Mother Of All Returns
After a two-year hiatus due to government lockdowns, MOAB, Sydney’s premier wargaming convention returned with remarkable success in 2022. Indie Games United, which hadn’t exhibited at MOAB since 2014, also made a triumphant return. MOAB is held each October long weekend in the heart of the Sutherland Shire at the Sylvania Heights Youth Club. The annual event attracts hundreds of gamers from across Greater Sydney and beyond as well as retail stores and distributors like Indie Games United.
This year, Indie Games United provided something original for convention-goers by vending tabletop games spanning a range of genres, including kids games, party games, fantasy adventure games, pocket games, space combat games, RPGs and many others. MOAB was used to exhibit the company’s newest acquisitions, such as Star Eater from Swordfish Games and Prognosis Death by Flying Man Games. The former being the convention’s best seller along with the 7 KickAss games series created by Michael Richardson.
The convention was also successful for future ventures, with Indie Games United signing with up-and-coming designer Martin Brandel to distribute his inaugural physical title, Cosmos: Empires. Cosmos: Empires is an engine-building card game where players must grow their galactic empire through exploiting their opponents’ economies. Cosmos: Empires releases in January 2023 with pre-orders now available. Join Indie Games United at the launch of Cosmos: Empires at Cancon 2023.
Damsels, Fools, Pharaohs and Fairy-Unicorn-Mermaid-Princess-Kittens are now available
Indie Games United has added an exciting and eclectic mix of games to its catalogue. This includes The Damsel's Tale and Fools Haven (RPG) from Red Genie Games and Fairy, Unicorn, Mermaid, Princess, Kitten (F.U.M.P.K) from Summit Drive Games. Red Genie Games and Summit Drive Games are helmed by iconic game design and development collaborators Alex Wynnter and Ben Hoban. Check out their game The Brigade to see what else they've been up to.
KickAss Games are also back with their newest game, Pyramids! Curse of the Pharaoh. In this game, you take on the role of a wise and faithful Egyptian warrior who must rescue the Pharaoh Osiris from the Pyramid so he can travel to the afterlife. This is another classic game from KickAss Games' lead designer Michael Richardson.
It's our 14th birthday and we wanted to share some interesting and comical facts that you probably didn't know about Indie Games United and 93 Made Games. Join Julia, Anthony and Sean in the video below as they relive some of their greatest hits... and misses.
Animals galore... and a Cra(y)ne
After slashing its way through a dense and fauna-laden jungle, the Indie Games United team has uncovered three new species of games.
The first is a thought to be an extinct species from 2010 - Animalacious. Animalacious is the first game ever released by Acious Games, where players are given the persona of an animal and must figure out which animal they are. Players must interpret various clues and watch the reactions of other animals to aid their chances of winning.
The second variant is a more modern creature evolved from Paw and Chow Co's enigmatic card game designs called Pet Royale. In Pet Royale, players use distinctive animal instincts, teamwork and guile to battle and conquer their opponents. May the most bestial team win!
Lastly, Krunchy Games bred Crayne: Fractured Empire is their lab of game design mastery. Crayne is an epic high-fantasy card game with near limitless strategy and replayability. Take on the role of an influential lord commanding ruthless armies to dominate your foes in battle.
Research more about these games on our Brands page or order yours now via our online catalogue.
The Stars Align to Kick Ass
Indie Games United is excited to announce the addition of three new brands to its line-up - CStar Games, Tin*Star Games and Kickass Games. Check out the games created by these independent designers and publishers on the Brands page and get a first hand look at CanCon 2022!
CStar Games is an indie board and card games design and publishing company masterminded out of Sydney, Australia. Run by Peter Cricchiola with the goal of making fun games for fun people. Peter's first published game, Head Chef, will make your mouth water.
Tin*Star Games is an Australian gaming company that specialises in publishing roleplaying games, card games and micro games. Managed by prolific designer Steve Dee, the company has no shortage of titles for all types of gamers. Steve has created the world's first real-time deckbuilder in Baby Dragon Bedtime and well as popular roleplaying games Relics: A Game of Angels and Partners.
KickAss Games is an Independent games company created to help independent game designers to get their great games to market. This includes providing local publishing and manufacturing services for Australian designers. The heart and soul of the company, Michael Richardson, is well-known for his top 7 KickAss games! Zombies! Need More Brains is a recent ghoulish creation from Michael.
SYDNEY – Tabletop games publisher 93 Made Games has announced the launch of its new distribution service dedicated to promoting and selling independently designed and published tabletop games. The new division of its business, Indie Games United, provides a reliable pathway for independent designers and publishers to have their games marketed and sold to a much wider audience. The service will also provide retailers with a broad catalogue of high quality and novel games that would not normally be available through traditional distribution services.
