A Viking's Game
HIRÞ (pronounced hɪrð, i.e. with a th-sound as in "the" at the end) is a 2-player strategy game that is designed by Jon Manker, to look, feel and play like a game from the Viking times. The HIRÞ board is about 20x9" (50x22 cm) and the game will be produced using partly hand-made components and in materials and fabric that are true to the Viking era.
HIRÞ has been thoroughly tested and iterated over the course of several years of development. It is easy to learn but has depth and plays well with both experienced and inexperienced boardgamers. Since it is made of cloth, it works excellent as a game you bring on travels or to the park. It is a perfect filler at game meet ups as well as a great little game to play at home. HIRÞ is made of cloth of seldom seen quality in games, with embroidered patterns, wood pieces and a real Viking coin replica. Great attention has been given to details to provide that feeling of a 1000 year old Viking game. This makes HIRÞ a great addition to any game collection, as well as an excellent gift to game enthusiasts or to someone who just likes beautiful things.
Further down in this text you'll find two more videos. One video where we share some of the design thoughts behind HIRÞ and one video where the rules are briefly described and the prototype can be seen.
Experiences of the Play testers
During hundreds of play testing sessions, the Viking feel of the game has consistently been praised, together with the realization of the game in embroidered cloth, making it light and easy to bring or play anywhere. The simplicity of movement, together with the intricate combinations of tactics possible with HIRÞ's three different pieces, are two other factors that play testers enjoy. 99% of the play testers liked the game enough to play another round and said they'd like to own it if was available.
Amelia Laughlan from Another Dungeon writes:
"For an abstract strategy game, Hɪrð is impressively immersive. The aesthetics and design of the gameplay work very effectively to build Hɪrð’s Viking theme./.../ the ability to communicate a theme this strongly through gameplay, rather than visuals (as most games tend to do) is a truly commendable feat./.../Gameplay wise, Hɪrð is hard to fault. Playing the preview copy of Hɪrð did not at all feel like playtesting an idea that was only recently conceived. Instead, it felt like the end result of careful design and a hell of a lot of testing. /.../
Hɪrð is highly immersive, tactical, feels balanced, and, most importantly, is fun. While many games boast strategic depth, few are able to pair it with simple rules and a strong theme as effortlessly as Hɪrð feels to. Hɪrð achieves this balance better than any Kickstarter or preview tabletop title I have played or tested this year."
Here's the entire review:
She also made a video review presenting a summary of the review:
In HIRÞ you take the role of a Viking king, or Lofðungr. The back story is that two Lofðungr (Viking leaders) fight for control in an archipelago. The Lofðungr are on the battlefield themselves (of course) along with their closest warriors, called Hirþ, and their boats, called Karve. The land is represented by a board with 11 squares. Each turn you make 5 moves with your pieces. Available moves are: entering the board, entering or exiting a Karve (the boat) and moving between squares on the board. You are the winner of the game if you, at the end of your turn: control the 5 middle squares of the board OR if you have forced the opposing player's Lofðungr off the board.
If you want a complete view of the rules you can find them in this pdf (this version have no layout or art direction work done on it yet). If you want to see the blueprint of the items you find them here and for a blueprint of the board and bag look here.
What is included in the game?
One of the unique features of HIRÞ is its production quality. In order to follow the vision of making a game that looks and feels as if it was played during the Viking era, the standard version of HIRÞ is made of partly hand made cloth and embroidery, with wood pieces and a metal Viking coin replica. HIRÞ is stored in a cloth bag that you close with a string. The name HIRÞ is embroidered on the bag.
The components of HIRÞ are:
- 1 Board (embroidered cloth)
- 2 Lofðungr (wood)
- 6 Karve (wood)
- 30 Hirþ (wood)
- 1 Penningr (metal coin)
- 1 Rules paper
- 1 Bag (embroidered cloth)
96000 SEK ( ≈ $11000) - Funding Goal DONE!!!
110000 SEK ( ≈ $13000) - Stretch Goal 1 : Develop a notation system for HIRÞ, that can be used to document, store or share the gameplay of a round of HIRÞ. Useful for documenting any future World Championship of HIRÞ :) or just to share experiences of the game. This system will be printed in the rules and included in the game for all backers.
127000 SEK ( ≈ $15000) - LOCKED
144000 SEK ( ≈ $17000) - LOCKED
The project will become successful, and produced, if we pass $11000 in pledges! Below is some more information added to the information in the reward section above
Note that all pledge levels include FREE shipping all over the world. So this is a very World Friendly project ;)
$29 HIRÞ - You will receive the game, as described and shown in text and images in the section above.
As a retailers you can order 10 HIRÞ games at the reduced price of $24 each using the $240 HIRÞ MERCHANT level. Of course including free shipping. If you want to order 30 or more, contact us to get an even lower price, thanks to shipping combination effects.
$44 HIRÞ HÖNNUDUR - Same game version as above but it will be signed by the three closest involved in the project, Jon Manker, Anna H. Lindberg and Besime Uyanik. This is the pledge level for all of you who want to support the project a little extra. And all of you who with a collectors mind-set who want a special version of the game
$290 HIRÞ WOOD - Is made by wood craftsman Charles Hawelka. He is a true artist and a boardgame enthusiast extraordinaire. He designs and produces items with great creativity and has made a few prototype items to show the look of his version of HIRÞ. He is using an old very beautiful piece of walnut tree that has been waiting for a long time for its purpose. The boxes are cut out whole from this wood. This is why HIRÞ WOOD is limited to 7 items since that is how many boxes Charles estimates that he will get out of the walnut wood piece. Along with the box, the Karve and the Lofðungr will be in carved solid wood, and the Hirþs will be in ceramics. Here are a few prototype images.
