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Your Family Rocks! is a family /party style game by Ludyo.  It is a new type of tabletop game that transforms your family photos into real cards in a real game. By merging photography and tabletop games, “Your Family Rocks!” lets you not only look at your photos but to play them as well. They took the time to answer some questions for us about their campaign. Take a look below and check out the campaign! It is live on Kickstarter now until July 13, 2018. 

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Your Family Rocks! is a family /party style game.  The playtime is 20 to 200 minutes and age range is 10+. Your family photos are transformed into real cards, which makes it really unique.

What is the elevator pitch?

Don’t just look at your photos…play them! Your Family Rocks puts your family memories at the center of the board game. The game uses your own family photos as the 60 “family cards” in the game, making it the first your-photos-transformed-into-cards board game. Your photos play the central role in the game, influencing your strategy, your score, your control over pieces, and in the end, how the game plays out.

When is your Kickstarter going live?

The Kickstarter went live June 12, 2018 and runs until July 13th. 

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

All production and logistic issues have been taken care of. We were waiting for a couple of reviews to strengthen our Kickstarter campaign page and completed a promotional campaign before the project launched.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

As far as we know, this type of customized tabletop game has never been explored. Some dynamics though might resemble other card dynamics (storybuilding, theme selection, card association,…) but we have had no comments about it reminding players of a specific game.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

1) Purpose Reason: The most important reason is the meaning associated with the concept. I think that fostering family moments based on their unique memories has value per se.

2) Uniqueness Reason: There is no such type of game yet.

3) Market Reason: If the concept is well communicated and gets track among the board game and parenting communities the potential can be quite interesting, we might expand the same concept for other types of memories (“Your Friends Rock!” for example)

What was your design process like?

Longer than expected! 😉 It started a gift for my family and the initial idea was to play our memories. As time went by, and after some plays with family and friends, I have decided to try a Kickstarter and this implied some changes. I had to simplify the mechanics in order to reach younger audiences and had to cut on some customization elements we had (people faces on meeples and family name on discs). I also had to combine the game design with the game art to make it more appealing.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

It’s their photos, their memories, their game. Families take tons of photos and they look at it, but being able to play them, while remembering good times and building relations is a different thing. The best reason is: by playing their past memories we believe families will strengthen their future relations.  To transform photos into real game cards, you just need to upload 60 photos to the Ludyo platform, and we’ll turn them into real game cards. We will assemble the game and deliver it at your doorstep.

How long has this game been in development?

3 years

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

Having the game dynamics/mechanisms closed was the first one. But the most important issue was logistics. The current supply chain of the board game industry is not capable of providing this type of customized solution so we had to make sure we were able to assemble potentially thousands of customized games . We are now very solid on this, but it took as a long time to get to it.

What did your first prototype look like?

Very different from the current version. The design was completely different, the mechanics were more complex and the game components were more customized than they are now. (as explained on “What was your design process like?”)

Why did you get into making games?

The inner desire to make a game has been inside for a long time. When I was 20 I tried making a board game about guards and prisoners, but I failed. Then I created a deck building game for standard 52 deck cards. I reached a new level when I decided to make a board game as a Christmas gift for my family. Family and friends liked it and gave me the incentive to try a Kickstarter. I am continuously provoked with new ideas for board games through daily conversations or simply walking on the street. It just comes naturally, which I believe is a sign that I should at least give it a try.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

Feel free to visit our Facebook page where you can find a couple of videos explaining the concept and how to play: https://www.facebook.com/YourFamilyRocks/ One point we have been asked many times: Why Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a good way to 1) test market acceptance of such new concept 2) clarify who our authentic demand is (those who cannot not try the game) 3) global reach and brand association with the concept and 3) support the project development only if succeed (no production costs if the project is not succeeded) 

We hope that, by playing their memories, families will strengthen future relationships. This has always been our guiding star.


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Summer has just begin, and Christmas is the last think on our minds.  It is time to think cool, plan ahead, and check out Christmas Lights Card Game, a holiday-themed set collection game.  It has the 9 additional bonus games that can be played using the cards.  The game is currently live on Kickstarter, and runs until June 27th. The cost for one copy is $15 and the shipping in the U.S. is only $2. The game is for 2-6 players and is recommended for players age 6 and up.

