Showcase Series

Showcase Series: 20 Dreams

20 Dreams

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 - ... 20 Dreams, with their first game in the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards!

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company?

We love being creative, having fun and playing games, so it just seemed a natural step to build our passion into a business.  We wanted to create table-top games that encouraged connectivity and developed relationships.  Karen’s background includes theatre, church ministry, psychotherapy and is the creator of our games.  Sharon comes from a finance background and wanted to step away from the corporate world to create her own business.  Sharon is the driver behind making our game plans happen.   We launched our first game 20 Dreams in 2020.

 

What inspires you to make games and do you have any rules when making games?

Our inspiration comes from all the good times we have had playing games and the encouragement we have received from family and friends on our games journey. This has taken us on our quest to create games that reward creativity over logic and help develop positive relationships.

Our rules for our games are great fun, family-friendly, easy to play, creativity wins and relationship building.  And our little motto, which really is just part of our rules and keeps us striving for better is ‘good enough is not good enough’.

 

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

As we are new to the market, we are focusing our attention on developing the brand this year. We plan to create new versions of 20 Dreams in the future, starting with a version tailored to much younger children.

 

Submitted by Sharon from the 20 Dreams Team!

www.play20dreams.com

 

 

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20 Dreams

Price£17.99

Showcase Series: After Dark

After Dark / Foul Play Games

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 a company, and games, grown from adapting to the pandemic's effect on their ability to delivering live events, tell us about how and why they created a game which is now in this year IGGY awards!... After Dark!

Tell us briefly the background of your company?

Foul Play Games was born out of necessity during the pandemic! We own a very successful production company part of which incorporates After Dark Murder Mystery Events. When the pandemic hit and all live events were shut down we knew that we’d have to adapt and come up with a way to survive through the lockdown. We toyed with the idea of virtual events at first, but we wanted to create something that had longevity.

Online events would have been great in the short term, but there would always have been the question of whether they would have continued after live events were allowed again and that would have been a lot of creative energy and time spent on a product that wouldn’t grow and continue into the future.

That’s when we hit upon the idea of Foul Play The Murder Mystery Card Game. We’re big fans of board and card games, so we looked into creating our own that had a murder mystery theme so we could appeal to the fans of our live events.

It took us 9 months to get the game designed and launched and and the response was phenomenal, we published in partnership with After Dark and sold over 1000 units in our first month and so we thought we might be onto something! That’s when we decided to launch the second edition Foul Play : Once Upon A Crime.

The first game was launched blind! We had no experience at all in the game industry, but now we were getting savvier! We had linked up with some other great industry experts and players online and started to get to grips with how everything worked (especially Kickstarter) so we ran a KS for the second game and hit target within 48 hours.

So, that’s when we relaised we had a knack for this kind of thing and decided to make the tabletop game side of the business official and its own separate entity within our portfolio and Foul Play Games was born (named after the original game) and here we are now 16 months on from the first kernel of an idea with two games under our belts and loads more exciting things planned for the future!

 

What inspires you to make games and do you have any rules when making games?

We come from a live events background, so we approach all our games like live events. In essence tabletop games are very similar to live interactive theatre. The main thing you’re aiming to do is entertain your audience whether it be a stage show or a tabletop game, you want the player to immerse themselves in the game and become invested in it, much like you want an audience member to get lost in your live show. We put a lot of that theory into creating the games we put together from visual elements to fun factor. We’re also in a very unique position whereby we can tie or games into live events.

Foul Play The Card Game was created because we couldn’t do live shows, but now that we can we’ve created a live show that is based on the card game. It has all come full circle and creates great cross promotion opportunities as well as some amazing opportunities for promotional product pics!

A really important part of the process for us is the look of a game and we have spent ages and ages sourcing the right illustrators to work on the games were producing in order to get the feel and the style of the game right. If the mechanics of the game are fun and light then we want to make sure that the art is too. It’s amazing how having the art tie in with rules, mechanics etc can make the product feel more like a whole package and much more satisfying and enjoyable for players to take part in.

We’re really lucky to have found some amazing artists to work with so far and we’re very excited about the games we have coming up! I suppose the other rule that I say we follow is that ‘if we don’t know – ask!’ we’re still complete novices in the world of game design and publishing but there is a massively welcoming and warm community out there who are more than willing to offer help and assistance whenever you need it. We’ve learnt so much over the past 12 months from just asking!

 

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

We’ve got so many things in the works! If there’s one thing that we’re good at, it’s going all in! Once we realised that we wanted to carry on making games we immediately started brain storming ideas.

We’ve got a third version of Foul Play already at design phase – that one’s titled ‘Night Train to Murder’ (we do a lot of live murder mystery events on trains so it seemed an obvious theme choice!) We’ve also got a tie in game to Foul Play Manor House Murder that’s in the play test stage. Where Manor House Murder focused on the servants of D’Arque Manor, the new game will put the spotlight on the residents of the house and will be all about committing murder rather than solving it!

We’ve also got a game about dragons in the works! We do a live event where the audience can Meet the Dragons and we love dragons almost as much as we love crime so it seemed only right that we should come up with a dragon game (that still focuses on crime – someone is trying to steal a dragon egg!)

Finally we’ve got one more very special game that we’re putting the finishing touches too that was created by our 7yo son. During lockdown he helped us play test Foul Play and then one day he announced he had made his own game! We played it with him and it was really, really good! So we decided to publish that one too. That one involves hunting for treasure in Ancient Egypt, so as you can see we’ve got a diverse array of games that will be launching over the next few years and who knows what else will come to mind in the future. We’ll just have to wait and see!

