April 2021

Welcome to the Indie Tabletop Newsletter, hear from independent tabletop games designers about their current and upcoming projects. Take a look at the games we’ve already self-published and our upcoming Kickstarters, maybe even get yourself a free print n play game. Learn more about this newsletter here.

Self-Published Games
Kickstarter Calendar
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Our fourth FlickFleet Kickstarter is live until 6th April and already funded. In it you’ll be able to get the space battle dice dexterity game, the first expansion and/or the new Box of Flicks 2 expansion. Box of Flicks 2 adds new scenery such as a nebula which prevents firing and limits movement, debris left behind by destroyed ships and a load of new ship designs some of which came from fans of the game through a competition we ran in January.

FlickFleet has an average rating of 8.2 on BGG and continues to be very popular, and we’re really excited by the new possibilities for awesome space battles created with the new content.

Finishing soon on Kickstarter!

March has been busy and productive! I’m starting to get the hang of the new job, and so have found more time for DinoFaeria.

After Nonepub, I made a couple of significant changes. The two best bits of feedback I received were: 1) make the pollution more important and tie better into the faerie theme, and 2) make it even more color-blind friendly. I have worked hard to do those things. Faerie tokens can now be used to remove pollution, pollution can “pile up” making it more valuable to get rid of, and the magic columns on the player mats now have part of the design from the magic cards on them along with the colors to make it more clear which is which.

I have a current prototype (see this month’s picture) which I’m pleased to see fits perfectly inside a standard dice bag. I may have prototypes to send to playtesters in a few weeks. Watch here for news!

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I’ve opened online playtesting and I’m hoping to move to unmoderated testing in April. If you have TTS and want to test DinoFaeria, please drop me a line at admin@biggirlgames.us. I am also getting back to Diamonds for Water, so if you would prefer a more serious cooperative game, it’s available on TTS as well. Still guiding those playtests for now.

No new freebies this month, but always check out the free games page on my website at www. biggirlgames.us/game-links.

Visit me on my website for the latest free games, news on upcoming Kickstarters, and the Buddy gallery (pix of my dog!)

The Big Girl Games website

Avast! We be ’bout to set off on a new voyage! An’ we need crew like you! Fancy yerself a savvy reader of tales of olde? Our historical adventure novel is coming soon, and we need a few fine crew to inspect the ship closely afore setting sail, as it were. If yer eyes be skilled at finding errors in text just by readin’ perhaps you’d like to engage in our ‘novel’ bug hunt. (no editing exp. required!)

It feels like we were announcing the release of our boardgame, Pirate Pursuit – the Spanish Treasure Fleet, just the other day. But it’s actually been six months, and it’s time for our historical novel, The Day the Pirates Went Mad, to meet the world! 🙂

The day the pirates went mad takes place at the turn of the 18th century and the Golden Age of Piracy is just around the corner. Follow the adventures of eleven-year-old Emma Sharpe as she learns to sail the sea, bonds with her shipmates, and then must save them all from a cursed pirate treasure before it’s too late!

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WANTED: Novel Bugs! Are you someone who notices missing or misspelled words as you read? Do you wonder sometimes “how did the editor miss *that*?” If you also enjoy historical fiction (involving pirates!), we want your help! No later than April 7th, subscribers to our mailing list will receive an invitation to participate in our ‘Novel’ Bug Hunt & Giveaway! Help us flush out any pesky, left-over editing issues before our paperback edition is released, and these words are set down permanently on paper. Remember: No editing experience is required. Just read the story normally and if anything jumps out at you, let us know! 🙂

Why a Bug Hunt? We always like to give our subscribers an opportunity to get early access to our new releases (and at a discount!). We also know that no matter how many reviews and how much internal testing one does, there will always be some issues that have escaped notice. And finally, we wanted a reason to give away some signed books! Releasing our ebook a bit earlier than our paperback lets us do all three of these things!

