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At long last we are ready to share the pictures from Essen Spiel '14!
More at our image gallery and facebook community.
This event is very important for us, and we were happy to meet everyone at our booth to show all of our games, old ones as well as novelties. This time we demonstrated the game published at the end of 2014, Swords and Bagpipes
We sincerely hope that this year will be successful for us, our partnes and all the boadrgaming industry in general.
Also we launched the special event during the exhibirion. If someone brought real bugs, dead or alive, to our booth, he was able to get a free copy of Bug Race game. Welcome the winner, Thomas Schreiber from USA, who brought moth and got his game.
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"... rare occasion, when an entertaining game may also serve as a valuable educational tool. It contains a model, simulating real natural populations' processes and relations, which can be researched during the practicals or projects preparation. Besides, that game will surely be incredibly helpful for students adaptation to the real-world uncertainties, risks and threats".
"Kozlenko Olesandr, research associate, Laboratory of Chemical and Biological Education, The Institute of Pedagogy of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine". (http://undip.org.ua)
"Wherever i go - whether it's a biological winter school, a dancing party, or just a relaxing evening with my classmates - i always carry this game with me. Evolution is incredibly easy to play. You got a group of animals - they grow, carnivorous creatures become more inventive, by gaining an improved sight, or a higher intelligence. The "peaceful" animals, on the other hand, use a protective coat, various shells and burrowing capabilities.
If you ever wanted to have a pet, but never had enough time to take care of it - this game is definitely for you. It gives an chance to grow up an entire personal zoo and, with its assistance, to gobble up the zoo of your opponent. Or, in reverse, to arm yourself with the finest biological "gadgets" and to withstand an assault from the neighbor predators.
Evolution is a delightful thing to play with kids. I examined and tested a lot of board games, but only Evolution has the ability to teach children how to set a competition without a fight. It also gives a soft lesson about planning, whenever you need to make sure, that all of your creatures are fed in a specified phase and do not become easy prey.
Evolution has been in our family for three years already, and we never get bored even of its original version, while so many expansions have already been released..."
Rashetov Denis Alexandrovich
Evolutionary Genomics Laboratory, Russian Academy of Science, and coach of the National Biology Team, Moscow
"Evolution is a unique project, and I can give it a proper explanation. We commonly see lots of fantasized board games on the store shelves, which lack even the poorest scientific context. Evolution, on the other hand, is one of the rarest, but valuable genres - an "infotainment", i.e. "Information through entertainment". Nowadays, being smart is fashionable. Scientific literature becomes sales hits. While no free space can be found at the "ideas battle" scientific lectures, "infotainment" oriented movies and blogs get the highest rates. That's one of the reasons, why Evolution completely follows, and probably even exceeds the world trends.
Its authors managed to keep up with the spirit of the ages and create a domestic design, that's totally worth being proud of. It's modern, up-to-date, and it's softly describes the scientific picture. But here's what's way more important... - Evolution is just fun to play. Try it out yourself and you'll figure out, that this game seriously draws you into the process. Surely, we have to admit, that Evolution cannot be considered as a manual. For example, - it's only an abstraction when creatures may not have any initial qualities at all. But everything else such as a predator's aggression, prey struggling to protect itself, the battle for limited food supplies, a parasite threat; - everything seems more then realistic".
Alexey Shipunov, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology, Minot State University. Curator of Minot State University Herbarium, and head of Flora of North Dakota Project.
Laboratory studies, using Evolution, as the visualization element(Lab. 10, page 44):
Evolution is a magnificent example of an entertaining game, which logically reflects basic principles of a modern scientific view. It can be equally well played by school students and professors.
Evolution is a game, designed by a biologist and primarily tested on the specialists in the same area. As a result, - the authors did not just create a game which is interesting to play, but one which also adequately demonstrates a deep scientific approach. The rules are simple and purely logical, so it can be easily played by anyone, starting from school children, up to the professional level.
