Podcast – Long Distance Gaming – Nick Metzler – Splendor Episode – 12


Josh Hale 0:01
All Welcome back to the people gamers long distance gaming podcast. We are joined today by Nick Metzler, Nick guy who has created some games. And I’m going to let him tell you a little bit by what he’s created. But in case you haven’t listened to long distance gaming before, what we are, as we’re a little bit like long distance dating, we’re long distance gaming, it’s just like long distance dating actually just not quite as pretty. So the idea of what we’re doing is, we’re going to be playing a digital board game together. And through that digital or board game, we’re going to be, you know, sometimes making new friendships, sometimes continuing old ones. But we can’t always be at the same table as our friends. Sometimes our friends are halfway across the world, but yet we still want to make those moves that make our friends crazy. And the best way to do that is to continue playing them board games, despite the fact that they are no longer around and so

what we’re going to be doing today is playing splendor. And apparently, we are going to get kicked out of the game yet again. So we’re going to create a game yet again. So I’m going to do that exactly the same way neck as you introduce yourself. And if you go resign out of your game and get signed back in, then we will get started. Please,

Nick Metzler 1:24
everybody, my name is Nick Metzler. I am a professional board game designer, which is really fun to say because I’ve never, I never actually considered that. That would actually be my career. When I was four years old, I started making puppet video games

And basically sheets of paper. And around the age of seven, I realized that puppet video games were extremely boring for anybody else except me. So I kind of transitioned into board games that I made adaptations of previous board games like chess. And by the time I made it to high school, I had created 30, original board games, entered into a competition called the young inventors challenge in Chicago. It’s kind of like a science fair for toys and games. And I ended up winning it with a game called that’s cheating, the entire idea was, you had to be the best cheater in order to win. And I thought that was a really cool statement that hadn’t really been done before. It stopped a lot of people tracks.

So sorry, I’m just about to make move here. All right.

Josh Hale 2:32
Because apparently, timing is a real big factor on this game. We have been kicked out of this game, this is our our third time going in. And I personally blame Nick. Because you know, I always take my turn in a timely manner. But we’ve been kicked out three times due to the title running out. So if you notice me pushing Nick along is not to be rude. It is probably very, very told me to do so. But the game is going to continue kicking us out. And that would make for a very, very boring podcast for you.

Nick Metzler 3:08
So jumping back into it, I ended up winning that competition with that’s cheating, and made a lot of really cool mentors in the industry. And I’m talking more about the mass industry right now. The Hasbro’s and spin masters in Mattel’s of the world ended, GM ended up going back to the same competition the next year with a game called squashed. And with that game, I actually got it licensed with company called play smart. So when I was 17, my first game went to market, it was a three dimensional cube, that if you made it to the top of the cube, you can flip it and squash anybody caught underneath it was a very physical tactile game was a light abstract strategy. And had an absolute blast doing that. So I wanted to take it further. But I didn’t want to do it in the typical way. I had fallen in love with a TV show called survivor recently, and so I decided to host my own survivor, my backyard making 30 original challenges. And so, when I did that, I really was like, This is my passion in life, I need to find a way to take this further.

Unknown Speaker 4:16

Nick Metzler 4:18
I searched for about a year trying to figure out how to get onto the show. And cold pitched Mark Burnett, why should get a job basically. And he’s the creator of survivor for those who don’t really know. Getting it. So I spent four months in the Philippines building painting and testing all the challenges on the show. And while I was there, I just I absolutely fell in love with everything that was going on and just gaming in general. So I ended up getting a challenge on the show. And it’s called amazed and confused. You can check it out on YouTube. Look up behind the scenes survivor calgarian. And, again, I wanted to take my skills further side, I had this survivor challenge experience, basically. And sorry, I’m kind of

this this whole Splenda thing is it’s definitely

Josh Hale 5:18
funny because the timer is killing me. I know.

Nick Metzler 5:21
There’s a way to turn off the timer.

Josh Hale 5:24
I now have a card that gives me green and what do you have as far as what, what, what you’ve taken so far?

Nick Metzler 5:32
To be completely honest, I really haven’t been paying attention up and grabbing

Josh Hale 5:36
the middle. And if you have stuff on the left side that looks like a card, it’ll tell you taking the card that gives you that resource in the future. Well,

Nick Metzler 5:44
yeah. Are you signing up for the fans?

