Today we are talking with Hervé Lemaître, a first-time designer out of France. Herve’s first title, Western Legends, will land on Kickstarter in January 2018. We are excited to get to sit down with Hervé. Join us as we learn a bit more about him.
What brought you into the board gaming hobby and community?
I think the main thing that brought me into the board gaming hobby is my passion for playing in general. I love playing all sorts of games as often as possible. I remember as a child I had tried to create a game already. Growing up, I moved away from board games and spent more time playing video games, which I played a lot through my teenage years. When I was 20, we played The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow. I loved and it made me want to discover and play more board games.
What are your current favorite games (or types of games)?
I clearly don’t play enough and I would really like to have more time to play. My favorite games are Small World, 7 Wonders Duel, Letters from Whitechapel, Pandemic, Flamme Rouge, and Watson and Holmes.
What led you to become a designer?
After discovering Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, I looked for games in the same vein and got to know Bang!. I played it a lot, but was frustrated by its narrow focus. That made me want to create a game with a much wider scope and richer universe. That’s how I became a game designer and how Western Legends was born!
What can you tell folks about Western Legends?
I started working on Western Legends over 10 years ago. At the beginning I worked on it sporadically, but over the last 5 years I have dedicated a lot of time to it. The core idea of the game was always to immerse the players into
a sandbox world set in the American Wild West. I wanted to draw the play
ers into this amazing universe, give them extreme freedom, allow them to have an epic and unique adventure, and create their own legend. My most important goal was that – at the end of the game – players really want to start over and play another game so they could live a new (and even more exciting) adventure.
Are you currently working on any other designs?
I have three new game ideas, but nothing is close to publishing yet. The one idea that is most progressed is a combat exploration game where players explore the territory around them while developing their base – a little like Age of Empires or Warcraft/Starcraft. I also have a basketball team management game in mind, but I am not sure the theme will resonate with a lot of people. It might always be a concept in my head, but I’d love to develop it. The third game I am toying with is another sandbox game similar to Western Legends, but it would play out during the Prohibition era with the mafia, gangs etc.
Who are some of your favorite designers in today’s industry (and why)?
I really admire the most famous French designer, Bruno Cathala (Cyclades, Kingdomino, 7 Wonders Duel, Five Tribes, etc.). I don’t love all of his games, but I am really impressed by his ability to continuously develop incredible new titles. I am also grateful for his kindness and his availability to the community.
Outside of gaming, what kinds of activities do you enjoy?
I love spending time with my friends and family. I always feel like I don’t have enough time. I also love sports (team sports, in particular). I continue to love video games and watch a lot of movies. I also love the outdoors, especially hiking and nature photography.
Give us a few fun facts about yourself.
When I was younger, a friend and I built our town in a Duke Nukem 3D level. We put in over 200 hours of work. We ended up selling the level to a computer/internet/gaming café, and people came to play that level at the store!
I took a trip to Las Vegas with some friends. We bought cowboy outfits and wore them on the strip. People stopped us and wanted to take pictures with us because they thought we were real cowboys!
If folks want to follow you online, where can they find you?
Be sure to subscribe to the BoardGameGeek page for Western Legends. And stay tuned here to our site for more Designer Spotlight features.