221 – Games, Art, and Design with David Diaz – The Family Gamers Podcast
This week, we have David Diaz, creator of Fossilis and head of Mesa Game Lab.
Thanks to our sponsor First Move Financial – go to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers and schedule a free time to talk.
What we’ve been playing!
Tidal Blades (Skybound Games)
Draftosaurus (Ankama / Luma Games – one of our favorites)
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion
Tang Garden (ThunderGryph /Lucky Duck Games – our review)
Shifting Stones (Gamewright)
The Bears and the Bees (Grandpa Beck’s Games) – a fun casual game, but we only ever play a single round, instead of the three that the rules suggest.
Zombie Kidz Evolution
Chess – our children go through phases of playing this obsessively with each other.
Mesa Game Labs started during the ramp up to the Kickstarter for Fossilis. David wanted to create some of the animated GIFs to show gameplay, and asked two of his animator buddies to help. Now Mesa Game Labs offers the whole pipline for animations, videos, Kickstarter page design, and even game bits.
Started with inspiration of the kids “digging for dinosaur bones” in the sandbox.
David quickly discarded cardboard pieces, because they don’t slide. But dominoes do! He found square dominoes and started experimenting. The base he built with LEGO, using smooth top pieces so the dominoes could slide smoothly.
It was very much a kids’ game when Kids Table Board Gaming first saw it at ProtoTO, and the idea hooked them right away.
We love how the game presents so intuitively – you can tell immediately that you’re going to push the tiles around and look inside.
More about Mesa Game Lab
David has a career in animation, starting in children’s animated shows, more recently doing creatures and things for live action. He has been getting tired of always working for other people and having to constrain his creativity based on all the steps above him.
So game design and game animation was a way for him to work creatively outside of his day job. “I had to become a game designer to start my own animation company.” It’s rewarding because he can do the art direction as well as a lot of the animation and editing.
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