Showcase Series

Showcase Series: Czech Games Edition

Czech Games Edition

As part of our 'Showcase Series', we are highlighting games companies large and small with a few quick questions to discover more about their conception, evolution, inspirations and aspirations. From the largest multi-national companies to indie games makers and even individual new-comers, we're happy to shine a light on a variety of views of the gaming industry and experiences for those at all points on the gaming ladder!

Today - Czech Games Edition!...

 

 

Also known as CGE, Czech Games Edition is a group of people who love board games and enjoy creating entertainment for others. Back in 2006, we decided that this is what we wanted to do for a living.
 
Czech Games Edition was founded in 2007 and in the same year released two titles: Galaxy Trucker, by Vlaada Chvátil, and League of Six, by Vladimír Suchý.
 
Since then, CGE has published over 40 games and expansions in various genres. In our portfolio, you can find a broad range of game genres and mechanics. We have everything from party and family games to more complex strategy games where you plan your moves ahead, manage your resources, and anticipate your opponents' moves.

 
Tell us what inspires you to make games. Do you have any rules when making games?
 
Generally speaking, our inspiration for new games is always playfulness itself. If asked about when he started devoting himself to games, Vlaada Chvátil often replies that he never really stopped.
 
When we’re playing games in our free time, we like to be enchanted by a game’s design. Theme that is a big part of what inspires us, and we enjoy the many diverse and exciting worlds games can take us to. Our designers may draw inspiration from an existing game mechanic, but they always try to come up with something new and unique to expand the range of possibilities in the gaming world.
 
An important rule for creating new games, in terms of gameplay, is to either eliminate the impact of luck completely or keep it to a minimum. This means we strive to create games that put player agency at their core, allowing player decisions to drive strategy and affect outcomes throughout the experience. We want it to be the player themselves who comes up with optimal moves that lead to victory.
 
Another rule in our team is openness. Everyone has the opportunity to comment on and partake in every step in a game’s development—even the decision whether to release a game or not is a team decision.
 
All this leads to CGE's main philosophy behind creating board games—we release games that we are happy with and that we enjoy bringing to the table again and again. So far, this has resonated strongly with players all over the world, which makes us grateful.

 
What do you have coming up in the future?
 
We always announce our upcoming titles every year in the spring, then list them on our website. Right now, all we can say is we plan to give some love to our existing games in terms of expansions, and we will be keeping an eye out for promising prototypes we could bring to your gaming tables in the future.
 
What we can disclose is that we will continue our work on the Codenames Online gaming platform, a free browser-based version for playing the beloved classic with your friends online.


 
This platform is our response to the unique situation the Covid-19 pandemic created. Many people have been left without the opportunity to meet their friends and families and spend some pleasant time with their favorite board game. With Codenames Online, you can play long-distance, anytime, anywhere...you can try for yourself!

 

Submitted by Jana Mikulová, Marketing & PR, Czech Games Edition

 

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Showcase Series: Formula Games B.V.

Formula Games B.V.

As part of our 'Showcase Series', we shall be highlighting games companies large and small with a few quick questions to discover more about their conception, evolution, inspirations and aspirations. From the largest multi-national companies to indie games makers and even individual new-comers, we're happy to shine a light on a variety of views of the gaming industry and experiences for those at all points on the gaming ladder!

Today - Formula Games B.V. ...

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

In school, kids learn many skills  and increase their knowledge. Luckily we have a lot of motivated, experienced and passionate teachers that can teach our kids a lot of what is needed to prepare them for their future.

Learning in a playful manner has scientifically shown to have many advantages. With our company, Formula Games B.V., we want to contribute to learning while playing games. Formula is our first game and a great way to practice your maths skills while having fun at the same time. However, we believe every game is educational, so our goal is not necessarily to make games around a specific school subject.

 

Tell us what inspires you to make games and do you have any rules when making games.

