Matt Golec wears multiple hats these days, though he is most widely known in the gaming world as the co-designer of Penny Press. Coming from his background in print journalism before diving into game design, Matt paired with Robert Dijkman Dulkes to create a game that showcased their mutual fascination with the Yellow Journalism era of newspapers.
Matt currently lives in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and keeps himself busy designing games, doing freelance writing, enjoying the outdoors (when he can), and being a full-time parent. The most recent addition to all that has been his interview series here at The Cardboard Republic, which focuses on exploring the often unreported roles that exist within the hobby industry.
The Five Questions
What was your gateway game?
I played a bunch of games as a kid – Civilization, Star Fleet Battles, Car Wars, plus the usual mass-market titles – but Dungeons & Dragons was the game that changed my whole concept of what a game could be. I took a break from gaming from college through my 20s, then came back after the Catan / Euro renaissance, but those early D&D games, played with nothing more than paper, pencils and a couple six-sided dice, were how I got pointed down this path.
What was the last game you really enjoyed playing?
[As of September 2016] Pandemic Legacy really captured my imagination. I like games with campaigns and characters that carry over from session to session, such as Imperial Assault and Descent. Another game I enjoy a lot is Vikings. It’s got a cool bidding wheel combined with meeple placement and a Carcassonne-like tile puzzle. Great fun!
How big is your game collection?
I’ve made a semi-conscious effort to limit my collection to about 100 games. There’s space considerations, of course, but there’s also just so many games I can keep in my head. If a game doesn’t totally grab me, or if I know I’m not going to play it, I’m happy shuffling it off to someone who’ll get more enjoyment out of it.
What is your favorite type of game to play?
I generally like thematic games like Descent, and there’s no shortage of great Euros, such as Vikings. If pressed, I might say I’m not into abstracts and war games, but then again I really dig Hanabi and Command and Colors: Ancients. I do appreciate how games today are really blurring the boundaries among genres, so you might find a thematic Euro on the game shelf sitting right next to a war-dexterity game.
How do you feel about Monopoly?
My son got (slightly) into Monopoly a few years back, so I’ve played it somewhat recently. It’s not that bad, especially with the correct bidding / trading rules, but it’s still too long for a roll-and-move game.