Reward for Finding the Bounty: For our Novel Bug Hunt & Giveaway event, we will ship out a total of five (5) signed copies of the paperback. One for reporting issues in each of the following categories:
(1) Best Fix Required – the best “that wasn’t just a copy/paste/modify!” issue
(1) Silliest Thing Missed – the best “how did that get in there!” issue
(1) Worst Naval Faux Pas – a bonus category for those savvy with the world of sailing & early 18th century sailing in particular. The best broken description, reference, or vocabulary issue Plus, we’ll do two (2) random draws against our subscriber list on the last day of the event. So just subscribing could get you a signed copy of The Day the Pirates Went Mad!

Get all details & subscribe…

We have been anxiously engaged in our latest project, a Sci-Fi worker placement and engine building board game called “Grave Descent”. The game is based on the concept of planets being destroyed by a strange anomaly. Your task, alone or with other players, is to rescue and evacuate the races, resources and artifacts from the planets being torn apart by the anomaly. The game has developed into a much bigger project that we ever imagined as we have found ways to make the game mechanics deeper and more immersive. That is due in part to the incredible artwork that has been created by Imaginaires. The game has really come to life with the final artwork taking shape, and we are now just weeks away from having fully playable prototypes.

In addition to the normal version of the game, we are now in the process of developing a special “Digital hybrid” version of the game. This version will have an optional companion mobile application that will add a whole new dimension to the game. We are planning to showcase both versions of the game this June at WellyCon 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand.

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For those of you who can’t join us in Wellington, we will be broadcasting the demonstration. Don’t miss out, this will be a board game to remember!

Grave Descent coming soon

We are now officially Drop Dead Fun Games!

We are the creators of Murder on the Cards, and after being exclusively “Murder on the Cards” for years, we have been working behind the scenes to build up our company behind the game and now have our branding ready to show off.

We are so excited about taking this step, as it allows us to expand around Murder on the Cards – with more games in the works! To celebrate this new chapter, we are also offering free shipping for any UK order off our website using the code: LOCAL 🥳

Drop Dead Fun Games website

We finally have the artwork finished for all 100 of Rucksack’s item cards! The only thing left now is the box, which our artist is working on as I type. Once we have that, we’ll be ordering more review copies and sending them out. Then it’s on to setting up the Kickstarter page!

It’s hard to believe that my brother showed me his first prototype over two years ago now. Two years is a long time and there have been a few occasions where I’ve thought “This isn’t a complicated game. Why is it taking so long?”. But I’ve had to remind myself that, apart from being rookie designers, we also made some very specific decisions to make Rucksack the best game it could possibly be. One of those decisions was to give each item card its own artwork.

Rucksack is vaguely similar to Apples to Apples, Card Against Humanity, and other games like them. One thing we noticed about those types of games is their almost complete lack of artwork. Many of their cards are nothing more than a single word on a blank background! We wanted Rucksack to be more than that.

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We wanted others to look at the cards and immediately know just how much effort went into everything: the artwork, the flavor text, and especially the scenarios. We’ve put a lot of thought into every individual card in this game. That isn’t something you can just throw together over a weekend, and I hope our players will recognize and appreciate that.

Follow our progress on Twitter!

It’s an exciting month with a lot going on for Atikin Games. April will be full of Kickstarter fulfilment (hopefully), play testing the three Playful Pets games for my next Kickstarter, art for those games and Malum Hortus, potentially some merchandise as well as some wonderful changes to my way of working, intrigued? Read on.

Playful Pets: Play testing for Feline Felonies, Canine Capers and Playful Pets: Cats vs Dogs has been going well. I’m looking forward to sending out some print and plays for blind play tests once I have the rules polished. If you would like to help test please get in touch (@AtikinGames).

I’ve been working on the art for the three different game boards and I’m really enjoying working in a fun cartoony style. Feline Felonies and Canine Capers will be available as stand-alone mint tin games, or you can get both along with the extra Playful Pets: Cats vs Dogs game all in one big box.