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Showcase Series: Burley Games

 BURLEY GAMES

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 - ...  a supplier of some of our favourite games from the start - Burley Games. With Zambezi in this years Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards, as well as some absolute classics to recognise!

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

Burley Games was established as a limited company in 2003, but prior that we had been licensing our game ideas to big companies such as J.W Spear, F.X.Schmid and Ravensburger since the mid 1980s. We now invent, design, manufacture, market and distribute our award-winning games worldwide in over sixty different countries and in almost as many languages. 

Among the leading companies we currently supply or license our games to are Ravensburger (Germany), IELLO (France), White Goblin (Netherlands), Cranio Creations (Italy), Rebel (Poland), Huch&Friends (Germany), Zvezda (Russia), Pythagoras (Portugal), Cabrima AB (Sweden), Zvata Studios (India), Swan Panasia (China and the Far East), Eagle Gryphon (USA), Alfit Toys (Israel) and Hakubia Games (Israel).

Our two best sellers, ‘Take it Easy’ and ‘Kamisado’, have both received nominations for Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) in Germany. The Spiel des Jahres is an award for board and card games, created in 1978 with the purpose of rewarding family-friendly game design and promoting excellent games in the German market. To date, Take it Easy has sold in excess of 1,000,000 copies worldwide, while Kamisado is approaching the 150,000 mark.

Please see: http:/www.burleygames.com

(But please note that this will replaced by a brand-new website within the next two weeks – look out on the IGGY Awards site for further posts regarding this new and much improved Burley Games website). We have started importing and distributing new titles from other European countries and these new games will appear for the first time on the new website. Look for games from ‘Franjos’ (Germany) and ‘Pythagoras’ (Portugal).

 

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

Board games have always been ‘in the blood’ for Managing Director Peter Burley and this addiction has been passed on to sons Jonathan and Freddie. Our love of games originates from the moment when the young Peter, then at primary school, found and restored an old prototype game created by his father Alan many years before (a single chunky block of wood with holes drilled in it and some painted upholstery nails). Many years later, we took the principles of this game and added a lot more features and a new theme, to create our first published Burley Games game, ‘Treasure Island’. 

We apply no rules to our game-creation processes. The games just tend to ‘happen’! They come (as if by magic) from events, ideas and objects we encounter in everyday life. Then they slowly evolve, as a result of thorough and rigorous playtesting, the creation of beautiful artwork and the sourcing of the most attractive, tactile and appropriate components we can find, into end products that feel ‘complete’ and ready for publication. Our aim is to produce games for which the rules are very simple and easy to learn, but for which the possibilities and strategies are extremely complex and varied. This gives them a very high replayability factor. Take it Easy and Kamisado are prime examples of games where this goal has been successfully achieved. 

 

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

The year 2021 has been a very busy and successful one for us so far. We have been working on three new versions of Kamisado. The first, a Hebrew version for Hakubia Games in Israel, has already been manufactured and delivered. A large multi-language version (featuring seven European languages) is on the verge of going into print for Huch&Friends (Hutter Trade) in Germany. Additionally, we are about to sign an agreement concerning an exciting new version for South Korea. This version uses special symbols that are very meaningful to Korean people, instead of the original Kanji symbols that are used in all other versions. We are particularly excited about this new version. It has taught us a lot about Korean culture, mainly through the new symbols, suggested to us by “Monday to Sunday Games” in Seoul.

Later in the year, we will be launching a Kickstarter project for our new and exciting dice-drafting game “Rolling Bears”!

 

Submitted by Peter Burley, Burley Games

 

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Showcase Series: Capital Gains Studio

Capital Gains Studio

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 - Capital Gains Studio...

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

Capital Gains Studio is a Singapore based tabletop publisher on a mission to inspire financial learning through tabletop games. We have launched Wongamania: Banana Economy, Debtzilla and Cryptocurrency, which have been nominated and won international awards for its value in financial education. We are also Singapore’s leading tabletop consultation company in serious game gamification and has worked with government agencies, corporations and individuals to design and publish tabletop games to help train and engage their employees, clients and community. We have also launched Mercat games, which publishes light, affordable family games with strong Asian themes relatable to Singaporeans.

 

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

We feel that financial literacy is one of the most important aspect of any adult life and we find that there are very few games that are able to translate the complex financial concepts into fun and educational tabletop games. There are some finance related tabletop games but we feel that the mechanics of the game loosely reflects the real world workings and the theme is tacked onto these mechanics for flavour, so we thought we can do better in this area. This created our philosophy of incorporating real world financial mechanics into the tabletop mechanics and try to make it emulate reality as much as possible while maintaining the elegance of modern boardgame design. Of course the real world mechanics are often too complex to be incorporated into family weight board games which  features much simpler game mechanics, hence we always try to challenge ourselves to simplify a complex financial topic into a light to medium weight game. Doing so means it takes us much more time to develop each game with simplicity, education and entertainment in mind as compared to an average tabletop game designed for entertainment but what kept us going are the positive feedbacks from families and educators telling us how we have made a difference in their lives!

 

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

We recently successfully crowdfunded our next game, “Dirty Money” a game which explores the world of money laundering, which is currently a huge topic among the financial institutions which is expected to be launched in Q1 of 2021. The next game we are working on is a game call “Zombielife Insurance” where we are explore the world of insurance products, where you play as a salary man trying to manage your financial risk of turning into a zombie and deciding the types of insurance and investment to buy and how to leave a legacy behind for your family should you turn into zombie.

