QST: The Mother of All Board Game Subscriptions?

QST

The board game subscription model is something that has cropped up in the last few years, met with some successes and some failures. But is this one here to stay?

A game subscription service can work for some people, and I have been part of one in the past. The one I subscribed to recently went out of business — I sympathize with the owners, but to me it's actually been somewhat of a relief. The problem with most game subscriptions, as I have experienced, is that you risk paying for and receiving games you already own or the quality of games isn't all that great. I also want to decide which games to add to my collection, but a subscription service relies on someone else to curate what games I receive. This might work for someone who has no time or interest in researching games, but I quickly found myself inundated with a bunch of games I didn't have the interest to learn or play. To be fair, I did discover at least a couple of games that I really enjoy that I hadn't played in the past, but I'm not sure it was worth all of the fuss.

QST (pronounced "Quest") is a new service that may be able to improve the game subscription model as we know it. With an all-star team of game designers, artists, and industry folks on board, I actually think it could be a game changer. What makes this service unique is that they plan to design, publish, and ship a new game each month that is exclusive to subscribers. If you don't subscribe, you might miss out (or you will have to either wait for a reprint or purchase it from a 3rd party). The Kickstarter price is $12.99 per month (for 12 months) plus shipping.

Will the games be any good? That remains to be seen. However, the people behind this have a great track record of successful games, like Seiji Kanai (Love Letter), Bruno Faidutti (Citadels and Incan Gold), and many others, including some awesome artists and industry folks. The project is being launched by the co-founder of Cryptozoic Entertaiment, Cory Jones. Below is concept art for the first game, Foreclosure: Dungeon Master's Tavern, designed by Matt Hyra with artwork by Robb Mommaerts.

Foreclosure: Dungeon Master's Tavern

What perhaps interests me the most, however, is the type of games I expect they will produce. What games can be designed and produced quickly, with relatively few components, that can fit in a 4.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 inch box? Probably casual games. But do we need more new games each month in a market that is already inundated with new titles? I guess it's up to gamers to decide.

QST is now seeking funding on Kickstarter, with a lofty $600,000 goal. Will they make it? I believe so. The full press release is below.


New Tabletop Gaming Subscription Service QST to Launch Via Kickstarter Campaign

Created by Cory Jones, Service Delivers a Brand New, Collectible Tabletop Game Every Month That Is a Unique Collaboration Between Three Creative Superstars

Lake Forest, Calif. (August 15, 2017) - Gaming industry veteran Cory Jones today announced the creation of tabletop gaming subscription service QST and the launch of the QST Kickstarter campaign. Pronounced "Quest," the service offers a brand-new, small form factor tabletop game directly to subscribers every month. Each game is a collaboration between three creative visionaries from different fields who work together to deliver the different elements of the game: concept, design, and art. These high-profile creators include Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini, and Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game designers Adam and Brady Sadler, among many others. The Kickstarter campaign offers backers the opportunity to get the service at a reduced price of $12.99 a month and receive exclusives, including the chance to own a game only ever offered to Kickstarter backers.

"We have a revolutionary new twist to the standard monthly subscription gaming model that that we believe will take game creation to an all-new level," commented Cory Jones, Founder of QST. " Each game is a unique three-part collaboration between three creative visionaries from different disciplines . We are working with many of the biggest names in tabletop, videogames, comics, animation, and art with the goal of delivering a brand new, never-before-seen game to consumers' mailboxes each month."

The list of renowned creators for the first year of QST is divided up in terms of concept, design, and art. Working on game concepts are Jordan Weisman, Marv Wolfman, Nolan Bushnell, Dan Povenmire, Paul Dini, Justin Roiland, Jhonen Vasquez, Monte Cook, John Kovalic, R.A. Salvatore, Cory Jones, and Brom. The creators working on design are Matt Hyra, Adam and Brady Sadler, Matt Riddle, Richard Borg, Florent Grenier , Bruno Faidutti, Ben Cichoski and Danny Mandel, Paul Peterson, James Ernest, Seiji Kanai, Adam Poots , and Matt Fantastic. The art for the first year of QST will be created by Jakub Rebelka, Robb Mommaerts, Dan Brereton, Eduardo Vieira, Skinner, Yoshi Yoshitani, Jon Vermilyea, Tan Zhi Hui, Erol Otus, Walt Simonson, Ben Templesmith , Vincent Dutrait, and Mihajlo "the Mico" Dimitrovski.

The collaboration between the three creators of each game begins with the person behind the concept defining "the big idea," as he dreams up the themes, worlds, and story elements of the game. Next, the designer takes the concept document and works "top down" to bring the theme to life and make the most compelling game possible. The game may be a literal interpretation of the concept or an in-depth exploration of one specific aspect; the main criteria is to find the fun. Once the design is complete, it is handed over to the artist, who crafts a distinctive visual appearance and components that bring the concept and game design to life. Some of the QST artists come from parts of the art world that have not been represented in tabletop gaming before, so they will bring a distinctive perspective to their work.

"I am a gamer. I find that in addition to video games board games are great for friends, family and beer, noted Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari. "Learning new games and figuring out strategies is always fun and good for the brain. I hope to bring some out of the box fun to this project."

Each set of three creators will determine the components needed in the small form factor box ( 4.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches) to bring the game to life, which could include-but are not limited to-cards, tiles, meeples, timers, dices, and spinners. QST games will target 2-4 players and a standard playing time of 30-45 minutes, but the creators are given free rein to adjust this however they see fit.

One of the goals of QST is to create truly collectible board games. The company will utilize high quality game production and packaging and feature art that will never be used again in that form, with a one-year, mandatory "cool down" period before a game is considered for reprint. In the case of a reprint, the art and packaging will be different and will not include any sub-promo materials, such as minor additions from the designer, variant cards, or small extra components.

"QST is a unique opportunity for people who love games to get something crafted by some of the most talented people on the planet EVERY MONTH," explained Paul Peterson, game designer and creator of Smash Up. "Getting to work with creators and artist of this caliber is a bucket-list item for any game designer, and I can't wait to see what we come up with."

QST is offering those that support the Kickstarter campaign a discounted subscription rate of $12.99 each month, plus shipping. Each backer will be allowed to renew forever at this price, as long as his or her subscription remains in good standing. For consumers who do not contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, the monthly price will be $19.99 (12 months) or $22.99 (six months).

As a promotion during the Kickstarter campaign, QST is running a contest to create the idea for a Kickstarter-exclusive 13th game. The promotion is open to anyone who tweets a picture of their game idea on the official template . The submission that receives the most combined favorites and retweets will be the 13th game sent to all Kickstarter backers as part of their subscription for the first year. The winner's idea will be the base concept for an amazing game designer and artist to build upon. This game will not be part of the regular subscription and will never be produced again, instantly becoming the rarest of QST games.

The first QST game to be mailed to consumers will be FORECLOSURE: Dungeon Masters Tavern, created by the trio of Cory Jones (concept), Matt Hyra (design), and Robb Mommaerts (art). It is a 2-4 player blind auction game that pits players against "boss monsters" in a race to acquire the most precious loot. Players will have to outbid the other monsters and dodge the effects of angry adventurers by using the items they have acquired to buff their bids or sabotage the other players. FORECLOSURE: Dungeon Masters Tavern is set to mail to QST subscribers on March 1, 2018.

About QST

QST is the manufacturer and creator of a monthly subscription-based tabletop game program company that delivers brand new, never-before-seen small form factor games directly to consumers. Learn more about the company and its games at www.QSThub.com.