I had the great pleasure to sit down and speak with Mike Selinker, the developer of such board game classics as Betrayal at House on the Hill, Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game, and my personal favorite, Gloria Mundi. Interestingly, Mike noted that he declined to be involved in the creation of Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, so that he could play the game without knowing the outcome of all the stories, a luxury he never had with House on the Hill. However board games are just the tip of the iceberg, as Mike is equally known for his work in puzzles, having contributed extensively to Games Magazine and international puzzle competitions.
In 2013, Mike and his company Lone Shark Games Kickstarted Maze of Games, a massive puzzle book in novel form that was in development for 18 years. Maze of Games followed the story of Colleen and Samuel Quaice, siblings in 1897 trapped within a series of deadly puzzles by a skeletal entity called the Gatekeeper. Just to make things worse, these puzzles are presented out of order, so putting the evolving story of the children in order is an essential part of the grand overlying solution. A successful Kickstarter for the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton followed in 2014. 5+ years have passed, and it appeared the book had still not been fully solved, so the team at Lone Shark started preparing a Kickstarter to publish an official solution guide. With only weeks to go until the KS was due to launch, a surprise email revealed that a team of 13 people had finally found the answer. Lone Shark quickly reformatted the Kickstarter, excited that the puzzle was still inspiring people so many years later.
The Maze of Games Omnibus has just launched on Kickstarter and includes not only the original Maze of Games novel, but also The Keymaster’s Tome, a solution guide handwritten by the protagonists, audiobook versions of the Theseus Guide to the Final Maze, and a full radio drama The Gatekeeper’s Variety Hour, both with the voice talent of Wil Wheaton. Finally, the team included a special escape room announcement. Mike and the team at Lone Shark have often envisioned a real world version of the Maze of Games, and such a thing has come to reality thanks to Epic Team Adventures in Seattle.
The Kickstarter for Maze of Games Omnibus continues through April 3, and the books are scheduled to be released in June 2019. For more details on the books, the audiobooks, and the escape room, check the Kickstarter page here.