 

Submitted by Jaslyn Lim

Capital Gains Studio 

 

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Showcase Series: CircleTales

CircleTales

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 - ... CircleTales, with their first game in the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards...

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company?

We are Annie and Herman, creators of CircleTales the Adventure Storytelling Game. As an artist-designer duo, we are committed to creating meaningful design-based educational products that we hope will inspire positive, intergenerational connection and play.

CircleTales is loosely based on a campfire game that Annie played with her family as a child, and prompted by our realisation that collaborative games are guaranteed to ensure no-tears family fun!

Thanks to some amazing backers we successfully funded CircleTales on Kickstarter, and released the game in June of 2020. CircleTales was created with lots of input from our daughter Lilly, who was 12 when we started developing the game. She is a fantastic storyteller and has become our trusted creative critic.

 

What inspires you to make games and do you have any rules when making games?

In creating CircleTales, it was important to us that every player, no matter their age, has a chance to shine and contribute their personal voice to the game. We also wanted players to create unique and powerful characters, guided by the game’s prompts, to generate totally original stories.

We spent a lot of time developing the game mechanic for CircleTales and hit on the idea of the circular design of the bamboo board, ensuring that the story would naturally come full circle. 

In the early stages of developing CircleTales, we agreed that there are no bad ideas, so we generated tons of strange and wonderful possibilities that we eventually put to one side, but which may very well show up in some of our upcoming games!

 

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

We are currently developing a visual story game for young children and an art-inspired game for teens and adults. We are also creating a travel card set based on CircleTales.

Submitted by Annie and Herman, CiircleTales

 

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Showcase Series: Coiledspring

Coiledspring

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 - ... Coiledspring, who have been great supporters and collaborators of the awards and Imagination Gaming for as long as we can remember, and are back with a range of great games already in the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards!...

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

Coiledspring Games is the UK’s exclusive distributor of some of the best games and puzzles on the planet! Founded in 2004, with just one board game and one puzzle, Coiledspring have continued to grow and has become a leading name in UK games distribution.   

We carry a wide range of products, and are proud to distribute, market and promote a fabulous range of titles in the UK, from the likes of Blue Orange, Gamewright, IELLO, MindWare, Schmidt and Wrebbit 3D.

https://coiledspring.co.uk/

 

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

Here at Coiledspring we are distributors, so we don’t make the game, but that doesn’t mean we are any less excited about them! We are inspired by people that love gaming and believe that every person on the planet has a love for games on some level and we strive to ignite that passion in everyone. We play test every game we range, to ensure that we know our products inside out.

We consistently admire the passion and drive that both our suppliers and retailers have for games and puzzles. That is a large part of what keeps us going!

 

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

We have recently launched our 2021 range which we’re very excited about. You can find our range here. It includes our bestselling hero range, featuring Sushi Go, Zombie Kidz Evolution and King of Tokyo to name just three, as well as a whole host of new releases in games, puzzles and jigsaws.

There are a few games we are looking forward to, particularly the party card game Anomia! This game features a brand-new contemporary design for 2021 exclusively from Coiledspring which we cannot wait to see on the shelves.

The adorable Happy City from Cocktail Games makes its debut in 2021 and Helvetiq have released a new card game - Kompromat. We also look forward to welcoming the wonderful expansion to Photosynthesis - Under the Moonlight to our range from Blue Orange. Plus, we are extending the popular Qwirkle family from Mindware with the Qwirkle Collector’s Edition as well as the Qwirkle Bonus Pack!

No new selection would be complete without new instalments from puzzle masters Wrebbit 3D. We are excited to see Titanic and so much more from their Harry Potter range!

 

 

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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: Djeco

Djeco

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 - Djeco...

 

THE STORY OF DJECO GAMES

Djeco’s story is one of a family business run by an inventive creative team displaying a genuine passion for their work. Since 1954, we’ve been having loads of fun exploring the art of using fantasy to develop, stimulate, inspire and delight children of all ages. 

Djeco’s exciting adventure in the field of parlour games began in 2004 with the first board games. Since 2005, a collection of card games was developed, including classics like Bata-Waf, Mistigri or Piratatak. Next came the Little games, specially developed for children aged 2 ½ and up. Djeco also proposes games of logic, puzzles and classic games.

At Djeco, we believe that the secrets of a successful game include a good set of rules and the quality of the game mechanics, but we also feel that the game should be attractive and well made. Based on these demanding criteria, we select the games and discuss them in depth with their designers before they undergo testing in the games library or by families.

 

OUR ARTISTIC APPROACH

Our games are the fruit of a successful combination of high quality rules, the designer’s game concept and the graphical and artistic talent of an illustrator. At Djeco, when we design our collections we work with all sorts of illustrators, established artists and new talent, and we like to express this unique artistic aspect of our toys clearly by using original, sympathetic artwork which appeals to everyone, whatever their age and wherever in the world they may live.

 

Find out MORE ABOUT DJECO GAMES at the links and in store below!

 

DJECO GAMES IN STORE NOW! Here...

 

Djeco Games Booklet: https://bit.ly/Djeco-Games-ENG 

Vidéos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf4YUEpnRANE8wDI-FyH218gIxGdNj2c6

Little (games for toddlers): http://www.djeco.com/little/en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/djeco.official/ 

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

 

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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: Idea Parlour

Idea Parlour

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 - ... Idea Parlour and their entry into the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Year awards, Block Happy!

 

Block Happy background by Idea Parlour...

