Dinosaur World and the roll-and-write “Rawr 'n Write”, both from Pandasaurus Games, are currently crowdfunding on the Kickstarter platform - and again with great success. It is not a coincidence: the setting and the course of the game are popular with the fans. That was already the case with Dinosaur Island, which made the jump to a localized version via the publisher Feuerland Spiele. Now two more dinosaur games are pushing the market, which should inspire fans of the predecessor, but also new players. We asked Pandasaurus Games what is behind the magic with the dinosaurs.
Pandasaurus Games has already generated more than half a million US dollars - and thus currently the equivalent of 450.000 euros - with the crowdfunding for Dinosaur World and Dinosaur Island: Rawr'n Write as support funds. If over 6.500 fans take part in one of the campaigns, there has to be something more to it than just the next dinosaur titles.
Dinos again? And whether!
Due to the quality of its predecessor Dinosaur Island, published in German by Feuerland Spiele - the expectations of fans are high. Nevertheless: there must be something to the dinosaur magic. We asked Pandasaurus Games what was behind the Kickstarter projects - and the two co-designers Brian Lewis and David McGregor answered.
The publisher's name suggests it, nevertheless: Why again such a strong focus on dinosaurs. We wanted to know what the magic behind the giant lizards was. The answers are hardly surprising, but at the same time fascinating, because behind them there are considerations that probably every “experienced board player” can understand looking back on childhood.
"It seems like dinosaurs will eventually captivate all young people, but some of us just don't grow out of it," says David McGregor. “Watching Jurassic Park at a young age sparked my love for dinosaurs and it matched my love for theme parks. McGregor has always been fascinated by dinosaurs, he says.
And Jurassic Park came out at the right time and "was such an amazing film for the time that it left a lasting impression." His designer partner also tipped the scales for another project: “It was fun to work with Brian after his success with Dinosaur Island”.
Brian Lewis also raves about the Spielberg blockbuster: "I remember seeing Jurassic Park in the cinema and just being amazed at the CGI," explains Lewis. "The story was fun and Steven Spielberg did a great job making such an engaging film." There were additional influences from the video game industry: "I also loved playing Rollercoaster Tycoon on the PC when I was growing up," says Brian Lewis. “I still own it and play it on Steam. So combining these two elements was great fun. "
Dinosaur Island vs. Dinosaur World
Dinosaur Island found many fans in this country, which also means that a large number of players could already have the board game. That's why you don't have to do without Dinosaur World, at least if David McGregor has his way. With the successor, the focus of development is on other factors. McGregor explains: "While Dinosaur World shares much of the same theme with its predecessor, this time around we focused more on the mechanics that give players more control over the operation of their park."
In the Jeeple Tour phase, for example, fans could switch from attraction to attraction and activate them in order to collect points and resources. "This offers a fun little spatial puzzle that wasn't in the original game," explains the author. The creators were aware of the basic problem - the similarity -: "The game obviously has similarities and we often asked if people would be interested, but we had so much fun during the entire design process that we just kept going."
McGregor explains that in direct comparison to Dinosaur Island there are completely different problems for the players to crack at Dinosaur World. It's fun in both cases, but it's clearly different. In Dinosaur World, the focus is more on the "engine building" of the amusement park. What you build and how is reflected directly in the game.
If you haven't played Dinosaur Island, you can also use the “successor” right away. You don't have to have played the predecessor, precisely because it is so mechanically different from Dinosaur World. The essential details are two completely independent board games.
"Dinosaur World shares some of the themes and mechanics of Dinosaur Island, but the experience is completely unique," says David McGregor. But: "Although it is different, it really is not more complex." At Dinosaur World, the focus is on creating chain reactions and placing the tiles. "In some ways, it's more subtle," says McGregor. At Dinosaur Island, the focus was on entertaining visitor management of the park.
Fleet: The Dice Game was the inspiration for the dinosaur dice game
As part of the ongoing crowdfunding campaign by Pandasaurus Games, not only Dinosaur World is available, but with Rawr'n Write a title that picks up on the current trend of roll-and-write games. Not a coincidence, as David McGregor reveals. "I was inspired by Fleet: The Dice Game by Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle."
