About

My name is JV, and I’m a Québécois board game enthusiast, and a game designer. I intend to use this blog to talk about board game design, my process, the projects I’m working on, and lessons I’ve learned, either from my process or from games I’ve played.


What is Subsurface Games

Subsurface is the label I use to self-publish my games. The logo and name refer to the amount of depth in games, if you look just under the surface. Like an Iceberg, games only show 10% of their size before you start digging: under the surface is an entire world!

Games from Subsurface will be:

  • Affordable: I will not deliver productions that feel cheap, but the games will not be the pre-deluxified version you usually see on Kickstarter;
  • Rewarding repeated plays: I like games where your first move is evaluating how the set-up differs from previous plays. I like exploring the breadth of options a game has to offer. I like learning strategies, but still being surprised by a game on my 10th play. I design games with that in mind.
  • Honest and transparent: Have you ever had the urge to take a sharpie and change the player count and game length on the side of a box because of how wrong it is? I hate that. If I write on a box that a game plays 2-4, I swear it’s because I would play it at any of those counts. And if I write 20-30 minutes, it’s because it’s how much it usually plays in, from determining first player to shaking the winner’s hand.
  • Indirectly interactive: Subsurface Games will not offer take that or attacking other players. However, taking, moving, and blocking an opponent from their target come with the territory. I consider how often players cuss at each other a metric of quality.