August 2022

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.

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Benny Sperling
Write on Track is the next Train Game from Benny Sperling’s Roll and Write Revolution! This time players are tasked with building up influence in regions of the US, connecting cities, increasing population, and importing and exporting goods from one region to another. Players earn stars for tasks and as the game continues they will have an opportunity to play a campaign including expansion cards! Play 10 games and compare scores! Each game has winner(s) and all other players who still get a bonus for the following game. Additionally, each campaign card presents a new way to score Stars! Can you make it to 300 stars?

Kickstarter link

We’re almost finished with the artwork for Library Labyrinth! It will be going off to the printers in September, and so we’re spending this time making sure we get each tile and token perfect.

We’ve also been speaking to a lot of cultural consultants to make sure we have the characters right. Two of the ones I’m most excited about are Wanthong (the main character in an epic Thai poem) and Policarpa Salavarrieta (a revolutionary and spy in the war for an independent Columbia).

The terrors are almost all drawn now. We’re adding to the pile a chupacabra (vampiric dog/reptile creature) and a bunyip (Australian swamp creature). Just need to get those done, then send off to our consultants to check we drew them at their scary best.

If you missed the Kickstarter, then you can preorder copies on GameFound! And you can even add copies of the Roll & Colour notepads too!


Pre-order a copy on GameFound!

After being blown away by the enthusiasm for Snapshot: Wildlife Photographer at UKGE last year, we had another fantastic convention. Many of our supporters dropped by to tell us how much fun they were having with the game and we played dozens of demos with new players, including a journalist from BBC Wildlife Magazine, which has designated Snapshot a “product we love”. As well as the continued interest in Snapshot, lots of people were eager to play our new game, Cloud Foxes — so much so that there was hardly ever a demo table free!

In Cloud Foxes, you are the chief of a cloud fox clan and have allied with human outlaws to take back your homeland from invading merchants. Roll your dice and allocate them in any combination to place your tiles. Tiles can be used to claim ports, fight for control of islands and loot merchant ships for valuable goods — plus each tile has a special ability, such as a combat, repair or bonus points. The game takes just a few minutes to learn, with lots of potential for clever tactics, and rewards a variety of long-term strategies. The modular board and randomised set-up means it is never the same game twice.

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We collected a lot of new sign-ups for Cloud Foxes and have made the final decision to launch the Kickstarter early in 2023. In the meantime, Marcos is working on the art and graphic layout, Martin is sourcing quotes for production and shipping, Richard is working on the solo mode and rules document, and Megan is continuing to build our social media following — and we’re all using the valuable feedback from Expo to put the finishing touches on the gameplay. We’re really fired up from all the compliments we received on the game and can’t wait to get it out there.


Get notified about Cloud Foxes

Malum Hortus – this month I’ve had to make the very sad decision to postpone the Malum Hortus Kickstarter. Unfortunately, my health has been getting worse and although disappointing, it is the right decision for both my health and to give Malum Hortus its best chance of funding when I am able to give it my all. I am not setting a new date just yet, please still follow the Kickstarter preview page as it will still be coming. I’d hate to lose potential backers or people’s interest because of this. Hopefully the delay will help the campaign to gain momentum rather than lose it. Please join me for the ride!

Web Shop – in happier news the Atikin Games web shop is now a thing! You can order my games from this very website! I’m gradually adding my products on to the site so the catalogue will be growing steadily. At the time of writing, you can purchase Tri To Win and Mini Memory Mischief and I will keep adding more games and handmade gaming accessories in the coming weeks.

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For anyone that doesn’t know: I’m in the UK, so I do ask that any customers outside of the UK, especially those in the EU consider placing your orders on my Etsy store instead if you’re worried about potential customs charges (Etsy is able to calculate and process sales tax and use an IOSS number for EU orders which at this time I’m unable to do).