We’re Idea Parlour - a small creative team based in London, UK. We are the proud purveyors of creating unique games that bring never ending happiness and laughter, screen free, for kids and adults of all ages. Sam & John are the creators and illustrators of Block Happy, a game containing real happiness and emotions, combined with humour and a surprising strategy.

Their new business journey started after successful careers in brand design in London. With a passion for bold ideas, character design and games, they turned their creative daydream into reality.

The inspiration behind Block Happy began with a question - What’s the one thing that everyone wants in life? HAPPINESS!

That feeling of pure joy that comes over you when you know life is good, and you can’t help but smile, so we’ve created a game that delivers a unique emotional experience, nurtures a positive mindset and increases emotional intelligence when you play it.

We explored the exciting concept of how your real emotions can drive the gameplay and the graphics, making it the first game where you play it and feel it. It’s a set building game with a difference, where everybody wants the same set - Happiness!

We think that many tabletop games are easy to learn, but often with predictable gameplay, or heavily strategic and take hours. They're fun, but are only ever played at face value, with little emotional connection. Block Happy has changed that. It’s an inclusive game that's simple to learn, but complex enough to allow for emotional strategy to develop and evolve, ensuring all the players stay in the game until the very end.

Our game is now being played worldwide, from London to New York, and Paris to Tokyo, thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2019. Our brand is built on a passion for delivering happiness, positivity and laughter through play. Our purpose is to be a force for good by giving away a percentage of our future profits and copies of the games to good causes.

Never before has the need for face to face joy that comes from playing together been so important. So let’s have fun with our emotions, make others feel happy, and seize happiness for yourself!

 

So What Is Block Happy? (see the game in our awards here...)

"Play with your emotions, seize your happiness!"

The hilarious, feel good game that plays with your real emotions where the first to seize all the happiness wins.  But with so many comical twists and turns, keeping control of your happiness isn’t that easy!

The most amazing part of the game is you, because even though you think you’re playing a card game, you're actually playing with each other’s real emotions, in a new and magical way, so when you play it, you’ll feel it! Perfect for family fun, kids or adult game nights, it encourages social-emotional connection and increases emotional intelligence and happiness levels!

It’s a unique game of strategy, high emotion and excitement, where players compete in a tense and thrilling BATTLE OF EMOTIONS! All 75 different emotions, each a work of art, allow you to laugh over who’s controlling who, turn negatives into positives in seconds, and enjoy the drama of never knowing who will seize all their happiness until the last minute.

 

What inspires us and do we have any rules when making games?

At Idea Parlour, we are inspired to change the way you play games. Our passion for creativity is at the heart of everything we do and our only rule is to create feel good, positive games that engage and entertain your imagination in a unique way.

We love designing new games, and when you love what you do, you make great products. Our small team of designers have new, daring game ideas up their sleeve, and we’ll be launching a new addition to our portfolio next year....!

 

 

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Showcase Series: Itten Games

Itten Games

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 a company, a few quick answers from Itten Games whose previous entries to the awards include Hatsuden, Tribe and Tokyo Highway... and this year have entered Crash Octopus!

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

We are an analog game publishing company based in Tokyo, Japan. Starting in 2016, we have published over 10 titles so far including Tokyo Highway. We have recently finished our Kickstarter campaign for "Crash Octopus", a flicking dexterity game with a theme of sailors encountering a giant octopus in the middle of the ocean. 

 

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

We have 2 main inspirations when making games:

  • One is objects & forms — gaining inspiration from space and physical phenomena.
  • Two, gaining inspiration from my interest in the world around me.

Sometimes, the two are paired up in a two-fold way. Either way, it ultimately begins from an instinct that “there is something that needs to be represented through games.”

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

We are planning on releasing a new game series soon. We will keep you posted on our twitter: @itten_games_en. Stay tuned!
 

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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: Korea Boardgames

KOREA BOARDGAMES

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 - ...Korea Boardgames, their entries to this years IGGY awards (Monster Dentist, Coconuts and Pharaoh Code), and future thoughts...

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

Korea Boardgames is the leading board game publisher and distributor in Korea. Since 2004, we have been guaranteeing our nationwide presence through Korea’s biggest retail chains and implementing a comprehensive marketing strategy to successfully expand the gaming and toy culture in Korea.

We also have a presence in markets outside of Korea with games such as Coconuts, TocToc Woodman, and Four Gardens to name a few. Our games are known for their beautiful artwork, easy to learn mechanics, and fun gameplay. We are excited to share more of our games globally.

 

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

Our specialty is children and family games, but we believe board games of all types are a fantastic way for people to connect in a fun and interactive atmosphere. We don’t have hard specific rules when it comes to making games, but we do ensure that the game is suitable for children while enjoyable for the whole family.

The game must be simple enough so that anyone can learn how to play, and it must also be fun for the entire family. We achieve this by incorporating fun/cute/exotic themes and strategies--whether it be through cognitive functions or agility. 

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

The year 2020 has been a fantastic year for some of our new releases such as Four Gardens (East-Asia theme, set collection). It was our best seller internationally and it continues to receive interest and inquiries.

Classic games such as Coconuts (dexterity)(see above) still receive a lot of love many years after its release and is selling strong in North America and Europe. We also recently released Monster Dentist (dental mirrors, pattern matching)(see above) at the start of this year, and are already preparing our first batch of international shipments.

Sweet Holic (macarons, set collection) and World Changers (history, card game) will be released in March and April respectively this year. If you are interested in history or creating the ultimate pastry snack, I highly recommend you check those games out!