Just like in any other strategic game, starting from the classic Monopoly, you can't simply get everything at the very beginning. The "price of various qualities is pretty well balanced, and the choices, which a player must make, becomes very complicated. It's wise to become a predator creature, but you may not be able to feed yourself whenever there's just not enough prey during a starvation year. It's so great to design a complex symbiosis system between several species, but it may crumble and collapse whenever a key species disappears. It's common when complex relations appear between several players. For instance, it's incredibly convenient for everybody whenever the strongest player is infected by a parasite, but only one member gets to sacrifice his own resources for that. Theoretically, players can even stand united and create some sort of a coalition against one another. But usually, it doesn't happen. The game is designed so that a wide variaty of players could play it. It's even possible to unify several packages of it into one, in order to make a longer, more exciting round with a large number of players. Isn't that great?
Mikhail Gelfand, D.Sc.Biol., professor, member of Academia Europaea, recipient of A.A.Baev Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
«BIOLOGY» by the «1st of September» publishing house (№16 (936)
«Biology and Chemistry at School» by the Pedagogics University of Ukraine» (№ 5, 2011)
Qualification Course «Use For Biology Classes, 5 to 8 lectures» by Pedagogics University «1st of September»
Evolution: Random Mutations is a new board game of the Evolution popular scientific game family dedicated to life development on the Earth. The original Evolution is well-known among Russian board game fans. Players try to save and increase their populations of animals by giving them traits, useful for survival. Random Mutations has the same aim but the way of reaching it differs. Firstly, players develop the whole species, not the separated creatures. Secondly, as it can be seen in the game name, getting new traits for the species is random. Due to these changes the scientific authenticity has increased: players don’t point the evolution by their own way and only decide which species are doomed to extinct and which are worthy of further development.
Random Mutations is not an expansion set for the original Evolution, it’s a self-sufficient game that has inherited much from its forerunner, for example, cards with animals at the back and with the traits at the front. At the same time the trait sets have changed much. Along with well-known traits like Carnivorous, Swimming, Running there are some completely new ones such as Budding, Bark beetle, Extremophile and others. By the way, there are deleterious traits as well as useful ones.
At the beginning each player starts with 7 cards of his personal deck and 3 more cards become first 3 animals of different species. All cards at the table should be face-down, and players don’t know what traits they’ve got before playing a card as a trait. At the first phase, Development, players give new traits to their creatures and increase amount and populations of their species. Player takes the upper card from his personal deck during his turn without looking at the card face and decides how to play it. Then he flips the card and attaches the acquired trait to the one of his species or puts the card with the back side up starting a new species pile or enlarging the old one.
When players finish playing cards it defines how much food, shelters and parasites is available in the round by rolling a dice. Food is needed for survival: each animal needs one or more food counters in a round depending on the acquired traits. Shelters save from carnivorous animals, and parasites exhaust animals’ life energy and bring them to extinction. The counters of three colors of the needed quantity should be placed to the center of the table. Then during the feeding phase players take turns acquiring one of different counters: food and shelters should be placed at the own creatures, parasites – at someone else’s. By the way, the Carnivorous abilities and some others are used during this phase. Then players decide which animals have died because of parasites or lack of food and pull out new cards for their personal decks.
The game round ends at this point and the new one begins. The game continues till the main card deck is over. The final round starts, players count their scores and discover the winner.
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Our stand number at Spiel'14 - Hall 1, stand F161, same with previous year.
We are preparing for Essen to show some new games to you.
So now we are looking for a translator from English or Russian into German, the native speaker would be perfect.
Also we need proof-readers for German and French materials.
If you are ready to help - please contact me for the details.
Imagination Gaming Team was demonstrating Evolution: The Origin of Species at different events, and anyone could play it at the big event of UK Games Expo in June.
As a result the game got attention and public acknowledgement in Great Britain. An independent panel of teachers and parents who regularly use such kind of games in the classroom and at home has chosen Evolution: The Origin of Species as a prize-winner for the bronze award of Best Cross-Curriculum Game of the year.
We thank everyone who voted for our game. We are happy that our game helps in a tricky work of increasing knowledge. Further we’ll try to do our best because learning with the help of gameplay makes remembering of the materials much easier and getting smarter is nice in general.
We are proud that we published such a game and wish luck to it’s author, Dmitry Knorre, in further works of biology and board games.
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We are happy to announce that Evolution: The Origin of Species new edition with updated graphic arts and mechanics is now launched at Kickstarter by North Star Games, LLC.
Check out the new version details.
