Interview with Bryan Gaffin | Dinomals
I am excited to do another interview with a game designer bringing an awesome looking game into the world through Kickstarter. The creator of the game Dinomals happened to like a comment I made in a Facebook group we are both members of where I made a pun involving crows and jokes, the world can be random. When I saw his name I took two seconds and reached out to him, thankfully he had some time to spare and answer a couple questions.
Chris Michelotti: So, first of all, I have to ask what it was like to create a game with your kids? I have tried to create games with kids when I worked with them in the past and ran into a lot of hurdles, what was your experience like?
Bryan Gaffin: Working with my kids was a lot of fun, but I approached it with a reasonable plan, because they’re kids and so they’re a bit all over the place. I work in advertising as a Creative Director, so I treated them like my clients. We discussed what they wanted to do, what they wanted to see, and then I put together options for them to choose from. They gave their opinions and had new ideas that we added. And together we worked out design, and gameplay.
CM: Who came up with the idea for the game?
BG: We had been working on the characters for a while first, and when I suggested Kickstarter and explained it to them, they decided they wanted to do a game of some kind. They love board games, like Chess, Monopoly, and Battleship as well as card games like Uno and Exploding Kittens. After thinking about our options, we decided that a card game might be the best place to start. And after doing estimates for games, a card game seemed like a goal we could get funded- and we did!
CM: Funded for sure! So, your kids came up with the theme and mechanics and you managed their progress?
BG: They came up with the theme and a rough sense of the mechanics and then I went through the logic and put together a rough idea of the game they were envisioning - we play tested it a bit to see how it worked out. We all worked together to create it- at a certain point, it’s too hard to them to continue without guidance.
CM: That is still really awesome, and I am still amazed that kids want to create something and not just consume. How excited have they been with the progress of the Kickstarter?
BG: They kind of get it, but not 100%. They understand the basics, but because it got funded in 7 Days, they’re a bit unrealistic about how hard it was. I’m really doing all of the social media/advertising and letting them come up with or star in the content.
CM: They are just getting their feet wet, but I can't say it enough... You gave me some new dad goals. So once the Kickstarter campaign is over, are you going to bring your kids through the distribution and business side of things? At least so they can see more of the work that happens behind the scenes?
BG: Oh they’re seeing all of that already. I showed them the estimates and explained how we were going to print, fulfill and ship. They really do want a franchise out of this, not just a game. They want plush toys and action figures and animated tv/movies and books.
CM: If you are going to dream, why dream small? So - once this is done, are you all planning on trying a new medium with these creations then?
BG: Oh yeah. I mean, we have to make this game first, but I’m hoping that we can either do another KS in another medium, or get the interest of a toy/book/media company. It’s a great proof of concept - but we’re focused on delivering the game first. Then we can think about other things. We really want the game to be fulfilled perfectly and on time. A lot of KS don’t fulfill they way they should. We don’t want to have that happen for us.
CM: That is a great life lesson too, finishing what you start strong. I noticed that you reached your first stretch goal and we got a panda card! (Albeit a Red Panda... but they are still cute.) I have to ask, could the next Dinomal we see be of the aquatic variety? Being from the Pacific Northwest I am partial to orca whales.
BG: I’m afraid I can’t tell you, because we’re doing a Kickstarter Live on Monday Night (9 PM Eastern / 6 PM Pacific), and will draw the 7th Dinomal Live! I will say that this next one is not aquatic, but we do have the Penguinosaurus Rex- half penguin...
CM: That is really exciting! I guess my last question has to be about the Dinomals themselves. Which Dinomal is your favorite?
BG: I’m a big fan of the Raptoricorn. Half Unicorn and half velociraptor. Who doesn’t love a Unicorn!
CM: Honestly, that is the one I would call dibs on too. Thanks for taking the time to answer a couple questions for me! I really appreciate it.
The project as you can see has already been funded and the Dinomals team are focusing on the stretch goals. I am excited to see what the 7th Dinomal is going to be, and I hope you are too! You can subscribe for alerts or just check out the live drawing of the 7th Dinomal HERE this coming Monday! Let me know, what dinosaur/animal combinations would you like to see?