PRESS RELEASE: DIZED is Live on Kickstarter

PRESS RELEASE: DIZED is Live on Kickstarter

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 (Helsinki) – Dized, the premium tabletop companion app, is now live on Kickstarter. The smart device application brings tons of helpful content to gaming sessions. The fully-voiced, interactive Tutorials are able to react to what’s happening in the game and players are able to learn as they go, turn by turn. Thus, Dized allows the games to start immediately, straight out of the box. And Rules are like fast, searchable FAQs able to respond to all the questions players might have while playing a board game.

With the success of a previous crowdfunding campaign, Dized is already available in Early Access and has a selection of handpicked pilot projects available. The reach of the Kickstarter campaign will help the company both develop the app further and widen its audience and community, which will in turn attract more publishers and content to the application.

One of the many features the company is looking to develop with a successful campaign is Adaptive Profiles for Tutorials, which is a highly requested feature. While some players might want to have full depth explanations and examples, others might not. Since every group wants to learn at their own pace, the Adaptive Profiles allows learning to happen based on the skill level of that group. 

Also, to help expand the content in the app, the company has built and just released a toolset that allows publishers and freelancers to create Dized content themselves. The easy-to-use tools already allow the creation of Rules and Interactive FAQs to the app. Dized Rules are especially valuable to returning players, who know how to play games but want to either brush up quickly on the rules, find information quickly regarding a specific rule, or ask questions about the rules. The similar tool for Tutorials is already under development, and when finished, it will expand the Tutorial content rapidly. A successful campaign will help in the production of these tool immensely. 

The Dized Kickstarter launched on the October 16th, 2018 at 11AM EDT and will run for 30 days.  

Find the Dized campaign at https://www.dized.com/kickstarter.

About  Playmore Games and Dized
Founded in 2014 by enthusiastic players and game designers Jouni Jussila and Tomi Vainikka, Playmore Games’ goal is to show there is a better way to learn and enjoy board games together. While the board games industry is booming, a significant obstacle remains: learning rules is a slow and tedious process. Playmore Games’ Dized app will offer smart tutorials, setup guidance, a blazing fast rules lookup tool and other exclusive features to make the board game experience all about fun.

PRESS RELEASE: Sheeple Comes to Kickstarter on October 23rd

PRESS RELEASE: Sheeple Comes to Kickstarter on October 23rd

A Smith Games (designer of Old World New World) is launching our first Kickstarter campaign, for SHEEPLE: The Best Game in the Ewe-niverse on October 23rd.

Over the last eight years, I’ve had the game played hundreds of times with different groups of people of various ages, with different types of tastes in games.  Children fall in love with the game, and it’s a blast to play with adults as well.

The game is art and design complete.  The campaign will ask for $25 a copy, with free shipping to the US, international-friendly shipping, and bulk discounts.  The campaign will last 24 days, starting October 23rd, and ending November 16th.  All backers can expect to receive their games by May 2019.

About SHEEPLE

In the game, you’re a sheep who’s trying to become a sheep-person.  You start at the E-lamb-entary School, and the first player to graduate from the Ewe-niversity wins!  
Each turn, a player picks a category, and each player has a minute to write down as many items as they can think of.  They, they compare answers.  You only score points if other players also put them down.  So to win, you must Think like a Sheep!  
However, if answers are a little unique (only two players match), they score double points, so SHEEPLE encourages both inside-the-box and outside-the-box thinking.  As a natural creative, I wanted game this to stimulate the creative side of the brain.  It turns out that rapid brainstorming for a full minute is a little difficult – most people go brain dead after thirty seconds.

Fun for Sheeple of all ages!

However, SHEEPLE pros are able to continuously generating new ideas, while keeping in mind answers that their friends are likely to put down.
Sheep puns are very key to the SHEEPLE world.  The game contains around 80 sheepish puns, with a special game mode available where players score extra points for incorporating sheep puns into their answers.
I’ve had a lot of fun marketing this.  Here’s a SHEEPLE Rap Video I made, as well as a Star Wars Parody at the San Diego Comicon.  Running around dressed like a sheep at Gen Con was a hoot as well.  I even ran a Matrix-themed giveaway with secret sheep-themed messages.
Stretch goals will include new characters and cards, and Spot UV for the box, with Kickstarter backers being able to vote on the stretch goal they would like to see next.

