Interview with Ammon Anderson (Creator of T.A.C.O. THE GAME)
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
I recently had the opportunity to interview Ammon Anderson, on his board game T.A.C.O. THE GAME. I am happy to announce its launch today on Kickstarter!In our interview, Ammon discussed how he decided to create a board game, his favorite taco toppings, and much more.
When and what made you decide to create a board game?
I have loved making games since I was a kid. I used to draw games, and comics on the first grade bus with a friend. I love having fun, and enjoying life. Games make that easier.
When did you start working on the game?
That is a hard question. Ideas for some games have been sort of growing in my head for a long time. I was thinking about making a Taco game for nearly a year before I put pen to paper. I began illustrating the cards for the final version of the game the first week of January, 2020.
What made you pick tacos?
I love tacos. They make me happy. And I wanted to make a game that would make me happy to play. A game that would make me smile. T.A.C.O. has so much of me in it, it makes me feel vulnerable releasing it!
What is the main goal of your board game?
The main goal is to make people laugh and smile. I was working on a card for the deck and a guy who was walking by in a store stopped and laughed and was so excited by my joke. “I’ll bet 95% of people who play this won’t ever get that joke!” he said as he laughed. There are lots of little jokes in my game that make me smile. I don’t care if they find them all. Some are obvious like “SHREDDED BEEF.” The illustration is of a ripped cow flexing. Others are MUCH more subtle.
What is the main game mechanic of your game?
The main game mechanics are flexible strategy with simple card draw, and victory points. The deck has six card types that create a lot of balanced interplay. The cards are designed to offer numerous strategies to win. There is a balance to it all, so you can play simple games with your kids, or brutal strategy games with your gamer friends. One reviewer called it a perfect “gateway game” for introducing your non gamer friends gently into a more strategic game.
How would you describe “T.A.C.O. The game” in one word?
What is your favorite thing about T.A.C.O. The game?
I love my illustrations. I didn’t want to illustrate this game. I was going to hire an illustrator. My fiance convinced me after days of discussion that the game wouldn’t ever be right unless I illustrated it. I was so reluctant! I put it off for a day or so and then just grabbed my pencil. The illustrations poured out of me for 3 insane weeks. I drew and illustrated 16 hours a day for nearly 3 straight weeks. At the end I was so in love with what I had made I didn’t even know what to do with it.
What was the best part about creating T.A.C.O. The game?
Creating this game taught me a lot about myself and how I work with others. It cemented the relationship I had with my girlfriend Melanie. She has been my biggest fan, and my most brutal critic. Her feedback is why this game is so great! This game would NEVER be the way it is without Melanie. She has influenced every single aspect of it from concepting, to design and many edits to the art. Every day I grew more and more certain that I HAD to marry her. Not long after finishing the illustration on T.A.C.O. I asked her to marry me. Best decision I have ever made:)
What was your biggest obstacle when creating T.A.C.O. The game?
I am a single dad. My other business was struggling over the holidays and I felt pulled in so many different directions.
What is something you wish you knew before starting the process of creating a board game? I wish I had began sharing stuff earlier so that people could have enjoyed more of the development. By the time I began sharing it, I was finishing up the last of the illustrations. It was a missed opportunity
What advice would you give to first time board game creators?
Be active in the community. Get to know other creators and give more to them that you take. It is a great community of creators who are SO supportive of each other.
What is your favorite board game? Carcassonne. I fell in love with it so many years ago. I love playing the simple version with my kids, and expansions with friends and family. I LOVE the simple strategy and how the game flows. Brilliant!
What would you like the reader to know about your game?
I want them to feel how much intention I put into the game for it to be FUN. Just fun. Often the simplest games are fun. I wish I could know every time a person smiled or laughed as they saw some card for the first time that made them smile. That is the best pay off ever!
What are your favorite taco toppings?
Ohmigosh… HOT SAUCE for sure! I also love olives. And Cabbage instead of lettuce. Love how it makes them crunchy!
Be sure to check out his Kickstarter here!