AEG is very excited to be able to announce that we will be the distribution publishing partner for the game Calico! This is the first game to come out of the Flatout Games CoLab project.
What is Calico?
Calico is a puzzly tile-laying game of quilts and cats. In Calico, players compete to sew the coziest quilt as they collect and place patches of different colors and patterns. Each quilt has a particular pattern that must be followed, and players are also trying to create color and pattern combinations that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also able to attract the cuddliest cats!
Calico was Kickstarted in October of 2019 and raised just over $200,000 from more than 6700 backers.
It has received critical acclaim from many folks in the board game industry, and you can learn more about the game by visiting this link to the Kickstarter page:
How did this game end up on AEG’s radar?
We had recently worked with Flatout Games (Molly, Robert, and Shawn) on Point Salad and the upcoming 2020 Big Game Night release Truffle Shuffle. In fact, I started drafting this blog post in January as we were finishing up our second design summit at the Larkstone house.
The Flatout Games Team is pulling triple duty right now as start-up entrepreneurs often do. On top of holding down full time non-game industry jobs, they are also designing their own games and working with other creators to bring games to life through Kickstarter via the Flatout Games CoLab. The CoLab is a profit-sharing model where collaborators own projects split the risks and rewards of publishing games equitably based on the level of effort put towards the project.
Since we signed Point Salad we have gone from being working partners to friends. Their idea for the CoLab is to create an evolving collective of creative talent that works together to publish great new games. A team grows up around each product and they each share in the success of that game. The idea has drawn in some great creatives and created a real hit with their first product Calico. My pitch was that AEG should and could partner for distribution and production of the game. We knew Calico was great and would be a hit in the same way we knew Point Salad was a winner, and so I let the Flatout team know that AEG was interested in helping with distribution if they needed it, and if not, happy to help navigate the waters if they chose to go that direction on their own.
The plan by Flatout to work with AEG on Calico was not decided upon quickly. As noted above they are building this business while running their full time lives but they are still very conscious of who they want to be and how they want to treat their customers. The Flatout, and CoLab, team want their Kickstarer backers to have the best possible experience while also having a chance to reach many more customers through the retail channel. Keeping what they have built from the ground-up as independent and backer-focused as possible is very important to the team.
The agreement to partner on Calico is part of building our relationship with Flatout Games. However, for now this is a one game deal. AEG has been helping with the production, particularly communications with China, although Flatout has been doing all approvals and keeping a close eye on the project. AEG will also help Flatout with the logistics of getting product out of China and where it needs to be to get to backers and then, sometime at a later date it will be available from AEG for wider distribution via retail.
It was our hope that we would be able to fulfill backers in the summer and then debut to the rest of the world this fall. That is still our hope but everyone understands the current issues with production and logistics, and while things seem to be getting sorted in China, the rest of the world is adapting.
If you aren’t familiar with Flatout Games and the work they are doing, check them out. They can be found on Twitter @flatoutgames and you can check out the other projects they have going on at their website: Flatout.Games
Look for more amazing products from this partnership in the future!