Fylde games inventor to release his second hit
By now the festive board games have likely been put away, but for one Fylde coast man playing games looks set to make 2018 a special year.
Tristan Hall of St Annes, who works as a video producer in Manchester, is set to release his second game and is planning to reprint his first after once again smashing his online fundraising target due to demand from customers.
The former St Bede’s pupil is a keen gamer and had a long held dream to produce his own fantasy card game. Last year his dream came true and having raised £75,000 through an online crowdfunding drive, Gloom of Kilforth was produced and all 2,000 copies were sold.
The fantasy adventure has proved so popular that he raised another £207,000 to produce a second run with added extras.
On top of that, his second strategic game, Tears of A Thousand Mothers set around the Battle of Hastings, also raised more than £75,000 for it production and sold out on pre-order copies and is due to be delivered early in 2018. Tristan said he was surprised but delighted at the demand for the two games, but added the market for sophisticated board games featuring cards and involved stories was a growing phenomena world wide.
He said: “If you look at 20 yeas ago video games were the preserve of geeks only, now everyone has them, all ages.
“Call of Duty outsells films such as Avatar. Games are being embraced by all cultures and these new generation of board games is growing in a similar way.
“One game, called Kingdom Death: Monster, a dark adult fantasy game, has raised $12m. People in the industry are calling it the golden age.
“People till enjoy Monopoly and Cluedo but we are seeing more and more people playing other games, for example Cards Against Humanity, seeping into the zeitgeist and becoming things that people buy each other as presents.”
Tristan has recently taken his game to the massive international games convention International Spieltage at Essen in Germany where it had a good reception from visitors among the 250,000 attending.
“The retailers over-sold Gloom of Kilforth and wanted us to go straight back to the printer for another 1,000 copies. But speaking to distributors, I realised it would be better to go back to Kickstarter to fund the reprint.
“We got more than 3,000 backers this time and £207,000 which was phenomenal. We have German and French translations ongoing and a dark version featuring some of the more adult artwork that our artist Ania Kryczkowska from Poland has done.
“Tabletop gaming voted Gloom the sixth best game of the year which we were really pleased about as we were up against some board games which have made millions of dollars on Kickstarter.
“I has no idea it would be so successful. I thought it might be too niche. Making my own game was something I had always wanted to do and even if it did not sell, I knew it was something I could always say at least I completed it.
“With people ordering second copies and the reaction it has got, there is a chance it will not be a one off and could become an evergreen game.”
He said narrative driven games were proving extremely popular to the gaming community and gamers had posted videos on YouTube showing their progress as they played out the story.
Many gamers gave their adventurer characters in the game their own names, which allowed a sense of ownership and increased their involvement.
“People have been filming ‘webisodes’ showing their play-throughs. It has captured people’s imagination. It is great for the game since it is acting as free marketing through a variety of channels.”
But despite the success Tristan, who has helped produce TV shows Life on Mars and Shameless, said he was not going to be a full time games maker just yet.
He said: “I would love to but I am still a freelance video producer.”