Roots of Mali is a two-player strategy board game currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. It is designed to be strategic with zero element of luck. The game was created by SunCoreGames, which consists of Adrian, Bujar, and Daniel from Switzerland. We had a chance to talk with game designer Bujar Haskaj about the designing games, inspiration, and Roots of Mali.
Roots of Mali
WOTN: Tell our readers a little about yourselves. How did you get started in board game design, and how did you come together as a team?
BH: Adrian and I grew up in the same street of a small village. We are friends since ever and we have always played board games, preferably 2-player games that allow us to challenge each other and compete. But sometimes we were three players and since we wanted to play together we started modifying these games. That was when the decision was made that we want to make our own games one day.
WOTN: What makes Roots of Mali (and its predecessor, Light of Dragons) unique? What kind of gamer would most appreciate this time of game?
BH: Roots of Mali and its predecessor Light of Dragons are fairly easy games. The depth comes with the different creatures and their abilities. They are represented by dice that dynamically change gameplay as the game progresses. The combination of easy rules and tricky creatures is pretty unique. Thus the game is interesting for those who like strategy, tactics and abstract gameplay as much as challenges.
WOTN: Where did the idea for this game system come from?
BH: We are avid pen & paper players, we love card games and we love to challenge each other with mind puzzling levels. The passion for these things is the sum that Roots of Mali and Light of Dragons are made of.
WOTN: What other games do you play? Do you have a favorite game, or a favorite game designer?
BH: We play several games and different games all the time. We love card games such as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, but also games such as King of Tokyo, Civilization, Diskwars or Dungeons & Dragons. There are so many great game designers. In our shelves you’ll also find games by Reiner Knizia, Alan R. Moon and Friedemann Friese.
WOTN: What is one piece of advice you would give to new board game designers?
BH: Develop games the way you would like to play them yourself. Then go out and test, test, test them. And test them again. Start with family and friends, colleagues, kids from the neighborhood and your grandparents.