Russian board gaming becomes more interesting and richer year after year. 2013 is not an exception. Our company has had another great year. Those successes include family game Kitchen Garden by Andrey Kolupaev released in the beginning of 2013; Семейное древо(Family tree) by “Mosaicum” project came next, Эадор: Владыки миров was published as a card game based on the computer game series; Стань супер-злодеем by Anton Lozovskiy, author of Gobba: ReElection in Big Gobba; Founders of the Empire by Alexey Kalinin and Petr Tyulenev; and Kings Under Mountains by “Trehgrannik” group were realeased in autumn. After one and a half years of working up Evolution: Random Mutations by Dmitiy Knorre it was published I December. All in all, another great year for the company and for Russian board gaming in general. This list comprises a large dose of the 100+ board games published in Russia in 2013.
Q: Hello. Russian board gaming becomes more interesting and rich year after year and 2013 is not an exception as well. We would like to know, what has 2013 brought to you?
A: Hello, dear readers. Every day is more joyful to live, really, because board game events have a tendency towards speeding-up like everything in the world. For example, there are more than 100 new board games published in Russia in 2013.
Visiting GenCon in USA was the most exciting event because none of us visited this continent before so it was very interesting to jump into entire other world.
We have concluded a deal with new Ukrainian board game publisher, “The Third planet”, for releasing our games in Ukraine. Ukrainian versions of Evolution: The Origin of Species and Potion-Making: Practice were already published this past spring and summer. Zombie! Run for Your Lives! and Shinobi: War of Clans will be next. Also we have big plans for the next year.
Our advancenent towards the international board game market continues: “G3” company has released Evolution: The Origin of Species, Zombie! Run for Your Lives! and Shinobi: War of Clans in Polish. Also “Evolution” will be released in Chinese.
Now we’re holding negotiations with publishers in different countries about releasing our games.
We’ve tried a new method in November – co-operative financing of board game release at Boomstarter portal. We needed some extra funds for faster printing of Evolution: Random Mutations and we decided to check out crowd-funding. Our project collected all the needed money in 3 days, and after 11 days the sum was sixfold bigger. It was sudden and grateful. Inspired by results, we are planning to repeat this experience. Acquired finances gave us an opportunity to make a beautiful and bright game presentation.
Pictures from this event can be viewed here.
Q: Rightgames LLC was relatively recently known as “Potion-making” publisher. Other games weren’t widely known and kept in the background of publishing leader. Can you tell us, in at least rough numbers, what are the bestsellers for today and what readers should be searching out as the next “it” games?
A: Selling statistics, as well as renown rating, is an interesting question that helps to understand market and your location within better.
Usually the first edition consists of 2,000 or 3,000 boxes, it’s an economically defensible number. Less copies will provide bigger prime cost. Publishing too much gives a big risk of unsold units if the game doesn’t become popular.
We consider the project successful if there are 2,000-2,500 boxes sold in a year but if the game is really successful it’s possible to sell more than 10,000 boxes.
“Evolution” has got the first place of popularity since 2010. Now it’s the most popular brand. It includes the basic game, 2 expansion sets, deluxe edition and recently released “Random mutations” new game.
“Potion-making” holds the well-earned second popularity place.
2012's novelty game Я твоя понимай sold out the first print run in a few months. It became one of the most popular novelties of 2012. Now we are selling the second one.
The Enigma of Leonardo, The Hat, Zombie! Run for Your Lives!, Underwood and Shinobi: War of Clans all sold well. Big interest appeared about this year novelties but there is no exact statistics about them.
Q: As you already mentioned, Rightgames LLC has opened a window into Europe and beyond. How were you welcomed in Essen and Indianapolis? What kinds of partners did you acquire and how does that help with further plans?
A: Our main purpose is selecting and publishing board games by Russian authors and promoting them all over the world. Maybe it sounds a bit pretentious but still we would like to see our games at the world market because we believe that there are many talented authors at the post-Soviet space who are not inferior to their foreign colleagues. Also there are quite interesting works in Ukraine and Belarus, so we are trying to promote authors from all Russian-speaking countries.
We’ve visited GenCon in Indianapolis, the USA, in August. We had our own small stand. Our works were shown to the American public for the first time. “Evolution” was the most popular along with “Potion-making” and “The Jam”.
