Business Spotlight: KnA Games
Kevin: As you get older, you get more nostalgic about everything. You know, once I got in my 30s, and now I’m in my early 40s, it’s just like everything that you remember as you were a kid, you just love it. So, we got all the old game systems…just anything kind of retro, we just love it.
Kevin: But, yeah, people do look at you a little funny because the first thing they think is that you made a video game. Because that’s the first thing people think of. But you tell them it’s a board game and they’re kind of like oh okay. Most people feel like board games are those 8 games they sell at Target.
Kevin: Probably when I was 7 or 8 years old, I used to create games. Just like little board games back then. Just sit at the kitchen table. I guess that’s where it all came from.
April: It was definitely a challenge. We learned so much about how to produce a game, a board game. I mean there are a lot more components and everything involved with this than we were used to with our previous releases.
Kevin: This project is so much bigger than the ones we did before. I mean all of our energy is in this. We do have other games that we’ve done.
Kevin: Right now, we’re handling everything out of our house, out of our garage. It’s been a very difficult and challenging thing even at the level we’re at, which is rather small. The first card game we ever did paid for the second. The second card game paid for this. Now, this has got to do well enough in order for something else to happen.
April: We both have full-time jobs so this is just something we do in our spare time. It’s kind of a hobby as well as a company.
Kevin: I’m more on the creative side. She’s more of the editor side so every component in the game we both created together. It took us a full year of working really hard at night, every night and on the weekends, working with the artist who did the illustrations, play-testing over and over…we’ve played it hundreds of times. We had to build a good solid foundation that was still difficult but able to be made more difficult in the future.
Kevin: It’s a great game for families and groups because there’s really a lot of player interaction and talking. And, the die role mechanic, of course, brings in a lot of laughs.
April: As far as we know, this is not something that’s been done before. In our game, you really need to kind of like…like marbles almost…shoot the die. So, it’s always fun to watch people figure out “Okay, I can’t really aim when I do it that way,” and they kind of like learn a new way of rolling dice. That’s always a fun part for me.
Kevin: Late in the game, especially at our demos, almost every group…they’ll be on their feet, standing up around the table, kind of pacing and throwing the dice in. That’s something you just did not see in board games before. People cheering and high-fiving…again, that’s something you never saw in board games before.
April: I guess it’s the closest experience that geeks can come to being like a rock star because people are just like, “This is so awesome and I can’t believe you made this.”
Kevin: Writers and directors and actors, musicians…they all deal with this sort of thing. You create something that feels right to you and you’re making something that you love but you just have no idea how it’s going to be accepted when it gets out there in the world.
Kevin: When a total stranger – you see them and they don’t even know that you’re the designer – you’re watching them and they’re just having a great time…that kind of justifies everything that we’ve tried to accomplish.
Kevin: Hi, I’m Kevin.
April: And I’m April. And, we’re the owners of KnA Games.