We've had a very eventful year at Flatworks Gaming!
Dwarven Smithy - Kickstarter
Flatworks launched our first Kickstarter for Dwarven Smithy in May of 2017 and failed. We spent the summer of 2017 going to local stores, and then ran events at Origins and Gen Con to get the word out more about the game. We relaunched the Kickstarter in September and on Oct 17th, 2017, the game successfully funded at $55,500 with 1059 backers. For the last six months, we have been busy getting the game manufactured, arranging shipping, posting Kickstarter updates and doing our best to support our customers. If you've miss any updates, you can click the links below.
Next up is fulfillment for Dwarven Smithy. We plan to be finished in June 2018 and the game is for sale on our website. Soon, we'll be adding German, French and Spanish rules translations and we'll put out a rules update. In July 2018, we'll have a playmat available for purchase.
At the end of 2017, Charlie Sinning, our founding partner, left the company to purse other interests.
We wish him all the best!
Flatworks is busy working on new games! As we get further in the development process, you'll see those games pop up in our main menu and you can follow along in their development.
Upcoming Convention Schedule
Origins Game Fair - June 13th until June 17th, 2018
We'll get our booth number at the end of April and we'll let you know the number
Gen Con - August 2nd until Aug 5th, 2018
We have 12 Dwarven Smithy events scheduled.
CinCityCon - Oct 2018
We will be running events and have a booth selling Dwarven Smithy. More details to follow.
AcadeCon – Nov 2018
We will be running events and have a booth selling Dwarven Smithy. More details to follow.
2019 - Planned conventions
We appreciate everyone's continuing support.
Mike and Craig
The Flatworks team will again have a booth at CincyCon 2017 on March 3rd ,4th and 5th. We'll be selling 3 games; King's Tournament, Pedwar and Squadron Dice. We'll also be running sessions for our new game Dwarven Smithy at a table located in front of our booth.
CincyCon is held at Butler County Fairgrounds in Hamilton, OH. Check out their website at http://cincycon.org.
Squadron Dice came about simply because we did not have a dice game on our list of game ideas and I thought we should have one. I've played a few dice games, the most well known one being Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games. This is a fun game... when it's your turn. I am not a fan of turn based dice games because there is nothing to do during your down time, and depending on the luck of your opponents, the down time can be rather lengthy. My first decision in designing Squadron Dice was to eliminate as much down time as I could. The idea that I came up with was an aerial dog fight with a WWI bi-plane theme. Originally called Dog Fight Dice, the name was changed to avoid any confusion and association to actual dog fighting.
When I originally presented the idea to the others, Mike was not impressed by it. But, after a few minutes thinking about it, he said to prototype it and see what happens. He was still doubtful. By the next week, I had a few dice fixed up with bi-plane stickers printed on shipping label stock. After a quick review of the rules to date, Mike and I played a quick game. The game won him over. It was quick and exciting, with all players rolling for position at the same time. Once position is determined, one player attacks while another defends, both players rolling their dice at the same time. In a three or four player game, this is the only downtime you have. It lasts only as long as it takes to roll the dice to decide the battle, then all players are back in the game, rolling for position.
I passed the game off to Mike so that he could crunch the numbers and get the dice balanced. Even though it has player elimination, with the balancing we have, most of the time all players are in the game until the final five minutes or so. Of our first three games, this one is the crowd favorite. It is quick to teach and to learn. It has lots of excitement with near misses and narrow escapes. I feel that I have succeeded in my goal to eliminate the down time. It's still there, but you have to be looking for it to notice it.
Thanks for reading.
The original idea for King's Tournament was to develop a two player game using a standard deck of playing cards. The game only needed some rules and then we would make it available as a free download on our website. In the end, the direction of the game development led us away from using a standard deck of playing cards.
Mike and I talked about the game through texts and emails for about a week, and, due to a miscommunication, we each began our own development on the King's Tournament idea at the same time. At one of our evening meetings, we met to present the game to each other. Neither game was very good, which is not uncommon when going from an idea to an actual game. Over the course of the evening, and after much discussion about the merits and failings of both versions, one of us (don't remember which) had the brilliant idea of combining the best parts of both versions. The results were great. We now had a game with two phases, a joust phase and a melee phase simulating a medieval tournament.
Development continued, and after many months, we had a two player game with a fair amount of strategy that was also fun to play. The trouble was the game's length. Forty minutes was too long for a game of its size. At that time, each player had a small deck with four knights. Each knight needed to be knocked off his horse and then defeated while on foot to be eliminated from the tournament. It turned out the solution was simple: reduce the knights to one for each player. A single play through now only took five to ten minutes. We changed the game play to win the best two out of three games. The result was a 20-30 minute game. Also, the game length could be longer just by changing the winning conditions, (i.e. best 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 7). Players short on time can choose to play a single ten minute game between other games.
King's Tournament was also our first experience with buying art. We found a wonderful artist, Greg Taylor, who helped us through the process. Greg provided the box art and weapon art while Mike designed the card layouts using the weapon art and sections of the box art. I really like the end result.
As I mentioned earlier, this was intended to be a free rules download using playing cards. I would still like to present such a game and have a few ideas. If any of them turn out to be fun games, we will definitely make them available in the future.
Thanks for reading.
