An Interview with Punch-It Entertainment

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Today, we chat with Jesse Bergman, found of Punch-It Entertainment, makers of the card game Battle for Sularia. This is another in our #FriendsofFive24 series and friend here in Lincoln, Nebraska.

What is your story?


My name is Jesse Bergman and I’m one of the founders of Punch-It Entertainment. We are a small indie game developer/publisher in Lincoln Ne. I started playing board games early on in my life with games such as Risk, Monopoly, and Stratego. In my early adolescent I started playing games such as Battletech, Magic The Gathering, Warhammer 40K, and a few different RPG’s. I have GM’d campaigns as a young adult set in the Paldium universe of TMNT and Rifts. I also ran a Mechwarrior campaign.

When I got into my teens video games became a strong influencer on my life and lead me to pursue a degree in Game Design from UAT in Tempe AZ. I graduated in 2009 from UAT with a BA in Video Game Design with honors. I was a non-traditional student and earned my degree at 29 years of age.

 In 2011, I began in earnest working on my own games and in 2014 I established Punch-It Entertainment along side my oldest friend John Kimmel.

What are you playing?

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Currently I’m trying to reduce my shelf of shame, and have been attempting to play the many games that have been sitting in shrink. I have most recently played Rise of Tribes, Rising Sun, Lords of Hellas, and Aeon’s End. I also play a ton of card games and have most recently been enjoying Transformers TCG and Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions.

What game is a hidden gem?


Probably the game that I enjoy playing the most that many haven’t played Overlords of Infamy. It’s a fun little game where we as players take on the role of the villain and I just love the role reversal. Combined with a very Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, it’s easily my biggest hidden gem. Although I just got a copy of Shadowrun: Crossfire and can’t wait for it to kick my butt.

 

What are you backing?


I’ve been on a bit of a Kickstarter hiatus lately. I currently have 5 games needing to be fulfilled or currently seeking funding.

1.)   Overlords of Infamy: Misery Loves Company! Expansion

2.)   Tidal Blades – Heroes of the Reef

3.)   ROBA: Radiant Offline Battle Arena

4.)   SiegeStorm: The SiegeMode

5.)   Penny Lane: A Charming Game of People and Pennies

 

What are you excited about?


I usually don’t find myself super hyped by many games. I tend to look at each game objectively and decide if it fits a space in my collection. With that said Wave 3 of Age of Sigmar Champions is launching the first of March and I am very excited to see the new cards and add some of them to my decks.

 

What is your next project?


While we don’t have titles officially set on either of the titles we are currently working on three different games.

 1.)   Sularia – A Deckbuilding Game

2.)   Hunt – A Cooperative Legacy Dungeon Crawl

3.)   Zen – A Tile Laying Game of Balance

What are your hobbies outside of board gaming?


I am pretty busy being a dad, husband, and entrepreneur. But when I do find time I enjoy watching shows on Netflix and playing video games.

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What do you need help with?

Right now, I don’t have specific help needs. We are always looking for potential blind playtesters for our games and just advocates for our brand, as we simply don’t generate large revenue to massively promote our products in the world.

What tip do you wish you knew when you started?


There is a lot of advice out there regarding how to promote and raise funds for your game on Kickstarter. I wish I would have started building community earlier. When we were developing our first game we went around to conventions and collected emails. We would reach out to those subscribers once a month with development updates, but unfortunately many of those early convention subscribers lost touch with us by the time the Kickstarter launched. All of our KS backers came from conventions visited within 90 days of the campaign. If I could do it all over again, I would have put my energy into building a community through giveaways and various other outlets, instead of spending travel dollars attending conventions. I still believe conventions are important, but the larger conventions are very costly for an indie developer and I actually love the mid size cons of 400-1000 attendees.

 

What is one of your goals for 2019?


My goal in 2019 is to get one of our games ready to release and continue to foster an inclusive and open gaming environment here locally in Lincoln. We have been using a local co-working space called Turbine Flats to foster this environment and in three months we have gone from 6 regular attendees to around 25 per week.

What cons will I find you at?


Currently we are committed to Great Plains Gaming Festival and O Comic Con. If you are reading this and have a con that you think we should attend, please reach out and let me know!

 

Where can I find you online?

Web: www.punchitent.com

Twitter: @punchitent

Facebook: @punchitentertainment

An Interview with Kane Click

Today, we meet Kane Click, designer of Coal Country by Rio Grande Games. Kane is from here in Lincoln, Nebraska. Let’s dive in!

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What’s your story?

