September 2021

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 September everyone! It’s going to be a big month for us as September 7th is officially our launch date for Zuuli on Kickstarter! By the time this newsletter goes out it will be less than a week away and hopefully the nerves will have started to settle as I get more and more pieces in place. Check out our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for all the latest snaps and I hope we’ve convinced enough of you lovely readers to come check us out and give us some support on the 7th (Kickstarter link in our designer bio).

A big part of August has consisted of having chats back and forth with our potential fulfillment center Spiral Galaxy Games who have been incredibly helpful not only with fulfillment of Zuuli once it gets into the UK questions but have also given invaluable guidance and support on Safety Marking, VAT and a whole other range of board game related logistics.

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I shot one of our Kickstarter videos and wow how I hadn’t realised how difficult that was going to end up being. I gained a huge amount of respect for these content creators that push out multiple videos a week and make this process look easy. I learnt a huge amount though and the next one will hopefully be a lot easier and faster to shoot.

This month I also reached out and talked to a bunch of other small or independent publishers/designers and board game influencers. I had a thoroughly enjoyable Instagram TV chat with Tora over @Favourite Foe (go check her out) and had a really insightful discussion with Laurie over @SDR Games who has been embarking on an extremely noble project with Earth Rising which should also be live on Kickstarter by the time this newsletter goes out.

I’ll see you all on the other side of the KS. Wish me luck!

Kickstarter page

Over the past year, illustrator Jack Fallows has teamed up with PostCurious to create a new narrative puzzle adventure in the form of a tarot deck. When your friend’s mysterious disappearance results in the discovery of an unusual item, you embark on a journey through time and memory, led by her deck of tarot cards. You will need to manipulate cards, find hidden messages, and solve logic and word problems in order to uncover the deck’s secrets. Packed with gorgeous illustrations, resonant storytelling, and unique puzzles, The Light in the Mist can be played solo or cooperatively in a small group, and will be coming to Kickstarter on September 21st, 2021. Follow the project on Kickstarter, and if we reach 1000 followers on the pre-launch page, a bonus puzzle will be added into the game!

Kickstarter pre-launch page

September means we are launching our first roll and write that features TTRPG dice! Under Construction brings action points and dice selection to City building and construction vehicle set collection. There is a special solo mode and sheet for players to get a chance to tangle with the dreaded Tonka Kid! She is fierce, y’all! Also multiplayer 2-4 players. We had to cap it at 4 because of downtime. It feels tight and snappy at those player counts so hopefully our backers who love the 1+ player games (I love them too and our October game goes back to that format!) will stick around for this one as it is a very cool experience.

Under Construction was developed by Derik and has Gannon Moon rocking the graphics with his wizardly skills! I hope you all really enjoy this game as it was a lot of fun to create.

Launch date is likely the 7th or 8th on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter for Train in Vain

It has been a busy and rewarding couple of months. We are quickly moving towards our Kickstarter campaign launch for Perpetuity: Grave Descent. This science fiction worker placement board game is our most ambitious and exciting project yet. We have developed a unique and immersive gameboard with a system of planets orbiting Perpetuity at the center (an ancient artificial star with a bit of an unstable temperament). The game uses a variety of both strategic and chance encounters to provide a strong theme and deep gameplay. The last couple of months have seen a lot of fine-tuning as we make sure the gameplay for competitive, cooperative and solo are well balanced and enjoyable to play.

Part of this project has been the building of an optional companion application that will allow you to play the game with an A.I. that makes the decisions for Perpetuity during the game. Perpetuity, via the application, can take on a personality of your choosing.

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That personality could be aggressive, cautious, reckless, desperate or a number of other traits that will govern the choices Perpetuity will make during game play to thwart you and the other players. We are hoping this will make the game play uniquely re-playable.

We hope you will join the mission and help us bring this game to life. Launching on Kickstarter September 28th, 2021.

Official Perpetuity website

As we head into Spooky Season, our team is looking forward to bringing you the Monster Manual, full of creepy monsters, innocent looking bugs, and creatures all across the lands of EverWyrd. With detailed pictures, descriptions and background, each creature will come pre-designed for easy game play in any of our adventure games! We also want to remind you that we will be re-launching Train of Terror later this month, in the same style as our previously popular Adventure Post game system, brought to you by one of our friends and editors! If you enjoyed Adventure Post, then be sure to check out this game coming back to Kickstarter soon! Just in time for the rainy season to be upon us, bring your games inside with a look at our website where you can find all our games, upcoming content, and projects that have already been released; and not just for adults!
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Be sure to check out the children’s coloring pages you can print, free of charge, and be sure to check out Tike’s Dungeoneering while you’re there; a fun game for the whole family where the parent gets to play the Dungeon Master and let your Tikes have control over the action. Stop by for all the quality content you expect of Geeks Collaborative, and be sure to follow our social media pages for updates and BTS action.