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Christmas Lights Card Game – holiday themed family-friendly set collection game ages 6+ for 2 to 6 players

What is the elevator pitch?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas! Players will swap, play, trade, and draw Christmas Light Bulbs into their own sets of lights as they race to be the first to complete two strands.

Christmas Lights Card Game features art by Dave Perillo and was designed by Adam Collins and Chad Head.

 

When is your Kickstarter going live?

We went live Tuesday May 29th and were quite excited to see us fund in under 8 hours! The campaign runs until June 27th.

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

The game is complete and will be ready to go to production shortly after the Kickstarter campaign concludes.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

It gets a lot of comparisons to a competitive version of Hanabi, mainly because players hold their cards facing outward. Each player cannot view their own hand, but can see all of the cards other players are holding.

 

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

I love the Christmas season. I’m one of those people who decorate their house right after Halloween and keeps it up through mid January. When I saw the design that Adam Collins and Chad Head made with Christmas Lights, I just had to contact them about partnering up with me to publish their game.

What was your design process like?

The game was largely complete when I brought it on board. One of the first things we did was start to trim down the card counts by making a few modifications. Next I wanted to create a little more player interaction, so I worked with Adam and Chad H. to add more variability with the wild and event cards.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

Value and variety. For what is a very reasonable price point, you can play 10 different games with a variety of player counts and ages.

How long has this game been in development?

I started with working with Adam and Chad H. back in February to get the game ready to launch on KS in late May.

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

I would say time was really the biggest obstacle. We had a lot to do in a very short window of time in order to bring this game to KS early enough in the year to give us the runway to fulfill it to backers by the holidays.

 

What did your first prototype look like?

When I signed the game, they already had some placeholder art for the game. I wanted to give it a retro vintage styling with a modern touch. I’ve been a fan of Dave Perillo’s artwork for some time and he has that look to the work he creates. I was fortunate to have him work on the project and it looks drastically different from when the game was first signed from the designers.

Why did you get into making games?

I’m a board gamer first and foremost. I love playing all kinds of tabletop games. As such, I approach every new game project with the same enthusiasm and passion for creating something I can be proud to put on the table.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

This is my fourth tabletop project, having published two puzzles and one prior game. I am currently working on art development for the next game 25th Century is going to publish in Q4 called “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.” I also have two additional game designs from different designers for 2019 that will begin development efforts soon.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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On Their Merry Way is a Robin Hood themed game we first saw at the Boston Festival of Independent Games (BFIG).

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc. 

On Their Merry Way is a path building game for 2-5 players ages 13+ that takes roughly 45 to 60 minutes.

What is the elevator pitch? 

On Their Merry Way is a unique path building game for 2-5 players, who take on the role of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, setting traps along the trails of Sherwood Forest and trying to fool the wealthy merchants during their travels.

When is your Kickstarter  live?

May 15th 2018

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete? 

On Their Merry Way is in the final prototyping stages and will be in production as soon as it reaches its funding goal.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game? 

On Their Merry Way is a one of a kind game that stands alone in the tabletop community. Some have compared it to tower defense style games but its unique path building mechanic is completely new.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game? 

At New Experience Workshop we strive to make games we want to play that don’t yet exist. On Their Merry Way is a completely unique experience that is fun and strategic in its own way.

What was your design process like? 

We were inspired by the Tiny Epic model’s use of a low component count, three types of resources and a rich selection of choices to be made. However, as On Their Merry Way came to be, it developed into an entirely unique game that broke that mold and forged its own.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

It’s a new type of challenge that provides something for all age levels. It provides a new challenge for older players who will enjoy figuring out the puzzle of path building, but provides equal footing for younger players as it is a completely new genre of game for everyone.

How long has this game been in development? 

One year

What obstacles did you encounter making this game? 

We struggled at first to find balance in all the moving parts of the game, but as we cut away some of the superfluous parts and got to the core of the game, we found that while certain aspects were fun in their own right, they added more complexity than necessary and ultimately detracted from the main experience.
What did your first prototype look like? *
Our first prototype was themed around the hay-day of Route 66 travel and featured cars in the traveler positions and roadside attractions in place of traps.

Why did you get into making games? 

