An Interview With Philip Dubarry
Philip Dubarry it’s just a normal guy and like all of us he had an obsession with board games since his childhood. Someday he decided to take the next step – he invented a new mechanic, found a nice theme, gathered some bits, found a publisher and vouala la Revolution.
Revolution is an auction game with a political theme. The goal is to receive the most influence by the end of the game and that can be achieved in two ways 1) during bids each turn, and/or 2) by gaining control of a building at the end of the game.
Interview by –manoc-
CB: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your main occupation? How you ended up making a board game?
PD: My name is Philip duBarry. I’m 33 and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my wife and three kids. I am the Director of Children’s Ministry at Addyston Baptist Church and am currently looking to become a full-time pastor. I have been making board games for most of my life—it’s just something I’ve always done. Revolution! Is the first game I’ve ever made that other people actually wanted to play again. That led me to explore publishing options.
CB: Are you satisfied with the producing and promotion Steve Jackson games made with revolution?
PD: Yes, the folks at Steve Jackson Games have done a wonderful job producing and promoting Revolution! I couldn’t be happier about how everything looks and how it all worked out. They are very professional and treated me with great respect. They also have an excellent network of volunteers to teach their games all over the country (probably outside the country, too). Plus, they attend many gaming conventions throughout the year and maintain a strong web presence.
CB: Before choosing Steve Jackson games for being your publisher did it cross your mind to produce and publish it yourself?
PD: I started out self-publishing before I even considered finding a publisher. I had read a lot about the industry and other people’s experiences on the Internet, and I knew that waiting for a publisher would take a very long time. I also knew that self-production can be very expensive and risky (often leaving you with a basement full of games nobody wants). My solution was to follow the example of Jackson Pope (Reiver Games) and make a small number of copies by hand. I ended up making around 50 games, even making the boxes myself. I sold them from my website. Phil Reed (SJG) just happened to buy one and really liked it. He called me in April of 2008 about producing the game.
CB: Are you satisfied with the reviews received so far? Is it a really a big deal that Tom Vasel liked your game. What if he not? Do you believe that Mr. Vasel has followers who depend on what his opinion is about a game?
PD: I am generally satisfied with the reviews. Some people just don’t care for blind bidding, but most people seem to like how it all comes together. I was very excited about Tom Vasel’s enthusiastic review. He is certainly an influential man in the world of board games. Several comments on BGG point to that review as the reason for their purchase.
CB: Some people at the BGG are already discussing something about an expansion. Do you happen to know something?
PD: I have had the idea for an expansion from almost the very beginning. Right now, it looks like SJG is in the process of testing/considering an expansion, but nothing official has been announced. The expansion would open the game up to 5 or 6 players.
There are also plans for a German version of the game through Pegasus. Some pictures of this version are just now emerging from Nuremberg. The design is very different from the US version, but also very interesting.
CB: If there was something you would like to change about Revolution. What would that be?
PD: My original version allowed players to keep any currency tokens from lost bids or ties. While I do enjoy the standard SJG rule (losing all currency) I still prefer my rule, as I think it makes for a more-balanced, less-chaotic game. I was very happy that SJG included this rule as an optional rule—yet another example of their taking my opinions into account.
CB: Who is you favorite publisher and which games do you usually play?
PD: I probably own more Rio Grande games than any other. I’ve been playing quite of bit of Dominion lately. I also really like several Z-Man games (Agricola, Pandemic, etc.).
CB: What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have any plans for a new Board game?
PD: I currently have three finished games looking for a publisher (this is still a very difficult process, despite my initial success). I have another two or three games very nearly finished. Beyond that, I have many other concepts and ideas to explore. I can see myself designing for the next several years at a minimum. My goal for this year is to sign at least one more game. Wish me luck!