I think that an amazing way to challenge myself as a board game designer is by entering game design contests. They provide constraints, give inspiration, and allow for a fun distraction during the hectic times of being a publisher. When I saw that the Game Crafter announced their Hook Box Challenge, I was eager to jump into the contest and work on another side project.
The basic constraints of the Hook Box Challenge were that the game must include 18 cards or less and be in a Hook Box (a small folding cardstock box that holds 18 cards). I like designing small games like these because they are super easy to print, iterate, and develop due to their small size. The last time I tried my hand at this was for the Button Shy design contest in 2016 and I ended up having my game Mint Julep signed and published by them just a few months later.
For the Hook Box contest I started working on a game that I wanted to inspire my daughters. They both love ballet and this theme seems underrepresented in board games. So I set to it and developed a core set of rules and cards. I quickly found I had little time to devote to it and started collaborating early on with my friend Jeff (who just so happened to have worked with us on some of the graphic design work on Groves). He also has two daughters in dance and even enlisted them in making sure we were using appropriate terminology in the game. He and I bounced a lot of ideas off of each other and made what I think is a really neat little card game (that even has a solo mode designed by Jeff).
The entire project was a lot of fun and was a nice breath of fresh air stepping away from a Letiman Games project for a few weeks. Please consider checking out Center Stage, trying the Print and Play (free download available) and maybe consider voting for it in the Hook Box Challenge!
Now that the game is submitted into the contest, we are moving back into developing our next project in full force! We have started receiving a lot of art and we hope to announce the game very soon!
Until next time, I wish you many happy game nights!
Happy New Year's everybody!
We here at Letiman Games are very much looking forward to a fun and exciting 2018! Here is a quick glance at what we have coming for you this year!
1.) Games in production
- Groves is currently in production and expected to hit doorsteps in March of this year! The game is looking awesome and we cannot wait to get it to you!
- Dino Dude Ranch 2nd printing and its first expansion Hatchlings are both in production and also expect to hit doorsteps by March of 2018. We are SO EXCITED to have Dino Dude Ranch back in stock and to bring you such a fun and engaging expansion!
2. Games in the works!
We have a lot of games we are currently working on! One game is already signed and expected to be produced in the first half of 2018. We have not announced it yet but art has already started (by the amazingly talented Jacqui Davis) and we look forward to showing you it once it is ready!
We also have a few games that have been pitched to us as well as some other games we are designing. All of them are in various stages and we have not decided what to focus on yet as we are pretty much focusing all of our energies on the previously mentioned Work in progress as well as Groves and Hatchlings. Hopefully we can choose one to develop further once we have delivered our games in production.
3. What else is in the works?
I am judging a contest through the Game Crafter. The contest is a design contest where the theme is Escape Room games. The contest is still in the design phase, so if you have any ideas, be sure to get cracking on them. You have until April to finish up your designs! It will be a lot of fun to play these and maybe we will even sign one or more of them for publication!
4. A final thank you
Thank you all again for such a fantastic 2017! This was by far our best year yet and we hope that 2018 is even better than this past year. We have met a lot of great people this year and have developed some great new relationships that we hope to cultivate into some great projects this coming year.
If anyone has anything they would like to discuss with us, be it games you would like to submit for publication, projects you would like to collaborate on, or something you would like to see us produce in the coming year, please be sure to reach out to us!
We have a great plan for 2018 and we are sure that you are going to love seeing what we have coming. Keep your eyes peeled and thanks again for supporting us through another year!
Dan and the Letiman Games Team
I am very excited to be attending the Rochester Mini Maker Faire for the 4th year in a row! This is definitely one of my favorite shows to attend. I love it because everyone there is excited about making things. It does not matter if what you specifically make excites someone, they are just interested in creating something from nothing, which means a very excited and engaged audience!
From making honey, to 3-d Printers and tech gadgets, to jewelry and dolls, there are all sorts of cool things being made in Rochester and I am always excited to go and teach people about what I do and how they can do it too.
If you want to come learn about designing and publishing games, or you just enjoy learning about making things, consider coming by next Saturday, November 18th, from 9-5pm at the Rochester Convention Center downtown! Oh, I should also mention they have a 30 foot fire-breathing metal dragon this year!
For more information or to purchase tickets, you can head over to the Rochester Mini Maker Faire website! I hope to see you there!
I am super happy to announce that we launched Dino Dude Ranch: Hatchlings this morning on Kickstarter and it funded in just under 4 hours! We are extremely humbled by the amazing support we have seen so far for this game and are excited to get the base game back in stock while also adding this awesome addition to it!
All of the reviews that have come back on Hatchlings have been overwhelmingly positive! Check out what Meeple Mountain had to say:
It is our pleasure to be hosting another game design contest through the Game Crafter!
This contest is themed around Escape Room board games! We here at Letiman Games really enjoy playing Escape Room games and with the current rise in their popularity, we thought it would be fun to encourage designers to create their own puzzles to baffle us with!
The contest will be running for 6 months as we expect it will take quite a while to put these games together.
If you are interested and want to know more, check out the contest description at:
and be sure to reach out to us if you have any other questions!
Best of luck to you all and we enjoy seeing what you come up with!
Although we are very active on all forms of social media, we thought it important to have a section of our site dedicated to news announcements (yes, we are hoping to have a lot of big ones coming soon). We only thought it pertinent to start this new news section off with posting about updates on Dino Dude Ranch, our game that started it all!
We are so delighted to announce that we are releasing an expansion for Dino Dude Ranch as well doing a second print run for Dino Dude Ranch!
An Expansion!?!?! Yes! We will be launching a Kickstarter campaign this November for Dino Dude Ranch Hatchlings. The expansion revolves around buying dinosaur eggs and working to hatch them. It adds extra decisions, more things to spend resources on, more ways to earn points, and a little push your luck. This expansion is the perfect addition to our beloved game and our playtesters agree that it simply just makes the game better. It adds a lot to the base game while keeping the general flow and integrity of the original. We will be posting teaser images and more information on social media over the next few months, so follow us on twitter and facebook for more regular updates! you can also now find it on BoardGameGeek, so please subscribe to the page, thumb up the images and become a fan!
We will also be printing our second print run for Dino Dude Ranch! This has been a long time coming and we would have loved to have done it sooner but we are happy to announce that it is happening now! We have had a lot of people reach out to us looking for the game but we have been sold out since January of this year. We expect to have the games in stock by early 2018 and will be keeping you all up to date as we progress.
As always, we have plenty of other projects in the works but we are focusing on printing Groves and moving forward with Dino Dude Ranch and the Hatchlings expansion before we really begin working to deeply on anything else.
Until next time, thanks for supporting us and happy gaming!