The Details

Number of players: 4-10 (it plays fine with 3, but 4 or more is better)
Time required: 30-45 min
Recommended ages: 8+ (though children as young as 5 may play if they team up with an adult)

Expansions: I really want to include all types of players.  There’s an NSFW expansion for people who enjoy Cards Against Humanity, and a Christian expansion available for people who want something to play with their youth group.

Sheeple Components

Kickstarter Campaign

Preview: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/asmithgames/1408187028?ref=469692&token=f75e6b1d

Website: https://www.sheeplethegame.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asmithgames

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asmithgames

Twitter: https://twitter.com/asmithgames

BoardGameGeekListing: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/259009/sheeple-best-game-ewe-niverse

5 Quick Questions About Builders! with Tyler Omichinski

5 Quick Questions About Builders! with Tyler Omichinski

Editor’s Note: As a kind of content geek, I try new formats. People seem to love our interviewette for tabletop designers that is a quick read. We promise no TL;DR. Let’s see how Tyler Omichinski, one of the designers of hot new game Builders! does, shall we?

BGB: Attention is money, my friend! What is the elevator pitch for Builders!?

Tyler: Builders! The Building-Building Deck Building game is a fun and fast paced game about competing to be the best construction company by any means necessary. Build a deck of employees, use them to construct zany floors in skyscrapers, and knock down the stuff your opponents have built.

Ed. Note: BGB fully endorses the amusing subtitle of this game.

BGB: Making games is hard work, so you best have a great reason for making this thing. What inspired this game?

Tyler: There were three main things that came together for this game.

One of the designers, Nat, is from the trades and loves deck builders. He pointed out that most construction games focus on the end result rather than the people involved in the process, so we worked to make that a reality.

This led into, once we were focusing on the people behind major projects like these, to ensure that it was inclusive. The industry is getting better for this sort of thing, but there are unfortunately still places that we can and need to get better, and the response we’ve been getting for this has been amazing.

Thirdly, most of our experience in game design is in RPGs or cooperative games, so we wanted to cut our teeth on something relatively light and accessible to get started on our own project.

The intersection of these three factors led to Builders!

BGB: There are too many games out there. What hole in my game collection does this fill?

Tyler: Probably the most likely spot to fill is an introductory deck-builder. It’s a good time (45 mins to an hour on average), has a lot of light-hearted humor, and has a good deal of depth to the mechanics without having a ton of them piling on the players, meaning that it isn’t intimidating. It’s a great in-between game, or the kind of thing that on a game-night you can run through a few times in a row.

BGB: This is Boardgame Babylon, so out with your dirty secrets. What DON’T you want to tell me about this game?

Tyler: I mean, that there’s a 12 year old that we met at a con that can school every one of the designers and is probably the best player in the world is a bit embarrassing. That kid is amazing at card games!

Seriously though, there is a couple of small stories hidden within the cards that set up a series of small stories between the different characters. No one has caught on to it yet, and it was a thing that the art team crafted and we fell in love with.

BGB: Thanks for telling us a bit about Builders! Let’s wrap up with the key specifics (play time, number of players, and the link to the game) and also, since I think you can tell a lot about a person by understanding their sense of humor, what’s a good joke to close this interviewette?

Tyler: Yeah! 2-4 players, MSPR is 19 USD, for ages 13+. It’s a good thing to bring more people into gaming, and there’s plenty of interaction between players. One of the best parts is that, invariably, almost every table starts taking pictures of the buildings they’ve constructed and giggling about the implications of, I dunno, a dragon hanging out underneath a goat on the roof. You can check it out here.

BGB JOKE TIME

As for a joke, we’re just saying that if you arrange all the occult floors in the game you summon our team into your living room. Be careful!

