Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Interview with Trevor Cram of Touch Paper Press

12:37 PM by Mike ·
Trevor Cram, designer and hopefully soon-to-be publisher of Seeking the Gift, was kind enough to give us a little interview about himself, his company, and his games.

Can you tell us a little about how you got into game design?
I started designing games when I was a child.  It was never more than a creative outlet though, as I had no intention of playing them, or showing them to anyone.  There was no motive beyond the joy of creating.  It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I even considered designing professionally.

How did the idea for Seeking the Gift start? Can you walk us through the process from idea to actual game? What was your main objective or goal with the game?

About a year ago I began considering the best subject matter for a religious-themed game.  I wanted it to appeal to more people than such games usually do, and I hoped to use the game as a means of developing local support for our publishing efforts.  I spent time considering this and finally decided that "the 3 Wise Men" was both universally familiar, and contained the correct ingredients for a game. The early concept was a 3 player game with the working title 'We Three.'  However, the more I studied the subject, the more I realized that confining the number of wise men to three was an error, for more reasons than the historical inaccuracy.

The next step was conceptuallizing the presentation, as that too needed to appeal to a larger audience.  It was during our local convention, SaltCON, where I was discussing the idea of the game with other gamers, that I thought of using a rolling scroll as the board.  This was a large motivator for me to finally put pen to paper and bring the game to life.  It wasn't until this point that I finally approached the mechanical nature of the game, but now that I had mapped out a clear idea of who the game was for and what it was supposed to accomplish, I knew exactly which direction to move in; family-friendly, fast-paced, and light european mechanics.

Other than pledging, what can someone do to help you and the Kickstarter campaign be successful?

The best and easiest way to promote an idea is to talk about it, whether face-to-face or through social media.  Any mention on facebook, twitter, blog, etc. is very helpful, and we well know that finding the one right person can lead to much greater outcomes.

Can you tell us about Touch Paper Press, how it came to be, the games you’ve developed, how many people work for Touch Paper Press, etc.?

Touch Paper Press is a two-man show featuring yours truly and the creative genious of Joshua Butterfield.  We met at the BGDG (Board Game Designers Guild of Utah meeting) early last year and decided to collaborate on a game design, which became Ninja Family Picnic. We worked well together, complementing each other's personalities, and the experience was very enjoyable.  I had been looking for a partner to help me form a publishing empire and ultimately take over the world, and Josh fit the bill nicely.

Since combining our powers we've co-designed a handful of games, most of which are waiting on the shelf until we can afford artwork or manufacturing funds.  Some of the more complete games can be found on our website;

Do you collaborate with designers from outside of Touch Paper Press or do you take game design submissions from others?

I have collaborated with one other designer for a board game, but do to time constraints, the project fizzled.  Josh and I are also part of a larger group of collaborators working on a much bigger project *cue mystery sound.*  We aren't in any position to accept submissions, as we still have more games than we can produce, but we hope to get there at some point!

At the moment, what is your favorite game?
This question is always impossible for me...  although I like the way you've worded it.  Truth is, the game I am most attached to, and want to play, is the ones I'm working on.

What do you think would make for the best theme for an LDS game?
Hmmmm... Perhaps something to do with the Displacement / Gathering of a people? :)

Hopefully you enjoyed learning a little more about Trevor and his ventures in game design. Don't forget to look up his Seeking the Gift game on Kickstarter (here). They've only got 10 days to go to reach their goal. Pitch in and give them a hand. It would be great to see this game become a reality! I've added a widget to the blog here so that there is easy access to what is going on with his Kickstarter campaign.


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