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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Yub Nub GamesI missed last month’s newsletter, so there’s lots to catch up on! I’ve submitted all the required paperwork for VAT registration in the UK, and already have product in country at Amazon fulfillment centers. With any luck, I’ll be set up before Christmas to legally sell in the UK through Amazon, and I intend to fulfill the remaining Kickstarter orders through Amazon UK as soon as it’s all ready. Again, I’m really hoping to have that all done before Christmas.
Amazon sales of Top Tale are full steam ahead in both the US and Canada, although I’m really struggling to get the ads to work in my favor. As part of the Amazon Launchpad program, I am getting some sales, presumably through positioning in Amazon’s holiday gift guide. It’s really tricky to tell where sales come from or who they are going to. Either way, my focus will be to continue mastering the Amazon platform as my primary route to market for the Top Tale series.
I’m working on both Top Tale: The O.G. Volume 2 and Top Tale: Tall Tale, while trying to also drive business.
I’m getting more and more excited for Tall Tale, especially as I start to socialize the concept. Since I started, people have asked whether it was required to tell the truth when playing Top Tale. Since the point of the game is to Get to Know Your Fellow Human, the answer is, “Yes! …at least it should be encouraged.” Apparently, many have the inherent need to lie. For them, and even for the rest of us that like to be creative sometimes, I am creating Top Tale: Tall Tale.
In Tall Tale, the point of the game is to introduce fantastical elements into your stories, which may or may not still be based on some truth. To tell a tall tale, you simply need to stretch the truth, and this can often get very entertaining. I’m planning to keep the core aspects of Tall Tale the same as the original game, with topic cards that solicit stories, and group voting on the top tale. However, in Tall Tale, players will have what I’m calling, “Player Persona” cards, which are cards that are drawn at the start of the game by each player. For the duration of the game, each player will use the elements from their player persona card to include one or more of those elements into each of their stories. As a working concept, each player persona will include a Character, Item, Ability, Location, and Sidekick.
In coming months, I hope to do lots of playtesting, attend in-person events (YES!!!), and grow sales for The O.G. Volume 1. 2022 will be a year of growth for Yub Nub Games, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how far I can take it!
A Book: We kicked off this year with the release of our historical novel for middle-grade readers, The Day the Pirates Went Mad (#TDTPiratesWentMad). Many years in the making, the first few months of 2021 were dedicated to finally getting this book out the door. One of the main successes in this effort was working with @JonMerchant21 on the cover art and interior illustrations – they turned out great!
A Card Game: After the official book launch on May 1st, our creative attentions turned back to game design. We had always planned to follow-up Pirate Pursuit – The Spanish Treasure Fleet with a second game that would re-use its many Pirate Lore cards. When we saw the #SmallBoxChallenge by @TheGameCrafter, we decided we would go for it! Not only did we manage to submit Pirate Pursuit – The King’s Pardon in time for the contest, but we got a lot of great comments from the community too.
Now at the end of the year, we’ve tied up a last loose end by making available a boxless expansion edition so you can add just the new cards from “The King’s Pardon” to the larger “The Spanish Treasure Fleet”.
Those were the two main projects for the year, but we had a few other accomplishments as well:
• The EmmaSharpesAdventures.com website now has a Teacher’s Guide to accompany #TDTPiratesWentMad, along with a number of behind-the-scenes and research-related posts. Here we also collaborated with an illustrator from the tabletop game design community – @WitchwayGames provided us a number of fantastic character portraits for the crew of the New Adventure!
• We also added three new custom tilesets for Chess Attack, our chess strategy teaching game. In addition to the traditional pieces, we now have the Animal Army, Spooky Creatures, and best of all, the Dinosaur Clan beautifully illustrated by @TunaCetiV!
• Most recently, we finished a new print-and-play, Elemental Minions, where 2–4 players battle to master their elemental minions while exploiting the strengths and weaknesses of the four primary elemental forces (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water). Not only did we complete the three game modes we already had planned, but we were inspired at the last minute to add one more, making Elemental Minions a 4-in-1 game!
To wrap up – throughout the year, we’ve been collecting all royalties from our books and commercial games to donate to our local children’s hospital, BCChildrens.ca! Thanks for your support!
We look forward to 2022 and continuing to #MakeLearningFun! 🙂
Happy December everyone! However you choose to spend the last month of the year I hope you have a wonderful time! This weekend (3rd & 4th December) I’ll be attending a Christmas market at the Carroll Centre in Winchester, if anyone is local and would like to pop down and show some moral support, I’d love to meet some new board gaming buddies. I admit to being a little nervous as it’s my first time putting my games in front of the general public in person but it’ll also be nice to soak up the festive atmosphere!
If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet please consider getting your gaming buddies some gifts from the Atikin Games Etsy shop (link below), the shop is full of games, Board Game Survival Kits, adorable mini dice with matching dice bags, meeple and dice keyrings, jewellery and tote bags, etc, plenty to choose from!
I spent all of November working on Playful Pets: Cats & Dogs and sending out Christmas orders! It’s so fantastic to see how many Atikin Games’ products will be under the tree and stuffed into stockings this year.
Needless to say, I’m now on friendly terms with my local post office staff and see them nearly every day!
I’m still making my way through the last of the Playful Pets pre orders, once they are all complete, I’ll list the big box of all 3 games and the separate mint tin games on Etsy and see if they will be as well received there as Tri To Win, Mini Memory Mischief and The Board Game Survival Kits have been.
Atikin Games is also 2 whole years old now. I can’t believe I’ve run 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns and published 5 games in that time, I’ve certainly been keeping busy and looking forward to a little rest at the end of the month, but not until the end of the month, there’s still plenty to do right now!
