The Game Crafter Unboxes Four Tribes

Tavis, from the Game Crafter, takes a moment to show off the all-new Small Stout Box that they now offer and that I use to house Four Tribes. You can learn more about Four Tribes by checking out our Shoppe page. Enjoy!

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Desolate is now Available!

Your rescue ship has crashed just meters from a distant space station you were investigating. You are the sole survivor. You make your way to the station, only to find the crew nothing but skeletal remains. But you are not alone… You must quickly find a way to power up the escape shuttle before it is too late…


Desolate is a solo-play game with a lot of tough choices to be made. You can learn all about the game in this Designer’s Journal.

To pick up your copy now follow this Shop Link.


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Four Tribes Library Edition is Here!


The Library Edition of Four Tribes is now available! This is the second edition of the critically acclaimed game, but with a bunch of extras and a fantastic new study box that is twice the size of the old one!


0-4TlibraryWhat is new?

1) The box itself is 3 times thicker and twice as large as the previous box. It is amazing and is skinned in all-new artwork.

2) Six all-new winter village cards add a new challenge to the mix!

3) Fire expansion adds 6 all-new army cards that allow a player to burn any card in play!

4) Flood expansion adds 6 all-new army cards that allow a player the ability to wipe out a village!

5) Two additional long house cards, so each player can have a home for village elders they have gained.

6) The rule sheet has been replaced with a sixteen page full-color booklet.

7) All the plastic houses have been replaced with larger wooden ones.

What if I own the second edition already?

upgrade1I have also made an upgrade kit that includes just the new box, additional cards, and booklet. Here is a link to that.



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Mark Your Calendars!

Stew will be launching on Kickstarter this Wednesday, the 21st of February, at 9am!


Stew will be launching side by side with another food-themed title Arcane Bakery as part of Button Shy Game’s ongoing Wallet Game Series.

You will be able to choose your title for just $10 or snag both games for just $19!

Here is a quick overview video of the gameplay for Stew.


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AEG Signs Trainmaker!

Aeg-logo-bigIt is official, AEG has picked up the rights to Trainmaker. This has been in the works for a while and I am very excited to see the game move on to a much larger company with a much broader reach. I am also very happy to see that another of Chris Leder’s designs will be on store shelves all over. I have also signed a contract for the artwork for the AEG version. This means that the AEG version will share much of the same artwork as the Grey Gnome version, with a few tweaks. This is a win/win for Chris and I.

I had a lot of fun working with Chris to bring the original version of Trainmaker to life. It is game that holds a special place in my heart. I loved it way back when I first played it with Chris at a local game shop. I am happy to have been a part of its development and to have been able to get it into the hands of hundreds and hundreds of people all over the world. Now it is time for it to take the next step and get into the hands of thousands and thousands of people. Congrats Chris!

Keep an eye out for the release sometime this year!

I still have stock of the Grey Gnome version for sale on our shop page and while supplies last I am including the custom wooden train whistle and the Outlaws expansion for free with each copy! So please act on that while you can.

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Designer’s Journal: Desolate

render1Recently I have been quite busy pursuing a few different projects with full steam. These have included the solo-play dungeon crawler Peril, the other more puzzle-like adventure solo-play game Doom Realm, and most recently the space horror solo-play game Desolate. Notice a trend? Yep, I am in the midst of designing three different solo-play games. I did not mean for this to happen, it just sort of did. Each is quite different from one another, but today I will be delving into the latest design Desolate.

In Desolate you take on the role of a rescue soldier. You mission was to investigate a distant moon station that your main base had lost contact with. Moments before your squad landed however, something happened to you ships controls and you crash landed but a hundred meters from the station. You are the sole survivor. <insert creepy and render14dramatic music here> The station is overrun by aliens and everyone is dead. You are tasked with fighting off these intruders while trying to locate five power cells in order to jump-start the escape shuttle. All the while you must monitor your health, ammo, and oxygen. Muhahahahaha!

