NOTES FROM THE TABLE – The Publisher’s Blog

First published November 19, 2013 – Dice Hate Me Games and Unpub want YOU… to design a game! The challenge? Create a fun, engaging game using only 54 cards and then put it in front of a bunch of strangers to see how you fared! Interested? Here are the details!

All contest submissions are due by the end of day Jan. 2, 2014. Please submit rules in PDF to before the due date (I suggest by Dec. 24, 2014)  and request the DHMG HQ address to send physical prototypes. Prototypes can be in any playable form – anything from simple paper cutouts, stickered standard decks of cards, sleeved cards or even decks created using print-on-demand services. These do not have to be fancy – no points will be awarded for slick graphic design.

Only one entry per person is allowed. Send us your best!

All submitted game entries will be evaluated and judged by a group of local Durham, NC playtesters before Unpub 4  in Dover, Delware on Jan. 18, 2014. The top six games will be played and judged at Unpub 4 by a group of playtesters to be determined. The game submission that garners the highest voting score will receive a publication contract with Dice Hate Me Games, to be included as part of a special Kickstarter campaign in Spring 2014 with two other 54-card games. These games will be produced domestically, and will be limited to 500 units. This will officially introduce the “Rabbit” line of Dice Hate Me Games, and the designer(s) of the best-received game of this group of three will have the option of a further publishing contract with Dice Hate Me Games for a larger print run later in 2014.

Further guidelines for the project:

1) The game must be comprised of NO MORE than 54 cards. The game can incorporate fewer than 54 cards, but designers should bear in mind that this contest is not necessarily for a “mini-game”; the use of 54 cards offers the chance for a lot of depth-of-play, so design accordingly.

2) Rules should fit on a single 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. The rules may be double-sided.

3) Cards MAY contain game information on both sides of the cards, essentially creating a 55- to 108-card deck. However, designers should bear in mind both the form and function of their designs – if the game is awkward to play just so you can fit more cards in the deck then it is ultimately not worth the risk.

4) Games should utilize minimal counters or components. Any possible counters or components to be used in the game should be something that is easily found in a typical household, such as loose change or, possibly, a six-sided die. Bear in mind that the final, published design will NOT include any additional components other than cards, so design accordingly.

5) Regarding themes – designers should consider themes with a “family first” mentality. No vulgar or pornographic themes will be accepted. A good rule of thumb is to bear in mind the typical themes that are produced by Dice Hate Me Games – approachable by a wide audience, yet rich with character. The final theme may be discussed and altered with the winner. However, designers are encouraged to think about how their theme is incorporated with the mechanics of the game. Judges’ points will be awarded accordingly.

6) Prototypes should not include any artwork or photos that have a copyright. Creative Commons License artwork is acceptable. Final artwork for the winning entry will be created/provided by Dice Hate Me Games, unless otherwised discussed and arranged with the designer.

7) Clones of other games are not allowed. For instance, a retheming of the classic card game “Hearts” would be automatically rejected. Utilizing classic mechanics such as trick taking or set collection is allowed, and new twists on old favorites is encouraged.

8 ) There is no minimal player count. Solo games are acceptable.

Any further questions should be directed to Now get out there and create something awesome!

All the best,
Chris Kirkman



First published March 13, 2013 – Dice Hate Me Games is pleased to announce the addition of three new games to its projected product line-up for 2013.


VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game, or, more simply, VivaJava Dice, is the successor to the well-received 2012 release of VivaJava: The Coffee Game. Just as in its predecessor, players of VivaJava Dice take on the roles of employees at the VivaJava CoffeeCo., scouring the globe for the best beans to keep the company on top while keeping themselves one step ahead of the rest of the executives.