“Indie Games United allows us to share our combined decades of experience in the tabletop games industry with emerging and established independent creators,” explained Sean Carroll, Head of Design and Publishing. “We look forward to sharing the lessons learnt and industry connections we have made over the years to help nurture designers and publishers and give their games a home on the shelves of games stores around the globe.”
“Through our extensive industry experience in marketing and distribution, the Indie Games United sales team know the ins and outs of providing the best experiences for gamers, designers, publishers and retailers,” said Anthony Condos, Head of Sales and Marketing. “No matter what part of the process we engage in, we at Indie Games United perform with passion and a thirst for excellence.”
Besides publishing and distributing tabletop games, Sean Carroll and Anthony Condos have designed and developed a myriad of games including No Fish!, Monster Town and the Viewniverse episodic card games series. Indie Games United will also leverage the pair’s game design talents to benefit other creators via a range of support services provide through the company’s Incubator Program.
If you are a retailer, publisher or designer then discover all the benefits of collaborating with Indie Games United by visiting IndieGamesUnited.com.
Traverse the Viewniverse
It might have taken a split second for the Big Bang to create the universe (or 6 days for God). However, it took us mere mortals at 93 Made Games five solid years to create the Viewniverse.
You can now traverse the Viewniverse with us by exploring the first four sets from the episodic card game series – Viewpoint Revisioned, Eye vs Eye, Prehistoric Park and The Winking Dead.
Discover the Viewniverse at the official website – www.viewniverse.fun. If you’d like Indie Games United to send a team to run a demo of any of the Viewniverse games in your store, then feel free to contact us. We look forward to traversing the Viewniverse with you!
Welcome to Indie Games United
We’d like to introduce you to the official distribution division of 93 Made Games – Indie Games United. When we started the company way back in 2008, our main aspiration was to design enjoyable tabletop games. Pretty simple, right?
Well, we quickly discovered that we had more that we would accomplish and started publishing and distributing games as well. Initially, we started with our own games and then realised that we had much to offer other independent designers and publishers. In particular, we could help to promote and distribute their games alongside our own. Win-win.
By the time 2016 rolled around, we had published four of our own games, sold games from over one hundred different indie publishers, travelled all the way from Australia to the US to promote our games and other indie designers at Gen Con Indy, and confirmed our belief that indie designers and publishers make some of the best games in the world.
At this point, we had given ourselves two objectives. Firstly, and this was more of a personal ambition, we wanted to completely reboot our most popular game – Viewpoint. We spent five years revising the first game and designing three more sets to go with it. When the design and development dust had settled, we had created the Viewniverse, an expansive and original card game series where every deck is an episode that players explore in an attempt to return the dimension-hopping main characters, the Blinkers, back to their home planet. We achieved this in 2021 with the release of the first four Viewniverse episodes.
Secondly, we wanted to launch a tabletop games distribution service that would be separate from our design and publishing activities but still align with our mission to support and advocate for indie designers and publishers. This is why we created Indie Games United.
The Indie Games in the title is fairly self-explanatory. However, the essential word is United. Specifically, our aim is to unite independent designers and publishers throughout the tabletop industry with each other as well as uniting them with game stores around the globe. All industry participants, including designers, publishers, retailers, distributors, consolidators, artists, graphic designers, gamers, playtesters, convention coordinators, games club members and so on, have so much to offer each other. It is our job to make it easier for independent designers and publishers to get a leg up by helping them to promote and sell their high quality and novel games.
As always, we look forward to the journey ahead and collaborating with indie designers, indie publishers and retailers to make their worlds a little easier to navigate.
It’s been almost 9 years since our very first card game, Viewpoint, was released in September 2009. Since then, we followed it up with its sequel, Viewpoint Reflections, and two other passion projects – Monster Town and No Fish!
We think it’s time to introduce Viewpoint to the next generation of gamers and show those who have enjoyed Viewpoint since day one how much better this new version is. And, to continue the theme of vision-related puns, we’ve called the new game Viewpoint Revisioned.
Viewpoint Revisioned takes all the great things from the original game and enhances them for an even greater gaming experience.
While it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the original Viewpoint artwork captured a retro art style suited to games of the era. The artwork for Viewpoint Revisioned, however, transcends all eras and shows how committed we are to producing games that are visual masterpieces.
Our illustrator, Kerri Aitken, and graphic designer, Ashley Kenawell, are two of the most gifted artists that we’ve met. Once you feast your eyes on their work, I’m sure you’ll agree.
