Pyramidal Plans

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Last year at Board Games by the Bay Hamilton, Norbert Abel showed me a card game he’d been developing sporadically for many years. His children’s enthusiasm spurred him to think the game might have potential for the commercial market and his friends in the board gaming community advised that Cheeky Parrot might be a good fit as a publisher. Indeed, I was so impressed with the game, we made a verbal agreement on the spot to work together.

The game is simple and elegant, a bit reminiscent of Uno. Its premise is that the players are building one pyramid with their cards, but each is trying to be rid of their cards the first, which means that sometimes it is expedient (or indeed inevitable) to cause collapses, fires, or even explosions. Hence the name of the game: Flaming Pyramids. Gameplay is now pretty much finalised thanks to the game’s long incubation plus additional, more structured play test sessions. Next steps include blind play testing to improve the rule book and dialoguing with our manufacturer once Chinese New Year festivities are over. We’ve also given our artist, Simon Fletcher, the go-ahead to develop his concept for the box art:

To add value and keep the played cards in place, we’re thinking about having them done on square tiles, but we will need to experiment with their size and thickness to make them easy enough for children to manage a hand of five.

Since Cheeky has a new following on Kickstarter from our Hoard campaign, I think it is worthwhile to run a short simple campaign there. If we can, we’ll try to kick it off in late May so that we’ll be live during Wellycon, which will run June 2-3 this year. Flaming Pyramids should be light, compact, and economical enough that all pledges can be fulfilled from New Zealand. My initial back-of-the-envelope-calculations are that a $30 NZ ($35 AUD / $30 US) pledge should cover the cost of one game and shipping to the backer with enough profit left over to fund at least some of the remainder of a 1000 copy print run, which we’ll sell through our retailer network. The interest the campaign attracts will give me an idea of whether this game might be one to add to the pipeline of titles we hope to eventually introduce to the North American market.

Here is a one minute teaser where Norbert (in his thick German accent) talks about the object of the game and testers play a prototype.