Interview with Malte Kuhle

How did you come up with the idea to create “Raid and Trade”?
I was asked to develop it. Since I liked what I saw, I said "yes".

Where do you get the ideas for your games? Do they start with the mechanics, or the themes?
My ideas usually start with the theme and then I try to find mechanics that fit and support the theme.

What kind of mechanics do you prefer to focus on the development process of your games?
I like to combine mechanics I already know with something that might be new. I really like some dice if they are not making the game too lucky. I also like mechanics that increase the replay ability such as modular boards.

Which level of luck is acceptable for you in a game?
The longer the game the less luck I like. I wouldn't want to play 2 hours to get the winner chosen by luck. But If it's a small dice game, it can be fun if it's almost pure luck!

How often do you play test a board game before publication?
I try to play the game at least 50 times with at least 20 different players. The more the better.

How do you define yourself as a game designer?
I didn't think about that before. I just try to design games that I like to play, and that hopefully also bring fun to other people.

Are you a lonely game designer or your family and friends participate in your adventure to create a new game?
Without my friends that play the prototypes over and over again, I would be nothing. 

The creation of a game, have several moments - creation, editing, testing and publishing which is the most pleasant for you? Why?
Creation and editing because it is the most creative part. With testing the work begins. And publishing is exciting of course but also stressful as hell!

When did you realize that to create games were your dream?
Actually I realized it when I first got the chance to work on game design in a professional way.

You play games from time to time, or the games are part of your daily life?
Usually I play at the weekends and one evening a week. If I had more people around to play with it would definitely be part of my daily life.

Do you prefer playing your own games or the games of others?
I prefer playing the games of others. After the testing I have played my own games at least 50 times and need some time to recover ;-)

Can you tell me the game you enjoy playing the most? Why?
Right now it is Nations. Every game is different, it is perfectly balanced and I love the civilization theme. But it strongly depends on my mood. Sometimes I love to play Coconuts, sometimes Through the Ages.

Can you tell me your favorite game? And your favorite type of game?
I don't have one favorite game. But the top 3 probably are Age of Empires III, Nations and Dominion. My favorite type of game? Also not only one. I like deck building, civilization games and worker placement a lot. But I also love when there are dice used as actions possibilities like Castles of Burgundy or El Gaucho.

Do you prefer to play the games or create them?
Since I never created one of those games I prefer playing them.

Do you normally follow any particular game designer with especial attention?
Yes, Stefan Feld because he is always good for a twisted brain! But I usually follow more the publishers that made games I really liked before.

What do you think about playing board games online?
I don't like it because it is all about the mechanics. For me, playing a game is more than that. The social aspect is more important for me.

Do you have another job, or you are a full time game designer?
Haha, I wish I could even live for one month off my game designs! I have another job working in an office.

Do you think that board games can be used for an education purpose?
Yes, definitely! They teach so much: Social skills, math, logical thinking etc.

What have you learned to do and not do when designing?
I learned that there are always people complaining about something. I have to learn to accept that because you can't make anyone happy. I also learned that it's always good to design a game language independent.

Do you think sales are a determining factor of whether a game is good or not?
No. Sales are a determining factor whether the company has a good marketing department or not. There are a lot of games with lower sale numbers that are just awesome. 

What you know about Portugal?
How the flag looks and where it lies. I have to admit that I never touched Portugal in any experienced before.

Have you ever visited Portugal?
No, but I would like to visit it once!


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