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.
About to launch a new campaign on Kickstarter to fund your board game? Make sure you read this article before starting.
These simple steps will help boost your campaign on Kickstarter with minimal effort from your side.
How Can We Help?
But first of all, here’s what Tabletopia can do for you:
- Let your backers actually try the game. A picture is worth a thousand words, and actually playing the game is worth a million. Let people try the game before backing, show them how awesome your game really is.
- Promote the game to thousands of potential backers. We can announce, feature, demonstrate your game during the campaign to our audience, and that is about 10k+ potential backers. Read more about campaign promotion below.
- It’s free and easy. With free public zones, your backers don’t need to pay anything extra or install any software to try the game. The games can be run in browsers which makes them accessible to everyone.
Now we got you interested? Read on for 5 simple steps you’ll need to make.
The Spiel Essen 2016 is now officially open! Hundreds upon hundreds of new games from all over the world will be presented, demoed, played there by tens of thousands of players.
What, you couldn’t go to the Spiel this year? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy some of the hot new releases on Tabletopia!
2–4 Players; 45–90 Min; 2016; Game on BGG
Vikings Gone Wild is the tabletop adaptation of the hugely successful online game mixing together deck building and resource management.
1–5 Players; 45–120 Min; 2016; Game on BGG
Crisis is a gritty, dystopian economic game of worker placement and resource management for 1 to 5 players set in a dieselpunk setting.
In the Name of Odin by NSKN Legendary Games (Simurgh, Mistfall) was added today to Tabletopia, and we’re glad to publish this inteview with Blazej Kubacki, the designer of Mistfall and one of the members of NSKN Games, to celebrate this occasion!
Tell us a bit about NSKN Legendary Games for those who don’t know you. What inspired you to create the company, and how did you go about getting started?
The company was created in 2011, and the idea was really simple: we wanted to make great games (Legendary games, actually).
Also, the decision to start NSKN Games was influenced by the fact that we had become avid gamers about two years before, and we have been fascinated with games and gaming ever since.
By the way, where did the name NSKN Legendary Games come from and what does it stand for?
In truth, it is very simple: it consists of the first letters of names of the company founding members. And no, the “K” is not me, I joined the company a few yeas later, but its origin story is known to me really well at this point.
September has been a great month for new games on Tabletopia. We now officially have over 280 games in our catalog and it’s only the beginning.
Also you can try many games for free without registration, including Scythe, Keyflower, Viticulture, Tigris and Euphrates and many others. Check them out!
Have You Played These New Games in September?
Worker placement, action bidding game with a unique theme of controlling sinister cults.
Worker placement game with customizable workers that you can enhance during the game to get various powers.
Merchants of Araby
Economic card game with strong negotiation element.
Go Nuts for Donuts!
Fast-paced card game for the whole family with just a sprinkle of strategy.
Brides & Bribes
A worker (tiles) placement and resource management board game with incredible player interaction.
Battalia: The Creation
Medium weight competitive, fast-paced, strategic deck builder.
Do you like co-ops as much as we like them? At the end of the day when you’re tired of competing and defeating each other, cooperative games are a nice opportunity to boost the team spirit by kicking the ass of some evil cardboard villains.
Here are some of the choicest co-ops you can play on Tabletopia now. Remember, you can always play with friends who don’t have Tabletopia accounts: just share the link or room number with them and let the fun begin. And some games are now free to try!
1–6 Players; 90 Min; 2013; Game on BGG
Police Precinct is a cooperative/semi-cooperative game where players are tasked with solving a mysterious murder while simultaneously working to keep crime on the streets under control, and to keep the city from falling into chaos.
1–5 Players; 60–90 Min; 2016; Game on BGG
Sword & Sorcery is an epic-fantasy cooperative board game in which 1-5 players fight together against the forces of evil, which are controlled by the game system itself.