G'day Reddit. I am Kevin 'qxc' Riley, and I'm ready for anything you've got.

About me: I was a pro-gamer for a total of ~5 years. Early on, Starcraft was my part-time job while attending Harvey Mudd College where I got my CS degree. While studying, I attended various tournaments and coached on the side to make $.

After graduating, I turned full time and continued to compete for the next few years. You may know me from my keyboard smash, all-kill of IM or various other tournaments. During my time as a pro-gamer, I traveled across the world and lived briefly in Taiwan, Madrid and South Korea. I have experience playing in tournaments all over the world and have suffered defeats and victories in basically all situations from what can be best described as a heat wave in China to the freezing cold of Canada.

In 2015, I retired from professional gaming to pursue board game design full time. At my first board game convention, I cold pitched my game to many different publishers and was able to push that into a contract. In order to move forward in the process, I had to take a one-on-one game and make it fully cooperative. I spend about 30-50 hours a week designing, playtesting and iterating and have been doing so for many months now.

About my new project: Aeon's End. It is a fantasy cooperative deck builder for 1-4 players. In each game you'll play as a breach mage, where each mage has their own back story and personality. There are many nemesis that you can face, each with their own unique play style and flavor. Aeon's End offers a huge amount of replayability between the different nemesis, breach mages and variable supply of cards.

You can check it out here:



Picture of me today:

Cross referenced with me in Starcraft database:

Edit: Comments coming in fast. Switching to Overdrive mode. HYPER TYPING ENGAGED

Edit 2: IM All Kill Vods:

Edit 3: Origin of "I'm Qxc, you've probably heard of me"


Edit 4: Ahah, I'm caught up. Refreshing only yields 1 or 2 at a time. TAKE THAT

Edit 5: Jedi Robe that I was given for my all-kill of IM

Edit 6: I am still going strong. Keep 'em coming.

Edit 7: 7:20 PM EST. I'm going rock climbing. Will be back in ~2 hours to continue answering questions.

Edit 8: I'm back and answering questions. Will answer them until they stop flowing or I go to sleep.

Edit 9: Thanks everyone. It was a blast answering questions and revisiting so many cool moments in Starcraft. I'm going to take off and regain my life. Good night <3. That's it for me.

Comments: 1457 • Responses: 108  • Date: 

RamenRider682 karma

How do you get a degree in Counter Strike? What courses were required?

qxc001268 karma

I'll lay out the early part of the curriculum for you.

Intro to headshots

Peeking 101 Defusing the Bomb and You

Where'd my money go? A financial guide to management.

Learning to Flash Strangers

You should be able to call any university and request this series of classes and get your degree in no time

Foursqaureflip189 karma

You are officially my favorite AMA-er of all time

qxc00480 karma

My tryhardness knows no bounds.

Got_Banned_Again41 karma

When do I get to learn how to do 360 no scopes?

qxc00131 karma

Come this way and enter my domain. From here, you must travel below the raging wilds of a thousand mongoose sun. Atop his head, you will find the noscope you've been searching for.

isahammyasandy328 karma

As a pro-gamer you are uniquely qualified to answer this question - is a hamburger a sandwich?

qxc00830 karma

As a professional, a hamburger is indeed not a sandwich. Names and classifications exist for a reason. One of those reasons is to allow people to differentiate between choices easily and quickly.

Imagine you're in a crisis. Over your headset, someone yells, "Bring me a sandwich or it's your head". You stand up quickly and move to the kitchen. You see two plates. One with a sandwich and one with a hamburger.

I think I've proven my point.


QXC. first off, wow. The 1 rax marauder man. I watched many of your games back in the day, very cool to see your name come up on ze reddit. GL with your board game!

qxc00217 karma

Thanks for that. I'm going to go ahead and take credit for marauders getting nerfed early in beta. That build was killer

PostPostModernism58 karma

You're off your rocker mate. A hamburger is exactly a subset of sandwich. That's why it's always in or next to the sandwich section of restaurant menus. It's "contents" between two slices of "bread". That's all you need. Don't get me started on open-face pretends-to-be-sandwiches.

Board game looks kind of cool, but why should I buy it? There are a lot of cool board games out there. Give me your elevator pitch.

qxc0099 karma

Fully cooperative game forces cooperation. Treadmill = never shuffle so you can control your deck. Tons of story. Tons of theme. Awesome art. Incredibly high level of polish from a source you can trust. Huge replayability between changing the supply, the economy, breach mages and nemesis.