I feel fulfilled when I’m making games. Games provide a shared social construct for people to interact and have a good time, which I feel is more and more important in our ever-technologically involved world.
What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?
We are a two-person team working as hard as possible to bring our games to the world and share our joy with as many people as possible!
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Sometimes goblins need to go to war. Goblin Grapple is a strategic card game from Silver Gaming Company which is launching on Kickstarter on May 6th. In Goblin Grapple players compete to build up their goblin armies by besting their opponents in combat. Its a family-friendly card game that kids will enjoy (ours did) and will act as a great filler game for your board game nights.

Campaign

The goal in Goblin Grapple is to race your opponents to 100 points. You do so by winning combat challenges with your opponents and capturing their goblins over a series of rounds. You start by drawing five numbered goblin cards. On your turn you draw another card and can either place a goblin card from your hand face down to defend you or challenge an opponent by placing a goblin card from your hand face up. Combat is resolved like the card game War or the board game Stratego. Higher value cards will capture lower value cards (unless the card has a power that states otherwise).  Take a look at the video below for a great demo video from Silver Gaming Company themselves!

Goblin cards can be used for either offense or defense, but not both. I really enjoyed that tension because every decision I made impacted the rest of the round. Unfortunately, I felt like that tension was held back by a lack of card variety.  There are only six different card types and of those card types only three of them have unique powers. I am sure this was a result of play testing and that it was a necessary concession in order to balance the game. But, that is still a limitation for me.

With that said, I don’t think that lack of variety hindered my children’s fun at all. In fact, I think that the relatively small number of card types made the game MORE fun for them. Kid’s don’t get to enjoy light gaming experiences very often. They either get forced into crunchier games with their parents or stuck with mass market “games” that are often more activities than anything else. Goblin Grapple hit a sweet spot with my boys where they could play together while chatting about other things. That’s something that they can’t normally do while still enjoying the game they are playing. That is worth the purchase all by itself in my opinion.

Travis Haglund, the designer, took some time to answer some questions for us about his game and its Kickstarter campaign. Take a look below for the Q and A!

What is the elevator pitch for Goblin Grapple

A fast paced strategy game based on elements of Stratego and Classic War

When is your Kickstarter going live?

May 6

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete? 

Finalized internal prototypes.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game? 

There are elements of Stratego in our game, but this game plays much quicker.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game? 

My goal with this game was to invoke suspense and laughter while player. I needed the learning curve to be low to be family friendly, but still wanted strategy for more serious gamers – plus the goblin theme!

What was your design process like? 

We rapid-prototyped this game with inspiration from Stratego (one of my favorite games as a kid). I wanted the cards to be simple to learn with only a single stat per card! In order to achieve this, special goblins with abilities were added. Getting the synergy to click between them took some time, but with a lot of family and local gamers’ support I am confident in the balance now.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

Its fun!

How long has this game been in development? 

6 months

What obstacles did you encounter making this game? 

Card Synergy

What did your first prototype look like? 

We used placeholder art for the first prototype and printed it on our home printer so not the greatest. 🙂

Why did you get into making games? 

To see other people enjoy something you created. It is an incredible feeling.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

We are in this for the long run, and want to build a community slow and steady. We are always open to feedback and suggestions, so please reach out!


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Fire Tower is a area control and hand management fire fighting board game that is currently live on Kickstarter.  It was designed and is being published by Runaway Parade Games. They took the time to answer some questions for us about their campaign. Take a look below and check out the campaign! It is currently funded and a copy of the game is only $39 with free shipping in the United States.

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Fire Tower is for 2-4 players, ages 13+ (although this is only because of certification, since 7-year-olds have enjoyed this game). The game takes 15 – 30 minutes, and is a competitive forest fire fighting game.

What is the elevator pitch?

Prepare for a unique experience, a relentless battle for survival packed with shocking reversals and exhilarating victories. Fire Tower is a competitive fire fighting game for 2-4 players where each player mans a fire tower in the forest. Most games about firefighting have some cooperative aspect, with players working together to beat back the flames and stem the chaos. In Fire Tower your objectives are to protect your own tower and spread the flames towards your opponents. Can you be the last tower standing?

One of the main mechanics in the game is the wind, an unrelenting natural force that can be diverted but never stopped. At the start of each turn you must expand the fire in the direction of the current wind. If you find the flames encroaching on your tower, you’ll want to look to your action cards. In your five card hand you’ll find wind cards that allow you to harness the destructive force of the gale. Fire cards add a varying of patterns of fire to the board.  Water cards beat back the flames. Firebreak cards that let you remove combustible vegetation to create barriers that slow the blaze.