Josh Hale 5:46
Yeah, yeah. So if they happen to look, or if they happen, or if they haven’t a look, but if they happen to be familiar with the game, they’ll know what we’re doing. So I’ve taken a card that gives me green, I’ve also taken the card that gives me red, and down to two green juice, as well as three jewels.

Nick Metzler 6:05
So splendor is a very light engine builder. And I’m out here right now just trying to collect some cards. I’ve got three cards right now about to get a fourth.

And yeah, I’ll just jump back into it. So it’s

so after, yeah, after

Josh Hale 6:30
you have that moment where, you know, the game that we’re playing takes your attention and completely ruined your thought process.

Nick Metzler 6:40
It’s tricky, because splendor really takes a lot of a lot of thought because you’re looking at the entire grid. And you’re trying to figure out the best combinations to get to the top points, and you’re looking at many different options. Should I go for the nobles, where you can get a bunch of points, but you need cards for that? Should you get a bunch of tokens or, and so that you can get a balanced hand so that you can make so you can buy cards easier, or should you specialize so that you can get these higher point cards. But you got to make sure that you specialize in the right resource because if you don’t, then you might be screwed later in the game.

Josh Hale 7:17
And that’s regularly been my experience with the scanners I regularly get screwed, like, Okay. I’m taking a little record that gives me a red. So you were

Unknown Speaker 7:31
you took you took that card? That’s the one I wanted. What the red, I was about to take that one for free. Dude, I feel really bad about that.

Josh Hale 7:40
Do you? I do on I’m actually sitting here, thinking about how bad I feel. And while I feel bad, I’m gonna have a drink of coffee. So you may continue talking about what you got going on.

Nick Metzler 7:53
I’m just going to take one of those cards.

Yeah. So after I wanted to get into more life gaming, a, one of the biggest things that I didn’t like about board games is it was very much about turn taking. So you were disengaged. And when I say that I grew up playing all the the mass games, the monopolies and the clues and things like that where you basically had to wait your turn, you couldn’t do anything. And I didn’t realize there’s a whole other world out there. But we’ll get to that in a minute. I I liked gaming where everybody was engaged all the time. And that’s why I fell in love with all of these TV show games and Minute to Win it and survivor and stuff like that. And so when I was in college I experimented with I mean, what else do you experiment with in college? I experimented with designing escape rooms? Yes.

Josh Hale 8:43
The obvious choice? Yeah,

Nick Metzler 8:45
yeah. Designing and gamified theme park rides, because you know who doesn’t do that in college? Right?

Josh Hale 8:52
That is the obvious choice.

Nick Metzler 8:55
Yes, I hadn’t had a blast doing that.

Hold up. Let me just make sure you pick the right things. Get little Ruby, chocolate and Sapphire. up for two different cards on the bottom there. Yeah, so I experimented with designing theme park rides. And I’ve actually got a couple theme park rides that are actually in existence now. Yeah, within within a year, they’re going to be up and running. I worked for SeaWorld down in Florida. I made a couple rides over in China. I was about to gamify an entire theme park in Indonesia. But the the project fell through because the government funding for the period. So around my junior year, I was looking for a job. And I didn’t really have anything. So I cold called Spin Master. And it was like, Hey guys, I’m in the I’m in the market. Are you guys interested or hiring? And I had an interview within a week. And two weeks later, I had a job there. And I have been there for four and a half years now. And I’ve put out about 30 games to market with them to date.

Some of them being Hail Hydra.

Josh Hale 10:11
Sorry. It’s just crazy that you put out that money in that short of time.

Unknown Speaker 10:16
Yeah, it’s it’s absurd. It really is.

Nick Metzler 10:19
I put out

Unknown Speaker 10:21
last year,

Josh Hale 10:22
struggled to do one every two years.

Nick Metzler 10:29
I think the differences I’m making a lot more mass facing games have just started dipping my toes into the hobby category, as we call it. So I’ve made re brands of popular games like battle of the sexes, which I didn’t I kind of fought against initially because I was like peddling sexes. That’s not very politically friendly right now. And I was charged with making it relevant to millennials. And so I took a different approach. I wanted to make it more about challenging your gender stereotype. Like, are you more than your gender stereotyping? So that’s how I pitched the game. And it ended up really, really fun. Yeah, so I do that type of games normally, which is why I’m able to put out the the amount that I that I do. Because a lot of it is writing content, believe it or not, and writing funny content. So things like Cards Against Humanity type style, content, I do a lot of that writing and my job.