PostPostModernism34 karma

That's a solid elevator pitch to someone who enjoys co-op games like Pandemic and used to play Magic a bit. Thanks! Good luck!

qxc0023 karma


ImNot_NSA19 karma

I agree that classifications are important; however, by deeming the hamburger a classification, you have therefore implied that the hamburger is a classification/subset of a sandwich. If a hamburger was just a hamburger, then discussion of classifications would be moot. Ladies and gentlemen, the hamburger is now officially a sandwich.

qxc0047 karma

This is too much logic for me to handle right now

MetastableToChaos224 karma

What was your proudest moment in your SC2 career?

qxc00457 karma

My proudest moment is a tough one. I never achieved the victory that I wanted to be most proud of, which would be a major LAN/online victory. So, in my head, since I never achieved my ultimate goal I don't really feel proud of the various times that I got close.

All-killing IM is definitely the most memorable and the victory that will live with me the longest.

Steakleather126 karma

Could you explain what "All-kill of IM" means?

qxc00684 karma

In Starcraft, there are team leagues. My team played against a Korean team, IM. When a player lost, they can't be played again. First team to win 4 games wins the match. I 4-0'd the korean team, IM. And thus, this was born:

ravenwebb192 karma


Does this photo ring any bells?

qxc00178 karma

omg. that's incredible. I didn't even know that existed. Nor did I know that anyone else knew about it.

Context: I went to Quakecon when I was ~14. They had a contest or deal or something where if I let some women from one of the girl gamer clans... don't recall the name, put makeup on me I'd get a free graphics card.

ravenwebb77 karma

CPL winter 06 actually lol. But in case you need a new avatar, there ya go. The world needed to know.

qxc0063 karma

ohhh, yea. cpl. where did you even find this picture / know that it was me? that was long before I did anything in starcraft

ravenwebb87 karma

My team organized that while thing. (Do you remember the guys in branded pink bathrobes? Lol) The Vegemite body shots, makeup, other contests. We have galleries of images from the event. A while back I was going through them and noticed a resemblance. With about 30s of internet detective work I made the connection. Today just happened to be the day I set the evidence free :-p.

qxc0073 karma

Ahahah. that's awesome. I sent it to my gf. Still waiting for a reaction

ravenwebb61 karma

There are some less/more flattering ones if you need them lolol

qxc0097 karma

oh god

EatingKidsDaily139 karma

What are you feelings about blizzard's push for organized collegiate gaming like in heroes of the dorm?

qxc00243 karma

As someone who missed the boat on these promotions (I graduated some years before any company related collegiate promotion occurred), I would've really liked to have had the opportunity to participate. I played a ton of Starcraft in college and enjoyed crushing my more academically oriented peers in the various competitions available.

Tullyswimmer196 karma

I played a ton of Starcraft in college and enjoyed crushing my more academically oriented peers in the various competitions available.

Best way of saying "I played too much starcraft in college" that I've seen.

qxc00340 karma


thejpn134 karma

Are Koreans as good at board games as they are at starcraft?

qxc00418 karma

Shhhhh, don't tell them about board games. This will be where we make our final stand. They can take our computers. They can take our money and our trophies. But we will still have our board games. In our hovels. While they overlook us in their giant mecha suits. And rule the world.


credibit123 karma

Hi QxC,

I've really enjoyed reading all your design/balance commentary for StarCraft, so I'm really excited to see this game.

Were there any existing board games that expired you?

qxc00163 karma

Dominion is definitely the biggest initial inspiration. Aeon's End is a deck builder and it uses a static market of cards which is most similar to Dominion. In the start, we actually used a base copy of that game and just modified rules as we played around with different mechanics.

Once we established the initial deck building core changes, there wasn't any single game that we drew much inspiration from. Most of the ideas are homebrew and borne from gratuitous playtesting discussion debate (re: yelling).

travisrchance121 karma

Kevin, as someone who has worked with you for the last half-year, what is your favorite thing about me? One sentence please.

qxc00149 karma

I love how enthusiastic you are about telling me what's on your mind the instant you think of it

Ylsid21 karma

I wonder who this mysterious stranger could be?

qxc0048 karma

It's truly a mystery

credibit64 karma

What's the play testing process for this game been like? Were there any interesting things that you discovered about the game while playing it? Anything that turned out to be 'broken'?

qxc00128 karma

My basic design approach is think for 10 minutes, test for 50 minutes. At every step of the way, I've focused heavily on iterative testing. My gf created a template in LaTeX for the cards that allows us to easily change and print new cards whenever we need to. In full playtesting swing, I try to play about 2-3 hours each day with another ~2 hours to discuss and make changes for ~5 days a week.

Every week the game has changed a lot... as far as broken goes. The better question would be, "was there any idea that didn't turn out to be broken?" Almost every idea initially was a mess and required a lot of analysis to get right. At this point, we're still creasing out a few issues but the pro-gamer in me has identified and fixed almost all of these sorts of issues.

