Keep at it: Rob Daviau Interview Part 5 of 5

After seeing a recent surge of interest in Epic Duels here and on the Wiki, I contacted Rob Daviau , the original creator of Star Wars Epic Duels, and requested an interview.  He agreed, and we met in person at the NYC Toy Fair in February.  This is the fifth and final part of our conversation.

Roman:  Last thing, any advice for aspiring game inventors?

Rob:  Yes.  There is… I had a different thing, I had a sort of weird, 14-year sort of apprenticeship at Hasbro.  I was brand new and yet had experience.  Bottom line is, I have many games in the past 5 years with publishers have said “we love it” and then we played it and like, nope.  I have a ton of games that were passed on, rejected.  You’re always going to make games that you like that but that people are passing on.  It’s always going to be a sales business.  For every game I get to market, I probably have two that don’t get to market because no one wants it or it wasn’t a good idea.  So, it’s not easy, and don’t get discouraged.  You know, if you’re like “Wow, no one bought this.”  It’s like, yeah, no one bought it.  Yeah, that happens.

Roman:  Thank you, and so nice to meet you.

That concludes our interview.  You can follow Rob Daviau on Twitter @robdaviau

You can also follow me @romanfgames

It was a thrill to finally meet Rob Daviau, creator of my favorite game and many more.  Still so many questions I wish I could have asked him.  I hope you enjoyed the interview.  Thanks for reading and following the blog.  Happy dueling.


  1. JAG18 says:

    First, thanks so much for doing this Roman, I’ve certainly enjoyed reading it! I especially liked that now we know what that ED sequel was about.

    The only thing I have more than a few thoughts on is how in part two, he mentioned that ED was intended for 8-10 year olds and so they didn’t fuss over little things like trying to find a better replacement for the heal rule. I sometimes wonder what an “advanced” ED would look like, you know if it was re-made, but this time for an older audience and with more strategic depth. I think Mike Maloney has made some great decks that add a lot of strategy to the game without changes the basic mechanics, but that’s not quite what I’m thinking of. Probably it’s just better to let ED be a fun, fast shoot ’em up and look in other places for deeper games.

    • roman says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! I am pretty pleased with it. It was actually fun to go back and listen to it, rewind, and sort of unpack it all.

      Well, we could literally make the heal rule 25% more effective by allowing a player to play up to 2 cards at a time and heal up to 2 instead of 1. But, do you really want to make the games longer, and to drag out what might be the worst part of the game?

  2. JAG18 says:

    Just throwing this out there, but is healing really so important that it needs to be in the game? I mean it’s clear that healing was included only as a solution to what to do with those dead minor cards. Why not have have a rule that once per turn if you draw a dead minor card you can reveal it, discard it and draw a new card? It’s a big change, but it would have the effect of speeding up the game (where as currently healing drags it out).

    • roman says:

      I think it’s probably fine the way it is. I like the penalty of getting weighed down with minor cards, and the strategy of beating a player by first taking out his minor. For example, that’s about the only way you’re going to beat Gandalf in LOTRED is by taking out Pippin and hopefully water down Gandalf’s draw. If we changed to your suggested rule, you’d no longer have that strategy available. As it is, heal is a pretty weak use of an action but it does come in handy at times, like when facing an opponent who relies on more direct damage.

  3. JAG18 says:

    Yeah, the more I think about it the more I come around to agreeing with you that healing is fine as is. Probably the only thing Epic Duels really needs right now is more players. 😛

    • roman says:

      Hear hear! Well, we’re certainly doing our part. However, just look around the rest of this site and you’ll see, there are so many great games out there.

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