Uri Streigold, Naama Weiss and Liat Waks on Ice Cream Meltdown, Night Knight and more

Uri Streigold, Naama Weiss, Liat Waks

Guys, it’s great to catch up. To kick us, how did you three meet?
Naama Weiss: Thank you Billy, it’s always fun to catch up! The three of us met at the accelerator of the toy invention program in Shenkar college led by Tal Schreiber. We are all graduates of the program and come from different backgrounds: I’m an industrial designer, Uri is a copywriter and Liat is an engineer.

Uri Streigold: We always had a passion for the world of invention, especially in the field of games and toys.

Together you make up the invention studio ‘Incredible Us’. How would you describe your approach to invention?
Liat Waks: We like things that make us laugh and have fun while inventing them. We like inventing games that are easy to learn and to master; games you’d like to play them again and again.

NW: We like to invent card games, board games, skill games… As long as it has a unique feature or gameplay, it’s something we will go for. And a game idea can start from a funny name, an interesting object or a conversation during lunch.

How do you three work together? Do you each have ‘roles’?
US: We always start with brainstorming, sometimes on WhatsApp before we go to sleep! Then we make a very simple model to play it and see if it’s fun. Then we play it a lot… And then play it some more… And then make our kids play! We then make another model – usually more than one if it’s more than just cards – and we’ll test it again. We’ll keep doing this until we have a model and a game mechanic we like, and have fun playing it.

NW: And in terms of roles in our team, Liat’s the one with a wild imagination, always bringing cool new ideas to the table. Uri’s the strategic brain, making sure our games are not just fun but totally addictive.

LW: And Naama’s the detail queen, making sure everything looks great and works even better!

Uri Streigold, Naama Weiss, Liat Waks

A dream team! Let’s dive into some of your recent launches, starting with Ice Cream Meltdown with Goliath. How did this idea come about?
LW: That was a fun game to invent and it started just by playing with slime. We just had slime on top of its box and it started ‘melting’ on it. We thought the image of a melting ice cream is very well known to kids – and it’s funny and terrifying at the same time. It just made sense to us to make a game out of it!

You’ve executed that gloopy, melty quality perfectly! Did it take a lot of work to get that right?
NW: We tried many slime formulations, it was fun! We knew it should be not too liquid-y as we use it as a timer in the game… So it had to melt slowly, but not too slowly! It was a mix between getting the right slime and getting the shape of the ice cream cone right.

Uri Streigold, Naama Weiss, Liat Waks

You nailed it! Another fun game of yours that I played at Spielwarenmesse was Night Knight. For anyone that hasn’t seen it yet, how would you pitch it?
US: It’s the ultimate pillow fight game! It has knights, dragons, wizards, kings and most importantly, two pillows you can toss! It’s a fast, fun card game with a pillow twist… It’s the ‘Game of Throws!’

Haha! I appreciate a good pun!
US: That was actually our original name for it!

Uri Streigold, Naama Weiss, Liat Waks

Well Night Knight is good too! Where did the idea for this one come from?
LW: It started from a viral challenge of trying to put a bowl on your head before your friend catches a stick and hits you with it! We knew we wanted a game for up to four players, but with more rules and a cool story. We also knew hitting each other with a stick is not an option!

I was going to say!
LW: We tried it a lot during the game development and had some bruises to show! So the pillow idea came and it developed from there. We did a lot of throwing pillows at each other and then at people entering our studio – it was hilarious!

What made Blue Orange a great fit for the game?
NW: Blue Orange is a great company. We showed them the game in Nuremberg last year. We played it and had fun. They take game development seriously and it was a pleasure to work with them.

Uri Streigold, Naama Weiss, Liat Waks

I also wanted to ask you about the Magic Flip range you created for Goodmark. These are bags that turn into costumes! Is that right?
LW: Yes! This was a great concept to work on. It started from the idea that kids always like to dress-up, but how amazing would it be to have a costume on-the-go, always ready for role-play?

Was it tough to get that transformation right?
NW: The design was challenging. We worked with different fabrics and sewing patterns to make a model and made a cute sizzle video. We showed it to Goodmark in Nuremberg last year and it was exciting to see it presented this year.

Uri Streigold, Naama Weiss, Liat Waks

Guys, this has been great. Before we wrap up, just one last question – in two parts! First, what fuels your creativity?
LW: For us, creativity is the easy part. We always have new ideas and we fuel each other’s creativity. We take inspiration from everything around us – stuff we see or read about, our kids, or it could be something as small as passing the salt during lunch together at the studio. Or hitting each other on the head always works!

We’re back to the sticks! And the part two to that question is, what kills creativity for you?
NW: Now that we have invented together during a pandemic and during a war, we can say that nothing kills our creativity! We just need more time to make all our ideas come to life!

Naama, Uri, Liat – thanks again for taking time out to chat.

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