No, we can do better, what about… what’s the difference between Gloom and Monopoly? One is a game about destroying families, and the other is Gloom.


5 Quick Questions About Dice Summoners with Eoin Costelloe

5 Quick Questions About Dice Summoners with Eoin Costelloe

Editor’s Note: Continuing in our popular interviewette series for tabletop designers, we travel via blog post to Dublin to hear about Dice Summoners from the designer Eoin Costelloe. The game is now live on Kickstarter and nearly funded. But I promised no TL;DR so let’s get to it. We can get all we need to help you feel good about supporting Dice Summoners on Kickstarter with these 5 Quick Questions.

Attention is money, my friend. What is the elevator pitch for Dice Summoners?

Ever wondered what it would be like to pit a Triceratops against an angel warrior, or to fire a magic arrow at a charging zombie? Dice Summoners is a two player game that allows you to do just that. Roll dice, match them with cards, build your army and attack your opponent. It is a game that is quick to set up and quick to play, with high replayability and a mythological theme.

Making games is hard work, so you best have a great reason for making this thing. What inspired this game?

I’ve loved trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh since I was kid. So when we thought of an idea to curb the randomness of a deck and replace it with dice, we couldn’t resist. We’ve played a lot of heavy strategy and heavy luck based games that we loved. We wanted to create a game that was a nice balance of both with some cool modern mechanics like a common pool of cards.

Dice Summoners

There are too many games out there. What hole in my game collection does this fill?

This game is fast and quick to play. We think there aren’t enough good two player games out there. This game is great for two people waiting for that friend who is always late for a game night. It has 44 interchangeable decks that make for hundreds of different versions you can play. It’s a painstakingly balanced game, meaning there are many different strategies that players can win with.

This is Boardgame Babylon, so out with your dirty secrets. What DON’T you want to tell me about this game?

We nearly killed each other trying to make a 4 player version of this game because we just couldn’t get the balance right. We aren’t ruling out a 4 player down the line because we have some good ideas for it but we have some couples counseling to get through before we can start working on that version again.

Thanks for telling us a bit about Dice Summoners. Let’s wrap up with the key specifics (play time, number of players, and the link to the game) and also, since I think you can tell a lot about a person by understanding their sense of humor, what’s a good joke to close this interviewette?

Dice Summoners is a two player duel using cards and dice that plays in about 30 minutes for ages 14 and above. It’s aimed at players who want a light competitive card game with high replayability. The game has an engaging strategy using dice based action selection and an extensive variety of cards. Immerse yourself in it’s mythological theme as players deplete their enemy’s health to win the battle.


Our Kickstarter is now live so check us out and consider backing us.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/870869293/dice-summoners
And if board game development doesn’t work out, I think I’ll become an optician. People will say it’s a bad idea but they’ll see. They’ll all see.

Just love these 5 Quick Questions things? There are more here.

PRESS RELEASE: Penny Arcade to release THE MAGIC HOUR, a travelogue-style web series featuring Magic: The Gathering

PRESS RELEASE: Penny Arcade to release THE MAGIC HOUR, a travelogue-style web series featuring Magic: The Gathering

REDMOND, WA – Sept. 17, 2018 – Penny Arcade will debut the first episode of THE MAGIC HOUR, a new show where Penny Arcade creators Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins meet companions old and new over friendly games of Magic: The Gathering, on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. 


Over the course of six 15-minute episodes, Mike and Jerry greet, befriend, and compete with special guests, including media presenter Anna Prosser-Robinson, Twitch streamer DisguisedToast, games media personality Morgan Webb, WWE Superstar Tyler Breeze, and more.THE MAGIC HOUR focuses primarily on how players can find and build relationships over a game of “MTG,” while featuring new and/or unreleased cards and expansions from the massively popular game. 


The show will air exclusively on Penny Arcade’s YouTube channel and release content weekly on Thursdays, alternating between the full 15-minute episodes and bonus content pieces or “minisodes” featuring the guest from the previous week.

About Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade is a web comic focused on video games and video game culture, written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik. With over 3.5 million readers, it is the most popular and longest-running gaming webcomic online. Penny Arcade is also responsible for the Child’s Play Charity, the Penny Arcade gaming expos (PAX) in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Melbourne, multiple video games based on the brand, and several online video series.

About Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering is a fantasy trading card game published in eleven languages and sold in 70+ countries. Tens of millions of fans around the world collect cards, build their own decks with them, and play as a powerful spellcaster in casual and competitive events. 

About Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), is the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. Wizards’ players and fans are members of a global community bound together by their love of both digital gaming and in-person play. The company brings to market a range of gaming experiences under powerful brand names such as Magic: The Gathering,Dungeons & Dragons, and Avalon Hill.

Book Impression: Port of Shadows by Glen Cook

Book Impression: Port of Shadows by Glen Cook

Port of Shadows by Glen Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(mostly spoiler-free)
Port of Shadows is the newest in the Black Company series, my favorite fantasy series when I was a young lad. As much as I respected and enjoyed Tolkien, revered Eddings, was dazzled by Zelazny, was charmed by the Dragonlance books, and enthused about Moorcock, Cook was the guy who wrote the book that inspired my own creation of a D&D world. Looking at Orphel, the fantasy world I created for RPGs back in high school, is heavily influenced by the gritty Black Company novels. While none of them live up the original book, many in the series get close and Cook’s characters are real people like you see in Game of Thrones, not perfect fantasy-book archetypes. I found this far more interesting than regular ‘quest-fantasy’.

I excitedly read through Port of Shadows new Black Company book since it’s the first one in ages. Cook is the same guy he was before, lots of excellent plotting (if they are sometimes more complex than they need to be), names that are sometimes awesome and sometimes ludicrous (and he goes full Russian Novel here with people going by three names), and the often lazy writing (the anachronistic phrases members of the Black Company slide into and the tendency to leave all the voices sounding the same. This was always a bit of a problem but it’s maybe worse here than ever before. A good editor could make Cook’s books all the more wonderful but he’s never found his own Maxwell Perkins.

I’d also caution readers who are sensitive about his treatment of women (others have commented on it and his racially-insensitive language in the past), but he’s fully writing about a society with a different attitude that is in line with historical views. My 2018 sensibility made me cringe at times, but I cringed at A Column of Fire earlier this year, too, which is a historical novel. I don’t think Follett or Cook advocate these views, they just write about them. Anyway, a word to the concerned.

While it’s nice to have series star narrator Croaker back after Murgen’s fussiness (who narrated a bunch of Black Company books more recently), the narrative takes some odd turns and there is more focus on an intriguing history than there needs to be (it’s good, but less of it would have been better). There’s also a truly bizarre epilogue that kind of gives Cook the option to kind of dismiss things he brought up that sounded kind of problematic for the lore. Insurance for inconsistencies that hardcore fans might find? Perhaps so.

All in all, a fun read and I hope the next book is also earlier in the timeline like this one. The grittiness of the series (which I re-read this year in anticipation of Port of Shadows) reminds me of the strong influence he was on GRRM’s Game of Thrones. Even a lot of his language goes directly into phrases used in GOT, although Martin does a finer job of turning that language into a real vernacular where Cook just spits out tough-guy talk. This is also one of the longer Black Company books and I’m inclined to think that Cook is best when he is briefer.

If you love the Black Company (as I do, warts-and-all), you will enjoy Port of Shadows for sure – which is why this decidedly three-star review has a fourth one up there. Pure nostalgia, folks – uncut and effective.

Buy it here! Amazon has a great price for it.

View all my Goodread reviews and become my reading friend

5 Quick Questions About Machina Arcana with Juraj Bilich

5 Quick Questions About Machina Arcana with Juraj Bilich
Editor’s Note: Continuing in our popular interviewette series for tabletop designers, I give you the return of the dark and mysterious world of Machina Arcana – the 2nd Edition of which is now live on Kickstarter. But let’s not get all TL;DR. We just need to get the skinny on the game with 5 Quick Questions.

