Perilous Pond Kickstarter Pre-launch Page is Live!

We’ve just launched the Kickstarter pre-launch page for Perilous Pond! (There was much rejoicing!).

Perilous Pond is a fun push-your-luck game about frogs eating fireflies in an ever-changing pond. The previews are all very positive and we’re super-stoked about getting the game into the next phase! If you’re at all interested in Frogs, push-your-luck games and/or cool dice give us a follow over on Kickstarter, it would mean the world to us!

For more info about the game check the Perilous Pond page on this very site!

Wrapping up 2022

2022 has been a rough year on a personal level for both me and Per. We have however rolled with the punches and made it a really good Frozen Maze Games-year.

Conventions!

We managed to visit three conventions this year.

LinCon is one of the older[citation needed] conventions here in Sweden and very much focused on playing board and role playing games.

NärCon Summer is a festival with cosplayers everywhere, K-Pop bands playing on large stages, lots of different foods, video games, arcades, an entire building with artists selling their artwork and much much more. Everyone was super friendly and the atmosphere was great.

…and BibbCon is a tiny convention hosted by Jönköping City Library (Bibliotek in Swedish) and just a single day. This convention is hosted in the city library so entry was free for all and small kids ran around trying new games or playing Mario Cart everywhere.

The most important thing about the conventions are meeting people. In addition to all the gamers, we met some exceptional creators. We met the people behind Falkenjack Gaming Woodcraft at LinCon, they make and sell custom dice trays, towers and DM screens (We managed to trade a copy of Bushido Duels for a lovely dice tray for Perilous Pond). We also met Emma, coordinator of Uniting Geeks. They run various events and geek markets. We also briefly met with Swedish Meeples and the Tody’s crew our friendly competitors and got some input for Perilous Pond.

Our Games!

Our upcoming title, Perilous Pond, has come a long way this year and is now in a very mature state. We’ve been getting feedback from We’ve done some rule changes after comments from play-testers and we’ve just received the first version of the Swedish rules from the printer, we can now start to send the first boxes to Swedish reviewers and content creators.

Bushido Duels has been ticking away. People at conventions still seem to enjoy the game which in my opinion is the most important measurement. Sales have also been ticking along slowly but steadily. We are now featured on the shelf of a large share of the stores here in Sweden.

And much more…

We contributed prizes to the Helpful Pixels charity stream for the Tim Bergling Foundation, we had a booth at the Nördarnas Julmarknad market, learned blender (to some extent) and much more!

/Åke

Perilous Pond Preview Edition

As part of the Preparations for the upcoming Crowdfunding campaign we’re starting to assemble the Preview copies of Perilous Pond.

The more complicated components like card decks and game box are all designed and has arrived. The standard meeples we’re using has arrived and we have enough of the custom pike meeple for 10 games. The current issue is the crystal gems we’re using as fireflies. We have received plenty of the red, white and blue ones but the dark yellow ones were out of stock at spielematerial.de. We’ve ordered some yellow ones from The Game Crafter but we’re not sure if they are the same hue.

The big pile of game components

Hopefully this preview edition will be much closer to the final result than the Bushido Duels preview edition. We’ve learned a lot* about designing the various things that make a game a game…

My favorite thing is, the box size matches Bushido Duels almost exactly so the games makes an excellent pair.

Let’s briefly cover the elephant in the room…I haven’t mentioned the rule-book yet, and yeah…That’s still a bit away. We’ve worked through the book in Swedish and are getting quite close to having all needed graphics and text. There are still rough patches that needs to be ironed out and after that we’ll translate into English**.

So to summarize, we’re close to having all components for the preview editions of Perilous Pond. Rules are also coming along nicely but will likely be the last piece of the puzzle.

* By “a lot” we mean “a little”

** Should be quick… Right?

Kickstarter preparations for Perilous Pond

To help with the (hopefully) upcoming Kickstarter campaign I started messing about with 3d-rendering using Blender.

The game box rendered in Blender

These images show the progress so far. A decent representation of the game components along with the box. We will hopefully be able to use these scenes / models on the back of the box, on some promo-material and in an eventual Kickstarter campaign for the game.

A game in progress.

The hardest part has been to get the look of the firefly crystals right, I’m still not 100% satisfied but I think it’s good enough for use on the back of the preview edition. Cards, dice and meeples were surprisingly easy to get into decent shape.

The intended use of the rendering above is to use on the back of the prototype box we’re producing for preview copies.

Another nice thing is that we’ve been able to try out different options for the dices. Producing three dimensional images really helps bring a choice to life.

We’re really partial towards the black ones.


Working with this has been sort of relaxing. Sitting down an hour or two at a time and just working through a scene or trying different shaders…

The colors of the fighters in Bushido Duels

⛩ Story time! ⛩

I thought I’d tell you the reason why we asked Emily Ryan to give the different fighters in Bushido Duels their own unique color scheme.

Was it a bold fashion statement? Or perhaps deep knowledge about the meaning of different colors and how they would match the characters’ personalities guided our decision?

No… sorry to disappoint… The reason behind it all stems from our playtesting days. The culprit: a d20 dice.

