The first article in our new crowdfunding preview series is about Goblin Uprising from indie publisher Dream Valley Studios. We spoke to game designer Fábio Escalhão Atássio about his debut game and the story behind the development of his game, which will be released on Kickstarter towards the end of October 2022.

Goblin Uprising is a short, fun, and easy-to-learn board game for 2-6 players that takes many of its ideas from fantasy or role-playing games. The focus here is on the history of the world of Eldain and its inhabitants. The goblins are fed up with being treated as scapegoats for everything by the so-called "tall races", consisting of humans, elves, dwarves and the sea people. So it's time for the goblins to fight back and fight the tyranny of the higher races. As is usual with goblins, this takes place with plenty of self-directed mayhem.

The story about Eldain

Dream Valley Studios puts a lot of effort into drawing its players into the story of Goblin Uprising and making the gaming experience as immersive as possible. Starting with the world that Fábio developed together with his brother André. Because the goblins are just tiny remnants of all four elements that the gods used in forging the higher races. From these remains emerged fire, air, earth, and water goblins, respectively, who lived in harmony with the world until attacked by the higher races. The complete, beautifully told story of the world of Eldain can be found on the website of Dream Valley Studios, which I would like to recommend to you. Few games tell their story as creatively and with as much wit as Goblin Uprising.

In addition to the detailed story, there is also a lot of emphasis on immersion during the game. In the course of the game, you build your own goblin with your individual play style, which is becoming more and more popular in Eldain and can thus, for example, receive the favor of protectors. If a goblin asserts itself as a warrior and thus gains the favor of a protector, that protector accompanies it for the rest of the game. This is emphasized by the miniatures, since the figure of the goblin can be placed in the figure of the protector.

Cora - The Cloud Messenger. Copyright: Dream Valley Studios

Protector Cora supports the goblin in the fight against the higher races. Copyright: Dream Valley Studios

You can experience adventures that are mostly connected with a little story. For example, you have to rescue a goblin's friend from a cave. Afterwards you get a goblin as a support in the form of a goblin card as a reward. These goblin cards can then help you with your tasks and also contain little anecdotes to make the game more immersive.

You can tell that a lot of heart and soul has flowed into the world and its stories. Alone from the fact that Fábio passionately told about it.

Peculiarities of the game

The goal of each game in Goblin Uprising is to defeat the tyrant that is in the middle of the modular game board. There is a choice of four tyrants, representing the leaders of each higher race. Each tyrant has different abilities to influence the game:

The Tide King, the tyrant of the merfolk, can flood regions on the map so that you have to flee the region yourself. The Wolfheart Butcher, leader of the elves, is more aggressive and has two forms - the elf and werewolf forms - which he uses to mark goblins as an elf or attack as a wolf. The Bramble Queen rules over humans and can make units stronger across the map. And the tyrant of the dwarves called Molten Empress does her own quests on the map to forge her weapon. With each part of her weapon she becomes stronger and more difficult to defeat.

Nilragg and the four tyrants

Left to right: Dragon Nilragg and the four tyrants: Tide King, Bramble Queen, Wolfheart Butcher & Molten Empress. Copyright: Dream Valley Studios

In addition to the tyrants, there are so-called behavior cards. These represent the winning conditions of the respective game and are revealed in the fifth or sixth round depending on the active tyrant. The behavior cards affect whether the game is played competitively or cooperatively. For example, it can be from that point on that the strongest goblin joins the tyrant and from then on has to compete against his fellow combatants. If you don't feel like playing a competitive game and would rather play purely cooperative, you can simply remove all competitive cards from the game in advance and only use the cooperative cards. Of course, this also works the other way around.

Due to the different abilities of the tyrants and the behavior system, the game and its course are constantly changing, so that the replay value is increased.

history of development

Out of a desire to start something new, Fábio started developing Goblin Uprising about two and a half years ago. With his experience as a board and role player, the latter also as a dungeon master, he developed a world for his new game together with his brother André. At first it was supposed to be a game about animals. However, this idea did not completely convince him and so André suggested Goblins, which gave the two brothers the opportunity to be even more creative in building the world. However, the basic idea of ​​the animals has remained true to the game in the form of protectors.

After a year of development, the basic concept was already quite clear. However, there was the question of how big the game should be. The bigger the game, the more work and expense there is. Of course, as a young indie publisher you have a lot of respect, but the brothers took the risk and developed the game according to their ideas. Here Fábio also sees an advantage over larger companies, since he can realize what he wants as an independent game developer.

Classic Goblin Rising gameplay. The modular map elements can be combined in any way to give the game more variability. Copyright: Dream Valley Studios.

During the development of the game, you received a lot of tips and help from many different people in the board game community. Fábio kept saying that he sees the community as a very big and important factor. He sees his first project as an opportunity to build a community and hopes to get feedback and ideas for future projects such as expansions.

Launch of the Kickstarter campaign in October

The Goblin Uprising crowdfunding campaign will be launched on Kickstarter at the end of October and I'm excited to see how this first attempt turns out. The game is already convincing with its detailed story and beautiful game world. It was also nice to see how excited Fábio talked about his game. There is real heart and soul in it and you can tell that through and through. You can find first impressions of Goblin Uprising on the website of Dream Valley Studios and all common social media sites. Feel free to drop by to see Goblin Uprising for yourself. If you have any questions, Fábio is also at your disposal. If you are interested in the game, you already have the opportunity to do so Kickstarter Page Subscribe so you don't miss the start.


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