CanORage53 karma

Coming from your Starcraft background, where balance is fine-tuned over many iterations (patches) in response to millions of crowd-source games, is it hard to get to a point that you feel comfortable leaving it alone and calling it good, knowing that you can't patch a board game down the road?

qxc00124 karma

This comment so accurately encapsulates how I feel all the time. A game is never done. At some point, you just have to let it go. Like a caged bird, it must be allowed to find its own life in the outside world.

In this case, we're doing our best to make sure that our caged bird is actually a dragon

morenfin51 karma

"Art is never finished, only abandoned"

qxc0043 karma

booyah kesha

comingtogetyou20 karma

Upvoted for LaTeX

qxc0028 karma

Jenny was mad at me for not capitalizing it correctly ;;

sentient-bin56 karma

If you didn't become a game designer, what animal would you have become?

qxc0093 karma

I would become a Wolf. As a bit of a loner myself, I've always found the idea of living alone or just with a small group of close friends to be quite appealing. Maybe that Dark Souls Wolf that is like 50 feet tall and wields a sword in its mouth. That seems like a good life to end up in.

qxc0055 karma


gdalam55 karma

Do you still follow SC2 or any other esport?

qxc0073 karma

I check the starcraft subreddit pretty often, although less so in the last few weeks due to the crunch time relating to finishing up Aeon's End. I don't follow any other games at all, really. Even my Starcraft following is pretty light. I haven't watched any matches in a few months now.

gdalam33 karma

As a follow up who was your favorite SC2 player from back when you still actively played?

qxc0071 karma

My favorite players to watch were the best Terrans at the time (barring MKP, that guy is impossible to learn from). MVP, Innovation, MMA were some of the most consistently great players to watch.

My favorite players in general were those that I got to spend time with at various tournaments. I made quite good friends with most of the root guys and many europeans like harstem, tod, zanster, apollo etc... Starcraft was my home for so long that there's really a whole community of 'my favorite people' there who I miss being able to spend time with

DoomDash29 karma

Why is MKP so hard to learn from?

qxc0069 karma

No scout, cc first, rax rax, cc vs zerg. 25% of the time, it doesn't work at all because you die to random things. Just felt like he won games he shouldn't have and lost games all the time due to random things because of how little he scouted.

weealex98 karma

It's easy. You just need to have 6 marines and a medivac kill 60 supply worth of ling-bling-muta.

qxc0072 karma

Yes. Trivial really.

TrillianSC220 karma

Held a 6 pool with cc first a couple times. So many positions where it was a total build order loss or overwhelming odds MKP would somehow manage to overcome. Top tier micro.

qxc0031 karma

and sometimes, he just wouldn't

JodderSC24 karma

Whazzup with no TLO in this list :(

qxc0022 karma

TLO is my buddy too. Starcraft has been such a community to me... I couldn't possibly list everyone. So I just listed the few I was closest to

ManicMarine44 karma

A couple of questions:

What type of game is it?

How did your experience playing SC2 at a top level affect your design philosophy when you moved to board games?

Did successfully pitching your board game feel as good as all-killing IM?

qxc0095 karma

It's a cooperative fantasy deck builder. Basically, you start with a small deck of cards that are all terrible and upgrade your deck as the game goes on to deal with increasingly powerful threats.

Starcraft prepared me to be incredibly critical and analytical about everything in the game. I am procedural and practical in my iterative approach to design because I understand that testing is the only way to really know if something will work.

Nothing board game related will ever feel as good as that victory.

sharkham40 karma

Do you still rock the roller blades you wore to get to frisbee practice?

qxc0058 karma

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh is a hilly nightmare so I don't do anything but bike here. There's really nothing quite like HMC for getting around on wheels, be them roller blades or freelines. Perhaps if we move to somewhere smoother I'll bring my freelines with me and bring on the gawkers

genericusernameagain36 karma

As a world-known retired pro-gamer, are you the most famous person thus far from your small HS class?

Go Caxys

qxc0069 karma

I haven't heard of anyone else doing anything from our HS class so it seems likely. Yea. Definitely. That sounds right. 100%. I am the one and only.

Go team!

DJGow33 karma

Well you're qxc. they've probably heard of you.

Gemini_1930 karma

My personal favorite of that sign.

Also remember to scan the island.

qxc0021 karma

His face really makes it so much better

robih2931 karma

Did you ever consider using your CS degree to get into game development?

qxc0039 karma

I did briefly, but my life has always been one of whims in terms of the work I do. I played Starcraft because I enjoyed it. I sort of 'slipped' into game design on accident. There wasn't really a conscious up front decision, I just always designed as if my game could be published so that if the opportunity arose, I could take it.

