Cleveland board gamers build chemistry-themed game ‘PerMUTATIONS’
CLEVELAND, Ohio – A love of playing board games brought three local creators together to make “PerMUTATIONS,” a new chemistry-themed building game.
Mér C. Hall, Kevin Smith and their friend, whose nom de plume is Time Literally, decided they wanted to make their own board game after participating in a South Euclid game night in the spring of 2016.
“We all decided we wanted to create our own board game,” said Hall. “Maybe a couple weeks after the first time we met, we all got together. It seemed like [Time and Smith] both already had the idea.”
In “PerMUTATIONS,” four players build structures with patterned cubes. Structures can be built by matching sides with the same color, symbol, or both. To spice up the game play, some cubes have special effects – these cubes are positive, negative, neutral and blank white and black.
“PerMUTATIONS” uses designs that are colorblind-friendly, with color schemes of burgundy, teal and gray on the main pieces.
The game’s concept was inspired by a piece of Time’s artwork. Since 2016, the group has been playtesting “PerMUTATIONS” at board game nights around town. Originally, “PerMUTATIONS” went by the name of “Molecubes.”
“It started out more complex actually,” said Smith. “Visually, it’s gotten simpler.”
The game has also incorporated a computer prototype created by Smith’s brother, Michael Smith.
″[Michael] got involved in the project a little later on, when he surprised us with a computer simulation of the physical prototype we were using at the time,” said Kevin. “Then he ended up becoming a regular part of the team. We’ve since repurposed his virtual prototype into a testing platform for new ideas before making new physical prototypes.”
“PerMUTATIONS” is still in its playtesting phase, and its creators are considering a variety of publication methods for a future release. Currently, it’s available for game play at various local venues like Tabletop Board Game Café in Ohio City, Critical Hit Games in Cleveland Heights and a board game night on Sundays from 6-9 p.m. at Becky’s Bar, hosted by Hall.
Hall started the board game night to get into the board gaming scene.
“I’m more of a casual gamer,” said Hall. ”[The community] is predominantly male-dominated, and I’m working towards bringing more women in the gaming community. I feel most comfortable playing with other women. That’s one of the biggest reasons I started the game night at Becky’s.”
Kevin Smith said he’s been seriously involved in Northeast Ohio’s board game community for years. “I like to check out different venues in the area whenever I can, and return to several of them on a regular basis,” he said. “I love it. I can’t get enough of it.”
The team doesn’t have a set schedule for “PerMUTATION’s” production yet.
It will be available to play Sept. 28-30 at IngenuityFest in Cleveland. Read more about the festival.