We introduced gamers to the eye folk in Viewpoint and Viewpoint Reflections; however, Viewpoint Revisioned goes far beyond basic one-eyed characters. Viewpoint Revisioned introduces the Blinkers (Eyenstein, Iris and Hawk) who, after a cataclysmic lab accident, are lost blinking between different dimensions in the Viewniverse.
Viewpoint Revisioned is just the first set in an all-new episodic Viewpoint card game series. Each set introduces new worlds and new characters for the Blinkers to encounter. We are fully committed to providing a fun-filled and expansive narrative and have developed the design, storylines and artwork for three additional sets with even more on the way. Check out our website for more information on these Viewpoint episodes.
Episode 1: Viewpoint Revisioned
Episode 2: Eye vs Eye
Episode 3: Prehistoric Park
Episode 4: The Winking Dead
Just as in classic Viewpoint, players collect Viewpoints to help the Blinkers back to their home world of Myclopia. However, from Prehistoric Park onwards, players must meet additional challenges to survive or fulfil alternative goals to win the game. We’ve also designed each set so that it can be played as a standalone episode or mixed in any combination for a deeper, more challenging gaming experience and an even more thrilling adventure.
“Will you be eaten by one of Dr Crichton’s creations in Prehistoric Park? Will you survive the Zombeye plague in The Winking Dead?”
We’re not only bringing players exquisite artwork and action-packed gameplay but we’re also packing it into a product with the highest quality components. Using the lessons learned from classic Viewpoint and our other games, we’ve implemented a lot of intelligent design into what will be the final product. Some product design highlights include:
Whilst our illustrator and graphic designer are very busy crafting the artwork and visual style that will showcase Viewpoint Revisioned and the next three sets, we are finalising the rules for all sets, with particular attention being paid to Prehistoric Park, our most innovative design yet.
As we move closer to the Viewpoint Revisioned funding campaign in September/October 2018, we’ll be spending more time showcasing how much fun a Viewpoint gaming experience is. This means that we’ll be visiting local game stores/clubs and attending expos to spread the word. If you’d like to join us on our journey, then here’s what you can do…
GAMERS: We have Print & Play (PNP) copies of the first four Viewpoint Revisioned episodes on our website. We’d really appreciate you giving the game a play and sending us as much feedback (in person or via our website or firstname.lastname@example.org) as you’d like so that we can adjust the rules to deliver the best gaming experience possible.
REVIEWERS: Production quality prototypes of Viewpoint Revisioned will be available at the end of August 2018. We’ll be sending plenty of these out to reviewers but, if you have a particular interest in Viewpoint Revisioned, we’d love to hear it so that you can be one of the first to receive a copy.
STORES: We want to work with you to help promote Viewpoint Revisioned to your gamers. We’ll be contacting many of you leading up to the launch of Viewpoint Revisioned and asking to come in and demonstrate how exciting a Viewpoint experience can be. If you’d like to get the jump on this exciting new game then feel free to drop us a line on our personal emails (email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org).
STAY UP TO DATE
You can be kept in the loop about Viewpoint Revisioned and other episodes via all the regular social networking channels:
Or simply stay in contact via email (email@example.com) or by visiting our website (www.93madegames.com.au).
Even though the 93 Made Games team has been exhibiting at gaming conventions and expos for over 6 years, nothing quite prepared us for the 14-hour days on our booth at PAX Aus 2015. Coupled with only 4 hours sleep each night, the weekend was close to taking a casualty. When posed with the question, “Would you do it again?” Our resounding response was, “Hell yeah! And these are the reasons why…”
REASON 1 - MATES HELPING MATES
PAX Aus is the biggest event of the year for independent Australian tabletop game designers and publishers. Two years ago at the first PAX Aus, I met people like Alex Dijk from Blue Room Games and Wez Lamont from RAEZ. These two fellows would go on to launch Tabletop Game Designers Australia (TGDA) – a Facebook group for Australian designers/publishers to share knowledge and experiences and to help each other succeed in creating and marketing great games.
Last year, TGDA had its first pre-PAX meeting where we discussed how the group could help grow and legitimise the Australian tabletop game design industry. We only had about 10 people at this meeting. However, this year, the meeting boasted over 40 representatives from a range a different design firms, publishers, distributors and retailers, who all shared their wisdom and helped set the future focus for TGDA and its 550 plus members.
These are the raw details that demonstrate the growing significance of the Australian tabletop game design and publishing scene and how the TGDA group is a major part of it. However, the thing that really highlights how much mateship there is amongst Australian game designers is when, after not seeing Alex for a year, he comes up to me at the pre-PAX meeting and gives me one of the warmest embraces I’ve had outside of my family. He wasn’t alone as there was a lot of platonic man-love that went on over the PAX Aus weekend.
