Do you ever wonder how your favorite board game was created? We had the opportunity to talk to a San Antonio couple, Lydia and Drew Mathis, about their tabletop game design company Tale Wagon Games.
GFSA - You guys are a programmer and a graphic designer. How did the idea of creating a board game happen?
TWG: About five years ago, we got pulled into the board gaming hobby by stumbling across the TableTop YouTube series that Wil Wheaton was putting out at the time. Since then, our board game collection has been growing exponentially, and it became a passion of ours to connect with other people over board games. We started up a monthly game night group 2 years ago that typically would meet at Compass Church (although we have been doing more things virtually through the pandemic). Still, it is open for anyone to join us to connect and play games together!
Around this time, Drew joined me on a trip up to Dallas for a creative conference I (Lydia) was attending. I was running my own freelance graphic design business; however, I wanted to find work that was a bit more fulfilling. So, that's when the idea came that a board game would be something that would be fun to design, and with Drew and my combined knowledge of board games, it could be an excellent project for us to take on together! So, on the car ride back home, we started brainstorming an extensive list of potential board game ideas, and we continue to keep that list going every time something sparks an idea. Then once the pandemic hit and my freelance business started slowing down a bit more, we figured that was the perfect time to dive into this and make it a reality!
GFSA: What kind of player do you design for?
TWG: Our ideal player enjoys having fun and wants exciting ways to connect with the people around them. At the moment, we are intentionally trying to make our games very approachable for new board game players to learn, but with enough strategy that a more experienced player will also get enjoyment out of it. We hope that people can use our games to share this hobby with their friends and family and that our games can be a tool to bring more people together!
Lydia and Drew’s most recent project is a game called “Tunnel Trouble.” Tunnel Trouble is a strategic family-friendly, tile-laying, press your luck style board game for 2-4 players. You play as a pocket gopher who is digging under a farmer's garden to find the most food without being caught by the farmer!
Tale Wagon Games plans on releasing Pocket Gopher on Kickstarter towards the end of 2021. A more definitive date will be released once they get closer to launching.