Also as in VivaJava, VivaJava Dice has players making the crucial decision between blending beans and research, but with a quick, new twist. Players must now use the dice in their pool to blend – using the beans to create a best-seller for quick points, and then whether to press their luck in subsequent rounds for bigger points but less dice as the blends degrade – or to research, and use their valuable beans to gain an ever-changing variety of dice-manipulating abilities, new ways to score, and paths that lead to aiding a competitor for a later payoff or hindering that competitor for immediate gratification. VivaJava Dice also offers a unique system of cooperative dice-rolling that can help you rise to the top, but at the price of someone else riding your coattails

With an astounding mix of plug-and-play research abilities, subtle social play in semi-cooperative mode, and the chance to hog all the glory and blend the best for yourself, VivaJava Dice is all about choice, making each game fast and furiously different.

VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game is a game for 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, and designed by TC Petty III. It is set for a late-Spring Kickstarter campaign with a Q4 release from Dice Hate Me Games.


It is the eve of Carnivale on the magical Victorian isle of Ludobel, and you are all invited to the fantastical festivities!

In the card game Belle of the Ball, players take on the roles of party hosts, seeking the best mix of guests to make their gala the greatest by the end of the night. In order to ensure that they stay one step ahead of the other hosts, players will have to carefully watch the growing line of guests at the door, inviting those in that seem to share passions with party-goers already inside, all the while handing out their precious stash of Regrets to those who should seek refuge elsewhere. Of course, other hosts may find it advantageous to invite a rejected guest inside just to collect their accumulated Regrets for later use.

Hosts may also choose to ignore the competition for guests and instead try to earn the favor of the Belle of the Ball herself, whose charms can make or break any party.

Belle of the Ball is a card game for 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, and designed by the award-winning Daniel Solis, creator of Happy Birthday, Robot and Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. Belle of the Ball will feature art from fantastic character illustrator Jacqui Davis, veteran artist of titles such as Formula E, Viticulture and Warhammer. The game is slated for a late-summer Kickstarter campaign with a Q1 2014 release from Dice Hate Me Games.


It’s a time of regrowth in the old urban center, and the hippest and best beer crafters have gathered both hops and hopes in building the best brewery in the city. It won’t be an easy task, as players compete for precious resources such as malt, yeast, fruit and spices in the local markets, all while managing and optimizing their growing bottling empires.

In Brew Crafters, players assume management of a local craft brewery, working hard to manage resources, use their workers wisely, and develop their brewing line to create the best local brews. Brew Crafters honors the tradition of classic Euro games such as Agricola and Puerto Rico, but at its heart beats a unique brewery processing system that must be constantly improved, monitored and manned in order to keep the beloved beverages rolling off the line. Each brewery has access to a variety of equipment upgrades, local farms, markets, and a plethora of specialty workers, ensuring a high level of replayability and strategic avenues. In addition, each player is studiously working to be first to develop several rotating gold-label specialty recipes that will earn them extra points and prestige at the end of year three when the best local brewer will be honored.

Brew Crafters is a unique blend of Euro gaming sensibilities and American brewing pride, developed by Ben Rosset, creator of Mars Needs Mechanics. It is a game for 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, and is slated for an October Kickstarter campaign with a Q2 2014 release from Dice Hate Me Games.


Better Gaming Through Careful Consideration – First published 10/28/2012

Most of you know that our primary mission at Dice Hate Me Games is to bring entertaining, innovative and challenging games to the table. But a key part of that mission lies in our roots at Dice Hate Me where we provide interesting discussion and commentary on the world of board games. Since we tend to look more at the games of others that have graced our table on Dice Hate Me, we thought we would periodically provide some more insight into our games and plans here on the Dice Hate Me Games website.

Today I’m here to talk about our plans for Darrell Louder’s Compounded and shine a little light on development and the thought process that goes into timing a game for production, for Kickstarter and for release.

When we initially approached Darrell about adding Compounded to our library in January of this year, our first thoughts were to wait until January 2013 for a launch on Kickstarter. The campaign for VivaJava: The Coffee Game had not yet begun, and development on Soapbox Derby and Take the Bait was well underway. It seemed like natural timing then, but as VivaJava’s campaign came to a close and Carnival sales steadily rose, in our excitement we began to think about accelerating the release line-up.

