We are Flannel Games
What is a "Flannel Games?"
Flannel Games LLC is a tabletop development and publishing company created by Brent and Jillian Keath. Flannel Games goal is simple: to bring joy to others. That's it. Whether it's through playing our fun games, receiving peace of mind with our 30-day return policy, or reaching out to us directly when you have a question or need assistance, we want to make sure we are bringing joy to the tabletop community (and beyond).
Game Design Principles
Our primary way of spreading joy is through development of tabletop games. However, we, of course, have rules we follow when developing our games. The following tenants are required for all of the games we build:
1. Easy entry
Our games are easy to learn and easy to teach. The rules are fully explainable in a few minutes and you can grasp the mechanics within the first few rounds. Our games utilize card text, to help ease players into the strategy (learn-as-you-go instead of bombarding you with all of your options up-front).
2. Significant Player Interaction
Our games never feel like solitaire (even when you play them in their solo modes!). The tough decisions you make throughout the game will affect your opponents. Your score will usually be better if you pay attention to the decisions the other players' make throughout the game.
The decisions you make fit within the overall theme of the game and work to push you into tough situations. When you play Furtherance, we want you to feel like you're building a kingdom and when you play Paper Company, we want you to feel like a manager (well, the fun parts)! Our games do not hold your hand for decision-making. They are built to give the player all of the power while encouraging you to learn and master the many tactics and strategies within each game.
4. Strategy Not Luck
Victories in our games are achieved through strategy, not luck. The closest we come to luck is through calculated risks (like buying a card off the top of a deck). If a dice is included in one of our games, all players will make decisions based on the dice roll.
5. Multiple Paths to Victory
Every option and path to victory feels unique while still giving the same chance for success. When playtesting, one of our main goals is to get every strategy balanced out enough to ensure players who optimized their resources are only a few points away from each other (or that each player is only a few turns from victory in a race-to-victory style game).
6. Desire to Play Again
Our games are built to be played in 2 hours or less, filled with difficult decisions, and have high variability in how each game plays out. Every play is a unique experience that makes you want to play again and again.
We have specific principles we follow while conducting business. These principles guide our decisions throughout the game development and distribution life-cycle:
First and foremost, we work really hard to ensure our games are high quality and have intrinsic value. We try to stuff as many components as we can into compact boxes to ensure that our games always have a place on your shelf and can be easily transported to local meetups, conventions, game nights, etc. Not only that, but we work hard to keep our games close to their original retail value, even after they're used, so that, should you eventually grow tired of them after dozens of play-throughs, you can always pass them on to a new home.
Nothing is more annoying than calling a business and having to spend 30 minutes listening to a robot say, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that..." And, when playing games, you may have a rules question that you need answered now. Like, right now. And, while we can't promise to have the answer to you in seconds, we do work really hard to make sure we can be accessed by our customers (including often giving out our number directly to Kickstarter players so that they can call or text us when they have questions). If you ever have any questions comments or concerns, you always contact us directly (no robots required). For example, if you need something right now, contact us.
3. Customer Experience
When you come across one of our flannel-wearing game masters at a convention or stumble upon one of our products on Amazon, we want to make sure you find the exact positive customer experience you have come to expect from us. Whether you are a distributor, retailer, or consumer, we want to get you information and products in a as-fast-as-you-would-like and pleasant way. When we run game demos our primary goal is to ensure you have a great experience.
We do everything from development to manufacturing to distributing games and there are a lot of steps in the process. A lot of our fans are involved through the various steps, like play testing a game, or funding the game through Kickstarter. So, we work hard to be very transparent about everything we do, the steps we are taking throughout the process, and the businesses and individuals we work with to get us there. This transparency also includes us giving credit where credit is due. We credit our main play testers and Kickstarter backers in the rule books of our games in order to give them credit for their help, while being transparent with our other customers about how the game was developed.
5. Helping Others
Developing, manufacturing, and distributing tabletop games is a lot of work. Thankfully, we had a lot of help from other game designers throughout the process. So we try to give back to game design community in any way that we can. We are involved in many game design forums and Facebook groups where we answer questions, are involved in local game designer meetups, and are part of the Tabletop Mentorship Program, where we help mentor new tabletop game designers. We are also in the process of gathering commonly asked design questions so that we can put together useful blog posts on this website to refer new game designers to when they have questions that we've been asked before.
We are not a faceless company; we are family who designs and develops games. As such, we take a personal approach to our interactions with our customers. We also add humor into our interactions and game designs, to help us connect with our customers on an emotional level. Also, we are designing games, so we should have fun with it!
I (Brent) fell in love with tabletop games from the age of five, when I pushed myself to learn how to read so that I could play the Pokemon Trading Card Game with my older brother. From there I played lots of other games growing up and, when I got to high school, started designing my own. While my games were fun, I never thought I would do anything more with it than just have fun.
Then, in 2015 (during college), I came up with another board game idea; one that would allow my friends and I to enjoy the strategic kingdom building and war we enjoyed from playing games like Civilization in a fraction of the time and with more player interaction. My friends loved it (we played it almost every night; sometimes twice a night). Many of them helped me play-test it and my one friend Vince, even helped me setup a Kickstarter for it and come up with a name for what our company would become if it was successful: Flannel Games (because Vince and I both loved to wear flannel).
However, the art was unfinished and we knew nothing about marketing a board game Kickstarter, so the project failed. At the time I was dating Jillian who later became my wife. So, after a few years of play-testing, adjustments, and finishing all of the art, Jillian and I decided to relaunch the Kickstarter in February of 2019. With careful planning, this Kickstarter succeeded and Flannel Games became the name of the new company the Kickstarter had allowed us to start.
Now, we are a family-run business and our goal is to release one new game every year. For 2020, the game was Furtherance. For 2021 we are planning a game called Paper Company! And who knows what exciting games we will make in the years to come!