Young Designers Spotlight: Maizy McNeil and Chloe Pritchett

They say great things come in small packages. That goes double for the delightfully colorful and completely adorable games these made by Maizy McNeil and Chloe Pritchett, both of whom under ten years old.

Crazy Unicorns

Maizy McNeil developed Crazy Unicorns (with the help of dad, Patrick) last year. The third grader says she was inspired by another family classic. “Uno gave me the idea. Because the mean cards are my favorite cards.”

Like may designers, she found challenges and rewards along the way. “(The challenge was) making it good enough by changing the cards all the time, and it was hard to find the right cards. Naming the cards was my favorite part because of all the funny names we came up with.”

The 8 year old offers the following advice to prospective game designers:
“1)If its good and other people will like it.
2) Have fun!”

Maizy’s upcoming game is Crazy Unicorns and the Quest to Save Fat Rhinos.

Oopsy Poopsy

Chloe Pritchett’s design journey was sparked by a history lesson. “When I was 5 years old, we were doing a homeschool lesson about the medieval times.  My momma and I played a game called “Sleeping Queens.”  I learned it was created by a 6 year old girl and her older sister…  I thought, if she can make a game, I can make a game too.  That same day my daddy came home from work, and I had made over 50 sticky notes about my game.  It was before I had cats, and I really loved dogs.  So, when I was thinking of a game, I thought puppies would make a good theme.” Oopsy Poopsy was born.

“I liked getting to spend time with my dad and designing the cards.  It was a lot of fun, and I was really happy we got to turn it into a real game that anyone can play.” Chloe continues. Her Biggest challenge? Naming the game. “I first wanted it to be called “Colored Puppies,” but my daddy thought it would be better to call it “Color Puppies.”  Later I decided to call it “I Want Puppies.”  A local toy store owner played my game and love it, but said the name had to go.  My daddy and I spent about a week every night, trying to come up with a new name.  We finally decided on “Oopsy Poopsy!” which was one of the cards in the deck.

The designer is already working on the next edition. ” I’m currently making a new version of Oopsy Poopsy that will have caticorns instead of puppies.  Mostly because I love cats and unicorns, but caticorns are the best… For this next version, I get to draw my caticorns with a note of what I want them to look like, and my daddy’s friend will draw them on the computer really, really good!  I’ve only sent him 2 caticorns pictures so far, and he’s only finished one, but it looks sooooo amazing!  I can’t wait for everyone to see them! I’m also thinking of other versions for Oopsy Poopsy!  I’d like to make different games someday too.”

Chloe’s advice for aspiring designers? “I would say that no matter how young you are, you can do it! It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely worth it.  It’s important to listen to what people say about your game because sometimes they have really good ideas on how to make it better.  But you also have to know when to listen to negative comments and when to ignore them and trust in your own ideas.”