GenCon pictures: 1, 2, 3
Evolution: The Origin of Species, Evolution: Time to Fly expansion and The Jam are available all over the USA. A new special edition of “Evolution” is planned for 2014.
Our visit to Essen, Germany, was the third this year. 4 novelties with multilingual editions of 2013 were demonstrated: Kitchen Garden, Kings Under Mountains, Founders of the Empire and Evolution: Continents expansion. Additionally, "Founders of the Empire" was displayed by author Petr Tyulenev.
Q: Can you give a brief overview about main features and differences between two main events of boardgaming industry, Gen Con Indy and Spiel? Share your impressions.
A: German exhibition generally gathers board game geeks. In America the geeks are quite various – boardgames, D&D geeks, cosplayers and even “80th level mages”. So while you communicate with humans in Europe, in America there can be anyone – Starwars characters, an under-the-bed monster, a zombie or a girl in anime costume.
The management is also different. There were 3 big pavilions in Germany this year and each company had its own stand. In America there was one huge exhibition hall, just a square building joined with inns, restaurants, parkings, almost a town having lots of big and small quarters inside. There is only one hall for companies and sales, and the rest area has only tables, people just seat and play, so the playing space is much bigger than in Germany. It’s explained by the fact that Gen Con Indy has grown from D&D conventions.
The USA exhibition is more expensive from the economical point of view. Tickets to Germany cost 6,000 RUB (about 170 USD) and the ticket to New York costs 25,000 RUB (about 690 USD) if reserved in a half of a year. Stand price is different as well – 9x9 feet square in America costs about 2,000 USD, 20 square meters stand in Germany will be about 2,500 EURO (3,440 USD).
Hotels in both towns are quite expensive during the exhibition times (150 USD in a day in the town center close to the exhibition), so you need to reserve it in advance or look for the letting of an apartaments in the suburbs (about 50 USD in a day).
There were many companies in the USA that produce gaming systems with miniature models, many names were unfamiliar to us.
The main thing that joins these events is big amount of keen people, it’s the most valuable occurrence because communicating with them is very pleasant and always gives much positive energy. It’s a some kind of confederate festival. Days are saturated and time flies.
Q: Unlike other Russian board game publishers, Rightgames LLC only releases games by Russian authors. The only exception is Фарт, a game by Reiner Knizia released under your brand. As you mentioned before, the company has a political awareness mission to show the world what Russian speaking countries can produce. Will the future change the publishing politics and let in more popular foreign games?
A: Like I said, our main object is Russian authors releases and promoting these games all over the world. It requires lots of efforts and no time remains for anything else. So now we are not planning to pay much attention at localizations.
Reiner Knizia is a well-known author and it was quite interesting to publish his completely new game. And we’ve worked out an original design styled as actual 19th century in Russia.
Maybe we will localize an interesting foreign game but it’s not our main purpose.
Some foreign localizations of our games were already released this year and we hope that there will be much more of in the future. We are working at this direction.
Q: Company watches over all or almost all Russian contests of board game designers. Did you recently find new talents for your catalogues? Can you tell anything about them?
A: Our first contest of this kind was organized in 2012. Now the same tenders are held by all big publishing companies. That’s really nice because contests increase business competition between publishers, and the quality of released products gets higher. It’s good for both authors and publishers.
Our contest in 2013 was organized in association with “Star” company (game publisher), “Game Academy” and “ZilantCon” LARP convention.
Since these competitions are new, they do still have some unsolved problems. The winning projects are interesting but technically impossible to perform. We give the prizes but can’t publish the games sometimes. Those winners remain unpublished and unknown and it can disappoint them even after honestly winning the prize for the idea.
Our main specialization was card games making until last year and we chose such projects for releases. Now we’ve mastered tile games printing. We are planning to publish a game with uncommon field next year so our possibilities also grow.
We receive many interesting projects directly to editorial. There are about 150 new projects from Russian authors every year at different stages of completion. We look through all of them still there is no opportunity to answer all of them, so some authors unfortunately gets offended. The more you work at your project before sending it to publisher, the better chance that we’ll find something unique in it. Publishers directly look for combination of a completely new mechanics and theme. If you send a new variety of “Activity” cards you chances for release come to zero.
An average time for preparing a game before publishing is about a year. Now we are working at several interesting projects that will be released next year. Publishing schedule is already assigned until 2014’s autumn, and many novelties are translated into English for demonstration at international exhibitions.
