Our latest in the Upcoming Kickstarter Interview Series, Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game, launching July 14, 2020. This is about a brand new board game set in the world of making movies seems very fun and exciting. It is brought you by Malachi Ray Rempen who has one other successful Kickstarter under his belt and it is a pretty fascinating guy if you ask us. Check out the link below to go directly to the Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game Kickstarter page or continue on for more.
We had some time with Malachi and asked our series of questions to get to the bottom of some of the concerns you may have on your mind before backing. He had great things to say.
1. How would you describe your Kickstarter project in 1 – 2 sentences?
Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game is a cooperative game for 1-4 player where you and your friends work together to write, shoot, edit, and premiere a quality film before running out of time and money. It features dice worker placement and a central geometric puzzle, as well as an opportunity to tell the actual story of your film after it’s complete!
2. Who is behind bringing this to market? What is in your background that brought you to launch this?
I’m Malachi Ray Rempen, and in 2017 I Kickstarted Itchy Feet: the Travel Card Game based on my web comic of the same name. It was a big success, much bigger than I’d anticipated, and so I’ve been inspired to do another – this time, a board game, based on filmmaking. My education and professional background is in filmmaking (mostly writing, directing, and editing – fiction films, documentaries, and commercials), so it’s a theme that’s dear to my heart.
My web comic and promotional work has given me the skills to illustrate the game and do the graphic design and marketing myself. I realized that I kind of have all the skills needed to run a board game publishing company (a small one, of course) and that’s why I’ve recently started up Keen Bean Studio, the publishing label for my game and comic work. I get lots of help from friends and family making my work, but other than that, Keen Bean Studio is just me.
3. What existing games would you compare your game to?
Initially when I thought of the idea of a filmmaking game, I struggled to find the right mechanics. I stumbled upon Deep Space D6, which is a solo dice worker placement game where each die has a different crew face on it. I tried this out and it was super fun. The decision space became instantly interesting, looking at all the different faces you have and what is and isn’t possible given your roll.
Roll Camera evolved into a much bigger game than Deep Space, but it was important enough that I contacted the designer, Tony Go, and he gave me his blessing to use the mechanic in Roll Camera. Other than that, there is a certain Tetris-like geometric puzzle that is similar in a way to something like Isle of Cats, but it’s a surface-level similarity, because you’re using the tiles to create spaces for patterns that the dice create, rather than just covering things up for points. Other than that, though, I haven’t seen the mechanics in Roll Camera used in quite this combination in many other games that I’m aware of.
I don’t credit myself with innovating on purpose necessarily – I just followed my nose with the filmmaking theme. I’m sure people who’ve played many more games than me would be able to do a better job comparing it to other games.
4. What sets your game apart?
What makes Roll Camera! different above all, I’d say, is the attention to detail with the theme. This game is not a simulation of filmmaking, but it *feels* so much like the real thing that every filmmaker I’ve played it with always comments either in the middle or the end that the game is “extremely accurate.” It conjures all the right emotions and stresses involved with putting a film together, and they are legion.
I think that’s because the mechanics were really developed out of the theme – storyboard cards with setup patterns, idea cards hidden in hand from the other players until you “pitch” them, problem cards constantly coming up and getting worse as they go, even the crew dice themselves – all these elements (not to mention the artwork and labeling of everything) was derived directly from the theme, not abstracted from gameplay mechanics.
Yes, in development the mechanics were fine-tuned in a way that has nothing to do with the theme, but they were all sourced from the question, “how can THIS part of filmmaking come alive in the game?” The other thing that makes it special is that after you’ve made the film, you are given story cues you can use to read out your unique movie story.
This is an unusual “mechanic” for a board game, which is usually over once it’s over, but it’s the perfect way in this game to celebrate your triumph over the difficulty of the game, and again completely thematically appropriate.
5. How can everyone be assured that they are going to get quality components and you are going to deliver on all the promises you are making?
I’ve designed, illustrated, Kickstarted and delivered a game before (and before schedule, that one), so I have an idea of what is needed to satisfy backers. But this is a board game, my first, which of course is a big step up in complexity. So yes, things might go wrong, because I don’t know everything and I’m not experienced in every area.
But I’m willing to pay people who are experts to fill the gaps in my own capabilities. I’m okay losing a bit of my own take if it means I can deliver on the promises I make. And that, above all, is the most important thing to me. As a consumer and backer myself, there’s really nothing better than being treated like you matter. And that is what I try to extend to my own backers and customers and clients as well, in all areas of my life (including filmmaking!).
They’ve put their trust in me, and it’s my job to prove to them that their trust was well-placed – not just for me and this game, but for the general trustworthiness of Kickstarters, board games, and small publishers everywhere. If I do well, everyone will be well-represented, and I try to think of it that way. So you can believe I want the best components, the best game, the most affordable price.
6. Why should someone back your project?
You should only back a project if it excites you and activates your imagination. I’ve made Roll Camera! to be the kind of challenging, charming, cooperative experience I like to have myself at the table, so if a puzzly movie-builder sounds like fun to you, check out Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game!
Well we are satisfied!
Solid answers from a pro on the Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game Kickstarter. Follow along with this campaign and think about if it might want to be something you want to get behind. We want to thank Malachi Ray Rempen of Keen Been Studio for taking the time and sharing more about his vision with us. Go to the Kickstarter page at the link below.