The Morrison brothers understand that life is unfair, but they felt that a game should play by a different code. They’d played board games since their childhood and while they saw themselves as, as big brother Spencer Phillip F. Morrison acknowledges, “kings of chess, great generals of Stratego, and the Machiavellian masters of Settlers of Cain,” they were still only in elementary school. But those years taught them what makes a great game. Fast forward fifteen years and the board games the pre-teen kids played have turned into “bored” games for the twentysomething Morrisons. What’s the problem with the old games? Chess openings don’t change; Settlers of Cain depends too much on luck. Enter Kerak, which doesn’t rely on luck. When Dylan Morrison learned more about his brother’s concept for a new direction for strategy games, he was in. Add Kickstarter, and the plans to turn Kerak into a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise $18,476 by March 31 were underway.
Before you dismiss the brothers as merely enthusiastic gamer geeks, note that they’re both university graduates (with degrees in medieval history and neuroscience) and are currently enrolled in law school. They’re confident that their backgrounds equip them to handle whatever might come up. But the brothers were clearly destined to design a game. The creativity of childhood steered them into innovation (they once created a world where erasers were sentient beings). The first Kerak set was made of watercolor paper, markers, and shiny metallic paint. The cutting was irregular and the hexagons lopsided, but they were on their way. Now, the 16 X 16 inch Kerak board, with its vibrant colors, rich Gothic illumination and lustrous gold, silver, and copper foil-stamped playing spaces, delivers a game that you’ll love to own as much as you enjoy playing it. Your red and blue pieces—two knights, two castles, two heroes, two cavalry, two infantry, two archers—will be kept in two embroidered pouches. A copy of the rules and two cheat sheets to jog your memory also come with the game.
The game starts when players place their pieces on the board in any configuration they choose. Because there aren’t even numbers of all the pieces and because of the hexagonal shape of the board, every game is asymmetrical, making it impossible to copy your opponent’s set-up. What Kerak does have that sets it apart from most games is its unmatched strategic depth. The pieces in Kerak can support each other and can form alliances in pairs or in a group. That’s very different from the rigid rules of chess, where a pawn can capture a knight, even if the knight is neighbored by a rook.
The production timeline starts with the crowdfunding to raise money. While the campaign runs, the brothers will finalize the product design and seek feedback from the Kickstarter community. Next comes the manufacturing and shipping. Panda Game Manufacturing will take four to six months to build Kerak and during that time, the Morrisons will keep everyone updated on the progress of the game with information posted on their website at www.kerak.net. They’ll be supporting local tournaments along with school and college gaming clubs and they’re looking forward to playing Kerak with fans.
Take your gaming to a brand new level with Kerak’s simple formula for board game success: strategy reborn, redefined, re-engineered.
Visit this great campaign now!