I live in Lincoln, NE with my wife, Michelle, our son, Achim, and our dog, Zuul. I grew up in Chicagoland and moved here to finish graduate school. I fell in love, stayed, and stayed in love. 

I have been designing games, in a way I would consider "seriously," for five-ish years now. I started designing games as an extension of my various responsibilities at the university. At the time, I was teaching courses on popular culture and realized that I had many students that were primarily interested in video games and, well, we just didn't have enough time in the curriculum to cover them to the extent the students wished. So, I started a gaming research group for the students and included board games as an area of study. The students turning up that were

interested in board games were, unlike the students interested in video games, primarily interested in designing their own games. I was fine with this, as design is a form of research. To accommodate the difference in interests we began alternating the focus of the meetings. One week we would do video game analysis and criticism. The next, board game research and design, with an encouragement to bring your own games to be played. The games I was bringing seemed to be well received, and I really enjoyed the work, so I started pursuing them more intently...and here we are.

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What are you playing?

Lately we've been fooling around with Dragon Castle, Dinosaur Tea Party, The Estates, Gravitrax, Haspelkneckt, Menara, Piepmatz, Shadows in the Forest, Silk, Trekking the National Parks (2nd ed.), Voltage, amongst others.

 

What game is a hidden gem?

One of my all time hidden gems is Alchemist, the Rossi game. I'm a big fan of games with player-programmed elements...if you can't tell from Coal Country. In Alchemist, the value of resource sets is player determined, which thereby influences the flow of said resources throughout the game. It's extremely elegant. The in-theme, in-world game board in Coal Country is actually a homage to the in-theme, in-world game board of Alchemist (minus disembodied hand). Unsurprisingly, no one has made this connection.

I'd also like to mention Piepmatz, for a recent release. It could very well be my GoTY for 2018. It's definitely my favorite card game of the past year. The mechanisms for establishing card flow and for converting that flow into scoring sets are quite clever. The game makes fantastic use of its theme, which we love, to tie it all together nicely. Oh, and it's pretty, too.

For fun, here's ten more: Celtica, Darjeeling, Dragonheart, Dreams, El Gaucho, Krysis, Mord im Arosa, The Name of the Rose, On the Underground, Safranito. Too many to list, really.

What are you backing?

Nothing, currently.

What are you excited about?

I'm looking forward to Planet, Men at Work, Farben. Maybe The Boldest. Maybe Underwater Cities. Maybe Lighthouse Run.

What is your next project?

Seemingly its continuing to tinker and cycle my current batch of prototypes between interested parties. It feels never ending, which, to be clear, isn't a complaint.

I'm also at work wrapping up a trio of dice-driven games aimed at younger players. After that, I have to get back to work on an expandable card game designed to be compatible with licensed properties. It started as a fun personal project a while back, but has since been requested by a publisher. I'm way behind on it.

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What are your hobbies outside of board gaming?

It's a dwindling list, to be sure. We do still make time to read a lot of books in our house, and we collect 1st/1sts of our favorites. 

Oh, and dinosaurs. We have a four year old, so the study of dinosaurs has become a whole house hobby.

What do you need help with?

The usual...testing, rules editing.

What tip do you wish you knew when you started?

I came from the world of academia, so I was already prepared for high rejection rates and unexplained delays. It helped me take all the weirdness of the board game industry in stride...except for the IP abuse. That's taken some getting used to.

One thing I wish I would have done is just focus more exclusively on "my designs", plain and simple. I've done a number of projects by request/direction that have never gone anywhere and have been a huge waste of time. I've signed contracts on things that never saw the light of day, and so on. Other than helping me hone the efficiency of my design process, I feel now that there was a lot of valuable time wasted that could have been better applied to the completion of designs I certainly cared more about personally.

If you focus on your designs, just for their own sake, at the end of the day you'll still have a game you love...even if it never leaves your own house. That's worth it, to me. Plus, if you're "lucky", when you later have to make publisher-suggested edits, you'll still have that core game you love for yourself, regardless of what it ends up becoming.

What is one of your goals for 2019?

I have the same goal every year, which is to find more time to work by in turn becoming more efficient at work. Improving efficiency, in all aspects of my life, is the game I play with myself.

What cons will I find you at?

Origins, Gen Con, Essen. This year was supposed be my first Nuremburg Toy Fair, but a confluence of life events made it impossible. I consider those "work" conventions, though. For "fun", I occasionally go to various local and regional cons when it fits my schedule. If there is a con you'd like me at, just ask and I'll try my best to make it.

Where can I find you online?