I'd also need to really brush up on my CS skills to do computer game development unless I was just a designer

IXLCrescendo27 karma

How long had you been considering board game design, and how did you first approach the task of creating your first project? In hindsight, would you have done anything differently with what you have learned at this time?

qxc0037 karma

There wasn't a big build up period to board game design. I don't really remember it laying in my head for a particularly long period of time. I started mostly because I was so upset with Starcraft and my performance and needed something intense to take my mind off that.

The first game started as just a thought experiment and where worked with my gf to tweak some rules in Dominion and see what happened. It all evolved from that.

If I could do it all again, the biggest thing I would change is the scope of the project. Aeon's End is a gigantic world devouring game and while it's been great that it all came together, there were many lessons I learned along the way that would have been easier to learn if I had tried to make a smaller game

vargasmir0110 karma

Was something in particular bad with starcraft? (I stopped playing a long time ago)

qxc0037 karma

Starcraft is a hard game. People become stressed while playing its main mode and it's relatively anti social. A lot of these factors are probably reasons why it declined in popularity compared to more accessible titles like LoL

Archontas22 karma

I feel like I've probably heard of you.

Okay, seriously, was game design something you always imagined going into, or was that something that you gradually got interested in? Edit: game design in general, not specifically board game design.

qxc0021 karma

As early as when I was around 12-14, I was making maps in Starcraft Broodwar. There was a map in the shape of a cross where you build units and they run across to attack your opponent's base. Battle... something. I can't remember. I kind of rebuilt my own version of that.

In WC3, I made a dota-esque map that was designed to be played in ~20 minutes and had a much smaller overall scale. That game had about 10 unique heroes in it I think that I made. After that, I made a map called Blink Arena which was a DM where you had to cast spells and blink to avoid your opponents' spells.

None of those are available anywhere as they were mostly just pet projects. So, I've been designing for a long time on and off and always thought it would be neat to design my own game. Until my Starcraft career ended I didn't know if that would ever really happen.

MrThomasHobbes13 karma

BattleCraft! I used to play it obsessively.

qxc0010 karma

Yea, that's the one.

Easy-A20 karma

In this game is it possible to scan the island?

qxc0029 karma

There are no islands to scan currently. Perhaps in the expansion we can introduce an island. And some sort of spell which may scan it..............

Ahitsu17 karma

Yo qxc, I loved seeing you cast. Will you show up to do any guest casts in the future? I miss you in the starcraft scene :c

Presumably after you finish work on Aeons End, of course.

qxc0026 karma

It's possible. I'm a bit out of touch with Starcraft at the moment. As connections within the community are incredibly important to landing casting jobs, it might not be feasible for me to do that without some significant reaching out. It's something I'd like to do at least one more time, but I don't have any time to look into it for now.

Ahitsu8 karma

I'd love to see you do it one more time. I hope the opportunity comes up for you in the future, your casting was great and I liked having you around the scene in general (the few times I caught your stream where fun, and the IM all kill... damn son.)

Anyways, good luck with your board game and with life in general. You're awesome, man.

qxc009 karma


Solian17 karma

Hi Kevin. Why can't the majority of people who aspire to go pro in games actually go pro? (Or is that assumption false?)

qxc0072 karma

That assumption may or may not be false depending on what you define as 'aspiring'.

If I look at pro-gaming and go, "that seems cool, I'd like to do that" am I aspiring?

If I practice hard and consistently but am unwilling to go full time, am I aspiring?

If I try to make a living streaming and also play tournaments am I aspiring?

Also, the definition of pro is hard to define. If I make a living streaming Starcraft, am I a pro-gamer?

The simple answer, pedantics aside, is that being good at something is really hard. It takes a level of dedication, focus and a specific sort of life style that requires many sacrifices. It's not just about playing x hours per day. There's far more to it than that.

setuid_w00t16 karma

Hi qxc. What board game do you find most infuriating? Follow-up question: Have you smashed that game into little pieces?

qxc0031 karma

I hate any games that lack meaningful decisions. Games like Fluxx are not for me because you don't really 'do' anything. If the game can be basically simulated by just rolling dice over and over, I'm not interested.

I am smash free since retiring from Starcraft. The sign in my room tells me so

samsc215 karma

Hey buddy how's your day going? When can we spoon again?

qxc0033 karma

My day started off a little rough. My alarm woke me up and I didn't know where I was. At one point I thought it was yesterday.

Then it took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to post this correctly.

