Josh Carlson
4:21 PM

Our biggest finish so far! Thanks to all who are making Origins possible!

Over $41k in funding is an impressive feat and one you should all be proud of! We will be sending out backer surveys soon and will be placing our final order once our quantities have been defined. 

There is so much to look forward to! Origins, GenCon (with a booth this year), Too Many Bones!, its going to be a wild ride! Thanks again everyone, product samples and proof approvals are next! 


Josh Carlson
1:00 PM

HOPLO: ORIGINS Kickstarter is LIVE! Over 40% funded in the first 24 hrs!!!

Were off and running!

And with one of the strongest starts we ever had! That's thanks you many of you who are following things and have already backed the project! For those who haven't yet or are just hearing about it, check out our campaign here

Guys, we really tried to raise the bar on this project. Taking a lot of time to represent the excitement Adam and I feel about Origins in the video we made and with the project details. Addon info is coming shortly and for any backers, we will already be sending out our first free chip survey that was unlocked for all stretch goal backers DAY 1 by easily blowing by the 5k in a day goal!

This game is priced as aggressive as we possibly can make it. We want the world to know about Hoplo and to be able to afford it! Please use the images at the bottom of our campaign and/or let your friends and family know about it. We would love to blow the top off this one and unlock some absolutely amazing stretch goals...maybe not an actual lion to spar with, but how about some steel alloy dice?  HEAVY DUTY DICE - ITS THE WAY WE ROLL! ;)  *Funny Story* - I was showing the steel dice to Adam when first considering if we could afford it and he was literally drooling over them. I could here his thoughts "Why do our backers get all the good stuff! I WANT THOSE DICE!" I'm halfway expecting him to back our own project and have to reject his pledge since its against KS rules. :) 

Anyway, enjoy the video and lets get to 26k fast so we can entertain some of the great suggestions already being submitted in the comments section of our campaign! 

Adam and Josh Carlson

Chip Theory Games

Josh Carlson
6:18 PM

Hoplomachus: Origins - The Kickstarter Approaches!


It's time to announce our final game in our Hoplo series!

Origins logo
Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities introduced you to 3 civilizations, Atlantis, Xanadu, and El Dorado. In the Hoplo series, these cities aren't lost...they are very much in existence! Something Rome and Pompeii find out all too quickly! After watching every move and tactic used in the arena by these foreigners, Rome finally decides to join in to win back the crowd in Hoplomachus: Rise of Rome

Now we are taking you back to the beginning, before that fated day when emissaries showed up at Rome's city gate. Hoplomachus: Origins will take you into the heart of each lost city, and place you in the hidden battle arenas designed specifically in preparation for their journey to Rome. 

Origins turns the Hoplo series on its head by including a gladiator draft mechanic. You and your opponent will be drafting units for up to 3 challenges, from the same gladiator pool! Each match will be different as players draft their favorite gladiator combos or secure gladiators best suited to the challenge. 

Origins will play much faster than its two predecessors. It features solo and versus gameplay, and matches are quick. However, a game isn't won in just one match, you will have to prove your worth in multiple arenas to be victorious. As always, you will be playing on premium quality neoprene battle mats (3) featuring The Golden Palace (El Dorado), The Earthen Oasis (Atlantis), and Top of the World (Xanadu)! 

This game features a number of new units and a completely new chip design (allowing players to draft from the same pool). These new chips and our new arenas make Holpomachus: Origins the perfect way to start or round out the Hoplo series.

There's so much more we could share but we will save it for the Kickstarter on April 16th at 10 AM (CST)! We hope to see you there! 

What about our new dice game? 

Oh its coming! August 18th to be exact!

We will have plenty of new updates to share before that time! It's truly shaping up to be a dice building strategy game that goes beyond anything you've seen before. 

Josh Carlson

Chip Theory Games

Josh Carlson
1:43 PM

Chip Theory...on Dice

Growing up, dice have played a part in almost every game Adam and I have enjoyed sinking our teeth into. There’s something about that anticipation of a good roll that keeps us coming back! Many may not know this, but originally Adam and I created Hoplo without dice. Why the initial deviation? Well, because early on, I regarded games like chess to be slightly more “strategic” than say, Risk. My original perception of the matter was pretty basic: the less chance a game had - the more a person’s skill was needed to play it. 

