Runes & Bones Deluxe

Our latest game release, Runes & Bones, has been a huge success. Our request was $500, hoping to send a few hand made copies out into the world. We are currently over $3000, and nearly sold out of every set.

This week has been a flurry of updates, stretch goals, and reaching out to other companies to partner with. We have included a new digital game called Sticknia, which is a hoot to play!


In addition to Sticknia, we added a deluxe version of Runes & Bones, leather bags, and personalized runes.

Thank you to everybody who pledged their support, and we are excited about where this game is leading us!

If you haven’t already, please swing by our Kickstarter page and check out Runes & Bones!



Runes & Bones

Runes & Bones have been sources of power and divination for Tribal Orc Spirit Talkers for countless generations.  As the wisdom of the few remaining spirit talkers fell to the blood lust that consumes the race, the Runes and Bones once used to guide the strategy of the warriors now serve only to entertain them.  What once was an honored system of divination, now serves as a campfire game for Orcish warriors everywhere.


Corey and I have spent many hours over the last week hand crafting our newest game, Runes & Bones.  It is now live on Kickstarter. We launched our game this morning, and we met our modest goal by noon. As hand making these versions of the game are time intensive, we are making a limited number of copies with the goal of getting a few copies in the hands of players.  It is our hope that with the game in the public, we can receive reviews and feedback and be more prepared to launch the manufacturing campaign this year.

We made our goal before noon, and are currently at 166% funded.

In our video, we show the process of making this game by hand. It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of work. It’s a good thing we love what we do!

We are overwhelmed with gratitude and excited about the interest and enthusiasm for our game and our company. We cannot thank our backers and supporters enough.

Please check out our game, if you haven’t already!


Genghis Con – Inside a Lion

It’s Dark In Here

I am writing these poems

From inside a lion,

And it’s rather dark in here.

So please excuse the handwriting

Which may not be too clear.

But this afternoon by the lion’s cage

I’m afraid I got too near.

And I’m writing these lines

From inside a lion,

And it’s rather dark in here.

By Shel Silverstein.

Genghis Con was held in Denver this last weekend, and we have been excited about it for months. We were online, pre-registering our games the moment pre-registration opened. Thursday, the day we were to attend, I came down with the flu.

No big deal, I thought. I can miss the first day and I know I will be well enough to go tomorrow.

I was wrong. I missed the entire conference, and have to wait until Tacti Con this summer before I can attend another. So, I am writing this post from inside a lion, and it’s very dark in here.


Luckily, Corey was able to attend without me. He met a group of gaming friends and everybody proudly sported their Goblin Awareness T-shirts while they went to different games. Our campaign to raise sympathy for the poor caves of goblins may just be working! In case you missed our campaign, here is the video to educate you!

Corey wrote up an article for me to post on our blog and fill everybody in on what a great time it was. Ladies and gentlemen, here is a word from my husband!

Here is a recap of my fantastic time at the Genghis Con in Aurora:

Friday– Anticipation of the event woke me up well before dawn, and no amount of willpower could put me back to sleep. Making the best use of my time not sleeping, I took a final look at the rules for Goblin Pit Fight and Runes and Bones, the two games I previewed at con.  By 6:45 in the morning I was on the road to the con with my friend Ron.

That morning I played in a game with three high school students from Roosevelt High School who were part of a game club.  The club sponsor and Science teacher brought them to Genghis Con on a field trip.  I remember having to skip school to make the first day of Gen Con, and these kids get to call it a field trip. Props to Mr. Wells for seeing the educational value of games and giving up his weekend to sponsor this event for his students.

Next, I played a wonderful game that is out of print called Master Thieves. The game involved an intricate puzzle box where players tried to place and find gems within it without setting off alarms or spilling gems out of the bottom.  If you get a chance to play this game with 5-6 people, you won’t be disappointed.

I spent the afternoon playing our two promotional games and meeting people. My head didn’t hit the pillow until well after midnight.

Saturday – Saturday was equally exciting.  I met the folks from World of Dice, who loved our Goblin Awareness T-shirts.  We will be talking to them about collaborating on future projects with some possible stretch goals or something.

Saturday night I played in the best Paranoia game I have ever played.

Sunday  – Sunday was mostly a promo game day, though I did sit in on a promo game from Rio Grande games, Spin Monkeys. It was the most accurate model of bumper cars you could expect from a board game. I felt like the kid whose mom makes him stay at the edge because I kept getting caught in the corner and bumped against the wall. The game is based on rotating your car based on cards with degrees of rotation on them.  I think it would be a great game to teach the degrees of rotation because you play cards from 45 to 360 degrees to choose where you’re out of control Monkey drives his bumper car.

I came home close to 7 Sunday night and, thankfully, yesterday was President’s Day because I needed the recovery time.

Overall, this was a fantastic event and I am counting down the days to Tacti Con!

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I was struggling to come up with an idea today for a game post, all I can think about it the Con we are going to tomorrow! Corey told me, “Go to Games For Change, you can find an idea there.” Always full of ideas, isn’t he?

Well, this time I listened to him and found a very cool game I am dying to play – Fibber! Fibber is a strip guessing game where you try to determine whether a politician is telling the truth or lying, and keep your shirt on in the process!

This game is a HOOT! Though the goal of the game is to remain clothed… There are other, more personally revealing, reasons for playing the game. (See what I did there?) Here are the key points the designer is driving home:

1. Promoting Self-Reflection

2. Crowd-sourcing Deceptive Statements

3. Recognize your bias towards a party you want to believe.

Fibber is a Game About Political Deception a political “strip guessing” game where players try to determine whether the candidates for the American presidential election of 2012 are telling facts or fiction. The goal of the game is to raise self-awareness and personal fact checking in a world inundated with misleading political ads, social media, and personal bias.

