Akrotiri is 100% official!


If that title doesn’t make sense to you, then let me explain…

Sen and I designed a game called Santorini. It’s a tile laying exploration game that has a pretty clever new mechanic that’s used to find hidden temples. Once we got it to a point where we wanted to show publishers, another game designer pointed out that there was already a game out there called Santorini – by a fellow Game Artisan of Canada no less (we were just new to that wonderful group of game designers at the time).

So we were a bit bummed because that was a cool title. We did some more research and found that the name of an archaeological dig site on Santorini is Akrotiri. We liked it and that became our new title for the game.

The game made it to the finals of the Canadian Game Design of the Year and the first publisher I showed it to was Zev from Z-Man games. I was at BGG.con (a convention in Dallas that’s run by http://www.boardgamegeek.com) and I only had time for a 5 minute pitch. He liked it enough to want to investigate it further.

Then the waiting came. We kept prodding with emails asking about their thoughts and kept waiting to hear from them. Then a few months pass and Filosofia acquires Z-Man Games! So now there’s a whole whack of time that passes as they figure out their new structure and who’s doing what. We do get word from Zev that the people at Filosofia like the game though – so that’s good!

Old prototype of Akrotiri

In the middle of all this, Quined expresses interest in checking it out. We get permission from Z-Man to show it to them (very important! Never show your game to more than one publisher at a time without their knowledge!). They play it and like it, but they don’t like the ending. We explore some other options and we scrap the entire ending we had and find something that feels a lot more organic and obvious. In the end, Quined passes because it’s not heavy enough for them. But we’re happy because we have a new version that plays even better than the old one! We share this with Z-Man Games.

More time passes and I attend the Gathering of Friends last year for the first time. I had connected with Sophie from Filosofia before attending and we agreed that it would be a good place to play it together and come to some sort of agreement. We played a 5 player game of Akrotiri (tip: unless your game plays best with 5 players, always choose to play with fewer!!). Like most tile-laying games, a lot can change before it’s your turn, so Sophia thought that she had to wait until it was her turn to pay attention. Not good.

But she thought the game would be a good 2 player game…! They took the game back with them and tried it a few more times as a 2 player only game – and they liked it! They wanted to do it! Huzzah! They wrote up a contract and sent it to us – and we signed it and sent it back….but it still was never 100% official until this week. Why? Because we got back the signed contract – with their signatures on it too!

So now Akrotiri is happening! It will be a 2 player game, in the same box as the Agricola 2 player game. We’re not sure exactly when it’s coming out, but the artist (the amazing Chris Quilliams!! Check out his stuff!) has already been in contact with us to ask us questions about our thoughts on things like time period and whatnot. Super cool!

So three cheers! We’re super pumped to partner with Z-Man Games on this! We’ll share more news about potential release date as soon as we know more.

-Jay Cormier

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2 thoughts on “Akrotiri is 100% official!

  1. BIG props to Filosofia/Z-man for taking the plunge and calling it a 2 player game. There are far too many games that feel as though they were designed to be 2 player games but published push it to 4 or 5 players in interest to sell more copies but this ends up hurting the titles as people will buy it expecting it to play well and then it doesn’t. I love 2 player games and am now very much looking forward to this.

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  2. Thanks Neil! Sen and I are torn on this issue. We’d love to see a 4 player Akrotiri, but we do understand why the decision has been made. Basically they said that if the game was released as a 4 player game then the main negative thing that would be said in a review would be the downtime. As a 2 player game there is no downtime as you’re always thinking – and you impact the overall map waaay more…just like in a 2 player Carcassonne game. So we’re happy that it’s coming out in its strongest version possible.
    Still…one day it would be cool if there was a 3-4 player expansion for it! 🙂

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