Met at work back then, shared a common passion and now founded their own game publisher. The Polish-Austrian publisher al-Khwarizmi Games released its first two games "Space Expatriate" and "Ave, Leo!" at the SPIEL in Essen. We spoke to game designers Alex Pchelintsev and Taras Tomyshch about their fledgling game publisher and their upcoming project.

This article is the eighth part of our series of publisher reviews. In this we introduce publishers and show their history, their current games and can also give a small preview of future projects of the publisher.

Alex and Taras just love board games. This was evident throughout the conversation. Therefore, it is obvious that the big dream of the two is to share their own games and ideas with the world. Since it can be difficult to find a publisher, the two board game enthusiasts decided to set up their own publishing house and market their games under the name al-Khwarizmi Games.

A name with meaning

The name al-Khwarizmi Games does not come from anywhere. It has a deep meaning for the two game designers. Al-Chwarizmi was a Persian mathematician from whose name the term algorithm is derived. Algorithms are an important component, especially in IT, the area in which Alex and Taras work full-time and in which environment they both met about seven years ago. Alex and Taras have been supporting each other in developing their own games for about five years.

Alex and Taras have always had the idea of ​​working and creating together. A year ago, the two decided to found a joint publishing company as a team. The two support each other in their own projects. For this reason, the two have completely different stories about how they came to design their own board games.

The story of two games

Alex has been working on his own board games since 2012. "First you play them, then you decide to make a better board game than the others," he said to me in our conversation. Alex is passionate about developing board games and already has several prototypes and mockups ready. The development of his game "Ave, Leo!" began in the context of a board game challenge. Working on the game, Alex began to delve deeper into the whole process of creating a board game. Out of sheer enthusiasm for board games, he got to know the processes from the idea to the prototype, production and marketing.

Hail Leo! and Space Expatriate are the first two titles from al-Khwarizmi Games. More games are already being planned.

Hail Leo! and Space Expatriate are the first two titles from al-Khwarizmi Games. More games are already being planned. Image: Sven Karsten

Tara's story is a little more recent. As a student, Taras started playing board games. When he first played classics like 7 Wonders or Catan, he realized that the board game world is something he really wants to be a part of. About seven years ago, after graduating from college, Taras moved to Poland to work. There he met people from then smaller publishers, such as Adam Kwapinski, designers of modern games like Nemesis or Frostpunk. He had also just finished his studies and, in addition to his everyday work, managed to achieve something in the board game community.

Knowing that you can also publish your own games with a lot of passion, Taras worked with his friend Ihor on a board game that they offered to various publishers. Here Taras noticed that it is not that easy to find a publisher. So in 2018 they came up with an idea for a quick card game that would be just as fun but cheaper to produce than their original game. Ultimately, “Space Expatriate” emerged from this idea.

pure passion

"Nothing can stop you if you really want it!" With these words, Alex and Taras emphasized their desire to share their games with the people. Now that the two have released their games, their goal is to look for additional publishers to be able to sell their two games in additional markets. In addition, the two work diligently on new game projects. With "Nie mój cyrk!" If everything goes well, a new game should be playable at the SPIEL in Essen this year. "Nie moj cyrk!" is a Polish idiom, which can be compared to the German "Is not my beer". It means that something is not the person's business or has nothing to do with it. "Nie moj cyrk!" becomes a card game, which should live the name, because at some point in the game there will be a situation where you have to say the sentence. The game definitely sounded fun and we're excited for it to come out.

Talking to Alex and Taras, you could tell how much they both love board games. We are all the more excited about the two games from the still young publisher. While Ave, Leo! is a language-neutral, family-friendly gladiator game in which the gladiators collect gold and flee from a lion, Space Expatriate is an easy-to-learn but difficult-to-master engine-builder game in which the players create the best space station have to build. Alex and Taras were kind enough to provide us with review copies so that we could test both games extensively. You will find the reviews for both games here in the coming days If you ever want to take a look at the games from al-Khwarizmi Games, you can find them on their Website .


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