14 de junio de 2021

Client Spotlight: Arkansas-based Designer Launches First Board Game on Kickstarter

Dead Lemon Games, an Arkansas-based gaming startup, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for its first exciting new game: Lonely Undead. Founder Shelby Matussak developed Loney Undead in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goal of providing friends and family with entertainment and the mental health and developmental benefits of board game play. 

Out of work and displaced by the pandemic, Matussak said he initially began to focus on his love for design and board games to occupy himself and raise his spirits during a personally low and uncertain time. As the Lonely Undead project developed and garnered praise among friends, family, and board game enthusiasts in playtests, Matussak decided to take the leap toward the pain-staking task of self-publishing and formed Dead Lemon Games in August of 2020. 

“Through games, we can create meaningful experiences,” said Matussak. “These experiences provide a positive contribution to education, personal and social development, and inspiring the imagination. At the core of these experiences, of course, is enjoyment. Through the beauty of well-crafted games, we create a fun and engaging platform to help shape our lives and promote growth in individuals and their communities”.

Lonely Undead, which is a zombie-themed game, is a testament to Matussak’s values, and he strives to breathe new life into the genre by making some big changes. 

“I basically wanted to take the recycled stereotypes of past zombie board games and completely flip them on their heads,” Matussak said. “In Lonely Undead, players embody recently-infected zombies who are out to make friends by biting and infecting the locals. The game is portrayed from the zombie’s perspective and focuses on humor and light-heartedness instead of the darker and more violent themes of past zombie games.” 

Lonely Undead offers a wide range of gameplay options which contribute to its long-term replay-ability and versatility for all types of players and experiences. The game is for one to four players and offers play modes for competitive, cooperative, and even solo play.  

“I wanted to make a game that could be brought to the table quickly and easily enough for beginners, but also have ways to play that heavier gamers would find equally appealing,” he said. 

“This is the heaviest you can get and still be a game that you can just bust out, throw on the table, and anyone can pick up and enjoy,” William Brown of the Hungry Gamer said of the game in giving his endorsement. 

During the development period, Matussak said safely sharing the game with local communities was a challenge for Dead Lemon Games. Despite this challenge, he has been able to host multiple safe and socially distanced events at local game stores and other supportive local businesses. The results, he said, have been very positive with many laughs shared and interest in the game growing. 

In an effort to raise awareness of the game and build community around the project, Dead Lemon Games is collaborating with a local coffee shop, Round Mountain Coffee, in Conway, for a collaborative release of a special “Undead” roast. 

“Being involved with my community and supporting local business is extremely important to me and my company’s values,” Matussak said. “I look forward to our future return to normalcy and being able to get out and spread my passion for board games and their benefits to my communities.” 

Lonely Undead launched on Kickstarter June 7 and will be live through July 6. During that period of time, Matussak said he will be working diligently on making his dream of releasing a board game a reality. 

“If you are a fan of supporting local creators, board games, or anything zombies, please check out the Kickstarter,” he said. “Your support means a lot, and I look forward to having fun and growing with the community we’re building around these games.”