Your opponents will come after you with explosions, burning snags, and flare ups, but you can fight back by calling in airdrops of water, deploying fire engines and smoke jumpers, or constructing fire breaks. Undermine your opponent’s defenses by replanting trees they’ve removed, or douse flames on your tower with your trusty bucket. The choices are numerous; it’s up you to make the right one.

Fire Tower is easy to learn, has minimal set-up time, and is intuitive to play, so that the action begins within minutes of opening the box. That said, this is not a simple game to master: multiple variables allow for a wide range of strategies, and no two games look alike. Fire Tower features a vibrant watercolor design by celebrated artist Kevin Ruelle. You can see Kevin’s fine art by visiting his website, ruellefineart.com.

When is your Kickstarter going live

The Kickstarter launched April 24, 2018, and funded in 2 hours.

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

The game is finished, has been heavily play-tested, the artwork is complete, and the manufacturer is chosen. We have spent the past 3 years working on the game, tweaking it, paying close attention to every detail. Of course, we are open to new ideas, and we always welcome feedback from the game community, which has been incredibly warm and welcoming to us throughout this entire process.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

One of our favorite things about Fire Tower is that people who play our game can never think of another game that is quite like it. There are other games about fire fighting, but all the ones we know are cooperative games. There are other games that use patterns and spatial planning to strategize, but most of them are abstract games that don’t also include the more secretive elements that come with having a hand of action cards. What we love about Fire Tower is it has a retro look and feel, but the mechanics themselves are very unique.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

This is the first game that we have taken this far into the production process, so it is definitely our baby! The two of us have always loved board games and board game design, and our conversations often start with, “What if you made a game about…” and go on for hours and hours.

One day we were going for a walk in the woods and we were talking about how coop games are fun because you are playing against the game, and competitive games are fun because you are playing against each other. What about a game where you are playing against both? We wanted to create an experience that ramps up over time, one where it becomes increasingly difficult to resist the building momentum of the game. A forest fire really stuck out to us as an exciting theme with a natural progression that would be both formidable and exhilarating.

What was your design process like?

You can always tell when one of us is really excited about a game, because they start building a prototype right away. After we went for that walk, we couldn’t stop talking about Fire Tower, and it was only a matter of days before we had a prototype built and were playtesting it. Of course, the game was very different from what it is now. The mechanics were different, the cards were different, and we were playing on this huge piece of white board that took up half our dining room. But the basic idea was the same, and after we played the game once, we couldn’t wait to play again. That’s how we knew we were onto something.

We’ve been lucky to have an amazing community of gamers and designers around us as we’ve gone through this process. We can’t thank them enough for all the insights they’ve offered. The two of us kept meticulous notes on all suggestions received, and have developed a framework to apply this information. We really tried to distill player’s impressions of the game into positive change, and learned the importance of finding common ground in what at first seems like contradicting feedback. Parsing out the trends in our data led to important developments that have been essential to Fire Tower.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

This game takes about five minutes to learn and gets everyone laughing almost instantly. It is competitive, but at the same time lighthearted. One of our favorite parts about demoing Fire Tower at conventions has been watching the interactions between families as they battle for control of the forest. We love showing this game to kids and their parents, because it’s fun to listen to their hilarious banter as they go after each other. The game also works well for families because it presents core gameplay that young gamers can easily grasp, while at the same time offering unique mechanics and strategies that appeal to more seasoned gamers. This keeps every age bracket invested in the action, and also leaves room for kids to develop more nuanced strategies over time.

We wanted to create a game that was accessible to different types of learners, and tried to make it as intuitive as possible. We included cards that have both text and visual-based instructions, with a grid on each card that shows how it can be used. At one convention we met a father whose son had a hard time understanding text-based instructions and was pleasantly surprised that he found the visual directions of Fire Tower easy to digest. We’re overjoyed that Fire Tower is an inclusive experience that spans age and learning style. The social interactions the game encourages also compliment family gaming. Temporary alliances form and break as the wind changes, with players working together to send the fire away from themselves (and towards the other opponents).

