Sébastien Pauchon (SP) - Well, thanks you for your interest in me.
JP - I usually wake up not too early, because I also go to bed very late. Most of my working time is dedicated to GameWorks, the company we founded with Malcom Braff. Many e-mails, working on and making prototypes, brainstorming, following the productions of our games, that more or less sums up may day-to-day life. I still shoot pool every so often, I’m learning golf, I play the guitar when I can and play boardgames a couple of nights each week.
Apart from that, I also try and spend as much time off with my wife and daughter, who are just great.
JE - How do you define the “perfect game”?
SP - It’s a difficult question, because there are probably many answers. In the end, I believe it all boils down to this: the perfect game is any game that perfectly suits the people sitting around the table at a given moment, be it a strategy game, a bluff game, a party game, whatever.
JE - What is the feeling to see so many people enjoying your games?
SP - Well, I’m not sure there are sooo many people enjoying my games. I haven’t published that many games yet to begin with, and if the games I designed or co-designed have generally been rather well met by the public, it isn’t an unanimous welcome either…
Anyway, this being said, it is great to see people playing your games in conventions or gaming nights, having fun with them, sometimes being fully immersed in them. It gives you the impression that you achieved something neat, and that people are enjoying it.
JE - When you were a child did you imagine to have the success you have now as a boargames creator ?
SP - Nope. Designing boardgames has never been a childhood dream, as I started getting seriously involved only by 2003, and, well, I sure wasn’t a child anymore. So I can’t say I’ve been dreaming about this forever, since it came so late.
Now, if you’d have told me as a child that I would be designing games as an adult, I probably would have found the idea cool, but it all would have been rather misty.
JE - Is there any tematic that attracts you the most when creating boardgames?
SP - I must say that I’m a big sucker for all those worn-out themes like Pirates, Middle-Age, Exploration, Wild West, Discoveries, and so on. So nothing very original there, I’m afraid J.
JE - Which was the project that marked you the most? Why?
SP - Definitely Jamaica. We worked on it for 2 years, from the very first idea to the finished game, and looked after all the aspects of the production: gameplay, ergonomy, illustrations, print, you name it. It had already been the case with Animalia, but Jamaica has way more components, the rules needed more work, and so on.
JE - What can we expect from you in the future? News for Essen 2008?
We have designed another game (this time again with Bruno Cathala) for a Swiss firm called RedCut, which is called helvetIQ, but they publish it themselves, so it technically isn’t a GameWorks game. Other projects for 2009, but at the moment they’re still in our drawers.
JE - Keltis was Spiel des Jahres 2008? Did you already know the game? What do you think about it?
SP - I knew the game, because I had tried it in
JE - Have you ever been in
SP - Unfortunately, I have never been to
JE - Through the game
SP - Apart from the fact that Rüdiger and Hans im Glück already did a great job on
JE - What do you think about all the new games that have entered the market for the past years? Is there space for every one?
SP - Well, it is a sad truth, but there are just way too many games hitting the market each year. Don’t get me wrong, as a player I think it’s great, and it’s also great to see that it’s possible to publish nice games as a small or very small company. But only a few games have a chance to survive whith such competition, which means that many good or potentially good games simply vanish after a couple of months, and that’s a pitty.
JE - In the past you were a pool instructor right? Since the pool was a major part of your life...can we expect a boardgame with that thematic?
SP - There might be a dice game coming, but as the others, it is still in a drawer and needs more time put into it. It is of course a thematic a like, also because it is visually very strong.
JE - Thank you for giving us you opinions!