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.
Players choose from eight characters based on folk tales from all around the world and then create a story in the style of that character. Those listening to the tale can offer the storyteller points in return for the chance to join in with their tale, scoring points in return if they do so. Follow the link and check out the page, follow if we’re not live and back if we are!
This time I’m mixing it up a bit with having a table in the artist alley area, where artists and designers show off their creative works in the main hallway. I should see a bit more foot traffic at least, but at the same time, it may be harder to get people to stop and investigate my booth. To help passer by conference attendees quickly understand what I’m selling, I’ve invested in a stand-up banner that can’t be missed!
My wife put together the banner graphic, since graphic design is one of the many creative endeavors I really struggle with. I think it turned out great, but I’m a bit biased. One thing you may notice is that I’m loudly declaring that the next two volumes will be released next year.
That is the second volume in the Original Game (O.G.) series, and the first Tall Tale volume. I’ve got most of the cards already drafted for The O.G. Volume 2, but I don’t plan to bring a prototype.
This conference I’m going to start flashing a prototype of Top Tale: Tall Tale! I’ll have home-printed cards with no graphics and sleaved to make them a little less flimsy. My printer can only print card stock up to 110 lb (199g/m^2), so it’ll look cheap, but it’ll be functional. Last time I went to a conference, I got the pitch down for Top Tale: Tall Tale, and frankly, a lot more people were interested in Tall Tale than they were the O.G. series. With a lot of tabletop conference attendees, they’ve graduated from the simple party games in a lot of cases, and so the Tall Tale series offers something a bit more appealing for many… role playing!
Anyhow, it’ll be a busy convention, but one I’ve been looking forward to. I need a break from my day job and all that’s going on in my life. It’s all good stuff, but exhausting. Not too many people would say they go to a game conference to relax, but it’s been that kind of year!
On a side note, I’m liquidating my games in the UK through Amazon. The fees are raising and I’m simply not selling enough to justify keeping stock in the UK. I believe anyone in the EU can order, so please share and help me liquidate!
Some exciting news to share this month though is that at time of writing I’m down to my last 20 copies of Zuuli! Thank you again to everybody for showing an incredible amount of support and love for the game so far. We’ve even had the wonderful Dice and Destiny store in Cantebury demo Zuuli at a convention they ran and had some copies shipped out to fans in Jersey! Board at Home Gaming (also in Cambridge) picked up a few copies recently too and put an excellent youtube video here, which gives a fantastic overview of how to play youtube.com/watch?v=C-yrRDJlh78
And how can I forget that I was also interviewed by the amazing James and Jason from the Meeple Minded podcast.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience to talk all things board games and even answer some questions from the community. Check it out here or from your favourite podcast app meepleminded.buzzsprout.com/1671127/11062262-chris-from-unfringed
There’s a community starting to build around Zuuli and for this to come off the back of my first game is extremely heartwarming to be part of. I’m hoping to put some weekly challenges together soon for members of the Zuuli facebook group to puzzle through as I’m always fascinated to see how people are maximising their parks so if you’re keen on that do feel free to join in.
That’s all for now so have a lovely September all and see you in October!
Honey plays solo or as many players as you’d like as all players play simultaneously from the same dice that are drawn from the bag. It plays in 15-50min.
Honey is the first published game to feature my co-designers Ainsley and Tavi Sperling. They were insistent on a flower themed game and helped pick out the art. They also had a hand in game play looking at the art to help describe the flowers. I’m looking forward to sharing many more games over the next several months they were involved with.
PostCurious is also working on a new edition of our very first project, The Tale of Ord! This new version will include improvements to the puzzles, narrative, and overall gameplay, as well as new box art. We are hoping to launch a crowdfunding campaign in the spring of 2023, just in time for the 5 year anniversary of the initial release of the game.
In the first instalment I introduced myself and shared my belief that although some of us are very small indie designers together we are mighty! And that’s the very reason for this newsletter and all the wonderful tabletop game designers who contribute to it each month.
