About Robert

About Robert

Robert studied art history at the University of Groningen, and then switched to becoming a teacher, where he earned a degree in drawing and handicrafts. Already during this education he won the Groninger Cabaret Festival, and a year and a half later he also won second prize at the Leids Cabaretfestival.

Immediately after college, he became a full-time stand up comedian and for many years toured theaters throughout the country with a total of seven shows. In addition to performing in theaters, he also specialized in shows for high schools. When that took off and became incompatible with the theater shows, he gave up the latter and went entirely for the schools.

After playing about 7,000 performances, the corona period brought an abrupt end to the many performances, and Robert threw himself into games. That resulted in four released games in 2021, another four in 2022, six in 2023, and for 2024 the tally for now also stands at six.

Have fun playing!

Robert on making games

It once began with The Big Primary School Game. Or no … it started even earlier, with an idea. During a car ride to a dinner party in Ommen, I stared ahead a bit, hypnotized by the dullness of the highway, the thousands of white stripes shooting by.

It was already dark. Lost in thought, as it is when there is nothing else to see, and suddenly I was thinking about time travel, wormholes, and about the lack of an explanation for the presence of dark matter and dark energy. In short, those thoughts we all have from time to time….

First test

I imagined a new force of nature, and fantasized a bit about spaceships that could travel through wormholes to a totally different part of the universe in a split second, and suddenly I thought: hey, that might be a game.

Arriving in Ommen, I first worked out the basic idea of the game on paper before going into the restaurant. In the weeks that followed I made the game more detailed and workable, and when I thought I had come up with a playable game, I made the first prototype; with a board, dozens of spaceships, pawns, cards and all sorts of other materials.

Time for the First test: called up friends and I must say: the game played quite nicely right away. There was one big problem though: the win condition was determined by having to conquer a specific number of planets, and every time one of the players got close to winning, he was attacked from all sides, so the win was suddenly far away again. Immediately afterwards, however, again there would be a player moving toward victory, only to be knocked back by the collective. After three hours of play, one of my friends said: hey, Robert, quite a nice game, but maybe you should have a look at it again.


This was about fifteen years ago. I tested the game everywhere, with anyone who wanted to, or – with slight pressure from me – felt some kind of social obligation, and the game did get better, but it was still a game that took quite a long time. Meanwhile, I had filled several binders with papers full of the theory behind time travel, including a prediction of how humanity would develop in the future, worked out in about a hundred pages, including a timeline with the division of the next millions of years into all kinds of time periods, with names and detailed descriptions for each period. I – seriously – thought at that time such a document would make the game considerably more attractive to a potential publisher.

That became a hard lesson when I first attempted to find a publisher for my game at a game fair. Getting a publisher to take a look at the game at all was already a problem. And in the few cases that succeeded, I was mainly told: “Games about space don’t interest anyone”, and the game mechanics were not even considered anymore. That did make the motivation for “Time Travelers” a little smaller, but not necessarily smaller for making games. I soon realized that making a short card game was a slightly less complex exercise, and before I knew it I had all sorts of ideas and prototypes of card games in various stages of “completion”.

Well…and long story short: that game, Time Travelers, is still unfinished. It’s called Bermuda by now (with a history theme, and the wormholes are now pirates, and what was once a black hole is now the Bermuda Triangle, and…well, don’t ask any further 😉). And if I ever have a lot of time, I’ll finish it!   

Game authors

But meanwhile, those other games needed a lot of testing. And since there is a limit to how many times you can ask your best friends to come over for another test (despite enticing them by cooking elaborate meals for them), I started looking for new game testers.

Through the local gaming association, through trade fairs… I tried everything but a chronic shortage of game testers remained a problem. Until in the magazine Spel! (of which I had become a member in the meantime) a list of all members in the Netherlands was added, with name, city and phone number. Nowadays unthinkable, but I made grateful use of it by calling the – besides myself – three other members living in Groningen and asking them if they would be interested in participating in a test. The first two responded rather suspiciously and bluntly, so I had to cross a threshold to call the last one, but then I got Thijs on the phone. And Thijs immediately told me enthusiastically that he was also working on a game about Vikings, and that he was part of a group of four game authors who regularly met to test each other’s prototypes, and that I should definitely come by and show and play my game.

And so it was. I came along, there was a nice click with Daan, Arjan, Douwe and Thijs, and since then the group of four game authors has become a group of five game authors. I released a game, won Toy of the Year, and started working more and more intensively on games, in addition to my work as a comedian. Of course, making games remained a thing “on the side””, until corona flattened the entire cultural life and I suddenly had no gigs. Zero, nada, nope. No work and lots of time. So I threw myself fully into games, and that resulted in the games on this website.


Inventing up games is something you do largely on your own, but before you dare to offer a game to a publisher, the game must be tested at least dozens of times, and so you are very dependent on game testers for feedback. Fortunately, I’ve managed to gather a dozen enthusiastic groups of game fans, who are regularly willing to extensively test and comment on all the brainchilds in various stages of ‘completion’. This provides – in addition to useful information – many fun evenings with great conversations and lots of chocolate peanuts.

The combination of fun testing nights and solitary puzzling out a game suits me well, and I am extremely grateful to all the game testers. Without them this would have been a very lean site….