Dan Letzring has been making family-friendly and accessible tabletop games in the Rochester area as Letiman Games since 2013.
You’ll be able to catch up with Dan next weekend at the Rochester Mini Maker Faire, but first he answered a few questions for “Spotlight On” about Dino Dude Ranch: Hatchlings, his upcoming expansion to Dino Dude Ranch, which is now on Kickstarter.
Dino Dude Ranch: Hatchlings is an eggs-ellent expansion to your favorite family game. Hatchlings adds more decisions, more strategy, and more cuteness. In Hatchlings, players now have the opportunity to buy eggs and hatch babies to pair with parent dinosaurs. These eggs introduce more considerations when spending resources and also introduce a little press-your-luck into our beloved game. Hatchlings also introduces the Oviraptor, a new dinosaur who can only be lured to your ranch with unhatched eggs.
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: Can you explain how Dino Dude Ranch works for people who might not be familiar with the game?
Dan Letzring, Letiman Games: Basically, players are collecting food (meat, veggies, and fish) that are used to lure dinosaurs to their dude ranch. Players have hidden bonuses and can purchase Hired Hands to get discount dinosaurs or rarer food in order to lure the highest-valued dinosaurs to their ranch and assemble the most impressive dude ranch.
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: And what does the Hatchlings expansion add to the game?
Dan Letzring, Letiman Games: Hatchlings adds another layer of decision making and a way to get rid of spare resources that may not be needed to purchase the standard dinosaurs. It also adds cute baby dinosaurs into the mix!
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: Dino Dude Ranch: Hatchlings… actually, all of your games… are very family-friendly. What do you like about designing games for players of all ages?
Dan Letzring, Letiman Games: I have kids and enjoy playing games with them and I want other people to have the same opportunity. Our company motto is “Bringing family and friends together at the table with games.” We want people interacting and enjoying each other’s company, and we want to do it with games that both the adults AND children enjoy!
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: All of your games are also very compact and travel easily. Was that a deliberate design decision?
Dan Letzring, Letiman Games: When I first designed Dino Dude Ranch, there were not a lot of games in the medium-ish sized box (the game is 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches). Most games were either small or huge. I played one game around this box size and loved it! It was small/compact yet felt big as well. It was a nice middle ground that I really enjoyed, so I made my first two games this size because I loved it so much. Then when I published Gadgeteers I wanted a smaller, less expensive game, so I went with it and now Hatchlings will be about the same size as Gadgeteers. Smaller games are easier to ship, so it logistically makes much more sense to me!
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: The Kickstarter campaign for Dino Dude Ranch: Hatchlings started on Tuesday, and it’s already fully funded. First of all, congratulations. Secondly, do you have any advice for other game creators looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign?
Dan Letzring, Letiman Games: Thank you! My advice is to make sure you have an audience! Kickstarter will not just magically supply you with backers, you need to create buzz for your game and create your own audience prior to launch. This is hard and takes a lot of time and work but it is the best way to guarantee success!
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: Will attendees get the chance to try out Dino Dude Ranch: Hatchlings at your table at the Rochester Mini Maker Faire this year?
Dan Letzring, Letiman Games: Yes, I will have Hatchlings! This will be my fourth straight year attending the show, and it is one of my favorites as everyone there is just so passionate about making things! Even if they have no interest in games, we can find a common ground in appreciation of creative arts, and it is just great talking to so many passionate people!
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: You also had a table at this year’s Made In Rochester Game Festival, what do you like best about showing your games off at conventions?
Dan Letzring, Letiman Games: I just enjoy interacting with people and sharing common interests in games! I actually have had a lot of people come up to me that recognize me or my games and it is very humbling to hear how the game gets their family to sit around together and interact with each other instead of just watching TV or ignoring one another. I love helping bring people together!
John, ROC Game Fest Organizer: Thanks so much, Dan. Good luck with the rest of your Kickstarter campaign!
If you’re a game developer in Rochester and would like to talk about your game in a future edition of “Spotlight On,” please get in touch with John through our Contact Form.