The Board Game Survival Kit: If you missed the Kickstarter you can now pre order from the below link. There are only a few components left to arrive for The Board Game Survival Kit to be able to start fulfilment.

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It feels like fulfilling early is a definite possibility. I set the fulfilment time to June in case of any setbacks (increased shipping/customs time, any hold ups due to coronavirus, etc) but so far things have been going swimmingly. I can’t wait to start making kits and fulfilling your orders.

Big exciting changes: I’ve made some changes to my game building workshop/office that will allow me to do more work in house, such as building my own boxes and producing my own game pieces. My hope is that the only thing to outsource in future will be the printing. This means I’ll be able to keep my Kickstarter goals lower, working to a smaller minimum order quantity than is needed for mass production. Keeping those Kickstarter goals down is important to me as I don’t have the budget to put into advertising. I’m very proud of the audience Atikin Games has, but it would make it hard to fund bigger games like Malum Hortus without a much larger audience. Those of you who know me well, know that crafting my own games and doing as much of it as I can from my home office will make me all kinds of happy.

Merchandise: I’ve been looking at getting some Atikin Games merchandise on to my Etsy shop. I had some t-shirts, mugs and bags printed up for myself and my husband to use at future conventions and some lovely people have enquired about getting some themselves. I really didn’t think Atikin Games was big enough for merchandise yet but maybe it’s worth having some branded pieces in my store. If that works out, I may also include #BoardGamersLift and The Indie Tabletop Newsletter merchandise alongside it. I’d love to hear if any of this appeals to you.

The Board Game Survival Kit

The count down to the Pilfering Pandas Kickstarter has begun, with the campaign launching on the 19th May! Preview copies have been sent out and now we have the nail biting wait until we read and watch all the reviews.

We’re also looking into the possibility of producing pin badges for the campaign as we have so many lovely animals to show off that we think will make perfect pins. But the hardest thing now is to decide which one(s) to make! Hopefully you can help us with this over on Social Media (@WrenGames ) and during the Kickstarter campaign itself

If you don’t wan’t to miss the launch, then make sure you click the ‘Notify Me’ button on our KS landing page!

Pilfering Pandas on Kickstarter

Tali and all Dogo Dash Team are happy to inform that all copies are ready for fulfilment. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in October 2020, finally the backers (and, thanks to them, more people) will be able to have their Dogo Dash decks in hand! For the moment, Dogo Dash can only take orders in the EU. The price for a deck is 18 Euros, plus shipping. The price decreases to 15 Euros when you order 3+ copies.

If you are not in the EU and want to have a copy, please contact the Dogo Dash team (you can find our e-mail in the link), and we can look for a solution. Retailers are also welcome to contact us and get orders for a special price!

We are very close to being able to release the game in Brazil, and we are looking for publishers interested in licensing in other countries. In our website, you will find the link to play the game online for free on Tabletopia, and also a link to our print and play version.

More exciting news is coming, and we are happy to share it with this loving community! Check out our link for orders, suggestions, or general contact!

Order Dogo Dash today!

It has been an absolutely insane couple of months since CastleScape’s last update! We are in the final stretches as we push to get to Kickstarter. We have been working on…

Getting the CastleScape Kickstarter page started, organizing reviewers/previewers for the Kickstarter, adding CastleScape to the Board Game Geek directory, a revamped logo, new box renders and cover art, updates for the board art, designs for the player mats and art, the box’s manufacturing layout, some rules tweaks that make the game run smoother and faster, updating the TableTop Simulator mod on Steam (including some scripting to make it easier to learn and play). You can check it out in the workshop, running and improving playtesting sessions, getting the Rulebook edited

And the list goes on… Check out our Kickstarter Preview and please join us on Facebook for more details at www. facebook.com/groups/castlescape!

CastleScape Kickstarter – notify me!

