PAX Australia 2017 Focus – Rule & Make

I have a lot of time for Allen Chang from Rule & Make.  He’s a genuine person who shared a dream with his friend Alistair Kearney to make board games and pursued it.  I’m proud to say that I was around close to the beginning of the Rule & Make story and it’s been an absolute privilege to see them achieve the goals they have in such a short time.  It wasn’t a walk in the park though, and both gentlemen have put in a lot of hours and made numerous sacrifices (long periods away from home and family) to get where they are today.

From their humble beginnings with the tournament card case to board game adaptations of some of the biggest movie franchises in the world, it’s been quite an adventure.  I managed to catch up with Allen at PAX Australia 2017 for a chat and to talk about that very adventure, T2029 – An Official Terminator 2 Board Game and what might be on the horizon for Rule & Make.

After the enormous success of Hand of Fate: Ordeals on Kickstarter which achieved a mind boggling $490,629 AUD, we all thought that an official Terminator 2 board game would achieve similar results if not even greater.  Sadly, and with great surprise, it did not.  As Allen explains in the interview, it may very well be the target demographic and their expectations.  The game might simply have not been suited for Kickstarter.

Speaking to colleagues in the industry, I know there was a consensus that there was very little in the way of ‘hands-on time’ with the game, and very few previews online.  Previously we’ve always managed to sit down and play Rule & Make titles before they appeared on Kickstarter; T2029 marked a departure from this routine.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to claim some form of entitlement here, more pointing out that something was very different with this particular campaign.  For whatever reason, it’s clear Allen and Alistair tried a different approach with T2029, and perhaps rightly so being that it’s a globally recognized IP.

Allen and Alistair have always faced these kinds of challenges head on, which is what’s brought them the success they’re enjoying today and what has made them pioneers in the Australian tabletop gaming industry.  I have absolutely no doubt they’ll dissect this latest set back and be back with a vengeance, and Allen has suggested quite possibly forgoing the Kickstarter route all together.

Check out the Rule & Make website –

and throw them a like on Facebook –

and last but not least if you have a board game of your own that you are working on and perhaps need a little help or would like some feedback, checkout the Tabletop Game Designers of Australia Facebook Group here –

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