We're continuing our Meet the Team series today by chatting with the Creative Director of Broomstick Monkey Games, Jarom Chung. In addition to his own game design efforts, Jarom has played a huge role in developing Imperial Harvest and playtesting the game along with promotional content. (Yep. It's coming. Get excited.) Get to know what games Jarom will never play again, and how he got involved with Broomstick Monkey Games.
What is your role at BMG?
Jarom Chung: My official title is Vice President and Creative Director.
How long have you been gaming/how did you get into gaming?
JC: As a kid, I played a variety of board games with my family, but I didn't really enjoy them since there was little to no strategy involved (I will never play Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders ever again). I really started getting into gateway games when I was a junior in high school. I was in a two-person Linear Algebra class, and the course was designed to let us go at our own pace under the tutelage of our teacher. It was a really relaxed class even despite the work load, so we would frequently play games when we finished our lecture quickly and understood it. Settlers of Catan was my first gateway, and I was hooked from there!
What are your favorite games or types of game?
JC: I'm a social gamer, meaning that I love playing games with people. It's tough to say which are my favorite types games without including information about my friends. I really enjoy all types of games with the right type of people. Generally speaking, I enjoy games with a good amount of strategy, an element of luck or unpredictability, a wide target audience, and that play in less than 45 minutes. As for my favorite published games, I like Sentinels of the Multiverse, Acquire, Lords of Waterdeep, Nertz and Canasta. To be frank, 8 Kingdoms and Imperial Harvest have become some of my favorites as well. These two games were really designed to be games that both Justin and I would enjoy... and we do!
What made you want to work for Broomstick Monkey Games?
JC: I was one of Justin's first play testers for Royal Strawberries. After playing the game, he asked for critiques and ways to improve the game. That one game grew into hours and days of discussion and brainstorming. I really loved trying to improve the game and work out the kinks. I started to feel invested in the game, but I tried to hold back my excitement for fear of steamrolling Justin's game. When possible, I helped him with play testing, setting up for conventions, and working out mechanics. What shifted my role from play tester to Creative Director/VP was the challenge to create a game out of a custom deck containing 8 suits with ranks 0 - 21. Justin had issued the challenge to others, but no one seemed to take the bait quite enthusiastically as me. I created a rudimentary version of 8 Kingdoms. Justin was pleased and asked me to join Broomstick Monkey Games. How could I say no!?
What do you hope to see Broomstick Monkey do in the future?
JC: In the future, I hope Broomstick Monkey continues to create gateway and garden games that would be enjoyed by both gamers and non-gamers alike. I hope that the Broomstick Monkey Games name grows to the point that people will want to publish their games as well. I also hope that we will be able to dispense the useful information to the board gaming community.