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Games

 

Board games are great because they are in the physical world, and the physical world is full of magical stuff to interact with (including those playing with you!). We think that the following concepts could produce some really great games.

  1. Use the physical world phenomena like force, electricity, and flow as an integral part of the game strategy.

Most games use strategy which is based on a set of arbitrary rules – Aces trump 9s, pawns move forward but capture diagonally, etc. We want our games to use the rules of the physical world as an integral part of the gameplay. Want to provide power to a house in the game? Well, how many volts and amps do you need to run the LED? This concept is not new, consider games like Jenga or Kerplunk which use balance as an integral concept, but combining rules in the physical world with a true strategy game remains unusual. A rare example is Khet, which uses lasers as part of the game strategy.

  1. Design is open source and consumers should be able to produce the games themselves as much as possible.

In the future, every consumer will also be a producer. 3D printers and other micro-manufacturing techniques will change the way we “buy” stuff. Our goal is to allow players to actually manufacture their own version, modify it, and share it. This is not new – print and play games have been around for years. However, we would like to take the concept to the next level. We're currently located at Maker Works (www.maker-works.com), which is a shared shop space which is great for prototyping and even very small scale manufacturing.

  1. Create a game narrative which connects in a meaningful way to the core of the gameplay and to the player themselves.

Many games are created around the gameplay, with the narrative as an afterthought. Others start with a narrative which they think players will engage (like many WWII or StarWars games), and bolt on a known gameplay model. Our goal is to integrate the narrative and storyline with the gameplay in a natural and innovative way.

Oh, and if you like what you see on this site and you're a big-shot board game manufacturer/distributor, give me a call, I'd love to get our games to a wider market.

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Contact

Please send questions, comments, and inquiries to greg (at) austiclabs.com

Office located at Maker Works near Ellsworth and State st in Ann Arbor at:

3765 Plaza Dr.
Ann Arbor MI 48108
tel: 919 545 1083

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