2020 brought us a global pandemic and, along with it, social distancing, masks, financial uncertainty and postponed delivery dates. For our end-of-the-year special we decided to turn to some of our favourite solo and soloable game designers and ask them to share their own experiences, feelings, plans and hopes both for the year we leave behind and the year to come. Every day until December 31 we will publish one of these short interviews (we have no patience for long ones). Our guest today is Friedemann Friese. Designer of Friday, Finished and Faiyum, among others. He was kind enough to answer our 3+1 questions.
1. Nobody likes being forced to stay at home, but did the quarantine actually help you concentrate on your design work? Or did it instead feel restraining and cause designer's block? Did you miss any face-to-face meetings or conventions?
The Quarantine is not very good for my work. I really miss the contact to others to play games with. I like to design solo games, but I also like to play games with 4-5 players at the table. The most important thing to miss is just the direct feedback from my co-gamers. By now it feels like sending all my ideas in a black hole. Nothing comes back. Okay, with a new published game there is feedback, but with my prototypes it would be more important.
2. Marie Kondo shows up in your dream in the form of a yokai. She is throwing away your entire board game collection and only lets you keep one game: the one that 'sparks the most joy'. Which one is it?
The first game to come into my mind is 504, just because it would be the best way to cheat and to have 504 games at once. It could be interesting to look at this again and see what I've done there…
3. We are a news website, so we will obviously ask you to share your plans for 2021. Anything us solo gamers can look forward to?
There will be a rail-game in 2021 and of course there is a solo challenge with it and I think I should think of a sequel to Friday.
Bonus question: By now you have designed numerous board games. Which one did you have the most Fun designing, and which one was the most Frustrating?
It is hard to tell, because designing the games is the best part of my work and frustrating moments are the moments to decide to stop designing, because the game is not good at all. But after publishing, the best is a success and the most frustrating is a miss.
Thank you very much for participating, Friedemann! All the best wishes for 2021. Where can our readers follow you online?
My website: 2F-Spiele.