Fire Tower forces players to try to predict how others will react to a varying range of situations, which leads to a lot of interesting interplay between personalities. The game is fiercely competitive, but at 15-30 minutes a game, it’s hard to be too sore of a loser (especially when you can just play again). In the meantime, kids are learning wildfire fighting terms and enhancing their spatial planning skills.

How long has this game been in development?

Just about three years. We are excited to finally get the game into the hands of gamers!

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

Because Fire Tower is the first game we’ve taken to the edge of production, and our first KS project, we have had to educate ourselves on every aspect that goes into making a game.  Ranging from the first design concept to the final product on your shelf. It’s hard to imagine the entire process while drawing your first prototype on a piece of poster board! We want to make sure that we manufacture a high quality product that is affordable for gamers. This means spending countless hours finding the perfect component.  This included waking up in the middle of the night and weighing options of card size or the shade of our fire gems. We needed to consider sizing the game box to fit efficiently on pallets, and so much more. Overcoming these obstacles has helped us create a better product.

As co-designers it is hard to give up on some of your own ideas, even if you know they aren’t right. Both of us have had to learn to step back and ask, “Am I defending this idea because it truly enhances the game, or because I came up with it?”.  Some of the hardest choices in the design process have been deciding when something has run its course and letting it go. Although some of these missteps end up fueling the next breakthrough! Creating Fire Tower has been one of the most challenging and rewarding logic puzzles we have ever encountered.

Designing a game brings out that same feeling of exhilaration you receive when planning out a complicated move for your next turn at game night. Designing Fire Tower has turned out to be one of the most addictive games we have ever played. Where all the limitations imposed on gameplay are up to your own discretion, and the possibilities for adjustments are endless.

What did your first prototype look like?

Our first prototype was this monolithic piece of poster board that had five or six versions of the game board. We used a lot of different things to represent the fire gems at first: plastic golden coins with a skull and crossbone printed on one side, pennies, torn pieces of paper, and sugar packets when we were in a bind once. Our first playtesters got to pick from a pile of plastic animals to represent their towers on the board. People often argued about who got to play as the jellyfish.

The first version of the firebreak tokens were ceramic tiles we found at a craft store. We had various friends with artistic skills who helped us draw the initial art on the cards. The deck was always changing! We used this setup until we’d locked down the core mechanics of the game. It was very exciting when we finally had some real artwork and were able to print a prototype through The Game Crafter. Still, sometimes we miss our giant poster board game.

Why did you get into making games?

Both of us have played around with game designing our whole lives. As kids we developed games that we played with our parents and close friends. At a certain point we were bouncing around so many ideas that we just had to see one all the way through. Designing a game was also an excuse to embed gaming even more into our lives. Meeting designers and playing their games has been one of our favorite parts of this whole process. Once we have Fire Tower produced and delivered we’re excited to turn our attention to other designs we’ve been working on!

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

Runaway Parade Games has a core mission to bring enjoyment to gamers through unique tabletop experiences. We’ve really enjoyed the process of showing Fire Tower to people at a range of extraordinary conventions including The Connecticut Festival of Indie Games, SnowCon, Pax Unplugged, Total Con, The Boston Festival of Indie Games, RetroWorld Expo, Too Many Games, Metatopia, and more. Games have been a lifelong passion for us. We’re excited to bring a new edition to a world that has brought us an extraordinary amount of joy. We’ve received a warm welcome from the tabletop world as a whole. Going forward we want to give back to the community, and share everything we’ve learned with people who are now embarking on the same journey we started three years ago.

 

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Dobbers: Quest for the Key is an encounter building, deck building, strategy game that is currently live on Kickstarter. It was designed and is being brought to Kickstarter by Darryl Jones. He took the time to answer some questions for us about his campaign. Take a look below and check out the campaign!

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Dobbers: Quest for the Key is a whimsical, high-fantasy, family game for ages 8 and up.  It is a 2-4 player game, which usually takes about an hour to play.

What is the elevator pitch?

Dobbers: Quest for the Key is a whimsical, family friendly board game for 2-4 players. It is an encounter building, deck building, strategy game. Create surprise encounters for your opponent while building your deck and equipping your hero. The mechanics are simple enough for children to enjoy with engaging strategies for adults. It has a high fantasy theme, with comic-book style, bold illustrations. There are two basic strategies essential to winning the game:  Placing challenging encounters on the board, preventing other players from being able to advance along their chosen path. Equipping your hero and building up your personal deck so that you can more easily overcome any encounters that have been placed along your path.

