In late 2011, Lynnwood board game creator Peter Newland (a 2012 GeekWire Geek of the Week) began work on a “wizard duel” board game. “You cast spells at each other using dominoes and dice,” Newland said, describing the game. “I liked the theme, but the game kept ending in ties.” Three years later, after nearly hundreds of hours of research, development, playtests, tweaks, and planning, Wizard Dodgeball is launching on Kickstarter.
Shortly after running into a wall with the domino duel stalemate, Newland came up with the idea of adding dodgeball into the mix. In describing the creative process during last night’s pre-launch event at Uptown Espresso and Gameporium in West Seattle, Newland called stumbling on the combination of wizards and dodgeballs “a happy accident.”
After just a few playtests of Wizard Dodgeball, Newland knew he was onto something. He studied dodgeball matches on YouTube, downloaded the official rules from the National Dodgeball League website, and began his quest to create the world’s most realistic tabletop dodgeball simulation. With wizards.
He describes the resulting game in his Kickstarter pitch video:
You and your opponent face off as teams of spell-casting dodgeballers in the annual Interplanar Wizard Dodgeball League all-star game. Just like human dodgeball, teams need to get the ball from the center of the court, take it behind the attack lines, and then throw those balls back at the other team to eliminate them from the game.
Wizard Dodgeball’s 2012 “print and play” release was downloaded hundreds of times by game geeks around the world and received a positive reviews from Father Geek, BoardGameGeek contributors, and others. The game was also featured as a finalist in the Cards Against Humanity Tabletop Deathmatch.
Newland hopes to be able to place an order for 2,500 copies of the game, which includes thirteen custom dice and 24 wooden wizard tokens. “The custom dice were the driving factor in determining the Kickstarter goal,” explained Newland. “The game manufacturer I was working with didn’t want to take an order for anything less than 5,000 of each custom die.”
In a few weeks Newland will be heading to Indianapolis to show off his game at Gen Con, North America’s largest tabletop game convention.
If you’d like to try out Wizard Dodgeball here in the Seattle area, Newland will be hosting a number of events throughout the month at local game shops and cafés, as well as exhibiting the game over Labor Day weekend at PAX Prime in the main expo hall.
Copies of Wizard Dodgeball are available through the Kickstarter campaign for $35 through September 2nd.
Disclosure: Tim was a playtester for Wizard Dodgeball, and is friends with Peter Newland.