We can spoon tomorrow. I'll be at the usual spot

samsc27 karma

So right behind me as the big one then? Hehe. Did you put in any clever starcraft references or Easter eggs in your game?

qxc0017 karma

I am the bigger spoon

I did not put any starcraft references or easter eggs into Aeon's End. In retrospect, that would've been a cool thing to do. We've been so focused on just making the best product possible that stuff like this are things we didn't even consider.

samsc25 karma

Do something crazy like a invisible ink over the board that can only be seen with a black light and do the Easter egg that way.

qxc0056 karma

Yes, I will infiltrate the factories and apply invisible ink to thousands of boards. #holdmybeer

ampson13 karma

Hey qxc, was a huge fan during the early days of SC2. It was what I would call the start of the Western interest in eSports, and had essentially all the viewership for a while. Why do you think that the game died? Also, I'm just going to leave this here.

qxc0016 karma

The current popular esports all offer something to their players who aren't as competitive oriented either in the form of skins, resource accumulation or just generally team games. Lacking these features is probably a big reason SC declined, but it's hard to say for sure.

dharmaticate11 karma

Was the decision to go pro instead of using your CS degree financially motivated?

If you could only play one tabletop game (other than your own or Dominion) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

qxc0012 karma

It was financially motivated in that I didn't need to get a CS degree because I had no student debt and am a frugal person (to the point of annoying my sister endlessly). I had some saved up funds and don't mind living a more simple life so it didn't bother me to have low income.

The one game to rule them all would be White Chapel. It's one of the hardest and most interesting games I've ever played and while each scenario doesn't change at its core, it's so competitive that I could enjoy it for a long time to come.

HempCO71911 karma

What did you think if StarCraft 2, compared to the original?

qxc0021 karma

Starcraft 2 is the better game overall. It is more accessible. It has a better UI, and eliminates a lot of 'forced' hurdles that prevented people from just playing the game.

That said, I like the unit design in BW more. Defilers, Vessels, Vultures, reavers etc... are generally more interesting than their SC2 counterparts

dharmaticate9 karma

I don't know a ton about games but I've found myself in a weekly board game group. I like Legendary—would I like this?

Do you still run up walls? Congratulations on your success!

qxc0021 karma

If you like Legendary, you will definitely like Aeon's End. They live in relatively similar genres and Aeon's End presents a totally new take on the genre as a whole.

I have not done parkour for some years now, but I would run up a wall, given the chance.

Thanks for your support!

milkisklim9 karma

Hey! I always enjoyed watching you play.

Do you have a favorite part of the SC lore?

qxc0053 karma

The part where qxc all-kills IM is pretty cool.

I liked how Kerrigan goes from being controlled by outside forces to free to choosing to become the thing that she hated in order to win a more important battle. In life, we don't always get to choose a good decision. Often, we must choose the lesser of many bad decisions, and it was cool to see this manifest as a huge part of the story.

mannyrmz1239 karma

I have this feeling, probably built by the Internet, that if a pro player is theoretically equally good with all three races, he would do better with Zerg. Do you believe this is true? If so, why?

qxc0014 karma

No, I don't believe this is true. Starcraft is a sufficiently complicated game that even defining what 'equally good' means is impossible. A large part of being great at Starcraft comes down to better understanding which is often the biggest obstacle for a race to improve as a whole. When a true pioneer comes along, that race almost always does better overall.

zombiefrank9 karma

Can you describe the process you went through to commission the artwork?

I would imagine that the boardgame design is your forte, but the art not so much?

I've watched many of your Starcraft tournaments, glad to see more of your work.

qxc0029 karma

I do not art. Ever. At all. I'm kind of art dysfunctional. In Aeon's End, my contributions are all design related. Fortunately for me, Action Phase has a wealth of experience working with artists. Unfortunately for you, they're not doing this AMA. So I can't speak much more to how the commissioning process works.

norsesforcourses9 karma

In your board games, if you're not attacking, are you losing?

qxc0021 karma

Aeon's End requires at least one player to begin investing in spells to defend and also slay the many minions of the nemesis relatively early on. Life is too short to spend turtling. Ready to roll out!

techn0scho0lbus8 karma

Hey qxc. I was a big fan of your SC2 play. As a zerg myself I later became interested in the 'foreigners' Stephano and Scarlett. Do you have any opinions on them? You all seem to have larger-than-life qualities.

qxc0017 karma

I never got along with either of those players. I tend to just speak my thoughts when playing and apparently offended Scarlett sometime early on.

As far as Stephano, we just don't have personalities that mesh. He's a social creature and I'm an introvert who prefers to be alone.

Vulphere6 karma

Any interesting moments during your SC2 career?

And what is your inspiration for your board game ?

qxc009 karma

Any tournament loss was a moment of nearly unrelenting despair where tournament wins/good performances were like floating on angels.

