We at Green Akers Games had the opportunity to interview the brains behind a project that is currently on Kickstarter, Simon Haas! Simon was willing to take the time and share with us some information about his company and about his new game Zoocracy. We'd love for you to take a few minutes and check our what Simon is up to with Haas Games and what Zoocracy is all about! Be sure to check out the Kickstarter which is linked at the bottom of the interview!
Q: Hey Simon, thank you for doing this interview with us! Before we get into Zoocracy, can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get into gaming and what led you to start Haas Games?
A: I have been playing board games since my childhood and started to develop my own prototypes quite early in life. I found myself wanting games with a specific style, topic or mechanism but not seeing them available in the market. My first game was finally published by “Huch & Friends” in 2010, and in 2015 I felt that I had collected enough experience and saved enough capital to found my own company, Haas Games.
Q: Speaking of your company, can you tell us a little more about it? Have you published any other games and do you have any other games coming out this year?
A: To reduce the financial risk and gain more experience we first started to publish smaller trivia card games. Zoocracy will be our first big strategy game and this project will consume all of our time and resources so we won’t be publishing any additional games this year.
Q: So, tell us about Zoocracy. What’s it all about and what makes it unique in this blooming world of board games?
A: Zoocracy is a mix of a simulation and a fable of parliamentary democracy. Honestly, at this time hardly any games exist with this core topic. It's important to know that you really don't need to have any professional knowledge about politics to play this game. Many playtesters confirmed that Zoocracy is quite easy to play after you get into the rules and its mechanisms.
Q: Zoocracy was on Kickstarter once before correct? I assume a lot of work has been done since then. Is there anything different about the campaign this time around?
A: Yes, we decided to completely revise the rulebook to implement all the great feedback which we got during the first campaign. Our main goals have been to make Zoocracy more attractive for those with smaller groups of 2-3 players and to give all the offices more individual features. In addition we added a new player aid with a round overview.
Q: I for one am excited about this game. It seems to be a unique design that can appeal even to those who wouldn’t typically be drawn to games that deal with politics. With that being said, what would you say to those who may have reservations due to the nature of the political theme?
A: In the new rulebook we actually have two game versions. The standard rules simply play like a very interactive, but not too difficult strategy game. This verstion is what I would recommend for all those who prefer a quicker game or that don't want to go too deep into political negotiations. The advanced version is reserved for those players who like to have more negotiations, discussions and opportunities for no-confidence within the gameplay.
Q: The art for Zoocracy was done by well-known artist The Mico. We at Green Akers Games love his work and we are working with him on a project ourselves as well. What led Haas Games to choose The Mico for Zoocracy and what was it like to work with him?
A: We had been looking for a professional artist who had already shown his talent on similar board game projects. The Mico and his past work convinced us to partner with him rather than another artist. It has been a great pleasure to work with him!
Q: As I wrap this up I only have one more question for you. What is your personal favorite office that can be selected when playing Zoocracy?
A: The Defense Minister can be quite strong when using him wisely during campaigning. Thus, you can plan to get a decent result in the next parliamentary election. However, during negotiations in the “Formation of Government” phase I would always recommend to ask for the implementation of one political goal for your party as well. In the advanced version it is best to always ask for the first goal to be able to react with a no-confidence vote if the Prime Minister doesn't stand to his promises.
Thank you Simon for doing this interview with us and we can't wait to see what else you have in store down the road with Haas Games! If you enjoyed this interview we would love for you to like our Facebook Page or become a member of our site and subscribe to our blogs! You can find everything related to Green Akers Games and Haas Games below!