“Build or BOOM” is a new game being released by Proto Toys that is due to be unveiled at the Toy Industry Association (TIA) toy fair in New York in February of 2017 via the Continueum Games booth. The family game is easy to play with two people: both players build a tower of bricks and then one player must knock over the others. Twenty-four-year old #Inventor Tanner Yarro served an LDS mission in rural Argentina and, while there, made toys out of garbage and other recycled items. These experiences, coupled with his life-long love of toys, prompted him to create a game. Recently, Tanner spoke about being a game #Designer and his goals for the future.
Blasting News (BN): How did you first get interested in designing games?
Tanner Yarro (TY): My interest in designing games came from my love of playing games! I've always looked for games with fun innovative play styles that make kids and adults giggle and it was only a matter of time before I'd played them all and needed something new!
BN: When you were small, what were your favorite games?
TY: My favorite game was definitely “Labyrinth”! I remember my first time playing and watching the board change. I was six years old and my mind was blown. I still love it to this day.
BN: How did you come up with the idea for “Build or BOOM”?
TY: My niece, Demi, gets a lot of credit. She's three and her favorite game, like most toddlers, is getting me to build block towers and letting her smash and destroy them while she laughs herself hysterical. I thought there had to be a way to make building and destroying competitive for any age!
BN: What was the process of getting the toy produced like?
TY: That is definitely some of the most fun I've had but I owe all of its smooth production to Dan Hill. He is the best dang product builder and sourcer out there! Also, going through iterations of what the blocks would look like and what the characters were like was a really fun experience
BN: What has the response from players been like so far?
TY: We've yet to take this game somewhere where it hasn't been received with raving reviews! Kids and adults alike all seem to really love it! We can usually close most sales meetings within the first minutes of playing the game with their review teams and buyers.
BN: Have you designed any other playthings?
TY: Yes, our first product was “Fortsy!” it's an inflatable castle fort in a bag that is much like something you'd see coyote inflate out of an acme box.
BN: What have been the most interesting and/or rewarding parts of being a game designer?
TY: The best part is playing the game for the first time with kids that have never seen it before. Watching the gears spin as you explain the rules and the pure joy of their first BOOM is some of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had in my life!
BN: What are your career aspirations for the next ten years?
TY: I was told in school while growing up that wanting to be Santa was an unrealistic goal. Well, I still want to do that! The dream would be to eventually make Christmas happen to a million kids that wouldn't normally get a visit from Saint Nick.
BN: What advice can give to those who are aspiring to design games?
TY: Do it. Stop aspiring and get out there and do it. Play test it with friends and family and then play test it some more. Play other people's games and toys and join communities that play games and build games.
BN: Are you currently working on any projects that you want to mention?
TY: Many! We're working on a pretty fun giant-sized version of the game for toy fairs and shows! Stay tuned to our “Proto Toys” website for all future games and fun new stuff! #Interview