Alon, who is the founder of Formula, was enjoying a sabbatical from work. During this sabbatical he sat together with his father to bring one of dad's games to the next level. His father had created several games 30 years ago, but they were only played at home. The creativity and adrenaline kept Alon awake that night. Somewhere in the middle of the night, Alon came up with his first game, Formula. The next day he began to cut and paste to create his first proto-type, just like his dad used to do. Now it is his kids that inspire him to make new games.

 

What do you have coming up and out in the future?

We have an exciting game with a music theme in development. It needs some more playtesting which is not easy in corona-times...

 

  while we wait to see what comes next, you can check out their entry in our IGGY awards 2020, right here! -  Formula

 

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Showcase Series: Haba

Haba

As part of our 'Showcase Series', we shall be highlighting games companies large and small with a few quick questions to discover more about their conception, evolution, inspirations and aspirations. From the largest multi-national companies to indie games makers and even individual new-comers, we're happy to shine a light on a variety of views of the gaming industry and experiences for those at all points on the gaming ladder!

Today - Haba...

Since 1938, HABA has been making children’s eyes light up, from the very start. For more than 80 years, the company has been developing and manufacturing high-quality and durable products that provide children with fun and age-appropriate developmental support. This includes the well-known games in the distinctive yellow box, toys made of wood and fabric, but also imaginative home accessories, exciting books and beautiful gifts. Over the decades, the company has grown substantially and continually developed. These days, HABA products are sold in more than 50 countries. HABA subsidiaries are spread over several continents and far more than 10,000 retailers in Germany and abroad know the company as the “Inventors for Children.”

When it comes to making games, HABA is never afraid to think outside of the box. Markus Nikisch from the Games Development team explains it best: “Every year, we look at around 1,500 game ideas that we discover at trade fairs or that have been submitted by designers from all over the world. They are not always professional game developers – prototypes are sent in by people of all ages and professions. For example, I love remembering when then 7-year old Benjamin Bur

khardt confidently presented a prototype of his game idea as ‘The best game in the world.’ We may have ultimately changed the name to “Knuckling Knights” but the idea behind it was great!”

Check out an awesome range of Haba games in the Imagination Gaming Store here!

 

HABA has a lot of great new games, as well as a new take on a couple of classics, that you can look forward to in 2021

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Award winning designer Thomas Sing’s The Key series will be available for detectives ages 8 and up to solve starting this winter and releasing throughout the year. The first of the three titles available will be The Key – Sabotage at Lucky Llama Land. Players must find out who is behind the sabotage of the three damaged attractions – not only quickly, but also as efficiently as possible. Game Designer Thomas Sing explains: “Players start their investigations and combine clues about the day of the crimes, tools and crime scenes. You have to proceed carefully, because only players who have generated the right number code at the end can put the saboteurs behind bars.”

Younger superhero stackers will be excited to hear about My Very First Games Rhino Hero Junior, a dexterity and first-counting game for ages 2 and up! Can you help Rhino Hero Junior climb the tallest building in the city with the 3 included ways to play? Work on colors, numbers, quantities, or fine-motor skills in the newest addition to HABA’s toddler-friendly games line, My Very First Games.

There are gems in the mine and that means it’s Hammer Time! Grab your hammer and get to tapping to be the first to fill your mine cart in this smashing new hit from HABA. Ages 5 and up and welcome to take a swing in this strategic dexterity game where hitting the hardest isn’t always the way to win. Careful planning and even more careful hammering are the secrets to victory in this shiny game. Will you be the first to fill your carts, or will you wake the mountain dragon and lose it all?

Check out an awesome range of Haba games in the Imagination Gaming Store here!

Submitted by Josephine Scheibe

 

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Showcase Series: Kids Table Board Gaming

Kids Table Board Gaming 

As part of our 'Showcase Series', we shall be highlighting games companies large and small with a few quick questions to discover more about their conception, evolution, inspirations and aspirations. From the largest multi-national companies to indie games makers and even individual new-comers, we're happy to shine a light on a variety of views of the gaming industry and experiences for those at all points on the gaming ladder!

Today - KTBG...

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company?

