About Jellybean Games
In July of this year I was trying to convince Christopher Badell (designer of Sentinels of the Multiverse, Deck Building the Deck Building Game and co-designer of Hex Mex - more on that later) that Greater Than Games should buy the rights to Story War.
At the start of 2013, my friend Tom and a couple of his mates launched a party game on Kickstarter. It made $367 000 and they printed a billion copies, but everyone involved has sort of moved onto other things.
Story War is a cool game, Greater Than Games is a cool company, and so I was arguing that it'd be a good purchase. I turned out to be wrong about this, but not for the reasons Christopher was giving.
"It's not the kind of thing that our audience would enjoy," he said. That's true - they tried to launch a crossover product late last year, which didn't fund.
"No," I said, "but that's exactly why you should buy it. That's why you merged with Dice Hate Me Games - to expand your audience. If you pick up Story War, suddenly your booth has games for every kind of gamer: kids, parents...people who aren't gamers at all."
"It wouldn't fit under any of our imprints. Sentinel Comics is for superhero games, Fabled Nexus is for sci-fi/fantasy, and Dice Hate Me Games is for Americana-themed Euro-style games."
"Okay," I said after a few seconds of thought. "So you make a new imprint. For families and lighter games - call it 'Jellybean Games'. Publish some party games under the brand too."
"I do have an idea for a party game..." he said, and we spent the rest of the lunch discussing that.
Like I said, Story War and Greater Than Games wasn't a good fit. But we both liked the name "Jellybean Games", and I spent the next few weeks thinking about it.
I wanted to get some of my games published, quicker than they'd be released if I went through the standard pitching process. And what's more, my games (Village Pillage, Scuttle!, Untitled Labyrinth Idea - more on that later) were light, family-friendly games.
They were the exact kind of game that a company called "Jellybean Games" would publish.
Google confirmed that (aside from endless Android-related results, which were becoming more irrelevant by the day) there was no Jellybean Games, and so within a few days I'd decided:
I was going to launch a company dedicated to making and selling family-friendly card and board games. My first few releases would be my own games, but I'd be totally open to picking up and developing games by other people (although the rights to Story War are still a bit out of my budget).
It was simple, it was directly in line with what I was trying to do (move to America) and frankly it sounded like fun.
Little did I know that in just a few months, I (and everyone I knew) would be dead...
Up next: Part 3 - Writing a Mission Statement.