Jay Cormier Interview

Interview: MIND MGMT

Designer: Jay Cormier, Sen-Foong Lim
Artists: Matt Kindt
Publisher: Off the Page Games
Year Published: 2020

No. of Players: 2-5
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 45-75minutes

Person: Jay Cormier
Company: Off the Page Games

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com  

If you could please provide us with a brief description about yourself:
Hey there, I’m Jay Cormier! I’ve been designing board games for over 15 years and have over a dozen published games. Some notable games I’ve designed: Belfort, Akrotiri, Junk Art, MIND MGMT: The Psychic Espionage “Game”, and In the Hall of the Mountain King (all designed with Sen-Foong Lim, except Mountain King which was designed with Graeme Jahns)
I’ve been teaching game design for over 7 years at the Vancouver Film School as part of their Video Game Design program.
I created the Fail Faster Playtesting Journal, which guides designers on how to take the notes they need to take in order to become better playtesters! It’s for sale on the GameCrafter! https://www.thegamecrafter.com/parts/fail-faster-playtesting-journal
I recently started my own board game publishing company, Off the Page Games, where my focus is to make games based off of creator owned comic books!
When I started my board game company I also started a weekly YouTube series called, How to Start a Board Game Company! http://www.youtube.com/c/OffThePageGames

How did you get into playing Tabletop Board Games?
Back in the early 90’s I met Sen at University. He introduced me to a little game called Magic the Gathering. I loved it so much! We also had a mutual friend, Errol who was into these really weird German board games. We loved those too and ate up all the games we could get our hands on! Now before this I always played games. I played D&D and games like Car Wars. I loved any time my dad would have a games night where we’d play games that I was terrible at, like Trivial Pursuit. 

What’s your current favorite game?
That’s a tough question. I do feel like a ‘suffer’ from the cult of the new, but not because it’s a shiny new thing, but more because I get so motivated when I experience a game that offers something new and different to the gaming world. It makes me want to be a better designer. That said I love games like Dominion, Amerigo, Tichu, Incan Gold, Times Up: Title Recall and El Grande.
What are you most looking forward to playing?
I backed Tumble Towns recently on Kickstarter and I liked everything about that game! Looked like a fun and thematic dice manipulation game. I’m also always interested in playing another Exit game or any other escape room in a box game!

Why do you feel games are important?
Tabletop games are such a creative medium. It’s an artform that can be appreciated for its beauty in design, gameplay and experience/emotion that it evokes, but also in its mechanisms, math and balance that it has. Beyond that though, board games do one thing very well: they bring people together. Games are a great way to bring friends together to share an evening of experiences with each other. Now that there are more cons than ever that are focused on board games, there’s even more opportunity to play games and make new friends.
Why did you start designing games?
I started for realsies when I moved away from my best bud, Sen-Foong Lim. We both lived in Ontario and I got moved out to BC for work (over 3000km apart!). We thought that a good way to stay in touch would be to design games together. So we created a forum that only we had access to and started making threads for all the various games we were coming up with. We just kept at it until we had six solid games, but we didn’t know what to do next. There were no blogs back then telling us what to do, so we just made it up. We actually detailed our entire process on how we got published on a blog: https://inspirationtopublication.wordpress.com/the-steps-for-board-games/

What can you tell us about your latest game?
MIND MGMT: The Psychic Espionage “Game” is a one vs. many, hidden movement game that plays in less than an hour. I’ll repeat that is this is a rare thing in hidden movement games: It plays in less than an hour! 
The story revolves around an organization called MIND MGMT (Mind Management) who recruit and train agent with psychic abilities and then send them out to shape world events to their liking. Eventually some agents splinter off from MIND MGMT as they don’t agree with how corrupt MIND MGMT is becoming and they want to take MIND MGMT down.
The game is based on a NY Times Best Selling graphic novel series called MIND MGMT by Matt Kindt. Matt is fully involved in the game, providing all new art, as well as up to 14 new MIND MGMT mini-comic books for the game.
The game introduces the SHIFT System as well. Since this is a one vs. many game, whichever side loses, they get to open one of their sealed packages which will give them new mechanics and components to help them in their next game. Each side currently comes with 6 packages for a total of 12 sealed packages. What’s great is that nothing is ever destroyed or permanently altered! 
Why should they back it on Kickstarter?
We have a Deluxe Edition which is exclusive to Kickstarter which is packed to the brim with value! Game Trayz is involved and making a super cool fold-out ‘wallet’ to house all the SHIFT System packages. The packages themselves are Game Trayz too and are plastic containers with lids. This is the first time Game Trayz has been involved with a game that has had sealed components, so they’re excited!
On top of that, the cardboard character tokens have all been replaced by chunky wooden tokens – and not just the ones in the base game but including any more characters that are revealed in a SHIFT System pacakge!
All other tokens have been replaced by wood for the Deluxe. There is a screen in the game to keep movements hidden, and the retail version of the game features a normal fold-out thin screen, but the Deluxe comes with a screen that is a thick board (like Mysterium) and includes 4 pockets on the inside to hold your cards!
Once the Kickstarter is over, the only way to get this version will be at any convention that I happen to attend – which won’t be for awhile since I only have the one game!!! So act now! 🙂 

What’s next for you?
From a designer perspective I have a lot going on. Sen and I have an escape room in a box game called Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion this summer. We also have WWE: Headlock Paper Scissors (also co-designed by Josh Cappel) and is based loosely on our D&D Rock Paper Wizard game – but swap out wizards for wrestlers!! I just had In the Hall of the Mountain King come out last month into retail and my co-designer for that, Graeme Jahns and I are working on a card game version of it as well as an expansion! I have a new drawing and communication game coming out next year with a different co-designer, Chase Disher, and I have a few other games that are signed but the release is uncertain!
From a publisher perspective it’s a bit less clear, but in a good way. The purpose of my company, Off the Page Games, is to make board games based off of creator-owned comic books. Once MIND MGMT is off to the printers I’ll be able to focus on what the next game is going to be. I did have 2 awesome designers pitch me a game that is based on a creator-owned comic — and that creator is on board — and the pitch was awesome…but I’m waiting for them to finalize the design before making a decision! So we wait! I have a couple designs that could be brought over to a comic property, but I’m currently looking into see if the creator does have the rights!
How can they follow you online?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all @offthepagegames
Or you can follow me as a person on twitter @bamboozlebros

Check out MIND MGMT and Off the Page Games on:


Lake Leafty

Lake was a pharmacy tech in just about every facet you can think of including as a veteran of the United States Air Force. He’s also a husband to his wonderful wife with whom he has been blessed to be the father of 5 great children. Due to circumstances beyond his control he got thrown into the world of Tabletop gaming. As an overachiever he couldn’t just sit there quietly playing games. So he started podcasting about games in May of 2017. Ever since then has been slowly trying to grow his evil regime starting with The Giveaway Geek and now EBG.

See Lake’s reviews and interviews HERE.

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