Keyflower : The Farmers on Kickstarter With Special Features

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Keyflower : The Farmers is an expansion to the original Keyflower game in which players manage a village across the various yearly seasons and claim the most victory points. Game Salute presents this expansion through their Kickstarter which launched yesterday. So far, K:TF has already greatly surpassed its goal, but with good reason.

Through this funding project, gamers are getting the opportunity to get their hands on a copy of the original Keyflower, as well as a special Storyteller tile.  Speielerei Magazine previously released this tile as an exclusive piece, but Game Salute has been given permission to distribute it in the US through this project. Fans of Keyflower who didn’t have this opportunity in the past should be excited to own a piece of the Keyflower legacy!

Keyflower : The Farmers expansion includes :

  • 21 large hexagonal tiles
  • 3 turn order tiles
  • 18 village tiles (including two summer boat tiles)
  • 30 wheat tiles
  • 12 brown wooden cows
  • 24 pink wooden pigs
  • 32 white wooden sheep
  • 6 plastic zip storage bags
  • Rules in English, French and German

 

A minimum pledge of $35 gets you Keyflower : The Farmers expansion and the Storyteller tile, and $75 will get you everything from the $35 level, plus a copy of the core Keyflower game.! The Kickstarter for this expansion ends on November 16th. Photos are available at the Kickstarter page of the components and more information on how the game is played. Jump on this chance to get Keyflower into your libray!

Collapsible Construction Video Preview

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Do you love miniature gaming but hate trying to store all the terrain? Are your closets stuffed to the brim with tiny houses, castles and towers? Check out this preview for a product coming to Kickstarter soon that may have just the answer for your gaming needs. For more information and a look at what else they are making, check out Collapsible Construction on Facebook.

Thanks to Four-Faced Buddha LLC for providing a preview copy of Collapsible Construction.

Did you enjoy this preview? Stay up to date with our news, reviews, podcast, and more by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

Little Wizards Interview with Amanda Valentine

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Little Wizards is a tabletop role-playing game where kids ages 6-10 years old. It allows grown-ups to interact with their children like never before, and with that they can share their love of gaming with them. We had a chance to sit down with Amanda Valentine, the young lady tasked with making the English version of the game happen as asked by Crafty Games, and talked a little about how the game came to be, as well as what it was like during the development process.

Here’s our interview:

I:T) What gave you the idea to bring Little Wizards over in English?

AV) Crafty Games gets credit for that! They asked me to edit the translation of the first volume, which is how I became involved with the project. The setting and the artwork were quite a draw, though—even though I couldn’t understand a word of the French version, it was still fun to look at!

I:T) What was the development process like?

AV) It ended up being more involved than we expected! I did a copyedit of the first volume, but the rules didn’t feel complete. There were more rules and two more adventures in the second volume, so we decided to combine both books into one. We tweaked and streamlined the mechanics, rearranged all the information, added a lot of suggestions to character creation, and made some other changes to appeal to our audience. Looking at the three adventures, I realized that if you played them in order they could work as a primer for new GMs or for experienced GMs who are new to running games for young players. We expanded on that, putting in explicit advice for running games with kids, including a section on making failed rolls interesting.

I:T) Did you test this game out with your own children?

AV) I did! It was my first experience GMing, so it was kind of intimidating! But that was the inspiration for some of the rule tweaks and for a lot of the advice that made it into the final game. My kids had fun, and when it was over they wanted to run the game for their younger cousins and my daughter was already outlining an adventure of her own.

I:T) What was your favorite part about the development process?

AV) I’m used to editing, which means I need to stay true to the author’s intent and bring that out as clearly as possible. For this game, I was removed from the author both through language and a lack of access. It took me a while to realize that I could make the changes I wanted so I could make Little Wizards a game that would really appeal to our audience. There was a sense of ownership that I don’t usually experience, especially since I was the one making most of the changes, instead of requesting someone else make changes. It was an exciting and nerve-wracking experience! But I really enjoyed it.

I:T) Do you feel it’s important to get younger children into gaming? If so, why?

AV) I think games of all kinds are important for kids. It’s even better when there are fun games parents, older siblings, and other adults actually want to play with kids. I dreaded playing those never-ending luck-based board games that so often pass for kids’ games. Playing games with my kids became a lot more fun when they could play the kinds of games that I like to play, too. I hope that Little Wizards will fall into that category for most families.

I also think it’s great for kids to start playing RPGs as early as possible. They already have a natural inclination toward imaginative play and storytelling, so it’s pretty easy to move that into the structure of an RPG. A cooperative game like Little Wizards helps them empathize with other players around the table and to learn responsibility for everyone having fun without sacrificing their own fun.

I:T) What advice would you give to parents who are looking into Little Wizards for their children?

AV) Do your best to say yes to your children’s ideas, even if it takes things in unexpected directions. But you can also tweak their ideas to better fit the story, especially if some of the wackier suggestions might derail the fun of other players. Running games for young players can be a bit of a juggling act!

I:T) How has the response been to the game so far?