 

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Showcase Series: Little Acorn Games

LITTLE ACORN GAMES

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 - ... Little Acorn Games and their entry to this years IGGY awards, Funny Fairies...

 

'Hi, I'm Jen, creator of Funny Fairies and founder of Little Acorn Games! As a young family, we simply love board games and it is through this love of games that I had that 'lightbulb moment' for Funny Fairies. Our little play-testers loved it from the start, so I founded Little Acorn Games in late 2019 and ran a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to get Funny Fairies out into the world for more families to enjoy! Since then, we were thrilled to win the Silver Medal for Board Games in the Independent Toy Awards 2020.

As mentioned, our children are my inspiration for my games. We have hours upon hours of family and children's board games under our belt, so I know what game mechanics they find the most fun and incorporate these into my own games. You will also always find bright and engaging illustrations that tell their own story in our games too - just like a beautifully illustrated children's book captures a child's attention and imagination, I want our games to have a similar effect.

I have mentioned 'games' a lot yet we only have one on the market so far...but not for long!

Our next pirate-themed game is due for release later this year, and I have many more character-based games designed waiting in the wings to roll out over the next few years. Watch this space!'

Jen

Little Acorn Games Ltd

 

www.littleacorngames.co.uk

Twitter:@LittleAcornGms

Instagram: @littleacorngames

Facebook: @LittleAcornGames

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Showcase Series: Logis

LOGIS

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 - ... LOGIS, who we have been working with for a number of years are back with a range of games already in the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards!...

 

The Background of the Company

Our company creates, designs and produces board games for children. We sincerely believe that good games play an important role in a child’s early education. Therefore, our main focus is on creating board games for three to 12-year-old children. 

The quality of our games has been confirmed by various awards and nominations in Germany, France, Finland, the United Kingdom, the USA and Japan. We currently offer over 40 board games, with three new introductions in 2021.

Our games are available in more than ten languages, and they are sold worldwide. We have been cooperating for many years with partners such as Amigo, Pegasus, Gigamic, Amo OY, and other leaders in this business field.

See all our LOGIS games in store here!

What Inspires Us

Years of experience have made the true professionals in our team able to recognize good ideas and turn them into interesting board games. Our creative team selects and develops several strong ideas every year. Our own production facilities provide us with the flexibility to adapt games quickly to the requirements of different markets, and the capability to fulfil almost any size of order.

For us, board games are like books, and when we create them, we try to make sure that, from the very first moment, people want to return to them, have a good time, have adventures, and, of course, to learn. The quality of the form is very important when creating good, high-quality content; therefore, we always choose the more difficult way, not the cheapest, and we are glad that our customers appreciate this very much.

 

What Do We Have Coming Up

We hope that we will also be able to offer our customers a good dose of fun in the future...!

We are growing and improving with them. We understand that a new generation is coming to board games, and that the most important thing in the 21st century will be to ensure a combination of modernity and tradition, which will lead to meaningful leisure time entertainment.

We plan to uphold the tradition of creating board games, the essence of which is live communication. We are constantly thinking about innovation, and have many great ideas.

One of them is to create board games in a completely sustainable environment.

We are already able to optimise the production processes, and to make sure that there is no paper, cardboard or other waste left over after producing a certain number of products. But we want to achieve even better results and contribute to a sustainable environment in all the processes involved in the development of board games.

 

Submitted by Anastasija Stundziene, Logis

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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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Showcase Series: Small Fries Games

Small Fries Games

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 - ...Small Fries Games with Knock Knock First Words, soon to be in the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards!

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

I founded Small Fries Games just before having my first child.  I'd worked in video games for many years and even co-founded the indie games studio Honeyslug, but it was time to make the switch to tabletop!  I predominantly design games for kids and families.  I also frequently work with brands. 

 

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

Making games is something I've always loved to do.  I remember making a game in junior school which was played by every class and I still remember my first pack of homemade Top Trumps!   I used to read PlayStation Magazine on the school bus and have epic game days every weekend growing up.  Games have always been my passion (both playing them and making them) and I hope this passion comes across in the games I make.  The range of card games for babies/preschoolers I am currently self publishing were inspired by my children.  I've just launched the first game in the range, Knock Knock! first words, which was the first game I ever designed for my daughter.  It was coming up to her first birthday and I was unable to find any suitable games in the market.  So, I designed a game for her instead based on her interests at the time (knocking on doors!).  As far as rules go, I try to keep my designs edited.  I may start with a million ideas but I playtest and just keep the best ones.  I like to have multiple ways to play, especially if it allows younger ones to join in too.  It's great when games can grow with families.  I also think about eco factors in my game design, so try not to have wasted space in boxes, no single use plastic etc. 

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

I hope to self publish more of my card games for babies/preschoolers in collaboration with Parker Jacobs (of Yo Gabba Gabba! fame) and Peter Sleeman.  I've been working with Peter since my video game days and he's worked with popular preschool brands including Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Fireman Sam.  I also have a party game coming out with an awesome publisher.  Totally different to my baby games range, but equally me! 

If you're interested in following my journey, feel free to follow me on Instagram (@smallfriesgames).  I post Small Fries news every Friday.  Hope to see you there!  Nat

Submitted by: Nat Marco

@smallfriesgames

 

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Showcase Series: Smart Egg

Smart Egg

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 - Smart Egg...

 

About us:

Smart Egg is a relatively small puzzle and game developer company. We have 2 lines currently ( we are working on 6-8 new items now) and both lines won IPP awards.