When is your Kickstarter going live?

April 16th

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

The game mechanics and testing are complete. There will be refinement with Kickstarter feedback of course, and there is still quite a bit of illustrations to complete for cards.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

Clank and Legendary are both deck builders that use a game board, but I’ve not seen any other deck builder that allows you to build encounters for your opponents. I believe it’s a very unique process.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

When I was younger, my Grandpa would say, “Keep your dobbers up!” when I felt down. I never really knew what a Dobber was, so I decided to create them. Inspired by the legends of fantasy creators, they became little gnome-like creatures living in the forest. Later, I decided to write and illustrate a comic book. I self published it in 2001. My career as a designer took over shortly after that, and it sat dormant for a while. Marriage, kids, work, all those things progressed.

A few years back I got into gaming in a big way once again. I wanted more games that could “thread the needle” between challenging strategy and young player engagement. The Dobbers never left the back of my mind. I started talking about it with my son and inspiration struck! We were going to make a board game! I focused on mechanics and design while he helped flesh out a lot of theme ideas. He also had a lot of input on what would make the game fun for him. There’s a lot of story involved, though all of it may not come out in our first board game, the story will unfold as we publish more games in the series.

What was your design process like?

It started with index cards for the cards and graph paper for the board. Next I laid out a card template in Illustrator, printed and cut out a bunch. There were blank spaces for each of the stats needed, so I could fill them out, test, replace and do it all again. This made for a quick way to iterate testing and balancing. Slowly I began working on illustrations, icons and other common design elements that would be necessary. All the while, continuing to test and brainstorm with my son. After a few months, we got our first set of cards printed at Staples. They looked pretty bad. My colors were too dark and the difference in groups were too subtle.

I redesigned the borders, frames and color schemes. We took it to GenCon in 2017 to play test with strangers. It went really well. Almost all positivist feedback. I’ve done a little more refinement on the frames and other common elements. Now, in addition to finishing illustrations for the individual cards, I’m working on graphics for the rules, promotional items and box. I expect the process will go through another round of refinement as I get feedback and suggestions from the Kickstarter community.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

As mentioned before, the goal was to create a game that was engaging for kids, but still something an adult could sink their teeth into. I think we’ve done that. Kids will enjoy the art and be swept away by the idea of equipping their hero while putting cool monsters in front of their opponent. Younger kids will get to practice basic addition and subtraction. My hero’s = 1 +1 for her sword +1 for her armor and she is facing a location that totals 4, who wins? And adults will enjoy finding the perfect card combination to over come even the most challenging encounter. It’s got it all!

How long has this game been in development?

A little over a year.

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

For Dobbers: Quest for the Key, I am the Game Designer, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, R&D, Marketing, Web Development and everything else guy. Wow, there is so much to do! Apparently most people have a team to publish a game. I completely underestimated it all. I expect to have a little more help for my next game.  I’ve found that the number of individual illustrations to create is a huge time investment. I might have changed a few concepts earlier if I thought there was a way to make some illustrations reusable.

What did your first prototype look like?

Just note cards and graph paper. 🙂

Why did you get into making games?

I’ve been a gamer of all kinds since the mid 80’s. It’s been my goal to be a published creator since high school. I let that goal lie dormant for a while, but now I’m glad to have it back as a passion.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

A little more about me in the gaming industry. I’ve done a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Now it’s time to move a little more into the forefront. I was the designer and illustrator for a lot of classic Dwarven Forge resin sets, Realm of the Ancients, Den of Evil, the Medieval Building set and more.  I Illustrated all of the walls and other assets needed for True Heroes. A True Dungeon event was sponsored by Upper Deck at GenCon several years ago. I continue to work with Jeff on True Dungeon and have designed the logos and ads for TD for the last 10 years. I run a D&D 5 game on the ExplodingDice channel based in the world I created in 2001, the Dobbers.  And the big one – I have a board game coming to Kickstarter also in the world of the Dobbers on April 16th.

You can contact me here:  darryl@splatteredink.com. I share much of my illustration on these social media platforms, including streaming my illustration process on twitch.

