This week I managed to speak with Matthew Austin, of Mirror Box Games, about the game The King's Guild. We had a chat about Chaosmos, their first game, and the fantastic art. Read below to see the conversation in full.
Hello Matthew, thanks for taking time out to talk to me a week before your Kickstarter launches. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and Mirror Box Games?
My name is Matthew Austin, and I'm the President of Mirror Box Games. We're a small indie board game company that focuses on designing immersive strategy games. I'm a serial entrepreneur, previously working for a solar power startup as well as my own mobile app startup. We published our first game Chaosmos, designed by Joey Vigour, in 2015 and my first design – The King's Guild – is launching on Kickstarter on Tuesday August 22.
You have already had one successful Kickstarter, a game called Chaosmos, what did you learn from that experience?
Chaosmos was a really great experience to throw ourselves into the world of game publishing. My friend Joey Vigour designed Chaosmos, and I loved it so much I wanted to help him publish it. Through the previous Kickstarter, I learned the importance of engaging and involving supporters in the project, and really helping them become a part of the experience.
I also learned that publishing games is really hard! A lot has to come together, from art to graphic design to manufacturing and shipping. I feel so much more prepared with the launch of The King's Guild, and can't wait to put everything I learned from Chaosmos to good use.
Ok your next game is The King's Guild, can you tell me any more about this?
The King's Guild is a strategy board game where 2-5 players compete to establish the most renowned guild. You lead your guild to prosperity by crafting powerful equipment, sending heroes on quests to earn treasure and upgrading your guild with unique characters and rooms.
Our story takes place in the kingdom of Greycastle, where city law requires a single guild to rule the kingdom. With the king on his deathbed, the Council of the Wise is set to convene and choose a ruling guild. As one of the guild leaders of Greycastle, you must prove your guild's prestige so you can take the crown and claim your place as The King's Guild.
Each turn you choose between gathering resources, crafting items and purchasing upgrades for your guild. You have to be clever and pay attention to your opponents, because resources are limited and competition to recruit heroes is fierce. It takes both strategy and quick thinking to earn the most prestige ascend to the throne.
What would you say is the main reason people should back this campaign?
The main reason to support us is to help make The King's Guild a reality, and to get special early pricing as a thank you for supporting us early on. The King's Guild is available for $11 off retail price, with free shipping included in the US, Canada, and the UK.
I've poured my heart and soul into making a game that's easy to learn, but really fun to play over and over again. With the huge variety of quests, specialists, treasures and rooms, no two games are the same and there are many different paths to victory. I hope you all enjoy The King's Guild as much as I do!
Stretch goals are a big thing for a Kickstarter, what do you have planned in regards to these?
I've got lots of great stretch goals planned! I don't want to spoil them all ahead of time, but I'd love to upgrade component quality to make the game even more fun to play with. One of my favourite goals planned will upgrade the resource discs into unique shapes for each type of resource.
The art for me is one of the key selling points, is this something you focused on during development?
Yes, definitely! I am so fortunate to have found an amazing artist – Laura Bevon – who has the perfect style I envisioned when I set out to commission art for The King's Guild. She really breathes life into the world, with a stylized realism that draws you in and helps build the world.
To wrap this up, can you tell me what game you would compare The King's Guild to and why?
I often compare The King's Guild to Lords of Waterdeep. Although The King's Guild is not a worker placement game, it has a similar theme of recruiting heroes to embark on quests, and building rooms to power up your guild.
Where The King's Guild is different is that it allows for a lot more customisation through hiring unique specialists to power up your guild, and collecting sets of treasure to earn prestige.