote:

- Could you identify some reasons for its downfall?


It was a bit of a victim of circumstance. Around the Epic Edition time AEG was going through some upheaval, and quite a bit of staff was being let go. It was a rough time but ultimately the one that made us into the better off company we are today. At the time I was tasked with managing both L5R and Warlord for a while. And of course like the verses go, you can't serve two masters. L5R thrived and Warlord got the back seat. It was also the same time I was moving back to Alabama when our first son was being born, so I was already divided in attention anyway.

We all know that was a mistake in retrospect, but there wasn't a great deal we could do at the time. Even a volunteer from the outside wasn't really a possibility due to the lack of time and resources to train/monitor/etc.

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- What was the most memorable experience you've had managing Warlord?


Oh easily the first trip to Europe for KoHIT and doing the store tour. We had an absolute blast over there. It was the first time I had visited and everyone was very excited and welcoming.

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- Compared to other AEG's CCGs, what was Warlord's greater strength?


Well, Warlord had some great interactive promotions. Warlord invented the Overlord Attack challenge decks (that some other CCG's have since copied... not that we're upset...), and the Medusan Lord system, which really made a whole different game out of it. Warlord also had one of the most interesting costing systems in all of CCGs, using the characters entering play ranks as their cost. And your ability to maintain your ranks amidst the attacks from your opponent to be able to play higher level characters was really elegant.
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Luds wrote:

I'm also also a big Thunderstone fan and love DL & the Evil Druids, one of the best monster group in the game

1- What is your favourite hero class (or dual hero class)?


In roleplaying? Well in fantasy usually a paladin. I like having to stick to a code that the other players don't and the trouble it would cause at times when completing goals.

In L5R it's always fun to play the Kakita duelist, with Benten's Blessing, and then play him up super arrogant. You can just be a total jerk and very few people will question it. cool

Quote:
2- What are your favourite 3 Heroes?


Well if you're talking Thunderstone, I always gravitate towards the Amazon if there is a bow in play. Aside from her I like the Chalice, just for the utility of being able to equip good weapons and keep the wounds out. Third, I think I'd have to say the new Necromancer one (what was her name..) from Heart of Doom. Of course I enjoy using Militia as fodder any time I can.

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3- Which are your 3 favourite villain groups?


Evil Druids of course. Raiders, and third is probably the Avians from Thunderstone Advance, but you'll find out more about them later... devil

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4- Any village card you found to be extremely underrated?


Underrated... well certainly not Trainer. I actually like Silverstorm a lot, when I can make it work with the gold out there.

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5- Diseases or Special Diseases?

Cheers!


Special! Make it more varied.
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idlemichael wrote:
. What's the last song you chose to listen to? Like, selected on an iPod or fired up a CD?


Ah chose too... good thing I read closely. I've been on a Pandora kick so I don't choose much... right now its playing Crowded House.

Anyway, chose to listen to... probably Under the Milky Way Tonight by The Church.

Quote:

2. What's your favourite TV show at the moment?


You're going to laugh, but the wife and I are really into Once Upon a Time. I'm a sucker for those type of shows. I like what they've done with Rumplestiltskin a lot, very cool translation of him to the real world.

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3. Worst movie you ever saw?


Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull really made me sad. Transformers is up there too though.

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4. What was the last game you did *really* badly at, and why do you think you did so poorly?


I stunk at Elder Sign, but that's because dice are my enemy. When we played d6 Star Wars I broke my finger once tying my shoes because I rolled 17 bombs in a row during a game. Mike had to be creative with my punishments or there would be no way a character would live more than 5 minutes.

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5. Will you be getting your ass to Essen 2012 so I can buy you a beer?


I certainly hope so! We have enough coming out in the later half of the year that I would be a fool not to be.
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superflypete wrote:
Not that the opinion of one schlep like me matters, but I am here specifically to tell all the BGG'ers that are around what a hell of a good guy Todd is.

We met for the first time at GenCon 2011, but had corresponded on a pseudoprofesional (as professional as a freelance writer can be..) basis where I bugged him for free stuff to review. I'm a professional executive salesperson whose job it is to smell bullshit a mile out, and I can tell you that Todd is as genuine a man as you're going to find.

I know a great many "board game industry" people and I have to say that, without reservation, Todd is the kindest, nicest guy in the industry. All of those things that you might see in the "press" where Todd is helping someone, or donating something, or just generally being a good guy...they're 100% genuine. He's one of those remarkable individuals who will be able to look back on their life and note "Yeah, I'm glad I was that guy."

Congrats, Todd.


Wow. I'm really speechless after that. I only hope that I live up to half of what you said there Pete. Thank you, sincerely.
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Congratulations Todd, Have a fantastic week!
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dblayton wrote:
Congrats! Well deserved nomination. :D

What's your favorite LCG?


