Ignacy Trzewiczek is the cookie loving mastermind behind Portal Games. He has designed several great games, including one of my favourites: Imperial Settlers. He’s a guy full of energy (probably because of all the cookies he eats) and he’s very active on social media. So let’s learn a bit more about him shall we.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I work at Portal Games, I am CEO of the company and head of development team. I work hard, I love my job and I love people involved in the hobby. I am living my dream.
What’s your favourite game?
Really? You want me to pick one game out of 60.000 games that were released in the past 20 years? it’s not gonna happen. You cannot make me choose Time’s Up over Twilight Struggle. I won’t pick Settlers of Catan over Millennium Blades. I will not pick Commands and Colors just to ignore Codenames.
I love this hobby because of richness of experiences it offers. There is a great game for each mood, for each evening, for each situation.
What game would you use to introduce new people to the hobby?
Settlers of Catan is the best choice, I used it hundred of times and in most cases it was the right choice. This is the gateway game and I strongly recommend it.
What’s your best game experience?
Drinking tea, eating cookies and having a great time with my friends. I love games with interaction and table talk, and playing Bohnanza, Resistance or Mall of Horror is always a blast.
What is the most important aspect of playing games for you?
Having a laugh with my friends. I play to meet with friends. It’s a reason to meet them and spend time together.
Why do you design games?
Apparently I am pretty good at this. It was not my goal at the beginning. I found Portal Games to publish magazine about roleplaying games and I was writer and editor. After few years I discovered that I might have a right skillset to design board games and here I am.
What are you most proud of?
That Board Games That Tell Stories means something and Portal Games logo means something as well. I am proud that for many gamers and geeks we build a brand that is trusted and respected and my patience and work for years let us build great reputation.
What is the most import part of making a game for you?
Game flow is the king and most important. I do my best to make games smooth and fast. Of course it is super difficult in the genre I design, complex, big productions but Iearn, I improve, I believe each of my new games has a better flow than previous one.
Do you usually like to start from the theme or mechanics?
Theme is my choice!
Where do you find your inspiration for new game themes and mechanics?
Robinson Crusoe was inspired by a book. Stronghold was inspired by a book. First Martians was inspired by a book… I design Board Games That Tell Stories and I am a huge book worm. This is perfect match for me – take a great book and try to adapt the story into set of rules.
Great interview. Short and to the point 🙂
Peter H. Møller
Thank you. I always leave it to the designers how deep they want to go. It’s nice they do it in different ways 🙂
Great interview – and the tabletoptogehterTOOL is sooooo amazing!