Geeks Collaborative website

We are really looking forward to September as we get ready for a huge push for 20 Dreams. We have various campaigns running in both the UK and USA to raise awareness of the 20 Dreams brand. This has really helped promote the brand and has encouraged a lot more interaction with us, both in terms of some great feedback and getting involved with collaborations, which we love to do.

As well as running our campaigns we have been updating our promotional material with a new How to Play 20 Dreams video, which is available on our YouTube channel.

UK Games Expo was a great experience for us. First team outing in a very long time, manning our first stand, selling some games, putting some faces to some familiar names and making some great contacts in the industry. A very positive experience, so you can expect to see us out and about a little bit more as we are on the lookout for other events to attend.

20 Dreams website

We’ve been nominated for an ENnie Awards! These extremely prestigious awards are held every year for the best in tabletop RPG design. Our one-page RPG of gothic horror “Two Faces” has been nominated for Best Free Product, and best of all, you can vote for it! Simply go to the link below, click on Best Free Product and throw a number one in the box beside Two Faces! You can also vote for us as Best Publisher. We’re a small company competing against some big folks so please consider taking the time to throw a vote our way! Don’t know if you should back the game? Well it’s 100% free so find us on itch and give it a try!

Voting has now closed but if you like one-page/tiny RPGs, there’s fifty of them available in this amazing kickstarter, including two by Steve Dee of Tin Star Games!

Tiny Library

In the deep of winter, February, the wind was howling outside of two houses far apart. Despite the howling wind the houses were quite cozy, with warm light shining out of the windows. This February day was not only windy, it was special. This was the day of the Big Frozen Maze Games Gamedev Workshop.

On this day we met over video chat, the plan was to brainstorm, prototype a game and end the day with a drink and some relaxed chat.

In the Brainstorming session we created a couple of games by combining a Theme, a core Mechanic and an ending condition. One of the “games” we arrived in was a tactical troop managing game of Medics which ended when a certain number of soldiers had died…That was not the one that we selected for prototyping…

After the brainstorming, the wind was still howling outside but it was quite bright due to the snow. We picked the most promising game idea and started to flesh it out. We agreed on some basic rules, added mechanics to handle a dangerous Pike.

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Since we were far apart we created a prototype of the game board in a graphics program and played it on screen with dice rolling on our respective tables.

The end of the day was great, just two friends hanging out, eating crisps, chatting and laughing while the wind howled outside.

Fast forward to the present day:
The prototype we created that day now has custom dice, a bunch of nice chunky meeples and is very fun to play. We’re once more cooperating with Emily Ryan for some excellent illustrations and have a general good feeling about the game. More details will come soon and with any luck a Kickstarter is in our future 🙂

The Frozen Maze Games homepage

“Pirate Pursuit – The King’s Pardon” is done. I have recently completed the final design work and ordered the proof. Yay!

Though the project is not quite complete, the game is. There is the store page to do, and then the proof may reveal there is an error to fix, or an image to brighten – but this is not designing or creating.

The creation is DONE. And the feeling of being done is a powerful one. But it can also be fleeting. At these times, I try to be sure to remind myself to honour the creation and the effort that went into it.

And a lot of work did go into completing this game. Even more work, years in fact, went into the historical novel I released earlier this year. Similarly, a large amount of effort went into completing “Pirate Pursuit – The Spanish Treasure Fleet” and, along the way, many other smaller projects were finished and shared.

In each case, there was the sense of accomplishment, the satisfaction of completing this thing; this creation. But once it was done, immediately the thoughts came of “now what?”, “what’s next?”, and “now I can work on the next idea!”

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At the same time, there is a lassitude, an inertia, a reluctance to start up the process again. And I can sometimes enter the “long dark tea-time” of being a creative person.

For me, I have observed this time is typically shorter for smaller projects. After the book though, it was definitely a push to get myself back to working on “The King’s Pardon”. Our latest print-and-play, “Elemental Minions: Dominion”, helped with that! 🙂

Check out our educational games!

