October 6th, 2023

Hello, Friend!

It's time for our (semi-ir)regular newsletter: We have an update on our game Diatoms, of course, and lots of other great happenings to share as well. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, be sure to check out the local event invitations below. If you have kids in the 3-6 age range, take a look at our current playtest opportunity. And if you like games (you like games, right?) we've got two great ones to recommend.

Diatoms is funded on Kickstarter!

Yes! We are funded! Thank you everyone who has supported and backed! We are have over 550 people who have already pledged for a copy of the game! That's amazing!

The campaign ends Oct. 26th, so there's still time to order your copy of the game if you haven't already. We just revealed the final box art, a gorgeous design from Diatoms' illustrator Nim Ben-Reuven!

We're currently working on a few stretch goals to add more content and sparkle to the game. Back now and share the link with your friends!

Ludoliminal & Diatoms Sightings in the World!

Photos with backers and playtesters at PGX

I took Diatoms to the Pittsburgh Gaming Expo last weekend and had a blast. So many backers and playtesters stopped by! And myself alongside fellow local designers Shawn Patton (Surprisingly Fun Games) and Tyler Crumrine (Possible Worlds) had a great time in our panel, Tales from Pittsburgh Game Making.

This week while I'm in Pittsburgh our friends at Dina Said So Studio are in Germany at SPIEL Essen, the largest board game industry show in the world, with a copy of Diatoms! And just this morning, Diatoms was featured at the Kickstarter coffee break booth at SPIEL- surprise!

Diatoms in Dina's hand at SPIEL Essen!
Diatoms featured day at the Kickstarter booth at SPIEL.

Pittsburgh friends, you're invited...

If you're local to the Pittsburgh area, I have two special invitations for you!

On Sunday Oct. 8th, 1-3pm I'll be doing a live, in-person Designer Q&A and Diatoms demo at Games Unlimited. Come check out the game prototype and ask any questions you want about the game. (Bonus! If you stop by and show me your backer status, I'll have a tiny diatoms-themed thank-you for you!)

On Sunday Oct. 15th, 12-4:30pm join Ludoliminal and Carnegie Mellon's Center for Transformational Play for the first ever Pittsburgh Playtest Game Lab day! Anyone is invited to sign up to come play. If you're a local game designer, you're invited to bring one of your in-progress games. Learn more and RSVP here.

"Games to Play"
These two games are each particularly wonderful for playing together. Here's why:
Sweet Deals - This is a super cute card game where you try to collect the highest scoring set of desserts. You take turns offering up a secret dessert for sale from your hand. Everyone else bids on that dessert- they're paying you with chocolate coins cards.. which are also the dessert cards! So every card swap is a chance to improve your dessert collection. When the first player reaches a "sweet six" set of matching desserts, the game is over and everyone tallies their points. This game is a small box but big fun that lets up to 8 players play at once (or 16, if you combine 2 decks! Yes, really!) Gameplay is simple, the theme is adorable, and there's both hidden strategy and social negotiation involved, making this a fun game to play with groups of mixed ages. And bonus for our Pittsburgh followers, the designer (Shawn Patton from Surprisingly Fun Games,) is from Pittsburgh and will be doing a designer Q& A and signing copies at Games Unlimited on October 29th, 1-3pm.
It Takes Two - This is another great game I co-played with our 10-year-old. This game is SUPER cooperative and filled with a dazzling array of different levels featuring new powers to master. You play as unhappy, divorcing couple May and Cody, who have been turned into tiny dolls by the magical power of their daughter's tears. Led on by a talking book, you make a surreal journey to try to undo the magic on you and reunite with your daughter. Along the way, May and Cody face various obstacles from their lives, including neglected personal passions and forgotten shared joys. Since this game is fundamentally centered on the story of a family experiencing divorce, it may not be for everyone. The gameplay is also pretty challenging at times, making this a game we recommend for ages 10 and up. And also, it is one of the best examples of cooperative game design I've seen in a game, with each level finding new ways to give your and your co-player new powers that compliment one another and are fun to master together. We played on Playstation 5 but it's also available on XBox, Switch, and PC. Expect to spend 10-12 hours at least to reach the game end.

Seeking Families with Kids Ages 3-6 to playtest iOS math game

We're currently running playtests for an in-development game that is designed to encourage and support mathematical thinking and identity in young children. If your family has kids in the 3-6 age range, we invite you to sign up to playtest with us. There are two ways to playtest:

Remote Playtesting: You download the app at home, try it out for a week, then going a phone interview with us.

In-Person Playtesting (Must be in Pittsburgh, PA): Join us in person in East Liberty on Saturday October 21th or Saturday October 28th. You play for 20 minutes and then answer followup questions.

Families that complete the entire playtest will receive a small monetary gift card and, if you like, a complimentary subscription to the game you playtested (for Apple store).

Use the signup link to apply for this special ongoing playtest and we'll reach out to get you scheduled.

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a selection of images from the ludoliminal instagram account
Invitation to join the Ludoliminal discord server