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Subject: Geek of the Week - #567 Helaina Cappel (KidsTableBG) rss

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Daniel Zayas
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Hello! I have the privilege of nominating this week's Geek of the Week! How cool is that? My selection hails from the great northern Canada! Helaina Cappel is very deserving of this recognition, no matter how she tries to tell you otherwise. Helaina and her husband, Joshua, together form Kids Table Board Gaming, and you'll know their work from Food Fighters, but also for some great upcoming family games I'll let her tell you about.

I know Helaina from afar via my own promotion projects on Smarter Backer, but I know one day we'll actually hit the same convention floor! One funny thing, we are right now concurrently promoting a Scott Almes title. Anyway, I think you guys are going to get a kick out of this awesome game publisher and I know she is going to have a great time with your questions. Go get 'em Helaina!

KidsTableBG wrote:
It’s an incredible honour to be nominated for Geek of the Week, especially since I don’t consider myself to be nearly as important on the Geek scene as Daniel and others who have come before me. I am humbled that he has taken the time to nominate me and introduce me in such a fantastic way.

So, who am I? Well, I am an ever-changing fiery ball of drive. I am a Canadian, mother of two incredible boys, wife of one incredible man (Josh Cappel – if you don’t already know who he is, you will once you look him up on BGG), a teacher, a game designer, and a publisher.

I grew up in a suburb of Toronto, where each house was a carbon copy of the one beside it. Everyone did the same thing day in and day out. I was introduced to games early on, playing card games, Sorry, Monopoly, Rummikub, and my ultimate favourite 80’s game I.Q. 2000. I’m pretty sure I loved that game so much because of the way the board looked, and nothing more. I was as uninspired by these games, as I was by living in the suburbs.

I have since moved to the city proper, and have discovered a whole new world of games. As with most gamers my age, I learned about “good games” when I was introduced to Catan. Josh and I would play it every day for months at a time. Needless to say, we got every penny’s worth, and more. But that game soon grew tired for us. That is when we really got into gaming.

My favourite game to date is Caylus. I’m always going for the gold, which is often a winning strategy. I am sort of over worker-placements, but I still love to play it. These days you can catch me playing kids games and light fillers mostly. It’s the only way to get some gaming in with two kids in the house. Once in a while we get our game group together and we get to play new games.

Throughout my 15 years as a teacher and Math Coach I have been an advocate for the use of tabletop games in the classroom. What got me into designing, and subsequently publishing tabletop games, was my selfish need to be engaged while playing games with my children. When my oldest son used to ask me to play one of his games, I would cringe at the thought of sitting down to a game of moving up the ladder and down the slide, for what would feel like an eternity. I decided to take the matter into my own hands.

Kids Table Board Gaming was born in June of 2015. My goal was/is to publish tabletop games that create fun and engaging experiences for families. I want grownups to enjoy their gaming experience as much as their kids do. Emergent strategy is at the core of every game I produce, so that kids can enjoy playing the game even before they learn how to play it well.


Quiz: Two truths and one lie from Helaina Cappel's life.
Which is the lie?
I met a bear the first time I went Back Country Camping
I teach woodworking
I starred in a commercial when I was 2
    70 answers
Quiz created by dmzayas
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Jeff Michaud
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KidsTable BG
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Daniel Zayas
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I'll start the ball rolling!

What is your favorite game you played this year, which you didn't create? This can be something new or new to you!

Which Harry Potter character best represents your personality?

Any funny stories from Gen Con?
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Drew
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Congrats and enjoy your week!
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KidsTable BG
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Thanks Drew!
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dmzayas wrote:


What is your favorite game you played this year, which you didn't create? This can be something new or new to you!

Which Harry Potter character best represents your personality?

Any funny stories from Gen Con?


Thanks Daniel!

The best game I have played this year is The Voyages of Marco Polo. I have only played it once, but I think of it often. It will undoubtedly be my next purchase.

I feel like the Harry Potter character that is best representative of me is Snape. A protector and a Science professor, can't go wrong.

Funny story from Gen Con ...

I was glued to my booth. It was a marathon for me. What I can say, though, is that we stayed at someone's house for four days, and I saw them all of 1 time in those four days.
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Doug Hook
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Congratulations Helaina!
Have a great week!

My usual question: Have you a favorite wizard? If so, who? If not, why? And which game (if any) is he/she from?
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Dennis Ku
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Helaina! As a publisher, are there any super promising ideas that have been pitched to you recently?

Also, rumor has it chopsticks must be used at your house during game nights to eat chips. Is this true?
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Congratulations Helaina!



What's your favorite made-in-Canada board game and filmed-in-Canada show?
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Congratulations, Helaina, from a former math teacher. Bless you for your work with kids, teaching them to understand one of my favorite subjects. It's also great to hear of you introducing games to kids and their families. With that in mind...

What games have you found to be an unexpected hit with families and kids?
What games which you expected to do well actually fell flat with them?






In a totally unrelated note, I couldn't help think...
dmzayas wrote:
One funny thing, we are right now concurrently promoting a Scott Almes title.