Dominion is definitely where the initial inspiration came from. Beyond the core deck building, it is a product of my imagination and hard work. It's iteratively designed and draws subconscious inspiration from basically any game I've spent time with. I started the project as a means to give my life meaning when I felt like it had little due to how poorly I was doing in Starcraft.

gdalam6 karma

On a scale of wood league to bronze league, how big of a noob is Oresama?

qxc0020 karma

Oresama easily falls into cardboard league for he is stronger than wood. He is more refined. More useful and polished, but he certainly holds no candle to the bronze weapons of old.

gdalam6 karma

Are you planning on continuing with this as a career? If so, are you going to make another game after this one, or work on expansions to Aeon's End?

qxc0019 karma

This initially all started as a creep. A slow slow creep from taking a pre-existing game and playing it with funny rules to eventually putting a print-and-play of the game online to finally making a published game. My plans continue to be short-term. The only thing I really know about Aeon's End right now is that I'm going to do everything I can to make this first game a success.

If I choose to continue this design path, an expansion to Aeon's End seems somewhat likely given our success so far. I've got a few smaller ideas I design here and there in my free time, but nothing polished enough to move into production any time soon.

EyeGot5OnIt6 karma


As a former pro gamer with a following, was Twitch really difficult to monetize effectively? It seems working as an independent contractor, you would have time to make money streaming and building a potential audience for your board game.

qxc008 karma

Being successful on twitch requires consistent hard work and dedication. I disliked streaming enough that as soon as I no longer needed to, I stopped. The constant requirement to interact with strangers was too taxing for my introverted self and I always felt so worn out afterwards. It never seemed worth it to me.

Ldastar6 karma

You might not be able to answer this, but at 26(?) did your age factor into your retirement?

I'm like a decade older than you and I notice small things, so i can't game too competitively anymore without being very frustrated, i feel like i have to try way harder to do as well i used too.

I dunno if it's RL/focus getting in the way or biology. I've gamed since i was old enough to have memories, so i'm not certain my brain is really slowing down enough to notice, it's not like im 80.

qxc006 karma

Maybe a little? Sometimes I wonder if I've gotten worse as I got older without really noticing it, but I think my issues had much more to do with practice regiment and environment rather than my age. Lately, it's been hard to play at all because of how busy I am. Playing a game a lot and doing it well takes a lot of time and a lot of energy that feels less available as life gets busier.

travisrchance5 karma

Kev, what is the origin of Mending Sock? Will it make its way back into your next game?

qxc0013 karma

I am first and foremost a gameplay designer. In designing Aeon's End, I never really focused on theme until I was forced to. Whenever I design a new card, that card needs a name. At some point, I tried to give them interesting names that matched their utility. After making hundreds of cards, I grew tired of this and simply named them whatever came into my head.

I have a long list of stupid cards laying around in the spreadsheet somewhere if anyone is curious seeing the placeholder name for other cards. (Hint, Unfinished Duck was a card for a long time)

ButtPoop13375 karma

How do you best get something done? What frame of mind do you feel you're most successful in? Do you feel you concentrate more and produce more when you all hyped up on caffeine with a lot of energy, or more that energy you have when you first wake up.

I find when I play Starcraft I'm in what appears to be a panic mode where I don't blink (which doesn't bode well for me), but it's tough to manage. Also, when I code I find that being more in a relaxed state produces better results.

qxc0013 karma

I always make sure I'm relaxed and comfortable. I've found that working too much leads to drastically reduced productivity. I don't really do caffeine, but I generally don't like mornings.

The biggest thing is to find a rhythm that works for you and stick to it. Don't worry about what other people say or what you 'think' you should be doing based on what you've heard. For a long time, I doomed myself to mediocrity because I tried to work based on what I thought my schedule should be rather than just listening to my body and discovering what works best for me

BrutusHFX5 karma

I only recently heard of pro gaming, so I don't really fully understand it.

Is it lucrative? I'm assuming money paid comes from sponsorships, people paying to watch the event, or like in a poker tournament with paid entry fees and players are paid out accordingly.

qxc009 karma

Money mostly comes from sponsorships and from doing well in tournaments. Some players make more money from streaming their games and receiving a cut of ad revenue or donations from their viewers.

The very best players have earned several hundred thousand dollars in Starcraft. In other games, that number is even higher.

If you don't live at the top, you don't make much. It's an incredibly top heavy industry. I never made much more than what it took to keep doing it and come out a little ahead.

Ephemerality3144 karma

How did you manage your time to be able to both graduate from Mudd with a CS degree and compete as a pro-gamer?

qxc0022 karma

Very carefully. The first thing is that I strategically stopped working on assignments when additional time would result in a minimal increase in my grade. The higher your grade is, the less % you'll get from subsequent investment. Going from a C to a B is much easier than a B to an A.

There were multiple times where I would just give up on an assignment because my grade was high enough and the amount of worked required to raise it further didn't seem worthwhile.

I also asked for help a lot and worked with others. Collaboration is the key to efficiency. Nothing great is built without building on the understanding of many others who have come before us.

I also don't really have a social life and prefer to spend a lot of time alone. So gaming worked out well in that regard.