Well, that term is copyright... so if you're talking about true "LCGs" and not all deck builders, then I can say I honestly haven't ever played one.

If you extend it to deck builders, it's easily Nightfall when I'm feeling more aggressive and Thunderstone when I want to play more strategically.

But again, I make those, so I kinda have to keep them my favorites or we're doing it wrong.
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KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
d10-0 First - a softball. Who shot first - Han or Greedo?


Han.

Quote:
d10-1 What color was your dad's race car?


Wow you are digging to try to get clues on that 2 truths and a lie thing aren't you?


Quote:
d10-2 So Tomb of Iuchiban - when/if this releases, are we going to see a big shake-up in Tomb mechanics, or more like just a rethemed version of Tomb?


Well, here's the story with that game. Originally it was going to be Tomb with some L5R thrown in, some added rules for honor, dueling, etc. Ultimately what we ended up with felt a little like Tomb, a little like L5R, but in the end didn't really do either justice. So we've taken it back to the workshop and we're going to keep after it until we feel we have something that truly does do justice to both.

Quote:
d10-3 Do you get a lot of feedback about how good AEG is to the community here? Like with the charity auctions or making promos (relatively) easy to get even if you weren't at the show? (I hope like heck it pays dividends in more than just good karma!)


I do actually and I'm flattered by it all. I know there has been some difficulty with getting some promos out there so we're working hard to come up with a solution and plans moving forward that will keep that from happening again.

Quote:
d10-4 How do you guys get any work done on developing games when your staff is always on BGG?


Oh I block out some time to cruise around the sites. BGG, Twitter, FB, and other various gaming sites. Then I turn them all off and get to work.

Quote:
d10-5 Micro-farming huh? Are you actually doing that or just interested in it? I've read a few things myself about how a family can generate all of their food on 1/4 acre of land but then found a pick-your-own farm 8 miles away which was close enough


Well, we're micro-micro-farming right now. The wife really started it, and we made a deal. She wanted me to build her some planters, a garden, etc. So I said ok, i'll build you two, if you keep those alive, I'll build more next year. And that's pretty much how we've been going. I've run some underground water systems out there, and this year we're going to be adding some fruit trees as well. We're lucky that we live on the bend of a L shaped cul-de-sac so we have a pretty large backyard. Usually each year we're growing various types of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, okra, eggplants, beans, lettuce and other greens, cucumbers, and some other random stuff. My aunt taught my wife all about canning so we are able to keep quite a bit of stuff over time.

There's a retaining pond for the neighborhood just behind our land, and wild blackberries grow like crazy back there each year, so we take the kids out and fill up buckets. It's quite a lot of fun.


Quote:
d10-6 Has AEG explored the possibility of doing more imported games?


As in us doing English versions of other company's stuff? Possibly, but that's not what we're actively looking for these days.

Quote:
d10-7 When you play MMOs, do you try to play with people you know or remain anonymous?


Usually I stay anonymous. The only one I really played was WoW, and I never made it a point to tell anyone who I was or what server I played on. Though with SWTOR we're already setting up a small group of those of us at AEG who will be in a guild (or whatever they call it there). Imperial all the way of course.

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d10-8 Has your boss ever threatened to block BGG.com because you guys are always on it?


Ha! It's what we're supposed to be doing!
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dumwytgi wrote:

1) Ring, ring! It's your boss and he's in a pickle. "We came up with the great idea to have Ryoshun not really be dead. Quick, we need another clan and something to make them special!" What animal do you make the tenth great clan and what sort of character does it favor? (feel free to disregard this question if it violates some in-house rules regarding game development)


Oh wow ok. Fun question...

Hrm... So Ryoshun will be the head of it huh? Well a Butterfly would be the proper choice, as it represents life and death... but not exactly inspiring. I'd probably go with something like a Stag. Not sure why, it's just seeming right. As to what type of character it favors, likely people with a strong sense of protecting others. That's always kinda been at his core. A protector and guide.

Quote:
2) What's a game you really wanted to love because of its theme, but the rules got in the way?


Oooh, see now you're asking me to say something bad about someone else's game... I can't really do that publicly. Just not good practice. Hope you understand.

Quote:
3) What's a game you really wanted to love because of its rules, but the theme held no appeal to you?


Ditto, sorry!

Quote:
4) Do you think a hybrid of those two games, the good rules and good system, could work, and if not, would you try it anyway?


Yes, I would try it because I believe it could. At least the ones I'm thinking of...

Quote:
5) I spent most of my life living on the Gulf Coast. What's your favorite thing about Mobile/the Coast?


