October 2020

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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Mini Memory Mischief is now live on Kickstarter!

It’s a very exciting time and it funded on day 1! I was completely astonished, still am really; I had let myself daydream that being a small game with a small goal it could potentially fund on the first day. I was not expecting in any way for it to fund in 93 minutes! I’ve been blown away by the support it’s received.

One thing I’ve been so happy to hear from pre/reviews of Mini Memory Mischief is how good it would be as a stocking filler this Christmas – yes, it should arrive by Christmas for backers in the UK – how amazing would it be for people to be waking up on December 25th and the first thing they see is Mini Memory Mischief?

All three of the Atikin Games titles get a mention in a new interview I did for What Board Game, if you would like to take a look it’s currently their most recent interview on the website, I’m ‘the kickstarter’ on their dropdown list or you can follow a link to it from the press section on the main menu.

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Here’s a little excerpt:

“Currently I have my second game up on Kickstarter, it is running from 28th September until 28th October. It’s a two-player mint tin game so all the components are small and cute. The characters in the game are Mikro and Chip; 80s microchips who aren’t used by us anymore so they while away the hours of their retirement playing games with each other. This first game of theirs is called Mini Memory Mischief. The player boards represent the microchip’s memory stacks, and the objective is to use operators to get letters in order on your memory stack, but it’s not as easy as it sounds! You can mess with each other’s stacks and even use your opponent’s own letters against them. It’s quite a nerdy theme but you don’t need to be a nerd to enjoy the game and its retro pixel graphics.”

Tri To Win is now available to buy on Amazon and has had its rulebook translated in to German and those rules are now available to download from Tri To Win’s game page. They were translated by Oliver Kinne of makemygametravel.com and I hope it will open up Tri To Win to a whole new market. Tri To Win is also included in Mini Memory Mischief’s Kickstarter campaign in the ‘Atikin Games bundle’, and in the ‘Mega Atikin Games bundle’ which includes an adorable plushie dice (only 3 of the mega bundles left 😉)

Don’t worry Malum Hortus is still coming, I hope to be sharing some new artwork for it shortly and might include some of the in-game story elements next month to whet your appetite for its Kickstarter next year.

There’s still 27 days to go on Mini Memory Mischief’s campaign, so if you want to be guaranteed a copy of the cute and nerdy mint tin game for two follow the link below.

Back Mini Memory Mischief Now!

Our next Kickstarter features Space Dinos! We are excited to release it this fall along with our Paodle Pup Boxes. Our Fall 2020 Paodle Pups Box will include Helio, Mythical Math, Mini Macaroon Madness and Coop.

Space Dinos Kickstarter Link

Swatch is live on Kickstarter! Pick and mix colours in a race to create unique colour schemes. Draft cards, manage resources, and balance speed and efficiency in this light strategy game for 1-4 players. Only £19 and the first 100 backers receive a free promo pack!

Pledge for your copy here

Calling all Dad jokesters, silly Mums, crazy Grandparents and clowny kids! If you love having a laugh with your friends and family plus a bit of fast paced and strategic gameplay then Silly Shapes is a must have for you! Our vision is simple, to design a game that fills families with joy and laughter, in particular through this challenging time of the global pandemic. Our focus was on social and humorous gameplay, 2 things we all need as much of during these times.

Silly Shapes is a colourful, laugh out loud, family friendly card game with game mechanics from Crazy Eights, Old Maid and Russian Roulette. There are 104 cards in Silly Shapes deck as players will aim to be the first player to have played all their cards in their hand, whilst outlasting the competitive action cards and mini games, which are designed to force players into picking up more cards! The game includes 5 coloured suites with a combination of 4 shapes and 8 numbers. Each card includes a silly sentence starter and a silly sentence finisher which when combined with other cards create some laugh out loud, silly sentences.

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The game promotes game mechanics such as bluffing, risk and reward, chance and of course our silly humour! The action cards included are called Battle, Rainbangle, Deadly Decagon and What are the Odds. Each card with a unique mini game or action associated with it. The ‘Battle’ cards ignite rock, paper and scissors challenge between players where the loser picks up cards. The ‘What are the Odds’ cards ignite a number jinxing challenge where the loser picks up the amount of cards that were ‘jinxed’. The Deadly Decagon cards act as the evil elimination cards, however this can be countered by our Rainbow Rectangle card ‘Rainbangle’ to diffuse this knockout action.

Please join in supporting our campaign and join the SILLY revolution by picking up a copy in one of our pledges today.

Follow Silly Shapes on Kickstarter

It’s been an incredible journey and we are just getting warmed up! We have been working diligently with our manufacturer in getting samples made and we got to see our coins for the first time, and they look good! Playtesting has been going well and we are nearly set for our Kickstarter coming February 2nd, 2021. So if you are interested in a hidden role dice game full of lies and betrayal, come join our cult!