BGB: Attention is money, my friend. What is the elevator pitch for Machina Arcana?
Juraj Bilich: Getting slaughtered with your friends was never been more fun! Does a surreal orgy of Hellraiser, Giger, Cronenberg, and The Thing sounds interesting?  Are you searching for a hard dungeon crawler with occult undertones? What about a story-driven game wrapped in psychological anxiety and cosmic existentialism?  If these things are tempting, then Machina Arcana is a game for you.
 
Machina Arcana
 
BGB: Making games is hard work, so you best have a great reason for making this thing. What inspired this game?
 
Juraj Bilich: You sound like there was any choice involved. Some people are inspired, while others have an obsession that drives them do great things. But She doesn’t appreciate any of that nonsense. The thing is, She wants to get out into this world.. and the only way to make the pain go away is.. is.. to let her use my hands. My teeth. My blood. It is all for Her.
 
BGB: There are too many games out there. What hole in my game collection does this fill?
 
Juraj Bilich: The unique environment, interactive inventory, combat mechanics and tactical diversity are all enveloped in an integral storytelling experience that provides both total immersion in the dark world and full replay value. There is no need for a game master, and no special conditions based on the player count.
 
Players take on the role of explorers that are thrown into dreadful halls, scratching for survival and progressing through the chapters from one of many horror stories. Even if they manage to stay alive till the end of the story, they will face a special mini game at the finale of each scenario.
 
Machina Arcana
 
BGB: This is Boardgame Babylon, so out with your dirty secrets. What DON’T you want to tell me about this game?
 
Juraj Bilich: I am already working on different modes for the game that completely change the gameplay experience. These include deathmatch, and a puppeteer mode.
 
BGB: Thanks for telling us a bit about Machina Arcana. Let’s wrap up with the key specifics (play time, number of players, and the link to the game) and also, since I think you can tell a lot about a person by understanding their sense of humor, what’s a good joke to close this interviewette?  
 
Juraj Bilich: Machina Arcana is a cooperative steampunk horror game for 1-4 players. It has a modifiable duration and difficulty setting. For the complete scenario it can take up to 4 hours, while in shortest mode you can finish the game in 30 minutes.
 
Considering the occult and dark images and stories, the game is not for kids (ages 14 and above). Our Kickstarter launch date is 4th of September (10AM EST time)!
 
In the end, I want to thank my dad for always believing in me, he has the heart of a lion… and a lifetime ban from the zoo.
 
 
Editor’s Note: Why, yes, there are MORE 5 Quick Questions Articles. You can find them here…

PRESS RELEASE: THE FOURTH PLACE (GAME NIGHT READY)™ LIBRARIES LAUNCH WITH INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

PRESS RELEASE: THE FOURTH PLACE (GAME NIGHT READY)™ LIBRARIES LAUNCH WITH INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

ENFIELD, NH, September 1, 2018 – Geek culture startup The Fourth Place is launching the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for a line of Game Night in a Bag and Game Library in a Box (and vice versa) collections selected and accessorized to be ready for players and businesses to go straight to hosting successful game nights.

Game collections featuring popular and critically-acclaimed games upgraded to be (Game Night Ready)™ come paired with an Init Gear Gamefolio Vault Duffel Bag, a complete Gamefolio System, or a The Fourth Place premium library box. The games inside are repackaged with premium and hard-to-find card protector sleeves, lamination for fragile papers, ‘ex libris’ name labels, and other accessories like zip-lock bags, to be ready to play— and to survive game night— right out of the box.

The Fourth Place

The seven titles in each starter kit are expected to include Avalon Hill Games’ hugely popular Betrayal at House on the Hill, Leder Games’ asymmetrical indie hit Vast: The Crystal Caverns, Czech Games Edition’s accessible Codenames: Pictures, and Atlas Games’ flagship card game Gloom. Each library will include games diverse in skill level and complexity, cooperative versus competitive play, length of game, age of players, number of players, and genre. Subscription boxes will follow, to build on these collections with new games and expansions on the core set.

