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Subject: Geek of the Week #623 - Danny Perello (Relax) rss

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James Ross
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My time as Geek of the Week is at its end, all good things come to pass. Still, I had lots of fun answering all the questions posted my way these last seven days. To Richard Bethany I say 'Thank you', he was a great help in telling me what to do. The torch is now passed to a man who I feel will do all us geeks proud. Take it away, Danny.


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It's weird to try and write up a brief biography, life is long and varied, so I'll try to keep most of it to my gaming history.

I grew up in the 70's playing the standard board games of the time with my family and friends. Then, around 1980 was introduced to D&D and everything changed, so much so that by 1985, at the ripe old age of 17, I opened a game and comic shop. It was the only game store in a town of 50,000 but back in the 80's the gaming scene was not quite what it is today, and by 1992 I decided it was time to move on. If only I had known M:tG was about to be released...

I continued playing games such as Talisman, Advanced Civilization and even Pictionary, but slowly board gaming was taking a back seat to video games. Then near the end of the 90's I discovered Settlers of Catan and a little later Carcassonne, and the obsession started all over again.

In 2012 I bought a copy of Lords of Waterdeep, read the rules and thought to myself, “These cubes are lame. I should make some custom meeples...” About a year earlier I had bought a laser cutter, mostly on a whim, so I had the equipment, and now I had a game to customize. When I originally posted images of what would become know as my DnDeeples on BGG I thought I might possibly sell enough to pay for a few board games. Five and a half years later they continue to sell and I now have an Etsy shop and make board game accessories full time.

I continue to play games as often as I can and buy more games than I'll ever get to play and am once again making a living from board games, only this time in a much more creative and rewarding way.



Poll: Poll: Two Truths and a Prevarication
One of these entries is untrue, and your job is to try to guess the correct one.
Which one is the lie?
I once drove my motorcycle off the highway at 100 kph and both the bike and I emerged completely unscathed. It was a life changing event that to this day has me questioning the true nature of reality.
When I was 14 I saved a friend's life who had inhaled chlorine gas, burned his trachea and couldn't breath. A couple of decades later this same friend was killed in a random traffic accident in India.
Ten years ago, while crossing the street in Vancouver, an old man in front of me tripped. I helped him up and to the curb and as a thank you he gave me a large, actual gold coin that I still own today.
      47 answers
Poll created by yetikeeper



As is tradition, I will ask the incumbent some questions to get the ball rolling.

d10-1 Do you feel that android/iphone applications used in conjunction with boardgames somehow diminish or enrich the experience of playing a game?

d10-2 Are you a competitive gamer?

d10-3 What is your most memorable gaming experience?

d10-4 Who is your favourite board game reviewer, and why?

d10-5 What grail game, if any, would you love to possess?

d10-6 Canadian weather being what it is, do you find yourself playing more games in the spring, summer, autumn or winter?

d10-7 Is laser cutting pieces as rewarding for you today as it was when you started?

d10-8 Are you a shower or bath man?

d10-9 Toilet paper roll orientation: undershake or over ?

d10-1d10-0 If not born and raised a Canadian (I'm presuming you were), what nationality would you have liked to have been?



Enjoy your time if the sun, Danny!

Cheers,

James

-----------------------------------------

Click here for more information on the Geek of the Week
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Doug Hook
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Congratulations Danny!
Have a great week!

My usual question: Have you a favorite wizard tpye? If so, who? If not, why? And which game (if any) is he/she from?
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Danny Perello
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congrats Danny!
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Drew
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Congrats Danny and enjoy your week!
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Danny Perello
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Thank you James! I have to say I'm very excited to be GotW! I never thought I'd get this honour, so thank you for this chance.

I'm not sure just how big a deal this really is, but it means a lot to me. I found BGG a little over ten years ago and it has been my most visited site ever since. I can't even begin to guess how many hours I've spent here, how many days or weeks or months of time it has all added up to, but I love this site and find it completely indispensable. Can any of us here imagine an internet without BGG? Scary.

To the questions:

yetikeeper wrote:
d10-1 Do you feel that android/iphone applications used in conjunction with boardgames somehow diminish or enrich the experience of playing a game?

I am somewhat torn to be honest. Introducing a technology with a finite lifespan does seem to take away some of the magic that board games posses. My favourite game, Advanced Civ, is over 25 years old, yet at any time I can pull it off the shelf and play it. Will the same be able to be said of, for example, Mansions of Madness? I don't know, but in some cases I doubt it.

Does that really matter though? App integration can really make a game fun, and if the opportunity for that fun eventually goes away I don't think that should diminish our current enjoyment. The jury is still out, I guess.

