As we enter our final days of this campaign, we’re not exactly just settling in for the ride, we’ll be stressin’ and husslin’ the best we can right up to the final seconds; but we wanted to take a moment aside to pay special mention to our fellow game designers who have not only been super supportive of us but who have also provided invaluable and critical advice as well as just nonstop encouragement along the way. Many of the teams on this list are ones we met and interacted with, if even only briefly, during our time showcasing as part of IndieMegabooth tabletop at PAX West; beyond just working next to these folks, we spent time outside of show hours hanging out, talking shop, shooting the breeze, and playing each other’s games. Others on this list also happen to be personal friends, who have expressed encouragement and support well beyond the scope of this campaign. All these designers and teams are kind, friendly, talented folks who all deserve as much attention and support as you’ve generously offered us. Some have games on Kickstarter right now, some have games coming to crowdfunding soon, and some have games already available; because this list is long, we’ll keep descriptions short(ish) but will provide links for you to follow through and learn more (we hope you will).
Note: In all instances where we say "we" backed a project, we've done so from Pete's personal Kickstarter account; just in case anyone might be wondering why we claim to have backed so many, but the Robot High Five account shows zero projects backed.
Someone Has Died
(by Gather Round Games)
Someone Has Died is on Kickstarter right now, and is a game we are proudly backing ourselves! It’s a party style storytelling game wherein you are all vying for a dead person’s inheritance. Our favorite thing about Someone Has Died is that, while it involves playing cute and silly cards and has a rotating judge player picking their favorite or funniest argument, it’s actually up to the players to bring comedic wit by weaving their own character story for why they are the one most deserving of the inheritance. Sarah can attest to Pete losing control in a laughing fit during one particular play session at PAX, he honestly can’t recall the last time he laughed so hard during a card game.
(by Orange Machine Games)
Abandon Planet has already had its Kickstarter run, and it was one we backed and now have in our happy robot hands! Abandon Planet is a competitive/co-op social manipulation game with very tenuous and constantly shifting alliances. It’s available for purchase now! Creator (and awesome dude) Don Eskridge welcomed us to try his prototype for Orange Machine’s upcoming game, Black Hole Council, a game full of shouting, deal-making, bribery, and treachery! Black Hole Council should be on Kickstarter soon, and Abandon Planet should be available for purchase now; and hey, let's face it, you’re supporting us because you enjoy social deduction games, and Don Eskridge creates some of the absolute best!
Complicated Board Game the Card Game
(by Offcut Games)
CBGtCG is another game that's already gone through a successful Kickstarter run, and yet another that we had backed ourselves and joyously have in our possession! This game cleverly translates the nuances and cliches of playing a complicated board game into a devilishly delightful card game. CBGtCG is available for purchase now! Offcut also did a limited print run Kickstarter for a small group social deduction game called Status Report -- you guessed right, we backed and own that one too! Because it was limited, it is not currently available other than via Print and Play, but keep an eye on their site and social media, and sign up for their mailing list to be alerted if they do another print run in the future; small group social deduction games for the win!
By Order of the Queen
(by Junk Spirit Games)
We unfortunately did not get a chance to play By Order of the Queen, and we missed out on backing their previously run Kickstarter; but we did at least see the game in person, overhear the general pitch, and chat with designer David Gerrard. By Order of the Queen is a fully cooperative adventure board game with a wonderfully whimsical aesthetic and deeply thought out game play mechanics. It is available for purchase now! David Gerrard is also currently Kickstarting Tyler Sigman’s Crows, of which we know very little, but after watching the pitch video, this looks like another great offering by Junk Spirit Games and one we feel we’d hate to miss out on!
(by Bravely Told Games)
First off, we gotta say, the gents from Bravely Told Games are two of the nicest, friendliest guys we had the pleasure of working near; we ran into a slight issue during PAX and they went out of their way to be accommodating and help us out! We had the opportunity to play their game Cult Following at an after hours game session, and we found ourselves hysterically giggling with as much amusement as all the folks we witnessed step up to try their game during show hours. It is available for purchase now!
(by Fantastic Factories)
Unfortunately another game we did not get a chance to check out, but we wanted to mention Fantastic Factories because designer Joseph Chen has been kindly providing us support and some substantial advice. Fantastic Factories is a worker placement, industrial construction arms race. Keep an eye out for the game to possibly come to Kickstarter soon!