Q: Active porting of board games to smartphones and computers is very popular now. Rightgames LLC followed these tendencies and released some digital versions of games. Were they successful? Can you pick out the most popular ones? Are you going to continue working at this direction?
A: “The Jam”, “Shinobi”, “Zombie” and “Confetti” were released for iPad. The development and promotion is made by our partners. Porting games is an interesting thing but not easy and still not really profitable. However, we will continue releasing our games for portable devices.
Q: Crowd-funding has become entrenched and popular. Recently gathering money for “Mazaitsy” game has succeeded, next came “Evolution: random mutations”. How did you decide to speed up the release with the help of gaming community? What were you counting at? Was there something that you didn’t expect? Can you forecast a crowd-funding future concerning board games in Russia?
A: We’ve thought about Russia watching the American market. The most well-known crowd-funding portal is Kickstarter.com. Now board game projects launch all the time there. Most successful gather millions for the release. For example, our colleagues from “Hobby world” company started up several projects, and the “Berserk” game has acquired a world-renowned publisher.
But all this is over the ocean. Crowd-funding idea in Russia is still looking for its place. It’s very unusual for us and there are some special technical and legitimate concerns. Still there are already two crowd-funding portals in Russia, Planeta.ru and Boomstarter.ru.
“Evolution: random mutations” was being prepared for 1.5 years. But there was some stress of money right before publishing. Yet we wanted to make our players happy before the new year. We would release the game anyway but it could happen sometime about February. So we decided to ask the gaming community for help, opening project at Boomstarter.
Sergei Machin prepared a video one night and wrote all the texts for the project. We registered at the portal, signed the documents and shared the game project. The aim was to get 50,000 RUB in 11 days to make a release before the New Year possible. We told about our idea at the specialized portals and communities in Vkontakte (biggest Russian social network) and Facebook. Suddenly the project gathered the needed sum in 3 days. At the second day we started thinking about the extra purposes and built a special program with bonuses for those people who believed and supported the project. All the participants got a lizard marker for the first-turn player, counter field, a pen with the trade mark and a card set for 6 players. Also we’ll release and send the small expansion.
We asked for help because we wanted to increase the release speed. Participants got the game much cheaper then a retail price. We didn’t ask about something abstract: we knew the aim and the sponsors knew what they’ll get if the needed sum would be collected. We are well-known in board gaming world so we guaranteed that everything would be like promised. Currently the game is released and shipped to the sponsors. Only few days are needed to ship or deliver the rest. That’s the way we keep all our promises about the project.
Ivan Tulovskiy visited «CrowdcultPro 2.0», the thematic conference, after the project success in the middle of December in Moscow. The reports can be seen here: www.crowdcult.com
It conglomerated different people and authors, interested in crowd-funding, who successfully run their project or just getting started, of many different directions – cinema, music, science, art, computer and board games.
Many topics were discussed. How to prepare and to promote the project? What’s needed? How to support and to conduct it during allocation at the portal? How to attract sponsors? What to do if the project was successful?
I can tell the following as the summary of our project: using a crowd-funding portal is a hard work and a big responsibility because there are real people beyond the internet who support you with real money. If you don’t exactly know how to deal with it – it’s better not to start.
You should imagine all the purposes and have a business-plan of your project and an exact understanding how much money do you need and how would you spend them. Understanding of time constraints is also important. Answer your own question - why should people help you? Why is the project interesting for them? What is the help object, what will they acquire? Crowd-funding is not a donation. There are common efforts for realization of various interesting ideas.
Crowd funding has a big future. If you are ready to prepare your project, work hard for it and believe in it – it’s a straight way to see the release. This method suits for individual authors as well as for the big companies. Still you need to walk through communicating with many people, answer lots of questions which can be also unpleasant and tricky, what over the realization of all the promises in time. This communication won’t be over after the successful release.
Now I have an exact understanding how to promote and run projects at the crowd-funding portals in Russia. I even think of making a special report about it, maybe as an online seminar because my inner marketer is ready to share this knowledge with public.
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Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:10 am
Check out Founders of the Empire new review here!
Language - German.
Rightgames LLC's games will be available for playing at TIG Con.
Also now you are able to follow us on Twitter.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:22 pm
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