Passion: Modern Strategy board games
Background: JD is not only passionate about board games, but also the ability to curate an experience for friends and family through this shared interest. JD thrives on relating with people and serving them an evening of conversation and fun. He is co-creator (with Jon Liak) of the Animeeples app that gives board game enthusiasts a platform to post photos and log details of the games they play. This app was designed and built from scratch to benefit the community of board game enthusiasts. Check it out at animeeples.com
"It started with us picking up Settlers of Catan, we just started looking for more and more games that were different from the typical classics of Sorry! And Monopoly. Then, the challenge of taking an entire night trying to figure out a new board game became an obsession. At that point, we realized we just wanted to see how many different games we could try out.
If you’re playing these Euro-style strategy games, it’s going to be different every time. The more decisions you’ll need to make in a game, the more it becomes something that you’ve built and it’s an experience."
"Board games give the night a sort of structure, people come to our house and we can entertain. We know that we have something we’ll do… friends can take a look at the game wall and decide what they'd like to play. Before that, it felt like we’d go out and just spend time somewhere. Now our friends are excited to come over and try something new. We have some friends that will actually stay an extra day so they have enough time to do some more gaming."
"It’s enhanced a lot of the friendships we have. Sometimes, you don’t even care who wins, there’s just this story that comes from a time you played a game with some friends and it becomes something you end up referencing every time you’re together."
"People in the board game community are enhancing the experience for other people. There are endless things being created: upgraded component pieces, player aide cards, or things that make it easier for people to organize and manage. You even have people making specialized board game tables that have everything a gamer would need.
For us, we wanted to have an app to keep track of the games you’re playing, and share them with other people. That’s the void that Animeeples was mainly meant to fill. You can post the games you’re playing, who you’re playing them with, and you can share them with other people. It allows you to connect with people that you didn’t already know and see which games they’ve been playing."
“Whatever your side-interest is… whether it’s wood-working, antiques, movies, sports, etc. This is where I think social media really shines. Specifically, the board game community has been really cool. There are people on Instagram and the Animeeples app that will ask a question like ‘How is this game with two players?’ and someone else will take the time to write out a really thorough response. They aren’t selling anything, they are just really passionate about board games."
“Board games open up opportunities for adults to meet new people and make friends. Most adults are no longer going to school, or playing team sports, or attending organized activity nights. I work from home, so I also don’t have ways to bump into people and meet anyone on my way to work, etc.
When we do arrange a board game night, it’s a way to bring everyone together. Some people have kids, some people are single, some people are married. For a game night, you bring them all together and provide a comfortable environment to share in a common experience for an evening."