Imagine there was a villainous organization that made only bad, completely luck based, roll and move games and then forced consumers to play and possibly physically eat these games. The Titans would be a literal group of super hero game designers, standing ready to defend our right to play good games. Already tested in the world of game design and publication, well versed in what turns a decent game into a great game and willing to do what it takes to get more people into the hobby with smart, fun, accessible titles. Woah, I’m thinking we need a theme song because not only would a Super Friends of game design be amazing – but they already exist!
Late last year, Calliope Games announced the Titans Series which is, in their own words:
A line of family-friendly games designed by some of the best game designers in the world. Coming to Kickstarter to January 2015.
Who are these mysterious Titans? What can we expect from them? Will anyone be required to wear tights and a cape? Let me introduce you to the (entirely plain clothed, non-super hero uniformed) group. Rob Daviau, Michael Elliott, James Ernest, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Seth Johnson, Eric Lang, Mike Mulvihill, Paul Peterson, Mike Selinker, Jordan Weisman, and Zach Weisman. I’ve linked to all of their Board Game Geek entries so you can see what this group of folks have done. It’s pretty darned impressive.
The goal behind Calliope Games organizing this group of designers is to create a line of ‘Gateway Games’ – games that are very well designed, solid fun and understandable by non-gamers. With designers like these, it’s a pretty good bet that the games will be appealing, challenging and fun to experienced board gamers as well. Here’s how they plan to pull this off.
The Titan Series itself will be a line of games released over the course of three years, and will be funded via Kickstarter. Games will be shipped directly to backers as they are released, after which they will be available in retail stores. Backers will be able to support the Kickstarter by pledging for only one game; however, those who back all nine games will receive a sizable discount. Exciting backer awards will be announced at a later date.
Color me incredibly interested! I love what most people would call gateway games, their relative ease of play, rapid immersion, fun factor and generally short play time. Each gateway game is a little different and they don’t all hit on all of those points, sure, but they’re still something I look forward to discovering. The more ways we have to interest new players, and by that I mean theme, mechanics and complexity, the better. I’m very much looking forward to this hitting Kickstarter this year! Until then, you can learn more through a series of blog posts and video interviews at Calliope’s Titan Series pages. This company also has one of the best done logos in the industry, so feel free to click that as well!