Board Game VIP – Bruno Cathala Interview

Board Game VIP

On this edition of Board Game VIP Bruno Cathala, a legend in the board game community, answers a few questions about board game design, games he’s looking forward to and what’s he’s up to now! We sent him a few of these questions and he was kind enough to answer them for us!

Matt, Flaming Dice Reviews – How did you get involved in the board game industry?

Photo from Click the image to visit Bruno's website!

Photo from Click the image to visit Bruno’s website!

Bruno Cathala –  As far as i remember, i always enjoyed playing games. As a child, it was basic games, like Monopoly, Risk, Cluedo, but also classics like Chess, Othello. When I was 20 (yes.. it sounds as “once upon a time…), I discovered that there was a life after Monopoly. I bought my first “modern” game. It was the first edition of “Fief” by Philippe Moucheboeuf. I noticed that this game was published because the designer won a game design contest. And, at this time, I said to me that, one day, I had to create my game, to win this contest and being published. But it was too early for me. I had no idea what to do. So, during years, I just focused myself on baying games, learning the rules, teaching them to my friends. Again and again. And, in 2000, being 37, I decided that it was time for me to try to create my own game. And… I was lucky enough to succeed in that project, finding a publisher. This game has been released in 2003 (Lawless)

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Matt, FDR – You’ve made some wonderful games over the years; Mr. Jack, Five Tribes, Shadows over Camelot, Abyss, and a lot more. Which one do you feel was the most innovative?

Bruno Cathala – I don’t know and frankly speaking, for me it’s not a topic. During the creative process, I never try to be innovative. The only thing which is important for me is the final taste of the game. Do I want to play it again myself after having playing it 10, 20 times. This is important. The experience is much more important for me that “innovation”.

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Matt, FDR -Looking back is there anything you would have done differently with any of the games you’ve made?

Bruno Cathala – As designer, year after year, you get more experimented. And year after year, the game scene changes. So, I’m quite sure that if i started any of my former games now, they would be slightly different, because of this growing experience, and because of the evolution of the game market. But one thing is sure: I have no regret with what i have done on all these games.

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Matt, FDR – What project(s) are you currently working on?

Bruno Cathala – Well.. I have a lot of projects (yes.. I’m still a lucky guy). Next year, my games will focuses on “building the best theater group in order to satisfy the king’s mood”, “crazy penguins wanted to rule the world”, and probably a big game in a steampunk atmosphere.

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Matt, FDR –  Did you get to attend Essen Spiel 2015? What was the highlight of the convention for you?

Photo from

Photo from

Bruno Cathala – I’m just back from Essen, (delay in posting this edition on my part) but I spent al my time on the booths of my publishers to support my new games and to meet all the passionate gamers coming there. So, I’m just reading the comments on internet to know what happened there!! But for my games, I just can say that 7 Wonders Duel has been really incredibly well received. More than 2000 copies were sold on the booth. And with Antoine we signed so many copies.. Thanks a lot to him for having offer me this opportunity to work with him on this 2 player game.

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Matt, FDR – Is there anything on the board game horizon that you’re really looking forward to?

Bruno Cathala – Yes. I’m waiting for Inis, an game from Christian Martinez. It will be released by Matagot next year, probably for Gencon i think. I’ve had the opportunity to play an advanced version of the prototype on a fair, and i fall din love with the game. To be honest, illustrations are not my cup of tea. They fit with the story, but not with my arsenal taste. But the game is fantastic.

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Matt, FDR – If you had to give aspiring board game designers a piece of advice what would it be?

Bruno Cathala – To playtest a lot To learn patience To test again and again To learn what to listen to, and what not to listen to To playtest a lot To take GREAT attention to write rules and probably.. to test again.     😉

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Bruno Cathala – Hoping these answers fullfill your expectations.   – Bruno

Matt, FDR – Thanks again, Bruno, for taking the time to answer them! 

To visit Bruno’s website click here!

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