Yeah, but I have recently

begun to dabble in the hobby space. And that started because I saw Santini on Kickstarter. And I was absolutely blown away by it. That That game is it’s so so good. And I saw it on Kickstarter. I was like, we need to bring this game to a much bigger audience. And so I I raised Hellfire down from above and Spin Master and basically got the entire leadership team on board with this new strategy, which was transitioning into making a foothold in the hobby category. And it started with center any and we followed it with five minute dungeon pretty quickly. Another Kickstarter game.

Josh Hale 12:14
Because because you guys have Santorini under your licensing

Nick Metzler 12:18
now, correct? Yes, we do.

Josh Hale 12:21
Because that was originally done by Robb Flynn. What a cool Kickstarter. You guys have actually sent us central NE for review, along with golden fleece. And, of course, with all the games that have come out this year, it’s been so tough to get a game with, you know, a couple years old, reviewed, refute. And oddly enough, it’s one of those games we have not reviewed on the site yet. Really, but yeah, yeah, yeah, um, you know, oddly, my, what I do full time is not that different than what you do. I actually do a lot of content writing. And believe it or not, my my real career, if she wanted to say real career, I’m actually an attorney. And I have kind of transitioned into this because I’m a single dad, and I want to, I want to my daughter, remember growing up as her dad doing something fun and teaching her that you can do something fun, you don’t have to choose, you know, being an attorney or an accountant to make a living. And one of us did not take our turn and time.

Unknown Speaker 13:30
Oh, really?

Nick Metzler 13:32
Yeah. It still says you got like a third of the time left.

Unknown Speaker 13:37
kicked me out.

Unknown Speaker 13:39

Nick Metzler 13:41
I wish there was a way for me to just like accept you back in, right.

Josh Hale 13:47
You took too much

Nick Metzler 13:47
time. I mean, I was gonna win anyway. So it’s a convenient that

Josh Hale 13:52
I will be able to join back in a few seconds, if you don’t get out of the game. So maybe if I waited a couple seconds. And I thought it took my turn to see this thing is just devastating for you know, podcasting. This is. There we go reason. Oh, it’s back. And we’re back. We’re back. Excellent. We would have known that before we wouldn’t keep kept resetting the game. This is the last move over the A I played my turn. Got Apparently,

Unknown Speaker 14:30
it wasn’t a bad move.

Nick Metzler 14:33
I’ve actually found the A eyes on splendor to not be too bad. I mean, they’re not. They’re not amazing. But they’re not too bad.

Josh Hale 14:44
See, not amazing, is not helping me at this point in time, because not getting me to the point I want to get. But let’s go ahead and keep taking cards since I’m getting stuff for free at this point.

So yeah, a lot of what I do is content writing. And I was actually pretty excited when it’s been Nasser took over saturating because it is a more front facing organization than roughly as far as to the regular markets of the world. And I thought, wow, you know, is this is this that turning point where hobby gaming becomes mainstream? And, you know, I think we’re close, but I don’t think it’s really gotten there yet.

Nick Metzler 15:42
And then I was, I think, close to, I think it’s so close. I really do. I was seeing the amount of people showing up at board game cafes, I was at snakes and lattes last night, it was a designer night in Toronto. And the amount of people there Monday night, it was just, it was insane. There was like 80 people,

Josh Hale 16:03
really, it’s so close to mainstream. I was in essence this last year. And I found a game by a guy in Italy that have divided the Italian Parliament so badly that they wanted to ban this game. It was a game called Red light. And it you know, he this, this particular designer had been back and forth to the Italian Parliament over several games for several years. And this one just happened to be a game that was sponsored by porn hub of all things. And I, you know, I realized at that point in time that God were so close to the mainstreaming of holly games, and I actually wrote an article on and on. Are we now mainstream? Because of because of porn? Yeah, because of the ad industry? Or? Or are we mainstream? Because that industry has made it mainstream, you know, that they choose to come into something mainstream? Or did they make it mainstream? I have no,


Nick Metzler 17:22
I think we spent a lot of time looking at the marketplace at Spin Master. And I think I’ve been watching this space for the past three years. And I’ve really seen the adoption grow. And the community has been a really major factor in all of this specifically Kickstarter, because for the first time ever in history, you have the opportunity to get your game into market. And you can avoid all the upfront costs of tooling and things like that. And it’s just an amazing situation. And so you’ve seen an explosion of new game mechanics, and nuclear creativity and new themes within games. And I want to give a shout out to everybody in the community because you guys are really making this this movement happen. And

Josh Hale 18:12
it is a movement. It is so so you’re still at Spin Master obviously.