Kids Table Board Gaming was founded in 2015 by Helaina Cappel. As an avid gamer, she was disappointed by the selection of games available for her to play with her kids and it inspired her creative side. She teamed up with her husband Josh to design Foodfighters, a head-to-head duel between super cute meats and vegetables! Since that successful campaign, KTBG has gone on to publish six more titles and several expansions. 

Tell us what inspires you to make games and do you have any rules when making games?

First and foremost, we love games. We are passionate about play and that translates to our design and development. We make games for adults that kids can also play, always seeking to find the right balance of accessible rules and interesting decisions. Each of our titles are a great introduction to one or more mechanisms, such as action selection, dice drafting, bluffing, push-your-luck, set collection and much more. We always look to produce unique games and more than anything we follow the fun.

 

What do you have coming up and out in the future?

Our dinosaur discovery Kickstarter hit, Fossilis, is arriving to backers and retail right now. It is a tactile set collection game where you dig through layers of terrain to uncover and extract dinosaur bones. In Creature Comforts, you play as forest critters collecting resources and crafting them into comfort items like toys, rocking chairs, and quilts. Your goal is to create the coziest den to get you through the winter. We just completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign for Creature Comforts and it will be coming to backers and retail in late 2021. Our next Kickstarter is planned for Q2 of next year. We are really excited about it, and although we can’t say too much at the moment, we can tell you it’s unlike any other KTBG title we’ve done in the past.

 

Check out Food Fighters from the 2020 Imagination Gaming Awards here!

 

Submitted by Helaina Cappel, Game Designer, KTBG

 

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Showcase Series: Luma World

Luma World

As part of our 'Showcase Series', we shall be highlighting games companies large and small with a few quick questions to discover more about their conception, evolution, inspirations and aspirations. From the largest multi-national companies to indie games makers and even individual new-comers, we're happy to shine a light on a variety of views of the gaming industry and experiences for those at all points on the gaming ladder!

Today - Luma World...

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

A couple years back four of us friends (Sameer, Tejasvi, Sajid and Venkat) came together to ‘make a difference in the world of learning and development’. We were passionate about education and believed the opportunity was ripe to reform the age old system of ‘read, remember and reproduce’ to a more open system of ‘discover, engage and apply’. After some detailed research and discussions with a multitude of educators, parents and kids we found that learning was rather theoretical (and monotonous) in schools and not focused on enhancing the experience of learners. So, many students lose interest in a lot of relevant topics that possibly could kindle a spark if presented in a manner that was suited to their preferred learning style. 

That’s when we had an amazing idea. We said, “Why not combine learning with play?” and Luma World was born. Kids love play and when they realise they can learn through play the interest is piqued with almost no effort. We want kids to never realize they’re “studying” but rather gain all essential skills while having fun. If kids have fun while learning, they begin to apply the concepts more and remember it easily. We believe play is a basic need for all and a great, inclusive way to bond and learn. 

 

 

Tell us what inspires you to make games and do you have any rules when making games.

The biggest inspiration for us in creating games is the joy that it brings to people’s faces. There are so many stages we see that happiness and surprise. Nothing inspires and encourages more to create games than when kids first see our games and exclaim ‘wow!’ or when families tell us they had an amazing time playing our games together. Even when we visit schools, educators tell us how excited kids get when they see games and how it makes their lives so much easier when trying to get all kids to co-operate and learn. To create products that aid and benefit all stakeholders in education (students, parents and educators) is by far the biggest reason that we come in and design new games and products everyday. We want the kids of today to remember that they played this math game on space travel that inspired them to become an astronaut or a game about fencing their farms helped them become creative artists. To be able to help a child fulfil their potential and dreams through our products, in whatever small capacity, is the reason we spend hours perfecting every little detail on everything we publish. Our goal is to create a generation of problem solvers and critical thinkers, with a conscience.