I’m so excited to regularly share some highlights from the world of indie tabletop game design with the SPIRIT readers. I’ll share the recent highlights from my little corner of the indie tabletop community as well as any exciting upcoming projects worth looking out for. I’m hoping to do an indie based Christmas gift guide for the Winter 2022 issue.
The Atikin Games Shop – I’ve added a lot more to the shop this month with still much more to come. You can now find some of the dice bags, tote bags and keyrings I’ve made by navigating to the ‘shop’ section of this very website.
Most of the dice keyrings and jewellery I had made sold out during UKGE so I’ve been working on replenishing those and they’ll be in the shop soon!
New Products – I have many new products that need a nice photoshoot before they can be added to the web shop, including backpacks, trick or treat tote bags, Christmas decorations and bookmarks, all meeple and dice themed of course. Please be on the lookout for my new products and don’t hesitate to contact me for custom orders if you’d like something special and unique just for you.
GweepleFest – I’ve been at GweepleFest! It’s in Oxfordshire and it’s the smallest con I’ve been to so far but also the most welcoming and relaxed. I took along the next two games in the Mikro and Chip series after Mini Memory Mischief. They’re called Random Access Memory and Peeky Pointers and are both roll and write word games. Thanks to some fantastic feedback and many many games there have been some interesting and fun improvements to these games which will be coming after Malum Hortus.
I was surprised at how many 8-10 ratings the games had on their feedback forms at such an early stage in their development and I was even told by one play tester that it was the most streamlined play testing session they had ever taken part in. Clearly all that preparation was well worth it!
We’re also soon going to be opening up the game for general sale in the coming week or so, so keep an eye on our Twitter and website for more details about when this happens. If you didn’t have a chance to grab a copy of Cosmic Voyage during our campaign or at this year’s UK Games Expo – you’ll finally have a chance to order your own copy!
Once again we want to thank our amazing community for all of their support and continued encouragement. And we want to thank all of the other fantastic people from this newsletter – many of whom have reached out to get in touch since our last appearance here – we’re so grateful, thank you!
As always, much love to all!
– Andy @ Savania
A New Look for Back to School – It’s been 3 years since we launched PlayGames2Learn.com with “The Bone Game” as one of our first games – designed by our daughter to help make learning the human skeleton more fun. This fast-paced card game has a new card back and background to the card faces. The game play remains just as fun, including all the shouting! 🙂
Check out the new cards in our print-and-play Teachers Edition of “The Bone Game”, along with the human skeleton activity sheets, on our website.
More Educational Print-and-Play Games – We have 20+ games and activities for families with younger children and elementary classrooms to add to their back to school STEM games library. Games like:
The Royal Three (4+) – three different mathematically inclined games designed for two players using a deck of regular playing cards. Elemental Minions (6+) – four games in one that require strategic thinking and utilize basic math for sums and number comparisons while players seek to master their elemental minions. Pirate Ship Paper Craft (7+) – an activity to make a 3D ‘board’ for our dice-roller, “Pirates vs. Skeletons”, but it is also a fun craft in its own right. Target Zer0 (7+) – a straightforward dice-rolling competition where players use a pre-determined set of mathematical operators to construct an equation to produce a result as close to zero as possible. Hotel Escape (8+) – a dice-rolling race-game using positive and negative numbers where the players are trying to escape a burning hotel as quickly as they can. Choose to play “Classic Edition”, “Zombie Edition”, or “Rescue Edition”. Find all of these and more at PlayGames2Learn.com.
We hope you find something to help #MakeLearningFun for your kids and inspire their own game design ideas! 🙂
Chess Attack (all) – a playful chess-teaching game which emphasizes strategic thinking but without the automatic piece taking – the chess pieces must fight for the right to win a combat.
Probability Battleship (all) – a dice-rolling battleship game where players have the opportunity to see how probability changes each time a ‘hit’ is made.
