The gaming world evolves constantly. From run-of-the-mill board games to augmented reality phone apps, there are endless options. A former Washington County resident just contributed to that list.
Paul Warne, formerly of the Lagonda area of South Franklin Township but now a resident of Montreal, Canada, where he lives with his wife and two children, invented a board game called Lark Lamp.
Lark Lamp is a “magic lantern gaming system” that consists of a lantern with an LED light and four panels. These panels create a tabletop game board using light and shadow. The panels have pieces cut out, and the light from the lantern shines through those missing pieces, which creates the board. Lark Lamp is meant to be a sort of gaming system in that multiple games can be played on it by switching out the four panels to create a new game board.
Currently, only one game for the Lark Lamp was developed. It is called Synxtrap. The idea of the game is to use the various spell cards dealt to you in order to trap the synx in the lantern, and in your respective gate of the game board to win the game. This game is for two to four players. The game pieces include the paper synx, the spell-playing cards and a spinning top with numbers, which is used to determine how many spaces the synx will travel. If the synx lands on one of your spell cards, it is caught in a trap that may help you get closer to winning the game.
A second game called Glimmermill is coming soon.
The idea for Lark Lamp came to Warne in a dream.
It was a dream about making a lantern, and it was in Japanese animation, he said. Warne originally thought to create a video game of this dream, as he was making video games professionally as a designer for 15 years, but he ultimately decided to build the lantern and venture into a new opportunity.
“It wasn’t only my own personal interest, but it was also that there’s a bit of a market for this now, too,” said Warne, explaining a lot of small, independent creators recently had success in building new games.
Warne launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hope of raising $3,500 to finance the project.
He managed to get almost 10 times his original goal with the help of 580 backers. As of May 15, the campaign raised $32,277.
Warne’s ultimate goal is to create a sort of arts and crafts business for making the panels and game pieces for the boards. He handcrafted all of these for the prototype.
“I’ve made video games for so long that I have a nice network of colleagues that kind of helped me with feedback and stuff like that,” Warne said.
Warne’s plan is to come out with a new game for Lark Lamp each year. The four panels of the Lark Lamp can be switched out, comparable to changing a game cartridge in an electronic gaming system to play a new game. Warne wants to create new panels that would display new game boards. Each year when the new game comes out, owners would have to buy only a new set of panels and game pieces, but not a new lantern.
As a piece of advice to fellow game creators trying to get their ideas out, Warne said, “What I’ve learned is it’s really about getting it (a new game) into someone’s hands as soon as possible, and not worrying too much about having it really shiny and finished before you start playing it with friends and family.”
While the Lark Lamp is not yet available, it will be in May 2017. Those interested can visit lumoamuzo.com to order the game or for more information.