A few weeks ago, we introduced a fab new game, where weird creatures roamed and battles were imminent - Creature College! In the game, you complete missions, build your research lab and annihilate your enemies to gain the most victory points. We caught up with Creature College creator, Orhan Ertughrul from Happy Otter games, to find out what inspired him to make the game and a sneak peek at what's coming up in the future!
Give us a bit of an insight to your company. How long have you been producing/designing games?
Happy Otter Games is a relatively new company. We had the idea for Creature College mid 2014, developed and launched it on Kickstarter during 2015 and we're now looking at delivering our second game in 2017. Our design and development cycle was about 12 months.
What or who inspired you to start your gaming journey and why?
I've been gaming since the age of about 11 so around 37 years! However, my inspiration for Happy Otter Games was my kids; I wanted to create a game that they'd enjoy and that my games group would also enjoy.
What games do you have available for us to play today?
Today we have Creature College, a bidding and battling game with fantastical creatures and great characters. It plays up to 6 players and is great for kids from the age of 8 (although my son was playing it like a boss at the age of 7!)
How did you get the ideas for your games?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my children. I rely on them a lot to tell me what they think looks cool in the artwork or what they enjoy playing. Some of the time though, ideas for games pretty much just pop into my head. I'm definitely also influenced by going to games shows like UK Games Expo and Essen Spiel. There are some amazing designers out there who regularly inspire me with cool game mechanics and amazing artistic design. I also work with some incredibly talented artists and their art often inspires ideas for how certain mechanics should work.
What games do you play and which is your all time favourite?
Gosh, favourite games are always hard because it changes over time. I do have some favourites though. Terra Mystica is right up there along with T'zolkin by Czech Games. For quick fun games, I'd probably go for Augustus, Ra (by Reiner Knizia) and Seven Wonders.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
In 2017 we're launching a game called 'Ninja Snails' that is a game of battling Ninja's who are...well...snails. This is a fun pell-mell game for 2-7 players with the same artist that helped us with Creature College. We have a high Norse Fantasy game called Sverdgard which is a more complicated game that we're hoping to launch in 2018. We also have a tabletop figure game planned for 2020 but that's at a very early concept phase.
And finally...any words of advice to new and old gamers?
For new gamers, I think it would have to be: Enjoy the game and don't get too hung up on winning. The joy of games comes from meeting great people and having fun with them. If you win, it's a bonus. For old gamers: Try new games! There are some amazing games and fantastic new designers out there. Great new companies like Mantic, Hawk Games, Steam Forged to name but a few, who are producing really clever enjoyable games. Make a pact with yourself to try at least 5 new games this year!