Welcome to the latest edition of Micro Chat. This time we are talking with head honcho at Button Shy - Jason Tagmire, on his game currently on Kickstarter, Hot Dogs.
In Hot Dogs, you will need to craft a variety of frankfurters quickly and accurately using your ingredient cards, but you are working with a head chef that is trying to mess you up. In order to gain a point, you must win one round, take a detriment card and then win the next round. You could say you need to win "at your Wurst point"! If nobody succeeds, the chef scores. Play continues until all players have been chef. To win you have to make 'em fast, make 'em right and do it all before the other players ketchup.
What's the story behind the creation of Hot Dogs?
Jason: A few years ago I had the pleasure of playing some games with Marty (my brother in law and Wild Cats co-designer/artist) and the Flip the Table crew at their home base during a family vacation. This was something we've done a few times and the piles of games that are available are always the best. We chose The McDonalds board game, which has players roll and move around the board and then at times enter a phase where one person reads off an order and all other players must quickly put together their ingredients then throw a marble into a little McDonald's display in the center of the table. The marble at the bottom wins, only if their order is right.
So this stuck with me for a long time. I loved the speed aspect mixed with the suspense of the marble drop, and I wanted to achieve that feeling in a game of my own at some point.
Fast forward to this year, where we are talking about the spiritual successor to Wild Cats. WE wanted to collaborate again, and capture the same lighthearted tone but in a new game. Then Marty sends me a drawing he made of a hot dog with the head of a real dog, and I realized that it was both the Wild Cats successor we were looking for and the chance to get that McDonald's essence into a new game.
What was the hardest part of the gameplay to nail down?
Jason: The game was about being the fastest player to parse, assemble and slam down the correct ingredient cards, but I wanted to take t one step further. I wanted there to be an interesting scoring system.
One that I kept coming back to was winning two in a row. In order to win a round, you need to win twice in a row. But the second time should be harder than the first.
Originally the winner had to flip over the hot dog card so their hands were occupied for a second before they could react and start to assemble their ingredients, but we took it up a notch and made the player take the hot dog card that they won from the last turn. The hot dog card has a downside (play with one hand, stack all of your ingredients, etc), so winning that second round is tough.
This solved the issue of having an interesting scoring mechanic as well as making it easy to track scores using just 18 cards.
Speaking of ingredients - what makes the ultimate hot dog in your opinion?
Jason: Cream cheese. We may have just lost half of the readers, but those of you that are still here... it's like the secret sauce for an amazing hot dog. Cream cheese, Sriracha and onion is pretty amazing.
Now if toppings are limited, spicy mustard and relish will do the trick, and if we're going all out, Columbian hot dogs are creations of wonder.
Mayo, pink sauce, pineapple, crushed potato chips and cole slaw are the staples of a good Columbian hot dog.
You mentioned Marty is doing the art. Do you have a favorite piece of dog art in the game?
Jason: It's hard not to pick the Chihuahua not only because it looks awesome, but also because it was based on my half-Chihuahua half-WEINER dog, Bitsy. Marty took inspiration from his own dog and mine in the initial batch.
As we wrap this up, what would you say was your favorite piece of feedback you got from Hot Dogs where you were still testing it out?
Jason: Jay Treat said winning two in a row was elegant. I will hold onto that one for a long time. It could even be the subtitle of the game: "Hot Dogs: Jay Treat said winning two in a row was elegant."
Want to learn more about Hot Dogs? Want to own a copy so you can become the Wurst in Show? You can find more info on the Kickstarter which can be found by clicking here. It will be on Kickstarter until Saturday, December 17, 2016.
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