REASON 2 - ONE BIG, PROFESSIONAL TEAM
The tabletop games industry is dwarfed by its bigger brother, the electronic games industry, in Australia. However, this doesn’t mean that its members are any less committed or less professional. We were fortunate enough to share booth space with Al Caynes and his crew from Senyac Games over the weekend and we could not have asked for better neighbours. Al ran his booth like a well-oiled wrestler (check out his Mexican wrestling game El Luchador Fantastico Grande) and it was evident that he’d recruited a great support team.
The 93 Made Games team also had a great PAX Aus supporting cast, including David Harding who demonstrated his Grail Games (which practically sold out over the weekend), The Master Cogineer Wez Lamont who challenged people to best each other in COGZ and Alex Dijk who helped Ninjanimals escape from the zoo. The 14-hour days were made much more bearable as each designer shared a significant workload by promoting their games on our shared stand.
I’d like to give a personal thanks to my team and the Senyac Games team who covered for me on day two when, after 2 straight hours of standing up whilst demoing games, I was on the verge of collapsing. I think if I’d been targeted by one more copy of Blind Freddie, I would have been out for the count. Luckily the guys gave me the time to recover in the finely catered PAX Exhibitors’ Lounge.
REASON 3 - PEOPLE PLAY FOR FUN
I know it seems obvious that people play games for fun but sometimes exhibitors (not specifically exhibitors at game conventions – I also have experience on booths in other industries) focus too much on sales and getting their “numbers”. You know what we did all weekend? We asked people to play games. It didn’t matter if they had already bought our games or weren’t even looking to buy. We were just happy that they wanted to play games. Playing games all weekend energised everyone in our booth and filled us with glee as we saw people enjoying so many wonderful Australian designed and published creations.
REASON 4 - THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Seven years ago, when 93 Made Games was created, the game design industry was fairly small with only a handful of semi-professional designers self-publishing micro games or licensing their designs to well-established foreign publishers. The primary barrier to self-publishing larger, more complex games was cost since, even though manufacturing in and importing from China is relatively cheap, it is not without expense. This meant that the pool of active designers was extremely small. And then, 2 years ago (in Australia at least), Kickstarter happened!
Kickstarter effectively kickstarted a new era of game design around the world but more significantly in Australia since the tyranny of distance limits our access to the biggest global game markets in Europe and the United States. Australian designers and publishers are now able to bankroll substantial projects through crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter. This means that more projects are coming to fruition and more designers are putting their hands up to share their games with the world.
This was very evident with the number of first-time designers who were demonstrating their games to publishers at PAX Aus. We were visited by the likes of Dale Maccanti who showed off Beware the Trap Door and Harold Kho who demonstrated his monster bashing game. Both designers received feedback from publishers earlier on in the weekend and returned with revised copies for further evaluation. This shows great dedication to their craft and Dale and Harold are just a small example of who will be the future of the Australian game design industry.
REASON 5 - WE'RE ON THE RIGHT PATH
A week has passed and I’ve been able to reflect on PAX Aus, why we chose to exhibit and whether or not we’re taking the right steps as a member of the Australian game design/publishing industry. I can say, unequivocally, that we are doing the right thing in designing, publishing and distributing independent Australian-made tabletop games.
There’s no reason why independent Australian games should not be put on a pedestal with top-ranking games from other countries. Australian designers are receiving the accolades they deserve – Rise to Power by Rule & Make was awarded the Best Non-Digital award at the 2015 Freeplay Awards as well as being a finalist in the Boardgames Australia 2015 Australian Game of the Year Awards. Elevenses and Pack of Heroes were also finalists for the latter award. Australian designers make great games and the evidence is no longer anecdotal. We’re proud to be able to promote and distribute these games throughout game stores in Australia and beyond.
IT'S A WRAP!
Only 5 reasons, you say. Well, yes, but the list could go on and on and on. I’m going to leave the rest to all of the wonderfully professional media who visited our booth and other’s over the PAX Aus weekend and link below to their articles and podcasts as they are published. Thanks for reading and keep your eye on the prize!
Aaron Lim from Victory Points Podcast
Jair McBain from Another Dungeon
Matthew Lee from The Campaigner Magazine
Ray Morgan and crew from Zed Games
Stephen Heller from Whiskey Board Games
Indie Games United
Indie Games United is a distributor and advocate of independently designed and published tabletop games. We collaborate with designers and publishers to provide game stores with unique compilations of high quality and novel games.