Alexander Pfister, Eurogame designer extrordinaire, chats to brand manager Jaime Lawrence
Hi Alexander! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed! On a personal note, thanks for Isle of Skye - it's one of my favourite games of all time!
Nice to hear!
How did you get into game design? What games and designers have influenced you over your career?
I have been playing tabletop games since my childhood. I designed games for my friends at this time, but never thought of publishing one. During my studies I learned about an agency which pitches games to publishers, so I thought, why not show the agency some of my games? The agency liked them, showed them to publishers but as with most new designers, it was difficult to sell them. But in the end it worked and several games were published and even won major awards!
I always liked economic games, games where you build up something over the course of the game. This is also the type of games I like to design. I played a lot of Acquire and later 1830.
A number of your games, such as Mombasa, Port Royal, Great Western Trail and Isle of Skye have very specific geographical ties - why is this?
I like maps. When I design a board game, I don't just want the board as a placeholder for cards or resources or tiles because it feels like a abstract game. A lovely map drags me more into the theme of the game.
You've won several of the industry's top awards, including the Kennerspiel des Jahres. What aims and goals do you still have in the world of board games?
I'm very proud and happy about this. Not for the sake of wining the award, but I grew up with the Spiel des Jahres award and always admired it. It's like the Oscar in the film industry. I don't have any further goals regarding awards. I design games and hope many people like it. I'm a member of a gaming
club in Vienna, and it's great when I see people enjoying my games. Reading from people over the internet that they love some of my games, is my motivation.
Is there any chance of an Australian-themed title? What else are you working on that you can tell us about?
Yes, this would be a good idea! I have to dig a little into the history of Australia. Maybe a little lighter game for my relatives near Melbourne.
Right at the moment I'm heavily working on a new big strategy game. It will be a heavy game again in the line of Great Western Trail or Mombasa. Nothing more I can say at the moment, still work in progress.
If people want to find out more about your games, where can they find you on the web?
Thanks for the interview!