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Rob Daviau - from a Newspaper Ad to Int'l Acclaimed Designer

Rob Daviau

What do you do in the industry?

I’m a designer and a publisher, mostly in the hobby market, though I spent 14 years at Hasbro in the mass-market world.

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

I would have to say coming up with the legacy-style board game.

Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?

I answered a classified ad in the newspaper. That shows you how long I’ve been doing this. Parker Brothers was looking for a copywriter and I somehow turned that into a game design job.

What are you working on now?

I have two jobs – as an independent designer and as the Chief Restoration Officer for Restoration Games. I spend about half my time in each job.

What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?

I’m both excited and worried about the number of games that are coming out in the hobby market each year. It’s a bounty of riches but it’s hard for any one game to find its audience.

What advice can you give to inventors who are presenting new toy or game ideas to you?

Don’t tell me how it plays; tell me how it feels to play.

What does your typical day look like?

A lot of “business” stuff such as emails, contracts, meetings, interviews, looking at playtest feedback, etc. Some game design gets in there though.

What’s your workspace setup like?

It’s a home office that often spills onto the dining room table and other places around the house where a prototype can live.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Running into a family who has played one of my games and had a good time and they tell me about it.

What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?

How to create a good rulebook. Or a good way to learn a game in general.

How do you recharge or take a break?

Who takes a break?

What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

Dungeons & Dragons

Where were you born?

Are you trying to learn one of my password retrieval security questions? Nice try.

What do you read every day, and why?

The news. Because history is fascinating and news is just very current history.

What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

My continuous glucose monitor.

How do you jumpstart your creativity when you find yourself stalled on a project?

Take a walk and let my mind wander.

Do you have any kiddos?

Two. My daughter is 19 and my son is 15.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Nice wine.

Do you play any musical instruments? If so, which one(s)?

I have tried to play a few but it’s not my thing. I could get competent if I spent more time than I have.

Do you prefer scary movies or happy endings?

Happy endings.

Summer of Winter?


Hugs or Kisses?


Favorite movie of all time?

Empire Strikes Back. I was 10 when it came out.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

Tokyo. Twice.

Do you have any special talents?

I’m a good cook.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Well rested.

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