Coming Soon: The Titans of Gaming

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Calliope Games: Titans of Gaming

Last summer at Gen Con, Ray Wehrs of Calliope Games told us he had a big announcement to make, but wouldn’t give any hints ahead of time. When it was finally revealed, it was still a bit of a teaser: Calliope Game was working with a dozen well-known game designers to launch its “Titans of Gaming” series.

Ray Wehrs Calliope Games
Ray Wehrs of Calliope Games makes an announcement to the VIGs at Gen Con 2014. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Here’s the list of game designers involved: Rob Daviau, Michael Elliott, James Ernest, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Seth Johnson, Eric Lang, Mike Mulvihill, Paul Petersen, Mike Selinker, Jordan Weisman, and Zach Weisman.

Calliope Games publishes what I’d call “casual” or “gateway” games—games that can be learned quickly and generally play in under an hour (sometimes much less). The folks at Calliope love playing heavier games, too, but they want to fill their catalog with the games that you can grab for a quick session, or the ones that you can use to hook your non-gaming friends and maybe draw them into the hobby.

That seems to be one of the ideas behind the Titans series, too: many of the designers on the list are known for heavier games, but for this series they will be designing family-friendly games. Once your friends and family are hooked, then you can say, “Hey, did you know that Mike Selinker also designed this other game I have on my shelf?”

The Titan series will be launching on Kickstarter later this month, and to help you get to know the designers involved, Calliope has been posting short video interviews with each of the designers. It’s pretty fun to hear the stories of how these guys (unfortunately there aren’t any women on this list) got into game design and what they’re hoping to achieve in this project.

The other interesting thing about this Kickstarter is that it’s sort of subscription series. There’s just one Kickstarter campaign, and it will fund the publication of nine titles to be published over the next three years. It remains to be seen if gamers will buy into this model. Kickstarter has already gotten many of us accustomed to the idea of paying now for a game later, but preordering that many games at once, to be delivered over such a long period of time, may be stretching those limits. At the same time, the list of designers involved is pretty fantastic, and I’m excited to see what sort of games they’ll come up with. Maybe if this one is successful, Calliope could put together another series focusing on female game designers, too!

For more about the Titans of Gaming or Calliope Games, visit the website. Stay tuned: I’ll let you know when the Kickstarter launches.

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