How Dan Letzring Makes Games


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Tell us about yourself - Who are you? What do you do? I am Dan Letzring. I own Letiman Games and I co-own Galactic Raptor Games with Carla Kopp of Weird Giraffe Games. I am a co-host on Breaking into Boardames and am a semi infrequent contributor to the Indie Game Report.

If I’ve never played your games before, what’s the first one I should try? That depends on what type of games you're into! If you like more strategic games then Groves for sure! It is a bag building Worker Placement Game that is really fun! Into family games? Check out Dino Dude Ranch with the Hatchlings Expansion!

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One fact that we probably don’t know about you: I grew up in the Boston area and have a deep desire to move back there!

What games are you playing most right now? “Welcome to... “ It is so quick and easy to set up! Such a fun game! Adventure Tactics as we are working on finishing it up and getting it ready to send off to print.


What are your all-time favorite games? Kingsburg, Kings Forge, Seven Wonders Duel, Pandemic Legacy, Blood Rage, Tzolk'in


What draws you to make games? I love creating things. I love bringing creative projects to life and seeing them go from concept to physical creation!

How did you get started making games? Has your creative process evolved significantly since you began? I originally wanted to make a card game that mimicked the agony of going through grad school (which i was experiencing at that time). My concepts of how the industry works has changed but how I approach design and playtesting hasnt changed much!

How do you market your games? Anywhere and everywhere. I do a lot of local cons, facebook ads, continuous presence in the bg community. I also work hard to network and make great contavts within the industry

What game-related or game business-related media do you consume on a regular basis? The many facebook groups!

What are some tools/programs/supplies you wouldn’t work without? Sharpies. Card sleeves.

What’s your playtesting philosophy? How often/early do you playtest? How do you find playtesters? Right away. It is important to me to get somethong to the table ASAP, even if it is just me playing multiple roles. I just need to see how it functions and feels at the table before doing anything else. We have a good sized playtest group in Rochester and I have a lot of different game groups (comprised of both casual and more hardcore hobby gamers) that are all willing to check my stuff out.


What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in your work, and how have you overcome them? Really just not having the time to do it all. I know many of us have multiple ideas going all at the same time. For me, it is very important that once I pick a game to move forward with, I completely sideline everything else so I can focus on the one most important to me at that time.


How do you handle life/family/work balance? Not sleeping. Haha jk, kind of. I have regular schedules that I stick to. I also have a wife who is very supportive of what I do. She also has her own hobbies so we can easily take time for ourselves to do our own things that we love.


What one piece of advice would you give aspiring game designers? Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Meet people. Show your game early and often. Listen to what your playtesters are saying and dont get defensive. Give back as often as you ask for others to give to you.


What designer(s) would you like to see answer these questions? Steven Aramini


What’s the best advice about life that you’ve ever received? Can I have 2 answers? 1. Don't be afraid to try for something (like applying for a job/school, trying a creative endeavor), the worst that happens is it doesnt work out and is no different than if you had never tried. But if it succeeds it can change your life. 2. If you embrace the creative lifestyle it can easily cause anxiety stress and burnout. Dont forget to step away, enjoy your life, and have some you time outside of your creative endeavors.

Thank you so much for your insight, Dan! At the time of publishing this article, Dan has an awesome looking new game on Kickstarter - Adventure Tactics. You can also check out his work at LetimanGames.com, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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If you’re interested in how video games are made as well, check out our designer interviews at Doubtful Games!

ExSpelled up for sale, Worldwide editions of my games, and The Cloud Dungeon is back in stock!

Hey, great updates and news about my games!

ExSpelled is now available in the store

It's here! My new magical game night is up for sale in the AndHeGames Store. We've got the book, the print-and-play, and , oh yeah – a Worldwide edition!

Worldwide editions of The Cloud Dungeon and ExSpelled

Yup, that's right! Anywhere you are, you can order my games! Just go to the store and click the "Worldwide" editions of the books.

Oh, and here's a coupon -

If you're buying the Worldwide edition of either game, use the coupon code "FWD15" in the Lulu.com checkout to get 15% off.

The Cloud Dungeon is back in stock!

If you tried to order The Cloud Dungeon lately, you'll have noticed that it has been out of stock. Well, it's back now! Huzzah!

The best of your Cloud Dungeon characters!

Welcome to the first Social Media feature! Folks who are featured get a free Goblins and Robots character pack – (If you've been featured, message me and I'll hook you up!).

This week, we have a collection of amazing characters from The Cloud Dungeon, including the first two images, where were drawn by the player using a blank character card. So cool!

If you'd like to be included, just send your creation to me on Twitter @AndHeGames and I'll check it out! 

Free printable coloring sheets: Comic Book Covers!