Castleshire: In March, we gave our game a huge push. Biggest change was finalizing the split of the games’ components into a core and deluxe edition, the latter one comes with a ton of more material and built-in mini expansions. We reworked the rulebook, again, and finished its structure and believe to have improved the readability by factors. Game designer Till worked on a Tabletopia version of the game and believes he will be ready for the first playtests soon. The artwork progressed, the insert tray is designed, the game boxes getting closer to becoming a white sample, and the playmat is improving.

Manufacturing: Material costs in China have increased drastically in the past 6 months. While working with our factory on a final quote, despite all sorts of cost optimizations, there is no wiggle room for further adjustments. If we keep our current desires of what we want the game to look like, and what we want it to cost in the shops, we will have to subsidize the manufacturing, aka we plan for a loss. However, this exercise led to what we believe is a fantastic outcome for both gamers and retailers because they will get proportionally much for their purchases.

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Kickstarter: Another side effect of the quoting challenges is that we decided on some sexy but less essential components and mini expansions to become stretch goals for our planned Kickstarter campaign. Compared to many other campaigns, most stretch goals will be full of new components plus adding an extra bit of twist to the rules. We are getting excited about what the campaign will look like.

Crimopolis: Our gangster-themed game still hits new players. Ryan and Bethany Game Reviews got a copy and they genuinely loved the pace and simplicity of this strategy game. They put a good rule explanation into a video and added personal spice of what they think about their gaming experience; see link.

Recent Crimopolis review

Women’s History doesn’t end with March — and Library Labyrinth is here with 100 historical and fictional leaders to help defeat literary monsters!

We’ve been playtesting our co-operative game over the last few weeks, especially the four and five player mode. New art has been uploaded into TableTop Simulator, including three character portraits and a gorgeous map. We also found time to record a silly video of some of the characters having a zoom meeting, which some of you may have seen at TableTop Gaming Magazine’s online extravaganza. (Yes, it IS silly, isn’t it?) And, possibly most exciting of all, we now have a pre-launch page on Kickstarter!

We expect to launch the actual Kickstarter in July. So until then, please sign up for playtesting on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and sign up to our monthly newsletters at www. librarylabyrinth.com.

Kickstart pre-launch page now live!

We continue to work on building our marketing and branding of 20 Dreams. First and foremost, we want our game to be played and enjoyed, but we also wanted to take the opportunity to highlight a number of other creative ways our game can be used.

So, this month as the schools reopen again, we have been promoting some of the more educational aspects of our game and have provided 20 Ways 20 Dreams can be used in the classroom. Our educational resources include drama activities, creative writing and a section to help students develop their emotional intelligence skills.

The drama section includes activities such as acting out your dream with your emotion as well as creating a character using the pictures cards. We also have a number of creative writing challenges including a limerick challenge and a haiku poem challenge using the picture cards from the game. Our activities to develop EQ Skills include encouraging students to use the emotion cards in the game to articulate their feelings at the start and end of the day. If you are interested in our full list of educational resources just head over to our website and check out our complete list of activities.

20 Dreams website

Well, it’s been a pretty busy few weeks with one thing and another. Our YouTube channel Rule Of Carnage is picking up subscribers, also its now up as a podcast on every possible podcast channel. We’re getting new art back on the next SSO expansion “Wonder of Wubs” which we intend to launch this Summer. SSO has had a nice write-up from Chits and Crits so you might have seen that if you follow them. The first Turing prototypes are out with reviewers ready for setting up the Kickstarter for Summer also. The Rage Of Montalbano playmats have arrived from Inked gaming and the games are being printed as we write this. Logistics is lined up and we’re looking forwards to getting on with fulfilment.

Check us out on YouTube and follow the progress of Turing on the Man O’ Kent website.

Rule Of Carnage

Hi! Dave here from Paradigm Games. If you haven’t already read my previous news articles, I’m the designer (and self-publisher) of UFO Wave, a new competitive card game for 1-6 players themed entirely on the UFO subject. As well as a designer I’m also an active investigator. With me at the helm, and artwork by a genuine witness from the USA it’s set to be the most authentic game on the subject ever released!