Twitter.com/splatteredink,

Instagram.com/splatteredink

twitch.tv/splatteredink

facebook.com/splattered1.

The official website can be found at splatteredink.com and dobbersquest.com.


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The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls is a worker movement game that is launching on Kickstarter April 13th.   It was designed by David Tepfer and is being published by The Screaming Brain They took the time to answer some questions for us about their campaign. Take a look below and check out the campaign!

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls is a cartoonish horror worker movement game for 2-4 players age 10+, and takes 60-90 minutes to play.

What is the elevator pitch?

Something is terribly wrong with the rural town of Monkton, Vermont. A deep colorless fog has swept across the hillside, members of the community have gone missing, and once lush farmland is dying. Locals believe that an ancient spirit haunting the old manor house of the hill is to blame. And they’ve asked you and your team of paranormal investigators to check it out, and save the town! The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls is a cooperative board game for 2-4 players. Takes on the role of paranormal investigators an exorcise a powerful spirit from an ancient home in Monkton, VT. Explore the haunted manor, search for tools, complete tasks, and most importantly of all avoid the spirit and exorcise the house before dawn!

When is your Kickstarter going live?

April 13th 2018, which is Friday the 13th!

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

The game is currently in extended blind testing to complete the rule book but has already been through production samples with our manufacturer.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls is comparable to Flash Point, a Coop version of Lords of Waterdeep, or Euro Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

I love the horror genre. Horror movies scare me, but I love the unique way the horror genre tells stories. It was that style of storytelling I wanted to emulate on the tabletop. I found that many horror themed games are just that, Horror Themed” with no effort made to tell the story using mechanics. So, I wanted to make a horror game that did things differently.

What was your design process like?

I started with a premise. Which was to make a cooperative horror game that could give players real feelings of dread and suspense. Once I knew what the emotional reaction I wanted for people playing Monkton Falls, I started to craft mechanics that would fit that goal. Monkton Falls is an incredibly thematic game, so each mechanic and design choice was to tailor a very specific thematic feel. And through development I worked through a “check system”. Each time I would make advancements in the design I would look back and make sure whatever change met the essential intent of the design.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

Cooperation! Monkton Falls is designed to be a game that can only be won through intensive communication and cooperation. We spent countless hours in testing to balance out the puzzle like nature of the game to the amount of in-game time players have to win. Consequently, wasted or misused actions could seal the groups fate. The decisions players make have to be made together otherwise players are sure to fail.

How long has this game been in development?

18 Months

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

Our biggest obstacle was balancing the difficulty level of The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls. Since cooperative games rely on a randomizer to determine what the game “does” it can be very tricky to balance for every given scenario while also creating the level of challenge I wanted for the players.

What did your first prototype look like?

Hand written slips of paper sleeved with old Magic the Gathering cards. Monkton Falls was originally fully card driven with no board. Ghosts were drawn from a deck and would attack players on each of their turns.  Meanwhile, players tried to fend them off and complete tasks with tool cards from their backpack (hand). It was fun and a step in the right direction, but it was very one dimensional and random.

Why did you get into making games?

I got into making games because I want more people playing games. Playing tabletop games has been a hobby for over 13 years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was actually open about it. I was often called a “closet gamer” by my gaming friends because I was so afraid of the stereotypes of being a gamer. I want to make games that are easy to learn and have themes that resonate in our larger pop culture. To bring people, who have shunned this hobby in the past, to table and ready to play.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

My company, The Screaming Brain, also produces a weekly blog and monthly podcast all about getting the most out of the board game hobby. We don’t do reviews or news. We focus on whatever we can do to get you into the hobby, or how to enrich your experience with tabletop games.

 

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Fire in the Library is a press your luck board game that is currently live on Kickstarter. It was designed and is being published by Weird Giraffe Games. They took the time to answer some questions for us about their campaign. Take a look below and check out the campaign! It is currently funded and a copy of the game is only $24 shipped.

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Fire in the Library is a Press Your Luck game that takes about 30 minutes to play.  Players age 8 and up can enjoy this game making it great for the whole

What is the elevator pitch?

