In the October issue of Seattle Met, we dive into a hybrid game invented right here in the Seattle area—well, Kirkland, to be exact, though it certainly evolved when it landed in Seattle proper. In the article, "What the Heck Is Duffleboard?" we discover what the heck it is indeed. To further illuminate how each Duffleboard course is brought to life we look to extended interviews with Sam Largent, who invented the game which people play at his Flatstick Pubs in Kirkland, Pioneer Square, and, most recently, South Lake Union, and with Drew Fletcher, whose company Function Foundry fabricates Duffleboard courses.
Drew Fletcher: [Function Foundry's] located in rural Issaquah, where we've got a farm and a shop and a barn; it's more or less a small factory. We got the dogs running around, my employee rides his ATV to work. It's controlled chaos. We're going on two years designing for them. I was having such a blast doing this stuff with Sam, I started a new design and engineering fabrication company.
Sam Largent: I like to play lots of games—sports, card games, board games. I've always liked making up games on the fly.
DF: Sam is definitely the mastermind and he's kind of got a diabolical mind on game design in a good way.
SL: We wanted to make some with strategy to the game—some [are] full risk, high reward, some are more simple but easier.
DF: That sweet spot.
SL: People get excited when they get a hole-in-one, we want to make it doable.
DF: We had been talking about what he was trying to do with South Lake Union, and [we] wanted to see if we could make it work. You can design it, but until you play you're not going to know how it's going to go. He'll have a top-down sketch of how to play a particular table, how the ball is going to move, if there are elevation changes...
SL: We had a different approach at Pioneer Square versus South Lake Union. [At the former] we wanted to incorporate iconic things: the Seahawks stadium, baseball, basketball, an airplane wing, then from there we turned to game play.... Then at SLU we wanted a clean, modern look; [it's] more about game play than recreating sports fields.
DF: Fabricating these shapes [is] always fun. All of these that we're making, no one's made them before.
SL: We want to invest in cool games that will last. They have to be durable. They go through a lot of abuse.
DF: If people have a beer or two, they will find a way to break it—they're the best trial group!
@DuffleboardIsLife on Instagram—aka Dan Ferguson from the article "What the Heck Is Duffleboard?"—records a recent hole-in-one at Flatstick Pub in Pioneer Square.