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Copper Frog Games – 2019 Roundup

2019 was a year of huge victories, troubled production timelines, and many, many games played for Copper Frog Games. We finished fulfilling The Meeple Machine Kickstarter, ran a Kickstarter for Chiseled which did not succeed, and did work on several major game and convention projects that will extend through to the end of 2020, and beyond.

The Meeple Machine debuted at PAX East 2019 this Spring to much aplomb. Over the weekend, hundreds of meeples left in the hands of excited gamers of all ages, and this process was repeated at Boston FIG Fest and PAX Unplugged later in the year. One of the most common questions I got was “Can I get my own machine?” The answer is, “Yes, eventually.” Eric Badger is working on a new base design that will allow for improved transit and recovery of recycled capsules, and once that’s done, we’re happy to share this product with conventions, game cafes, and stores. Plus, we debuted some GIANT meeples for 9th Level Games’ great cooperative game Meeple Party at PAX Unplugged; we’ll have those for sale at our booth soon, too! More meeples for all!

One of the surprise hits of Meeple Machine Meepledom was the microgame “MeepFrog”. While we delivered many copies to backers from The Meeple Machine Kickstarter, we officially sold it for the first time at PAX Unplugged in December. We brought about 30 copies, plus a neoprene version of the board for demos, and it ultimately sold out! Emboldened by this success, we’re going to be bringing many more to the next conventions we attend, and will likely run a second Kickstarter for our next in-development meeple game, “Meeples and Spaghetti” in mid-to-late 2020. This game sprang from everyone mishearing me when I pronounce “meeple” and thinking “meatball”, so hey, why not? Puns are fun, and little games in bags are always great at conventions. We may even start offering sales of this game via the website, but that is up in the air and dependent on continued customer interest.

Pigment continued to be the big success of 2019. After delivering to backers in May 2018, we attempted to get retail distribution interested in Pigment over the next few months, leading into Gen Con 2018. While that ultimately proved unviable, we DID manage to sell out of almost ALL of that initial print run at conventions and through local Massachusetts retailers since then. With many Boston-area game and comic shops stocking Pigment, we are down to 2 cases of 54 games remaining. One of those is earmarked to the Chiseled Kickstarter relaunch, where backers can get Chiseled AND Pigment AND some Meeple Machine meeples for their pledge, but once the last case is gone, it’s gone. As of writing, we have 19 copies available via the Copper Frog Games website, and I assume they’ll be gone by February.

As a result of the popularity of Pigment, and relying on feedback from playtesters, retailers, and distributors, we are aiming to do some new things with the Pigment mechanics and theme in the coming year, assuming Chiseled gets funded. We’re excited to share more tales out of The Grand Bazaar as we get closer to the summer…

Chiseled was an unsung trooper for us this year. We launched a Kickstarter in August for it, with the aim of shipping by PAX East 2020, but that proved unsuccessful due to the cost of trying to do 2 different versions. The Deluxe version would have far outsold the base game, though, and as such, we’re moving towards a February 2020 relaunch with one version (containing the Deluxe contents), and a more streamlined page with more how-to-play content. We’re extremely grateful for all the press contacts who loved and appreciated Chiseled the first go-around, and are excited to debut new and improved art, graphic design, and scoring patterns as we get closer to February. It’s looking great, and we hope you’ll back.

Looking ahead to 2020, here are some of the major events to watch out for:

  • Chiseled Kickstarter relaunch: February 2020
  • PAX East 2020 appearance with Knight Moves Cafe: March 2020
  • Meeples and Spaghetti Kickstarter: Summer 2020
  • Pigment: The Grand Bazaar updates: Summer 2020
  • PAX Unplugged 2020: December 2020, (ideally with Chiseled delivered by then!)

There are so many people I’d like to thank for supporting us this year: from the media side, Lizzy and Derek Funkhouser of Board Game Spotlight, Daniel Zayas, Bebo and Tatiana Quigley of Tabletop Backer Party, Jeremy Howard of Man vs Meeple, Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower (we’ll get you a Meeple Machine soon, don’t worry!), JW Cornelius of Pirate’s Parley Gaming, and many more.

From production, convention demos, and playtesting, thank you to Eric Badger of Badger Crafts, (who got married to his lovely wife Rachel in November, yet still managed to get many, many, many meeples made for PAX Unplugged, including giant ones!), Jason Martin, John Anderson, Mark Murdough, Dan Polansky, Will Spreadbury, The Boston Game Maker’s Guild, and Jason Martin AGAIN.

Finally, thanks to all the customers who have supported Copper Frog Games at stores around the Boston area (plus all the stores who took a chance on us and stock Pigment!), or demoed games with us at conventions, or have bought a game for the art lover in your life, for yourself, or just to support local small business. You are the reason we can keep making games day-in and day-out.

Until next update, I hope you have a beautiful transition to the new year, and that you’re as excited as I am for the future of Copper Frog Games LLC.

Sincerely,

Michael Epstein
Director, Lead Designer
Copper Frog Games LLC