Nightlight Interview – Benny Sperling

This week we interview Benny Sperling, creator of Junk in the Trunk

Welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Benny Sperling, from New York, living in Arlington, TX.

What game or games have you had published? 

I’ve self-published 4 games: Junk in the Trunk, Hot Dog Hooligans, Smithy, and Protect Your Nuts. They are all on boardgamegeek.com, none are currently in print, but there may be some folks selling or trading them. I have several games out to major publishers and hope to hear good news soon.

Do you publish under your own design label?

I published the first 4 games under Gurken Games with some friends. Going forward, I have no plans to create a design label, but who knows.

How long have you been designing games?

I have been designing games for about 5 years.

How much time do you spend designing and playing games?

All of my free time, including downtime at work! It’s become like a second job.

What types of games do you enjoy playing?

I prefer Euros. I like the economic engine, efficiency games. Particularly Stefan Feld’s games. I also like area control games, without direct conflict.

What’s your favorite game other than one you’ve designed yourself?

It made me laugh that you assume games I designed were my favorites. I really love Macao, In the Year of the Dragon, Castles of Burgundy, London, A Few Acres of Snow, Le Havre, Citadels, and Princes of Florence. Munchkin will always have a special place in my heart though, as it got me into gaming again.

Of your own projects, which is your favorite and why?

I really love this airship game (as yet untitled) I have been working on for a year or so. It marks my transition to board games rather than card games. It’s a bit far off in playtest, but it’s really a great game. Very heavy euro with a pick up and deliver mechanism.

I also really like Streets of Laredo. It’s been in playtest nearly as long as the airship game. I hope to send it out to publishers in the coming weeks. I’m also planning to put it on thegamecrafter.com so those who are interested can grab a copy.

Junk in the Trunk is my favorite of the early games. It marked the pinnacle of team creativity.

What keeps you motivated to design games?

The hope of getting published again. I’ve been a published author and so this would be a great step in my creative future. Also, designing the best possible game I can imagine. I see a lot of untapped themes and think, “that would be an interesting game”. Being able to travel to conventions also keeps me motivated. I hope that my designs will end up in the hands of gamers who really like them.

What advice would you give to aspiring game designers?

Don’t quit your day jobs! No, seriously, don’t quit your day job.

Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like us to know about?

Yes! Streets of Laredo will be coming to thegamecrafter.com in the coming months while I try to option it to publishers. It’s a cowboy card game with dice and optional conflict. I also hope to have Cthulhu a Go-Go in playtest shape soon so if you’re interested in playtesting it, let me know.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I want to give a shout out to Eddie of Nightstalker Games, he’s a great guy! Also thanks to all of the wonderful designers I banter with on Twitter, I recommend following them.

Do you have a Twitter account, Blog or Facebook page you’d like to share with your fans?

I have Twitter: www.twitter.com/benny275

I also demo games of Eagle and Gryphon Games, you can see my reports on several of their games on boardgamegeek.com

I love this hobby as anyone on twitter who follows me can attest, it’s a great community as well. I have met so many great and helpful folks over the years.

Benny, it’s been great chatting with you! I wish you the best of luck with your games!

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