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MiS Spotlight: Conno "WeyounsLastClone" Hendriksen

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

20th July 2010

Today is the first article in a series of three featuring a little bit of information about each of the three Make it So finalists. Find out more about what inspires the finalists, how they have done in the competition to date, and what they've enjoyed (and not enjoyed) during Make it So!

Conno "WeyounsLastClone" Hendriksen
29 Years Old • Zwolle, The Netherlands

Conno started Make it So as part of the Cardassian Team during Phase I. The Cardassians had a rough time in Phase I, ending up just 1-3; however, Conno shone as the MVP of his team as he was nominated as the Best of the Worst all three times. His outstanding performances in Phase I ensured that he would advance to the Federation Team during Phase II. In Phase II, he again was nominated as the Best of the Worst during Challenge #5, and was never nominated for elimination during either phase.

All of the contestants were required to submit an application prior to their participation in Make it So. Following are excerpts from Conno's application.

How long have you played STCCG?
Since 1999, my first year in college where I saw the game in a bookstore on campus.

Why do you want to be an assistant game designer?
STCCG was my first collectible game, and the one that essentially got me hooked. I've played (and still play some) other card and miniaturegames, but ST is still my favorite, part because of the source material and part because I really like the game mechanics.

Since I found out about the Decipher-boards long ago, one of my favorite uses of time was thinking up new ideas and new cards and being able to share these on the 'dream card'-boards.

As an assistant game designer I feel I could take that 'dream' to another level, and be involved in an active way with this game I love. Also it'll challenge the creative side of me.

What do you feel is the greatest strength of the 2E game mechanics?
The way it allows designers to keep the game one of the most balanced games in the industry all this time around. Also, the mechanics allow for interaction in the game and options in game design, yet they are understandable and not overcomplicated.

What do you feel is the largest weakness of the 2E game mechanics?
That sometimes some of the strategies that give affiliations their flavor or trademark are not really efficient in helping you to your main goal: get the 100 points quicker than your opponent's.

Choose any affiliation-specific event or interrupt from all of the Second Edition cards. Convert that card’s core game play into the same type of card for a different affiliation.

Based on 'Deep Hatred' [4C46]:

[Evt] 0 •Trial and Punishment
Punishment. To play, you must command three [Car] personnel. Plays in your core. When your opponent is about to place an interrupt in his or her discard pile you may destroy this event and kill your captive to remove that interrupt from the game instead. Then that opponent searches his or her hand and deck and removes each copy of that interrupt from the game. He or she shuffles and replaces his or her deck.
"You have been apprehended invading one of our secret facilities."

Design a card that is intended to be given away to new players at conventions and large tournaments. Instead of lore, the card will have basic information about The Continuing Committee. The card should be instantly recognizable as Star Trek.

[Fed] 5 •Data, Measured Man
[Cmd] [TNG] Android
•Engineer •Leadership •Officer •Navigation •2 Programming •Science
When you play Data, he is cost -1 for each [TNG] personnel with Honor you command.
[basic info about TCC to go here]

Create a new Second Edition card that you’d like the judges to review (or pick one you’ve made in the past). Imagine that this will be the only card that the design team will see, so make it something you think shows off your personality, your skill, and your creativity.

[Evt] 3 •Fight back
Assault. Plays in your core.
Order- Destroy this event to begin combat involving two of your Bajoran Resistance personnel. If you win, randomly select an opposing personnel to be placed on the bottom of its owner's draw deck and you may take an event (which you would be able to play in your core) from your discard pile and place it in your core.
"We were fighting for survival!"

We asked a few follow-up questions to each of the finalists after they knew they'd advanced to the final challenge. Here are those questions, and Conno's answers:

What has your time in MiS taught you about game design?
The main thing I learned is that game design is so much more than just having some nice ideas for cards and work them out. And that some things you think really work don't, and things you don't think really work do.

Also it tought me how having a team with the right people around you can greatly improve the cards. A first it took some getting used to (compared to the cards on the dream cards boards you usually finish on your own) working in a team, but it adds a lot to a more polished final product.

What has been your favorite MiS experience?
Difficult to say, I had a lot of fun during the entire ride. But if I have to give a specific answer, I think it would be the moment we submitted our final set for Part II of MiS, and that we subsequently won that final challenge of Part II.

(Least favorite were all the eliminations. I know it's part of the process, but still it was sad to see people go, especially since many of them were very creative and helpful as well.)

What one thing would you add to Second Edition (or fix about Second Edition) if you could?
I'm not really sure you could change too much to the foundations without unbalancing it (where I think it's great that 2E is a balanced game that doesn't need set retirement/rotation etc.). The thing I really like about 2E is the dilemma pile, and the way it creates interaction. So I guess I'd be interested to see to something that would increase interaction otherwise. Of course there are round the corner strategies, but still the main goal is to solve missions as fast a possible. So the thing I'd like to see is a way to make interactive side strategies more viable, without them getting out of hand.

What was your favorite MiS challenge? Least favorite? Why?
For favorite I think I'd go with the keyword-challenge. There are a lot of keywords in the game, some more used than others. So part one I liked was that you got to go through what currently works and doesn't work, and part two I liked that it showed the potential of some of the lesser used keywords. For an other reason I liked the 'rule change' challenge, because it was so different from the other challenges. It put your mind in another gear, which was fun (challenging, but fun). The one I liked the least could be the Xindi. I think it would've been nicer it that had come later in Phase II. And while I think traditions in Trek CCG are great, and the corresponding challenge was a nice way to honor it, I think I like it better if the traditions sort of flow into a set of cards.

Why should the public vote for you to be the Next Assistant Designer?
I hope they would vote for me because they like my cards and felt inspired by them, so they couldn't wait to play them. I think I've learned a lot the last couple of months, and I can use that in providing fun and useful cards for the community enjoy.

There are not many things I enjoy as much as thinking of and working on card ideas, so I hope people see that passion in my cards and would vote for me to help design the next set.

Will Conno and his team emerge victorious? Or will he end up a runner up and have to be content with just designing a single card? Find out on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 when the entries for The Final Challenge are posted!

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