Designing Women: Amelie Le-Roche

” Do your best, and you’ll create amazing things!” ~Amelie Le-Roche

After 11 years working in art and animation on AAA video games, Amelie Le-Roche jumps full into the fire with her first board game kickstarter this week. We’re huge dinosaur fans, so we were excited to ‘dig’ in with the artist/designer to discover her background and inspirations.

What got you started playing board games? 

Family. I grew up in France where games were more mainstream than it used to be here (USA). I grew up playing Le Menteur, Milles Bornes, Mouse Trap, Rummikub, and Uno. At family gatherings, the adults would actually play cards for hours (Belote). We couldn’t wait to be old enough to play with them. Family reunions still involve hours of games. (I also joined the chess club in third grade which is too much nerd cred, I feel)

What inspired you to design Dino Dig: Risky Sites? 

My husband. This was a birthday present to him, since he loves games and dinosaurs. His version still had a lot of issues, so I decided to keep developing it to eventually share with the world. 

Theme first or mechanic?

For me theme inspires the mechanics. I think of themes I like or don’t see in games, then I try to find a mechanic that would enhance it. The theme also helps with inspiration and motivation. 

Did you enjoy playtesting? Beast or burden?

I love it!! It’s been so much fun, even when the game is really broken. The people I’ve been lucky enough to have playtest my game have been tremendously helpful and enthusiastic about giving feedback. I love the back and forth of ideas, and problem solving together. Everyone thinks of different solutions and brings new creative ideas to the table.

Are you finding the community supportive? 

Extremely! Being in Los Angeles, there’s a lot of groups and resources available. I’ve gotten to know several designers and share excitement over our individual projects. Developing and launching a project is a huge undertaking, and I’m very grateful for all the advice from more experienced developers. I also try to give back to the community as much as I can by giving art feedback since that’s my background. 

Any challenges?

For me, the biggest challenges and headaches are all the technical issues. I’m an artist by trade, so the development is the fun, easy part, albeit time consuming. The logistics are where I really have to stretch my brain muscles. But I’ve done a lot of research and feel ready for this launch!

Whats your favorite game?

Quantum has been my favorite game for a while. I love sci-fi, so any space game will instantly grab my attention. Where I feel Quantum really stands outs for me is the balance between strategy and chance, replayability, and great at all player count. Seriously, go play it!

If you could give one piece advice to a new designer, what would it be?

In art school they say “do not marry an idea.” That means don’t get so attached to one thing (idea, art piece, concept, etc) that you cannot move away from. You need to be able to take apart your ideas, change things, rework others, and completely scrap parts. Listen to harsh criticism and try to apply it. A lot of people get defensive about their ideas, which I feel prevents growth. Do your best, and you’ll create amazing things! 

You can follow Amelie on Facebook, and Twitter.. And check out the Dino Dig: Risky Sites Kickstarter!