Interview with Jay Cormier, Co-Creator of Belfort and Train of Thought

Meet Jay Cormier. Together with Sen-Foong Lim, he has published board game titles such as Belfort (2011) and Train of Thought (2011) under the duo’s moniker, the Bamboozle Brothers. But that’s not all! As of June 2013, Jay also teaches the Game Theory Analog class at VFS, passing on his years of board game design experience. But wait – there’s more! Jay is also a tech blogger and a children’s entertainer, clowning around Canada with his jungle-explorer persona Bertolt. I chatted with Jay about how he got into game design, coming up with Belfort and it’s upcoming expansion, as well as advice for fellow game designers who are looking to get published.

Growing up with a family that played lots of board games together, Jay became interested in designing games at an early age, eventually taking on his first dungeon master role for the fantasy tabletop game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ in seventh grade.

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GD34 Board Game Presentations

For those of you who read my previous blog post, you may have been wondering why we devoted 3 hours each week to playing board games in class.

For these babies:

They might not look like much in their boxes, but they are the result of hours of work by individuals and partners, slaving over rule sets and playtesting sessions to create kick ass board games for our Game Theory Analog class.

The requirements were simple (not really):

  1. Interesting or unique concept.
  2. Core mechanics that match the theme.
  3. Game mechanics that lead to fun and interesting decisions for the target audience.
  4. Play-test documentation
  5. Clear, easy to understand and logical rules – with game play examples and images.
  6. Boxed game with neatly stored components and functional artwork.
  7. In-Class Presentation of the goal and core mechanisms of the game, as well as the evolution of the game from conception through to final prototype.
  8. BONUS POINTS for anything that exceeded expectations.

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