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Side Room Games – Jun 2021 Update

Hey everyone – as usual lots going on so let’s jump into it!

Mechanical Beast is Live on Kickstarter!

Mechanical Beast went live on 31 May and funded in less than an hour! And we’re mowing down our stretch goals so this one is going to keep getting better. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, Mechanical Beast was the big winner of the 2019 Solitaire Print and Play Contest, including the Best Overall Game. Ben Morayta, the designer, has come up with a fantastic tile laying/manipulation game that is awesome to play as a solo game or with multiple players in either cooperative or competitive modes. And we’re excited to work with Apolline Etienne and Brigitte Indelicato again for the art & graphic design (the same team who knocked it out of the part with Elements of the Gods).

All of our other projects are going smoothly with no major issues, so instead this month we wanted to highlight some of the charities we contributed to that we think are pretty awesome! 🙂

  • Animal Humane Society of New Mexico:  Founded in 1965, Animal Humane New Mexico is the state’s leading private 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal welfare organization serving more than 10,000 homeless & at-risk dogs & cats each year. They never euthanize based on age or length of stay & since 2010, have re-homed 100% of healthy pets in our care. They support every companion animal at Animal Humane with outstanding veterinary, social and emotional care & love. As a private nonprofit shelter, they receive no city, state or federal funding; each dollar judiciously spent is earned or raised.
  • Child’s Play:  Since 2003, the organization has set up Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 185 hospitals worldwide. Over the years, they have outfitted hospital wards and domestic violence shelters with gaming systems for therapeutic & recreational play.
  • Road Runner Food Bank of New Mexico Roadrunner® Food Bank of New Mexico, a Feeding America member, is the largest non-profit dedicated to solving food insecurity in New Mexico. As a food distribution hub, they provide food to hundreds of affiliated member partners around the state including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and regional food banks. They also distribute food through specialized programs helping children, families and seniors at schools, low-income senior housing sites, senior centers and with and through health care partnerships. Every week 70,000 hungry children, seniors and families are reached through this statewide hunger relief network. They are working together with their partners, volunteers and contributors to end food insecurity and hunger in New Mexico.
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society: Founded in 1977, growing the AISES membership above their current 5,900 individual members is key to achieving their mission. AISES supports 230 affiliated pre-college schools, 196 chartered college and university chapters, 3 tribal chapters, and 18 professional chapters in the U.S. and Canada. They promote the highest standards of education and professional excellence to widen the STEM workforce and grow sector support. They highlight the geographic, economic, and social aspects of STEM education and careers. In addition to awarding nearly $12 million and counting in academic scholarships, AISES offers internships, professional development and career resources, national and regional conferences, leadership development summits, and other STEM-focused programming.

Finally, we always have to plug the 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest on BoardGameGeek. 😀 We’re still in the feedback phase and voting will start next month so go check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds and a huge chunk of them have Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia, or playingcards.io implementation so even easier!), and provide some feedback. 

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin

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Side Room Games – May 2021 Update

Hey everyone – as usual lots going on so let’s jump into it!

Mechanical Beast – Coming to Kickstarter 31 May!

Our next campaign is coming at the end of the month! Mechanical Beast was the big winner of the 2019 Solitaire Print and Play Contest, including the Best Overall Game. Ben Morayta, the designer, has come up with a fantastic tile laying/manipulation game that is awesome to play as a solo game or with multiple players in either cooperative or competitive modes. And we’re excited to work with Apolline Etienne and Brigitte Indelicato again for the art & graphic design (the same team who knocked it out of the part with Elements of the Gods). I can’t wait for this one to launch!

Also, here’s an update on some of our ongoing projects:

  • Elements of the Gods:  Almost all of the files are under review with our manufacturer so this one will start printing this month! The last piece is touching up the rulebook and then we’ll be 100% ready to go. Things are still on schedule – so far so good! I can’t wait to see the production proof for this one – from what I’ve seen rendered it’s going to be awesome on the table.
  • Maquis:  The Side Room Games files are complete and our licensing partners are wrapping up their translations this week. Our files are under review with the manufacturer as well so this one will start printing in May as well! In case you missed it, we are still taking late pledges on Gamefound so go check it out!
  • Black Sonata & The Fair Youth We’re still working through our UK & EU fulfillment logistics, including getting VAT registered. It took a little while to get things squared away but games should be arriving in the EU in early June (barring any customs challenges). Once our VAT registration is squared away we’ll start taking orders again on our site for Europe and the UK. We do have stock now in China for orders in other places in the world and we should have the site fixed for those orders soon. One note:  for US & Canadian customers, we are working exclusively with The Gaming Goat so if you’re looking for copies head here!
  • Grove:  The print & play files are on fire on BGG so if you want to check it out now is the time! Still looking for a summer crowdfunding campaign so stay tuned for a specific launch date in the next month or so.
  • Village Builder:  As we mentioned last month, Village Builder is still in development and depending on how the year unfolds it’ll be coming in the fall or potentially early in 2022. As with Grove, the print & play files are available on BGG so check it out.

Another big note – the 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest on BoardGameGeek has entered the feedback phase! Over 50 entries this year and we’re really excited to start testing them out this month. I have a feeling that a) we’ll be signing a few of them and b) there are going to be too many for us so others will definitely get picked up for publishing. Go check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds and a huge chunk of them have Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia, or playingcards.io implementation so even easier!), and provide some feedback. 

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin

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Side Room Games – Mar/Apr 2021 Update

Hey everyone – last month was so busy we forgot to send a newsletter! So double duty this month – let’s get to it!

Maquis: 2nd Edition – Breaking SRG Records!

This campaign was bonkers!!! Most backers & funding by far for Side Room Games, so thanks to everyone who helped make the campaign a success. We’re really excited for this one (we say that all of the time, we know, but we’re serious every time! 😄). File prep for the English version is complete and we submitted the new print and play files to BoardGameGeek so they’ll be available soon. The plan is still in line for our licensing partners to get their translations completed this month and start printing in May. If anything changes we’ll let you know!

Also, here’s an update on some of our ongoing projects:

  • Elements of the Gods:  We’re putting the finishing touches on the files and will start printing this month. So just a bit behind schedule but we built in quite a bit of margin so overall we’re doing great. Mike dropped an update to the Kickstarter campaign showing off some of the tweaks & improvements to the 3D models and some of the new art & graphic design so check it out!
  • Black Sonata & The Fair Youth Printing has completed for new English versions and they should be on their way to the fulfillment centers soon. We’re working through our UK & EU fulfillment adjustments (Brexit + VAT = 😭) but that should all be behind the scenes and no impact on your end. Once that’s squared away we’ll start taking orders again on our site. One note:  for US & Canadian customers, we are working exclusively with The Gaming Goat so if you’re looking for copies head here!
  • Mechanical Beast:  A little slower going than planned but progress is being made. (Note to self – spread out projects where you use the same artist and graphic designer… 🤣) We’re still planning on a Kickstarter launch soon and it’ll likely be in the first half of May as long as we stay on track. We’ll also throw up some pics on social media and BGG once we get the review copies in hand. 
  • Grove:  In case you missed our announcement in February, the sequel to Orchard is coming soon! Mark was able to come up with another hit design (as usual, he’s half-man, half-amazing). Still looking for a summer crowdfunding campaign so stay tuned. And, if you want to try it out early the print & play files are available on BGG.
  • Village Builder:  We also announced another amazing title we’ve signed – Village Builder by Janine Viglietti! This one is another great solo game (with a 2-player variant) and won the 2020 Solitaire Print and Play Design Contest on BGG, finishing 1st overall among other great finishes in the contest sub-categories. Depending on how the year unfolds it’ll be coming in the fall or potentially early in 2022 (we keep getting busier and busier!). As with Grove, the print & play files are available on BGG so check it out.

As usual, I’ll keep plugging our 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest on BoardGameGeek. There are going to be some awesome games coming out of this one – probably too many for us to publish! Luckily we’ve had good luck in getting entries from previous contests signed with other publishers and I expect that to continue this year. Definitely check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds 😁), and provide some feedback. And, if you have a design that’s been tinkering around in your head you should definitely get it down on paper & get it entered!

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin

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Side Room Games – Feb 2021 Update

Hey everyone – it’s been a busy month so let’s dive in with some news!

Maquis: 2nd Edition is live on Kickstarter!