Players are heroic librarians rescuing books to accumulate knowledge and earn bravery all while avoiding the flames before the library collapses! Fire in the Library is easy to learn, simple enough for kids to play and enjoy.  It has a depth and strategy that will keep serious gamers coming back. The game progresses with increasing Intensity. The books increase in value all the way until the end but no one knows who will take the last turn. Players must decide if they should save tools for an epic late game point swing or grab points now to take an early lead. Additionally there are alternate variants which include the ability to experience the excitement of Fire in the Library on your own with the solo game or spice up a multiplayer match by adding new challengers. History is burning—take chances, be brave, SAVE BOOKS!

When did your Kickstarter go live?

Monday, March 19th

 

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

Fire in the Library is like Incan Gold or Can’t Stop, in that those are also press your luck games.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

I actually worked the development on this game, and I signed it because I really love the theme.  The game is very thematic. I wouldn’t normally design a press your luck game, but this one is strategic and you can mitigate your luck, unlike the typical press your luck game. It has a depth to it that has kept me coming back for more! I have played this game repeatedly and I love it every time I play.

 

What was your design process like?

I have a lot of ideas and there’s only so many that you can actually test out, so I have to go with the one I think will work the best and playtest. Initial design is usually writing down all my ideas for the game. From there, I try to go right to spreadsheets to determine what will be on the cards and other components. Having a spreadsheet and using nandeck means that once I start playtesting, I can figure out what works and what doesn’t and easily generate a new set of cards. Most of my design time is spent playtesting, as that’s when I ultimately find out what works, what doesn’t, and usually when I think of all my ideas.

 

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

It’s easy to learn and kids can play and have fun with it.  It also has a depth that adults and seasoned gamers will also love with a unique theme and a small price tag!

 

How long has this game been in development?

Two years

 

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

The biggest obstacle was making sure that everything was really understandable, since games have to be able to be learned just from the rules and cards. The process of blind play-testing is always longer and more involved than I think it will be, but it’s all for the best, as I get to learn so much from each blind play-testing session.

 

 

Why did you get into making games?

Initially I was told it was really easy, and it seemed like it’d be fun. Making games did turn out to be really fun, but definitely not as easy as I was told it would be!

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

Fire in the Library will be on Kickstarter from March 19th until April 12th. If you want any other information, send me an email at contact@weirdgiraffegames.com.


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Taco vs Burrito by Hot Taco Enterprises is our Kickstarter Campaign of the week! No joke… this is a card game designed by a seven year old boy named Alex Butler. It is the ULTIMATE food fight on game night!

Game play is straight forward. Players draw cards and add wacky foods to their taco or their burrito to earn points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. There are gotcha cards that can mess with your opponents strategy so it isn’t THAT simple. I think the theme is funny enough and the cards are cute enough to keep me interested regardless.

I still can’t get over the fact that this game was designed by a 7 yr old. This kid is less than two years older than my daughter and he has already designed a successfully Kickstarted card game? That’s just crazy! I’m looking forward to playing this game just to see where this kid’s head was during design.

Taco vs Burrito launched on Kickstarter with a modest goal and reached it in three hours! This is a cool looking filler game at a low price.

 

 

Take a look at the campaign video below! If for nothing else… do it for the Taco costume!

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Subatomic by Genius Games is our Kickstarter campaign of the week! Genius Games focuses on designing and publishing strategy games based on hard science concepts. They create learning tools that are genuinely fun. Subatomic is a deck building game themed around the intersection between particle physics and chemistry.

Players start with a basic hand of Up Quarks, Down Quarks, and Particle/Wave Duality cards. Players will spend their turns combining those cards to form protons, neutrons, and electrons. They can then use THOSE resources to create elements or buy more powerful cards for their deck to help later in the game.

The feature about this game that attracts me to it the most is the art. The Neutrons, Protons, and Electrons are all bursting with personality and all of the different cards use bright colors that help keep players engaged.

Genius Games has been at this for a while. We interviewed John Coveyou (the lead designer and founder Genius Games on our podcast during the campaign for their last game Cytosis.

It was awesome listening to the passion in John’s voice as he talked about the intersection between game design, hard science, and fun.

 

The campaign video is below:

The game will have an MSRP of $40, but backing the Kickstarter will net you an $11 discount. The campaign has already funded (at the time of this writing the campaign has $170,000 in funding on a $12,500 goal) so this amounts to a pre-order, but if it looks like a game you might be interested in, then be sure to back it. The campaign is coming to a close soon!

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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