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Why doesn't Jamey design cooperative games?

I have never played a Stonemaier game. Why? Because I don't like bots, dummies and automata. I always prefer to play against the game itself, face the integrated enemy, not an opponent who mimics my moves. But the integrated enemy is in fact a bot, I hear you say. Well, I never said I was right, and I didn't ask for a dialogue.

But really, why doesn't Jamey Stegmaier try a cooperative design?

a) Because he thinks cooperative games are not games, they are puzzles. He is one of those people who give all coops a rating of 1.

b) Because the Automa Factory would close down. Strikes would ensue.

c) He has talked about this in his designer diaries. You have not been paying attention.

Indeed, I almost never read designer diaries.

Image source: BGG

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Bram Kok
Bram Kok
Aug 20, 2019

Personally I'm glad competitive games with solo options exist. While I do enjoy a decent coop when playing solo, I absolutely loath them when playing with others. The Automa (and variations) allow me to enjoy games I bought for multiplayer to be played in my preferred setting, solo.


Jason S. Brown
Jason S. Brown
Aug 19, 2019

I asked this same question to Ryan Laukat and Eric Lang a couple years ago and Ryan actually replied. He said it just wasn’t in his wheelhouse and he could never make it work. I’m guessing Jamie is the same way, it just hasn’t happened for him yet.

About a year after I asked that question though, Ryan launched the Amber Mines co-op expansion to Near and Far and is now running the co-op Sleeping Gods. Jamie has stated that he intends to design a total of ten games (Tapestry is his 4th after Viticulture, Euphoria, and Scythe), let’s hope he follows a similar path and finds his co-op groove!

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