Nick Metzler 18:21
I am Yeah.

Josh Hale 18:24
The last I heard as you have something that is coming out that people might be excited about you care to tell me about it.

Nick Metzler 18:34
Yeah, so last year, I had the opportunity to make a social production game with the Marvel license, which blew my mind. I was so so excited about it. So I made the the social deduction game that I’d always wanted to make. It was it was a mix between Battlestar Galactica and Avalon. But I wanted to make it with a little bit more ambiguity. It’s I made a game called Hail Hydra that came out last year, and Marvel liked it so much. They liked what I did so much that they came back to us and said, Hey, you know what? We’ve got the Black Panther license. Would you guys like to take a stab at that, too? Oh, and by the way, put that same designer that did Hale Hydra on it. We liked him. And I was floored. I was so so honored to be in that position. And of course, I was psyched. And I said yes. And so I was tasked with making a light family strategy game with the Black Panther license. That had nothing to do with the MC you. So that was the that was the prompt, basically. And making a game called what kinda forever.

Oh, I just got a noble.

Josh Hale 19:44
Oh, did you really,

Nick Metzler 19:46
I did just scored three extra points there. So I made a game called what kind of forever It’s a very light dice rolling game. It’s the pusher lock, where you can buy more dice with it, cranium. And you are trying, you’re constantly wondering if you if you should use your viburnum to buy dice to get points, or you should save it to try and take the throne take the title of Black Panther, which will allow you to get more points and bonus powers and all these things. So the game last around 30 to 45 minutes. It’s a very fast paced, action friendly game, it feels a little bit like Kenya, Tokyo. But with a little bit more thought and a little bit more of a poker esque feel then King of Tokyo.

Josh Hale 20:33
I I’m a fan of King of Tolkien. And I hope you guys did my favorite thing from King of Tokyo, which is nice chunky dice.

Nick Metzler 20:44
I don’t we attempted to chisel into the dice. But our factories were having issues. So we have regular sized dice, but some of them are translucent. Ooh, that sounds pretty. That’s a little bit fun. We also we experimented with with making the dice bigger too. But we really wanted everything to store in the centerpiece as well. And with bigger dice, we weren’t actually able to store it in the centerpiece. And it would have just been kind of floating in the box. We didn’t really want that because there’s a bad unboxing experience. So we opted for a couple millimeters smaller than the big chunky dice


Kenya, Tokyo. But we gave you a really nice thick, Black Panther sculpt that feels wavy and heavy for you to play with. Its three inches tall. And it’s super detailed. So if you’re a collector of Black Panther items, you are going to absolutely freak over that.

Josh Hale 21:46
So you’re saying that they they need to have that as

Nick Metzler 21:51
well. Let’s put it this way. The only other black panther sculpt that was a collector’s edition for that was about $50 and it came off the market a couple years ago. Now we have the only one and you can get the entire game, you can get the whole game for 30 bucks.

Josh Hale 22:07
I give you the ugliest first row ever. It’s all white, and there’s no nobles. Let me Why? Well, that’s okay, I am one away from both nobles.

Nick Metzler 22:17
I’m not super worried about that.

Josh Hale 22:19
I am so close. And I’m I’m feeling a little disgusted, to be honest, because I can’t get these nobles. And you know, it’s, I’m going to blame it on the fact that you chose which game to play.

Nick Metzler 22:36
I think you’re in big trouble here because I’m about to take either a three

piece or a four piece.

Josh Hale 22:43
Can’t get a man, I’m just so far away.

Nick Metzler 22:47
Here we go. Bam, which noble do I want. So something interesting about the app is you have to choose a noble if you get both of them at the same time. And I just got two of them. Two of the remaining two.

