Don't sniff the methane
Ever feel like a caged, coal mine canary doomed to sing until the methane does you in? No? Um, well, it's a metaphor. The point is, sometimes you gotta escape from the drudgery of life to do what you love!
For me, that means playing and inventing strategy games! So, I befriended a super cool artist named Justin, and I started Odd Bird Games—a company dedicated to making atypical games that break from the mold. That doesn’t mean ignoring cherished mechanics like resource management, area control or worker placement! But it does mean spicing things up with a dash of unusual, a pinch of the unexpected and a whole heaping of odd.
The odd birds
MARK SWANSON, DESIGNER
A professor by day and game designer by night, Mark Swanson lives in Columbia, Missouri with his three splendidly precocious daughters. Inspired by Eurostyle games in the late 90s, Mark became a quick fan of legends Reiner Knizia, klaus Teuber, Martin Wallace and Andreas Seyfarth. Mark unveiled his prototype of Feudum at GenCon 2014 and was thrilled to meet and gain insight from his more recent heroes including Eric Lang, Mike Eliott, Bruno Faidutti and Jamey Stegmaier. The unpublished Feudum has been hailed as "articulate and inventive," and appears on several "watch" lists within the BoardGameGeek community.
JUSTIN SCHULTZ, ARTIST
As he likes to put it, Justin Schultz is an "earthling living in Jackson, Mississippi." Justin studied graphic design at Mississippi State University and worked for a number of advertising agencies before focussing on concert posters, album covers, package design and, just recently, board game art! His distinctive style of populating his art with monsters, reptiles and robots conjures up memories of children's picture books, albeit slightly skewed. Justin explains that he likes to lure viewers in with "superficially charming images," but then reveal something more "heartbreaking" or "daunting" upon closer inspection. In 2010, Justin started his own independent studio, The Flying Chair.