Today we are featuring Wing Alster and Kari Stocks the co-creators/designers of Loot & Lute. They live in the Mid-Willamette Valley (Corvallis & Salem) and have day jobs as government peons to pay the bills in between game designing time. Wing got into the board game community through the table top community, playing Dungeons and Dragons, White Wolf games, and whatever else she could get her hands on. When they aren't meeting up for board game sessions, they have their own Escape Room crew that has completed over a dozen escape rooms successfully! They are preparing their first game for launch on Kickstarter early next year, and look forward to their first Stumptown Game Summit!
THREE RANDOM FACTS ABOUT WING:
She has a one-eyed cat named Mr. Wednesday but calls him Odin. He is often called "The Pirate Cat" in her friend circles.
Her favorite superhero is Rogue, circa the 1990s Xmen cartoon and has colored most of her superhero opinions ever since.
She is originally from New York and laments the lack of "real" pizza in the Pacific Northwest ever since she moved here.
THREE RANDOM FACTS ABOUT KARI:
She is a foodie. She loves going out and trying new restaurants and cuisines she has never tried before.
She is a film buff with a specific soft spot for the horror genre.
She collects Freddy Kreuger/Nightmare on Elm Street memorabilia.
Questions by Kimberly Revia (KR), answers by Wing Alster (WA) and Kari Stocks (KS).
THREE BOARD GAME RELATED QUESTIONS:
KR: What inspired you to start designing board games?
WA: I wanted to try and make a game that I knew our group would want to play. There were so many games out there that pitted players against one another, and we rarely took advantage of that because we don't think it's fun! Plus, I just love crafting things - I guess I'm kind of that "crafty" friend- if crafts were all made out of written descriptions and poorly drawn graphics.
KS: After a bad day at work I looked for a dungeon crawler board game. I knew in my mind exactly the kind of game I was looking for, and that I needed to play it. But I couldn't find it at the store, and then I realized that the real problem was that no one had made that game yet.
KR: What part of the design process is the most enjoyable for you?
WA: The initial brainstorm and first-prototype phases. Getting raw ideas out and into the physical space and seeing those ideas take form is extremely satisfying.
KS: Figuring out new game ideas. I'm FULL of ideas.
KR: What does the bulk of your design time get dedicated to?
WA: Playtesting my game solo. For my current game, I probably playtested each iteration four or five times in between each playtest other people would participate in. I wanted each playtest, especially with new players, to count and not just tell me something I already knew. So I come home from work and play my game and test a change I've implemented to make sure it's stable and doing what I want. I've probably played my own game a hundred times, easily.
KS: Planning out new ideas. I design based off of feelings, so the planning is really important to make sure that feeling carries through in the final product and so that other people have that same feeling.
THREE QUESTIONS JUST FOR FUN:
KR: What is your favorite game night beverage?
WA: Pear cider, probably. But I've been opting for blended coffees if I've had a long week, or if we're going to be playing Gloomhaven. Don't let Kari have any drinks at the table if you're playing a game, that's a warning from me to you. She's a spiller.
KS: I really like trying new or different microbrews and local ciders.
KR: If had 24 hours free of all normal obligations and responsibilities, how would you spend it?
WA: I'd really love to sleep in, and then actually try to finish Kingdom Hearts 3. I started it when it first came out, and then all of my free time got hijacked with game design and conventions and I had to stop about halfway through.
KS: I'd like to finally relax.
KR: What do you enjoy about the board gaming community?
WA: I love the fact that board games have spread to so many different themes, and so many mechanics. There is almost a board game for any interest at this point - and I love how people are starting to slowly integrate tabletop game styles into board games!
KS: I love getting to try new games and see what other people create, and then get to play them with my friends.
You can find more info on Wing and Kari as well as their game by following the links below!