McGregor personally thinks this roll-and-write is the best on the market. “What inspired me was that fishing boats are activated every other season”. McGregor finds it particularly successful that it uses the basic mechanics of other roll-and-write games, but also "engine building". They wanted to use the good template: “I thought we could take a well-rounded game concept and embed it in a theme park”. Dinosaur Island was born: Rawr-and-Write.
Brian Lewis adds that the dice, which were important in the basic game Dinosaur Island, could be decoupled and a new game could therefore be built. With Dave and Marissa [Ed .: He means the author Marissa Misura] they talked about roll-and-write games, collected ideas and at the end presented the result.
Pandasaurus: "Some games are very good for Kickstarter"
Now Pandasaurus Games has decided to finance the two new dinosaur games via crowdfunding via Kickstarter and not, for example, like Gods love dinosaurs to put directly on the market. Again: It is not a coincidence. There are considerations behind this.
"Certain games are very suitable for Kickstarter because we can explore so many creative possibilities that would not be possible without the additional funding boost," says the publisher Pandasaurus Games. "If you take Dinosaur World as an example, it would be very difficult to get a game out directly to retail stores."
One of the understandable main reasons: The “wow factor”, for example through the illustrations or unique meeples, would not work with a direct retail publication. In addition, you have to set a much higher price for such quality. This shows that the increase in the first edition made possible by Kickstarter is also beneficial for fans. "By working with supporters of the Kickstarter project, we can develop products that develop their full potential and are still accessible to a wide pool of players," said Pandasaurus Games. Even setting up the campaign was anything but easy in Corona times. Getting the marketing machine rolling was one of the biggest problems: “We primarily wanted to send prototypes to our previewers to create video content for the campaign. However, this in and of itself proved difficult as some groups have not been able to play with higher numbers of players this year, not to mention the post delays we are experiencing here. "
Alternatively, they initially looked for virtual alternatives, such as with the digital play sessions, but there were technical difficulties to cope with - and extended playing times. Without good staff, nothing works at Kickstarter: “We have an excellent project manager on our team who works closely with our production facility”. For supporters, the outlook for the future, especially with regard to production, is currently positive: “Although we have to take longer transit times into account, we should not experience any major delays due to the pandemic,” confirms the publisher.
Nevertheless, Corona was noticeable in many places, even during the development of the two games. "The design process slowed down, but we could still meet in rounds with a limited number of players." Some test games were carried out virtually, explains McGregor. Overall, at this point in time, they were already in a late stage of development for both games.
The necessary playtesting was nevertheless noticeably impaired by the pandemic situation. Author David McGregror confirms the importance of physical game meetings for the development of board games: "Many developers were not currently working due to restricted access to playgroups, and those who were working were using the tabletop simulator." The simulator is great, but it makes testing games more difficult. “Dinosaur World can easily be completed in 90 minutes, but the play tests were almost twice as long. The Rawr'n Write is about a 45-minute game, but it took almost two hours, ”says the author.
These online playing times were not ideal, but after a few games they all got much faster. “I love talking to people about design and getting real feedback, and it was a lot harder on the internet” We had some amazing game tests of Rawr'n Write at Gencon 2019, and I would like to have a similar experience with Dinosaur World tests done. "
The contact with the fans and players is essential, and Brian Lewis is particularly pleased that Dinosaur Island has been so well received in this country. “Thank you very much for everyone's support for Dinosaur Island and for our new games. We have really passionate fans and I'm grateful that we have them! " His appeal for the post-corona period: "If you see me at a convention, come by and say hello!"
The Dinosaur World and Dinosaur Island campaign: Rawr'n Write runs via Kickstarter until October 17th. Fans still have plenty of time to support the roll-and-write with a dinosaur theme, the successor to the Dino Park building game or even the bundle of both titles. You have to pay 26 or 60 or 82 euros for it. A small extension is available for around $ 15. The stretch goals are already activated except for one, the last one falls when a financing amount of 545.000 US dollars is reached. The waiting times for the games are comparatively short: the two titles should be sent out as early as July 2021.
Last updated on 27.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API