Our game designing process is fun and rather unique since it involves academics. We have lengthy checklists at almost every stage of designing our games. Since all our products are curriculum aligned, involve real life application and focus on acquiring a well balanced combination of academic skills, life skills and moral values, I think the challenge is greater but the output is far more rewarding. 

Designing an educational game is like designing any other with a few caveats. No game works if you don’t understand your target audience and map their requirements. We do that before we begin to ideate on a game and we do that, once again, during the testing phase. That is the key aspect. Listen, understand, tweak and repeat.

When we begin to work on a game we always start with the learning objectives. We take an educational topic at the broadest level, for example numbers, and break it down into much smaller objectives depending on the age group. What digit numbers does our audience know till? A 7 year old cannot work with 9 digit numbers; they can work with only maximum 5 digit numbers. But there’s another catch, can they even do 5 digit numbers while playing the game without a pen and paper? No. So the focus has to be on getting them to do practical work and improve on concepts while keeping in mind the end goal – they must have fun. Hence we only add learning objectives in a game that blend well with the theme and yet are important for kids to learn. The tough part is removing what is not required!

To anyone looking to design educational games, I would first recommend creating the educational objective as the core. Then layer it with game mechanics that also involve a lot of practical skills. Finally garnish it with “an element of surprise” or aspects of luck that ensure that outcomes are not the same every time the game is played. The Ménage à trois is really what is the key to building a successful educational game.

As a rule of thumb, we maintain consistency in all our games – only a maximum of 40% of the gameplay involves academic learning, another 50% are a mix of life skills like strategy, decision making, etc. and finally 10% is luck. This mixture of strategy and luck is really what makes a game fun and introduces newer outcomes every time it is played. This is essential. Kids often do not realize they are learning difficult topics like Conversion of Units, Percentages or Profit and Loss because the strategy and luck overshadow it. The learning is subliminal almost entirely.

Like another famous saying goes: “Tell Me and I Forget; Teach Me and I May Remember; Involve Me and I Learn.” That is the goal. Education and learning occur automatically when kids are engaged and involved. We really do not have to do much at all!

 

 

What do you have coming up and out in the future?

We currently make games to help kids between the ages of 6 and 12 to learn and master Mathematics. We have designed a total of 15 game concepts ready and tested with kids, families, parents and educators. Of the 15, we have published 6 games along with ancillary products that continue the learning beyond the games. We have games for geometry (Guess The Fence), operations with numbers (Terra Loop and Galaxy Raiders), fractions (Fracto), Profit, Loss and Percentages (Alpha Steel) and a game on measurements and conversion of units (Mystic Arts). 

We will soon be launching four new games in January, 2021. A game for younger kids to learn measurements (Dino Quest), a write and wipe geometry game (Trailblazers), a tile placement game on fractions (Crafty Puggles) and a sequence forming game for learning factors and multiples (Xing). We plan to launch the other 5 game concepts by the end of 2021. We pride ourselves in being able to design educational games through an agile process. It’s almost like we have a production line of game ideas and concepts.

Over the next few years we want to continue creating inclusive learning experiences for kids at home or in the classroom and provide educators and parents with the right tools to help improve engagement, understanding, retention and application of knowledge. We believe the learning process must not be in silos or dependent on selective outcomes (as with screens or written tests) but rather be based on curiosity, discovery and exploration. We want to provide children with the freedom to learn at their own pace, shed their fear of failure and be able to do so through social and peer interaction. This can be made possible only through play.

One long-term plan is to include “purposeful technology” into our products. We want technology to be an aid to the physical game and not the focus. Our dream is to have AI & ML enabled physical games that allow kids to play games together that constantly evolve along with their increasing ability. So playing a tabletop game in a physical with real people but leveraging the power of technology. How cool would that be right? Imagine a game that learns about the players and automatically customizes difficulties and themes to suit their liking or test them more. That would be wonderful!

Submitted by Sajid Chougle, Co-Founder/Creative Director, Luma World

 

 

Website: https://lumaworld.in/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyLumaWorld/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mylumaworld/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mylumaworld

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/unnati-educare-private-limited/

 

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