The accessibility to the beach. We can just go for the day. And the food. I wish there were more game stores though...

Quote:
6) What's the misconception that people have about living in Alabama that you have to correct the most?


People assume that you're some sort of redneck or bumpkin, and that's about the farthest from the truth. I once saw an great exchange on a site where someone was looking for players in Alabama:

Person: Looking for players in Alabama, respond if you're here!

Troll: Lol u even have computers down there?? lolzzz

Person: No, we just use a pen and paper when we send rockets into space down here...


Quote:
7) Favorite gaming memory?


Wow, ok kids sit back for the story of Grenade Boy...

Back when we played Star Wars RPG in the 90s, we played at a store called Gamemasters in Memphis. Quite a few from our playgroup went on to work in the game industry, it was a pretty great group. Anyway we'd play there so that people who walk up could join in as guest stars. Well this one guy wanted to play an explosives expert.

Because those are always fun as one-time join ins...

Anyway, we were all stowing away on a cargo tram, and it was stopped and a squad of stormtroopers were going to search the thing. All hell breaks loose and we're in a fire fight. Well the cargo happened to Corellian Ale, highly explosive, so everyone was doing called shots, even the troopers.

Then it comes around to Grenade Boy's action. What do you think he does?

"I'm going to use a grenade."

Instantly every hand at the table shot up in the air.

All of us: "Do I see him doing this?"

GM: "yes you do"

All of us: "May I react to change my action?"

GM: "yes you may."

All of us: "I'm shooting him."

GM: "The stormtroopers concur, they are all shooting him too."

So this poor guy had 8 PCs and 10 NPCs all shoot at him at once. Wasn't the most fun night for him, but wow it was hilarious in retrospect.

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Paul Brillantes
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'Gratz, Todd.

One question cuz I'm in a rush:

When you went back and watched 'The Empire Strikes Back' after having seen 'Return of the Jedi' and Leia kisses Luke, did you feel weird-bad or weird-good?
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AEGTodd wrote:
Quote:
2) What's a game you really wanted to love because of its theme, but the rules got in the way?


Oooh, see now you're asking me to say something bad about someone else's game... I can't really do that publicly. Just not good practice. Hope you understand.

Quote:
3) What's a game you really wanted to love because of its rules, but the theme held no appeal to you?


Ditto, sorry!



Oh! Good point! I hadn't even considered how your job might make that question... dubious.
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Congratulations Have a Great week!
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pmbrill77 wrote:

When you went back and watched 'The Empire Strikes Back' after having seen 'Return of the Jedi' and Leia kisses Luke, did you feel weird-bad or weird-good? :p


I felt good-bad.
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CONGRATULATIONS

Enjoy your week in the spotlight!

Questions:

d10-1 What is your most favorite game mechanic and why?
d10-2 What game are you most looking forward to in 2012?
d10-3 Are you interested in the upcoming Hobbit movie and why/why not?
d10-4 Gimli vs. Legolis who wins in a fight?
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Lee Shelton

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Yay Todd! Congrats!

My question: what are you going to post in celebration when/if Thunderstone Advance hits #1 on The Hotness list?
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Ashitaka wrote:

d10-1 What is your most favorite game mechanic and why?


I have enjoyed many various implementations of mechanics. I think that the mechanic to me is secondary to whether it makes the game feel right. If I'm supposed to be playing a game about serious thought out planning, dice rolls don't work. Vice versa, if I'm playing a game about the chaos of battle, dice rolls are fine.

So I don't know if i have a favorite.

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d10-2 What game are you most looking forward to in 2012?


The one that has this guy!



Quote:
d10-3 Are you interested in the upcoming Hobbit movie and why/why not?


Oh yeah definitely. Oddly I haven't seen the trailer nor taken the time to go look. I suppose I just assume I'm going to see it so I'm not worried about the preview!

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d10-4 Gimli vs. Legolis who wins in a fight?


Aragorn. Because then he's not having to drag around as many people.
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nlshelton wrote:

My question: what are you going to post in celebration when/if Thunderstone Advance hits #1 on The Hotness list?


Well you know I have a tendency to give away things...

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AEGTodd wrote:
[
Quote:
d10-2 What game are you most looking forward to in 2012?


The one that has this guy!


Ooooh, me too now.
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AEGTodd wrote:
Scruffdog wrote:
-What was your greatest failure and/or worst success?


Oh wow, you mean out of everything? Or just in games? This one will take some thinking so write back and clarify.

Yeah, I realized after posting that it was a tough question. How about this:

-What is the tangible contribution to a game design or development that you are personally most proud of?

Scruffdog wrote:
-Why can't a bicycle stand on its own?


They're all two-tired.
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