Table Tyrant Games Australia – Interview

Time for a new tabletop game designer interview, this time with Dylan and Aaron from Australian independent tabletop game studio Table Tyrant Games.

“You like games? We like games too! We like them so much, that we started making them. Each game we craft has brought hours of fun and enjoyment before it even makes it’s way to your table to ensure we only build the best games we can”.

Table Tyrant Games tabletop game designers Australia - Interview with GameapaloozaTable Tyrant Games. Cool logo right?

Firstly who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself and your company Table Tyrant?
AARON: I met Dylan through one of the board games and burgers events held by Vault Games at Grill’d. I was invited along by another friend who knew I was looking to create my own board games, but before that I had no idea that type of community existed. After going quite a few times and meeting Dylan we realised we both had ideas for games we wanted to share and hoped we could each bring something special to the board game community, and so Table Tyrant was born.

DYLAN: Yeah. Aaron and I met up at Board Games and Burgers and I invited him along to one of the Playtest Fests run by Jason from End Game Games. That was where we played the first version of Tavern Fame. After giving Aaron a few tips for marketing the game, he was just like “Eh, why don’t you do it with me?” And I was like “eh, you’re pretty cool. Let’s do this.” Laughter

You also run a popular online game store, tell us about that?
DYLAN:
Vault Games is an game store I started up with some friends not long before Table Tyrant Games came into existence. It came out of me running gaming events for a now-defunct webshow I was a part of. We ran the Tabletop section at Supanova GC one year and then started up Board Games & Burgers. I just loved the community that came out of gaming so I found a few friends who felt the same and we started Vault Games, basically as a way for us to bring board gaming to more people. Come to think of it, that’s kinda the same mission as Table Tyrant (and Gameapalooza – Ed.), just with a different execution. Vault is about playing games you love, Table Tyrant is about making games that you will love. Kinda poetic really.

What games are Table Tyrant working on at the moment, can you share anything about what we can next expect from you guys?
DYLAN:
At the moment, our major focus is on Smiths of Winterforge. It’s our next game that we’re planning to throw at Kickstarter around June/July this year. It’s a light euro-style game where you manage one of the six blacksmith guilds of Winterforge by buying components to forge contracts, that earn you more money and upgrade your skill sets. You can hire crew, pick your contracts, even take out a loan if you need to. It’s a fun management game that I’ve been playing pretty much non-stop since we designed back in September and still love playing.

Smiths of Winterforge Table Tyrant Games Australia - Gameapalooza InterviewSmiths of Winterforge from Table Tyrant Games

Where can people purchase Table Tyrant games?
DYLAN:
We’ve been working to get our games out to local game stores so if they don’t have it yet, get them to contact us at tabletyrantgames.com.au. Alternatively, you can order our games from our online store – store and we will have them shipped straight to you.

Let’s get to what we all want to know and possibly the easiest / hardest question. What are your personal top 5 tabletop games and why?
AARON:
My top games are constantly changing. I really enjoy trying new games all the time as it helps show how the market is evolving with tabletop games and allows me to see new mechanics which I find very fun and interesting. At the moment though I’ve really been enjoying games for big groups of people that bring a lot of laughs and betrayal such as Code Names, Spyfall and The Resistance. Machi Koro is a fun little game that I quite enjoy as I’m quite the sucker for dice games. Dixit is a favourite of mine too, it’s a game that you’re able to bring out at the end of a long games night and just relax with a nice cup of tea.

DYLAN: Oh man, this is going to be hard. A big one for me at the moment is Raiders of the North Sea by Shem Phillips. It’s a fantastic worker placement game that has like no down time and plays similar to Lords of Waterdeep except with a lighter take that element. I’m also a big fan of Colt Express, but that’s probably because I’m a web programmer by trade so anything that uses a programming mechanic is pretty fun to me. Other games I’m into at the moment are Codenames, Legendary: Encounters and, because I’m a Star Wars tragic, Imperial Assault, except the constant expansions are killing me.