 

Development means for us: 

Ideas:

We usually chose an original idea (not an old idea redressing). We are developing not just the product, but most of the time, based on the original idea we are giving a totally different suggestion than what the inventor thought before. Most of the inventors feel we are co-inventor.

Execution:

We care a lot with User Experience. It has to be handy, we try to avoid to create mess, 

Philosophy:

  • We try to be timeless and ageless, for this reason we love abstract. Timeless means we do not follow any fashion or we do not use any characters, ageless means we are making our games for every age group over 6y, including teenagers, adults and elderly.
  • We believe thinking is fun and joyful , and thinking  is not a work or a job. Thinking can bring the feeling of "flow" which is relaxing and entertaining. We would be happy if our customers would experience the joy of thinking.
  • We would like to make games with very simple rules and simple looks. Lots of people are afraid of playing with puzzles generally, because they think maybe they are not so clever. We want to bring down the entry level and encourage them to try. 
  • Scalability is very important for us! Beside the low entry level we would like to entertain the very clever solvers as well using the same concept or the same sets.  Simply doesn't mean easy. 
  • Importance of the community - We would like to create the feeling of solving together or in a community. We believe puzzle solving is not a lonely hobby. 
  • We try to create competitive game modes.
  • Head & hands - In all of our games head and hands need to work together and we would like to click together movements and thinking. Manipulation with the hands is the key to being human.
  • Ability development - We only want to develop abilities, we do not want to teach anything. With the right set of abilities people can learn and solve many problems. Ability development is important in every age group.
  • Importance of the "flow"-  The solution is not just an 'aha' feeling, our games are demanding several steps (several 'aha') to solve. With the help of the flow we can close out the outer world  and we have the chance to relax. With the help of scalability there are always levels in our puzzles for every person to give the feeling of the flow. The feeling of the flow is coming from the time they spend with the solution. It is not the "aha" feeling, because it takes only for a moment.
  • Our puzzles are demanding a certain time to spend with and the customer have the chance to choose the suitable level for himself.

 

Future

We are working on 6-8 new games and planning the launch at least 4 of them in 2021. All of the new games will follow our philosophy.

 

Find out more about our puzzles and apps at smarteggtoy.com and mondrianblocks.com

Submitted by Imre Kökényesi

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Showcase Series: TAC-TICS

Tac-Tics

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 - Tac-Tics...

 

I guess I am that person who had an idea for a game and actually thought why not go for it: “what do I have to lose.”

I’ve always been into football, loved it as a youngster and still play the game now that I’m in my early sixties and actually it was whilst driving home one night from a coaching session in 2018 that I hit upon the idea for TAC-TICS, a football-based card game. 

Only problem was I didn’t know what to do with it. So, I started researching on the internet and soon learned that I needed to create a basic prototype and get my game play tested, see what the feedback was like and then decide what my next step would be.

Fortunately, as TAC-TICS is aimed at children from age 6 up, I had a ready-made group of play testers as I coach foundation stage football at my local club. So numerous families were given my card game to play test and over time I received lots of useful feedback.

Using the feedback, I made changes to the rules and redesigned the artwork until I was happy with it. But know what?

I’d never taken a product to market before, but this is what I was hoping to do – so back to researching on the internet and it was at this stage that I started asking questions of other games designers and I learnt so much from them and eventually I put together my own project plan with all the steps I needed to carry out from approaching a printer, getting my card game CE tested barcodes and eventually sales ready. Whilst I was doing all this, I took the opportunity in 2018 to enter the Imagination Gaming Awards and although I didn’t win any awards, I was credited with their Seal of Approval which I now proudly display when publicizing my game. 

Towards the end of 2019, I started selling online via Amazon and Etsy and with minimal publicity/promotion I have hit my sales target for 2020. I’m still learning however, TAC-TICS had been selling as a boredom buster during the lockdown and sales really took off as we approached December so much so that I’ve now run out of stock and I’m talking to my printer again.

What does 2021 hold – well I’ll set another sales target to aim at and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to promote TAC-TICS at shows and fairs.

Am I pleased I went for it? Well, I’m not making a fortune as it’s a low-cost item and it’s time consuming, but I have to say it’s rewarding especially when customers tell me how much they enjoy playing my game - so yes, it’s worth it.

And I’ve even got another card game in the pipeline!!!!!

 

Submitted by Mark Craddock, Game Designer, TAC-TICS

www.facebook.com/thecraftyfootballer

 

 

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Showcase Series: Tactic Games

Tactic Games

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 - Tactic Games ...

 

For over fifty years, Tactic Games has been known for its innovative, exciting and fun games that delight millions of families around the world.  Based in Finland, where we manufacture the vast majority of our games, our mission is to produce board games that help families and friends spend quality time together whilst creating special memories.  We pride ourselves on high-class Scandinavian quality and a responsible approach to ethical issues and the environment. We are famous for games such as Flags of the World, the word explaining game Alias that celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020 and has sold over 5 million copies worldwide, and outdoor sporty game Mölkky.   

CHECK OUT FLAGS OF THE WORLD IN STORE HERE...

AND I LOVE BRITAIN HERE...!

We are always striving to deliver educational games for children aged 3 to 12 and at no time has that been more important than during a global pandemic. We have a selection of trivia games that can assist with home learning and help children learn about the world, including Flags of the World, Wonders of the World, Animals of the World and I Love Britain, all suitable for players aged 8+. New for 2021 is Children of the World, a younger version to teach 5 year olds about cultures, natural wonders, landmarks and traditions.  Players have to travel around the world map game board and collect cards on the way, a play pattern that will train them perfectly for the other games in the series for when they are older.  