(by Lay Waste Games)
Yet another game we did not get to try, but being familiar with Lay Waste’s previous game, the unbelievably cool Dragoon, this is surely one to be excited about! You can sign up on their website to receive updates, we did, and Dragoon is available for purchase now!
Now Everyone Get the F%$# Out!
(by Starcap Games)
Now this one we did get to play! We sat down with designer Rowan and other friends for an after hours session, and boy were we pleasantly surprised at the unexpected and underlying level of strategy in this simple yet extremely clever little card game! We’re familiar with those dorm hall experiences of both trying to draw people into your room when it’s party time and trying to keep unwanted visitors at bay when you just need to sleep or god forbid study; and we adore this game’s mechanic of trying to be the most boring by earning the nerd chip while sabotaging another player into claiming the party animal chip and drawing the crowd to their room. The game should be available for purchase on Amazon soon, and we think everyone should F%$#ing buy it!
(by Hikari Games)
If tactics/strategy games are your jam, you have to check out Phoenix Covenant; brilliantly dense game design with visually striking card art! Brothers Izzy and Sriraman have also been a friendly, reliable source of support and advice for us. Phoenix Covenant is available for purchase now!
(by Wandering Monster Studios)
Another one we missed playing but our exposure to Sarah's Singularity sure was overwhelming; with a core concept being all players taking control of separate versions of the singular, time-traveling Sarah, the gentleman running the game demo sure enjoyed calling attention to the actual real life Sarah showcasing her own game at the nearby table. All in good fun, and hey, if those people then came over to meet our own Sarah, we were all the better for it! Sarah’s Singularity is coming to Kickstarter in October!
Wisp in the Vale / Larklamp
(by Lumo Amuzo)
Put quite simply, this is a purely beautiful, hand-crafted component with a specifically dedicated game system. Just trust us, do yourself a favor and check it out. Pre-orders are available… and we personally want this so bad!
(by Cardboard Fortress)
We strongly feel our friends at Cardboard Fortress, creators of totally rad tabletop racing game, Lazer Ryderz, deserve all your adoration… they certainly have ours! We absolutely love this team and their games! Lazer Ryderz can be purchased through Greater Than Games.
Our buddy Razlo, creator of Billionaire Banshee, the best party card game due to the uncomfortable truths and awkward conversations it stirs up, successfully Kickstarted an expansion to the game earlier this year (we backed) and it should be releasing early in the new year (we can’t wait)! If you haven’t yet, pick yourself up a copy of the original Billionaire Banshee and discover things about the romantic interests of your family and friends that you'd probably prefer to have never known!
(by Mind the Gap Studios)
Designer Peter Newland is one of the most passionate game designers we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, but his latest Kickstater attempt for dice racer Project NOS was unfortunately unsuccessful; you can, however, still buy a print on demand copy through The Game Crafter, which we’d highly recommend doing! He also offers free Print and Plays of his many other games. Show this designer some love, he totally deserves it!
Jake is another good dude who created a masterful one-on-one block placement strategy game! Breaker Blocks gives serious chess vibes in anticipating your opponent's potential plays and constantly thinking a series of moves ahead. The coolest thing is that Jake crafts the entire game on his own!
Pass the Buck
(by Carol Mertz)
Carol’s also been kindly supportive of our efforts and has previously seen Kickstarter success herself with Pass the Buck: A Game of Corporate Responsibility Management. It’s a clever bluffing game in which players are always answering “No” and it’s up to the active player to figure out whose falsifying their lack of qualification and shirking their responsibilities.
These French Fries are Terrible Hot Dogs
Self-proclaimed bad businessman Shawn Pierre is another extremely passionate game designer who probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. He previously showcased and released These French Fries are Terrible Hot Dogs, a selling your lie style party game, which we believe you can still order through his site; but he has since moved on to newer, more experimental projects. His stuff deserves a look!
That's All Folks!
Apologies to anyone we neglected or forgot to include in this list; if you've shown us support and encouragement, we truly do appreciate it even if we overlooked personally acknowledging so here.
And finally just a big thanks to you for taking the time to check out some, most, perhaps even all of the games/teams listed above!