In your personal opinion, are there any games in particular that lend themselves well to newcomers, that is, people who have never played anything other than perhaps the non German-style games (Scrabble, Monopoly etc.)?
AARON:
Dixit for me is a good game to introduce to new players. It’s a game that can be played with people of nearly every age group. I have even played Dixit with my nephew who was 6 at the time.

DYLAN: Pretty much anything that’s been shown on the Tabletop webshow is a good place to start. I usually use Carcassonne, Splendor, Sushi Go!, The Resistance, Star Fluxx and our own Tavern Fame to start people off in gaming. They use simple mechanics to create a fun experience and they take about a minute to explain.

If you could get one major license made into a board game, what would it be and why? (movie, TV, book, comic, video game).
DYLAN:
For me, it would have to be Star Wars. It’s such a rich universe with so much story to be told, especially outside of the movies. I would love to get a chance to add to it. Or even the Aliens/Predator franchises. That would be fun too.

AARON: I would probably go with the Warcraft franchise. I love fantasy and as a name in itself, Warcraft is definitely one of the top.

Are there any American style (Ameritrash) board games that you think manage the sort of depth that many German-style games offer? Do you have any in your collection?
AARON:
For me personally the top ones that come to mind are Mansions of Madness, Arkham Horror and Stone Age. Although these games do have risk elements involved with the dice, they can still be deep engaging games with quite a lot of planned strategy. Although I do enjoy euro games, I prefer games with a margin of uncertainty. Smiths of Winterforge will hopefully also bring a little of ‘column a’ and a little from ‘column b’.

Have you used Kickstarter to back any tabletop games? What was the last one you backed / received and were you happy with it? Anything you’re waiting on?
DYLAN:
Oh my god. It just finished but I backed a fantasy tabletop RPG game that is pretty much DnD, but you’re a dog and it’s called Pugmire. Like, I love Role-Playing Games and this one had just the right amount of ridiculousness that it grabbed my attention. Quirky stuff like that always gets my attention. But yeah, I’m a big user of Kickstarter. I think I have about 40-something pledges for Tabletop-related stuff. Though I’ve been waiting a year for Unspeakable Words Deluxe to arrive… I hope they haven’t pulled a Kickscam on me :/

AARON: The last game I backed on Kickstarter is called Fog of Love. I mainly backed it as something to play with my partner. She enjoys games, but not quite as much as myself haha. So I try to look for games we are able to play together and thought that a 2 player game about relationships may be right up her alley while also being enjoyable for me as a type of role play game.

Fog of Love tabletop game on KickstarterFog of Love, interesting concept.

What is the oldest board game you still own and why? What older game do you wish you still owned?
AARON:
The oldest game I currently own is Carcassonne. Admittedly it hasn’t seen much table time recently but it’s a game I can bring out on the odd occasion and enjoy.

DYLAN: The first board game I got was the World of Warcraft Adventure Game by Fantasy Flight. It’s pretty much the light version of the World of Warcraft board game. It was also my wife’s first foray into the Warcraft universe and my first foray into terrible Fantasy Flight game manuals. Laughter

Last question, let’s end on a real downer… Of the new slew of board games of the last decade or so, what ones have made you want to throw pieces at the wall or do a table flip and why?
AARON:
Pandemic for me is a very love hate relationship. Admittedly I haven’t thrown it at a wall, yet, but it is a game where my frustrations tend to get a little higher than most other games I play.

DYLAN: Oh my god Pandemic will be the death of me. Legendary: Encounters as well. I’ve played Legendary: Encounters Aliens so many times and only won four. It’s pretty depressing really. There’s just something to it that keeps me coming back.

People can connect with Table Tyrant at the following places:
Table Tyrant Games website
Table Tyrant’s Dylan on Twitter @allofthed
Table Tyrant Facebook Page
Vault Games online game store
Vault Games Facebook Page
Board Games and Burgers Brisbane website

We’d like to thank Dylan and Aaron for their time, it’s always great to hear more about Aussie game designers and publishers, if you are one, or know one, let us know, we’d love to learn more about you / them.