I'm on Facebook. I've mostly abandoned Twitter, but feel free to follow @KaneClick. Who knows, maybe I'll just randomly start caring about it again.

An Interview with Dastardly Design Company

Before we dive in, I want to highlight one of their current contest entries and give our readers the chance to support you in real time!

Dastardly is currently entered in the BoardGameGeek 2018 Mint Tin Design Contest and voting just opened (as of 12PM CST)! Check out the info here and then read on to hear more about Dastardly!



The voting page is now online! I've left it open through Saturday Feb 02 so that people have the weekend to vote.

Mint Tin Contest page on the GDCR

Full voting instructions are found here:
Voting in the GDCR

Important: You are giving each game that you would like to vote for a rating, similar to the BGG rating. This is done a scale of 1 - 10.
A rating of 1 would indicate that the game was a failure in its particular category.
A rating of 10 is for games that excelled in the category.

You are not required to rate each game.


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The votes in each category are independent of each other. Please rate each game according to the category it is entered in. For example, you could rate a game a 6 on Best Use of Theme but rate it a 9 for Best Rulebook.

If you feel that multiple games have earned the same rating, that is totally fine. For example, you may give multiple games a rating of 10 (or any other number).

Now let’s get to it and meet this amazing local design and development company here in Lincoln, whose secret weapons are cats, grandkids and a wonderdog!

What is your story?

We met while working at an insurance software company. We started a weekly board game group and also started going to science fiction/gaming conventions together. After working together for many years we ended up leaving that company, but continued to be friends and game together.

Mike: Board games and cards were at the core of our family’s together time. We started playing the classics like Pitch, Bridge, Monopoly, Sorry and Stratego. Then, my brother and I spent most of grade school playing all of the Avalon Hill games like Squad Leader, Midway, Twixt, Feudal, Battle of the Bulge etc. We created our own WWII game based upon HO scale miniatures. Now I play with several gaming groups, my wife, kids and grandkids.

Chris: I started playing board games at a young age, in fact it was one of the rare moments when my brother and I could get along. We’d fight and fight, but I have fond memories of Sorry and Stratego with him and Othello with my Dad.

In 2017, while at Gen Con, our ideas for a game solidified into Out of Line: Food Trucks. We created Dastardly Designs in 2018 and started to formalize several games. We also became active online, playtesting and reviewing games.

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What are you playing?

Mike: My current favorite games are Century Spice Road, Tiny Epic Zombies, Dominion and Carcassonne. And we are part of an ongoing D&D 5e campaign group. Chris is currently the DM.

Chris: After a brief dry spell of buying games, I’m wading through a newly bought backlog of Teotihuacan, Spirit Island, Clans of Caledonia, Lowland and A Feast for Odin.

What game is a hidden gem?

Mike: Spoils of War. We found this at a sidewalk sale. It has quickly become a family favorite.

Chris: One of the greatest finds we had was a last minute purchase at SDCC. We picked up a copy of Atlas Games Lost in R’lyeh and played it for hours that week-end. Still a personal favorite.

Mike: I agree with Chris. Playing that game at Comic Con was a blast. I just can’t pronounce it.

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What are you backing?

We back 20-30 games a year on Kickstarter.

Mike: I back mainly light to medium weight games... especially small box games. Patiently waiting to get Penny Lane and Fences. The grandkids helped playtest Fences while we are on vacation last year. The artwork and theme of Penny Lane instantly grabbed me.

Chris: Super excited for my expansion of Campy Creatures to arrive!!

What are you excited about?

Mike: I like helping playtest and review games. My grandkids and wife love to help also. The grandkids learn a ton from the process and like playing even a small role in bringing the games to life. It is neat to watch them increase their understanding of strategy and game mechanics. Pretty cool to hear an eleven year old say, “Oh this looks like a push your luck dice rolling game.”

Chris: New adventures and new friends, the board game family has been incredible to us so far and only think the best is yet to come.

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What is your next project?

Chris: Working to step into a larger format than we’re used to in our previous designs but bringing our first larger board game prototype to a testing phase. We hope to have it ready for Beta testing at GenCon this year.

Mike: We are shopping several of our games to publishers and hope to land something in 2019.

What are your hobbies outside of board gaming?

Mike: Golf, family and winter travel to warm climates! And I recently started fishing.

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Chris: Oh gosh, that’s a question that could be an article in itself. I’m a tinkerer, so if there’s a gadget or device to play with, I’ve probably somehow rationalized a use for it in my life. Currently having fun with my 3D printer, printing Wizard of Oz parts for my nieces’ Awana car.

