Interview with Jamie Noble Frier

Over the next few months I am aiming to have conversations with varying artists, designers and personalities in the board and tabletop game industry to help to put some context around the people who make it the place that it is. This week I had a chat to Jamie Noble Frier of The Noble Artist and the designer of upcoming card game Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails, that will hit Kickstarter later this year.

Jamie is a talented artist and is now in the play-testing phase of his new game, making the rounds of conventions like the UK Games Expo and has been involved with board games for the past 10 years after he rekindled his love for playing quick board games during lunchtimes at the indie video game studio he used to work for as an artist:

We all joked about designing our own board games, and I kind of started to thing more seriously about it. It still took me a long time to decide to actually take one much further than an idea though. I left the video game industry a few years later and began working freelance as a book cover artist and… a board game artist. Meeting designers, following and taking part in blogs and Facebook groups dragged me in further. As I began to look for work deeper, I began to learn more. I’d worked on some successful Kickstarter titles and at this point I was playing a lot more games, absorbing more mechanics and working out stuff I really liked (and disliked). I started messing around with design about three years ago, when I tried to make the biggest, deepest game ever. Then met a few guys who were working on games and told me to start small. “Make a card game”, they said. Of course, I’m no good at staying small, being an artist I want elaborate exciting things. So Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails is my “scaled down game” which is not all that scaled back, it just doesn’t contain the miniatures I probably would have dived into, had I have not listened to the advice of a few good people.

You can find a ton of Jamie’s work on his website – The Noble Artist – and he states that he has worked on a few Kickstarters, as an artist, that are currently in various stages of development. As for what he is working on at the moment:

Some stuff I’m not allowed to talk about, and some stuff I can! I’ve been working on more stuff for the incredibly dark dungeon crawler Perdition’s Mouth fairly recently. I’ve been the main artist on the game since the start, so it’s really become a firm favourite to work on. 

So after all this immersion in the industry, what are some of Jamie’s favourite games?

Not in any particular order, but games that have either been a regular feature on my table, or new surprises: Gloomhaven, Scythe, Mage Knight, Blood Bowl Team Manager (regular features) and Roll Player (the new surprise that I want to return to my table). As you can see I love fantasy games, theme is really important to me, but the strategy and the game play is what hooks me in for a return visit. That’s why although there’s a good chunk of dice-rolling and luck in Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails, I spent a lot of testing time making sure the strategy layer is solid. It’s all about using the right card at the right time and countering your rivals’ plays.

Jamie’s game Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails has a Facebook Group and you can also use this email sign up form for notifications on when it goes live. We will provide further information about the game itself closer to the launch date.

Thanks Jamie for your time, another recommendation of Roll Player means that my purchase of this game is ever closer!

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