As a primarily Euro gamer, I often hear criticism about the bits in my games. “Cubes are so boring.” “What’s thematic about a meeple?” “I can’t use my imagination one little bit to consider that disc to be anything other than a round piece of wood.”
Okay, that last one was my caricature.
The point is, games are only good if you can get people to play them, so I’m always keen to add extra bling to my games to attract new players. Which is why I’ve been especially interested in MeepleSource.com’s work. They make customized meeples and other bits to add flair to games. Plus, they look awesome.
Meeple Source is on Kickstarter today with a new project, and Cynthia Landon, one of the owners, answered our questions about their campaign.
Tell us about your campaign. Why are you on Kickstarter?
We have been making our line of character meeples for about three years now. This past November we attended BGG.con as a vendor for the first time (usually we go as attendees). We had a really great time meeting a lot of our customers. It was a really rewarding experience, and we learned a lot about what people hoped to see us make in the future. Our character meeples were especially popular, and we received many great requests. We realized if we wanted to produce so many great ideas in a short period of time, we were going to need a little help making it happen.
Meeple Source is not a Kickstarter start-up. How did it come into being? What got you into making custom board game components?
Long before character meeples, we were doing regular meeples, cubes, and other more basic pieces in new colors that weren’t as available. Our first experiments with multicolor pieces were our “camo meeples,” which we thought were pretty amazing. Looking back, they really were, for their time.
The vision just grew from there. Chris, my brother and business partner, has two young sons. We just kept thinking how much more fun (especially with them) many games would be, if they only had even more amazing pieces. Our very first character meeples were ninjas and pirates, and it has grown from there. We have had a few missteps along the way (painting such intricate designs in so many colors, on pieces that small is about as difficult as you might imagine), and in the beginning we had some “learning experiences” as we figured out what worked and what doesn’t.
Now that we have had a couple of years of experience, and a growing product line, we won’t ever be happy with cubes and standard pawns when we can play with tiny painted corn, cows, vikings, and princesses.
What have you learned from your years in the business?
What we’ve learned is that being a part of this industry is really fun. Everyone we’ve met and worked with… game designers, publishers, podcasters, retailers, and of course our customers, have made our jobs really fulfilling and enjoyable.
What is it like to run this business with your sibling? Are there any games you can’t play together? (I know that I can’t play Risk with my sister…)
Working together as siblings is an interesting and rewarding experience. Of course we don’t always see eye to eye on the small things, but when it comes to the whole of our vision, we are definitely on the same page.I actually love playing games with my family. It is usually a great experience, although it is funny you mention it… Chris and I just attended Gulf Games this week with our dad, and there was this one heated “incident” during a final round of Hanabi. I can assure you though… I was right… there was definitely a better clue that Chris should have given!
Which of your character meeple designs is your favorite?
Well everyone has their own favorites, so I will separate my answers from Chris’s on this one. From our characters we already have made, my favorites are the viking and the caveman. Chris really loves the peg-leg pirate and the outlaw. Of the 50 new characters from the Kickstarter, there are so many good ones… it is really hard to narrow it down. Personally, I love the set that we have put together of wizards, fighters, rogues, and clerics that are great for Lords of Waterdeep. I’m also really hoping for the Zombie Apocalypse stretch goal!
You mentioned earlier that you went to BGG.Con as a vendor in 2013. Do you have plans to attend any conventions in 2014 (as a vendor or otherwise)?
As of now, two conventions we are definitely attending as vendors are The Dice Tower Con in Orlando (July) and BGG.CON (November). There is a possibility of one or two others (maybe even Essen), but that may depend on where we are at in our delivery timetable for this Kickstarter project!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
Meeple Source’s Kickstarter campaign for new character meeple designs is live–check it out! You can also visit MeepleSource.com to see their existing product line, including other game bits, gaming accessories, and gaming apparel.
This post was promoted by MeepleSource.com. Pictures are by MeepleSource.com.