Interview: The Ultimate Party with Big Potato Games

02 July 2024
A great addition to a game night is a party game, and no one does it better than Big Potato Games. We caught up with Head of Game Development, James Vaughan, for all things Potato and to take a look and some of their upcoming games.

You’ve almost certainly seen a Big Potato game around. Not least because they’re a comfortable sight on shelves from supermarkets to Waterstones, but also because their social media videos have a habit of going viral. Even Nick Jonas gave their games a shout-out – leading to a Nick Jonas variant of the game being published – but we wanted to know a little more about what sits behind those bundles of fun, and importantly – what’s next? 

Beginning of Big Potato

It began with Linkee – a trivia game where you connect the answers to a series of questions to a theme, which headed to BBC's Dragons Den. They emerged with an offer of £50,000 from Duncan Bannatyne, for 40% of the company, 4x what they had offered… and declined it. The story could have ended there, as it does for so many companies who fail to agree an investment, but instead, they went on to be Big Potato Games, publishing a phenomenal number of games since its official launch in 2014, and shows no sign of slowing down. 

James Vaughan was one of the early employees of Big Potato Games. “I’ve had the privilege of seeing it grow and evolve.” He says of it. Vaughan too, has evolved, climbing the ranks over nearly ten years to become the Head of Game Development. “My role involves overseeing the creation and development of our games—from initial concept to final product. This includes brainstorming ideas, refining gameplay mechanics, and working closely with designers and illustrators to bring our games to life.”

Related Article: Mix your party games with your adventuring, in another interview with James Vaughan about the game What Next? 

Content continues after advertisements

How does a Big Potato Game Get Made?

“Our approach is very hands-on, iterative, and feedback-driven, which allows us to refine our games based on real player experiences. We have an incredible external team of ‘tato testers who provide invaluable feedback during the development of our new games. Internally, everyone in the company gets involved in helping us test new games. It’s great to get everyone’s honest reactions—what makes them laugh, what makes them groan, and what just makes them scratch their heads in confusion.”

“We strive to design games that are accessible and enjoyable for everyone. This means simple rules, quick setup, and gameplay that can be enjoyed regardless of gaming expertise. We focus on themes and mechanics that are universally appealing, ensuring that anyone can pick up a game and have fun.”

“Game ideas often begin with identifying a common social interaction or a fun ‘hook’ moment, then twisting it into something unique. We consider factors like the game’s length, the dynamics between players, and the ease of learning the rules. Most importantly, we think about the fun factor and how the game encourages interaction among players.”

Related Article: 50 Best Party Games Ever

New games coming to Big Potato Games in 2024

“Our line-up this year is incredibly exciting. From the nerve-jangling dexterity game Cards Vs Gravity Pro to the creative and spooky drawing in Ghosts Can’t Draw, we cover a wide array of gameplay styles.”

Ghosts Can't Draw

Ghosts Can’t Draw sees you as a trainee psychic, with one player secretly drawing a picture with the ghost doodler, with everyone else having to guess who was the ghost and what they were trying to draw. It sounds like Scrawl meets social deduction.

Cards vs Gravity

You’ll likely have seen Cards vs Gravity heading around social media, which invites you to balance cards taller and further outwards without any dropping, a perfect game to take to a social evening, especially with the weather improving. It’s designed to balance atop a bottle, making it justifiable (perhaps even a good excuse) to take it down the pub with friends.

A favourite to look out for though? 

“My personal favourite at the moment is Dumb Questions To Ask Your Friends because it flips the typical quiz format on its head and creates lots of laughter and surprise”, Vaughan says. In it, everyone answers a question – and it’s the person in the hotseat who has to figure out which question they were answering from the list. 

Mini Game Party

“If I had to narrow it down,” Vaughan says, when we ask about an ultimate game night line-up, “Cards Vs Gravity Pro and Mini Game Party should be staples. Cards Vs Gravity Pro is great for those who love skill-based challenges, while Mini Game Party offers a little something for everyone, making it perfect for diverse groups.” Mini Game Party is a mix of skill games, luck games, building games, mystery games and more – a load of mini challenges in teams, which admittedly does sound perfect for game night.

Which ones make your list? 

Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products


No comments