OpRaider5 karma

So you graduated from the same place as Day9, right?

Was it during the same period?

You ever hangout?

qxc0012 karma

He graduated a year before I arrived. I saw him a few times when he visited campus afterwards and we always had a similar spirit animal for having gone through the ~same stuff

motosanders3 karma

What would you say is the most defining part of your new game? There are a lot of deck builders out there, so I'm interested in what this brings to the table.

Hope to see you at GenCon later this year!

qxc0014 karma

The two standout features of Aeon's End are

1) Replayability You have a modular gem row. (not just copper/silver/gold every game) A modular market (ala dominion). Each player is a unique breach mage with additional characteristics that make them play differently. And you play against a unique nemesis. When you combine all these factors, you end up with something that will provide a huge amount of replayability that is not matched by hardly any other games.


2)Forced Cooperation Aeon's End is hard and has cooperation designed into every part of the game from cards & abilities that only help allies to nemesis effects that require players to work together. This aspect of Aeon's End ensures that players remain engaged all throughout the game as they work toward the common goal. You are a team in Aeon's End, and you need to act like one to defend Gravehold and humanity from destruction.

AssaultimateSC23 karma

Hi qxc, thanks from doing this ama.

I had the good fortune of watching a few world championships while I was in Korea. As one of the few pro gamers on that level, why do you think Koreans are so good at SC?

qxc0025 karma

Koreans take e-sports far more seriously as a whole than many other countries, especially the US. They have more infrastructure, more money, more dedicated players/coaches. I look at it a little like "Why is the US so good at american football / basketball" or "why is canada so good at hockey". The more people interested in a thing, the more money it can generate which means more support and more people willing to devote their life to it.

travisrchance3 karma

If you had to be unmercifully slain by one The Nameless creatures, which would you choose? Why?

qxc004 karma

I would prefer to be slain by the Rageborne because it would be quick. Stab through the throat, blood everywhere. Lights out and nighty night

ashervisalis3 karma

During your big games, did you suffer from a lot of stress and anxiety?

qxc0010 karma

Often, I had a lot of trouble with anxiety before during and after tournaments. When I really played well, that anxiety amped me up and made me play better. When I wasn't playing well, it was a suffocating force that crushed my spirit.

CaptAngusMacHaggis3 karma

How it feel to be that one person that proved your parents wrong when they said playing video games was a waste of time?

qxc007 karma

You know there are pro-gamers besides me, right?

It's nice to be able to take my childhood passion and turn it into a full-time career. I like to follow my own path.

Ureth_RA2 karma

Can we get an idea of how the game is played?

qxc003 karma

Essentially, you start with a small deck of bad cards. Over the game, you'll add additional cards to your deck which will cycle into your hand in a few turns while balancing various threats that the nemesis will throw at you. If you run out of life before he does, you lose. Each card you play will do something different and you'll need to reach the more expensive cards to be efficient enough to actually take the game.

RosaFFXI2 karma

I love cooperative gaming, but I really don't enjoy deckbuilders. What arguments would you have my friends give me to convince me to play Aeon's End on game night instead of whining about how I wanted to play Eldrich Horror?

qxc002 karma

Aeon's End features a diverse back story. Each player is a different breach mage with a history. While deck building is part of the game, it's only one of many things that players do. A larger part of the game is just cooperating and coming up with a strategy while managing the threats that the nemesis throws at you.

Panzerr802 karma

yo , qxc how did it feel to all kill IM ? also do you play tabletop rpgs?

qxc003 karma

I felt like the biggest and best person in the world. I went home and just watched as I gained thousands of twitter followers literally overnight. It was awesome.

No I don't play tabletop RPGs

kringdom2 karma

When you were a pro gamer how a typical day of training looked like?what did you focused? How long did you spend reviewing your games, etc. Even though I do not follow esporting I'm genuinely interested in general principles of elite athletes :)

qxc002 karma

Probably practice ~4-6 hours. Replay analysis/discussion for 1-2 hours and then rest. It's easy to burn out and definitely was one of my biggest issues, but everyone is different. Some people play a lot more than that. For me, playing much more than that just led to excessive stress and actually getting worse.

DepthLol2 karma

I am an aspiring, top 50 peaking League of Legends prayer looking to go pro. Are there any tips you could give? Or some mistakes you did, so I could avoid them?

qxc002 karma

Find a player who's in tune with the scene and make friends with them. They'll be able to guide you on which teams/players to avoid and what aspiring organizations you could look at besides just providing connections.

As far as mistakes, my biggest one is not taking the money when I had the chance. Very early in my career, I could've joined an established big name team but chose to remain with friends instead. While I wish I had played better, management wise there's nothing I regret more.

fermenter852 karma

Hey qxc, as someone who played Starcraft and Starcraft 2 for long enough to want to get good and then eventually hate myself for sucking...