Well, its all go here at Man O’ Kent towers, we recently completed fulfillment on our third Kickstarter the Rage of Montalbano expansion for SSO and successfully completed our fourth Kickstarter. Thank you to everyone who stopped in to make the campaign for Turing a success at over 130% and £5,000 funded. We’ll be getting test samples through in the next month and then its back on the printing and fulfilment journey.

We’re about to launch the Kickstarter for the second printing of the base set to our game SSO. SSO launched originally back in 2018, we’ve now sold out that printing so its time to make a second run. We’ve tightened up a few cosmetic issues from the original printing and re-printing also gives us the chance to launch another challenge deck in the SSO series, Wonder of Wubs. In Wonder of Wubs a collection of small, furry, fast breeding creatures start to swap the Omega, choking off vital systems and eventually, choking off the crew themselves. SSO: Second Edition should be launching in the first few weeks of September, and we’d love to see all of you along for the campaign.

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While our You Tube channel Rage of Montalbano has been building steadily and we’ve been keeping it updated we have stepped back from our blogs and podcasting temporarily. Happily things have been levelling off, so if you have been following our blogs, expect to see posts begin again at the start of the new month. SSO is coming back, its time to have your sacrifice appreciated once more.

Man O’ Kent Website

Playful Pets: Cats & Dogs – Well, it’s been an exciting month! My Playful Pets: Cats & Dogs Kickstarter campaign fully funded with 128 backers! Work has begun on making those sweet little games, starting with crafting lots of adorable resin cat face and dog paw player pieces in a variety of colours for the backers who chose the custom game options. You’ll be able to pre order these games very soon through my GameFound store below.

Kickstarter consulting – Last month I reflected on the journey I’ve been on over the past year and a half, creating and successfully funding 4 Kickstarter campaigns. These four Kickstarter campaigns mean that I’ve gained a fair bit of experience in quite a short time and in doing so it’s led to some other designers and manufacturers asking little ol’ me to help them with their Kickstarter campaigns, pledge managers and with content creation.

This is incredibly exciting for me, not only do I get to create my own games, fund them and make them by hand; I now get to help other creators to make their own dreams come true in funding and getting their games out in to the world!

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I stress that I’m no expert, I run very small campaigns with very small budgets and I feel very lucky for the backers and support I receive. But what I do have now is a lot of experience and know how to help first time creators.

So far, I’ve just been approached by creators who know me and my work already but it’s made me contemplate making a page on my website specifically for consultancy, detailing what I could do to help first time creators to get their projects off the ground.

Events – After a very long delay I may finally get to attend a board gaming event as an exhibitor by the end of this year. I’m so excited (and a little nervous) to see how my games and handmade gaming accessories will do in a real-life exhibition setting. It’s looking likely so fingers crossed, but you never know what might happen so stay tuned for details once I have everything in place.

Next steps – For now I’m fully focused on processing my Etsy sales and getting the Playful Pets games made and out to backers. However, there are always small delays here and there: waiting for Kickstarter funds, waiting for print samples to arrive, etc. So in between that and helping other Kickstarter projects I’m also working on making improvements to my Etsy store with better photography throughout, but bear with me as this will be a slow process going on gradually between these other tasks.

The Indie Tabletop Newsletter – This newsletter is going from strength to strength, every month our readership grows and every month I get requests for new designers to join our growing ranks. So don’t forget to subscribed to the newsletter and get in touch if you want to know more.

Atikin Games store

Rucksack’s Kickstarter funded! I knew it would come down to the wire, but we were able to push past our goal with just a few hours to spare. Now it’s on to the hard work of actually getting this thing made!

One of the fun parts of our Kickstarter campaign was adding a tier for backers to get their own idea for a scenario or item and put it in the game. We had 14 backers take us up on that offer and I’ve really enjoyed seeing their creativity! We were kind of expecting that everyone would give us an idea for an item, since they’re fun and have artwork that comes with them, but we’ve actually had two backers give us scenarios so far (and they’ve been fantastic)! We’ve given our backers two weeks after the end of the campaign to give us their ideas. So, by the time this update gets published, we should have every idea ready for our illustrator to work his magic on!

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While we wait for those cards to be finished, I’ve also been prepping our printing files for the manufacturer. I actually just sent off our first test file today! Once they’ve verified that everything looks good, we’ll be ready to send all the other files as soon as our card art is done.

From there, I’ll finish setting up our pledge manager, get our final shipping quotes, and open up our preorders. It’s a very busy and exciting time for Grumpy Spider!

