Don’t know much about Laser Maze? Well, here’s the deal: Laser Maze is a beam-bending logic game that challenges players to strategically arrange the tokens to reflect and split the laser beam according to a set of challenge card instructions. Laser Maze has been recommended by American Mensa and earned a flurry of other distinctions, including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s Platinum Award (2013), Good Housekeeping’s Best Toys Award (2013), the Parents’ Choice Gold Award (2013), and ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids (2013).
Now back to Luke…
The brains behind the game, Luke is a BioMedcal Engineer by training and a seasoned entrepreneur who has co-founded Innovention Toys, Blu Wine Bar, and Reyn Studios: Power Yoga.
Prior to designing Laser Maze, he was winning awards and challenging players with a different laser game, Laser Khet 2.0. Currently, he’s the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Factor 10, a full-service design and consulting studio.
Here’s how our conversation went…
Q: How do you feel you’re game design approach has changed since your early years designing Khet to your more recent work with Laser Maze?
A: We self produced Khet, so it was a lot of work on the manufacturing end as well as concept design. I mean, we were literally shipping product out of a garage. For Laser Maze, the focus was more on finding the right partner to produce a product that would appeal to everyone, and getting that product into the right hands. ThinkFun was ultimately a perfect choice to for us because your products are in line with the audience we were seeking.
Q: Can you tell me what you think sets you apart from other game designers?
A: I tend to integrate innovative technologies into games. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that my design company designs more than just board games, including things like medical devices and golf clubs for Nike. So our philosophy is more about using technology in ways that people haven’t really seen before. We want to wow them.
Q:Can you give me an overview of what a typical engagement at Factor10 entails?
A: There really is no typical engagement. We consult on everything from startup advice, to branding, to strategic licensing like we did with ThinkFun, and all the way through to working with big companies like Nike to engineer a product.
Basically, we believe that when you set out to build a product, you really have to consider the full experience. We want to help people all the way through the full process of building an experience, from the conception all the way through to getting into consumers’ hands. So really, our engagements are more about building businesses and growing them sustainably.
Q. I hear you’ve added a new member to your family recently. Congratulations on that, Luke! Do you have any advice to give to parents on how they can keep their kids curious and excited about learning?
A. I speak at schools and do programs with them on this type of topic. The big thing I try to remember with my own daughter is that kids are naturally interested in new things. You can’t force kids into doing new things, but with games like the ones ThinkFun puts out, you can get them interested authentically, on their own. I suggest walking through the toy aisle with them regularly. Kids love innovation, and they love creating. Best of all, they can help us adults remember that we love these things too.