Josh Hale 23:03
And I think I can block you

Nick Metzler 23:06
know, I think I’ll choose this one.

I think you’re in

I think you’re in a world of hurt over here.

Josh Hale 23:14
I think I’m in dire straits. Man. I’m at 14 points. And this is not like volleyball, you know, actually, you have basically just gone to me almost game to be on.

Nick Metzler 23:31
It’s almost as if our attention was more diverted?

Josh Hale 23:35
No, no, I regularly lose during the podcast. That’s okay. It’s kind of the point is, so you can make fun of me forever. How much you destroyed me without even breaking a sweat.

Unknown Speaker 23:51
I just

Nick Metzler 23:52
I just scooped up all three nobles to win the game 17 to five.

So that was a bit of a


Josh Hale 24:01
Yeah. And it and I will have a screenshot of that which will go into the podcast. And you can you know, you can carry that with you forever. And you may we may want to make pins for you honestly. You know, it’s it’s Sarah, I’ve always liked splendor, I do find it to be a little a little frustrating in the form of strategy. Because just what we said two or three times to each other. Oh, man, he took my took what I wanted. It seems like that happens more often than not in the game, which to me is a bit of a you’re no longer able to plan around what you want to do in the future. You just kind of have to take whatever you can get that will allow you to do something. But I like splendor. It feels good. Have you played all the expansions on it?

Nick Metzler 24:59
I haven’t. But I think want to talk a little bit about splendor as well. It’s I think it’s one of my favorite games purely because you can get anybody into it very, very fast. And they happen to pretend. Yeah, they have they have a comprehension of it pretty quickly, like they understand. But the option paralysis is is very real. And that’s I mean, coming coming from a mass gaming focused side, I’m always curious about how my friends that were say like in a fraternity, basically how they think about games. Because if we’re really trying to grow this market, we need to appeal to them too. And we need to bring them into the mix. But we need to do it in a gateway ask way, you know, games like San 3d games like splendor, where they can get their toes wet, and they can see the fun the they can see that wow moment of solving that puzzle. And feeling really, really smart when they’re making these decisions. And so when I’m looking at splendor, have really, really like the elegance of the game, but sometimes it has that option paralysis where you don’t know what you’re doing. I think it found a way to, I guess teach splendor to these people that that don’t typically play these games, and it’s really, there’s no fruit for them just for beginners. You know, there’s no really awful moves. If you continue taking three jewels, you’ll do just fine. Like, if you’re playing against somebody strategic, you probably won’t win, because they’ll counter that with specialization or they’ll go for the nobles and things like that. But if you continue taking three jewels and no not worry about anything else, you will do just fine. So I found that to be kind of cool way to explain the game. And I don’t know I found that spender can be intensely strategic as well. Even though there’s a decent amount of luck with whatever card gets pulled next. I used to play this with my my girlfriend now ex girlfriend. Like every two or three days too much we

too much spider Yeah, we were just be at each other’s throats.

Josh Hale 27:06
This morning. On you splendid me out no more splendor sir.

Nick Metzler 27:16
Yeah, so I found that games like that really, I guess bring people more into the hobby space. And once you’ve played that you you can you’re more willing to try something like gizmos. And then once you try gizmos, you’re more willing to try something else that is a more intense engine builder. And so start people with secret Hitler, and then it moved to Avalon. And then from Avalon I go to hell, Hydra. And, you know, I’m going to do the exact same thing with what kinda you know, from what kinda go to Kenya, Tokyo, and then came to Tokyo, there’s so many other dice games out there, too.

Josh Hale 27:51
So I’m

Nick Metzler 27:52
just trying to bring more people into the hobby. That’s I guess that’s really my, my focus coming from Spin Master side is, you know, we want to grow the hobby space to that’s, it’s exciting to us. And we think a win for a win for one of you guys is a win for all of us to with, you know, when the tide rises, all the boats rise with it. And I think that’s very true with with gaming and toys in general. When one starts becoming popular, they all start to become more popular, talked about more.

