Going Above and Beyond One Crayon at a Time

The Inquisitive Meeple gets the scoop about the current status of Chroma Cubes and how the designer is going above and beyond with his game.

Backing a Kickstarter is always a gamble. More often than not discerning board gamers known what projects and publishers they can support and actually receive the project. Now if that project is any good is another issue, but at the very least they got it. So, back in 2015 many board gamers where shocked (and angry) when trusted board game publisher, 5th Street Games announced they are going bankrupt and that their funded Kickstarter games of Chroma Cubes and Ghost Love Candy would not see print.

Many of us can recall how we felt when we got this news, but now put yourself in one of the designers’ shoes. Imagine with me, being a first time designer, and the game you have worked so hard on and really has become “your baby,” gets signed by a known publisher. Not only that, but it has a successful Kickstarter – over 200 family, friends and fellow gamers supported you to make your dream come true. Then months later the company announces out of nowhere that they will be declaring bankruptcy. Not only will your game not be made, but those that supported you will not be getting their money back. This nightmare happened to Chip Beauvais with his 5th Street Games game, Chroma Cubes.

Chroma Cubes for those that may have not heard of it yet, is a dice resource management game. However, how you use these resource is unique, you color them on to a page. That is right – this game is a Dice and Resource Management game that uses crayons and coloring sheets. As described on its BGG page, “Players collect sets of colors to complete sections of a picture. The earlier you finish each figure in the picture, the more points that figure is worth.” After being signed to 5th Street games and having a successful Kickstarter in Oct of 2014, 5th Street Games in March 2015 announced they had to declare bankruptcy “due to a variety of factors.” Chroma Cubes was never published, backers never received the game nor their pledge money back – though they were offered a credit to be used for certain games. Chroma Cubes rights reverted back to designer Chip Beauvais.

Title picture from the 5th Street Kickstarter
Chip Beauvais

However, fast forward to this past Summer. Chip, using his own money and resources has been slowly hand-making copies of Chroma Cubes and contacting backers and offering them to them for free. “I’m fortunate enough to have the resources (and time) (and patient wife) to fulfill the Kickstarter, so I decided to do so” notes Chip Beauvias. Now remember, we are talking about a designer, not the publisher doing this. Why is he doing this? Well, in Chip’s own words, “As a game designer, the end result I’m looking for is to have people out there playing Chroma Cubes.” Hopefully all of this is a sweet note to backers ears, as they have the option to finally get a game they once written off as lost  – even if it just a homemade (or shall we call it artisan) copy from the designer. Chip though also gets to experience a bit of sweetness of his own on this journey, as he mentioned to me that one his backers that he has already made for the game for turned around and donated his copy of Chroma Cubes to gamers charity auction that helps sick children, Extra Life.

However, if any of Chip Beauvais’s goodwill has left your pining for a copy yourself – don’t worry, Grail Games has signed the game and will be bringing it to Kickstarter in the Summer of 2017. David Harding of Grail Games when asked for a comment on Chroma Cubes said, “I was an original backer of the game so I was sad when the original publisher had to pull out of the production of Chroma Cubes. After getting a prototype from Chip and playing it a lot, I was very keen for Grail to be the company who gave the game a new lease on life!“ One may think perhaps David would be hesitant to sign Chroma Cubes because of what happened in the past with its Kickstarter and how it might effect Grail’s Kickstarter, but they would be wrong. David points out, “The fact that its first Kickstarter was not fulfilled was no fault of the game. Personally, I think Chroma Cubes has wide appeal and lots of potential. It’s perfect for people from all walks of life – not just gamers. It’s infinitely expandable, as well, and who can say no to funky dice?” So what might be in-store for this new version of Chroma Cubes? David mentions “We do plan to give the game a new lick of paint. It will be graphically re-designed and (hopefully) we will be able to include solitaire rules. I can’t wait for Chroma Cubes to re-appear!”

Come Summer of 2017, Grail Games and Chip Beauvais are hoping board gamers will feel that same sense of excitement as the game enters its next chapter of its story. As for Chroma Cube backers of the past, keep an eye out for your email from Chip as he slowly and generously works his way though his list.



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