Maquis: 2nd Edition is live on Kickstarter! This one has some new content (missions, spare rooms, and resources) as well as some general clean up of the rules to help explain some of the finer details of the game and improve playability. For our previous backers & customers, the new content is available to purchase as a mini-expansion and you’ll be able to fit it in the original box with some maneuvering. The campaign has gone fantastic so far, breaking our previous backer number record at Side Room Games and it’s on pace to pass our funding level record too! 😊

Also, here’s an update on some of our ongoing projects:

  • Elements of the Gods:  The pledge manager on Gamefound is live so if you didn’t get a link please let me know. We’re still in file preparation mode over the next month and should wrap things up by March. Be on the lookout for some pics on a KS update & through our social media outlets!
  • Black Sonata & The Fair Youth We’re resolving some of the missing/lost packages from fulfillment so if you’re still waiting for delivery reach out to us and we can investigate. We’re also in the preproduction phase for another print run, so if you missed out on the latest Kickstarter & preorders we’ll have stock soon, likely later this spring. 
  • Fallen Angels:  As above, we’re resolving shipping issues so if you’re waiting let us know and we can help. We also still have copies on our site available!
  • Mechanical Beast:  Still working art development on the tiles and things are coming along nicely! We’re on schedule and looking at an April/May launch date for this one.
  • Grove:  In case you missed our announcement last month, the sequel to Orchard is coming soon! Mark was able to come up with another hit design and I can tell you it’s fantastic. We’re looking for this one to hit Kickstarter this summer so stay tuned. And, if you want to try it out early the print & play files are available on BGG.

As usual, I’ll keep plugging our 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest on BoardGameGeek. There are going to be some awesome games coming out of this one – probably too many for us to publish! Luckily we’ve had good luck in getting entries from previous contests signed with other publishers and I expect that to continue this year. Definitely check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds 😁), and provide some feedback. And, if you have a design that’s been tinkering around in your head you should definitely get it down on paper & get it entered!

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin

P.S.  We have another announcement coming soon on another title we’re going to publish… A perfect fit to our catalog. We’ll let the village know about it once it’s ready to start building… 😉

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Side Room Games – Jan 2021 Update

Hey everyone – let’s dive in with some news!

Maquis: 2nd Edition coming 1 February!

Maquis is coming back to Kickstarter! This will be the 2nd Edition with some new content (missions, spare rooms, and resources) as well as some general clean up of the rules to help explain some of the finer details of the game and improve playability. For our previous backers & customers, the new content will be available to purchase as a mini-expansion and you’ll be able to fit it in the original box with some maneuvering. 🙂

Also, here’s an update on some of our ongoing projects:

  • Elements of the Gods:  The pledge manager on Gamefound is live as of today! Backers should have received an invite this morning. If you didn’t please send me a note and I can investigate. We’re working on getting the files prepped over the next month or so and should wrap things up by March at the latest. Next month we’ll share some of the updates & final versions!
  • Black Sonata & The Fair Youth We FINALLY got all of the issues resolved for European backers and games have gotten out to folks. There are still a few areas where delivery is a little behind but they all have left Collext. And with the last-minute Brexit deal it’s a huge sigh of relief for us since things will stay EU friendly. Because of general delays, if folks haven’t received packages by the middle of the month we can start looking into things. By then I’d expect any undeliverable packages to return back to Collext. We’re also in the preproduction phase for another print run, so if you missed out on the latest Kickstarter & preorders we’ll have stock soon, likely later this spring. 
  • Fallen Angels:  These also made it to Collext for EU fulfillment right before Christmas and are starting to arrive to the last backers in the EU. Much like above, we’ll give it some time to make it through the standard delivery timelines and then we’ll assess if there’s any issues to resolve. We also still have copies on our site available! 🙂
  • Mechanical Beast:  Here’s some more art in development! We really like the way the tiles are coming together. Still planning for launching after Maquis, likely around the April timeframe.

Finally, I’ll keep plugging our 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest on BoardGameGeek. There are going to be some awesome games coming out of this one – probably too many for us to publish! Luckily we’ve had good luck in getting entries from previous contests signed with other publishers and I expect that to continue this year. Definitely check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds), and provide some feedback. And, if you have a design that’s been tinkering around in your head you should definitely get it down on paper & get it entered!