What do you need help with?

Mike: Introductions. As with anything in life, relationships are key. We value introductions that help move us along our path.

Chris: Feedback, feedback feedback. I LOVE talking about games and game designs. Every game and play session holds a lesson you can learn from.

What tip do you wish you knew when you started?

Don’t be afraid of good enough. The idea that you can even perfect a design or a prototype just delays the feedback loop that every game needs. - Chris

Chris: Don’t be afraid of good enough. The idea that you can even perfect a design or a prototype just delays the feedback loop that every game needs.

Mike: How helpful the board game community is. Initially, we tried doing everything ourselves. Now we are active in the community doing reviews, playtesting and helping spread the word on campaigns and new games. We get similar support back from the community.

What is one of your goals for 2019?

Mike: Have one of our games published.

Chris: While I agree with Mike, I’d put some of expectations on myself of finalizing our current in-flight prototypes and getting them ready for partners, while finishing 1 or 2 of the many new ideas we have.

What cons will I find you at?

San Diego Comic Con
Gen Con
Great Plains Game Fest
Pretzcon
Geekway to the West
Midwest Gamefest
Kansas City Comic-Con
Wizard World Des Moines

Need to add list of other/local Cons

Where can I find you online?

Web: https://www.dastardlydesignco.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dastardlydesco
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DastardlyDesCo/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dastardlydesco/

An Interview with MeepleGamers - a board game review website

We’ve been meeting the coolest people lately! We want to introduce you to them as well!

MeepleGamers has several writers on staff in addition to founder Josh Hale. I caught up with a few of them and here’s what they said!

What are you playing?
Raids from Iello - Josh

Eight Minute Empire: Legends from Red Raven and Stuffed Fables of Plaid Hat - Ben

Betrayal Legacy, Gloomhaven & Innovation - Steve

Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats - Matthew

Imperial Assault, Star Wars Destiny and Scythe - Scott

Potion Explosion and Dice Forge - Ally

Istanbul Dice Game, the Splendor Expansions, Castles of Burgundy (it’s new to us and we love it!) and DC deck-building. - Mary

Too Many Bones: Undertow - Kevin

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle - Erin

Ally’s hidden gem is this mining game!

Ally’s hidden gem is this mining game!

What are you backing?
A laptop stand - Josh

Land of Yeld (RPG) and Super Dungeon Explore (sadly) - Steve

Nocturion - Matthew

The Power Rangers board game - Scott

Just a few things from last year….lol - Starcadia Quest, the Alhambra expansion, Black Rose Wars, Batman: Gotham City Chronicles and Cthulhu: Death May Die. Because of last year’s backings, this year may not have any, but I am very tempted to back Tsuro: Phoenix Rising. Also, I despise the game Munchkin, but Munchkin Dungeon has caught my eye. - Mary

Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon, Awkward Guests: Who Murdered Mr. Walton - Kevin

I’ve never backed a game before. I’d spend too much money! - Erin

I’ve never backed a game before. I’d spend too much money!
— Erin

What are you excited about?
Tsuro: Phoenix Rising - Josh

The Dice Forge & Bunny Kingdom expansions - Ben

Gen 7, Street Fighter and Comanauts - Steve
Expansions for Firefly Adventures and what’s next with 7th Sea - Matthew

Fantasy Flight Worlds Event and the new releases for Destiny - Scott

Deadwood - Ally

My Kickstarter backings and finally getting to play my Christmas present, Between Two Castles - Mary

Nemesis, D-Day Dice and starting a Kingdom Death: Monster campaign - Kevin

Learning to play the Game of Thrones LCG that I got for Christmas - Erin

Mary’s mini’s look great!

Mary’s mini’s look great!

What do you need help with?
Social media, duh… - Josh

My two boys. They’re so full of energy. - Ben

Getting the word out - Steve

Keeping up with my hobbies and getting away from work - Matthew

Believing in myself - Ally

Getting back on a routine and organizing my life. Sometimes I push myself too much and I need to learn to say “no.” - Mary

We had our third child, so we will need to switch from man to zone this year. - Kevin

Sometimes I push myself too much and I need to learn to say “no.”
— Mary

What tip do you wish you knew when you started?
How positive so many people in the hobby are, and an understanding of those that are not. - Josh

Don’t buy all the games! Your shelf of shame fills up fast when you do that. Take your time and enjoy each game. - Ben

Fast food is not really that great of an idea. Moderation, and it’s okay to not own every game you think you’ll like - Steve

Don’t wait, jump in, you *can* do it. - Matthew

For painting - pay attention to 2-dimensional artists and how they interpret light - Scott