The Royal Three (4+) – three different mathematically inclined games designed for two players using a deck of regular playing cards.
Elemental Minions (6+) – four games in one that require strategic thinking and utilize basic math for sums and number comparisons while players seek to master their elemental minions.
Pirate Ship Paper Craft (7+) – an activity to make a 3D ‘board’ for our dice-roller, “Pirates vs. Skeletons”, but it is also a fun craft in its own right.
Target Zer0 (7+) – a straightforward dice-rolling competition where players use a pre-determined set of mathematical operators to construct an equation to produce a result as close to zero as possible.
Hotel Escape (8+) – a dice-rolling race-game using positive and negative numbers where the players are trying to escape a burning hotel as quickly as they can. Choose to play “Classic Edition”, “Zombie Edition”, or “Rescue Edition”.
Find all of these and more at PlayGames2Learn.com. We hope you find something to help #MakeLearningFun for your kids and inspire their own game design ideas! 🙂
“The Score” is a rapid-fire card game where players roleplay a heist scenario and all its twists and turns. We’re still looking for playtesters to beta test the print-and-play version of the game and take a post-game survey to let us know how you found your escapades. Want to get in on the action now? Sign up here, invite some friends and get heisting!
Treasures At Last: It’s been a long eight months since our failed Kickstarter but we are finally ready to produce the material we had planned. We can’t make a beautiful hardcover book or the deluxe tarot box we wanted but we can give you the written rules. What was going to be one big book is now going to be four separate releases. Part 1 should be released sometime in the next two weeks, hopefully before the end of August.
This first installment looks at making your own miraculous items and includes an all-new scenario. Subsequent books will contain the relics themselves!
Treasures on Earth acts as an expansion on the tarot-based roleplaying game, Relics: A Game of Angels with a brand new fantastical campaign. Continue the plight of the angels in Relics: Treasures on Earth as they endure their battle against demons and all things evil. Patreon backers will have free access to ALL 4 PDFs of the books coming out over the next 6 months – good stuff!
Speaking of Relics, we’ve just realized that the fire at the heart of the game – the tarot deck – has been available for download on our DriveThru page but NOT on our Itch page! An error for two years, finally fixed. Sorry about that.
If you like the idea of scanning and searching for combos, check out “A game about selecting seven cards, speedily searching for synergies.” You’ll be picking up items, creatures, events, and nature cards. Maybe you’ll end up with a hiker, rain, sunshine, landscapes and plants. Or maybe the fashionista, musician, and a lot of clothing and instruments.
In Tabletop Scotland, I was selling a first edition of the game. But I made it clear that this was a way to test it out and that there would be changes made. I’ll tweak a few numbers. Maybe add some more musical notes and cakes to the pictures. Try to make the surprise party more likely to happen. Thanks to the support for a 2nd edition, it’s worth me continuing to work on the game and work out some of these potential changes.
The other two updated games seem like massive improvements. At UKGE, people were confused and overwhelmed by “A game about counting cats’ shapes and colours, that keeps getting trickier.” Asking folk to count two things at once was a step too far for most folk! But adding a 3rd colour helped bring back the trickiness without the confusion.
Conversely, “A game about quickly matching words to pictures but never words to words or pictures to pictures.” had a couple of potentially confusing cards added in. Cards with many pictures, or cards with both a picture AND a word! But this makes the game run slightly faster, as there’s more potential to match. And the single-sided cards made it flow slightly more smoothly.
In other news, I’ve been sent 12 new games for the ELL deck as part of the 2022 ELL deck game design contest. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to chat about them next month.
In the meantime, check out “A game about selecting seven cards, speedily searching for synergies.” and grab a copy if it sounds like something you would enjoy playing. There are almost 40 heavily-subsidised copies remaining, for anyone who would find money the main barrier in playing the game.
Until next month, may your cards always synergise.
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