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin

P.S.  If you’ve made it this far, you may want to stay tuned over the next week or so… We’re meandering out of the Orchard and have found a lovely little Grove we’re quite fond of… 😉

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Side Room Games – Dec 2020 Update

Hey everyone! We’re in the last week of our Elements of the Gods Kickstarter and we have some exciting updates on a few upcoming projects. Let’s roll!

Elements of the Gods – Kickstarter Exclusive!

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We’re in the final week of our Kickstarter campaign for Elements of the Gods! Remember, this one is a Kickstarter Exclusive, our first at Side Room Games. This means that the game won’t see a larger distribution for the English version and only retailers who back will be able to have it in stores in a limited quantity. Any leftover copies after fulfillment will only be available on our site at the planned MSRP of $60.

Also, here’s an update on some of our ongoing projects:

  • Black Sonata & The Fair Youth For European backers, we hit another snag… 🙁 There was an issue with the labeling process with Collext so the games have been sitting for almost 3 weeks at Heathrow. We figured out the issue and they’ve been working to get all of the packages relabeled & dispatched. Again, I am truly sorry that we’ve had these delays. There’s nothing more frustrating to a publisher than having games ready to get to backers & customers and when the process gets out of our hands things get complicated. We’re pushing Collext as hard as we can to make sure that things move quickly and this doesn’t happen again.
  • Fallen Angels:  As mentioned before, the last subset of games that are going to folks in Europe who ordered multiple copies + some specific countries where it made sense to send from the EU rather than China are on their way to the UK. They’re still in transit and hopefully arriving soon – that’ll wrap up fulfillment for that one but we still have copies on our site available.
  • Maquis:  We got our first sketches in from Ilya for the expansion missions & spare rooms – looking good so far! The plan is still for the expansion & reprint Kickstarter campaign in early 2021. As soon as we get the official launch date nailed down we’ll let folks know. 
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Mechanical Beast:  We’ve also got some of the first art sketches/draft in for it too! Really excited for where we’re going on this one. The plan is for Mechanical Beast to launch after Maquis, likely around the April timeframe. 

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Finally, if you’re interested in designing a game or just want to check out some cool ones in development, our 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest is live on BoardGameGeek. Some of them are looking amazing so far. Definitely check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds :D), and provide some feedback. And, if you have a design that’s been tinkering around in your head you should definitely get it down on paper & get it entered!

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin

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Side Room Games – Nov 2020 Update

Hey everyone! Wanted to give folks an update on a few fronts, including some changes to our current Kickstarter campaign & statuses on our current & future projects. Let’s roll!

Elements of the Gods – Kickstarter Exclusive!

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Two significant things we wanted to let you know about in regards to Elements of the Gods. First, we’ve decided to do our best to help supplement some of the shipping costs for backers so we’re decreasing our planned prices for fulfillment. Take a look at the shipping section on the campaign page for specific costs for your area. We’ve also lowered the additional amount needed if you’re looking for multiple copies or a group buy.

Secondly, we’re also making this game a Kickstarter Exclusive, our first at Side Room Games. This means that the game won’t see a larger distribution for the English version and only retailers who back will be able to have it in stores in a limited quantity. Any leftover copies after fulfillment will only be available on our site at the planned MSRP of $60.

Also, here’s an update on some of our ongoing projects:

Black Sonata & The Fair Youth For European backers, the games did finally make it to Collext and went out the first week of November! If you hadn’t seen any of the comments on the KS page, for some reason the unloading process at the port took way longer than expected; the ship arrived 7 October, so almost 3 weeks! 🙁 It sounded like the port is really busy right now (Brexit panic!?!? :-/ ). So games are on their way and folks in the UK & Ireland have already seen them come in. I’m really hoping that other countries start receiving this week and I appreciate everyone’s patience on this!

Fallen Angels:  The bulk of fulfillment is complete and games are on their way to backers. I do know there have been some sleight delays since it’s a busy time of the year for shipments combined with challenges brought on by the pandemic. The last subset of games that are going to folks in Europe who ordered multiple copies + some specific countries where it made sense to send from the EU rather than China are on their way to the UK. Hopefully they’ll get there around the end of the month & Collext will get them out shortly thereafter. So surprisingly smooth sailing. 😀