Take your time with the games you have and enjoy them. Play the ones you love more. - Ally

You don’t HAVE to have all the games. I think my group has reached a slight stagnant stage because we have so many games. It takes us like half a day to decide on one! - Mary

There are great games you can never play and you are none the worse for wear. - Kevin

Board gaming can devour your soul - Erin

What con will you attend?
Adepticon in Chicago to compete in Imperial Assault Worlds - Scott

What cons will I find you at?
Yes. - Josh

Probably none this year, I have lots of business travel scheduled for 2019 - Ben

Money and health make attending a con unlikely - Steve

GenCon - Matthew

Adepticon in Chicago to compete in Imperial Assault Worlds - Scott

None this year. Traveling and 3 kids don’t go well together. - Ally

Dice Tower Con - Mary

Origins and GenCon for sure, maybe PAX Unplugged and some other local cons in Ohio - Kevin

I’ve only been to one so far (GenCon 2018). Crowds aren’t my thing. - Erin

Josh at Essen

Josh at Essen

Right now, I’m playing Too Many Bones: Undertow
— Kevin

What game is a hidden gem?
Críss Cross by Grail Games - Josh

Shifting Realms from Soaring Rhino - Ben

Parade from Z-Man Games - Steve

Anything by Genius Games - Matthew

Aljubarrota. I don’t know if you can get it in the states, but its a great Portuguese game. - Scott

Snow White and the 7 Dwarves Gem Mining Game (and not because you said gem in your question…lol) - Ally

Far by Z-Man Games - Mary

Harvest Dice, Joraku, Palm Island - Kevin

Dark Legacy: The Rising - Erin

Ben is a main contributing writer.

Ben is a main contributing writer.

What is your next project?
Checking out the 8bitbox - Josh

I created a new process for building acoustic guitars. My first prototypes should be ready soon. I’m excited to see if it worked. - Ben

I’m working on a collection of short Christmas stories I’m hoping to publish for the end of the year - Steve

Besides taxes? I need to put up a collage of pictures from trips I’ve taken with my wife. - Matthew

Finding a new game to incorporate into the painting series - Scott

Probably something in the house, painting a bathroom, reorganizing a room, or trying a new craft - Ally

Trying to start the casual painting videos Josh suggested months ago, along with finishing my Essen articles! I’m so behind! - Mary

I would like to get my miniatures work back on track - Kevin

Um… cleaning my living room - Erin

For my next project, I’m checking out the 8bitbox!
— Josh

What are your hobbies outside of board gaming?
Live music and festivals! My favorite was the Oregon Country Fair. It is a ball. - Josh

Running, reading and music - Ben

Miniature painting (I make cake toppers for friends’ weddings), cooking - Steve

Reading, movies, traveling, fishing and writing - Matthew

Roleplaying, video games, riding horses and skiing - Scott

I like to be creative and attempt vinyl and farmhouse signage. I enjoy playing basketball, volleyball and going to Zumba. I also enjoy organizing. - Ally

Miniature painting, music/singing, a little roleplaying - Mary

Miniatures, Streaming on Twitch, Music - Kevin

Writing poetry, reading, video games, and playing with my kids - Erin

Looks like Kevin is excited to attend GenCon!

Looks like Kevin is excited to attend GenCon!

My goal for 2019 is 1,000,000 pageviews for MeepleGamers.
— Josh

What is one of your goals for 2019?
1,000,000 annual pageviews for MeepleGamers - Josh

Grow my local gaming guild and get people into heavier games. - Ben

Mostly just do a little bit better than 2018 - Steve

Finalize design for a game - Matthew

Finish painting my entire board game collection - Scott

I’m a sugar-aholic. I love candy. This year I am trying to cut back on my sugar intake. - Ally

Finish painting Arcadia Quest! I’m so slow! - Mary

Shift the slider from chaos back toward order - Kevin

Get some nice shelves and reorganize my board game collection. Right now, they’re EVERYWHERE - Erin

I have a lot of short stories up over at Multiverse of Fiction on Facebook, or you can find years of stuff at stevemayne.blogspot.com.
— Steve

Where can I find you online?
MeepleGamers - on just about everything - Josh

@flatearthgames on Instagram - Ben

I have a lot of short stories up over at Multiverse of Fiction on Facebook, or you can find years of stuff at stevemayne.blogspot.com - Steve

MeepleGamers and a PbP (Play By Post - Tabletop RPG thru online posting) site that has been going for 15 years - Matthew