Our original aim for Hoplo was a gladiator game based strictly on “skill”. But very quickly in our first stages of playtesting, we found that the lack of all chance seemed to leave a big hole in our game! Not only was there nothing to cheer about on a “good roll”, but there was no opportunity for the “unthinkable” to happen and, in turn, the need for reaction and adaptation. Those first few games of Hoplo once we added dice, solidified something in me that I now hold to quite strongly. “Skill” must always be defined within the confines of the game you are playing. To play a “skillful” game of Risk doesn’t mean there is any less strategy than a game without dice, it just means you must account for a certain amount of chance when executing your moves. I know this realization is probably Chapter 1 in the “Gaming for Dummies” handbook, but it was important for my development as a gamer and game designer. 

After the success of Hoplomachus, Adam and I have strongly desired to push the boundaries of dice-use in a way that is unique, visual, and yes, “skillful”. Most games that use dice, usually have only 1 or 2 dice mechanics at work. This is wise and recommended when the basis of the game involves more than just dice. But dice-only games need more. While I could talk till I’m blue in the face about the advantages or challenges of Dice Pool over Fixed-Die or Step-Die implementations, it all comes down to what you want to do with dice. Are you trying to resolve a situation? Perform a skill check? Do battle? Make a decision? The problem is, beyond rolling and determining success/degree of success, dice are not typically seen as the “strategic” component of a game. Therein lies our challenge - to break the confines current dice games put people in and foster a new breed of "strategic dice rolling gamers", starting with a game that can support such a title. :)

Our newest game, slotted to KickStart in the first quarter of 2015, is a dice-building RPG that is...very ambitious but also quite stunning on multiple levels. We are introducing new race of fantasy creatures with traits and features drawn from both elves and goblins. An interesting and conflicted mix, we know! Yet it has produced a beautiful blend of mis-fit adventurers who are exceptionally agile and have an innate aptitude for technology. This is a dice adventure being played out by 1-4 of these adventures. They are setting out on a time-sensitive and dangerous journey to the north - a place few other races have been able to travel in thousands of years. Each day holds a new encounter that will require skillful selection and use of 16 unique dice and up to 6 base dice...for every character! Each party member has a basic function/aptitude that relates to the group, but can violate that role and build out their character very differently depending on the dynamics of the party or if they are going it alone.

To make a dice game this dynamic it requires multiple layers to each character’s dice management (called “Professions”). These Professions each contain their own mini-dice-mechanics from simple press-your-luck, roll-and-lock, or combination rolling, to more complex choices including dice-as-a-resource, dice quantity vs die improvement, and dice-use-timing (immediate vs reactive and accumulation bonus vs expenditure). This may seem like a LOT to initially grasp but because each person can opt to play a single character and because characters build on themselves, it’s VERY easy to understand the base dice/skills available and then learn and discover the possibilities along the way.

The fun and essence of this game will be its co-op (or solo) play game modes as your party battles further and further north. Group decisions will be plentiful and will first hinge on party encounter decisions and how you choose to navigate them. These are simple choices that, well, aren't so simple. They add an additional randomness to every battle that cannot be predicted but CAN be navigated or even mitigated based on your choices. 

In the below encounter examples you can see choices ranging from simple a risk/reward choice to a decision of delaying a greater disaster or taking on a smaller but immediate threat.

Card Example 1 Card Example 2

Each battle requires dice-use adaptation based on these cards (drawn before the battle), and on the types of enemies you end up facing. The classes your team chooses to play will turn the game in new directions as each particular character reacts to their surroundings differently. Every new profession you unlock can alter map direction, your environment, and battle engagements.

This time around, we are investing heavily in a talented artist to capture the exact feel we want for this rag-tag band of highly technical creatures. We want a comical side to each, without losing believability. It’s a fine but fun line to be toying with.

So yeah, that’s about it for what has been/will be consuming our present creative time. Adam and I are extremely excited for whats coming for Chip Theory Games in 2015! Both with Hoplo and also with our new games! We welcome your questions and feedback! Feel free to post them here on our blog and if you haven't already, please sign up for our monthly newsletter for updates as well! 

Josh and Adam Carlson

Chip Theory Games