Our FallCon Core Interview series today continues with a big, huggable, loveable bear of a man. The one, the only: Brent "Thunder" Lloyd.
Who are you? What's your story?
My name is Brent and I am a game-a-holic. I grew up in Calgary with three younger brothers and no sisters so playing games was a huge part of my childhood. I went to College and ended up working for Western Research, which became Bovar, and then Sulphur Experts. For the past 27 years I have been travelling around the world to various Oil and Gas facilities.
How did you get started with tabletop gaming?
My father loved Chess when I was a small boy. I remember sitting on the floor across from him and he taught me how to play by handicapping himself. He would only use the King and the Pawns, as my game grew he would add in a Knight, then the other Knight, one Bishop, etc and finally the Queen. He would also set up problems on the chess board and ask me to solve them. I can still hold my own in a Chess game, but I never went on to higher playing levels because of other games.
My family always had a Games Closet: Stock Ticker, Land Grab, Monopoly, Risk, etc. Games were just a part of our family experience. Then in Junior and High School I met a life long friend named Jeff. He also loved to play games, but he loved the War Games from SPI, so we played those quite a bit together. Dungeons and Dragons was released in the boxed sets and we started playing that like crazy, especially in 1977 when AD&D was released. Then in 1982 the game that would really fire my passion Illuminati from Steve Jackson Games. I have probably played over 100 games of Illuminati. I played all through highschool and college and still enjoy getting it to the table.
What's your role with FallCon?
I have two main roles with FallCon: one is running the Canadian Game Design Award; the other is acting as one of Directors of the FallCon non-profit society. At the convention, you'll often see me greeting new people and teaching games. I love getting new people into the hobby.
How did you become involved with FallCon?
I was attending FallCon and decided I liked it. Steve Zanini was sitting at the Registration table and Dave Blizzard was standing beside him - I just walked up and asked how I could help. He had a very worried expression on his face. :)
What game would you play if you could play with anyone from history dead or alive?
I would have a very tough time choosing between playing Commands & Colors: Ancients with either Caesar, Hannibal, or Alexander. How could I not want to match up with some of the greatest generals who ever lived?!?!
What are your favourite gaming podcasts or video review channels?
Wow, I travel for a living so I listen to a lot: On Board Games, Boardgames to Go, The Dice Tower, The D6 Generation, Ludology, Exploring Games with GamerChris, FATcast, The Spiel, The State of Games, I've Been Diced, Boardgame Babylon, Garrett's Games and Geekiness, Point 2 Point. Some of those are not regular podcasts and I do miss many episodes of the ones further down the list due to time constraints. The first five though I listen to all the episodes.
Tell me about your most memorable gaming moment.
There are so many! Most memorable is just spending social time with family and friends. It really is the social aspect that makes games memorable to me.
What sort of gaming events do you generally attend?
I attend quite a few public conventions: FallCon (Calgary), OwlCon (Houston), BGG-Con (Dallas), GenCon (Indianapolis), MilleniumCon (new to me this year) and quite a few Not-So-Public conventions: The Gathering of Friends (Niagara Falls), Rocky Mountain Retreat (Seebe), LoneStar (Houston) and CanCon (Concan).
When I am at home I game every Tuesday, first Sunday of the Month and second and fourth Saturdays on a regular basis through Meetups. I also game occasionally on Fridays with some good buddies, where we meet and evaluate prototypes for publication.
Do you have any other game related activities?
I have been trying to produce boardgames as a potential retirement business, but Kickstarter is kicking that to the curbside. Producing is mostly involved with the financial aspects of publishing the games. To date I have financed production of the following games: Rolling Freight, Octopus' Garden and Rialto. All three of those were with different publishers and I would love to work with other publishers, but many are turning to Kickstarter instead of private funding.
Thanks for the questions Nathalie and thanks for doing this!