Meet the Team: Jasper Damman
Jasper Damman is Everdreamsoft’s game designer. In this interview, he’ll tell you a bit about his job and role for Spells of Genesis.
Where do you come from, how old are you, where do you live ?
I’m Dutch, born in the small city of Woerden. I currently have been living for over 2 years in Utrecht. It’s the fourth largest city of the Netherlands, but the best one. A little bit small Amsterdam, but then younger: there are a lot of universities , startups and incubators. One of which is the Dutch Game Garden, where I work from (together wit a lot of game startups). I’m 24 years old.
What is your background? (studies, experience…)
I’ve done a bachelor: communication & multimedia design at the applied university of Amsterdam. Here I learned about interaction design, user experience design and game design. But most game design related experience I gained from making (board) games in my free time since I was 8. By working on Spells of Genesis (SoG) I was able to both use my education in design, and turn my hobby into a job.
When did you join the team and what is your role at EDS? Can you explain what you do?
I was one of the first to join EDS since we started working on SoG. It was in the fall of 2014. At that point we were working with a small team on early prototypes, generating buzz ad preparing the Token Sale in order to fund the full production of SoG. My role at first was working on a lot of different things, but as the team grew I was able to focus more on game design.
What is the importance of game design?
Game design is the foundation of the success of every game. It is what the programming, and visual teams work on top of. It is what lies beneath the art: mechanics, rules, user experience, balancing, level design. Basically if a game looks good (art), has no bugs (programming) but is still not fun, there is something wrong with the game design. It is a combination of a lot of fields (mainly psychology, economics and user experience).
What are the challenges you like the most?
Brainstorming and designing for new features, objects and spells that improve the strategic variety of the game, but add no complexity. With that I mean that it has to be simple to learn, but still very strategic. All good games have this principle (easy to learn, hard to master). With Spells of Genesis we also had this design principle with the intuitive arcade gameplay, but deeper strategy with different spells, cards and objects. In the long term I think SoG can become more and more strategic, and still be open to new casual players. We are adding some new objects and spells to the expansion we’re working on, for example, to push players to create new strategies.
What are the qualities of a good game designer?
It depends on what kind of game you design, but in general I would say:
- Good analyzing skills: able to analyze other games, player behavior and what makes certain things in games successful and what not.
- Be open to feedback and be able to provide solutions.
- Interests in different fields. Be interested in the world around you, what is happening, what processes are taking place.
- A game designer has to communicate with the developers, artists, marketing department and the players. As a game designer you should also have affinity or a bit of experience in each field.
- Be able to produce. You’re not just “the idea guy”. You need to be able to prototype, design, test and communicate and iterate on your ideas well. Get your hands dirty.
- And you should be a bit creative, of course.
What precious advice would you give to new players?
First of all: just start playing, read the tutorial a bit to learn the basics and you will make your way from there. It is also wise to play the specific campaigns that reward the cards you want to collect. Keep a diverse team and backup cards from different elements, to make optimal use of the element boosts in different campaigns.
What are you preferred cards?
In terms of gameplay I like the cards with a shield spell, as I love to optimize the timing of the provided block. In terms of artwork my favorite card is “The Griffin Tamer”, which is the quad fused version of Life Fruits Grower.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I just love to work on Spells of Genesis. And to see the feedback from the players. They have a lot of ideas on how to improve the game. I think that where the game is at the moment, and keeping in mind the things we can add to improve it, we have a long-term potential for success. Especially as you see the growing interest in blockchain technology from the game industry (we saw that at Gamescom recently), i think we can achieve a lot when we keep working hard. Finally, I’d like to thank all players for their feedback!