In mid 2012 Mike, Craig and I decided to finally follow our dreams and start designing and producing games. The first thing we did was to brainstorm game ideas. What kind of games did we want to make? Not as easy to answer as we thought it was going to be when we started. The first year or so, we were all over the place. Once a week, we would each present a new game idea concept for discussion.
The first game I started to develop in earnest was called Swoop! Bat edition. Swoop! was a set collection game where players are bats, flying around in the night sky, eating bugs. It turned out to be a nice, solid little game.
After working on the game for over a year, Mike and I were going over its merits and decided that the theme just did not work for us. This led to a few more months of development, trying to work out a new theme. Finally, Craig suggested a super hero theme. We really liked that idea and development shifted to alter the game to fit the new theme of catching villains. The game was renamed Queen City Hero (QCH).
While the game play was better with a super hero theme, the card design was a nightmare. We wanted a comic book feel and attempted to have the villain card sets form an actual story. This decision took us in a completely different direction. We were now looking at writing a comic book! Because of this, the game stalled and sat simmering on a back burner for nearly a year.
In the meantime, we developed King's Tournament and Squadron Dice, which I plan to discuss at a later date. We also worked on Space Privateer and Dwarven Smithy during that time. We set ourselves a goal to have games published and available for sale on thegamecrafter.com by the end of November 2015. QCH was in a playable state, had gone through some public play testing, but had no workable theme. We needed to make a decision if we wanted to reach our goal with it. It was ready except for story, art and final card design.
In the end, we decided to rename it and make it an abstract game. I came up with some Celtic designs for the cards and Mike offered the name Pedwar. Pedwar is Welsh for the number four and was chosen for the game mechanic of collecting sets of four or more cards. I then sat down at my computer and used Gimp software to create the card art and layout as well as the box art. We polished up the rules and the game was ready. The box art could have been better, but overall I’m content knowing I did my best. The game itself is probably best described as a rather light gateway game for players familiar with games using standard playing cards. It has that familiar feeling of games like Gin or Rummy, but added elements not commonly seen in games of that type. All in all, I think it's still a good, solid little game for the whole family.
Once we put Pedwar up for sale, I thought the game was finished. And in some ways it is. The interesting thing is we may have found the theme we were looking for. So, it's back to work on my first game. New theme, maybe new title, new mechanic elements I’m sure, but the core will be Pedwar. Keep a look out for new developments in the weeks to come! Thanks for reading.
Click here for more information about Pedwar.
Flatworks is attending Gen Con 2016, August 4-7. We are excited to be part of the First Exposure Playtest Hall (FEPH) to playtest our game, Dwarven Smithy. FEPH is a place for designers and publishers to present prototypes for Gen Con attendees to play for free. We plan to run four 2-hour playtests over the four days of gaming. We'll post the schedule and times as soon as they are available.
If your interested in playtesting the game at the convention at an open table, please contact us at FlatworksGaming@gmail.com and we'll find a place and setup a time.
Click here for more details on the First Exposure Playtest Hall.
Northern Kentucky Tribune Article - Gather around the table for a tabletop game: NKY’s Flatworks Gaming is fueling the renaissance
Our local paper wrote a nice article about us today. Click here to check it out!
CincyCon 2016 was held at the Butler County Fair Grounds in Hamilton, OH on March 4th,5th and 6th. Over 800 people attended the convention this year with Saturday being the busiest of all.
Flatworks Gaming set up three areas and made the most of our 10 by 12 foot space. We set up one table and divided it into two areas: a place to showcase our three games and the other place to show off the bits, components and information cards for The Game Crafter (TGC). The booth space provided ample room to see the TGC logo and people were able to step inside the booth to check out the bits and pieces. We set up a second table where we ran a few demos of our next game in development called Dwarven Smithy. We also set up a card table with four chairs so people could sit down and quickly play.
CincyCon 2016 was an exciting three days for Flatworks Gaming. Not only was it our first convention selling our games, but it was the end result of over a year in the making. We were thrilled by the number of sales for our games with Squadron Dice being the clear hit for us. Also, we made many new friends! We’d like to thank our neighbors Tim Kennard of The Guild for Dragon Storm and Sea Dog Game Studios for their hospitality during the convention.
We offer a special thanks to The Game Crafter for sponsoring the Designer Table. We had several people stop and ask about TGC. Since we publish our games through TGC, we had special insight into how games are made and were able to discuss the game making process in detail. Jared Wolpert, from Roll One Games, stopped by and shared with us how he used TGC with early prototypes of his game Gear Grinders. The most surprising time of the convention came when the folks at Dark Da Vinci Games stopped by our booth to talk with us about TGC. We explained how TGC could work for them and even spent two hours Saturday evening playtesting and discussing their game.
The overall experience was wonderful and it shows in the photos from the convention.
Mike Warth, Craig Blythe, Charlie Sinning with Flatworks Gaming.
We'd like to thank everyone for stopping by our booth and making our first convention very successful. The Flatworks Team offers a sincere THANK YOU to TheGameCrafter.com for sponsoring us at the event.
We are very excited to announce that we have a booth at Cincy Con. The convention is held March 4th, 5th and 6th. Also, we are representing The Game Crafter (TGC) community, demoing our games and hosting a TGC Designer Table. If you are in the Cincinnati area, be sure to check out the convention and drop by our booth to play some games, have fun, ask us questions and to check out the cool TGC game components!