Orchard The latest print run just completed and included versions in Spanish (Melmac Games), Italian (GateOnGames), Chinese (Treetato Games), French (ABi Games), German (Board Game Circus), Dutch (Gam’inBIZ), Japanese/Thai (Mr. Dexker), and Korean (Lotus Frog Games). We also partnered with guf in Australia and GigaMech Games in the US for special English versions in those regions. So, if you’re looking for another copy for you or a friend, there are lots of options headed your way. 🙂

Maquis: We finally have some exciting news… We are in the works with Jake, the designer, and Ilya, the artist to put together a small expansion for Maquis! The expansion will contain 4 extra-hard missions with different objectives & levels of victory. We’ll also have some new safe houses & resources to support these newer missions as well as the original missions. The current plan is to have things ready to go for an expansion & reprint campaign in early 2021 – currently looking at late January/early February but still working the timing. The plan is to do something similar to what we did with Black Sonata & The Fair Youth expansion. This expansion will be a little smaller in size so that should also keep the price down for backers. 🙂 As we get more details we’ll let folks know!

Also, if you’re interested in designing a game or just want to check out some cool ones in development, our 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest is live on BoardGameGeek. Some of them are looking amazing so far. Definitely check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds :D), and provide some feedback. And, if you have a design that’s been tinkering around in your head you should definitely get it down on paper & get it entered!

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin

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Side Room Games – Oct 2020 Update

Hey everyone! Exciting news from our end. 😀 As we mentioned previously in the newsletter and teased through some of our social media outlets, Elements of the Gods is coming. And we’ve selected a launch date – 10 November! Review copies are starting to go out this week, but here are some of the initial looks:
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We also have a Tabletop Simulator module ready to go! Feel free to give it a try and give us any feedback you have. 🙂 We’ll also have print & play files ready to go later this month if you’re so inclined.

This is our biggest project yet and we’re chomping at the bit to get it out there! This is what I’d consider our first original project (non-PnP beforehand) so we’ve put a lot of energy & love into it. It’s a great game and we’re hoping you will all love it! We’ll remind folks once it gets closer to launch, so definitely stay tuned. You can also subscribe & become a fan on BGG too!

Also, here’s an update on some of our ongoing projects:

Black Sonata & The Fair Youth  Fulfillment has been going on all through September and into October. The last major piece is Europe – the games made it to the UK on 7 October and will start heading out to backers/customers this week and next week. We also addressed some concerns/issues with the expansion box in an Kickstarter update (check it here). If you have any questions or issues feel free to reach out to us at support@sideroomgames.com.
Fallen Angels:   Production is still on track to wrap up on 20 October, so games should start heading out to backers by the first week of November. Woohoo! 😀
Orchard  Production has started for the different languages (Italian, Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese, German, Japanese, Thai, and Dutch) as well as some exclusive deals for English versions in Australia and the US. Current schedule shows finishing different versions around the end of October and continuing through November. So if you’re on the look out for a different language version stay tuned for more info!
Maquis:  Still planning (lame!)… No news yet but we’re working it!

Also, if you’re interested in designing a game or just want to check out some cool ones in development, our 2021 54 Card Game Design Contest is live on BoardGameGeek. So far we have 12 entries and more will be coming soon. Definitely check them out, give them a playtest (easy print & play builds :D), and provide some feedback. And, if you have a design that’s been tinkering around in your head you should definitely get it down on paper & get it entered!

As always, if you have any questions or issues feel free to drop us a line through our social media outlets or send us an email at support@sideroomgames.com. Until next time!

Dustin
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That’s a Wrap!

Courtesy of Brian Garthwaite

Now that the contest is officially over and we’re putting feedback together for the entrants I thought I’d let you in on the process and how we decided on our jury prize winners.  It was a tough call; we had about 5 games we narrowed in on for the top 2 and played through them again as a group to determine which were the best. Here are my honorable mentions (in no particular order) – all of these were great games and are serious contenders for publication (either by us or some other lucky company!):

Neapolitan Sundaes: Most of my thoughts on this one were captured on my previous blog post.  Definitely fun, probably a better cardboard tile game rather than card game, and the theme on this one could be tinkered with.  Will keep an eye out for it for sure!

Panoramic:  This one is a two player tableau builder where you have the same bidding cards & overall bidding value as your opponent over the course of the game.  The best part about this one is how scoring is determined. As you bid & win cards you can either place them in your panorama (or your opponent’s in cases where they hurt their layout) or you can use the card to lock in an endgame scoring parameter.  On top of that, when you lock it in you lock out another option. Really keeps the game dynamic and puts emphasis on which cards to go after and when. With some cool original art & graphic design this one could be a great light-weight card game.