Versions for businesses including restaurants, coffee shops, dorms, bars, public libraries, and B&Bs include a “success kit” with promotional materials, additional accessories, and guides for both players and owners to ensure successful game nights. Versions for individual players will have lower price points, but still include game accessories, plus extras like stickers.

The libraries sell for the MSRP of the games and Init Gear bags, plus the wholesale cost of other upgrades, with free shipping within the United States. Total cost generally comes out cheaper than even the typical online retail cost of all included games, bags, and accessories.

The Fourth Place founder, Ian Struckhoff, says, “I’ve been passionate about creating geek spaces for decades, and on my birthday in July, I finally realized how I can help players and businesses jump right into hosting successful game nights! I haven’t stopped rushing towards this moment since! Please let me sleep!” (editor’s note: Sleep is for the weak!)

The Fourth Place

The Indiegogo preorder-based crowdfunding campaign runs from September 1st through midNovember, and can be found here. The Fourth Place can be found on their website and on Facebook.

The Fourth Place creates spaces where geeks feel at home, and everyone feels welcome to play with our cool toys. The startup sells individual (Game Night Ready)™ games and complete Game Libraries, all selected and accessorized so players and businesses can host successful game nights!

PRESS RELEASE: Take Matters Into Your Own Hands in Maiden’s Quest—Available Now!

PRESS RELEASE: Take Matters Into Your Own Hands in Maiden’s Quest—Available Now!

Hillside, NJ – August 29, 2018 – WizKids is thrilled to announce that Maiden’s Quest, its new hand-based card game, is now available in North American game stores!

In this fun and easy game designed by Ken Shannon and a primarily female creative/playtesting team, a fair maiden, tired of waiting for her knight in shining armor, decides to take matters into her own hands and rescue herself from her tower. Players will become 1 of 8 different maidens, leading them through a tower, battling monsters and collecting supplies in order to ultimately take on and defeat 1 of 10 captors. The game features an innovative spin-and-flip mechanic which allows cards to represent up to four different obstacles or items.
Additionally, the game can be played entirely in the hand, as cards are cycled to the back of the deck throughout play. This enables players to play anytime, anywhere, and, since each encounter resolves separately, the game can be stowed away at any time to be picked up again later. The game can be played solo, co-op, or even competitively. There is a Serendipity mode where you use your deck to help someone else and as a reward for doing that, sign special cards so that when you get enough signatures, the cards gain an ability that can be added to your deck. The possibilities are endless!
Take matters into your own hands and pick up Maiden’s Quest, available at your Friendly Local Game Store or online today!
For more information, visit: https://wizkids.com/maidens-quest/

PRESS RELEASE: New Eggertspiele website and Coimbra available for pre-order!

PRESS RELEASE: New Eggertspiele website and Coimbra available for pre-order!

Hamburg, Germany (August 30, 2018) Hear ye, hear ye!

Eggertspiele is ecstatic to introduce fans to its newly designed webshop!  To match the newly designed logo, our webshop offers a fresh face to order your favorite games from.  A news blog will also keep you up to date on the latest announcements and exclusive content, such as interviews with designers and artists.  We invite you to visit often for all things Eggertspiele!

 

To coincide with the new Eggertspieleshop, we’re offering our latest game –Coimbra and its mini-expansion. The mini-expansion is an Eggertspielewebshop exclusive that provides fans with a new set of multicolored dice that deepens the strategy with every roll and an additional end game scoring mechanism: the Bells of Coimbra.  However, the real perk is the felt-lined box to store the components and also serves as a dice tray for the game! Fans interested in preordering the bundle before September 24, 2018 have access to a discounted cost. 

 

Authored by acclaimed designers, Virginio Gigli and Flaminia Brasini, and illustrated by the famed artist, Chris Quilliams – Coimbra has been well received by fans and critics alike. Coimbra has sold out within hours at OriginsDice Tower Con, and GenCon. Now is your chance to bring home the next great Eggertspiele title!