I like to call it Happy Hour: The Drunkening.
The line for the Bar at the beginning of Happy Hour is a bit long and the tables around the bar area are littered with gamers playing a variety of games. As the line inched ever closer to the delicious alcohol, a game caught my eye. It seemed to have a space theme and the board was littered with aliens in pursuit of humans. I was bold enough to ask what type of game it was and they told me that it was a cooperative board game wherein you tried to rescue humans from aliens on a space station. It sounded intriguing and looked like fun but the inexorable call of Happy Hour pulled me out of the orbit of the game.
Needless to say, there was much drinking and merry making. Enough so that I ended up missing dinner with the people from Zero Fortitude, the other website for whom I write. So, Happy Hour winds down as it is wont to do and the call for food went up from the masses. We gathered together and headed down to the Weber Grill that is accessible through the hotel lobby. It is here where an opportunity presented itself. I am dining with Meg, one of the creators at Games By Playdate. Two people stop by our table to chat with her about her games as well as their game. It turns out that these two individuals were the ones playing Jupiter Rescue at Happy Hour. Meg is gracious enough to mention that there is someone at the table that was interested in the game and also writes for a geeky website.
At this point, you will have to imagine an inordinate amount of internal squeeing. Yes, I know it is not very professional but I own it nonetheless.
Meg introduces me to Christina and Mark Major and we make an appointment to meet on Thursday at 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Downtown Marriott. This is where drunk Rob was not thinking very clearly. The lobby of my motel is large and I should have specified where at in the lobby to meet. Thankfully, despite this faux pas on my part, we are able to meet the next day.
It turns out that Jupiter Rescue was created as part of a contest on the game crafter website. The contest was to create a cooperative game and Christina and Mark decided to give it a try. As fate would have it, they won. The prize was a review from Father Geek and to be judges in the next game crafter competition.
They developed Jupiter Rescue in January of 2013 and then heard of the Cards Against Humanity Death Match and decided to enter this as well. They ended up being one of the 16 finalists. They continued their creative endeavors by attending Publisher Speed Dating at Gen Con 2013. This is an event where designers are given short amounts of time with various publishers to present their games. It turned out that Twilight Creations was sold on Jupiter Rescue and the two signed a contract with them after Gen Con.
Jupiter Rescue was released by Twilight Creations in the spring of this year and it is the first game of Christina and Mark’s to appear at Gen Con. They are very happy with Twilight Creations. The company kept all of the their work intact and just added more. They are especially happy with the miniatures for the game and I totally agree as they are gorgeous. Game play was easy to understand. The board is composed of tiles that have two sides. One side is for a regular game and the other is for a difficult game with fewer connection throughout. Each player gets an action which can either be a move, an attack, a command, or play a card. These action are used to rescue humans from being converted into creeps. Play is quick and requires both strategy and cooperation yet minimizes the need for someone to quarterback the game.
I asked the two how the game was doing. They stated that the sales were doing excellent here at Gen Con. Jupiter Rescue came out in may and has made appearances at SDCC, Origins, and Essen before making it’s appearance here at Gen Con 2014.
The last thing I asked of the two was what they geeked about outside of Jupiter rescue. Christina stated that she does a web comic entitled Sombulus. She recently had a successful Kickstarter that allowed her to produce the first volume of the web comic in graphic novel form. You can find it for sale on her website and I picked one up from her that day as well.According to Mark, he was fortunate enough to be doing what he loved, game design. He enjoys the behind the scenes parts of video game design but really appreciates the freedom of expression that table top allows.
The pair are currently working on game featuring zombies, elves, aliens, pirates, ninjas, and gunslingers. It would have custom figures. They plan to on using game crafter for this as well and turning to Kickstarter when out of the design phase.
So, take some time to visit Twilight Creations website. Jupiter Rescue is a fun cooperative board game for 2 to 7 people and is easily playable in about an hour. I had the time to demo it in the dealer hall and thoroughly enjoyed the game. so much so that it made me sad that I have very few local friends that will play board games.