Last month I teased that there might be a Kickstarter make 100 this January from me, it’s another handmade gaming accessory that I’d love to do. I’m going to keep working on the idea and see how I’m feeling about it in the beginning of January. If I do launch it, it will be towards the end of January so there’s still plenty of time to hear about it in next month’s Indie Tabletop Newsletter and get signed up on the preview page once I have one 😉.
Don’t forget you can still pre order Playful Pets from GameFound too! Have a wonderful December and I’ll share more with you in the New Year!
Before Rucksack goes into full production, we’ve arranged for a physical proof to be sent to us, just so we can look everything over with our own eyes. Well, the manufacturer finished printing the sample just last week and has sent it on to us. We expect it to arrive sometime in the next week or so!
In the meantime, they also sent us a photo to show us how everything looks. So far, so good! If everything looks good with the proof (which is a big “if”), we’ll give the “OK” and the manufacturer will put us in the production queue. From there, they expect it to be around 30 days before production is complete. That would most likely put us into early January, a few weeks before Chinese New Year.
Everything looks good so far, but the real question is just how long shipping will take. Typically, they estimate 30-45 days, but the pandemic is still affecting the shipping industry pretty heavily, so it’s tough to say how long things will really take.
If it does stay within the 45-day estimate, we’re looking at delivery to backers possibly starting as early as February – a full 6 weeks ahead of schedule!
Obviously, there’s a lot that could still delay us, but I’m optimistic we’ll at least be able to ship to our backers on time!
It’s nearly Christmas! If you’re sending Christmas cards, now is the prefect time to buy some. And what could be better than cards which are also a game? We have Roll & Colour cards — a solo game where you roll dice, choose how to allocate the results, and colour in the front of the card. These come in five festive designs featuring stars, gifts, ribbons, and humbugs. (Because there’ll be at least one person you want to say “bah, humbug” to!) While the Kickstarter has finished, there are some packs still available on Etsy. So, this year, why not send a card which demonstrates your love of games?
Turing’s print run is about complete, and its just waiting for its SSO sister to catch up so we can sort out shipping. So far running two campaigns next to each other hasn’t been too tough, the only irony is that we had planned Turing to cover the shipping for SSO since we weren’t certain how popular a re-print would be but its been the other way around since the answer seems to have been, very popular.
Song Of Tales, our competitive, collaborative storytelling game has been taking advantage of lockdown to enjoy an extended development period, but we’re gearing back up now to complete its finishing touches and aim at a third quarter Kickstarter release.
Song Of Tales asks players to take on the role of legendary story tellers and spin a tale in their own unique literary style while sharing the telling with friends around the table. There are a few storytelling games out there but none that offer the collaborative experience of building a story with friends, Song Of Tales looks to fill that gap, and we’re pretty happy with how it’s going so far.
Then our laser-cutter caught fire on the 1st, melting all the innards ☹
We’re now in a limbo period while we await the replacement laser-cutter which is due in early January, so the standard rewards are going to be a few months late too.
In the meantime we have a small number of Kickstarter deluxe and standard FlickFleet base games and Expansion 1s in stock. If you’d like to give the gift of Flickmas this year and help us offset the cost of the new laser-cutter, you can buy the game, the expansion or a bundle of game and expansion with a £5 discount. Happy Holidays everyone!
Last year we had reports of customers sending out Coaster Games in all Christmas Cards, then inviting friends and family to play via Zoom. Despite being able to meet in person this year, we’re still seeing a huge increase in demand for the Coaster Games – which come in bulk packs of 120 coasters or in stocking filler packs of 6 – so we suspect more people have cottoned onto the idea!
Our Cracker Games – six games in a giant Christmas cracker – continue to be very popular but are not far off being sold out. When they’re gone they’re gone!
You can get a 25% discount on all Dark Imp games until 24th December using the code ‘indie’.
Besides a new free roll and color game, which will hit my site by December 10 – just in time for holiday streams! – I have a game I developed through a challenge from Bez that I want to get up on Game Crafter in January.
Playtesting for the witch-conquers-climate-change-monsters rpg will still happen, so please email me or hit me up on Twitter if you want to be a tester. And my space-themed card rpg may land in the Kickstarter special in January as well—stay tuned!
Of course through all of this, I am starting a new job and moving to a new state, so…wish me luck!
We achieved three big goals: our Castleshire Kickstarter pre-launch page went live, the pre-manufacturing copies are in production, and we have a healthy list of reviewers who are waiting for a copy of our game.
Kickstarter: While this seems to be just another milestone for many, we are crazily excited about it: our Kickstarter pre-launch page is ready; see link. Over the past months, we worked on the Kickstarter content and have a satisfying page ready with lots of visual material and a good consistent feel. Next will be some polishing activities plus working on the video. We will do this all inhouse despite recommendations to get a professional to get it done. Sven himself loves making videos, so even though it might appear less professional to many, we love what we do hence this is a no-brainer and got to be done ourselves.
PPCs: Our PPCs, aka pre-production copies, are in manufacturing as we write this newsletter. We expect the games to be shipped from our factory in early December.
Their typical purpose is to do a final check on the game manufacturing, the components, the prints, etc., we additionally asked for extra copies which we will be shipping round the world for people to try, and we keep a couple of copies here in New Zealand for events and demos.
Reviewers: We went through an amazing experience when we reached out to reviewers asking for “a true and honest review of Castleshire”. All seemed to be excited about the opportunity and some asked for live playthroughs and interviews, which gave us an extra buzz. We got people in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, and our home New Zealand. It’ll be quite a mission to get Castleshire to them in time, but every project should have some challenges, shouldn’t they?