"Allowing one strong opinion to dominate usually leads to either failure, (because they have the wrong idea of how to win the game), or success, but a the cost of everyone else because they feel like they didn't participate. If people don't all have a voice and a point of being on the team, then when you get to the end of the co-op game it's either like "well I wasn't listened to and we lost" or "I wasn't listened to and we won...but I didn't care"." ~Rob Daviau, Co-op Game Designer

Rob Daviau is an award-winning game designer whose games have been sold world-wide. He is most well known for being the co-designer of Pandemic Legacy (Season 1), the highest-rated game on boardgamegeek.com. It's also a cooperative game, which is why I was so keen to have a conversation with Rob!

As the name suggests, in a cooperative game, people play with one another rather than against each other. This means they usually have to share resources and make group decisions. In this style of game, the fun comes from experiencing the setting and story of the game—not from the psychological destruction of your friends and family!

Since 1998, Rob has designed and published over 70 games from children’s games to family games to party games to more in-depth games for the hobby market.

In addition to game design, Rob is also a writer, having spent much of his 20s in advertising as a copywriter. He also wrote a chapter in Kobold Design’s Guide to Game Design, has been a contributor to DRAGON magazine, and has authored many articles on game design.

Rob regularly speaks at game conventions and performed live TV segments including being the live colour commentator for ESPN, during the 2009 Monopoly World Tournament.

He has guest lectured at MIT, Carnegie-Mellon University, and NYU on game design. He was an adjunct professor of game design at NYU in 2013 and is currently a visiting professor of game design at Hampshire College.

When it comes to cooperative game design and making collaboration fun, exciting, rewarding and meaningful there is simply no one better credentialled than Rob Daviau.

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