Gavin Vickery, owner of Input Software, has made his first foray into the board game genre with a hunting-themed card game. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo software designer creates hunting-themed card game

Duck Buck Moose involves skill, cunning and luck of the draw

A Nanaimo software designer hopes his small game entry into the board game industry will bag its limit in enthusiasts.

Gavin Vickery, who owns Nanaimo-based software development company Input Logic, has created Duck Buck Moose, a card-based table top game where players take a tongue-in-cheek foray into the wild to successfully hunt for game or foil their opponents with cunning or sabotage to stay in the lead.

The game made its public debut last weekend at the SHUX19 Shut Up and Sit Down game expo in Vancouver and went over well, Vickery said, in spite of it being based on hunting.

“It was a concern I had because hunting, in general, has this stigma with it, especially hunting games, which is why we kind of went with playful graphics. Sort of silly. We didn’t want it to be too serious,” Vickery said.

Vickery grew up in a family that enjoys hunting and fishing and the idea for the game came to him while waiting for a ferry.

“A friend of mine and I were heading out for a hunt and waiting in the ferry lineup and I was like, ‘Aw, man, I should have brought some board games with me,’ and he’s like, ‘Ah, I’m not sure if the guys we’re going hunting with are into board games,” Vickery said.

But the conversation got him wondering what a simple game his hunting partners would enjoy might look and play like.

“They don’t have to be gamers, but just sitting around a campfire in the evening, instead of just playing casino cards, what would be sort of fun for them?” he said. “That kind of spit-balled the idea, but it’s evolved quite a bit since then.”

Aside from collecting board games and designing a couple of role-playing games, Duck Buck Moose is Vickery’s first foray into board game design, but the skills used in software development adapt well to game development and he said most people liked the game’s hunting theme at SHUX19 where the vast majority of comments made on feedback forms were positive.

“A lot of them really liked the theme because it’s not that common,” Vickery said. “In the board game industry a lot of people tend to do the same stuff painted slightly differently and I think that’s why a lot of people were actually engaging with it. They were, like, ‘Oh, interesting. I haven’t seen this sort of style in a while.’”

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Vickery hopes to get Duck Buck Moose on its way to its first large production run when it officially launches on Kickstarter on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

“People who back it on Kickstarter get it, usually, a little cheaper than retail, but then backing it also funds us to do the initial run,” he said. “They’re basically agreeing to put the money up front so then if it does succeed then we use those funds to do a huge run.”

Vickery hopes to raise $3,300 to cover costs for Panda Game Manufacturing to produce the first production run. A standard pledge is $24, but there is also a $20 pledge early bird special.

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