Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mike Agrelius from Happy Valley Publishing

Some 30 years ago, a young man named Mike Agrelius noticed that there weren't many LDS themed games available for people to play. In fact, Seek and Zion were the only ones! And they are both trivia based games and, as Mike points out, spent most of their time on shelves in closets. Even college students didn't break those out at gatherings. Mike set out to change that. He designed a game called Count Your Blessings, established a company named Happy Valley Publishers, and made his dream a reality! This year marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Count Your Blessings! Over it's lifetime about 50,000 copies have been sold. Sadly, the only way you'd get your hands on a copy today is to find it at Deseret Industries or possibly online somewhere.

Mike was kind enough to give me some of his time. I was able to find out a bunch about him and his experiences with game design and publishing. And, I recorded the whole thing for your listening pleasure.

You can also download the mp3 here, if you would prefer.

Here's a list of the questions I asked during a little interview:
  • Can you tell me your background in game design and publication?
  • How many LDS themed games have you designed? Could you tell me a little about each one?
  • How many of your LDS games have been published?
  • What experience do you have with LDS game publishers?
  • Where can I get a hold of your games?
  • Do you have any suggestions for those who want to publish LDS themed games? (What is the best course of action? Who is the best publisher to approach? Etc)
  • How many LDS themed games have you played?
  • What is your favorite LDS themed game (that isn’t your own)?

If anyone is interested in contacting Mike, they can do so at mikeagrelius@gmail.com. Thanks Mike for your time and your insights into LDS games!

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