Monday, May 14, 2012

A God at Sea

It’s time for another Minion Monday, and this time I’m going to show you Minion Games’ latest, Tahiti!

Yeah, yeah. Those of you well-versed in Euro-style board games will have seen countless iterations of the “manage some goods at an oceanic locale that also serves as the game’s name” schtick. But where theme often exists as a last-minute coat of paint, Tahiti fully avails itself of the lore surrounding its namesake island. The Tiki aesthetic throughout the game’s art and design is fun right out of the box, before you so much as place so much as a tile on the table. Little touches, like actually piloting a little canoe from island to island as you pick up and deliver goods, makes the specific Pacific choice of setting much more than an arbitrary skinning of the mechanics.

Minion Games once again teamed up with Chuck Whelon for the artwork. As he had for his work on Nile, Chuck really researched the source material for an authentic experience. Well...authentic to the Tiki aesthetic anyway, which like so many things has been host to a bevy of Western exaggerations and extrapolations. Still, any Tiki-head will be well at home at this gaming archipelago.

As we did for Kingdom of Solomon, Venture Forth, and The Manhattan Project, Minion Games is using crowd funding site Kickstarter to help offset costs and drum up interest in Tahiti. But those games were Kickstarted relatively early in their production cycles, with images and videos revealing great games sporting less-than-great prototype graphics. This time, I convinced James that we might have better success showing off a nearly complete product, one with care taken to present it in the best light. So a lot of my work this time around has been specifically for the Kickstarter effort: Custom text headers, fully-realized prototypes, and of course the box shot gracing the very top of the page.

Has it helped? It’s a bit too early to tell, but so far support has been great! The pledges over the first two days have been the best yet for Minion Games. If you would like to secure your own copy of Tahiti, get in your canoe and go! And if you’re at all like me and love to see unique premiums tied to a project, I designed a bag in conjunction with Dragon Chow only available to higher backers. It’s perfect for pulling out the games’ wooden cubes or nestling whatever you desire in Tiki goodness.

Not sure yet? When you back at the $1 level, you immediately receive a copy of the Print & Play version. If you like what you see, you can upgrade to any of the other great tiers, including a dinner with James Mathe — the perfect opportunity to pick his brain about the board game industry!

If nothing else, drop by for the video. Watching James juggle copies of our last two waves of board games is well worth the minute of your time.

 “If game publishing doesnt work out, at least Ill have a career with Ringling!”

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