The news broke this Wednesday that three industry veterans have started up a new design studio out of Worthington, Ohio – Laboratory H. They are Jeff and Carla Horger, designers of games such as Thunder Alley, Grand Prix, and Orient Express, along with Jonathan Anglin, graphic designer and art director. Previously the three came together to venture into publishing as Nothing Now Games, but have now switched gears to focus on design and development and leaving the printing, shipping, and fulfillment to their new partnership with Mr. B Games. As stated in their press release:
“Laboratory H, LLC announces its first steps in the board gaming industry. This trio of industry veterans has assembled to create a creative lab dedicated to producing unique, challenging and fun games. In addition to announcing its founding, Laboratory H would also like to thank Mr. B Games for bringing our company into the fold as an affiliate studio of the established senior company.”
There’s a lot of history here that has culminated to this point of origin for Laboratory H, but it’s good to see this is the end result. This is a positive restructuring of skills and abilities to bring about new games and new opportunities. They appear to have one tentative title coming to Kickstarter this fall, Dark Domains, so we will need to keep our eyes peeled on that and what else the future may hold. If you are interested in learning more about Laboratory H and new games in the pipeline from them, I suggest taking a look at their website for more news and announcements.
Nothing Now Games, in cooperation with veteran designer Richard Launius (Arkham Horror, Defenders of the Realm), has created an expansion for Thunder Alley, a board game that emulates stock car racing. The Thunder Alley: Crew Chief expansion “provides a new way to play Thunder Alley by adding strategic options which offset the luck of the draw and allow for more control over your team.”
This 148-card expansion will contain several card sets, including:
- Crew Chief Cards (tweak your strategy and take advantage of the cards in your hand)
- Lap Cards (allow for additional laps to be run and tracked)
- Race to the Finish Cards (replace the original Point Tokens from Thunder Alley by providing larger cards that allow for easier visual identification of positions and points for each player, as well as adding the “Lucky Dog” rule module)
- Track Cards (provides a greater variety of tracks for more unique gameplay)
Stretch goals for this project include 32 Setup Cards (allow you to choose a card that you will get in your hand each and every turn during a race) and 32 Conditional Cards (added to each of Crew Chief Decks and change the game slightly when each card is played).
This project will end on April 30, 2016, with a funding goal of $19,000. For more information on this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.
Few themes speak to the pick up and deliver mechanic as much as cross country truck driving does. Loaded Up & Truckin’ is now on Kickstarter and looks to satisfy your pick and deliver needs as well as area control and push your luck. Loaded Up is designed by new designer Joe Roush and published by Nothing Now Games (NNG). Additionally it is developed by Jeff Horger, who has a lot of industry experience as the designer of Manoeuvre, 20th Century Limited, Thunder Alley & the upcoming Fast & Furious: Full Throttle.
Loaded Up & Truckin’ places you in the position of running a small start up trucking company with the goal of becoming one of the big guys.
All across America trucks rumble across the interstate carrying products from manufacturers to retailers. As a small start-up company with a truck, an office and a dream you are throwing your hat into the ring to challenge the big boys.
The freight has to be moved and there is stiff competition for who can get loads first and who can make the most profitable routes. But watch out, Smokey is on the prowl. So put the hammer down and let it all hang out. You have to get… Loaded Up & Truckin’
Amassing money is one way to score points but your deliveries will be compared to other players as well so truckin’ from city to city picking up and delivering packages along the way will help you win. The rule book is available for download as well so if the game interests you be sure to check it out.
Loaded Up & Truckin’ plays 2-6 in about 20 min. per player and is on Kickstarter now, so head on over and check it out.