Repertoire:  In this two player deck-building game about fencing, you are balancing your decisions to either attack your opponent or acquire special move cards to your deck (adding to your repertoire!).  As offensive & defensive skills become available to add to your capabilities, you are trying to balance what you have in your hand to either come in with a crushing blow or defend against the same.  And as you take damage that can’t be blocked you have to permanently dump cards from your deck, and whoever has the fewest cards at the end of the game loses. It probably needs some tweaking as the first portion of the game is a little slow during the build up of your deck, and it feels like there needs to be a little more offense & a little less defense to increase the tension.  But the core mechanics are really good, and the original artwork for the cards turned out great!

Saint Poker & Board Game Smugglers:  These were games that used a standard deck of playing cards.  And they were some of the most fun we had playing! Saint Poker is basically Texas Hold’em Legacy.  After a hand you get to draft cards on the table from other players hands & the community cards to form your hand for the next round.  Each round is worth more and more points, and you can retain some knowledge of what cards are gone to help you plan for the next round or two.  The right kind of brain burn and it worked really well. Board Game Smugglers is all about bluffing and misdirection, which really hit my wheelhouse.  I was just manically laughing about every move, and was yelling at the other guys when they would screw me over. It really didn’t have “take that” mechanics, but it still had that feel.  For some reason that’s what made it shine.

There were other good ones too: Quilt 54 was a tile laying game simple to teach but got brain burny as you played; in the same vein as Sagrada.  Banquet had a neat way of moving your player card around the board and causing a chain reaction of who goes where. Martian Colony was a cool little eurogame that with a little tweaking on the scoring could be great.  But in the end there were two that really stood out:

Building Blocks:  This cooperative game is really straightforward.  You’re trying to build 4 colored towers from 1 to 7.  There are a few more of the base cards but the top 3 cards of each tower are unique.  You can skip levels (i.e. a tower that goes 1-2-3-5-7 is perfectly legit) but your score drops for every card you miss.  As a group you go through a decision process to see what order you place that round. You then take turns placing whatever cards you can on the tower.  Or you can “pass” by discarding cards. And the entire time you basically can’t communicate with each other… AARRRGGGHHH!!!! It’s so frustrating but rewarding at the same time.  “Why did you take the first player card!?!?!” “Why did you discard a 5!?!?!” “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” The game shines when you have to decide on which cards to hold in hopes of getting the perfect tower but also avoid being forced to dump them later when someone can’t put down a stupid 4(!!!).  We immediately wanted to play it again when we finished the first time we tried it. And on our last test day we wanted to play it again after we finished… and a 3rd time… and a 4th… It’s just really good!

Fallen Angels:  Surprisingly another cooperative game (as a group I’d say co-op games are lower on our list, which is why we were shocked our top two were those types).  And it’s really clever. I mean reeeeeeeeeeeeallly clever. Once you set it up you have a handful of cards fanned out so you can see either a) a single symbol or b) a pair of symbols.  On the other side of the cards (what your teammate’s see) is either a) that symbol plus another or b) only one of the pair of symbols. On your turn you pick a card and you are trying to deduce what your teammates are seeing on the back of it.  They will rearrange their decks based on what they see in their hands so that symbols that match what they see are on one side of their hand and ones that don’t match are on the other side. You then use that information to figure out what is on your card.  But it’s mindboggling! Because you only see what they aren’t seeing, and are trying to guess what they can see to narrow down on what you don’t see… Confused? Admittedly, it takes a round or two to wrap your head around what’s happening. And at first, once you get a grasp, it seems easy.  But then cards start leaving your hand and the information available starts to dwindle. And then you start having to get help from informants. And then one of your clever teammates saves you by guessing what only you can see based on your “ummmmmmm”-ing and “ugh”-ing. As you can tell, it’s super hard to explain without playing it.  But once you do you a) need to take a 5-minute break to let your brain unravel and b) start a new game. And all of this doesn’t take into account the amazing photos & really cool info that John unearthed as a part of the theme. In any case it’s just a winner.

