Jaime "Jason Rider" Polo
S/C de Tenerife
I remember when I was a child trying to play "Inkognito" but I was too young and I didn't understand the rules. After some years I did it and I really enjoyed playing this game. For that reason I got in contact with one of the authors to make him a interview and talk about that game and others like "Canary Island" (the Island where I was born).
Here you can read the Interview.
How do you start at the boardgames?
I always love boardgames, sicne I was a child. I also played chess in a chess club (I was 11 years old) and there I met Alex Randolph, the inventor of the games inventors. I started playtesting his games and then proposing him my ideas. In the 1986 we published our first games together (Drachenfels - Schmidt spiele - http://www.studiogiochi.com/en/giochi/Drachenfels.html)
Which was your first game that you get as a gift or you bought?
sincerely I don't remember. I have a brother who has 5 years more than me, so when I was born, my home was already full of games.
How much time do you use in a week for boardgames?
At least one day per week is fully dedicated to playtesting.
How much time do you spend to finish a game (idea, test...)?
the time I need for finalizing an idea is very various, from few minutes to several months
What can you tell us abour your first games?
Drachenfels had a nice movement system based on raimbows, that appear and disappears in the game and work like big bridges. You can find more info in our site http://www.studiogiochi.com/en/giochi/Drachenfels.html.
What can you tell us about Inkognito? (this one was one of the first games that I had)
you can find the description of the game in our site http://www.studiogiochi.com/en/giochi/Inkognito.html
How did you get the idea to make the game Inkognito?
We started from the theme, and from the style. It should has been a game about carnival in Venice and it should hase been a deduction games. Then we introduced in the game a nice system derivated by a special form of Briscola, Briscola vigliacca, in which one player acts against the others but one, who is secretly a friend of him. Your first goal is to understand who is your friend and who is your enemy.
What can you tell us about Cartagena and Carolus Magnus? Your top games at the BGG. How do you get the idea, inspiration...? I suppose that you like very much the Antique history of Romans, don't you?
I like history, not necessarily Roman history. On the other hand Cartagena is themed in the pirates caribbeans, and Carolus at the time of the Frankishempire.
Anyway, when I developed Cartagena I started from the mechanism, the theme came in a late stage. With Carolus Magnus I started fromt he theme, by the way I was getting my university degree and my graduation thesis regarded Carolus Magnus and contained a samll game about its history.
How do you get the idea to make an iPhone app of your game Cartagena?
I think that Apps could be a great way for playing boardgames. I playes Catan or Carcassonne or chess very often with my Iphone. So I proposed to Winning Moves to invest some money on this project. We are currently work on the online game, so I hope to be able to upgrade the app very soon.
What about The Bridges of Shangri-La?
Bridges of Shangri la, at the beginning, was themed in the ancient Greece and it was called Polis. It contains one of the elements I consider crucial in a game: the irreversibility. More info on our site: http://www.studiogiochi.com/en/giochi/Die-Bruecken-von-Shang...
I am very surprise about one of your games, Islas Canarias, how do you get the idea? Have you ever been here? Do you like our islands? And also, can you tell us the mechanic of the game?
As often happens, the original game was themed in a different scenario. The product manager of the publisher proposed to set it on the Canarias Islands and I thought it was a nice idea, because too many games were setted in medieval cities or something like that.
The mechanic of that game is very original and it's a pity it had not enough success. Your goal is to develop your island, but the buildings you can directly build are not enough for win the game. You need to attract the settlers who arrive periodically with the ship. Each settler has different "taste" and you have to try to "prepare" your city considering their tastes. http://www.studiogiochi.com/en/giochi/Islas-Canarias.html
I know that you have made an expansion for Carcassonne, how do you get this oportunity?
I had the idea and I proposed it to Bernd Brunnhofer, the owner of Hans im Glueck who is a good friend of us. He accepted and the game was published.
Now, I think it is time to talk about your last games... Dobbelduel, Draco, Geizen...
These three games are completely different.
Dobbelduel is a deduction code breaking game in the style of Mastermind. The deduction system is very different than the one of Mastermind and there is also a small element of luck who makes the game less brainy then MM.
Draco is a race game in which your goal is not to be first. During the game you in fact may change your dragon, trying to choose in every moment the one who could potentially make the biggest score
Geizen, whose international edition is calle tricky, is a dice game, with a lot of luck involved and a nice element of strategy.
How did you get in contact with Studio Giochi?
A lot of years ago I met Dario De Toffoli and we immediately understood that we would has been a great team, so we merged our experiences and we found Venice Connection, together with Alex Randolph. After Alex missed, we decided to merge the two companies in one and the current sutdiogiochi was born
Do you play your own games?
I play them a lot before they are published, and sometime after the publication.
Do you play online? If you do it, what games do you play online?
I play online just chess, because I have not so much time.
Will be published in Spanish any of your games?
I never published a game for a Spanis publisher, but I hope to do that in the future. I think Spanish rules should be contained in some of my games (surely in the Rio Grande edition of Carolus Magnus), but this is a game played by publishers, not by authors.
If you could design a game in the history of games... which one would be that one?
chess if we consider the whole history of games. Regarding the modern games I have not a favourite, there are so many good games in the market and I cannot choose one. Probably Carcassonne would be the one I would have designed, because it's one of the few games you can start playing even if you didn't oreviously explained the rules.
Which other desingers do you admire?
Alex Randolph apart, Wolfgang Kramer is the one I consider my Guru.
Can you tell us your top 5 games?
If you only could choose one game to play with 3 friends more, what game will you chose?
it depends on which kind of players they are. But probably a game i didn't still play
And to play alone?
dice&roll with my Iphone
What was the last game that you played and you get addicted?
I like the variety, so I'm rarely addicted to something
Any future proyect?
we are just back from Essen in which we presented more than 30 novelites to the publishers.
Any advise for the new designers?
Don't make game hoping to earn money, because the market is getting smaller and smaller and the number of games on the market bigger and bigger. Make games because it's your passion and find the time to play the games of the other authors.