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State of Mind Games is a small Australian game design studio focusing on tabletop game experiences but also dabbling in the world of digital game design. The lead designer is Sean, who was recently with Savage Yeti Games where he designed “PatchWord” – the hardest word game on the internet – which was released onto the app stores, and “The Stars Align” board game published by Breaking Games.

Originally focusing on strategic 2-player experiences State of Mind Games has recently begun expanding into new thematic areas with varying player counts. We are currently working on “Freemen”, a Dune themed version of Targi that has been shrunk to just 26-cards (so far) & a few tokens that will fit in a mint tin. The files will be released for free upon completion.

In the meantime, we have started doing formal design documentation to take a Global Game Jam entry that we worked on so that we can get a team together to release a more complete version that has a working game loop, end state, & even more interesting decision points for players. “Tetranaut”, a 2D polyomino, turn-based endless runner to the end of the galaxy.

Follow “Freemen” on BGG

Tin Star Games is proud to announce the release of our first supplement for Relics: A Game of Angels. Accompanying this unique new RPG is An Angel’s Guide to Vegas. This supplement contains a history of the city, both natural and supernatural, and the shadowy figures at work within it. Everything you need to run a game in Vegas is provided.

Angels Guide to Las Vegas

Preparations for Rucksack’s relaunch are coming along. Our progress at the moment isn’t anything terribly exciting, however. So instead, I’d like to introduce you to another design I’ve been working on!

Several months ago, my wife and I had our first little one! Not long after that, I was thinking about how cool it would be to have published my own kid’s game by the time she’s old enough to play it. For the next several weeks, I wracked my brain to come up with a game that was suitable for young children but could still be enjoyable for parents. Thus, Messy Monsters was born!

Messy Monsters is a matching game where players try to clean up their room by matching any two tiles of the same color. But hiding in the pile of clothes, books, and toys, there are monsters that try to keep your room messy. Players have to work as a team to outsmart the monsters and clean everything up before the sun sets and it’s time for bed.

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It’s still early in the development process for the game, but so far, it’s had very good reception with the kids (and parents!) who have played it. With any luck, I’ll be enjoying Messy Monsters with my daughter in just a few years.

Follow our progress on Twitter

Passion and Appropriation

We all have hobbies, things we are fans of, and are passionate about. I am very passionate about Japanese history and culture and these are reflected in my game, Koneko.

Koneko is the Japanese word for Kitten. I chose this title as it reflects both major prevailing themes in the game – Kittens and Feudal Japan. The original working title was “Kitten Ninjas” but some early feedback told me that name didn’t reflect the weight and gameplay (a mid-weight Euro Worker placement with a narrative structure weaved throughout).

Being so passionate about Japanese history it seemed an obvious choice as a theme for me, and given that passion, I wanted to be respectful of it so I researched. A lot. I believe that my research and passion are well reflected and I hope that this is true for the players. But passion and research aren’t enough. I thought my passion would show as genuine appreciation and respect for Japan, its culture, and history. What I didn’t realise is that appreciation is not a valid answer to the question of appropriation.

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Cultural appropriation is a simple concept ‘using someone else’s culture for your own personal gain without giving back’, in short, I was using Japanese culture but no one from Japan or of Japanese heritage was gaining from it. This wasn’t right and I questioned whether I could continue to borrow from a culture I love at all. I owe a lot to a good friend, Calvin Wong Tze Loon, for helping me understand that I could still use Japanese culture and history as long as I was doing so respectfully (check) and that someone from Japan was benefiting. So what is the answer? For me it is art. The artwork in the game will be created by someone Japanese, they will be paid for their efforts. The existence of my game will directly benefit someone from that culture. This is right and fair. It also adds an extra layer of authenticity to the game that I would otherwise not have had and that is a lovely bonus.

CC Games on Twitter

I was about 20 years old when I created my first tabletop game that was any fun. In the 30 years since then, I’ve developed a new game about once a decade. Not very frequent. So I’m not sure why I had a surge of game-development enthusiasm recently. In the last 8 months, I’ve created and playtested 4 games. I’ve also typed out notes for about 10 others. Two of my recent games actually seem good enough to publish. The first is “Tip of the Pyramid”. In it, two players take turns stacking balls into a pyramid shape. If 4 adjacent balls form a square, you can put your ball on top of them IF at least 2 of those balls are your color. With that one simple rule, there are 10^42 possible ways the game can play out! I’ve coded some A.I. in Excel to play against me, and I’ve also played 40-50 games against friends and family. It’s super fun!
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The second game I want to publish is about trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood. The game is called “I Got the Part!”. My wife and I met in Los Angeles, where she was an aspiring actor and I was an aspiring screenwriter (and later a YouTuber). We both know a lot about Hollywood auditions and agents and parties, and we’ve been having a lot of fun turning it into a game!