Enough rambling.  🙂 All of these designers are awesome and I’m so happy we ran the contest.  It was a challenge to get through all of the entries but I think it really helped us hone our judgement skills as far as thinking about which games were marketable, publishable, needed work, were almost there, etc.  I can’t thank the designers enough for putting the hard work and dedication into making their games. We may tweak a few of the parameters for next year’s contest but there will definitely be one!

I’ll be back later this week with some more info on Black Sonata, as well as maybe an insight or two that I’ve run into setting up the company.

Until next time!

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Business is Picking Up!

Hey, remember us? I can barely remember the last few months! It’s been pretty exciting here at Side Room Games. Not only are we wrapping up the judging of the 54 Card Game Design Contest but we’ve also signed 2(!) games to publish – more on them in a bit!

We’re a little over halfway through all of the 54 Card Contest entries and we’re making a big push this weekend to get them all played. We may have to extend our judging by a week but we’re definitely going to get through them all. There have been some really good ones so far and there are some on the to-do list we’re really excited to play.

My personal favorite so far has been Neapolitan Sundaes by Jason Meyers. The basic gist is you’re connecting various sundae cards on a grid and trying to create links of 3 different characteristics on the cards (either toppings, fruit, or flavor). You score in the competitive version by matching a “favorites” card you get at the beginning of the game. When the game starts there are a ton of options and it’s easy to pick out good combos and get your feet wet. But when the board starts clearing out the difficulty level ramps up and you have to start planning moves ahead as well as avoid giving your opponents opportunities to make links. The way the game climbs in challenge as the game progresses really sets it out from similar games. It might make for a better tile laying game than a card game but the simple design, ease of entry, interesting decisions, and quick gameplay make it a real contender.

I’ve put some other notes on the rest of the entries on our Facebook page as well as via Twitter. As we finish up the testing process we’ll continue to update folks on our progress.

On top of the contest, we’ve been working with two designers and have officially signed their games to publish. The first is Black Sonata by John Kean. The game was created as a part of the 2017 Solo Print & Play Design Contest on BoardGameGeek and won 1st place in Below is his (amazing!) description of the game:

For more than four centuries scholars have argued over the identity of the mysterious Dark Lady of William Shakespeare’s sonnets. According to the sonnets, the Dark Lady seduced the poet and held him in an agonized thrall while also conducting an affair with the Fair Youth who Shakespeare also loved.

In Black Sonata you will find yourself in Shakespeare’s London, circa 1600, in pursuit of the shadowy Lady. A specially ordered deck of cards determines her hidden movements from place to place. You must deduce her location and then intercept her to catch a glimpse and gain a clue to her identity. You will need several clues to deduce her identity, but with each clue gained the Lady becomes harder to track. Black Sonata combines hidden movement and logical deduction into a unique solitaire steeped in literary history.

Can you finally solve English literature’s greatest mystery? Or will the Dark Lady elude you, melting from your grasp like a curl of smoke and promises?

I’ve never played a game like it and I knew I wanted to get it from a print & play version out to the community. John’s design is fantastic and his graphic design is really impressive. It’s basically a finished product – all that’s left is to push to get the Kickstarter ready to launch. We’re planning for a summer launch so stay tuned!

The second game we signed is Pocket Landship by Scott Allen Czysz. The original version is a solo game set in World War I where you command a landship (the original British term for tank) to clear a sector of enemy infantry, artillery and landships. On your turn, you roll dice and allocate them to your landship equipment to make attacks, heal damage, or utilize special abilities. On the enemies turn the dice are allocated based on the enemy set up and you resolve their actions. The really clever mechanic is that each enemy is trying to maneuver the battlespace throughout the game to get into a better position to attack you. A really fun game that’s challenging, tense, and an easy set up & tear down.

The original version was an entry in the 2017 9 Card Nanogame Design Contest on BoardGameGeek where you were limited to 9 cards, up to 9 dice and 9 tokens. Since his original design, Scott created an expansion to increase the number of enemies and player options. For what we plan to publish, he’s been working on coming up with some new enemy and player powers, as well as creating a 2-player cooperative variant. We’re also looking to re-theme the game with all new art and graphic design. I’m really excited about this one as well – the look and feel when we’re done is going to be awesome!

If you want to stay up to date with the progress of these two games and the 54 Card Contest results, sign up for our mailing list in the side menu. We plan on sending out monthly updates as well as notifications when our Kickstarters launch.

Until next time!