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City of Games March update: Pre-orders are now open!

3rd March 2022 15

Happy March!

It’s nearly spring here in the UK and I’m excited to start seeing some blue skies and baby animals running around soon!

Over the past 2 weeks I have started fulfillment for The Isle of Cats latest Kickstarter and I am happy to confirm that Kittens + BeastsBoat PackExplore & Draw, and a number of promos and other items are now available to pre-order in my store!

It really is a fantastic feeling to finally start seeing these being played in people’s homes and I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have!

Volunteer at conventions

I am looking for several volunteers to help demo games at either Gen Con or UK Games Expo 2022. If you are interested in helping please fill in the form here.

Product update

A full global re-stock of The Isle of Cats and Late Arrivals, along with the release of Kittens + Beasts, Boat Pack, and my new game Explore & Draw will be happening in the last week of March / first week of April. Make sure you let your local board game store know if you’d like them to get them for you!

Project Smoke

With the latest Kickstarter fulfilling I am starting to sign off on a number of parts of Project Smoke, my next game which I hope to announce later this year.

While it is a little bit too early to start talking about details, I’d love to hear what you think the game might be based on the codename in the comments.

Publisher lessons

This month in publisher lessons I discussed the following topics:

An update on Frank

February was a very busy month for me due to fulfilling the Kickstarter but I did get to enjoy Lost Ark and ARK: Survival Evolved for a few hours, which were both a lot of fun. I also made the final preparations for my trip to the USA next week and I am very excited about visiting Las Vegas and San Francisco!

Until next time

I’ll be heading to the USA on March 12th for 3 weeks where I’ll be attending GAMA in Reno to launch the new expansions for The Isle of Cats and Explore & Draw into retail. I’m looking forward to some sightseeing and perhaps will see a few of you there, don’t be afraid to say hi if you pass me in a corridor!

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Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!


  • Dakila

    3rd March 2022 at 9:22 pm

    I think Project Smoke will be based on that giant smoke monster from Fern Gully


    • Frank West

      3rd March 2022 at 9:41 pm

      I think that might be a bit too scary for some of the younger players, what a terrifying creature.


  • Jim The Pirate

    3rd March 2022 at 9:51 pm

    Project Smoke clearly is about being rangers extinguishing forest fires by following smoke trails, reading the wind, and such.


    • Frank West

      4th March 2022 at 12:49 pm

      That would certainly be a good idea for a game!


  • Alex

    3rd March 2022 at 10:10 pm

    Im glad you got to enjoy Ark: Survival Evolved… its a very fun game, I even run a private server for my partner and myself so we can just explore the world and tame dinos and build settlements without getting raided by other players!

    I think Project Smoke is going to be an industrial revolution in The City of Kings…. or some kind of Steam Punk Airship game? Whatever it is, your design style and keen sense of what makes a game great means that it will be incredible, and Im ready to buy it!!!!


    • Frank West

      4th March 2022 at 12:51 pm

      We had a private session of Ark too, it was a lot of fun having a casual exploration of the island and enjoying the experience!

      I’m a big fan of Steam Punk…


  • Jawby

    3rd March 2022 at 10:19 pm

    The last project code name that I remember mentioned (if I am correct, hahah!) Was project ‘honeycomb’ I believe. And since smoke is used to calm bees to retrieve their honey… maybe it is a “calmer” maybe even co-op iteration of project honeycomb? Whatever it is, I am extremely interested. Thank you Frank!


    • Frank West

      4th March 2022 at 12:52 pm

      It was project honey, and I like your way of thinking!


      • Jawby

        4th March 2022 at 8:41 pm

        Thank you Frank! 🙂 Always appreciate the joy your games bring to my family’s table. Keep up the awesome work!


  • Georgia King (ForestNinja)

    3rd March 2022 at 10:52 pm

    Project Smoke Theory:

    The cats who didn’t get rescued onto a boat must face the smoke of Vesh burning the island… but little did Vesh know, the island is actually a volcano, and HE is the one who will be facing smoke! The cats retreat to the center of the volcano where ancient cat technologies protect them and allow them to control the volcanic powers. Vesh’s armies are consumed by lava and ash. Any who attempt retreat are defeated by the rescued boat-cats, who returned to surround the island. The volcano-cats emerge after some time, excavate their relics, invite the boat-rescued cats back, and establish a new society.

    How this translates to game mechanics in any way is entirely beyond me. XD


    • Frank West

      4th March 2022 at 12:55 pm

      Volcano controlling cat technologies is an idea I don’t think I’ll ever be forgetting!


  • Joshua N

    3rd March 2022 at 11:11 pm

    I think it’s a mid weight co-operative game in which you play a now-graying Oshax named Smoke, who was one of the first cats to leave the Isle of Cats, as well as his Beast assistants and you work together to solve crimes committed by the evil forces of Lord Vesh on the mainland.


    • Frank West

      4th March 2022 at 12:55 pm

      I really love this idea!


  • Josh D

    11th March 2022 at 2:58 am

    Project Smoke…. Hmm. I have to wonder if you’re itching to get back into “black box” games. Maybe Project smoke is game about how the Risen are going to turn the tide against Vesh after events of the City of Kings? I’m thinking maybe some sort of engine builder where the citizens in the City of Kings are racing against time to research and develop some sort of plan for escape. Some place undiscovered by Vesh’s hordes that becomes the true headquarters of the campaign to turn back Vesh and end the Age of Strife.


    • Frank West

      11th March 2022 at 12:49 pm

      I’m certainly itching to get back to black box games soon!


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