Follow our progress on Twitter!

Castleshire: Our game box artwork is done, and we are crazily excited. It looks fantastic. We are pondering about when to introduce it to the digital world. Eventgoers can already see it on one of our pull-up banners. With this done, we also finalized one of the card decks. Well, finalized, that would be great. It’s more that the deck is polished to a point that we will take it to reviewers in a couple of months. The second good news is that we signed off our factory white sample. We are ready for getting the pre-production samples manufactured. What is missing are some older components that we give some love and pimp up now, so these early samples will be a joy to play.

Kickstarter: We still aim get the preview page up and running in September despite our launch will be in March next year.

Perpetuity: Pleased to having had the chance to playtest Gametime Again’s latest creation called Perpetuity. If you are into space-themed worker placement games, have a look.

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Events: Due to a strict lockdown in New Zealand, a planned in-person event was moved to a later date this year. Lots of new giveaways including stylish mugs are ready for distribution; see picture. Cannot wait to get these into people’s hands.

Follow on Twitter

Well what a month it’s been! At 9pm on Friday 27th August the Kickstarter campaign for UFO Wave ended!

We’re very proud to announce that we successfully funded within 3 days of going live! The initial days of the campaign were massively hectic due to the fact that we had a stand booked at the UK Games Expo tabletop gaming convention at the NEC in Birmingham! As the initial backers began to pour on in, no doubt tempted by the early bird rewards we decided to set up, we prepped ourselves for several days of playtesting and promotion!

Within hours of going live we were invited to a preview press event, and the following morning headed down early to prepare for the crowds! By the end of the first day we could see that we were well on our way to funding the project, and this would likely happen at some point over the weekend. We reached our goal mid-Saturday evening and celebrated with some waffles from a nearby dessert store!

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At the Expo we gave many attendees the chance to try out the game and also ran a giveaway competition where one lucky backer received a signed framed copy of the box art.

After the initial influx of pledges things started to calm down a bit. For the remainder of the month people continued to back the project, allowing us to open up some of the early stretch goals in the form of additional cards, one of which was designed by the backers themselves in a fun little competition.

We ended up being 184% funded! As a special bonus we also decided to gift the backers another exclusive card. One of the late stretch goals of the project was an all-powerful Mothership card, which we planned to be printed in gold foil. Sadly we didn’t get the necessary backers for this, but decided to include a non-foil version of the card for everyone anyway.

At present we’re awaiting the sample copy of the game from the manufacturer (Hero Time), which we are so excited to see! We’re aiming to get the game out to backers by early December in time for Christmas if everything goes to plan.

We are utilising Game Found as our pledge manager, and there will be the chance to make late pledges via this if you missed out and would like to back the game.

UFO Wave official website

Yub Nub Games

Alas, logistics delays have continued. The 2,000 units of Top Tale should at least have arrived in Denver as of September 1st, but I may not have had a chance to go pick up the pallets by then. Either way, September will be the month that the I finally fulfill the Top Tale: The O.G. Vol 1 Kickstarter orders! You’ll just have to wait to see pictures of it all until October’s newsletter or check out my social media channels under @yubnubgames. In other frustrating news, I’ve been working to get the iOS version of the 2.0.0 Mobile App published for over two months! I finally was able to get everything ready to submit and the app update was flagged during the Apple review. They are not allowing me to have unlock codes to offer FREE content to those that purchase physical copies of Top Tale! Apple essentially is forcing me to use their In-App Purchase feature if I want to have unlockable content.
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I later found out that Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite, is currently in a lawsuit with Apple over the same thing! Needless to say, I’m going to fight them, but I may not have a favorable outcome unless Epic Games can win their battle first.

Since I have 2,000 copies of Top Tale, and another 2,000 promo packs of cards, all with unique unlock codes on them, I need to find a way to allow my users to use those unlock codes. Google Play users won’t have any issues. The Android version of the Top Tale Mobile App has been live with the ability to create a user account and unlock content. Apple users will just have to wait unfortunately.

I’m now investigating making a WebApp, so that Top Tale can be played through a browser. This would allow Apple users to still play the game through an internet browser. Another alternative I’m looking into is removing the unlock feature in the iOS app and instead having the unlock feature hosted through my website. In that scenario, a user can log into the account on my website and then use the unlock code to unlock the content to be associated with their account. All of this will take some time to investigate further, but since physical copies with the codes are going out soon, I must figure it out to fulfill my commitments to customers.

Yub Nub Games homepage


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