knizia.jpg The scary hairy monsters at tabletop gaming site OgreCave pointed our way to a spectacular collective of pen&paper game designer interviews recently compiled at Protospiel, a mid-2006 U.S. convention which is described as "an annual get-together of amateur game designers to test and promote nearly-finished game prototypes."

Some of those that even video game geeks might know include James Ernest, the Cheapass Games founder, and whose answers perhaps betray why Cheapass is one of the most loved companies out there: "Personally, when I am tired or drunk, and in the mood to gamble, I will seek out a game that requires no strategy at all!."

Even more interestingly, the Protospiel guys managed to collar Reiner Knizia, whose prolific Teutonic output of games such as Samurai have endured himself to many. His varied responses show some surprising (or unsurprising?) comparisons to the video game industry when pitching board game projects: "I feel particularly as a new designer that you want to have a very developed, very beautiful, very functional prototype. Because that's where you can differentiate yourself from other people with publishers, who look at it and catch an eye of it and will be interested in it because you offer something special. "