“I Got the Part!” is a party game. Once we’ve tweaked the rules it should work for 2-10 players. One game takes about an hour.

“Tip of the Pyramid” is for 2 players, has no theme, is purely abstract strategy, and takes just 10 minutes to play.

The games are very different. I love them both. But to be honest, my vision is to bring groups of game-loving friends together! I can do that with “I Got the Part!”, but not so much with “Tip of the Pyramid”. So my plan is to launch both of them before the holiday gift-giving season, and then focus on making more party games.

I’ll keep you guys in the loop as my game-dev career moves forward! Thanks for reading!

Brett Juilly on Twitter

Our release date is before the next issue of this newsletter!

When “Pirate Pursuit – The Spanish Treasure Fleet” is published later this month, we’ll be giving a special “Employee Pricing” discount to every subscriber on our mailing list.

So join the Pirate Pursuit Crew by subscribing to our mailing list today!

To tell you more about our board game, we’ve updated our main site with a “Coming Soon” page, explaining some of the gameplay & the educational aspects.

If your family is interested to learn real pirate lore, this will be a great game to aid that learning. And, this release is just the beginning of the additional lore cards, gameplay, and resources we plan to add in 2021!

So commit ta “go on account!” (*)

Sign yer name ta our Ship’s Articles!

Don’t ye hesitate now – Subscribe!


(*) no real obligation to become a pirate implied or assumed, unsubscribe at anytime! 😉

Learn more & subscribe!

Crimopolis: We are still stoked about that Crimopolis was awarded Best Physical Game at the NZ Game Awards 2020 a month ago. Our website hit new viewer records and sales have roared a little. If anyone of you is tinkering to take part in designer competitions, do so! It is worth. Choose a competition in which your game fits. Even though the odds are small to take home a prize or an award, being visible in the community and getting feedback is worth the effort. And if you do get honoured, it will make you feel crazy.

Expansion: As for our upcoming expansion Crimopolis: Personalities, we have decided on all the core components. Some more playtesting is necessary to confirm the balancing of the variable player powers is good – super excited about the more immerse gameplay and strategic depth it adds. Next will be to complete and test additional components to spice up the thematic impact of the expansion. Release in 2021.

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Castleshire: We’ve done lots of playtesting of Till’s game. We concluded to widen the audience, so we tweaked the theme to also attract families with older children. The emphasis moved away from bluffing, aka lying, and is now on planning abilities. We settled on the final game’s title which is Castleshire, already added to BGG. Artwork is coming along well. Kickstarter in May 2021.

Events: Board Games By The Bay was cancelled due to COVID-19. Restrictions were loosened two days too late. However, the organizers work on shifting the event by a few weeks, so we might get to attend a board game event with short notice. We are also booked for Wellycon at the end of October. If you are in New Zealand, come and visit us. It might turn into one of the largest non-online events in the world these days. We are also preparing for Board Games By The Bay in Auckland in November and are hopeful this will go ahead.

Crimopolis official website

October is your last chance to get yourself a copy of Murder on the Cards with all the exclusive Kickstarter pledge goodies thrown in.

Place your pre-order for a Late Pledge of our deviously fun game this month and receive it in time for some festive fun this winter 😈

Murder on the Cards is a drop dead fun card game for 2 to 6 players – easy to pick up and play to get everyone into the mood at the start of a games night.

There’s a tongue-in-cheek murder waiting for you on every turn, and all you have to save yourself are the cards in your hands, your wits and the goodwill of your fellow players.

Get your hands on a copy this month and we will throw in the Murder on the Cards play mat, as well as all the Kickstarter exclusive cards that were unlocked during our campaign.

Pre-order Murder on the Cards

To say I’m excited feels like an understatement. We’re getting closer to releasing the first of hopefully many Roll and Writes. The first of those is a blind bidding domino placement game. Yep! You read that correctly! At the heart of our game Standing Stones are a set of Dominoes! They capture the theme for me when I stand them up on edge, looking every bit like the standing stones described in history carved by the Picts.

This game uses dominoes to bid on an action card, then with the other side of the domino complete a numbered action. The cards also affect this and often let you do specific actions better.

Be sure to look for Standing Stones coming soon on Kickstarter!

I’m also ecstatic to write about my experience of working with Sarah from Big Girl Games! She’s hard at work on a roll and write prototype you can play on Table Top Simulator. It’s called DinoFaerie! Also I did the line art!

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It was a great pleasure to work with Sarah on this project and then seeing her bring these DinoFaeries to life with colors and patterns! Just wow!! I’m so excited to get a chance to play it. I hope you all do to and check out her Kickstarter when she launches.

Other news and notes on the horizon, we have two more first quarter games coming, Wurfel Pie a roll and write about pie! It features gorgeous graphics from Jason Washburn of Talon Strikes Studio!

