February 2024

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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Plant your garden with a deck of cards managing your hand to create a beautiful flower patch that will wow any visitors to your cottage. Roll and Write Revolution goes Cottage Core with Flowering Foliage! Plant the most beautiful and bountiful flower garden utilizing the most skillful gardeners and tools to maximize your seed stash for next year!

Players will have to carefully manage their hand in order to play seed cards to their baskets. When the basket is full the player may plant their seed cards to their garden to potentially get tools and other advantages. Tools either disrupt opponents or help the player build a more favorable hand.

Just like planting seeds in the right seasonal order is vital for a garden- so are the cards order in each players hand. Each turn the player will draw cards to the “back” of their hand and play cards to their baskets from the “front” of their hand. However, players may discard cards from anywhere in their hand each turn.

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Strategic play abounds as players embrace their inner gardener while planting their card-gardens. While utilizing only 2 baskets, each player has to build the biggest baskets they can by progressively exceeding the values of the last card played in each until a Gardener shows up (face card) and locks the basket and makes it ready to plant.

Kickstarter link

Malus Hortus – you read that right, ‘Malus’ not ‘Malum’, along with a name change the game has a few extra improvements coming that weren’t a part of the original previewer copies, hopefully previewers won’t mind as the enhancements to the game have mostly been spurred on by their feedback.

What’s in a name? – I knew early on that Malus Hortus wasn’t going to stop at one game, as such both words ‘evil’ and ‘garden’ were translated to Latin separately, becoming ‘Malum’ and ‘Hortus’ with the plan that future games would be called “Malum [game2]”, “Malum [game3]”. A couple of Latin enthusiasts had asked me why it wasn’t “Malus” as that would be grammatically correct, at the time, thinking back to how I’d chosen the name I decided to add a colon to show it was the start of a series “Malum: Hortus”.

On reflection I’ve realised that all the other games I have planned for the series still centre around the garden itself, in which case ‘Malus Hortus’ makes a lot more sense, with future games being named “Malus Hortus: [game2]”, “Malus Hortus: [game3]”.

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The improvements – I’m very happy that the improvements I’m working on for the game are all slight additions to the game, enhancing the experience, nothing needed to be changed, just improved upon. The changes are still going through thorough testing before they are solidified in the rulebook but I’d still love to share them with you. To add some extra player interaction – which we all love in a co-op game – I’m implementing extra uses for the critters, once they have been saved, nymphs can send their critters to other nymphs in the garden with aid, this may risk losing the critter all together so should be a good conversation between players.

The other change adds more peril to the players journey, granting more powers to the flowers hunting for you. Each flower will have its own specific Night card, if the flower occupies a path without a nymph on it when the card is drawn it will move to an occupied path and attack.

The writing – I have loved writing the stories for the Malus Hortus cards and I was pleasantly surprised that it seems to be the thing players have enjoyed the most. With that in mind I’ll be writing a lot more for the game, and some chosen Malus Hortus fans will be rating the stories and the effects they have on the game to help me decide what should stay, making the final game as thematic and enjoyable as possible.

The art – The original Kickstarter plan would have had 70% of the artwork ready, with me continuing to work on the final pieces during the campaign and before production. This time I won’t be launching until 100% of the in-game art is complete, which is why the date is set back for now.

I want to make this game as amazing as it can be, and that will take time, thank you for your patience and please continue to join me on this journey.

Malus Hortus kickstarter page

It’s been a busy couple of months at PostCurious! No Proscenium named Threads of Fate one of the best immersive experiences of 2023, calling it an “unrivaled tour de force” and “a fantastic gold standard for puzzle design.” Thanks No Pro! Another exciting update: components from The Emerald Flame are on display at the Design Museum of Chicago’s puzzle exhibit SOLVE, which will be open through the end of March.

Production for our latest puzzletale, The Morrison Game Factory, is going smoothly. We received the mass production copies of the game and enamel pin, and aside from a couple minor packing issues, everything looked great. We’re hoping production will wrap up by the end of January so our freight partners can pick up the games in a few weeks to begin their journey overseas. If you didn’t back the Kickstarter but are interested in pre-ordering the game, you can do so at our website.

Threads of Fate, our most recent release, is almost done with fulfillment. Despite a few hiccups and delays, we’re running ahead of the Kickstarter delivery deadline and should be completely wrapped up before March 2024. If you missed the campaign, check out the link below to order your copy now.

Order Threads of Fate here

Hi Atikin Newsletter fans! I hope January has treated you all well and that you’ve all started to dust off those Spring time board games already.

On the Unfringed front I’ve been pretty busy beavering away on the upcoming game Molehill Meadows but unfortunately this issue is a bit too soon for any more details but that just means there’s something to look forward to in March’s issue where I will have lots more to share!

Something I am excited to share is that Unfringed and myself will be exhibiting at Airecon 24 in Harrogate for the first time! Not only that but if all goes to plan I will not only be selling Zuuli but also demo-ing Molehill Meadows, which will be the first opportunity for the public to try it out. I hope you enjoy helping Mika power up with juicy worms to collect as much treasure as possible, whilst avoiding creating too many additional molehills!

So if you’re heading Harrogate way in March please do come along and say hi!

Molehill Meadows newsletter & preview!

Hey everyone. Exciting updates are flooding in as we gear up for our board game adventure. Our card designs have surfaced, they will soon be available on our social media, let us know your thoughts on the style we have chosen! Slowly, our boardgame Splash Safe is taking shape, one vibrant card at a time.