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d10-2 Are you a competitive gamer?

Ooff, I used to be. I used to really try my best, get very emotionally invested in winning and spend way too long taking my turn because I wanted to win. Then, maybe ten or fifteen years ago something changed. I'm not entirely sure why, but I mellowed, and I started playing games more for the joy of spending time with others. I still try to win, but generally don't care if I do, and if there's a killer move an opponent can take that will harm me and they are new to the game I will point it out, explaining why it's bad for me but good for them.

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d10-3 What is your most memorable gaming experience?

That's a tough one. I've been gaming for over 40 years, and my memory isn't too great. Probably when playing Rhino Hero with my five year old and seeing the light go on in his eyes when he "got it" and understood what a game was...

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d10-4 Who is your favourite board game reviewer, and why?

This may begin to get repetitive over the next week because I really, really like these guys and will probably mention them for a lot of different reasons, but Ben Maddox and Georgios Panagiotidis of The Perfect Information Podcast are far and away my favourite reviewers, commentators and general miscreants this hobby has attracted.

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d10-5 What grail game, if any, would you love to possess?

Poseidon's Kingdom is game I've wanted for several years, but won't buy now due to the current publisher and my unwillingness to support them in any way...

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d10-6 Canadian weather being what it is, do you find yourself playing more games in the spring, summer, autumn or winter?

You'd think winter would be the obvious answer, but often the weather can make travelling to a game night less than desirable. Summer can be difficult because the weather is so nice people want to be outdoors. Autumn has the kids going back to school and prepping for winter and spring is filled with cleaning indoors and out. I guess what I'm saying is there are always too many distractions from playing games, which I would do all the time if I could.

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d10-7 Is laser cutting pieces as rewarding for you today as it was when you started?

Even more now because I'm getting better at it. The cutting itself is what it is, but the design side of things is where I get the most enjoyment. There's still some experimentation and refinement when it comes to colouring and finishing different products which is interesting as well. It's really the dream job because I work from home at my own pace and get to be a stay at home dad with my 6 and 5 year old sons. Does life get any better? cool

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d10-8 Are you a shower or bath man?

Shower, definitely, but only because of time and money constraints.

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d10-9 Toilet paper roll orientation: undershake or over ?

Over... Duh.

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d10-1d10-0 If not born and raised a Canadian (I'm presuming you were), what nationality would you have liked to have been?

That's a tough one. While the whole concept of borders and nations seems absurd to me on many levels, we're all human beings after all, some countries do seems more... mature... than others. The Netherlands and Sweden seem particularly forward thinking, but most European countries just seems to be a little ahead of a lot of other places in the world. Japan appeals as well by its apparent acceptance of all things weird...

Thanks for the questions James!
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Congrats Danny! Enjoy your week!
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Ben Maddox
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Congrats Danny! Tired, old question here but if you were stranded on a Desert Island what three games would you want with you? Have a cracking week.
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Midnight Reaper
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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 running a game store back in the day?

I thank you for your time. thumbsup cool

-M_R
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Patrick Zoch
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Congrats, Danny!

Very impressive to open a store at such a young age. And more impressive to run it as long as you did.

Considering your early experience as a store owner:

1 What was your best selling game?
2 What was you best selling product?
3 What product sold much better than you expected?
4 What was the best lesson you learned as a young entrepreneur running your own store?
5 Other than hanging on just a little bit longer for M:TG to come out, what would you have done differently with running your store?
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Anthony
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Congrats Danny!
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Selwyn Hope
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Hey Danny/Relax, congratulations on being Geek of the Week.

Still got the DnDeeples you produced way back when in my copy of Lords of Waterdeep, and still impressing people every time I take the pieces out
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Congrats Danny! Have a great week as GotW meeple
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Danny Perello
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benisace wrote:
Congrats Danny! Tired, old question here but if you were stranded on a Desert Island what three games would you want with you? Have a cracking week.

Desert Island... I've never actually considered this before.

How about Gloomhaven, because it has so many hours of gameplay, and if necessary it also has so much material that could be used as fuel for a fire to keep me warm...

Then there's Antiquity, which is by far my favourite Splotter and I doubt I'll ever tire of it and...

Advanced Civilization I guess, it being my favourite game.

Yeah, kind of lame answers, I know.
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I have no questions. I just wanted to say that DnDeeples make Lords of Waterdeep awesome, and thank you.
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This is well deserved. Danny makes excellent storage solutions and I suggest everyone check them out. I own the Colonists insert (https://www.etsy.com/listing/521504073/colonists-insert?ref=...) and I am very satisfied with it. So much so I went and ordered the Caverna insert.
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Congratulations Danny!
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Congratulations Danny. Have a great week!