We officially announced that Compounded would be a Dice Hate Me Games production at Origins in May. At that time, the gameplay was just a matter of tightening some loose ends and graphic design was nearly finished. With Take the Bait still in art development, we had to make a tough decision – continue to hold Compounded until January, or possibly switch its release with Take the Bait and shoot for the fall. We aimed for the latter, soon spreading word that Compounded would be moved up to late October for a Kickstarter release.

And then we met Jason Kotarski. Two weeks after Origins, we signed him and his game, and a month after that The Great Heartland Hauling Co. was trucking right along on Kickstarter. Heartland took front and center for our planned Soapbox Derby campaign while we investigated some possible trademark issues. This was, all in all, a very good thing, but Heartland was also a much bigger project than Soapbox was ever intended to be. With in-house art development and some last-minute end-game tweaks for polish being done by us, we knew that it would be quite a push to get Compounded its time in the spotlight before a late-October launch. This, combined with VivaJava’s early October delivery, would have us burning the midnight oil for most of that month to get everything done, and done right.

Doing things right ultimately weighed most heavily on our minds and we had to make another tough choice – push Compounded back to its original January Kickstarter release date despite our eagerness to get it out to gamers. After much discussion, this decision made sense for several reasons:

1) VivaJava. By clearing our plates for the remainder of the year, this allows us to dedicate our time and efforts to making sure VivaJava is delivered and marketed to gamers who were not part of the initial Kickstarter campaign. We have every confidence that VivaJava will be a hit once it’s released in game stores, and this extra time will allow us to make connections with retailers and make sure they know how to Get Caffeinated.

2) Chinese New Year. One of the interesting quirks in modern board game publishing is learning to time production around two events: Essen Spiel and Chinese New Year. In Compounded’s case, if funding was wrapped up at the beginning of December, it’s likely that production would be delayed by the almost month-long shutdown of factories during Chinese New Year’s. In fact, by holding Compounded’s funding and production cycle back until mid-February, we will be able to begin production on the game after factories re-open. Otherwise, earlier production may have stopped mid-cycle, affecting delivery dates and, possibly, quality.

3) Unpub 3. Cartrunk Entertainment’s very first Unpublished Games Festival was not only the birthplace of Compounded, but it is also the reason it exists in the first place. We just felt that it was most appropriate to tie the launch of Compounded into the dates of Unpub 3 and celebrate Compounded’s history at the festival.

With all that said, we can now officially announce that Compounded will be released on Kickstarter at 12:01 a.m. Friday, January 18, 2013. And that’s our final word!

We are really looking forward to introducing all of you to Compounded – it is an amazing game with an amazing story. And we hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about some of our decisions on when and how best to make sure that Compounded gets made, and gets made right.

Look for more insights into our thoughts, development decisions and publishing processes soon, right here at Dice Hate Me Games.

– Chris Kirkman


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Issue #23 – Lab Party!

Issue #22 – Let’s Get Chemical

Issue #21 – Happy Holidays!

Issue #20 – Caffeine, Compounds and Careful Consideration

Issue #19 – The Great Escapist!

Issue #18 – It’s Time to Get Trucking!

Issue #17 – Loading Up!

Issue #16 – Trucking Right Along

Issue #15 – Better Gaming Through Chemistry

Issue #14 – Get Lucky!

Issue #13 – It’s Like a Carnival!

Issue #12 – The Big Game Before the Big Game

Issue #11 – Time to Get Caffeinated!

Issue #10 – Tis the Season

Issue #9 – It’s So Beautiful!

Issue #8 – Carnie College

Issue #7 – The Homestretch

Issue #6 – A Pulsar Peek

Issue #5 – Project of the Day!

Issue #4 – One Wild Ride

Issue #3 – Special Announcement!

Issue #2 – Kickstarter Here We Come!

Issue #1 – Welcome!