Henchmen!

Henchmen! is the first tabletop game I ever published. I designed everything from the illustrations to the game’s mechanics.

Concept

I’ve always been a fan of comic books and superhero movies. I love the complexity of the villains, the rich backstory of the heroes and the dance these two forces do without ever moving into a final act. However, what I’ve always found sort of odd about these stories was that the henchmen involved were always expendable and even the supposed “hero” would kill them without a second thought. It was from there that I came up with the idea for Henchmen! A game that took a look at the world of superheroes and villains from a different perspective.

Goals

To develop and publish my own tabletop game.

Challenges

Publishing a board game is extremely difficult. To stand out we needed to make our mechanics and theme stand out above the rest.

Involvement

Game Developer
Illustrator

The Results

Successful Kickstarter

We successfully raised over $6,000 for Henchmen! via Kickstarter.

Secured a Publisher

Henchmen! has been picked up by a US publisher and will be in stores soon.

Dedicated Fan Base

We often get messages from fans expressing how much they and their friends love the game.

Project Details

Decision #1

Design, Playtest, Repeat

While working on Henchmen! I stumbled across Boston’s vast indie tabletop scene, which hosted a slew of like-minded designers each with their own games and their own ideas. I attended their workshops, reviewed games, and held playtest events of my own.

Working along side these intelligent and passionate individuals gave me a new perspective for my own game’s mechanics. Opening myself up to feedback allowed me to turn Henchmen! from a game that I would enjoy to one everyone would love.

Decision #2

Illustrating Feeling

Illustrating is a complicated process and in the case of Henchmen!, how I designed the cards and illustrated the chracters was going to have a large impact on the overall feel of the game.

After playing with different software I decided to use MS Paint for the game’s art. It was simple, free, easily accessible, and because of its limited tools the designs naturally looked unified. Best of all - because we used a simple art style it made the game more approachable for all ages.

Decision #3

Exceeding Limitations

I’m a firm believer that if you approach a situation with confidence no one will question you. That proved true when it came to showing off Henchmen! at GenCon, the world’s largest tabletop convention. We didn’t have the money to rent a booth so instead we found a table and some chairs, moved them all to the show floor and setup our banners.

By the end of the 4 day convention we had run over 100 games, collected 500 emails, and raised 25% of our Kickstart goal. Without ever spending a dime.

Conclusion

I learned a lot from developing Henchmen!. Collaborating with other designers, play testing and getting feedback really made the game and us that much better.

Henchmen! went on to become successfully funded on Kickstarter and enjoys somewhat of a cult following. Currently Henchmen! is being published by Breaking Games and will soon be available both online and in retail stores.