An Overview Of Capstone Games As a Game Publisher
By Tom Seest
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This company publishes modern board games with complex, evolving gameplay that brings people together for an entertaining, social experience. Popular titles include Ark Nova, Watergate, Pipeline, and Irish Gauge.
FIEA students develop full games over two semesters, going through all phases of development: preproduction, production, alpha testing, and beta. Many of their capstone games end up being published.
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Clay Ross remains committed to expanding Capstone Games despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s detrimental effect on production, shipping, and retail sales. He’s focused on finding partners that understand his company’s niche – games designed for heavy strategy gamers like himself – while also creating Capstone+ as a subscription program that gives members 20% off of everything on his website, priority shipping options, early product announcements/sales updates, etc.
Feuerland, a German publisher known for their “Black Label” line of medium-to-heavy strategy games, approached Clay in January 2021 with a game by Reiner Stockhausen’s 2014 bag-building classic Orleans that caught Clay’s attention immediately. Capstone then published it and is using it to increase customer retention.
Simply Complex board games from Capstone continue to offer modern board games with stunning 3D table presence and low rule overhead while still offering engaging, deceptively deep gameplay. Orleans takes only 30 minutes to play but challenges players‘ memory and spatial skills as they compete to build more cities than their fellow players in Louisiana before their rivals do – fitting perfectly into Capstone’s core mission of creating social experiences for friends and families alike.
Capstone Games has built an outstanding reputation among gamers for producing award-winning, high-quality video games. Their first title, Mobasaka, has already attained two million downloads, and more exciting titles are being developed by this team. These titles put players into the role of football manager so that they may experience first-hand all its thrills and challenges.
FIEA’s Capstone program offers students an exceptional opportunity to understand the entire game-making process from beginning to end. Through working on their own game over several semesters and developing leadership skills as they take their teams from preproduction, production, alpha testing, and beta. Students not only learn how to develop games from scratch but can gain experience as project lead, programming lead, design lead, or art lead roles – providing invaluable experience!
Capstone Publishing not only produces its own titles but also supports other designers and publishers through its Black Label line of games, such as Ark Nova and Watergate, which have proven popular among eurogamers due to their superior production values. Furthermore, Capstone is making strides toward meeting its strengths by publishing more strategy titles.
Capstone’s best games have won awards at major gaming events, such as the Intel University Games Showcase. 2021’s Flicker of Hope won both the Best Visual Quality Award and Most Innovative Game award; another FIEA title Hallowed won Best Gameplay Award during that event; also recognized was Boo Boo Snap, an innovative mobile app prototype that projects 3D characters and medical advice onto regular bandages.
FIEA graduates go on to find success in the gaming industry, often through Capstone projects they created at FIEA. One such game from designer Alexander Pfister – Maracaibo, featuring its popular bag-building mechanic – has just recently been released and should be on any serious Eurogamer’s shelf.
Capstone Games, known for its modern board game titles that boast rich, evolving gameplay, is renowned as a publisher of modern board games with engaging, complex gameplay. Their titles include Ark Nova, Watergate, Terra Mystica, Gaia Project Pipeline, Irish Gauge Simply Complex as well as Simply Complex lighter games designed to appeal to casual gamers. Recently, the company decided to switch their focus towards heavier strategy titles with the Capstone+ program – they will focus on this area rather than Simply Complex games anymore.
Capstone+ membership will provide benefits such as 20% off all purchases on the website, priority shipping, and exclusive members-only sales. Members will also get first access to all new releases before retail partners do and will also get newsletters with early product announcements and product launches. It is an effective way for the company to build customer connections and loyalty among its customer base.
FIEA Capstone provides students with a hands-on opportunity to create unique games over several semesters, moving through preproduction, production, alpha testing, and beta. Their projects often end up on Steam; some even win awards; for example, 2021’s Flicker of Hope won the Best Visual Quality award while Hallowed won the Best Gameplay prize, plus Polygon featured in 2022 Hell of a Racket!
Cooper Island, a Euro-style game offering deep tactical choices and an emphasis on optimizing every decision, has proven immensely popular both on Kickstarter and at conventions, becoming a hit with fans of this genre. A reliable addition to Capstone’s catalog, Cooper Island should continue selling strongly over time.
Clay has his sights set on heavy strategy games for his forthcoming releases and is working hard to develop customer loyalty through the Capstone+ subscription program. For just $20 annually, Capstone+ subscribers receive 20% off purchases made online, plus priority shipping plus an exclusive member-only newsletter from Clay Games‘ warehouse tours that should help increase brand recognition. It will be fascinating to watch as Clay expands this model further in the future.
Capstone Games boasts an aesthetically pleasing website featuring an impressive variety of award-winning games. Additionally, their blog and podcast provide valuable resources for gamers, in addition to offering an app for keeping track of upcoming games and events.
FIEA students complete a game development capstone project over multiple semesters as part of their studies, from initial concept through preproduction, alpha testing, and beta release. Furthermore, this project gives them an excellent opportunity to develop leadership skills by leading their team of 20-25 people through each development cycle. These projects provide invaluable training in preparation for careers as managers in the games industry.
FIEA also offers an internship program where students have the chance to work alongside industry leaders in areas like marketing, production, design, and programming. Students work on real-world projects for various clients as part of an internship experience while competing in gaming competitions, such as the Intel University Games Showcase, which has given FIEA several awards, including the 2021 title Hallowed and the 2022 Hell of a Racket!
The company also produces lighter strategy games tailored towards casual gamers. These titles tend to focus on simpler mechanics while still requiring careful thought and planning – Orleans being the latest addition of this kind in this line-up, taking over where Tasty Minstrel left off with its bag-building gameplay from 2014.
Capstone+ is a new membership program offering gamers 20% off all purchases made on the website and priority shipping, plus access to special members-only sales. Capstone+ can build loyalty among gamers while drawing in new ones – Clay has recently indicated his intent to branch out into more strategy titles, and Capstone+ seems the ideal vehicle to do this.
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