AV) People seem to really like it! I haven’t seen a ton of feedback yet, and only one review. I can’t wait to see the book at Gen Con and to get a chance to talk to people about it.

I:T) Do you see more companies creating games like this for kids in the future?

AV) As more and more gamers become parents, I think this is absolutely a growing demographic. I know a lot of parents who are trying to figure out the best way to introduce their kids to the hobby, usually at a much younger age than they themselves started playing.

I:T) What were some of your favorite games as a child? And now?

AV) My gaming childhood was pretty traditional—board games like Clue, card games like Rummy. I started playing RPGs as an adult, starting with variations of D&D and Warhammer. I’m totally biased, but currently I really like Fate and Cortex Plus. I’m also enamored of Dungeon World.

I:T) Do you see Little Wizards expanding beyond its initial borders? (i.e., expansions?)

AV) We’re thinking about a book of adventures that will elaborate a bit on the setting. We’ll see how it goes!

We want to thank Amanda for her time, and are excited to see Little Wizards take off. If you’re attending Gen Con this year, make sure you check out the game and stop by to say hello to Amanda, as she’ll be at the Crafty Games booth in the exhibit hall. If you’re looking for a new RPG to enjoy with your minions, this is sure to be right up your alley!

Wyrd Miniatures Announces Gen Con 2013 Releases

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In addition to the painting contests and game demos that Wyrd Miniatures will be bringing to Gen Con, a long list of releases that Wyrd will have available has been made public. Paint and take and cosplay contests will also be found in the Wyrd world at Gen Con, but fans of their productions will be happy to see and hear about the goodies they will have.

Deciding to not divert attention away from M2E, Wyrd will not be pre-releasing Through the Breach RPG, but Kickstarter backers will receive updates after the convention. Board and card games that will be available include current games and ones that aren’t releasing until later in the year, giving you a chance to pick up these games early. These include Puppet Wars : Unstitched, The World Needs a Jetpack Unicorn, EBO : The Crayon Manifesto, and much more. Many crews and Arsenal Boxes for Malifaux will also be present, and the full list is at the Wyrd Miniatures forums.

Wyrd isn’t exempting themselves from Gen Con exclusives, though! Never sold before or after Gen Con 2013, Nightmare Tara, Herald of Obliteration and her crew will be available for $80. Also, Miss Step, Steamborg Executioner will be free with $100 purchase at the booth. Note that there is a limit of 1 per purchase.

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Many more photos can be seen on the forum announcement thread, giving fans sneak peeks into the new miniatures to the Malifaux world. With Malifaux 2nd Edition on its way, building your army with new minis will be very rewarding. The Gen Con exclusives models look beautiful, and this is your one chance to get them!

Interview with Douglas Morse of Adventures On The Tabletop

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Adventures on the Tabletop: A Movie About Board Game Design

Directed by Douglas Morse

http://www.tabletopmovie.com

After reading about Adventures on the Tabletop, I managed to speak with Douglas Morse a little bit about his project and to get some background information on what this film means to him and the gaming community.

How were you introduced to tabletop gaming?

I always liked Monopoly, but I truly began to love it and appreciate its simplicity and sophistication when I learned the rules and studied strategy. Without free parking, without loans from the bank, without king-making, and with auctioning property, and, there is no luck in Monopoly. Monopoly, like most excellent dice games is all about knowing the odds and optimizing rolls you do get. This is true of most well designed games involving dice and certainly any competitive card game like poker, hearts or bridge. The best players understand the probability and strategy and will, nearly all the time, win over weaker players. It’s true in Monopoly, poker, and Settlers. With enough dice rolls and enough games played, skill wins out nearly every time. Monopoly is a very short game when played by the rules.

The separation of a childish understanding of games and a more sophisticated understanding is something I am learning about in the documentary. As we move into adulthood, we get frustrated with unsophisticated game play. Many people have not tried nor are they aware of more engaging games. One of the most immersive experiences is role playing. I started role-playing, Dungeons and Dragons of course, in my teen years and continued on and off through grad school. The CCGs, for whatever reason, didn’t appeal to me but were a huge turning point in tabletop gaming and have influenced both tabletop game design and illustration. CCGs expanded the hobby as a whole. When a small game shop opened up across the street from us, and when some gamers were playing Settlers, I was hooked on Euro Games. I knew, just looking at the board (a German import) that I would love the game. Upon reflection, the similarities with Monopoly are striking. Both games require dice rolls to gather resources. They both involving building houses and then upgrading to buildings of greater value. Also the crucial element to winning the game is superior strategy and superior trading skills. I am very skilled at both Monopoly and Settlers. However, anyone, with some effort, and practice, can learn those skills. Every resource and every build must be optimized to win the games. Every single trade affects the final outcome. There is also a point of no return where even a tremendous amount of luck will not help the players who have fallen behind. Often, they don’t recognize it. The better players are always within a point or two of one another.

What first sparked the inspiration to move from playing games to filming the creation behind them?

