Read for 8 min
It doesn’t take long to find out why Lily Brown and Tait Hansen They clicked as friends and coworkers. The two 13-year-old girls do not end each other, but round them off. None of them jump to speak just to be heard; Both examine the questions posed in their heads and look for the truest and most thoughtful answer. They are essentially natural interlocutors and may demonstrate how they have completed a year-long and sometimes distant process of creating and designing their own board game.
The result of your efforts Betcha can’t! (something like “What You Can’t Do” in English) offers more than just entertainment for friends and family. The puzzle invites players to take part in a challenge to see who can remember the most trivial information on a topic (e.g. different types of vegetables or means of transport) in a limited amount of time. The game won part of the main prize for “Most Marketable Concept” at the Young Inventor Challenge 2018, which is part of Chicago’s annual toy and game week.
The Pressman Toy Corporation contest sponsor quickly replayed the game, working with Lily and Tait to tweak some aspects and prepare it for a massive release this spring. In this way, Betcha can’t! It was available in the US through the other sponsor of the original contest, Target.
Lily and Tait came up to us one afternoon through their respective homes in Alpine, Utah, and Emerson, Illinois (the two were neighbors in Illinois before Lily moved west) to discuss their insatiable curiosity and commitment to the concept as aspiring inventors to live in the midst of school closings and above all what they have learned from the experience of adults working with their benefactors.
Image: Courtesy of Scott Brown
ENTREPRENEUR (DE): When did you think that you had an idea that could have potential beyond your own entertainment?
Tait: We tried playing with my family and I found it a piece of cake when everyone seemed to be having so much fun and no one had ever played such a game before.
Lily: Equal. All the compliments we got, like “Girl, it’s so fun. We love it. It’ll be a winner!” And then I realized, oh, that could really win.
EN: What was the balance between your parents’ visit as a mentor and total self-sufficiency?
Lily: My father plays games, so we didn’t try to look too closely because we really wanted to invent it ourselves. So if we win and people say, “Your father made games, he probably helped you,” we could say, “No, we all did it ourselves.” So we don’t look at them so much in the game design process.
Tait: Yes, I wanted it to feel like our game and I didn’t want us to have so much help from adults. But since we were very young at the beginning, we needed a little help, but for the most part it was pretty independent.
DE: Is there anything about game development that you did differently afterwards?
Tait: Since we started the game in third grade, I would have kept going instead of giving up the idea of playing a game for two years. Because so far we could have played several games and it would have been better for me.
Lily: Yes, I agree. I think it would have been nice if we believed in the game just then. Then, a year later, we thought maybe we should do a different game and really take part this time, but we couldn’t imagine a game. And then we realized that we can go back to what we did before. If we continued to do that it would never have happened and we could have entered the first year.
EN: What were some of the constructive comments Pressman received after getting involved?
Lily: When we first started the game we had a board and heard that the board was too long or didn’t really seem to interact as much.
Tait: Yes, I remember when we were first told that, we thought, “Oh, this is our game. We want to leave it as we designed it.” I really wanted to use the board, but when we tried it for the first time without a board, we found that it wasn’t really necessary.
EN: What comments have you received that you have finally rejected?
Tait: After [del concurso]We were able to read the comments that the people who judged us wrote, and there was one who said, “I’ve seen this concept in many other games.” And I thought I’ve never tried a game like this. I dont know what you are talking about.
Lily: Yes, there were some of those comments that I said, “Are you sure you’re talking about our game?”
DE: Do you think that despite the distance between you, you will achieve another such cooperation project?
Tait: I would like to play another game with Lily, but I have no specific plan. I am currently solving things.
Lily: the same. I think we would like to do another game together. I have no idea at the moment. I have a partner in mind that could turn into something, but I think we’ll see.
EN: Have you lost inspiration because you haven’t been to school with your mentors in the past few months?
Tait: I don’t think school inspired me a lot, but it could have been inspiring without me noticing it, so it felt a little different.
Lily: It was nice to have something that I knew other people there knew about and could help me with, but it didn’t inspire me through the process of the game.
EN: have you always been so ambitious? It seems that they are linked to wit
Tait: When we went out together we tried to do a lot of different business when we were younger. I have a feeling that our minds could have worked a little differently. We really don’t like dressing up as princesses.
Lily: Yes, we have made a massage chair from completely random materials around the house, such as straws, popsicles and table tennis balls. We glued them all together and said, “Look, this is a massager!” Once we even put flyers in the neighborhood and said, “We have a business now.” We probably had 8 or 9. We didn’t get any customers, but we thought we would be very successful.
EN: Do you think you can stay in it now that you’ve enjoyed the business world?
Tait: I really didn’t know what it was like and I hoped that it was much more serious and that all adults were so serious about what they were doing. But it really isn’t. Everyone loves what they do. It was so much more fun than I expected.
Lily: Yes, when we were in interviews, people weren’t tense, they just asked us funny questions.
EN: Do people have to play Betcha Can’t? Following the rules to enjoy it, or do you want people to just enjoy how it works for them?
Lily: I found this random YouTube channel with this couple playing our game but only playing the cards and not really playing and beating each other.
Tait: However, I am glad that people can interpret the rules. I really don’t care if they don’t play it exactly as we wanted it to. As long as they enjoy it, I agree. Even me and my family do it. We do a lot of road trips and sometimes it’s easier to invent your own cards and play them the way you want.
Lily: As long as you have fun with it, we will encourage you.