GAMEMASTER follows the journey of first- time and experienced designers as they pursue their dreams to create and release a board game to worldwide audiences.
MEET SOME OF OUR WONDERFUL GAME DESIGNERS
Game Designer of "Arranged!"
Meet the incomparable Nashra Balagamwala! We follow Nashra on her compelling journey to use the money from her board game sales to return to America, get a work visa, and continue her life of being a designer. Pakistani-born, Nashra created her game, Arranged!, to discuss arranged marriages in…a different way.
“I’m always trying to create work that can change the way people think about heavy issues. Because as corny as it sounds, I do want to make the world a better place. And, I think that art is very powerful. And even though everyone says, you know, I want to use my work to make a difference, does everyone really do that? And if you’re presented with the opportunity to do it, you should jump on it.”
She’s a force to be reckoned with!
Game Designer of "Rayguns and Rocketships"
Meet the indomitable Scott Rogers! A former video game designer and Disney engineer, Scott began designing his first ever tabletop game, Rayguns & Rocketships, while undergoing chemotherapy for stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Now a survivor, Gamemaster follows proud papa Scott as he releases his baby board game onto shelves!
“I’m a really big Star Wars fan, and I went, ‘I wanna make a Star Wars game.’ And my friend said, ‘Pfft, forget Star Wars, make your own damn Star Wars.” And I’m like…’Yeah, I could make my own damn Star Wars.’ And so that’s ultimately what Rayguns and Rocketships is.. it’s me creating my own version of that universe ‘cause when I first saw Star Wars, it blew my mind like it did to everyone else my age and younger.”
Since filming completed, Scott has designed several other successful games and is slowly but surely getting his kids into that #boardgamelife.
Game Designer of "Thug Life"
Meet the tenacious Jason Serrato! We follow Jason on his journey to crowdfund his board game, Thug Life, a game based off of his own childhood experiences growing up in Pico Rivera in the 80s and the pop and street culture of the late 90s.
One of the things Jason speaks about in Gamemaster is the challenge of crowdfunding a game that not everyone understands just by looking at the box. His mission to make board games more accessible and to make more kids feel represented in games is one of the many reasons we’re so proud to have him in our film.
“I think a lot of people see the game, and they judge the game based on its cultural look. And it’s kind of subversive in name and tone. In Thug Life, there’s characters called homies. They’re unique, signature individuals. Many of them are based on actual people. Uncles, and friends, and neighbors. It’s like a kind of love letter to the streets.”
Game Designer of "Trekking the National Parks"
Meet the adventurous Charlie Bink! Gamemaster follows Charlie on his journey to turn being a game designer into his full-time career - navigating being a small publisher and the dynamics of running the business with his parents. Together, they all created Trekking the National Parks, a game based on the family’s experiences of traveling to all 59 national parks.
“I think the theme of Trekking is its initial pull for almost anyone. They see, oh, it’s a game about the national parks. You almost never see that without it being like, ‘quizzes for ages eight and up,’ you know? I really wanted the box and just everything about it to say: Hey, this is a game, it’s about the national parks… but don’t worry, you know, you’re not opening a textbook. It’s a game.”