Shawn from Flatout here!
I thought I would take this opportunity to talk a little bit about what has been going on with Flatout Games over the past couple of months since we launched the site!
We have a lot of really exciting things going on at the moment, and that means that everyone at Flatout has been pretty busy! I will attempt to keep this relatively brief to hit all of the topics of ‘what’s new’!
Our first game design to get published got released at Gen Con! It’s been super exciting! Robb, Molly, and I all got to attend the show and celebrate the release, together with tonnes of gamers at AEG’s Big Game Night! It was a really special evening where we got to see hundreds of copies of our game go home with folks who attended the event. We also got to share it with some of the game’s biggest fans, Jan and Chad Martinell! They made us special t-shirts and everything - pretty awesome! Overall, the reception for the game has been overwhelming! The Game Boy Geek pitted it up against Sushi Go for the title of go-to drafting game, and to our surprise, Point Salad came out on top! (Cult of the new, amiright!?) The Dice Tower also gave the game an 8.5 rating and a Seal of Excellence, which was pretty remarkable! There have also been countless other great reviews. It’s been really special to see people out in the world enjoying something that we made with so much care and love. Point Salad is about simplicity and taking some fun mechanisms and boiling them down so that you can take a game home to family and non-gaming friends and have a fun time introducing them to drafting and set collection. The official launch date isn’t until September 6th, but retailers who participated in AEG’s Big Game Night satellite events were able to order their copies, so there should be some floating around. Pretty excited to see if the game can maintain the buzz and continue to be something people are interested in playing! Also, a huge thank you to everyone who has made this possible! We have had nothing but massively supportive folks helping us push things forward and we are really excited to share the fun with everyone!
We have been hard at work on the first game we are publishing ourselves! It’s not one of our games, but our good friend Kevin Russ’s! In order to take on the role of publishers, we knew we had to enlist the help of our friends, so in early 2019 we formed an extension of Flatout Games called the CoLab. The CoLab for Calico was formed as a working group where the 6 members have come together in order to split the work and profits of successfully crowdfunding a game. It’s a way for ourselves and Kevin to get a game made by enlisting the help of colleagues who have a range of skills. I will likely do another blog post about the CoLab and some of the aims and terms of it later, but for now it’s basically an experimental way of doing publishing where we get everyone on board and have a very democratic approach to design, development, marketing, and publishing. It’s been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! We have been showing off Calico for the past several months and the reception has been awesome. Running tiny demo tables at Origins and Gen Con was a lot of fun and we got to meet hundreds of folks and show them the game. We are really excited about the design - it’s super simple, but so deep - and the development work that has gone into it. Working with Beth Sobel on the artwork is another bucket list dream come true! She is a lovely human and an amazingly talented artist! We couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out so far and we’re really excited to share this game with the world and help get Kevin’s name out there! It has been unbelievably great working with Kevin, David, Dylan, Molly, and Robb on this project. It’s pretty special when you get to make something really cool with people you love and respect - it’s been an absolute blast so far and we are excited to keep pushing forward! Thanks to everyone who has shown interest, said kind words about the game, and/or taken the time to playtest it and help us make it better. Calico is a labor of love for so many people and we thank you all for joining us on this crazy journey! If you haven’t heard about it yet, you can find out more about Calico on our game page. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter so that you can be notified when the project goes on Kickstarter in the next few months!
We have another puzzly tile-laying game coming soon, and this time it is one that we designed! Public Market is a spatial puzzle bidding game that is being published by Talon Strikes Studios. We have been actively working through development on the game and are having a blast working with Eric Elvarado and Jason Washburn - they are extremely knowledgeable and they love their craft! We are really excited for the game to come out. It’s got some fun and different mechanisms that we think folks will enjoy, and it’s based on fish mongers in large, open-air markets, like the Pike Place Market here in Seattle.which is a pretty unique theme that we are excited to bring to life!
Other Game Designs
While working as part of the CoLab to bring Calico to life, we have not stalled out on the design front! We have a number of designs that we have been developing throughout 2019. We had the opportunity to pitch games at Origins and Gen Con and will hopefully find great homes for a number of our games! We are currently working on:
Deep Dive - a simple push-your-luck game with penguins!
Galapagos - a spatial tile-flipping game about creating habitats of native species on the Galapagos Islands
Realms - a streamlined worker placement engine building race game
Cropped - a spatial deck builder
Satchel Quest - a bag-building dungeon-crawl puzzle game
Mosaic - a simple spatial engine-building game
We also have probably a dozen others.
I am also co-designing a game called Skeleton Keys with Rob Newton from Coin Flip Games. It’s a unique 3D puzzle game with some of the craziest components we have ever made! I’m also working with Chad Martinell on a pinball card game (really excited about this one, just need to carve out some time to get it together!)
We continue to do design and development work. We are really focused on creating really elegant games and unique experiences. I’m really excited about a lot of the things we are working on and we feel pretty proud of our production in 2019! We have such a great community in Seattle that help us push ideas forward. We are really lucky to have a tight-knit group of super-dedicated designers who contribute so much to the games that we are all making. We can’t thank these folks enough - community makes all the difference!
Well, that’s a little bit of a window into what’s new with Flatout Games! Thanks for stopping by!