Josh Hale 28:26
So I’m curious about two things I’d kind of like you to make it. One is the Where do you think things like Cards Against Humanity fit into bringing people into the hobby, because if you think about it, for particularly the college age kids, you know, that’s one of the games are going to be introduced to just because of the, you know, the gross noise factor of what they can say. And, you know, you can almost do anything in that game. And, you know, you can blame it on the card rather than on a horrible human being you are. And I find that that is a definite game that brings people in the hobby, but I don’t know that everybody that plays that game will move on to the next one. Do you have any thoughts on that yourself? Have you seen either way? Yeah, I

Nick Metzler 29:21
do actually, Cards Against Humanity was a force of nature and anomaly. That was really amazing thing before Cards Against Humanity. There was no adult gaming segment at all. That didn’t exist. And when Cards Against Humanity showed up and kind of barged its way into the space and then negotiated against places like Target and Walmart from taking it. They said, No, you guys can’t take it. And it was exclusive basically. And which made them want it more. So when it finally actually made it into Xmas stores at it exploded. It was super, super popular. And as a result, a lot of millennials had the opportunity to experience board gaming, or gaming in general in a very different way than what they had experienced in childhood. And for the first time they were laughing during board games, and they were having a fun time with friends that they didn’t expect to have, they could be drinking while doing it. And it was very light, you could jump in and out at any given time. And you felt funny when you’re playing it. And obviously the funniness was all created by the game itself. And of course, when you play it a couple times, it loses its flair. But it is representative a very big shift in the marketplace and allowed tons of new companies to you know, bustle in, for example, big potato games, their company really wouldn’t have had a lot of success in the US without something like Cards Against Humanity, paving the way first. As a result of that. Now you see a bunch of millennials thinking about gaming in a very new way they think it thinking about it as, hey, this is a good social experience that we can have with friends. Because in the past, you went over to friends house and you just sat and you drank and you talked. But now with games, you had this opportunity where you could go over to the friends houses and you can have this experience it’s emotional journey with with other people were some people could be drinking, some people don’t have to drink, you could conversation over the topic of the game. And it provided a really nice focal point for everything that was going on. In addition, it was really approachable and really cheap, it had a very low barrier to entry. And a lot of people say that all video games are going to kill the board game industry. It’s so it’s such a miss. Because for your video games have a very high barrier to entry. If you start playing a game, you get really good at it really fast. And then suddenly, all your friends can’t play with you. Unless they’re at that same skill level. Whereas board games specific these mass games, you can just jump in and start having a very great experience all the same time. And the reason I’m saying all this is it all wraps up into millennials having a new appreciation for games as a medium. And as of that medium, they’re more open to exploring new games and something like that something that really filled that hole was Katon like a ton really blew up in the mass market pretty recently, just a couple years ago, even though it’s been growing in the in the hobby space for 10 plus years. And it blew up. Because now millennials had this new experience. It felt like monopoly, but everybody was playing all the same time. So it felt new. And you had that bartering experience that they already knew from monopoly. And they’re playing it with all these little bits. And, you know, there’s wouldn’t bits that you’re growing on the board. And this was the first experience that a lot of these kids and young adults had of this new board gaming trend. And as a result of all this now they’re open to exploring new games of stuff like Avalon that they never would have approached before. And they’re seeing that board games are a source of entertainment that are very easy to get into. And quite fun. And so I wouldn’t doubt that stuff like a ton really brought a lot of new people a lot of new blood into the, into the hobby space.

Josh Hale 33:27
So the second question I have is, and this is more of a personal one, because I’ve argued on this particular game that I’m going to bring to your attention, that it is very splendid life and the mechanics and I’m very curious as to your opinion. And what I’m looking here for initially, it’s just a, you know, yes, I see that or No, I don’t. And then I’m going to explain to you why I see that briefly. And then we probably probably ought to wrap it up. Otherwise, we’re going to be talking about games for you know, for rest of you know, humanity. Um, so one of the games that I saw that had very, very splendor, like, attributes to it was mystic veil, have you played mystic veil?

Unknown Speaker 34:13
I have not.

