Meet Game Designer Corné van Moorsel

SimplyFun game designer Corné van Moorsel

Let's take some time to meet renowned game designer, Corné van Moorsel!

Corne van Moorsel game designer

Corné van Moorsel is a full-time game designer from Maastricht, Netherlands, who designs board games, card games, and computer games. He's also one of the renowned game designers worldwide that we are lucky to partner with! How do we decide on who to partner with and what games to publish? Choosing from a range of prototypes shared by our partners, we evaluate and select which games to produce based on a range of criteria. We ask ourselves many questions like "Is it fun?' and "Does it fill a need in a particular age range, skill, or target?" From there, we work on developing the game to fit our content goals and high standards.

SimplyFun's Partnership with Corné van Moorsel

SimplyFun has been partnering with Corné since meeting him at the Spiel Essen game fair in Germany in 2010. Right away, there was interest in his game, Sumology, and after working with him to expand the game from two to four players, it was licensed and published in 2011. It continues to be one of the best-selling games to date! Since meeting, SimplyFun seriously considers about one of his games each year to license and publish. You can check out all of the current SimplyFun games available from Corné here.

SimplyFun games designed by Corne van Moorsel

"Where some designers use a lot of cards or dice, many of Corné's games are tile-based where you are building something as you play," said Patty Pearcy, President and CEO of SimplyFun. "I'm always attracted to the visual-ness of that methodology."

"What’s lovely about his game design is that they have just the right amount of complexity where it’s accessible," said Tiffany O'Brien, Director of Product Development at SimplyFun. "And the re-playability is very, very high."

Let's learn even more about Corné van Moorsel and his latest game licensed and published by SimplyFun, Prickly Path.

Q&A with Corné

How did you get started in board game design?

I have been designing and making board games since I was 10 years old. In 1994, I learned about some board game fairs and other game designers like me. I decided to rent a small booth shared with several other designers at a game fair in Germany.

What defines a great game? What are some of the biggest challenges?

It is hard to answer what defines a great game. The games I like and the games I make often have two-dimensional grid(s), play in less than one hour, have a quick setup, and have a contemporary theme.

A game, and anything else, is attractive as long as you don't understand precisely why it's attractive. So, I must design things that I don't understand completely.

You have designed many games that SimplyFun has published. Do you have a favorite?

That varies. It depends on the number of players, ages, time to play, etc.

How did you come up with SimplyFun's latest published game designed by you, Prickly Path?

10 years ago, I made a prototype game called "Leopards vs. Lions" and at that time, it had numbered spaces (unlike the current eight-sided dice in Prickly Path) and only one animal type per player. About six years later, it morphed into "Beasty Borders," with three different animal types per player.

What do you love most about Prickly Path?

Trying to predict the chances of how to form and fuse the groups of cacti.

Prickly Path life and thinking skills game by SimplyFun

Meet Prickly Path, SimplyFun's latest game by Corné van Moorsel

In this Life & Thinking Skills game, players take turns rolling the dice and counting spaces to place their cactus pieces on the gameboard to form groups of the same type. The more of the same type you group together, the more points you score! This strategy and decision-making game can be played by 2-4 players ages 8 and up in about 20 minutes.

Why did we decide to license this game designed by Corné? A few reasons, actually!

For one, Prickly Path was another very visually appealing game, which is a methodology that works well. Additionally, the concept of the game was very sound and presented a game mechanic different than what was already in the SimplyFun line.

"I loved the prototype the first time I played it," exclaimed Pearcy. "It had an animal theme and used these awesome miniature ceramic animals, similar to the animals you used to get in the Red Rose tea box! The challenge was the prototype was a two-player game, which we wanted to expand to four players. It took some time to reconfigure the rules together with Corné to get it to a version suitable for our SimplyFun audience. We are always looking for a great family game experience, where young and old find challenges and learning opportunities in the game."

Once the game was adapted to the four-player game it is today, SimplyFun's in-house designer and artist, Laine Garrett, adapted it even further to become Prickly Path. She drew artistic inspiration from years living in New Mexico to reimagine the game with a 'cactus in a desert theme.' A coyote pawn must jump over the different types of prickly cacti - succulent, aloe, and barrel - to stay on the path.

Ready to play and learn even more about Prickly Path? Check out:

Group Colorful Cacti in Prickly Path

Go Behind-the-Scenes with Prickly Path!

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