(Not as funny as one might think considering GotW selections earlier this year.)
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Frank S
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Congrats Helaina! Enjoy your week as top Geek thumbsup
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Congratulations, Helaina, enjoy your week!
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chadnorth wrote:
Congratulations Helaina!
Have a great week!

My usual question: Have you a favorite wizard? If so, who? If not, why? And which game (if any) is he/she from?


Thanks so much!

I have never been asked about my favourite wizard before. With all of the choices, I think the Wizard of Oz is my favourite (although not from a game - sorry). I love the fact that he tries to show that he is an almighty and powerful wizard, but is really a mere human. His vulnerabilities are revealed, and his humanity makes him so much more realistic. He is such a good metaphor for the difference between what we want people to know about us, and who we really are.
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futhee wrote:
Helaina! As a publisher, are there any super promising ideas that have been pitched to you recently?

Also, rumor has it chopsticks must be used at your house during game nights to eat chips. Is this true?


Thanks Dennis!

Actually, we've had several really great submissions lately. This is going to be a big year for us.

Yes, it is true. Not my rule, but in my house, eating and playing games at the same time is frowned upon. Josh came up with the chopstick solution. You love it. I know you do.
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GeorgeMo wrote:
What's your favorite made-in-Canada board game and filmed-in-Canada show?


Being married to a member of the Game Artisans of Canada, I get to play many, many prototypes. This gives me so many options that aren't even published yet. However, of the ones that have been published I love Bomb Squad Academy, Belfort, and Steampunk Rally.

Canadian TV. Not much to choose from. Growing up, my favourite show was Degrassi Junior High.
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leemc13 wrote:
Congratulations, Helaina, from a former math teacher. Bless you for your work with kids, teaching them to understand one of my favorite subjects. It's also great to hear of you introducing games to kids and their families. With that in mind...

What games have you found to be an unexpected hit with families and kids?
What games which you expected to do well actually fell flat with them?


Thanks so much! Games in the classroom, especially in the Math class, are so important to me.

The greatest unexpected hit with families/my family is Bomb Squad Academy. I bring this game up so often because of what it does for families. First, I don't really have to say this here, but games bring families together. The game itself is so much fun. There is a great deal of underlying mathematics involved; that makes it an obvious hit for me as a teacher.

I find that any game that is specifically "educational" doesn't really do what it is supposed to. When I used to use "educational games" in my classroom, my students would get a kick out of it because they were playing a game instead of doing their work. However, these games would never be played a second time. That tells me that the game isn't engaging and/or challenging in the way I would like it to be. It is very difficult to create a purely educational game that is also the kind of game that kids actually want to play.
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Jerry Wilkinson
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Congratulations, Helaina!

Whats the best game you've ever only played once?

Whats the best game you've ever only played twice?

Whats the best game you've ever only played three times?
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Jrtolf wrote:
Congratulations, Helaina!


Thanks Jerry!!

Jrtolf wrote:
Whats the best game you've ever only played once?

Just recently I played The Voyages of Marco Polo. LOVED IT! I can't wait to play it again. It is definitely going to be my next purchase.

Jrtolf wrote:
Whats the best game you've ever only played twice?

I have played Caruba twice. I don't think I need to play it again for myself. But it works for my family.

Jrtolf wrote:
Whats the best game you've ever only played three times?

I played Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game a few times. I really love it. We have a hard time getting it to the table because it is usually just my husband and I playing. I am not a fan of multi player games as two players.

Thanks!
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What is the most important factor when considering a new project?

- James
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Chapel
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Congratulations on your Geek of the Week, and congratulations on having one of the many awesome derivatives of the name Chapel(Or vise versa).

We of the little cloaks are a rarity.
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Congratulations Helaina!
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Congratulations Helaina!

So, here is my regular question:

Which existing Board Game (not designed by you) would you've liked to be the designer of? Why?

Have a great week!
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crimsonandwhite wrote:
What is the most important factor when considering a new project?

- James


Hi James!

Without a doubt, the most important factor I consider, is if the game has re-playability with my own kids. If they ask to play it again, it's going to work for us.

I also consider if the game can be played successfully by kids with little to no gaming experience. We build in a layer of emergent strategy for these gamers, so that they eventually learn that tactical moves can improve their game play and their gaming experience.
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MWChapel wrote:
Congratulations on your Geek of the Week, and congratulations on having one of the many awesome derivatives of the name Chapel(Or vise versa).

We of the little cloaks are a rarity.


I had very little to do with it
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Congratulations on making Geek of the Week!

I have a few questions for you......
1 What is your opinion of war gaming?
2 Do you have a favorite war game; if so, what is it?
3 What are your opinions or memories of playing Risk?
4 What are your opinions or memories of playing Axis & Allies?
5 What game would you tell all gamers about that just has no publicity and that nobody knows about?
6 What game reminds you most of Canada? And what game reminds you the most of teaching others?

I thank you for your time. thumbsup cool

-M_R
 
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