Michael Schacht

#1 Michael Schacht

1. Michael Schacht made in Germany or in European Union?

Neither of the two. My knowledge of card and boardgames was very small when starting to design. Just the major international games and traditionals like "Monopoly", "Risk", "Pachisi", "Check", ... I even knew more about computer games but at that time it wasn't common to create computergame-like boardgames.

2. You're the proud owner of how many games?

Have never counted. Most of the games at home are my own designs. Let's say I have a hundred from other designers, these I need mostly for my gaming groups and just a few are for my own pleasure.

3. Games: business or pleasure?

It started with "pleasure". Since I am working full-time as a game designer "business" got a part of it as well. But I wouldn't have quit my before main job if it was not about the pleasure, as earning real money is quite hard with boardgames over the time .

4. Define a good game

A good game needs to have a good mix of recipes and a fascinating mechanism. A good visual concept can help a bit. This makes the difference between a "just" working game and a longtime hit. For me good games have just a few rules and players have to work a bit for the game (not automatically playing well). That gives each match a personal feeling and a unique impression.

5. The prettiest game you've ever played.

There's no favourite. At the moment the visual quality is extremly hight even with the small publishers. One of the latter impressive ones is "Asara".

6. Theme or mechanic?

It is good to have an organic connection between mechanism and theme. If you start developing with a theme this is easy to reach, you can always judge the mechanism against the theme. If I start with a mechanism I try to find the right theme as early as possible to be able to find a strong connection in the rest of the development. Sometimes it is better to have no theme when mechanism and theme doesn‘t fit well.

7. Throw a die or draw a card?

Maybe not both in the same game as it multiplies the luck component.

8. A game you can't win!

There are even some of my own games that I can't win, for example "Felinia".

9. Inside the industry: are you a boy-scout or a barracuda?

I defenitely would like to be a barracuda but I often feel more like a boy-scout ...

10. Jesus Christ; Martin Luther King; Mother Theresa; Ghandi; who would you like to beat in a game?

Send me whoever you want, I always want to win :-)

11. Do you search for the holy grail?

In a way I am searching for small holy grails. For example with "Zooloretto" with its success I have now the chance to design a whole game family the way I prefer. Same can happen with "Mondo".

12. What game would you play when: drinking a whisky; drinking a beer; drinking wine; drinking milk.

Whisky: "Pingu Party"

Wine: "Kakerlakenpoker" (Bug Bluff)

Beer: "Sankt Petersburg"

Milk: "Brass"

(sorted by the dificulty level of the drinks)

13. A single game that you would save in the Congress Library.

Something others should decide.

14. A game not yours that you would like to be yours. Why?

I would choose "Cartagena" from Leo Colovini because it works for all kind of groups, over the years. My ideal.

15. Who else would you chose to design Zooloretto?

That would be really interesting. Maybe with very different designing styles, like for example Martin Wallace, Dirk Henn and Heinz Meister.

16. Something that you know only because you've played a game?

In designing: I often have that when designing. A specific idea that I am thinking of as not working good appears in the test as suprisingly working good (and vice vera of course).

In general: you can even learn in a first match something about the people taking part.

In specific: when playing "Speicherstadt" (The Warehouse District) I knew afterwards that the mechanism i also used for "Felinia" can be told more straight-forward.

17. To whom would you take your hat?

This is not a personalized thing for me as I think all designers can have really creative ideas. If I see a great solution in a game that I play I take my hat virtually to the designer. Of course there are some designers that have often the great ideas.

18. The glass is half full or half empty?

Mostly the glass is full as I need the motivation to finally get a game complete.

19. Complete this sentence: Here RIP Michael Schacht who...

A little morbid :-) well, have never thought about that one.

20. Future projects: Michael Schacht ©2011...

At the coming Essen fair there will be a new boardgame design released by the german publisher "Argentum", that has no name so far.

The interesting point is that this is a gamer game having up to 10 possible strategies but can be played in 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the practice and the number of players.

At the moment "My Monster" is on the way to the warehouse. There should be another kids game in the "Socken zocken"-series (Lucky sock dip) in Essen.

There should be also some more "Mondo" stuff to come: the plan is a bigger expansion and a stand-alone maybe next year.

Some digital projects are also in progress. There will be Apps of "Richelieu" and "Where is Leo?". I learned the programming langage of the onlinegame framework i have on my website, so i was able to make some modifications and start a series of maps for "China", one per month and lasting for a year. I hope i will have the time to implement another game there this autumn.

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