Boardgame demo comes to Strathmore, becomes an immediate hit with local community

·2 min read

A Calgary-based board game designer and publisher visited Strathmore over the weekend to host a demo of his upcoming game at Hob’s Hobbies.

Matthew Killeen is working to generate some excitement in the board game community local to Calgary and the surrounding area over The Adventures of Tennessee James.

Game demos have been hosted in Calgary, Cochrane, and now in Strathmore, just to name a few, as Killeen builds some local notoriety for his game.

“We wanted to get this out into the community and see what people thought about the game before we did [the] launch… and the responses have been great.”

“It’s a game about archaeologists searching archaeological sites like temples, ruins, [and] pyramids for treasures,” said Killeen.

He explained the goal of the game is to accumulate “victory points” by collecting treasure and disarming traps strewn throughout the game board.

The game was designed to be easy to learn and play, but still retain some depth to the context and the characters, which spoofs the “Indiana Jones” series.

Killeen said he started working on The Adventures of Tennessee James in January of 2020, and only began having the artwork developed the following September.

“[I’ve] just been trying to perfect the gameplay and make sure the game’s not broken, making sure it was re-playable and fun,” he said.

Killeen’s company, Variable Outcomes, is itself a recent startup, having been registered in 2016, and publishing his first game two years later.

“Before I registered my company, making board games was a hobby of mine. I started making board games in 2011 just for fun,” he explained.

“After I published [Witchful Thinking], I just started making a bunch of prototypes for games. Between my wife and I, we probably have about 20 prototypes between the two of us.”

“I have other games that are ready to go to that next step of [getting] artwork and getting published.”

He added he chose to prioritize publishing The Adventures of Tennessee James because he thought it was likely to be the most appealing to the public.

While hosting game demos at local hobby shops and game stores, Killeen has launched a Kickstarter to help raise funding for additional goals the game, as well as it’s initial launch.

The Kickstarter is scheduled to run until September 2 before the project will proceed to its next phase. A notice on the campaign board suggests the project is “all or nothing” and will only proceed to manufacturing if it’s able to reach its goal.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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