 

Finland is very proud to be one of the top nations for education and Tactic is also looking forward to unveiling some lovely new educational, ecological and ethical games for pre-schoolers this year.  The new series is called “Let’s Learn” and will help make learning fun across a variety of topics for 3 and 4 year olds.  Letters and Words assists with the alphabet and spelling and the Numbers game encourages mathematical and logical thinking.  The Nature themed game tests memory skills using pictures about the environment, whilst Colours and Shapes boosts early observational and fine motor skills.  

Submitted by Vicki Marler-Hausen

For more information, visit www.tacticgames.co.uk 

 

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Showcase Series: Tamuz Games

TAMUZ GAMES

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 - ... Tamuz Games and the first game we have seen from them  in the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards!

Tamuz Games started to create board games with the aim of comunicating the own life experiences.

A trip to India was the inspiration of the game “Dry Bones” : the experiences during the different stages of the trip, the encounters with the Indian people, the Rajasthan desert, the diversity of cultures we contacted and it was also an opportunity to meet ourself and the music.

We are musicians, so when we began to create board games, we also thought about  including our own songs in the project. We created a music app, a metagame inside the game.

Another important point in our games is the educational approach; that´s why we highlighted the intercultural dimension of the characters. We edited the “traveler's notebooks”,  with the purpose of working  in the classroom or with a group of young people, activities in relation to the themes and mechanics of the game, and that can be used in different subjetcs or educational lines: tutoring class, music, maths or language class, social education notebook, spirituality , etc.

 

Tamuz Games is currently launching 2 expansions. "4 Cultures" for our first game "Dry Bones Adventurer"; a set collection for +10 years old, which is in line with the basic mechanics of the previous game, but with another seven missions.

It contains four characters from four different cultures: the merchant, the mistress of the stamps, the shaman, the guardian of the light, and another components, such as stamp tokens, cultural treasure cards, four position boards for the cards and culture tokens. The new events (such as the camel caravan, the camp or the children) will make your departure and your trip a unique experience through the old sands of the Thar desert heart, in Rajasthan, India. "Turn, Open, Conjure and Defeat Death with Yejez · qe’ l ".

 

“The Grandfather” is the expansion game for “My Little Pouch of Bones”, a child game for + 4 years old, which is in line with the mechanics of pattern recognition. Get the maximum tiles to complete your skeleton, steal from another players bag and remove breaths of life tokens from your board so you can get the victory. Enjoy with the African “Grandfather”, a dowser and blind man, and experiment to play with the closed eyes and to sing and sing. You won´t be able to stop dancing!

It is an appropriate game to live game-based learning in the classroom or with the family and it can be used to learn the bones of the human skeleton in the Science class.

Through this game we also launch the innovative initiative: “Dies that give game”. We invented skill games for the dies in the game “My Little Pouch of Bones”.

 

Submitted by: Beatriz Grifol, Tamuz Games

 

Facebook Editorial Tamuz Games

Instagram Editorial @tamuzgames

Twitter Editorial @TamuzGames

 

Facebook  Juego Dry Bones Game

Instagram Juego @drybonesgame:

Twitter Juego @Drybonesgame

 

 

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Showcase Series: The Dark Imp

The Dark Imp

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 - ...THE DARK IMP

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company.

The Dark Imp was established by Ellie Dix in 2019. Having worked in the education sector for 19 years, Ellie knew the power that games can have to promote learning skills, develop social skills and bring people together - so that become the underlying mission of The Dark Imp. The company focuses on making great games for families and schools.

 

 

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

Inspiration comes from lots of different places - often from a thread of an idea for a mechanic - and develops quite organically from there. But often the most interesting designs are born out of some imposed restriction.

The Dark Imp often  produces games in unusual formats - on coasters for example - a whole game on a coaster with the rules on the back. In terms of rules - only that games must be suitable for family play - minimal downtime, no player elimination, only carefully managed conflict...

 

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

A new 'big box' game is coming out later this year - Uranus! - a cooperative draw & erase network builder. Plus a new mint tin game - Countdown Confusion - which is a speed card drafting game will come out at the same time.

These two games will both appear in the third BuzzleBox - a board game and puzzle box - which has an astronauts and asteroids theme. There's also a top secret Christmas project... but it's top secret!

 

 

Submitted by: Ellie Dix, The Dark Imp

 

@EllieDixTweets

THEDARKIMP.COM

 

 

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Showcase Series: Zvata Studios

ZVATA STUDIOS

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 - ... Zvata Studios, with their games, Wizards of Aeydor, Run Shark Run, Lockout Monster and Dragonville (see end of article) in the 2021 Imagination Gaming Games of the Years awards!

 

 

Tell us briefly the background of your company?

Zvata Studios was founded in 2018 by a passionate board game loving couple who felt that there is a huge need for innovative and experiential board games in India. We create board games of varying complexity and for all age groups so that there is something perfect for everyone.

 

What inspires you to make games and do you have any rules when making games?

Oh so many things! Board games have the power to get a group of people, young and old, together and away from screens. How many other things can we truly say that about? We also love the fact that for kids, strategy board games are great for early childhood development and for adults, they can be the perfect stress busters and ice-breakers.

One unwritten rule that we follow is making sure that our board games are completely different than anything we have seen or played before. We love playing board games of all sorts, so our biggest challenge is to not let the board games we love influence the games we create so that all our board games are completely fresh.