First and foremost, I’m a filmmaker. I’ve directed innumerable shorts and six feature films. I knew that eventually I wanted to make a movie set in this world. But I wasn’t interested directly, in the gamers and gaming culture. So I didn’t know how to craft a story. One option was to structure the movie around a competition. The movies Spellbound, Wordplay and King of Kong all use this structure to great affect. It is a natural narrative construct and it works. It wasn’t what I wanted to do either. Then I saw Caine’s arcade and here was a nine year old constructing an arcade out of cardboard. How cool was that? Designers play with, and cut, innumerable pieces out of paper and cardboard and find bits to make their prototypes. I had found my story. I would follow a game and game designer from prototype to development and hopefully through publishing. As I discovered, the most difficult task is to find the right subjects.

What kind of reactions were you met with when you began seeking interviews and sessions with game designers/developers for this film?

The game community is very, very open and friendly. Many of them, as creators of entertainment, understood what I was trying to do and the story I was telling. And people instinctively want to share their stories. It’s the primal human need: to share experience. Existentially, social interaction is what makes us exist.

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How did you feel when the project funded? What are excited for the most in the upcoming months?

I have learned to make films very, very inexpensively for niche audiences. It’s the only way, save winning the filmmaking lottery, to continue as an independent filmmaker. I make a modest profit from some of my films and it helps balance out films that don’t turn a profit. I set a low ‘backstop goal’ of $5000 that would help me get through this year shooting the film. If you don’t make your funding goal, Kickstarter rules prevent you from collecting any money at all. My true goal was $15,000 because with that I knew I could get a movie ‘in the can’ Now, amazingly we have surpassed that goal thanks in no small part by a backing from Steve Jackson Games and a new website Tabletop Tally. Some smaller game designers, Brooklyn Indie Games, Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower, Gorilla Games, and the makers of Jet Set have also come in at higher levels in exchange for sponsorship. So I give them a small plug here! It was the large pledges, both near the beginning, and near the end that set my heart pounding. It is tremendously exciting. Ironically perhaps, success equals more work.

Much more important than the funds is the building of community and audience. Producer Ted Hope recently said the greatest challenge for any independent filmmaker is not raising funds, but finding an audience. Kickstarter lets me connect with the tabletop community directly.

Next month I have a major trip to Germany to visit with various designers and publishers, hopefully Spiel Des Jahres Winners. I am making plans to go to the Spiel Des Jahres Press conference where they announce the winners. I don’t know if any of the American web media have covered that ceremony before.

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Are you still looking for designers to speak with, or is your path already set in stone?

Short answer: I am looking for more designers. I will be at Gen Con, BGG.con and Essen. Long answer: Feature film writers work for years gathering material for their scripts and spend many months and years revising and honing their screenplays. With documentary, the task is to gather raw material to work with in the editing room. I do hope I have found my primary subjects and a specific game to follow from Alpha prototype to published game. That could take nearly two years!

Are there any other projects related to Adventures On The Tabletop that may be seen in the future?

Absolutely. Two in fact. And they have to be completely under-wraps. Loose lips truly do sink ships. The two projects are also 2-3 years away if they do happen.

For those on the fence about backing the project, what benefits do you hope that gamers will receive from watching your film?

All I can say is that gamers and designers really need to look at the Kickstarter page and there are some very, very inexpensive pledge levels. A dollar will get anyone access to hours of extended interviews. The digital download is much less expensive than comparable Kickstarter projects. The project page truly does explain the project in detail. The backer updates also contain a wealth of information and great photographs of designers. http://www.tabletopmovie.com redirects to the Kickstarter page and will eventually have a mechanism for people to pre-purchase the film or become late sponsors of the film. That said, there are certain benefits that are Kickstarter exclusives to reward people for having faith and who want to support Adventures on the Tabletop.

Many thanks to Douglas for taking the time to answer some questions about this film. If you are looking for more information on the film, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page for Adventures On The Tabletop. Also, keep your eyes on Grandfather Films for these under-wraps films in the future!

Munchkin Legends Announced From Steve Jackson Games

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Soon, you might find yourself staring at a new Munchkin Legends game in an unlikely place – the Target board game section. For the first time, Steve Jackson Games has produced an exclusive stand-alone game, as this is only available for sale at Target. Recently, Target has helped the tabletop industry greatly by making great games such as Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride readily available to the masses, and Munchkin Legends is SJG’s way of saying thank you. Monsters of myth and legendary treasures are featured in this new version of Munchkin and will please any history buff.

Using the same mechanics as previous Munchkin games, Legends employs the use of some common and uncommon historical knowledge to give a new feel to a classic game. The Munchkin brand manager Andrew Hackard says that fans have been requesting such a game, and that many people working on the project were thrilled to work on a game a little closer to our world’s myths and legends. Munchkin Legends’ illustrator John Kovalic says :

Getting the chance to draw truly legendary characters and weapons from history has been an exciting opportunity. I’m a real History Geek, so I wanted to make sure Legends contained the best Munchkin art yet.”

Munchkin Legends will come with 168 cards and as always, a custom Munchkin six-sided die. The game is currently available for sale on Target.com, and will be in stores across the country later this year. If you have a friend interested in history or you are a fan yourself, this fun card game might just be the right purchase!