This month I have started promoting via Instagram in a big way and began to gain a dedicated following in both the tabletop gaming and UFO communities! If you use the platform, be sure to check out the page, I’m making numerous daily posts detailing aspects of the game, showcasing particular decks and cards, and generally having a whole lot of fun! If you keep a watchful eye you’ll also see pictures of my extensive alien models collection!

In terms of launch progress I’m in the final stages of calculating funding costs. Initial quotes were for a box similar to the existing prototypes but after much consideration I’ve decided to make the box a bit deeper to allow for sleeved cards and/or later expansions.

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I’ve also now set in stone the choice of a magnetic flip top box. Although this was a little steeper than a standard 2-part box, I believe the convenience when taking out or putting away the game is worth it!

There’s a new video available to watch on the website in which I go over the Events, one off special incidents which affect all players and can come out at any time during the game. You only shuffle in two, so you never know what’s going to come out or when, adding some nice replayability to the game.

The artist of UFO Wave is working on the final launch advert, once this and costs are sorted I’ll be putting up the Kickstarter preview page allowing you to follow the game if you’re interested! Have fun

UFO Wave official website

Another significant milestone was reached this month with the final artwork being submitted for Top Tale: The O.G. Volume 1’s first printing. We will be printing 2,000 copies of the game, with about 20% of those being used to fulfil the Kickstarter campaign backers or going to one of the designated charities or public spaces. Unfortunately, the final artwork was submitted behind schedule, and so instead of delivering in May, we are likely not going to be able to deliver until July.

With the delays, I have decided to include a separate promo pack of 10 extra cards not found in the Volume 1 deck of 140 topic cards (144 cards total with the four additional blank topic cards). This extra little gift will not make up for the late deliveries, but instead it is my way of apologizing for the delay.

Another bit of exciting news is that the Top Tale mobile app is getting a face lift! The app is currently being updated with new topic cards and new play modes, and all of this should be rolling out around the 1st of April.

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The new play modes include playing to a certain number of cards (e.g. ending after 10 or 15, instead of playing through until players are ready to quit), playing for a certain duration (e.g. playing for 30 minutes), or playing with a response timer where each player only has a certain amount of time to provide a response. Several other bug fixes were applied to make for a better game experience.

The app update is the first major update since the app was released on Google Play last Summer, and on the Apple Store early this year. In the next planned milestone release, we plan to introduce user accounts that can be tied to social media accounts, and also a way to unlock additional topic cards in the app. With every physical copy of Top Tale, there is a one-time-use unlock code where the content of the game will be unlocked in the app for a given user account. This is just the beginning for the Top Tale mobile app! Just search for “Top Tale” in the Google Play or Apple App Store, if you are having trouble finding it, I have links on the Yub Nub Games website.

Yub Nub Games homepage

Attack from Marrs Games is raising HELL for 2021! SUMMONED “The Devil Inside” is getting ready to bring the heat into video games! That’s right! Summoned “The Devil Inside” is going to become a streamable video game you can play with friends! Players will be coming to electronics near you! Players will be able to video chat with friends, as they send each other Curse Cards! Be careful though! Because once the Curse is accepted the Timer starts! So you lil Demons need to work on your HELLISHl time management skills. The release date for the SUMMONED App is TBD. Come stop by our site at www. attackfrommarrsgames.com for more information.

That is not all we have for 2021! Attack from Marrs Games is in the process of writing a D&D Horror campaign called RUN!. Our streamers will bring their characters to life as they fight to live in a house of nightmares! That is right! The party nerds are invading D&D. Before we get our campaign ready for release to the public. We will be streaming our D&D campaign on our AFMG twitch channel at Twitch.TV/AFMG.

Remember to keep invading game nights, and wear your masks!

Attack from Marrs Games website


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