Josh Hale 34:14
Okay, so mystic veil is a game where you’re pulling resources to build cards, which is the same idea as what splendor as. And as you’re building these cards, you’re actually putting cards into sleeves to make your own cards more powerful, rather than just using the jewels like you doing Mr. And spot. And I always ask people that question when we play splendor is, do you see this as a splendor type game? And is it a better splendor? Or is it a worse wonder. And it’s amazing to me, for me personally, because I see the mechanics, and maybe I’m looking too closely at mechanics where other people are looking at theme or something. But to me, it’s a very similar game. And regularly I have people tell me that I’m abnormally dumb for thinking that, and I was just curious where you would fall in that, but if you haven’t played it, it’s kind of hard for you to see it. Um, so beyond that, man, thanks for coming on to long distance GAMING, thanks for just destroying man’s blender. And thanks for, you know, taking a little bit of time to chat after you had destroyed me and splendor and about 3.2 minutes. And making this podcast worth it for somebody listening, you know, driving home from work rather than, you know, the guy who happens to you know, work in his living room, and he is going to the kitchen when he’s done with work, because that is how fast you destroyed me.

Nick Metzler 35:46
Absolutely, it’s been my pleasure. And I don’t know if we’ve got a little bit more time. But I do have a little bit more to say about what kinda and one of our other games that’s coming out of Gen Con.

Josh Hale 35:55
Let’s hear man, what else do

Nick Metzler 36:00
so another game that we’ve got coming out is called Zodiac clash. And it’s a very light abstract strategy game. That came about because we were trying to make another center reading, basically. And I don’t know if anybody here knows the history of century but Santorini took like 10 years to make. And it’s been around for 30 years being refined, refined, refined before it got to Rockley, which is why it’s such a fantastic game. It’s had so much play testing. And Spin Master came to us and said, All right, we want another light abstract strategy game that has variable player powers, and it needs to be clean and concise, and we want it within nine months.

It’s like, Oh, no.

Are you kidding me? This is insane. Like, how are we supposed to do this? So I clubbed with three other game designers out in the space. One of them is Bluebeard. I don’t know if anybody knows blueberry, but he’s, he’s fantastic. And then or two other people who I know in love, and they were both fantastic game designers and the four of us worked ton of hours, we actually cracked it. And we’re coming out with Zodiac clashes. The basis is you are moving around AA for co centric ring, solar system board. It’s a fully holographic board, super cool. And you’re trying to align four stars from the iterating to the outer ring. And that would be really easy. But your opponent can spin those rings Miss aligning your stars at any given point in time. So it’s a constant battle between like how you should rotate these rings to align your stars. But planning one or two moves ahead so that your opponent doesn’t see it. And you can align it at the right moment. Every single person gets to be a Zodiac power. One of the 12 and all 12 are including the game in 3d miniature form, which we’re really excited about, because that doesn’t exist anywhere in the market right now. And so you get one, it allows you to break or bend the rules just like a god power card and center at would. And each power relates to your personality as well. So for example, if you are a Gemini, you know that your personality is quite split. And you can go from one extreme to the other extreme. So the game representation of that is we actually made the miniature come apart into pieces. And so you’ve got two movers that can move to different areas of the board instead of just one

arm. So we

were really excited about this game. And it’s got probably the coolest packaging we ever made in Spin Master history. It’s got a full clear front. So you can see the entire game you can see all the pieces, you can see everything on shelf, and it’s going to be on shelf at Target Walmart. But we’re launching a Gen Con super excited about that. And then we are launching two other games to marvel games at Gen Con as well. One of them Sinister Six, which is a Darrell Andrews in him and Adrian MSQ. Creation. So they’re going to be promoting that one a lot at Gen Con. So I won’t talk too much about that. I know. Man first people did a whole

segment about them already at a

dice, dice tower con.

But we’re coming out with what kind of forever as well. And that one I was super, super pumped about I made that one.

Unknown Speaker 39:19

Nick Metzler 39:20
the basis of that one is everybody wants to be the Black Panther. Right, but only one person can be the Black Panther. So you are the five tribes of what kind of working together to defend what kinda from a series of villains. And I know a lot of people are going to be like, Oh, well, it’s a cooperative game, if you guys are working together, but let’s be honest, these villains don’t stand a chance against you with the might have were kinda and the vibration that you have. So really, the game is about trying to get the most amount of glory in the form of what kind of points. So you’re going to roll a bunch of dice to damage the villain, you’re going to get points as a result of that. And the winner of the game is the person that has a certain number of points, and the title of Black Panther. It’s a very competitive game, you are constantly looking at each other trying to figure out what each other is going to do. And choosing when you should try and take the throne for yourself. So you can get more points, you can get bonus powers that make you infinitely stronger over the course of the game. And it’s just a really nice battle back and forth. Trying to decide how much my brain was should you use fighting the villain to get more points? Or should you save it to take the throne at the right moment? Or maybe if I don’t take the throne right now this person that has the throne is going to run away with the game. What do I do this a lot of difficult, meaningful choices in it wrapped around a very clear and simple game mechanics. I’m very, very excited about what kinda I think it’s going to be a knockout hit probably my first real knockout hit of my career. So I’m very excited to see where this one goes. Yeah, and I think a lot of people are going to like it. Most of my friends have been saying that it’s my best game yet. So

Josh Hale 40:57
so we’ll see. Sorry, you’re showing it Gen Con obviously.