 

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

We just launched four new games, two for young children aged 5-13, one for 7+, and one for adults 14+. We are planning to take our existing games global this year. We also have a couple of ideas that we are currently working on as far as game design is concerned. Our games are being very well received, so we are excited about what the future holds for us.

 

Submitted by: Nivas Ranjan Bose - Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Zvata Studios Pvt. Ltd.

Web: www.zvata.com

 

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THE ECO HUB website launched by MAINTENANT Sustaining Now

MAINTENANT Sustaining Now, who we most recently know from their DIVERSITY DECK collection in our 2020 IGGY game awards, are announcing a new venture and a new website to go with it... so who better than to tell you about it than themselves!

Let's start with an introduction...

 

THE ECO HUB 

"Here at MAINTENANT Sustaining Now, we have been on an amazing journey reaching  families, schools and businesses and supporting them in their transition towards a  sustainable future. We believe that the key to real change is through education and as a  supporter and promoter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), we have been  championing UN SDG4.7 which requires all learners to acquire the knowledge and skills they  need to implement sustainable development in their future lives and careers.  

In particular, this became clearer and more focused once Teach the Future launched their  campaign last year and really highlighted the lack of Education for Sustainable Development  (ESD) in the UK curriculum and school system as a whole. See our blog post about it here.  Since creating our DIVERSITY DECK card collection, we have been developing some fantastic  resources on sustainability for schools. During the pandemic, we have had a rethink about  the best way to distribute them to the teachers and schools who need them. 

The next stage of our story will be to create a teacher hub to serve this purpose and be a  catalyst for the change that we want across society. "

 

 

With that in mind, here is their launch announcement blog to explain more and with contact details and referenced games at the bottom!

 

"THE ECO HUB 

So, our new website, THE ECO HUB, is soon to be launched. Having spoken to teachers in our work with schools, we have seen the growing desire for good quality, quick ideas to  incorporate ESD into their curricula. According to a recent survey by Teach the Future, 75%  of teachers don’t believe that they have received adequate training to teach students about  climate change. For a more sustainable and greener society, we want teachers to have the  confidence to deliver lessons which incorporate sustainability at every opportunity.  Although we agree that the UK national curriculum is sorely lacking and indeed failing our  children, there are many opportunities within the curriculum already where we can talk in a  more thoughtful way and introduce empathy to our environment, other people and society.  

We have always felt that because sustainability is such a universal concept, subjects and  topics already taught in schools can be introduced in slightly different ways to get across a  message of sustainability. For example, if you can introduce the ideas of magnets to  children, we can also talk about the Earth as a very large magnet and introduce the benefits  of our magnetic field; protecting us from the cosmos and making life here on Earth possible.  If we can let children in on the secret of how important the natural world is to their  everyday lives and give them the ability to see the interconnectivity of all of Earth’s systems  and our actions, then they will develop the empathy, resilience and skills they need to  protect our planet as they grow up and enter the work place, making positive choices and  decisions for the benefit for all of us. 

WHAT WE OFFER  

We don’t want to overwhelm teachers with lengthy, expensive courses and extra  qualifications that are only possible for one or two teachers within a school. Our brand-new  membership only ECO HUB will provide bitesize 5-10 min courses which become available 

on a regular basis enabling teachers to think about different topics and case studies in  different ways and provide resources and videos to help.  

Earth system education divides the planet into 7 spheres which are all interconnected and  rely on each other. This describes out environment and gives children the knowledge they  need to understand the changes which are happening to the Earth, our home. Science and  geography are the most obvious places to start with the ideas of sustainability, but we will  be offering cross curricular activities which can be used across the curriculum to enhance  

what is already being taught. For example, PSHE and History have a lot to teach us about  sustainability, especially when thinking about how we must be an inclusive and united  society to make a success of our future. 

We will have a series on inspiring people who have made a real difference to our future by  advocating for sustainability on our planet. They come from many backgrounds with  different nationalities which will promote the need for people and societies to work  together for the common aim of preserving the planet. 

In addition, we want to create a community of teachers swapping ideas and experiences.  The website will be for our users, so we will be working alongside them and taking on board  suggestions and feedback as we go. In addition, our “Positivity Corner” will be regularly  updated with inspiring stories from the news, plus other schools and businesses who are  taking the SDG’s on board and embedding them into their lives. 

We certainly don’t want to reinvent the wheel, as there are already some amazing resources  and lesson plans out there ready for teachers to use. Celebrating them and highlighting  them so that they can be easily found and used will be of real importance to us. Why wade  through the internet, when we have a growing library of tools and resources?! 

Our content is based on our belief that sustainable development is universal and touches  every aspect of our lives. We must be mindful of the consequences of our thoughts and  actions. The world is too interconnected and global and we need children who understand  and recognise this.  

 

 

THE SOFT LAUNCH – 19th April, 2021 

We are really excited about our launch, but it will only be successful if people know about it  and use it. We would really appreciate you following us on Twitter @THE_ECO_HUB and  retweeting our announcements and ideas.  

There will be an introductory offer as we get everything under way and add to the site, so  please do get involved at this early stage and help us improve for the future.  

We would love your comments and feedback about our ideas using this survey and we can  keep you up to date with the launch and how to find the website once up and running if you  leave us your details. 

Also, if you are an organisation or business and feel that you can support or collaborate with  us in any way, please get in touch with clare@maintenant.org.uk or  

lizzie@maintenant.org.uk and we would love to chat to you."

 

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