How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Release a Game During SPIEL, Part 1

You may have heard that some thieves stole the cash box from our booth on the busiest day of the SPIEL fair in Essen. With the help of many friends and collaborators, we designed, developed, and released a game to Kickstarter in less than a day, in order to recoup some of our losses. Below, you’ll find the first part of the story from our Kickstarter campaign. You can now also read Part 2.

It was Sunday the 16th of October 2016, after Paul Grogan of Gaming Rules! got up from an intense rules-editing session, looking unhappy with his work (as usual, which is what makes him a great editor), that we ran out of ways to say “thank you.”

Which was unfortunate, because that was not the last time (by far) that we would receive a Lot. Of. Help.

While Paul was editing the rules, Viktor (our graphic designer) was just in the first stages of what must have been 3-4 hours of graphic design and production planning.

Falko was running around showing the game to press, all the while planning clean-up of the booth that evening and logistics for the next day.

Alvin was helping manage the major meeting schedule disruption.

Rahdo was waiting for his video to upload and bringing the people from R&R Games (who also got robbed) around for a chat.

Kurt was helping us upload the Kickstarter video, while Chad and Aldie from BGG were generously lending their super-fast Internet connection.

Anniina was processing sales and trying to tell people who wanted to play Crisis that our tables were now occupied by people working on what was basically an impromptu Kickstarter campaign.

Luke from Kickstarter was (thankfully) telling us about the many ways we could improve our campaign page.

A great many people were offering their sympathy for what happened. So yeah, after a while, “thank you” were the only two words we could say.

That was Sunday.

Saturday was different. Saturday was sad. Maybe a bit angry. Actually, Saturday was plenty angry. Yup, an angry Saturday, that’s what that was.

But you can’t let your Spiel end like that. You can’t come back the next day and be angry, sad, or frustrated. There are people who are coming to look at games, to play games, to buy games. There’s one more day.

Fokos from Drawlab Entertainment must have been the one that started the sequence of events that resulted in a completely different “one more day.” When told what happened, he asked, “What are you going to do?” What *could* we do? The thieves would not be found; they were probably far, far away already, perhaps out of the country.

What could we do?

Well, we make games. And so here we are. And here you are.

End of Part 1

(Here’s Part 2.)