What is your favorite spaceship? And why?
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Danny Perello
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midnight_reaper wrote:
1 What is your opinion of war gaming?

I knew people that fought in WW2, so I tend to avoid playing games with that setting. I have no problem with others doing it, it's just a personal choice to not do so. As for other war games, I have no one to play them with so I don't own any. I used to play Tactics II a long, long time ago, and there are others I'd like to try, but I never get the opportunity.

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2 Do you have a favorite war game; if so, what is it?

Depending on your definition this may not apply, but the closest I come to playing war games would probably be Imperial, which I love.

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3 What are your opinions or memories of playing Risk?

Risk was fun when I was young, and I did play it a lot 35-40 years ago, but it caused a lot of fights and took way too long and was a little too luck dependent for my tastes. Interestingly, we did try keeping stats on which numbers were rolled the most, and statistically all numbers should have been fairly even, but after logging several thousand die rolls, while 1-4 and 6 were roughly even, 5 was rolled more than double any other number. Weird.

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4 What are your opinions or memories of playing Axis & Allies?

I had the worst luck with Axis & Allies. Every time we'd get together to play something would come up and we'd end up doing something else. Only once did I actually manage to play and I had one turn, as Russia if memory serves, and before my next turn the game was over. I decided to stop trying...

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5 What game would you tell all gamers about that just has no publicity and that nobody knows about?

The cheesy answer would be the game I designed... But seriously, the game I thinks deserves to me more popular is De Vulgari Eloquentia, a game about the development of the Italian language from Latin. A bit esoteric but fascinating.

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6 What game reminds you most of running a game store back in the day?

I first played Civilization way back then, so whenever I get to play it or Advanced Civ memories from back then come flooding in.
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Danny Perello
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pdzoch wrote:
1 What was your best selling game?

D&D outsold all other games by a mile, but if we limit it to board games I think it was Pictionary. I remember I used to pay more wholesale than the local department store (called a Woolco if anyone remembers those) at the time, so I would charge $5.00 over wholesale and tell anyone who came in that they were cheaper down the street. The majority of my customers would buy from me anyway, which was encouraging.

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2 What was you best selling product?

I sold comics as well, and every issue of the X-Men back then sold 10 times anything else in the store. Funny how times change...

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3 What product sold much better than you expected?

Traditional board games. At first I didn't carry any, but customers kept asking for them. I kept telling people they were generally much cheaper at the Woolco, but I'd get answers from, "That's okay, I'm here now," to, "But I'd rather support a small local business. Besides, you carry lots of games year round, not just at Christmas."

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4 What was the best lesson you learned as a young entrepreneur running your own store?

Not to be flippant, but I think the main thing I learned was that retail sucks ass. As nice as some customers were (see above) quite a few weren't. One guy threatened me with violence if I didn't sell him a product at the American price even though the Canadian dollar back then was only worth about $0.65. I was 17 at the time and was a little shocked by his reaction. I remember he said, "Do you want me to shove your head through that wall?" and I looked behind me at the wall and replied, "Not particularly, no. The price is still $4.50." His wife managed to calm him down. Crazy times...

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5 Other than hanging on just a little bit longer for M:TG to come out, what would you have done differently with running your store?

Lots of things. I would have offered better discounts to loyal customers. I would have tried to organize a game night or at least offer open gaming. I would have sponsored the High School game club. Things like that. Even though it was a small, loyal customer base I think I could have expanded the market more and done more for those that were loyal.
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drmabuse00 wrote:
Congrats Danny!

Anthony! How long has it been? Must be almost 10 years! How have you been my friend? Would you believe you are the only person who has ever played my copy of Star Wars: The Queens Gambit with me. Man, I really need to get that game out again...
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chadnorth wrote:
Congratulations Danny!
Have a great week!

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

Bayaz, First of the Magi from The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie. He seems so harmless at first, but still generally good, and ends up being the evilest, nastiest dude ever. Compicated character...
 
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Danny Perello
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Jocab wrote:
Congratulations Danny. Have a great week!

What is your favorite spaceship? And why?

Now I'm not just saying this because of your avatar... Easily Serenity from Firefly. And why? Well, because there is no other answer...
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Nicola Gambetti
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Congratulations, Danny, enjoy your week!
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Congrats Danny! I'm still playing Waterdeep with your custom meeples (they are the best feature in the game! oh, wait... )
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Jeremie Miller
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Danny,

What is the most boring theme you are planning on playing tonight?

What is the worst first round of a game you have ever played?

How is development of "take the throne" going?
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