Glory to Rome (Credit: Cambridge Games Factory)
Ed Carter launched a campaign to raise money to create a deluxe version of his company's original card game, Glory to Rome, according to news blog Quartz. Carter initially sought around $21,000 in funding. Much to his surprise, he scored over $73,000 from eager backers.
So far, so good. But then things started to unravel. According to Quartz, Carter ran into problems when his head of operations, who spoke Chinese and could communicate with the company producing the games, called it quits.
Small mistakes compounded his woes: It hadn’t occurred to Carter to add "no step" to the shipping documentation, which would have told handlers not to put anything heavy on top of the fragile game boxes. Stacking one pallet on top of another crushed them. Free shipping eventually came back to haunt him: Large orders to countries like the US were fine, as were a couple of boxes to Brazil, but sending 100 games to Australia meant fat expenses but not enough to benefit from economies of scale.
The stress of producing the games, always intended to be a hobby, had a negative effect on Carter's career. He was let go from his job and had to invest his savings into the game's production, according to Quartz. He stopped making mortgage payments and eventually lost his home near Boston. Carter lived in Amsterdam at the time.
Despite the mountain of problems, Carter told Quartz that he is happy with the way the game turned out.
"I’m doing this because the corporate world is one of the best games ever invented." says Carter, who has shipped most of the units and now has a new job. "In the middle of the hell, there were plenty of times when I wished I hadn’t kicked it off. But given where it’s landed, I learnt stuff. And the game itself is beautiful."
Critics agree. The Black Box edition of Glory to Rome has earned strong reviews online. RPG.net wrote, "The new Black Box edition offers better and more attractive components and also offers a variant gameplay that I think is an improvement. The result is a terrific game." And Dice Tower Reviews gave the game its "Seal of Excellence."
- Arts & Entertainment
- Ed Carter