Interview with CGE's Lenka Holubová

When it comes to board games, at the end of the day, what matters is to have fun. And this company has managed to do just this: publish board games that have fun! CGE, a Czech publishing company with very successful titles, such as, Dungeon Petz, Galaxy Trucker and Tzolk'in, is now celebrating the 5 years from the creation of another great game, Dungeon Lords. Lenka Holubová, responsible for Marketing & PR of CGE answers our questions on their Kickstarter project and not only!

First, for people who have never heard of Dungeon Lords before, can you let us a bit about the game?

Happy to :) So Dungeon Lords is a game by the awesome Vlaada Chvatil. The game was first published in 2009, so it’s 5 years old already. It is for 2 to 4 players who represent the young masters of the underground. Players get to dig tunnels, mine gold, hire monsters, create traps and take care of all the things a proper dungeon needs. But the competition for resources can be quite stiff and sometimes you have to get a bit evil to get what you want – and the more evil you get, the stronger the adventurers your dungeon attracts.

Twice a game, these adventurers set off to conquer your dungeon. Players command their monsters and use traps to stop them, before they do too much damage. In the end, players score points based on their achievements: constructing and defending the dungeon, and perhaps winning some prestigious titles. It is very rich with theme and beautifully illustrated game by the artist David Cochard, whose attention to detail brings the imp world to life.

What did CGE see in that game to make them decide to publish it?

Well, it is quite simple. The games we publish are the games we like ourselves. We are always trying to find something new, innovative and with a strong theme. And Dungeon Lords was just like that! Not only it was quite complex when Vlaada came up with the game, but the theme was just awesome. After that there was the task to bring the game to life through some awesome graphics. And then David Cochard came to the scene. He was the first person outside the Czech republic that we cooperated with, and it was just great! He created the world beyond our imagination and was a huge part of the Dungeon Lords success.

It's been 5 years since the first edition of the game and you decided to create a Dungeon Lords anniversary edition. What is different about it?

Well, right now it has loads of new stuff! We started with the upgraded components, a new mini-expansion, food stickers and a new beautifully illustrated XXL box. But the community has supported us so much that we have already met 9 stretch goals. With these we are able to offer many other extras such as new cards, troll figures, glass tokens or a new progress board, and create a true collector's edition.

How did you choose the special perks for this edition?

Basically we offered the stuff we would enjoy ourselves having in the game. We not only wanted to offer as much components upgrades as possible but we also tried to add something special, such as the wooden box or new gameplay stuff like the dungeon setup mini-expansion. A little bit of everything :) Also our fans helped us to choose some of the stretch goal awards. There were some that we didn’t think of in the first place, but our backers suggested them and we loved their ideas!

The campaign got funded in 3 hours and keeps smashing the stretch goals. Where does this success lie?

Well the fact that the campaign got funded within the first 3 hours frankly caught us off-guard (in a good way :) ). We were amazed how much people liked the idea of the new Anniversary edition and it was great to see that kind of support. I don’t have one definite answer for why it was a big success - it was a number of things. We had the benefit of making an anniversary edition of such a great game by a well-known designer. We also put all our efforts into creating meaningful pledge levels, lot of new stuff, nice graphics and we are trying really hard to listen to our backers and take their opinions into account. Plus, we have couple of thousand imps working on the campaign 24/7 :)

Do you plan on anniversary editions for your other games?

We are now open to anything, and making more anniversary editions depends on many factors. When we make a game, we are trying to make the base game as great and perfect as possible. Anything we have in our minds, we put in and hope that people will appreciate all the nice goodies we have in our games (for example little astronaut minis in Galaxy Trucker, or the imps in Dungeon Lords). So to consider a new edition we do not only want to change the box and add an existing expansion. We want to improve the game in every aspect and add something special. In Dungeon Lords it is the brand new mini-expansion, in Galaxy Trucker, there also were new starting cards.

What are CGE's plans for the future?

Right now we have our hand full with preparations with this year’s new games. We are finalizing the work on the Alchemists - a new innovative game that will be released at Essen this year. In Alchemists, two to four budding alchemists compete to discover the secrets of their mystical art. Players gain knowledge by mixing ingredients and testing the results using a smartphone app that randomizes the rules of alchemy for each new game. The players are trying to gain respect from the academic community, and respect usually comes from publishing theories. So that would be their main task in this new game.

We consider this game one of the first truly “gamers” game that is played with a portable device (phone or tablet) and like Space Alert was the turning point in playing the game with a audio track, this is hopefully a turning point for this kind of board games too.

We are also working on new deck for Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends. We will have some more info on this one soon, with few more surprises.

And last but not least, this September we will release the long awaited Galaxy Trucker app that is now being tested. When we started with development of the Galaxy Trucker app, we said to ourselves that we wanted to make more than just a digital copy of the Galaxy Trucker board game. We want to make a game that will benefit from both the physical board game and its new digital environment. With Vlaada Chvatil designing it, and working with our developers, we faced challenges such as implementation on various platforms, flashier graphics, an awesome campaign career mode, a new turn-based building mode, and multiplatform online multiplayer support.

Anyone who’s interested in getting the news on the app can subscribe on the app’s website here. Hopefully very soon we will have more details, which will tell you everything about the app and about the game!

And if Galaxy Trucker is successful we are hoping that this will set a great example for our future digital games that we would like to work on.

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