New Products – thanks to some of the custom orders I’ve received over the past month I am now able to offer both clip on earrings and customised backpacks! I don’t yet have these listed online but you can always contact me for custom orders and I’ll try to get clip on earrings added as an option for all the earrings I currently make as well as getting some lovely custom backpacks set up with all the designs that you can currently see on the tote bags in my shop.


Atikin Games Shop

Amar Chandarana & Pearl Ho
Firstly, we wanted to say a big thank you to Nikita for adding Cake of Doom to the prestigious Indie Tabletop Games Newsletter.

Cake of Doom is a light-hearted, family-friendly card game, coming to Kickstarter in October 2022. It’s the perfect game if you like the sound of: A wacky theme of cake-based alien invasion, Exploring specialty cakes like the Pavlova and the Moon Cake, Memorable frenemy moments including stealing regions and sabotaging with baking disasters, Portable small games with a quick teach suitable for casual and experienced gamers alike.

This will be the first campaign for Amar and Pearl. We’ve been working on Cake of Doom for almost two years and we can’t wait to bring it to life.

Most recently we went to UKGE where we did dozens of demos and met hundreds of fellow game lovers! At the end of 3 jam-packed days we are absolutely knackered, but it was well worth it for the warm fuzzy feeling every time Cake of Doom brought a smile to one of your faces.


Cake of Doom – Kickstarter pre-launch

Song of Tales is launching on Kickstarter on the 15th of September! It’s been a long time coming with the last few years putting things behind schedule for obvious reasons but we’re finally up and launching. For those who haven’t been following along, Song of Tales is a collaborative competitive storytelling game where players take the part of a character from world folk tales and tell stories in the style of that character. Tanuki must use Kamishibai, including sound effects in their tale while Swan Princess must create Kennings, new compound words in their tale. Unlike many story telling games where play is about stealing the story from each other, in Song of Tales everyone gets to tell their story, scoring is based on following your styles and collaborating with other players.

In other news, it’s convention season and after a few years away it’s been great to get back to seeing the public and running games with UKGE in June, Rapture and Tabletop Con in July and KCon coming up in October, thanks to everyone who has come out to see us, it’s been great meeting all of you face to face and seeing some returning gamers, long may it continue.


Song of Tales on Kickstarter

Things have been outwardly quite quiet on the Drop Dead Fun front. Inwardly though, there are a few cogs turning – the most recent of which is Murder on the Cards is now available to buy through Amazon! (With Prime next day delivery as well).

There are a surprising number of hoops to jump through to get listed properly on Amazon – we’re sure all other small businesses can agree! But glad to have another avenue of murderous mayhem open to our very friendly and sociable Murderer.

Looking forward to causing more devious chaos by the end of the summer…

Murder on the Cards Amazon

Our biggest news this month is that The Light in the Mist has shipped! (On time! It’s a Kickstarter miracle!) We’ve gotten some amazing feedback from players so far, and have plenty of extra copies available to ship if you missed the original campaign. In development news, we received pre-production samples for our upcoming release, Adrift (pictured) and are super excited about how it’s coming together. One final playtest revealed a couple of kinks in the sample, so we’re ironing that out with our manufacturer and going straight into production, with hopes to deliver by the holiday season!


PostCurious Shop

We’ve just finished the fifth FlickFleet crowdfunding campaign, this time on Gamefound instead of Kickstarter because of Kickstarter’s ridiculous blockchain commitment. The campaign was our best ever (again!), raising over £34,000. It was for FlickFleet: Xeno Wars a new stand-alone expansion which adds two new alien species and rules for 3-4 players to the space battle dexterity game. If you missed it and want to join the campaign the Pledge Manager will be running on Gamefound shortly and you’ll be able to late pledge there, so click the link below to join in!


Pledge Manager coming soon!

Happy Summer all! It’s been a relatively slow month on the Unfringed/Zuuli front this month but one of the more exciting things that’s happened is Zuuli is being used to help kids with their maths!

