With the game rules and style of play shaping up nicely, I needed to find someone who could actually bring it to life in a professional way. Without hesitation, I reached out to Pat Hayes Kaufman at The Design Company. Pat and I did a lot of work together when I was directing Breakthrough Saint Paul. She was always a pleasure to work with, and everyone loved her designs.
After my initial proposal to her, I asked my brother to drop off a prototype at her house. She played it with her family and enjoyed herself. Because she believed in the potential of the game, and because we worked well together in the past, Pat agreed to partner with me and to do the design work on the game! I was ecstatic.
Looking back, there is absolutely no way we could have done it without such a strong previous working relationship. Given that I am in Beijing and she in Saint Paul, the communication challenges were many. Obviously, we could not meet face to face. But 13-14 hours time difference and expense also made phone calls impractical. So literally ALL of our communication during the entire design process was done via email. By all means it wasn’t easy, but with anyone else, the situation would have been impossible.
As you will see in the upcoming posts, having Pat partner with us was literally and figuratively a game changer. From this post on, when you read “we” in reference to “Snake Oil”, add Pat to the list of people that includes.