Fibber was created by Seek Change, an organization dedicated to using technology to advance self-empowerment and personal well-being.



Even though the elections are over and there is no reason to get all fired up about who is saying what, I still want to play this game. Let’s just hope I can win! 



Mystic Realm – New Kickstarter Project

I was cruising through Kickstarter’s “Recently Launched” section when I ran across an interesting game.

The game is called Mystic Realm, and it is a combination of magic cards and a strategy game.  Here is the description in the creator’s words:

Wielding Destruction, Protection, Storm and Neptune Spells, while countering with Death, Life, Love, and Healing Potions. Enter a World where the Dream Catcher lives. Follow advice from The Lady of Fortune. Travel the Sands of Time to Collect Crystals and Orbs, all needed to complete your Final Quest.” 

The game looks cool, and we are going to buy a copy. I love the artwork and the idea behind it, I think it sounds like a great time! But what I found the most intriguing was his bio:

“Hi, My name is Dan Leighly, “aka” MontanaDan, I am retired, living in the State of Montana, with my beautiful wife Deb. I build Ventriloquist Figures part time, and run a Ventriloquist Blog. I love playing games, and over the years have I have come up with a lot of ideas, so I decided it was time to put some of them out there for others to share. I have created several other games available at The Game Crafter. I am also an Author of several books, an Artist, a Musician, a Metaphysician. I am the father of 3, a grandfather of 3, and I love to cook, because well, I love to eat. Check out sometime, to find out more about me. Dan”

He reminds me so much of, well, us! We aren’t retired, but we also live in a beautiful area and my husband has been building games his entire life.

As I was reading his bio, he linked to his site here. I found something I thought I would never see in my life – a VENTRILOQUIST BLOG! He doesn’t update it anymore, and I wonder if that was his decision, or the dummy’s? We will have to stay tuned to find out!

So, if you are looking for a cool game by an awesome guy, please check out his Kickstarter page and pledge your support.

If you don’t, make sure you check out the blog. Dolls, clowns and dummies have always terrified me, so I may be sleeping tonight with one eye open. Let’s hope they pass me by because I am supporting their cause!


Nighty Night!


Entrepreneurs are the Ultimate Gamers


As game designers, mechanic lingo is part of our everyday communication with each other. Action points, movement, risk and reward, and loss avoidance. When my husband first mentioned the goal of a game was loss avoidance, I rolled my eyes and laughed.

“Isn’t playing to win the reason for all games?”

“Duh, no?? Don’t you remember Arkham Horror?”, he told me. “Loss avoidance victory conditions are one of many mechanics.”

Loss avoidance game strategy is a last man standing type of game. Chess, Checkers. War, Tag are all games where the winner is the last man is standing. It also uses some behavior economics in game play with a few universal human behaviors:

1. Hoarding syndrome -Losses have a greater impact on preference than gains. Players feel much more dissatisfaction losing points (or pieces, etc)  than satisfaction when they gain points.

2. Endowment effect – This is a behavior phenomenon that states people assign more value to something they own than to something identical they don’t own. For example, my dice set is much better than yours, even though they were bought at the same place on the same day.

3. Sunk Cost Fallacy – The idea that what you have already invested in something has future value and worth, when the truth is your decisions are based on the emotion investments you’ve made. The short story – the more you invest the less willing you are to abandon ship.

In the game world, there is no better example than Farmville to prove these theories correct. The status quo bias comes into play when you are unwilling to give up your current plot of land to start over, even though the joy is in the building. You want to minimally maintain the income your current farm brings in. The endowment effect can be seen by hanging onto your own special sheep rather than selling it at the market even though one of your “friends” will surely send you a new sheep as a gift. The sunk cost fallacy is why people log in, over and over, to make sure their current crops don’t die from neglect. People will check their farms multiple times per day rather than start over with fresh crops. If that is impossible, people will even invest real money to make their crops last longer so they can check in less often. Marketing brilliance capitalizing on human behaviors are shown in every aspect of Farmville.

Loss avoidance is studied in entrepreneurial behavior. Entrepreneurs are typically optimists, risk takers, and visionaries. New entrepreneurs are not driven from a fear of failure. In behavioral economics terms, the status quo they need to maintain is low, their endowment effect is nearly zero, and the sunk cost fallacy may actually be a positive bias rather than a negative one. In other terms, new entrepreneurs often have little to lose and much to gain.

In contrast, when examining the behavior of successful, well established companies, overcoming loss avoidance in the game is much more difficult. Though they have all they worked towards, such as market share, revenue, and recognition – they also have more to lose. They have to maintain a status quo, they have their endowments. Suddenly, the strategy of taking risks and the sunk cost fallacy can be paralyzing when decisions are made. Nobody want to risk their empire they have been building for ten years to risk it all for new ideas and approaches. Growth slows, and market share is lost to new ideas and more passionate entrepreneurs with nothing to risk.

Being in the new entrepreneur category ourselves,  we are fueled by passion and driven by dreams. The goals we have are the same as most entrepreneurs – get our product to the public, focus on our message, create a business and life around our own ideals. Right now we are playing the game for the goals mechanics, not the loss avoidance. In a sense, we are living Arkham Horror everyday.



1. On the Psychology of Loss Aversion: Possession, Valence, and Reversals of the Endowment Effect LYLE BRENNER YUVAL ROTTENSTREICH

2. Entrepreneurship and Loss-Aversion in a Winner-Take-All Society John Morgan University of California, Berkeley Dana Sisaky Erasmus University Rotterdam