At the beginning of the game you will receive two equipment items from a total of seven. These include items like a space suit that expand your health meter and give you more starting health, to items like night vision goggles that allow you to reveal both cards during a turn (more on that in a moment). This allows the game to play a bit differently each time through as your character will be quite unique every time you enter the station.


render8The core of the game comes in the form of the exploration deck. This deck contains cards with both locations and conflicts (aliens). Locations are safe rooms that contain particular goods like more ammo or medpacs. Conflicts, when drawn, trigger a combat sequence (more on that in a moment). On your turn you will draw two cards from this deck, keeping them both face-down. You choose one to reveal. Now you must make the decision to either resolve the card you just revealed, or discard it and resolve the other unknown card. This is a nice tension building press-your-luck mechanics that will cause you to make some tough choices as you are trying to avoid aliens, while needing to find those power cells. Discarding an unknown card may be the choice that leads to conflict or another step closer to escaping this deadly place.

render10 You will notice that the bottom portion of the exploration cards are upside down. This portion is only used when a player opens a crate. Alien cards, when defeated, reward the player with a crate (small or large). To open a crate you only need to flip and reveal the next card in the exploration deck. If you are opening a small create, you may choose one item from the two items shown. One has more overall value while the other is lesser, but you must decide which item you think you need more. If you are opening a large crate, you get both items on the card. Stronger enemies give large crates and weaker ones give the smaller variety.


So you have revealed a conflict card in the exploration deck. Now you must draw a card from the combat deck. This is a separate deck of cards that help to randomly generate your foe. The conflict card you first revealed will have a die icon next to the title indicating the initial power of the alien. When you reveal the combat card it will show another die icon with a value. Place a dice on the die icon with the value equal to the one shown face-up. Now place another die on the blank die icon below that equal to the value shown on the exploration card. The sum of both dice is the health/power of your enemy. This can range from 2-12.

render12You will also notice a numeric value with the word “damage” next to it. This is the initial damage you will take. You see the aliens always attack first. Have you ever tried to sneak up on an alien? It cannot be done… Anyways, you must adjust your health tracker accordingly to this initial attack.

Now you must make a very tough decision. How much ammo are you willing to spend on your turn (how long are you willing to hold that trigger down)? Each ammo you spend (adjusted on your character tracker) equates to one die you get to roll in an effort to kill your foe. So spending three ammo will allow you to roll three dice. You then roll and if the sum is equal to or greater than the power/health of your enemy you defeat them and gain whatever items is in their crate. Easy right? Well, if your roll results in a sum less than your enemies power/heath they get to counter-strike. This is done simply be flipping and revealing the next card in the combat deck. The bottom portion of the card indicates counter-strike damage.  You never know exactly what card is up next and how much damage you may take as a result of rolling too low. This makes the decision in regards to ammo pretty tense.

Making it out Alive

render13The other resource you have to keep an eye on is your oxygen level. When you cycle through the exploration deck, you must spend two oxygen. This mechanic mimics time spent in the station. Oxygen can also be spent in the Garrison in order to rest/heal if you happen to draw that card while exploring.

Your mission is to find five power cells. These are located in the engineering room and there are two of these cards in the exploration deck. If at any moment you have 5 power cells, you power up the escape shuttle and blast off, winning the game. However, if you run out of either health or oxygen, you die.

That is the basic overview of the game. More little details to come.

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STEW to launch on Kickstarter in February!


As many of you may already know, Stew was picked up by Button Shy Games a few months ago. Well the Kickstarter for Stew will be launching on Kickstarter in February! Button Shy is famous for their wallet series of games that include such hits as Circle the Wagons, Avignon: A Clash of Popes, and Pretense. Stew will also be a wallet game and will come housed in a cool custom bi-fold wallet that you can easily take with you anywhere!

More details, including the exact launch date to come…


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