Kickstarters can be a great launching point for a new endeavor. For Willy Yonkers, with his new endeavor the first step is by launching Fyra! I stumbled upon his Kickstarter in an unexpected place, on the fan Facebook page of the apparel company Svahausa.com where it was shared into the group. I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn more!
Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.
Fyra is a pattern matching card game which takes 5-25 minutes to play. It is for ages four and up.
What is the elevator pitch?
Fyra is a new card game about matching and stacking. Players are rewarded for matching more of the colored corners on cards from their hands and stacking up their team colors.
When is your Kickstarter live?
The Kickstarter launched on April 1, 2021 and ends May 1, 2021.
Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?
Completely done! I just need funds to make my minimum order quantity and people to sell to.
Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?
Fyra is somewhat similar to dominoes except you can overlap the pieces and move in more than 2 directions.
You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?
I like math and pattern puzzles, so it appeals to that aspect of my brain. It’s also very simple with shades of strategy at higher play levels with more advanced players. I wanted to run a crowdfunding campaign on something easy to produce and cheap to buy to build trust with my customers.
What was your design process like?
There were many steps along the way:
- Reviewing existing products
- Finding opportunities for improvement and gaps in a product line
- Simple, functional mockups
- Play and rule exploration
- Market and styling research
- Manufacturing and shipping estimates
- Feasibility and sales estimates
- Working with a ‘real’ graphic designer
- Polishing the verbiage of the rules
What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?
Pretty much anyone can play no matter their age or skill level. The only requirement is that you be observant of patterns on the playing field. If you’re some kind of card-counting super-shark you can plan a few steps ahead, but most players won’t reach that level.
How long has this game been in development?
I have been working on Fyra for 3 years off and on. I was planning on launching in October of 2020 but it would have been really tight to meet Christmas holiday gift delivery expectations.
What obstacles did you encounter making this game?
Finding a good name was tough. Making the card backs and packaging front look professional was also difficult for me as I’m not a graphic designer. The game itself could have been too simple without the team and scoring aspects that were added after preliminary play testing.
What did your first prototype look like?
Just squares cut out of paper with 4 color corners printed on them I had made at Kinkos while I was moving from Chicago to Rochester and had most of my crafting supplies in boxes.
Why did you get into making games?
Games are fun to play and coming up with new ideas is a great challenge. My first exposure to toy and game design was while working at ThinkGeek on their in-house product design team. ThinkGeek had a wonderful ‘Peter Pan’ attitude towards life and work – nobody wanted to be grown-up and boring. Appealing to the kid inside of everyone was an awesome experience.
What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?
There’s a Tactile Edition for visually impaired players in the works. It will be hand made in Rochester so the quantities are pretty limited.
Fyra is just the first step I’m hoping to make towards starting a product development company called CubeFire. I wanted to prove myself and gain the trust of the crowdfunding community before moving on to more complicated projects. I’m going to expand the product offerings beyond games but will absolutely keep the ThinkGeek spirit alive.
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