Brand Manager Jaime Lawrence has a talk to superstar designer Ted Alspach about taking Mad King Ludwig from a humble castle to an outrageous palace...
1) How did you get into game design? What were some games or designers that influenced you?
I've always loved boardgames, videogames, and computer games. One of the games that lives in my subconscious is the classic Parker Brothers game Careers, which had a bunch of interesting decisions (how to split your attention between Fame, Money, and Happiness), and had victory points (not called that at the time, but they were).
2) Castles of Mad King Ludwig has been a big success - what inspired the game?
I love making up dungeons in D&D. I would do that on graph paper in high school instead of paying attention. Castles is born of that fun creative spark that lets you make pretty much anything while telling a great story at the same time.
3) Recently, Bezier followed up Castles with Palaces of Mad King Ludwig, which adds a semi-cooperative element to the idea of palace-building. What took you in this direction when making the game?
Well, it's pretty much the opposite of co-operative. While all players are working on a single palace, they're constantly trying to one-up and sabotage the other players while making themselves successful. After Suburbia and Castles were successful, I wanted to create a tile-laying game where the interaction was more on the laying of the tiles, and less about the marketplace as in the other two games.
4) You also designed the fan-favourite One Night Ultimate Werewolf and its related games. How important is the social element of gaming to you?
Social Deduction games work on so many levels: You get to try out a limitless number of strategies, you have to decipher other players' true intentions, and you have to constantly consider all the possibilities and the probabilities of them. To create a framework like One Night where this takes place is a great exercise in game design.
5) Are there more Werewolf or Ludwig games in the works that you can talk about with us?
Yes to both. For Werewolf, look for a social deduction boardgame coming soon.
6) If people want to find out more about your games, where can they find you on the web?