MeepleGamers or Patreon - Scott

@the_gamer_babe on Instagram and on Pinterest looking for new craft ideas - Ally

Instagram: @marysgameroom Twitter: @marysgameroom Facebook: Mary’s Game Room - Mary

@alegacyofgaming on Twitter, Instagram and Twitch - Kevin

Twitter & Instagram @erinnrichardson - Erin

Area 1851: Express Galloping Towards Kickstarter

Area 1851: Express Galloping Towards Kickstarter

Area 1851: Express is absolutely beautiful and features the art of Lucas Soriano from the original game, but has streamlined gameplay to a well-paced 30-45 minute timeframe. You still get to make entertaining combos like the “Lead-coated Breechcloth That Causes Pregnancy” so we haven’t lost the humor that makes the Area 1851 universe so wonderful!

Mint Delivery - Coming to Kickstarter on August 29

We are happy to announce that our newest game, Mint Delivery, will be hitting Kickstarter on August 29, 2017.

The spiritual successor to Mint Works, Mint Delivery is a refreshing light pick-up and deliver game for 2 to 4 players where you take on the role of a delivery driver. By taking orders, loading mints onto your truck and delivering them to their destinations efficiently, you can reach your goal of becoming Employee of the Month and winning the game!

Photo credit: Eric from whatsericplaying.com

Photo credit: Eric from whatsericplaying.com

If you are attending Gen Con this year, we are running demos of Mint Delivery throughout the convention. You can find a list of available events here: http://bit.ly/MintDeliveryAtGenCon

In addition, we will be using this campaign to help fund a second printing of Mint Works. The success of our first mint tin game was so incredible that we no longer have any copies in our warehouse! If you missed out on getting one the first time (or just can't get enough of the cool, refreshing taste of Mort's Mints), this campaign will be a great way to support our new project and secure yourself a copy of our hit pocket-sized worker placement game as well.

Mint Works, Card Size, and You!

This morning we managed to hit the $20k stretch goal for Mint Works, which is so amazing! Good work everybody! The number keeps climbing and we are marching towards more stretch goals. In the update I sent out this morning I had mentioned that I was considering dropping the card size down from a custom size, somewhat near the size of a business card, down to a standard "Mini Euro" size. The leading contributors to this decision were

  • Card Sleeves are available in this size
  • Additional space in the tin for more cards

I figured this wouldn't be a big deal at all, because the game is micro and portable. In addition the cards are already smaller than normal, and never spend time in your hands like a typical card game.

A few concerns have come up regarding the idea of shrinking the cards down and I want to address them here, rather than in yet another Kickstarter update, I don't want to fill your in boxes with too many updates!

The main concerns about sizing the cards down were

  • Readability (will important things be too hard to read across the table?)
  • Accessibility (will it be too hard to place mints on the locations?)
  • Preference

Readability

This was one of my main concerns with shifting to the smaller cards, so I made sure not to size down any important information on the cards when creating the updated templates.

The result was a little less white space, slightly smaller card art, and a tighter design over all. The key items on the cards: Cost, Points, Name, Effect all maintain their existing size. Below is an image (clickable to see full resolution) that shows existing prototype cards along side the proposed mini euro cards. There is also a base Ticket to Ride card and regular playing card for scale.

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IMG_2305

In terms of readability, everything looks as it should. I think this should dispel that concern.

Accessibility

Now this was not something that had concerned me when I initially considered shrinking the cards down, it was brought up by several people and I think it is very much worth verifying.

The two main concerns about accessibility were holding the cards and placing mint tokens on the locations. I don't think holding the cards should be a concern since you don't ever really need to keep a handle on your cards during the game. They spend the vast majority of their time on the table.

As for placing mints, I did some tests with my mint token analogs (read: Altoids) and stacked a few. These mint token analogs are 12mm in  diameter and 6mm in thickness. The diameter is the thing we care about the most at this moment as that is what the final diameter of the tokens for Mint Works will be.

Below is a picture (clickable for full resolution) of the same set of tokens on the same card in both existing size and the smaller size.

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IMG_2307

Everything still fits just fine, the circles are nicely sized for the tokens and spacing still allows easy access to the placement circles. I think this should dispel the accessibility concern.

Preference

Now there really isn't anything I can do to change how somebody feels about a given card size, so bullet point 3 is something I can't address here with a picture. That doesn't mean we can't address it. Which leads us into the next step.

I've created another poll, this time to gauge preference of card size. The poll only addresses the concern of card size for now. As I'm not putting the option of plastic cards on the table quite yet since I've done little to no research into it.