What was your least favorite map/race/open to have to match up against?

And as someone who plays board games and loses a lot, I look forward to losing playing your game too!

qxc002 karma

Daybreak vs broodlord infestor #nightmares

StarcraftAlaska2 karma

Hi Riley,

We met briefly at the Orlando StarCraft CSL championships where I was casting/hosting with Day9 and I picked you up from the airport.

My question is where do you see esports going in the next 5 years do you feel that the industry is heading in a good direction or do you feel that it's being stalled out or not growing at a proportional rate to its rising player/viewer rate?

qxc002 karma

This answer changes depending on which esport you're referring to. Some have stagnated or begun their tailspin while others are flourishing. Overall, the scene can only grow larger. More and more people play games everyday and the more people that play, the more potential there is for more money and a bigger scene.

murkertrer2 karma

Hi There!

Big Fan Here, :D Both of the game and of yourself

When Starcraft came out impressed me alot. I remember seeing the workers come and go from those blue minerals, hehe so cool!

So now I'm kind of retired from sc and now trying to program a video game. I guess that I'm trying to put into it, everything that I wished starcraft had: a true use of a 3d enviroment, and the ability to aim and shoot in it.

I have been learning how to program for about a year now, and It has proven incredibly challenging (specially the multiplayer aspect)*although equally satisfying.

I guess my question is, what advice would you give someone who embarks in such enterprise ? hehe <3

qxc003 karma

Iterate often. Pretend you're releasing your game and see what happens. Ask for help. Don't be afraid to take risks. It's a long confusing road and you can't wait until you know everything to do something big.

k4rstar2 karma

Was there any one event in your mind that triggered the downfall of interest in SC as an e-sport?

qxc007 karma

Definitely not. Starcraft's decline was a relatively slow one over many years. I would attribute it more to fundamental features that Starcraft lacks rather than an event.

pemboo2 karma

Are blueberry pancakes still your favourite? Do you still eat them out of garbage bags?

qxc003 karma

That really brings me back. I do not eat them anymore, nor have I ever since brought any sort of food in a garbage bag to a public setting. I learned my lesson well enough the first time

Sxi1392 karma

two questions

who were your top 5 sc2 casters?

dont need to order them..

You say this is your first board game, are you planning to make more games in the same concept or your other board games be different?

qxc006 karma

Apollo Kaelaris Tod Day9 Rotterdam

I have a lot of respect for the casters who are up to date with the game's meta. Pro-gamers are my favorite overall, but few besides ToD have done more than token casting.

If this game does well, there's opportunity for a sequel, but I don't know what my plans are yet. When this is all done, I'm planning to take a break and relax. After that, who knows

Dr_KiLLJoY_NL1 karma

What is your favorite location to buy in Monopoly?

jackwoww1 karma

Why the hell can't I play Starcraft I on my macbook?

Do you know if there will be a patch for powerPC applications?

qxc004 karma

I would guess you can't play Starcraft on your mac because why are you trying to game on a mac? Seriously. Stop trying to make Mac a gaming machine and just get a gaming machine. I don't know what powerPC is because I don't game on a mac.

monster541 karma

Do you happen to know where AngryTestie is?

qxc001 karma


Wikiwnt1 karma

Did you ever get around to killing everything on the no-fly mesa using only spawn broodlings?

qxc009 karma

I literally have no idea what you're referring to. So yes. I did. More times than you did, that's for sure.

junkmail221 karma

My experience with deck builders is that playing them makes me just want to play Dominion.

What sets your game apart from the pack?

qxc002 karma

First thing is, Dominion is competitive. It plays more like a parallel solo experience. Aeon's End is cooperative and forces a lot of communication/teamwork from the players. So the two, while being deck builders, live in vastly different worlds at their core.

Besides that, Aeon's End has a lot of theme/story if you're into that. You play as a breach mage with the task of defending your city, Gravehold from what are essentially giant monsters. Each character and nemesis has a lot of backstory to grow the world out.

As far as the deck building itself goes, you have a lot more ways to spend your economy in Aeon's End besides just deck building. In addition, you never shuffle in Aeon's End which gives you more control over the game.

I highly encourage you to check out some of the overview videos on the KS page if that sounds interesting.

AngryB3ar1 karma

When you were traveling in Madrid, weren't you going for school? Did you know a girl who was also there for school who was extra cunty? Extra cunty girl talked about you back then. So I knew about you back then, before I was into gaming. It was weird seeing your name start popping up more and more over the following years, even after I stopped talking to extra cunty girl.

qxc001 karma

I was in Madrid for school, but I was still playing Starcraft at the time. I don't know who you're referring to