Prototypes are in production too, and we’re sending out 50 sneak peeks across the UK. Brace yourselves for firsthand gameplay, and keep those feedback floodgates open. Our social media and Discord spaces are getting a makeover, so follow us for behind-the-scenes dives into Splash Safe’s world.

As we ride this wave of excitement, keep an eye out for the Kickstarter page which will soon be up! Your support will be the tidal force making Splash Safe a reality.

And guess what? We’ve made headlines! Check out the article featuring our young lead designer—because every great game has an even greater mind behind it. (Cough, cough, I’m the one writing this haha, so Check it out below)

News article featuring Splash Safe!

Dissent Games is bringing out more games-on-greetings-cards! This spring we’ll be bringing out several new designs, including a race game featuring a Princess and a Frog. We’ll also be re-printing copies of a couple of our most popular cards.

Re-print No.1 is “Who Took The Biscuit?”, a complicated logic puzzle on a card, as we sold out at Dragonmeet — indeed, a couple of people were disappointed to miss it. It’s a fairly tricky puzzle which will have most people reaching for a pen and paper.

Re-print No.2 is “Penguin Pairs”, which is a multi-penguin race! Each turn, players move one of their two penguins either forward or backwards round a circular track, gathering fish. The game ends when one player manages to get both their penguins on the same space.

We also still have copies of our other cards — race cards, colouring in cards, and more! And our games Gingerbread Towers, Disarm the Base, and Library Labyrinth. If you use the code CARDS10 or CARDS5 you’ll be able to get money off the cards too!

Visit our online store!

Hopefully by the time this newsletter comes out we should finally have completed fulfillment for Classis Caetera. I’ve been able to take my time with fulfillment since we were so far ahead of our deadline and still we should be finished a month before the ultimate deadline. Still, its always quite stressful needing to package and send out multiple rewards each day, so it will be good to finish this part of the process off. We’ve already got the landing page up for our next SSO campaign which should be launching later in the year, if you’re interested please stop by and follow the new campaign on the below link

Meanwhile, Pukeapocalypse is going through final layout. Pages coming back look amazing and I’m really excited to see this reaching its final stages. Now that I’ve completed Classis Caetera I’ll be able to get back to further playtesting, Playlandia, Boarders and Black Flags, Daring Dungeoneers and One Handed Hero, which I’m very excited about after a few months locked in fulfillment. Hopefully, next time I’ll have more news about those soon.

SSO campaign

Tails of the Sea is our reworked dog-pirate game, coming to Kickstarter during Spring ’24. We’re initially focusing on a print and play version, which will allow backers to produce a near production quality game at home! We’re working on offering many different build options to give everyone the chance to get the game to the table, regardless of ability or equipment.

Some of the full production options include simplified dual layer boards, 3D printable dog-pirate meeples and quad-fold board, whilst the simplified game allows the board to be made as a condensed set of cards, single layer player boards and tokens for pieces. We’ll also be offering box files and the ‘Barkbados’ expansion as well!

The game sees you play a dog-pirate captain, exploring the islands around Paw’t St. Bernard, trading the bounty you find and as all pirates do, challenging other ships for the spoils! We hope to have more info for you in the next newsletter.

In other news, we continue to develop our Murder Mystery Game ‘Murder at Marlborough Mansion’ following the first few playtest sessions. This should also be available as a print and play game later in the year.

Teleporthole Games website

After a couple of tough years in a new job, I am finally finding my feet. I hope this means more time and energy for the game design work!

A recent look through my game projects netted one completed game ready for crowd sourcing, one free game almost ready to post on my website, and several games in a good place to move forward over the next few months. My question now is: should I use Kickstarter, or one of the newer places? I am always open to advice. Meanwhile, I’m trying to produce more content on Tiktok and get the web site up to date.

I’m also trying to get Girls Drinking Wine and Playing Games podcast/stream active again. Our goal has always been to give women in game design a platform for content creation, while showcasing designers who are coming from populations that are generally undervalued in the board gaming community. Hit me up if you are looking for a way to get into streaming!

Visit my site

It’s been a busy month for Sentient Games! In short, we spent a lot of time laying the groundwork for The Last Command’s Kickstarter campaign which will launch on May 14, 2024, so click the link on our website to save the date on our Pre-Launch page!

Additionally, we have had some major updates to the game, the largest of which has been to Crew cards. Up until now, crew cards had never been blessed by the work of a graphic designer and as such didn’t quite fit in visually with the rest of the game. Not anymore!

We are currently entering a stage of development that includes a huge push to add additional artwork to the game and new Crew and System cards (ship upgrades), are being added constantly! On that note, I am always looking for input on sketches as well as running polls for which cards to develop artwork for next over at The Last Command’s Instagram, so come over and check it out 🙂 !

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As I’m sure everyone knows, all board games undergo extensive playtesting to make sure that they are generally balanced and fair. The Last Command, as a dual deckbuilding game, has a myriad of options and potential combos that can be played, and as such is constantly being played and balanced. I take all feedback very seriously and have begun to post balancing notes on the website. The game also has a very nice TTS mod on Steam and is ready to be played, so give it a go (rulebook on website and in game).

Moving forward I am going to work on some more community building, balancing (of course), artwork, and just generally improving the Kickstarter up to launch.

I very much appreciate you for your support and taking the time to read! I hope you have an amazing day!

Ty

The Last Command website

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