Like the other poll, you can vote once per day until it's closed. I'm not going to set an end date on the poll just yet.

I've embedded the poll below, or you can go here to view it directly: http://poll.fm/5nnoz

<a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/9501875/">Mint Works - Card Size</a>

It's time to get minty fresh!

A new game from the designer of Area 1851, launches on Kickstarter August 16th. Five24 Labs mad scientist Justin Blaske is bringing Mint Works, his new pocket sized worker placement game to Kickstarter to seek funding. Players who love micro games, and worker placement will both enjoy this small and potent installment.

Mint Works has seen tons of iterative internal testing, external blind playtesting and competition judgment over the last year. Art, layout and design are all complete all that remains is securing funding to sign on with a manufacturer. The Kickstarter will feature a copy of the game for $10 with free shipping to the US, and subsidized shipping to other conuntries. Copies of Mint Works are backed by a money-back garuntee to all Kickstarter Backers.

About the game

Players take the role of a mint tycoon, utilizing the mints at their disposal as currancy to purchase plans for new and exciting structures that will provide them with recognition and more mints!

Use your mints wisely and rise to the top, in this pocket sized minty fresh worker placement extravaganza.

 

Time: 10min Reccomended Age: 8+ Players: 2 - 4 Five24 Labs Website: http://www.five24labs.com Mint Works on BGG: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/200077/mint-works Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Five24Labs/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/five24labs

 

 

New Game - Mint Works

Mint Works is a light and straight forward worker placement game. Its compact size makes it easy to put in your pocket and take it anywhere. Its simple rules make it easy to introduce new players to the genre of worker placement.

During the game each player will have a limited amount of Mint Tokens, which represent their workers.

Players will use these mint tokens to earn more tokens, take first player or buy and build plans.

Plans are how players earn points. Some plans will only give points, others will give extra powers to the owner.

Once any player has at least 7 points earned (or if there are not enough plans to refill the stock) the end of the game is triggered. The game will then be over at the end of the current round.

Whoever has the most points provided by plans they have built wins!

Status

Current: Getting Initial Manufacturing Quotes Next: Formulating the Kickstarter plan, Approaching Reviewers.

New Game - Dungeon Town

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You are a budding adventurer who recently arrived in Dungeon Town, a small secluded settlement that just happens to be surrounded by three dungeons full of terrifying monsters and riches untold. The Lord of Dungeon Town, Thurston von Upperchin, recently passed away. His manor and estate will be up for auction in the coming weeks, and you have grand aspirations of becoming the next ruler. To accomplish this, you must delve in the dungeons and haggle with the local merchants to earn enough gold to purchase not only Upperchin Manor but all of Dungeon Town!

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Dungeon Town is a Gear Wrangling, Monster Fighting game designed by Mel Primus and Justin Blaske for 2 - 4 players.

Players of Dungeon Town find themselves making tough decisions on what skills they want to take when leveling up and which pieces of gear they need to purchase to slay the maximum number of monsters they can each turn.

Dungeon Town is currently going through the balancing phase of playtesting, and we hope to offer up some playtesting prototypes to the public in early 2016. If you would like to partake in this testing, please leave a comment on this article or contact us.

If you are interested in trying out Dungeon Town before playtesting copies are ready, stay tuned for Print and Play files in the upcoming weeks!

New Designer - Mel Primus

I'd like to take a moment to announce a new designer that we have added to the team, Mel Primus.

2015-11-18Mel is a business systems programmer and lifelong gamer. His wealth of creative energy has manifested in multiple forms throughout his life including art, music, acting, tabletop roleplaying, video game design, and board game design. He believes strongly that, in this brave new world of portable technology and social media, tabletop games are some of the most powerful tools for bringing friends and family back together again.

Mel and I have been working together for the last few months on a new game that goes by the name Dungeon Town. Stay tuned for a post about that in the near future.

Area 1851 Launch Party

area-1851-coverThis weekend we are having a Launch party here in Lincoln Nebraska for Area 1851! If you’re in the area you should stop by Hobby Town USA at 70th and Pioneers and come play! Everybody that plays will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of Area 1851!

 


 

71yXyP5EGSLIan stone will also be there to sell and sign copies of his hilarious book set in the Area 1851 universe.

Miscalculation: A Tale of Area 1851

Summer 2015 at Five24 Labs

Things have been crazy busy around here so far this summer, and there's no sign of stopping! Here's a little insight as to what's going on.  