Unknown Speaker 41:04
Oh, yeah, I’ll be there. Are you say?

Josh Hale 41:11
I said are you going to be a Gen Con yourself?

Nick Metzler 41:14
I will be there at Gen Con myself. You are more than welcome to come. Come over to me. We’ll have a conversation. I’ll be there all four days, I’ll probably be running the event Hall. But I might be in the booth every so often.

Josh Hale 41:28
Cool. So if you haven’t met Mr. Metzler, do say hi and Gen Con, we’re actually going to rush this podcast out because I want to make sure that everybody gets to hear forever before Jen on because I think it’s possibly got a possibility of being something really neat for Spin Master. And so, Nick, it’s been a pleasure having you on here. And I look forward to seeing you at Gen Con. And we will make sit down and play what kinda forever and Sinister Six. And also the third one that you’re showing a Gen Con,

Nick Metzler 42:07
Zodiac clash,

Josh Hale 42:08
Zodiac clash. And so we’ll get sat down and play all three. And I’d suggest anybody else that’s going to Gen Con to go over and take a look at spend Master, I’m sure they will have plenty of copies of Santorini on hand as well.

Nick Metzler 42:25
Yep, we absolutely will be selling all those games were expecting to sell out of what kind of sinister and Zodiac by day three. And we’ve got promos for what kind of sinister. So if you’re interested in getting that game on hand, at Gen Con, you should probably get there early. But at the same time, it’s going to be on Amazon, target Walmart. So if you miss it, you’ll be able to order it from there immediately. And we’ll give you the promo cards obviously. Before I go, I just started an Instagram earlier this month. It’s if you want to follow along, I’m doing game design tips as well as exclusive looks at new board games, especially from Spin Master. And once that I’m making and also kind of my thoughts on different games out in the marketplace right now. I just did one on King Domino. And I did a quick review on photosynthesis last night on my story. I might post it to my highlights, but it’s Nick Metzler dot games. So that’s n ic k.me tzler.jm ES. And you can follow along can be a pretty cool journey. Looking forward to it.

Josh Hale 43:33
Now, is this your first foray into Instagram? It is

Unknown Speaker 43:38
it doesn’t show?

Josh Hale 43:40
No, no, no, no, it’s just such an interesting animal because it’s not really like most the other social medias if it’s all about showcasing your photos, and I really enjoy Instagram because it’s got a whole lot less of the trauma. You see another social medias. And you get see cool things. I mean, that’s kind of one of the reasons, a lot of people stay in the hobbyist, the the eye popping cool factor.

Nick Metzler 44:10
It’s It’s really amazing what you can make in physical form and experiences, the emotional experiences that you can have, when you are properly engaged within that physical form with your friends, you can create whatever meaning that you want to make when you’re playing these games. And ultimately, that’s why I’m still in the space. And I really enjoy it. And I gotta say thank you for the hobby gamers. Because without you guys, I wouldn’t be in the same in this space. I really wouldn’t, I probably would have stuck to clues and monopolies.

Unknown Speaker 44:40
And Ben

Josh Hale 44:41
miserable. So thank you, obviously measurable. Nick, thanks so much for coming on. And hopefully, in August, we will have a announcement to make of our own that may tie into something. And that’s as much as I can say about that.

Nick Metzler 45:00
But it’s an announcement that may tie into something

Josh Hale 45:03
that’s it’s got to be it’s got to be that way right now, sadly, because I haven’t confirmed all the details. But I think if you’re listening this far into the podcast, that knowing what Mabel gamers does, you might be able to figure it out. So thanks so much. I’m going to end the podcast and thanks for coming on.

Unknown Speaker 45:22
Absolutely. My pleasure.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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