New year, new Nerd Nites! We’re back on the first Wednesday of every month!
Starting 7 February at Little Andromeda.

7 February Speakers

“Don’t Hate the Player – A Board Game Designer’s Journey”
by Andy Bell

Andy has always loved playing board games, but a couple of years ago he had the crazy idea that he might be able to actually make one. Last year, his card game Ulterior Design was released into the wild. Through the process of designing, playtesting and publishing his game he got to see firsthand how a game goes from idea to product. In this talk, he will share some of the lessons he learned along the way, and some of the tools he uses for both creating his own game designs and analysing the games he plays.

Andy lives in Mairehau with his wife, his son, a cat and two chickens. As of writing this he has 73 board games in his collection, which isn’t that many really… His favourite games are Paladins of the West Kingdom and Gloomhaven, but some of his favourite games to introduce to non-gamers (ie.”gateway games”) are Splendor, Cascadia and Ticket to Ride. Andy is the designer of the game “Ulterior Design”, which is a quick, puzzly card game about competitive interior design that was released in 2023.


“Is Earth Just a Prep for Life on Mars?”
by Jack Heinemann

Humanity is terraforming Earth into a planet that can even make Mars look desirable as a potential new home. But what’s in it for Mars?

Jack is a university academic lifer; a molecular biology professor of poo, antibiotic resistance, and techno-utopian dreams. There is some bullshit he’d like to share with you.


“Nature for Nurture”
by Dr Bex Dollery

Ever wondered why everyone suddenly started walking your favourite park in lockdown or why posh shops have bird song rather than blaring out Taylor Swift? Let’s check out why sometimes it’s (scientifically) cool to be a hippy.

Over the years Bex has collected as many certificates in ecology, psychology, and natural health as she could manage, gaining the Nerd status. A lifelong love of all things natural, an intense interest in connections and relationships, a 25-year career in ecology and a need to practice some serious self-care means that she has delved deep into the world of using nature to bolster her own sense of peace.