10 Questions With… Matt Leacock


It’s Saturday night, the first week of February, and Jenn has been on the other side of the world for 4 weeks so far this year. I’m was bored and wrote some questions I know you all are too scared to ask and Matt Leacock was gracious enough to answer them. As long as the drinks are on Jenn at Gencon… Who am I to argue.

GAAC – Theme, Mechanic, or Alcohol?

I’ve been enjoying Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea a lot lately. Satisfies in a way that pirate/zombie-deckbuilders can’t match. And that’s “mechanism” not “mechanic,” thank you very much. Mechanics work on my car.

GAAC Note: I don’t like either word but use mechanic because everyone else does. For the record, I worked in a 24-hour photofinishing lab managing the chemical levels of the the machines and people would constantly ask me “Did you check the Chemistry?” They would get angry when I’d reply “The chemicals are fine, Chemistry is a science that deals with the structure and properties of substances and with the changes that they go through.”

People didn’t talk to me much. 

GAAC – What secret projects are you working on? It’s cool, no one reads this stuff.

Mole Rats in Space! It’s super secret. Don’t tell anyone that it’s coming out in late February or early March. It’s like a rated-G version of Aliens. You know, for kids.

Also, four other games.

GAAC – What are your favorite cookies, Round or Square?

If they’re chocolate chip walnut, they can be concave heptagons for all I care.

GAAC – What’s your favorite prototyping tool?

Adobe Illustrator

GAAC – Best answer I’ve heard yet.

GAAC – Given the inevitability of a global apocalypse, what preparations have you taken to ensure people can still buy your games?

Over the past three years, I’ve been rolling out a program to bury caches of boardgames in North America, Europe, and Asia. Next year, I’m hoping to get better sites identified in South America and Africa. We’re still looking for local associates (I can provide coordinates so you can judge convenience/commute) to barter on my behalf after the global event. I’m offering generous rev sharing; makes a great insurance package for you and yours. Note that I’m still working on better moisture-proofing for the containers – the trick may be to go to with tins like Forbidden Island and Desert use, but rust is also a concern.

Sorry, next question?

GAAC – What is your least favorite Oscar Wilde quote?

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Clearly forgot about the gutter cleaners.

GAAC – Mole Rats in Space, huh? That seems to be a great departure from what we normally expect from you. With that said, why were you so mean to Doug Levandowski at Gencon?

Hey, I said that game was a secret. What, did Doug tell you it was OK to blab about it? And you wonder why I was so mean.

GAAC – Tell me more about Mole Rats in Space. I really have no idea what it is because no one sends us free games to review. Btw, I have two kids.

OK, then. Mole Rats in Space is a cooperative game for 2–4 players, ages 7 and up. (If your kids are as young as 5 or 6, they can handle it if they’re playing along with adults or older kids.)

You have to gather up four pieces of equipment (a map, food, duct tape, and your toothbrush) then make it to the escape pod before time runs out, you’re bitten by a snake, or blown out an air duct into the horrible black void of space.

GAAC – If you could pick one person to make a game with, who would it be, and what theme would be slapped on?

Gotta go with Paul Simon, there. We could do a game about trying to make it as a successful singer/songwriter in the ’70s (you know, without selling out and keeping things cool with your family). I think it’d be a tough game.