October 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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Happy Spooky October everyone! September was an action packed month for Zuuli & Unfringed. The most exciting part being that I launched the Zuuli mini expansion and 6th player support on Gamefound! Zuuli will be getting a re-print in the near future and will include these new cards as standard but it will also be sold at a higher retail price than the first edition.

I wouldn’t be in the fortunate position to be even considering a re-print if it wasn’t for the fantastic support from everyone that has already purchased a copy and that’s a huge part of the reason why I want to make these new cards available separately as an expansion without the need to purchase a brand new version.

As a big thank you to all of the existing Zuuli fans, I’m doing everything I can to keep the price for this as low as is financially viable, including minimising packaging (as they will fit in the original box) and sending them out myself using standard shipping rather than Royal Mail tracked.

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With respect to the new cards, please welcome the newest member to the Zuuli family, our fierce AND friendly Hippo! Scoring as many points as an Elephant but taking up less space you can do a lot worse than picking up a couple of these for your wildlife park, especially if they’re feeling on the friendly side! If only there was an enclosure that was perfect just for them? Hmmm….

We’re also giving a big fluffy welcome to one of the most requested Zuuli expansion animals, the adorable Red Panda! On it’s own this cheeky chap takes up a lot of space for a worse pay off than the humble Anteater but pop him into a expanded Vivarium or Open Air Island with a buddy and you’re onto one of the highest scoring combos in the game! Is it time for the Tree Frog to hand over it’s ‘Top Pick’ crown?

Alongside the ‘Early Access’ upgrade, the ‘Watering Hole’ enclosure, 3 more Design your Own cards and the 6th Player New plot, this makes up the new 18 card expansion! The amazing community has already pushed us past the funding goal but this is your only opportunity to grab the expansion cards on their own so do swing by the page if you’re keen for your own copy.

Have an amazing time at Essen to anyone that’s heading that way this year and do say hi if you see me in my Unfringed shirt!

Zuuli Mini expansion available now!

It’s been a couple months since I last updated the Indie Tabletop newsletter, but that’s because I’ve been hard at work preparing Pocket Book Adventures for its coming Kickstarter launch on Oct 4! Since my last update, I’ve finished the last bit of balancing for the game, edited the rulebook, self-produced and sent out 22 (yes, 22!) review copies, edited the rulebook, nearly finished the Kickstarter page, edited the rulebook, and – oh yeah – edited the rulebook!

Speaking of rulebooks, it’s still amazing to me when I realize how much I’ve taken for granted once I watch the first “blind” playtest. Pocket Book Adventures is by no means a heavy game, and yet players were often confused by holes I had unwittingly left in the rules. These last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time clarifying vague spots, filling holes, and then re-clarifying spots that my edits probably made worse! I won’t lie and tell you it was fun, but it was absolutely necessary, and I finally feel like I have a rulebook that I’m happy with!

Now, all that’s left before the game launches is finalizing the Kickstarter page and biting my nails about whether or not the reviewers like the game!

Get notified when we launch!

Well, we launched Song of Tales and… it didn’t go well. 6% over the first 72 hours and at the point of us cancelling we had gone a full 24 hours without a single pledge, so we cancelled. I’m really not a fan of cancelling if there’s any hope of reaching a campaign’s goal and I absolutely don’t believe that a project needs to fund in 24 or 48 hours to be successful. Still, at this point it was clear there was no saving the project and there wasn’t much to be learnt. We had advertising running and a certain amount of momentum from reviews and social media posts though which I didn’t want to waste, so we stepped back and had a re-think, all be it at some speed.

We’ve had five successful Kickstarters, all of which unlocked a range of stretch goals and three of which went over £13k. This led me to think that we could launch with a game that had all the stretch goals I was considering already in place and a goal of £13k.

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Particularly since Song of Tales had all the features I’d been repeatedly told my other games desperately needed, character artwork and a proper following and since we spent more on promotion than any previous project. Evidently, I was wrong, I recalculated the game without the features that would normally have been stretch goals and put together a goal that would require us to cover import taxes and shipping from China for the main printing, resulting in a £6k goal and a unit price of £22 as opposed to £30. We re-jigged the campaign and six days after cancellation, re-launched.

At the time of writing, we’re on 23% having just picked up 5% so far today and we’re on day four. We’ve got more backers, a better total and far more momentum in the project. I’m hopeful we’ll make our goal, at the moment things seem to be pointing that way and I’m confident that whatever happens, the cancellation and re-launch was the right decision.

Clearly, I was disappointed that a game I’d been working on for longer than almost anything else we’d made with far more investment in it had performed so poorly on launch. That said, I understand that the less mechanically complex and more verbal storytelling nature of Song of Tales was always going to be a hard sell, possibly just not quite this hard.

If you’re interested in something a few steps out of the ordinary and are curious about a competitive collaborative storytelling game, why not stop by and check out the Song of Tales campaign then. If you’d stopped by before and backed off due to the price or because you thought the original campaign wasn’t going to make it, why not stop by and see if the changes we’ve made can change your mind as well as some other? At the very least, if you’re interested in independent games why not stop by and see how a re-think and a re-launch can benefit a tiny independent project?