The wonderful Peter and Jeni at Gamers@Hart in Hartlepool run a summer club and have decided to use Zuuli as one of their games to run across the session and help kids learn and reinforce their maths skills! I’ve always been a big maths fan myself and it’s such a lovely unexpected and unintended side effect of launching Zuuli for it to be used in this way. Maths doesn’t have to be a dry and boring subject and it’s fantastic that board games like Zuuli can hopefully help break down that negative stereotype whilst also being a lot of fun at the same time.

Not only that but they’ve very kindly put together a custom score sheet that can help with the sums, which is available to download off their website here gamersathart.co.uk/resources-for-using-games-to-practise-maths/

That’s all for now so enjoy the weather, stay safe and catch you all next month!


Bonus Zuuli score sheet!

Oh boy, I’ve been slacking! It’s been three months since my last report to the Indie Tabletop Newsletter, and I wish I could say that a ton has happened for Yub Nub Games, but there’s not a lot to report. In my day job, I’ve been scrambling to finish up some designs and prepare for some product launches later this year or early next year. Perhaps then I might reveal what I work on for my day job… Electrical Proof of Concept design is about all I can say for now.

One really cool thing that happened is that I was invited to be on a game developers panel at this year’s Denver Fan Expo (ComicCon), representing tabletop developers as part of the Colorado Game Developers Guild. The picture was taken before the panel started, and unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the panel discussion itself. Either way, it was awesome to represent tabletop gaming at such a large event (over 100,000 attendees)!

Throughout the conference, I was given VIP access to most things, I met a lot of super interesting people, and I networked with a bunch of other game developers and publishers.

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Overall, I highly encourage all to jump on such opportunities. I wasn’t paid for presenting on the panel, other than the free VIP access to everything, and I didn’t make any additional sales from attending, so it wasn’t great due to financial gain, it was just great to be a part of something amazing!

As for what’s coming in the next several months, Yub Nub Games, or at least my wife and I, are moving to Wyoming! My wife got a job that she’s been trying to get for a few years now, and her patience (and mine) paid off. We’ll be moving to Wheatland, Wyoming, which is a small town that’s primarily agricultural. We’ll be keeping our place in Colorado to rent out and have as an investment property. So, there will be a lot going on in my personal life which will put Yub Nub Games in the back seat for a bit. I was hoping to have my next two volumes of Top Tale ready to Kickstart in the Fall, but with all that’s going on, next Spring might be a safer bet.


Yub Nub Games homepage

Aftermath: Thanks to our nearly 300 backers of Castleshire, we entered the pre-mass-manufacturing phase. Our factory confirmed to have capacity for us in October, so we continue going full steam ahead to get all digital files ready in time. Over a dozen people chose to have their names or those of family and friends immortalized in Castleshire. They all selected their preferred ally character. We have also finished the naming of the guilds that will be available for the game.

Promos: We had fun working on the final components. While going through the process, we decided to print extra cards and books as promo material, so when we go to future gaming events, we have special giveaways for our fans. But not just that, we also worked on a few surprises that backers will discover in the pledge manager and even on the final day when they receive their rewards and open the game boxes. We wished we could be flies on the wall then.

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Early Copies: 4 of our 6 preproduction copies are assigned to backers who couldn’t wait to get their hands on Castleshire. We’ll ship them in August – signed by either the game designer, or media personalities who played the games or showcased them in their reviews.

Solo: We have added 4 pages to the rulebook to have space for the solo rules. Explaining the self-learning and memorizing AI turned out to be less lengthy than anticipated. Till, the designer, used this opportunity to add solo expansion rules to make the AI harder to play against once players become more experienced.

Reviews: The highly active crew of BrettspielSuchties have published their review of Castleshire in July. That’s the first review in German. Check it out: youtu.be/bAqf8KAk9yA We believe another German review may come in August. Better Half Reviews (US) has already posted a few times about the game; we might see their review soon.

Events: When you read this newsletter, we will have been to BGBTB, a relatively large 2-day board gaming evening in Auckland, New Zealand. We’ll publish details and photos in our next Kickstarter update: bit.ly/3PuYLqH


Castleshire Pledge Manager

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