Super Dungeon Explore creators Soda Pop Miniatures see a future for gaming in Denver

Categories: Games

Courtesy of Soda Pop Miniatures
Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King doesn't look like your standard, blood-and-chainmail tabletop wargame. The monsters are rotund and cartoony, and the heroes, with their anime eyes and giant heads balanced on tiny bodies, look like children's toys. It's a remarkably gentle entry in a genre that takes violence as its primary theme, more Super Mario than Warhammer.

"[Miniatures games] have always addressed a very core audience of game players which are usually male; they're into the spikes and the blood and and the chainmail and all the gore, and that has its place" says John Cadice, founder of Soda Pop Miniatures, which designed the game. "But it felt distinctly vacant of a lot of the types of gaming that felt more inclusive -- being able to bring in kids, or sit down at the table with your girlfriend."

See also: How to get my job: board game designer

It looks like Soda Pop was on to something. The Forgotten King Kickstarter, which ends this evening, has raised over $1,000,000, well over ten times its original goal.

For Soda Pop, a Seattle-born company in the thick of a move to Denver, the launch is a good start to life in a new city. Founded in 2009 as an "evening hobby business" by Cadice, a veteran of gaming powerhouses like Games Workshop and Privateer Press, the company has built up a loyal following with miniatures titles like the original Super Dungeon Explore and sci-fi wargame Relic Knights. At least one local game store, Bonnie Brae Hobby Shop, carries their products in store.

Courtesy of Soda Pop Miniatures
Renderings of some of Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King's figurines

The move to the Mile High City was a practical decision for Soda Pop. Denver has a lower cost of doing business than Seattle and is more centrally located for travelling the trade show circuit. And while Denver's gaming scene isn't as developed as the West Coast's, Cadice says it's on its way.

"They feel like they're right on the edge of burgeoning and exploding into being a creative powerhouse, developing and generating its own businesses, which I think is kind of a nice place to be," Cadice says. "That means it's fertile, it's got interested people who want to get involved, and the number of outlets for them to jump into are relatively limited. So we'll have no trouble finding super-enthusiastic people to help us, to support promoting, or even designing and building, products with us."

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