You see, in the beginning we used a d20 to keep track of the health of the fighters. The dice were available in different colors, naturally we thought it would be cool to have different color dice for the different fighters.

One of the D20’s we used during testing way back in 2017.

And booom* the idea of characters and dice with matching colors was born. 🥳

We later on decided that a health tracker card was more user friendly (great idea Åke 👍) and cost effective and thus the d20 idea was scrapped. But don’t be sad kids, their memory lives on in the color schemes of the fighters of Bushido Duels.**

/Per

* Booooooooooooom /Åke
** If the kids are still crying tell them that the dice also get to live on a farm to play and roll a natural 20 all the time.

One year with Bushido Duels

Hi, this is Åke. A little over a year ago the final version of Bushido duels was delivered to my door marking the end of a long learning process.

All the 1085 Bushido Duels boxes in existence.

A year has now passed and despite the pandemic at has been quite a year.

After moving all boxes out of the weather and into my work/hobby room we quickly set up a simple webshop to be able to sell the game to anyone who had shown an interest in the game during the failed Kickstarter-campaign. A great number of friends quickly ordered a copy directly. (Thank you all, you rock!).

After that we started contacting stores trying to get our game onto shelves. The first store to show interest was Spelfaktoriet, a local game store run by game enthusiasts. During the year we’ve evolved our sales-pitch quite a bit, tweaking the pricing and the way we present the game, creating a pamphlet, tweaking the pdf to not be humongous.

Bushido Duels spotted in the wild at World of Boardgames in Umeå.

Another important early step was to send the game to reviewers around the planet resulting in some nice coverage on Instagram but also on the podcast Which Game First and the Youtube channel Tabletop gaming guild.

In the last couple of months conventions has started back up and we’ve demoed and sold the game at Eskilstuna Spelkonvent and LinCon. Presenting the game is always a real self-esteem boost. Seeing people having fun with the game gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

Bushido Duels on display at LinCon 2021.

It’s been an awesome year and we’ve had a great time even if it’s been a bit overwhelming at times with all the learning, adapting and improving. Can’t wait to see what the future brings!

Thank you everyone who’s followed us on this journey!

A computer game

Back in the day we created a computer game…And you can play it here!

This game was created for the event TV-spelsjam back in 2017. The event was held in the community center “Klossen” (Hence the name). TV-spelsjam is a small convention with a lot of video games some talks around the video game culture and technology as well as a great place to hang out and meet people.

The game itself was made in the evenings and weekends of December 2016, the goal was to make a quite fast platformer with speed-running in mind. Due to the short time-frame and lack of spare time there are a couple of interesting glitches in the game (such as “edge jumping” to get high speed jumps) but they, in my opinion, adds extra charm to the game.

The main character “Jammy” is the convention mascot and not our creation. Jammy is but one of many “Cibas” of diverse backgrounds and styles meant to make everyone feel included. The first levels features some artwork from the Melon.js tutorial but the “ice” theme was wholy created by us. The music of the game is a chip cover of the song Shoreline by Broder Daniel made in Milkytracker by Åke and his sister Sara. We called it “Chipline” and felt really clever.

Since the game is not available on the web page of Digital Spelkultur anymore we decided to dig it out and put it here. It’s icy theme works very well with our own style. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

(My best time is currently 01:02:10, beat it if you can!)

We’re at it again!

We are happy to announce that we are working on a new title. Technically we have been working on it for some time now but are still trying to make the fun-o-meter climb a couple of more points.

We are however quite confident in the concept and are happy to tell you that we’re once more working together with the very talented Emily Ryan to make sure the fun is matched by the greatest artwork. After her great job with Bushido Duels she’s our first choice. We had a great first meeting to discuss the art style and concepts of the upcoming game and couldn’t be more excited. We recently got the first drafts of the box art alternatives and will decide the art direction in the weeks to come.

Emily Ryan

Watch this space, Facebook or Instagram for more news! We’re excited to share more as the game congeals into it’s final form!

Bushido Duels Sneak peek #9: The Manipulator

A sharp mind beats a sharp blade, its time for the final  Bushido Duels Sneak peak.

Sneakiness, deceit and mind games are the way of life for this fighter. A deceitful man, able to manipulate your or your opponents hand of cards. The Manipulator’s Special attacks can force your opponent to discard cards and allow you to retrieve a previously played card from your discard, ultimately making your Attack cards more effective.

The special attack card we’ll be looking at today is Mind Games. Here a roll of 3 Speed dice (d3) will determine his speed value (the lower the value the faster the Attack). The effect of this special attack card will only trigger if one of the two conditions on his card are met.

As long as he’s faster the opponent must discard cards, how many depends on wether the technique is Offensive or Defensive. Only if he’s speed is equal or slower (higher value) will the opponent’s cards be unaffected.

The effect when triggered is pretty straightforward, if you were offensive and faster your opponent must discard 3 random cards. If you were defensive and faster your opponent must discard 1 random card. This has the potential to disrupt your opponent’s plans and perhaps even robbing him of one of his precious special attack cards.

Will you be able to manipulate and cripple your opponent or will they see right through your treacherous plans? Time will tell….