Area 1851

Right now, Area 1851 is getting ever closer to store shelves, From what I've heard we are on the brink of assembly at the manufacturers. At that point, they get everything into a box, and then it finally gets on a slow boat across the ocean! I still have desperate hopes that people have the game in their hands by GenCon. I may be a little too optimistic, but time will tell!

 

Gen Con 2015

Well since you brought up Gen Con, I might as well talk about that. This year Justin will be out at GenCon again, and will be demoing Area 1851 in the events hall several times. The events are sold out, but that doesn't mean everybody will show up, if you really want to get in a game, check out the listing, and swing by to see if you can fill in with a generic ticket!

Justin will be around at GenCon doing various events and hanging out at the Game Salute booth possibly as well. If you see him, say hi! He will also have a few copies of Miscalculation with him so if you don't have a copy and want one, let him know, he can hook you up!

 

Project Arkansas

We have been having weekly testing sessions of our upcoming steampunk themed mech arena combat card game. Balance is nearly achieved between the various mech pilots. And bosses are getting more and more solidified as well. Project Arkansas is chugging along nicely and will start to see the light of day soon.

Justin will have a prototype with him at Gen Con and is more than willing to play a game or two with you. It teaches really quickly and 1 on 1 games are fairly short (about 20min on avg.)

 

Other Projects

We have several other projects on the back burner that will start to get more focus as Arkansas gets closer to "done". We are excited to tell you more about those games in later posts this summer

The Status of Things - Five24 Labs Edition

thumbs-upGreetings and well met travelers!
It's been a while since I gave a full recap as to what is going on in the world of Five24 Labs, so its due time that I do so!First off, we just came out of an amazing convention experience here in Lincoln at the Great Plains Game Festival where tons of people had a chance to play a final art prototype of Area 1851, and everybody seemed to enjoy it quite a bit! And there were many questions about purchasing the game, as well as pre-ordering.

Preorder Area 1851

Which lead me to realize that the pre-order link that I had, was no longer functional. Gasp! No fear though, There is a new process for pre-ordering a copy of Area 1851, to get into your hands, hopefully in the near future! What is that process? Well, I'll tell you by quoting myself from our Facebook page!

Good News Everyone! I have info on how you can preorder Area 1851 now! You have 3 options.

Option 1: Contact a local game salute authorized game store, and request a copy through them. You can find local game stores around you that are authorized for game salute here:http://www.gamesalute.com/storelocator/search I know for a fact that both Hobby Town and Gauntlet Games here in Lincoln are authorized with Game Salute.

Option 2: You can email Support@GameSalute.com and request a preorder for Area 1851, they will submit it manually and send you a PayPal invoice.

Option 3: You can call 1-888-57-GAMES and request a preorder for Area 1851.

Hopefully at least one of those options will work for all of you! Happy Gaming!!

There’s that, easy-peasy preorders!

 

Area 1851 Status

That leads me into what the current status of Area 1851 is, well the status is still “In Production” and we are currently waiting on getting a physical proof from the manufacturer, all we can do is wait at this point. Maybe waiting harder will make it done faster? I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot!

 

Playtesting

As some of you may know already, we here at Five24 Labs have many other games in the works, and they all need some play testing. To facilitate with that, we ended up making a Guild on Board Game Geek to give people a central location to find info about testing Five24 Labs games. If you’re interested in playing some of our bleeding edge games, or the games that are pretty rounded out just need a few more plays till we can say they are “Done.” Then please head on over to the guild and join up. More info about testing, and scheduling tests will show up there as time progresses.

 

Are You a Game Designer?

Lastly, I wanted to bring up the topic of adding more games to the Five24 Labs library, currently there are 3 other games in the works behind the scenes here at the labs, one of which we have started doing some public playtesting on. But we want to help out local game designers, using what we have learned over the last few years with getting Area 1851 out to market!

If you, or somebody you know had designed an awesome game, and you like what we do, feel free to emailjustin@five24labs.com and strike up a conversation and let’s see if we can help you, or maybe even bring you on board!

Area 1851 Production Status

Hello everyone!
I just wanted to take a moment to let everybody know  everything I did on the current production status of Area 1851.

As of right now, I know things are moving at the factory, and we expect to be seeing samples. The only sample I've seen so far is the dice, so I want to show you that at least, so we all know the same information.

area1851-dice-sample

It's not much, but to me this is VERY exciting! Sure it's just dice, but they are dice that only exist because of Area 1851! That means a lot to me, and helps to keep me excited as we continue to wait during this slow period of production!

That's all I really have for now, if you have questions feel free to hit us up on facebook, twitter, email or however you prefer (as long as you can find me there!)