Song of Tales – relaunch Kickstarter

We had hoped to shut the FlickFleet: Xeno Wars Gamefound to late pledges back at the end of August, but we’re still waiting on a few crowdfunding backers to complete their pledges, so it’s still open. You can get a discount on the game and heavily subsidised international shipping, and if you’re outside the UK you can also take advantage of the historically low exchange rate for further savings! If you can’t wait until later this year, you can also buy the game and first expansion (again with a discount and the exchange rate bonus!) from our website: eurydicegames.co.uk/shop.html for immediate shipping.

We’re in the middle of ordering everything we need to complete the Gamefound fulfilment at the moment, and everything is on track at this point 🙂

Cheap FlickFleet!

It’s officially spooky season! Our friendly Murderer’s favourite time of year – and he’s gearing up for all the games of Murder on the Cards he’s sure to be involved in as players get in the mood for Halloween. To celebrate the best month of the year, we will be adding a spooky little something extra to randomly selected orders from our website during October. Got to spread that devious cheer!

October also brings with it the start of our market season – so Bristolians, don’t be surprised if you see Murder on the Cards at a spooky stall during October, or a Christmas market during the festive season. We’ll share dates and markets as they are confirmed on our social media. We love market season, as we get to show off the game in person and hear snippets of market-goers saying things like “Oh it’s the murder cards!” or just simply “muuuurder” as they take in our stall (and then laugh when they read some of The Murderer’s crazier death attempts and the premise for the game).

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We have to admit that at Drop Dead Fun Games HQ Halloween is like our Christmas, so you can be sure that the Halloween decorations may have found themselves up and everywhere about halfway through September (the first cold day was all we needed as a go ahead).

We hope everyone has a great spooky season! And if you’d like to add a little muuuurder to your festivities, hit us up online for a chance at a spooky goody added to your order, or catch you in person at a market around Bristol.

Drop Dead Fun Games website

Benny Sperling
Roll and Write Revolution rolls on with Magpie! Magpie is my 1-4 player roll and write with area majority, bluffing, and hidden scoring that is revealed at the end of the game. Players are forced onto 1 game sheet to collect materials like sticks, eggs, worms, seeds, and shinies. They can instead mark a territory space for control and ignore the material there. Further still, 2 of any 1 material can be discarded to change the player’s dice. While opponents may be looking at your collections to guess which scoring card you have, you can outwit them by stocking up on material you don’t want and plan to use for dice conversion.

Author Benny has a new novel out as well! (I’ve been busy, y’all!). My next novel, Flytrap, continues the story from Remembering the Dame, my first novel, but pushes it thirty years into the future, Isaiah “Iz” Landry is all grown up and has moved to New York to be a fixer encountering all sorts of criminal characters while trying to raise his family.

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Thea is also back, building her movie empire with the help of Iz’s friend. Jillian returns and has been in a coma! Follow her fight to get out of the hands of a foreign power and reclaim the life she had 30 years before. Oh and Duval, he’s back too, what sort of misadventures will befall the heralded detective?

My novels are available on amazon: amazon.com/dp/B0BBSL2SHG/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_CBM4ZMQSNP8P17MEJGFA (pre order for Flytrap)

amazon.com/Remembering-Dame-Century-Benny-Sperling/dp/B09XZMCNCP/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=benny+sperling&qid=1663792011&sprefix=benny+sper%2Caps%2C107&sr=8-1 (Remembering the Dame)

Link for Magpie kickstarter

Rainy Day Games
We have spent this summer out and about meeting new gamers and designers at as many events as we can get to. Most recently, we travelled to Tabletop Gaming Live in Manchester, where we were fortunate enough to share our game with loads of new people and meet some familiar faces too.

We were really pleased with the reaction to our latest art and to some of the clarifications we’ve made in the rules. Thank you to everyone who followed our Kickstarter page, our social media and to everyone who helped spread the word about Cake of Doom! We can’t wait to see you at upcoming gaming cons. If there is a local event happening near you that you want us to be at, please let us know.

Cake of Doom Kickstarter page

Ah welcome! Are you ready for your tour of the Perilous Pond Preview Production Parlour? You are? Splendid! Well here at the PPPPP we’re busy little ducklings. We’re preparing all the components for the preview edition of Perilous Pond!

Over there in the window overlooking the highway is our scout T, she’s focused on intercepting delivery trucks and guiding them to the loading facilities. And on top of the table over there is the Cat stuffing meeples into zip-lock bags.

Hmmh? “How come our cat is doing that?” Well, we tried to stop her but then came the claws and she does a rather fine job of it so we’ll let her carry on.

Here in the back is our component store, we’re stocking up on the needed components but we’re still missing a few pieces. To make matters worse, there seem to be a global shortage of dark yellow crystal gems. We have our best man on the job of phoning up crystal mines asking about the colour of their gems…He’s had two nervous break downs so far so it’s going fairly well all considering…

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Be quiet now!! Back here in the library the rule writers are struggling along. They have torn apart the first draft and are well into tearing up the second draft as well… And it’s all in Swedish so we need it translated as well before printing…Oh well, this is what the PPPPP is all for, finding ways to get these previews done and ready!

