To shine a light on the ‘local’ scene we will offer interview industry professionals and volunteers that are active at our Guild or in other ways. We are very happy Liesbeth Bos was willing to participate. Without further ado, her replies to our curiosity:
How are you active in the industry? You are a designers and work for publishers, could you tell about those roles?
As a designer I design childrens and lighter family games, always language independent. Lately also only with my co designer Anja Dreier Brückner. I do not have time to design just by myself anymore.
As an agent for publishers I can do different things. My main projects right now is localizing their games outside of the territories they are already sell to.
What are some titles you work(ed) on for localisation?
My job is easy, I have picked publishers to work for whose games I love 🙂 Roll Player is the title I started with; we have been able to publish it in 11 languages at the moment. Our expansion, Monsters and Minions, is following in probably all of these languages too as well as the rest of our Roll Player line.
Other than that I am totally in love with Dual Powers; revolution 1917. A 1-2 player game. It just hit retail and is starting to get signed globally as well.
For van Ryder games the hottest line I am working on right now is Hostage Negotiator. This publisher is doing everything a little bit different, which makes pitching their games a lot of fun.
Our largest game; Detective, City of Angels will come out soonish. It will be a huge box (Gloomhaven size) with a deduction game which can be played in many different ways and with a great new system that makes this game feel like you are in a 1940’s setting, fighting crime in L.A.
What is your background and what skills and knowledge you feel is useful in your roles?
🙂 I am an advertisement and graphic designer as well as an industrial designer. It helps me a teeny bit in making prototypes. It helps a lot on knowing how the manufacturing process works. Yes I can find something really cheap online or in a store and spray paint it in four different colors. Yet, to make tooling for this and have it being produced in different colors for a low first print run is usually not feasible. That kind of knowledge I use when I design games so we can come up with something that looks new and not done before, but is actually not that difficult or costly to produce.
What tips do you have for designers that have a concept ready to pitch to publishers?
Write good rules.
Make sure your game has some functional art, it should not look ready to print though.
Make it “idiot” proof. You should not have the publisher learn or memorize things like “these pawns should actually be cars” and “these cards are named -enter weird name- ”.
What do you like best, feel is most interesting in your different roles? (designing games, being a representative for publishers)
I overall love my freedom! I can work from home, but the internet and Skype have given me the opportunity to work for anyone in the world. And with my iPad and a good set up of the the projects I am working on, I can also travel and work from anywhere in the world. The companies I work for are not in Europe, a majority of our partners are. But I have also found us partners in Asia. It doesn’t matter, I am online 24/7 and answer anyone whenever something comes in. If it is too much I just mute my phone for a while.
With my co designer and other potential co designers, I also work through emails, messenger and Skype. My number one co designer lives in Essen. We visit each other every 2-3 weeks because we tinker a lot with materials.
I am not sure if that is the most interesting, but the most appealing to me.
That plus going to conventions. The game world is “small.”
It feels like we are one traveling circus family of (close) friends. At conventions you work a lot but you also get to catch up with everyone.
Which game that you (co)desigend are you most proud of and why?
Poh… Currently I think that Polar Party from Pegasus is a favorite. Our developer there saw what we wanted to do with this and sourced the best material for it. With little material you can create an immersive world of icebergs, penguins and fish.
Another feature, in the same game, is having a whale who can really eat fish. Having two “gadgets” in one game is a first.
My co designer and I are known for our “gadgets” and weird way of thinking about materials and uses. Not everything we design comes out as crazy as we have originally planned it, but in this case it did and that is really cool.
Could share some pictures of work in progress?
Weeehooo Weeehooo (Martinex) in cooperation with Anja Dreier Brückner, prototype and final game:
Polar Party (Pegasus Kids) in cooperation with Anja Dreier Brückner, prototype and final game:
Wackelbett (HABA) designed by me, prototype and final game:
Where can we learn more about you and your work?
(I am wondering if I have updated all of the newest games… but they probably are on it)
Thank you for your time Liesbeth!
Interview by Arjan van Houwelingen