Also on the horizon for us is Wild Wild West, a Roll and write about mitigating disasters while managing a western town. Can you keep the citizens entertained with drink? Can you also the varmints at bay and your cattle safe? Can you further track down the wanted robbers and put them in jail? It features art and graphic design by my good friend, Gannon Moon (@knowbyprints).

Lagniappe Games website

Attack from Marrs Games wants you to show us your DEMONS this Spooky season! Post a photo of yourself as your best Demon on your social media. Tag us and #DemonsforSUMMONED. We will pick the best HELL raising Demon out there! and announce the winner on 10/31/20. You will win a copy of SUMMONED “the Devil Inside”, the Bonus Pack, our SUMMONED Ouija Board and SUMMONED’s “GO TO HELL” T-shirt! It never too early to show us how evil you can be!

Check out Attack from Marrs Games

Here at Big Girl Games my motto is: Play. Dream. Create. I invite all kinds of people to the table to do those things with me every day.

I want every gamer to be able to find themselves in my games, or, better yet, to lose themselves there!

I’m all about amplifying the voices of people who may not have felt welcome at every gaming table. My characters are always going to be diverse, whether that means gender, race, queerness, disability, size, age, or any other factor. If I’m ever successful enough to be a publisher in my own right, those are the games and game developers I will produce.

The first game coming up for publication from Big Girl Games (through Kickstarter) has changed! Welcome to DinoFaeria, where you must compete with your dinofaerie sisters to gather more magic to remove pollution from the forest and appease Tritania, the dinofaerie queen. This new roll and write game features dice drafting and adorable dinofaerie art by Benny Sperling and Sarah Sayles. Watch for DinoFaeria in early 2021.

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Our flagship game, Diamonds for Water, will hit Kickstarter later in 2021. Diamonds for Water is a water-themed cooperative deck builder. I just finished a PhD in Water Policy, and to get through the boredom and stress of writing a dissertation, I started designing a game. I’m not reinventing the wheel—I love cooperative deck builders and this is my homage to the things I love about the best of the genre—but I do think this game does some interesting things with the most popular (and unpopular!) mechanics.

Big Girl Games

Hi Everyone,

This is my first ever article for the Indie Tabletop Games Newsletter and I would like to say thank you to Nikita for being invited to contribute.

Green Gambit Games currently has one game out in general distribution (Black It Out!) but I am currently working on my second Kickstarter. My name is Seb and I am the designer of the games that come from Green Gambit Games but there are a lot of people who contribute to getting the games ready for the public. The main supplementary support comes from Stella who works behind the scenes on graphic design, photography and helps with distribution.

After the success of Black It Out! I’m am trying to be much more prepared for this second Kickstarter. I learnt a lot last time and will be trying to put it into practice this time round. I am hoping to launch the Kickstarter before the end of the year (probably in November but Kickstarter seems to be taking its time with processing campaigns recently) so I will give some more information in the coming months.

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What I can tease is that it will be the second roll and write in the Tri-Dice series and once again will be a print and play. Just like Black It Out! it will come with two different pledge levels – £1 and £2! As part of my preparation for this Kickstarter I have thought out some stretch goals which hopefully will get people’s juices flowing.

Thank you for taking your time to read this. If you want any more information or to find out more about Black It Out! Please contact me through social media or check out the game on BGG.

Green Gambit Games on Twitter

Nate Thompson

Hey there! This past month has been pretty busy and I’m sure you can all relate with the difficulty of getting people together to playtest right now. Fortunately though I had a couple of great playtests for Landstorm. A boardgame group about an hour from me started meeting up again with some precautions in place and it was a pleasure to be a part of that and gather some good feedback and data.

One recent adjustment I got to test out in Landstorm is the starting point for the game. This has been a step forward in it’s development but also a good reminder of some broader game design principles.

I love the freedom of options and infinite possibilities in Landstorm but an optimal decision seems to have emerged. This happens in the first 2 or 3 turns but after that, strategies can vary quite extensively. The change I made was beginning the game at that optimal point which improves multiple aspects.

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First, it trims off a bit of time- exactly what I want with one of my goals being to create an epic 4X experience in under 2 hours. I would rather push the players quickly into the fun of the game than have a slow ramp up to it.

Also, I never want someone to learn the hard way that they put themselves at a disadvantage on turn 2 and have it ruin their first game. They may only ever play your game once, so make sure you set them up for success.

I remember talking with a playtester after an event about another issue and he said something like, “I understand why I lost but I don’t know how I could have known to avoid that at the beginning.” By cutting off the first couple turns I am preventing someone from choosing a sub-optimal action. Instead I start everyone off where the diverging, viable strategies are right in front of them.

So far it’s running much better and I’m looking forward to the next challenge to work through!

Keep up with Landstorm here


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