So far it’s not looking too shabby is it? Be honest now, we can take it!

Frozen Maze Games Instagram

The production for our next release, Adrift, just wrapped up, and the games are starting to make their way onto ocean vessels for worldwide transport to local shipping hubs! As of now, we are on track to deliver in December 2022. This dreamy and poetic puzzletale is available for preorder on our website.

The Light in the Mist has also been declared a finalist for the 2022 Toy and Game International Excellence Awards, the TAGIEs, in the category of Most Innovative Art and Design Visuals of the Year. Voting on the People of Play website should be coming up very soon!

In the meantime, we are starting to work on a new edition of our very first project, The Tale of Ord. We’re currently in the process of working with a writer to revise the original story text and make some improvements to the puzzles and overall gameflow. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months!

PostCurious Shop

Spooky Month – I love Halloween! And this year I have been making tabletop gaming themed trick or treat tote bags, I will list them in the shop on this website soon. For now, I’ve been taking orders by direct message so feel free to get in touch if you would like one in your choice of colours, I am best found on Twitter. I want to add one new holiday themed product each time that holiday comes around, so far I’ve made products with Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day in mind.

Trick or Treat – I focused on three designs, the first is of two D20 dice, one that has landed on 1 and the other on 20 with trick or treat written across it, 1 for trick, 20 for treat. They are also surrounded by bats for good measure. For the first one I’ve used neon green for the dice which works really well but I plan to make more in different dice colours, especially if potential customers show a preference.

Pumpkins Are Spooky Right? – The second design is of a pumpkin with D20 dice for eyes, the first I did in gold but I’ll also do orange of course.

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In fact, doing it in gold was not the plan but I had run out of orange vinyl at the time and gold made a fantastic stand in that I probably wouldn’t have thought of without the lack of orange.

Meeple Ghosts – The third is the most adorable and is of a meeple in a ghost costume, genuinely a meeple in a spooooooky ghost sheet, it’s cute and corny and I love it! So far I’ve made the meeple under the sheet 5 different colours based on the favourite colours of customers and I hope to need to make many more.

Malum Hortus – Speaking of the month of spook: I’m hoping to spend a lot of my October finishing off and sharing more of Malum Hortus’ spooky artwork, we can’t have the evil orchid getting lonely now, can we? I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting my online shop and my office workspace ready for Christmas sales so that process is streamlined and I can focus more of my attention on giving Malum Hortus the attention it deserves. With the hope that regularly sharing the artwork will help it to have the best launch it can next year with any luck it will have an engaged fan base ready to aid in getting it published.

I hope you all enjoy October as much as I will!

Atikin Games shop

Mass Manufacturing: Castleshire is finally on its final mile, well, from our publishing perspective. We’re doing professional proofreading right now, and on 10 October we’re sending our digital files to the factory closing off our most important milestone to date: start mass manufacturing. It’s been a ride over the past couple of months with a plethora of game and component optimizations.

Free Stuff: Till, our designer, can’t get enough of his game and we decided to test all our originally more experimental game components deeper and make the well-working ones available for backers. When we open our pledge manager, there will be not only new add-ons, but we also added more content to existing pledges with no surcharge. We even opted for a cool surprise for all backers of our prime pledge “Legendary Edition”.

Pledge Manager: We do something that possibly is rare in the industry: we reduce the cost of a pledge retrospectively for our second-largest backer group. We optimized the manufacturing for some of the game components and we pass those savings on to our backers. Those who wish can change to this cheaper pledge.

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Additionally, we have been asked to provide upgrade packs consisting of the expansions of our so-called Legendary Edition. Shipping that game edition around the world is expensive, so we now have an add-on that consists of 2 expansions that were exclusive to the Legendary Edition but are now available for a few dollars to anyone interested.

Solo Mode: Polishing our self-learning and memorizing solitary game mode was the most fun of our recent tasks. The Castleshire solo mode comes as a base game and players can choose to add up to 10 expansions to deepen the gaming experience exactly as the multiplayer version of the game works. For extreme players, there’s another 9 variants that toughen the gameplay including a legacy mode that you can play over multiple games. We improved one expansion’s ruleset so much that we decided to replace a boring card drafting mechanism with a card switching mechanism. Consequently, we need more game components and people who backed our campaign (or jump on the pledge manager) get even more for their pledges now.

Reviews: Punchboard Adam posted a stunning and funny Castleshire review in September (punchboard.co.uk/castleshire-review/); worth a skim or read. The Games Kingdom is the last reviewer for 2022 and it is likely people will see some content coming soon.

Castleshire Pledge Manager

The Score is the world’s fastest roleplaying game and we are very proud to announce it has been included in the prestigious Indie Showcase at this years PAX AUS in Melbourne, Australia. We also have a digital version that we hope to launch in early October, so if you’re not in this part of the world you can play The Score anywhere! Or you can wait until we launch our crowdfunding in January 2023!

The Score landing page


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