Old comics are great, aren't they? I love taking old comics and making coloring sheets for my 5-year-old daughter. It's great to see her scribbling away at a picture of Pogo or Tintin. :-)

Recently I've been looking through public domain comic books, and I thought that the epic, just-the-right-about-of-cheese covers would make fantastic coloring sheets, so I made some, and I thought I'd share them with you. 

When you and yours color the sheets, share them with me on Twitter or Facebook!

Introducing the Book of Building Kickstarter!

Breaking news: I've just launched a new Kickstarter!

It's a brand new coloring book, where you color and build your own fantasy buildings! Here's how it works:

 It's super cool, and by backing the Kickstarter you get it as a special price, Kickstarter freebies, and you can help be a part of the process of creation – I regularly ask backers to come up ideas and vote on what we add to the book. It's a fun, creative process – I'll see you there!

Check it out:

http://andhegames.com/kickstarter

Now for something a little different...

Over the weekend, I worked with my brother and cousin to make a silly game about being a gnome, and killing giant bugs. It's silly, and pretty fun:

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-37/?action=preview&uid=125632

We made it in three days for Ludum Dare, which is a game jam that happens several times a year. It was a grueling couple of days, but a lot of fun! 

These dice are pretty

Note: The folks who make these dice are going to send me a couple, so this recommendation is IN NO WAY UNBIASED. Treat it as such.

I quite like these dice. They make me salivate a little bit when I stare at them.

They're aluminum, with some pretty sweet machining – they kind of look like space-age dice.

And - they're aluminum. Did I mention that? Yum.

Anyway, check out their Kickstarter. Don't back it if you're skeptical, don't back it because I said to, just have a look – and if they're the kind of thing you love (like I do), grab them at the early bird price, save some dollars and support a tiny games business: 

xlp.pgsgames.com

 

 

ExSpelled is coming!

Expelled is coming to Kickstarter November 1st.

Let's make some MAGIC! 

(∩`-´)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚

What be this?

It's a DIY Adventure Game, like The Cloud Dungeon, it's a story about attending a magic school, complete with dangerous random magical effects and paper craft wands.

To do: Follow me on Kickstarter

Get reminded when I launch the project by following me on Kickstarter – just go to my profile, and click "Follow". 

I'm so excited to be launching a new game! Any questions? Feel free to comment below, and I'll answer them.

The Biggie Pack - A character pack that you can help grow!

Pre-orders make this character pack grow bigger!

Hello!

Hey, if there are two things I like, it's 1. Monsters, and 2. Drawing them. I'm launching a monstrous character pack, with a pre-order price of $5. But each pre-order contributes to making this pack BIGGER with more characters, costumes, and awesomeness for everyone, and (of course) the price stays at just $5 no matter how big the pack gets.

Also, I have a special bundle where you can get a copy of the Cloud Dungeon with the pack, if you need a copy. The specials, the pre-order price, and the growth of the pack will only last until September 16, so check it out today:

The source of endless creativity.

I don't know if you know this, but I publish stories about my life over at AndHeDrew.com. I thought I'd link to this post about creativity, because I thought you might enjoy it. It tells about how I learned that creativity CAN be turned on reliably, no problem. All you need is panic. In this story, my panic was caused by a scary teacher breathing down my neck. Yipes!

The Book of Coloring is funded, pre-orders are available.

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The Great Cloud Dungeon Giveaway Winners!

Thank you so much for sharing about The Book of Coloring!
Below are the winners of the prizes. I will be contacting the winners in the next couple of days to get them their rewards. Thank you!

4 winners: Print and play and play and play

+ The Cloud Dungeon Print-and-play

Winners

Eduardo Olvera
Carrie Whittemore
Jarrod Bridgeman
Jason Duncan

3 winners: Print and Play+more!

+ The Cloud Dungeon Print-and-play

+ Jared's Character Pack

+ Goblins and Robots Character Pack

+ Backer's Choice Character Pack

+Exclusive Character (see below)

Winners

Melissa Hastings
Derek Moyes
Alexandra Costa

2 winners: The book + mega pack!

+ 1 Cloud Dungeon book

+ The Cloud Dungeon Print-and-play

+ Jared's Character Pack

+ Goblins and Robots Character Pack

+ Backer's Choice Character Pack

Winners:

Brian Foster
❝Bʟᴏᴏᴅ Mᴏᴏɴ❞

1 winner: The Cloud Dungeon "Kitchen Sink" pack!

+ 2 Cloud Dungeon books (U.S. Only)

+ The Cloud Dungeon Print-and-play

+ Jared's Character Pack

+ Jared's Ghostly Mega Pack

+ Goblins and Robots Character Pack

+ Backer's Choice Character Pack

+ Red Blues MP3 Download

The big winner:

Jason Real

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I'll be contacting you very soon. Thank you for sharing! T-minus 10 days until The Book of Coloring hits Kickstarter!