To celebrate the start of the first official International Online Keyflower Tournament organized by Tabletopia together with R&D Games, we are glad to publish an interview with Richards Breese (Keyflower, Reef Encounter, Keythedral, Inhabit the Earth).
Keyflower is one of the most popular euro-style board games in the world, ranking 27 on Top 100 on BGG.
Richard Breese is a financist by profession and has been designing and publishing games through his own company R&D Games since 1989. Richard is known for his Key series of games as well as other games such as Aladdin’s Dragons, Fowl Play!, Inhabit the Earth, Reef Encounter.
Hi Richard, can you tell us a bit about the origin of Keyflower? How did it begin?
The story of Keyflower started in 2007 when Sebastian was trying to develop a prototype game called Turf Wars. The idea for that game was that you spent money to hire gang members, who were then used to acquire victory cards and to regain money.
I had the opportunity of playtesting Turf Wars with Sebastian and afterwards wrote to Sebastian to say that I saw the potential for a much bigger game, which would fit into the Key series of games I was publishing. Sebastian was happy with the proposal and we then met regularly to playtest and develop Keyflower and exchange our separate play-test experiences.
The game converged into a finished state more smoothly than we had anticipated so we brought forward the target release date from 2013 to 2012, with Inhabit the Earth slipping back in the queue.
Bye-bye 2016, and welcome, 2017! But before that, we need to tell about all the awesome stuff that happed to Tabletopia in December.
Free for All
It’s been a log journey, and at last in December 2016 we finished our Early Access stage and became free-to-play everywhere: first on Steam on December 1 and then on the web on December 28!
The web version also moved to a new unified domain: tabletopia.com, where Playground and Workshop are now available.
And don’t miss our special offer: get a free month of Gold/Silver subscription at sign up (valid for those who create a new account on tabletopia.com)
The winter has come! It’s the time of Christmas fesivities, frost, snow and ice, North, Scandinavian mythology, and dire trials. Check these wintery games featured on Tabletopia that will keep you warm while it’s snowing outside
1–5 Players; 60 Min; Game on BGG
K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth as well as the second deadliest. Now your team stands in its shadow, ready to climb for fame and glory. Test your climbing skills to death, try to outsmart the ever-changing weather, and stay ahead of the other teams ready to take the glory for themselves.
Black Orchestra is a cooperative game about conspiracy against Hitler designed by Philip duBarry and published by Game Salute. During the pre-order campaing earlier this year the game was available to play on Tabletopia, and now it’s back again. Moreover, a live demo with the author is planned for this weekend, don’t miss it!
And in the meantime, read this exclusive interview with Philip duBarry about Black Orchestra and many other things.
Hi Philip, tell us a bit about your latest game Black Orchestra. Why and how did you start designing it? How much time did it take from the idea to the final product?
Black Orchestra is a cooperative game aboutassassinating Adolph Hitler during WWII. Players are high-ranking and influential Germans who are assembling plots while avoiding the Gestapo. Once all the elements are in place, they make an attempt with a nerve-racking roll of the dice.
I have always been fascinated with WWII, especially the conspiracy against Hitler. After reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxis, I began thinking about how to turn this dramatic story into a game.
I finished the first prototype in November 2011 and just received a final copy of the retail version in October 2016, so it’s been quite a journey.
As our library of games expands with more and more titles every month, finding a simple game to learn the basics of Tabletopia can be difficult.
To get the hang of the interface and capabilities, starting with the classics may be the best idea. These are the games that you’ve been familiar with since childhood and don’t need to learn the rules to. They’re simple, they’re streamlined, they’re classic! And free on Tabletopia.
Some of the most well-known two-player strategy games we have are Go and Chess. And if you want a more relaxed game, try Reversi or any of our checkers variants:
This time Tabletopia talks to Ryan Laukat, the founder and president of the Red Raven Games as well as the designer and illustrator of many great games, including City of Iron, Above and Below, Eight-Minute Empire Legends, Artifacts Inc., Islebound, and more.
In the interview we’ve found out about when Ryan started drawing and making games, what he thinks about Legacy games, what are his favorite board games, and a lot of details about his upcoming game Near and Far, which was a massive success on Kickstrater and is now available to play on Tabletopia! Some questions were asked by Tabletopia users.
Designing and Playing Board Games
When and why did you start designing board games?
I started designing board games when I was twelve years old. I wanted to create a card game with fantasy creatures, and drew the creatures on the cards with colored pencil. I liked the idea of being able to create an immersive setting using both artwork and game mechanics.
Where do your first ideas for new board games usually come from? What inspires you while you’re working on a game?
Much of my inspiration comes from old video games. I played lots of SNES [Super Nintendo Entertainment System] games and many point-and-click Lucas Arts titles, and love the bright worlds these places created in my imagination. I also play as many board games as I can, and draw mechanical inspiration from my favorites. When I create a new game, my goal is to explore a new setting and create a new, immersive world.
Do you work on one game at a time or have a lot of games in different stages?
I have many games in various stages, but I usually focus heavily on one after it reaches 50 percent of development.
November was huge for us at Tabletopia. A lot of good things to sum up, once this month is over!
Free on Steam, Early Access Over
First, the Early Access stage was finished and Tabletopia became free-to-play on Steam.
We’ve been preparing for this step ever since the start of Early Access in March. And all this time we’ve been working hard to add over 80 games and a lot of new features for you, to name a few:
- Smart matchmaking game suggestions
- Ready-check feature
- Real-time notifications
- Game results mode
- Improved user profile, and many other small tweaks, improvements, and bug fixes.
We still have a long to-do list and a lot of plans, and we will continue adding new games and new features for you around the clock. But you can already install Tabletopia for free on Steam and play most from the 300+ games in our catalog with anyone in the world.
Lisboa With Vital Lacerda, More to Come
In November we hosted the first in our upcoming series of games taught by their authors online.
We played Lisboa, the fresh new game by Vital Lacerda. Vital taught the game himself and talked about the creation process and the historic events that inspired him to create the game.
People seemed to like the event a lot:
Starting today, Tabletopia becomes free-to-play on Steam*. You can now join Tabletopia on Steam for free, as well as play most of the 300 games featured on the platform.
If you have supported our Early Access stage, your free month of Premium will now start counting down. If you don’t yet have Premium, consider purchasing it to unlock the full Tabletopia potential and give your support to favourite authors and publishers.
October, the month of the Spiel Essen and the pre-Halloween excitement, is now over but let’s recall all the good things it brought to Tabletopia.
New Games to Play
We now have 290+ board games on the platform!
Have you played these new board games added to our catalog this month? Click the image to start playing online now (if you have Tabletopia account).
Pathogenesis is a deck building game in which players take on the role of bacterial pathogens attacking a human host.
Hey boo! Happy Halloween!
Tired of “trick-or-treatin'” and wearing the same costumes? Too many Harley Quinns on the streets this year? Why not play some horror board games on this eery night instead? Check out our selection of 10 sinister games ideal to celebrate this spooky day!
Some games on this list are free-of-charge to play even without accounts, and remember that your friends play for free at all times if you invite them!
1. Cult (FREE)
2–5 Players; 45–90 Min; 2016; Game on BGG
Cult is an worker placement, action bidding game for 2–5 players with a unique theme of managing a sinister cult.
Also, we will be teaching this game for free this weekend on Saturday Oct 29 at 1PM (New York time). Sign up for the event here.