$390 HIRÞ LEATHER - is a beautiful, completely hand crafted version of HIRÞ made in leather, pewter and natural material by leather crafting professional Kristian Heinonen who have is very knowledgeable in how Vikings crafted items. And he is a Viking descendant :) He has made a few sketches and prototype items to give you an idea of how this version will look. This version of HIRÞ have Hirþs of leather with markings in runes that are colored to indicate to which player they belong. The Lofðungr will probably be made in pewter. The prototype show its form and pattern, but is made in leather. It is based on real Viking ornaments. The Karve will be made in horn, similar in shape to the leather Karve-prototype shown in the images below. The board will be made in leather with ornament and markings. It will be formed as a box that folds out in order to keep the pieces safe on the board if the game is played on some moving surface, such as on a Viking ship :)
$490 LOFÐUNGR - At the top tier you will receive the HÖNNUÐUR signed version of HIRÞ along with a real Viking coin. We included this level in order to offer something completely unique and to be true to the ambition to keep the living link to the real Vikings. For the most authentic experience of HIRÞ possible, play it with a coin held and handled by Vikings.
This project is WORLD-friendly meaning shipping is included to everywhere in the world for all pledge levels! Enjoy :)
Many positive comments on the HIRÞ experience have been said during playtesting, here are a few of them.
"Wonderful little game. I can see myself play this over lunch many many times at work" /Game Producer Playtester
"It is beautiful how this unfolds in yourmind as you play it. It opens up new ideas how to succeed time and again. Really liked it" /A Programmer Playtester
"I can really see in front of me how two Vikings relax in the sunset in their boat, slowly drifting in the evening breeze, playing a game of HIRÞ" / And Industrial Designer Playtester
"I am really impressed with the depth, even though there are only 11 spaces. Great combinatorics with the pieces" / A Game Designer Playtester
"This is interesting. This is really interesting. Can we play another round?" / A Mathematician Playtester
"I honestly believed this was a replica of a real viking game. Did you come up with this? Now? It is not Historical? Wow! Amazing feel in it, of being really Viking." / A Librarian playtester
"Really liked it. This is a very very special game." /A School Teacher Playtester
The Design Journey
HIRÞ was first designed several years ago. A long and slow (slow = good in this case) process of iterations have lead to the ready version of today, which it is great to be able to offer here on kickstarter. For those of you who have a special interest in game design as an activity, we wanted to share experiences from the design process, in the video below. Be warned though, geek-factor high! ;)
How to play HIRÞ
The gameplay of HIRÞ may look simple at first, at least for an experienced gamer. But in playtesting, many players have commented on the unexpected depth of the strategies and how new potential tactics kept unfolding in their mind as they played several matches, something that was seen as a very positive feature. Here is a quick overview of the gameplay.
Links and Social Media
Jon Manker - Lead Game Designer and Creative Director at Ion Game Design has designed HIRÞ and managed the design- and testing process over several years of iteration. Jon has been designing games since 1979, boardgames, role playing games, web games, meeting games, pc games, mobile games and other formats too. He has done research on game design at the University, created a bachelors degree game development education and is an advocate for games in many fields. Needless to say, he loves to play games, both digital and analogue. He enjoys playing together with others the most, which is one reason to why, of all game types, boardgames are closest to his heart.
Besime Uyanik is the COO of Ion Game Design and act as our social media and community manager. She will be the primary responsible running the HIRÞ campaign and the one answering to most of any questions you may have. Besime is a wonder of order, structure and efficiency and have from very early on in her career had positions of management and supervision. She is an enthusiastic and professional co-worker in everything she does. A great asset to any team.
Anna H. Lindberg is the Art Director of Ion Game Design. She is very knowledgeable in production for different media, especially for print, with over a decade of experience in Art Direction positions or similar senior design positions. She is also nurtures a passionate interest for board games.
Risks and challenges
When you pledge on Kickstarter you put your trust in a project long before it is completed and you build, with this trust, a possibility to realize this project. We value that kind of trust and we value the model of Kickstarter too. It is built on trust and Ion Game Design will honor that model and prove our trustworthiness in delivering HIRÞ.
Having said that, here are a few thoughts on the game and on production issues.
- The game has been developed in stages and over a very long time, iterated through many play testing sessions. The general impression (99%) from the play testers has been highly positive. The gameplay and the balance of the game is well tested.
- Manufacturing of the main game: The main game (not the special versions) are produced at two different locations. Both manufacturers are new suppliers to Ion, but they have been carefully selected in an quotation process that have spanned over more than six months.
We have also met face to face with five different manufacturers from China and have taken advice from numerous other game developers. We feel very confident in that they will deliver an excellent product. However, when it comes to may delivery time there are always many unforeseeable factors, but delivery in April should be a safe estimate.
- If the kickstarter turns out to become very successful, with several thousands copies ordered, the time to produce them may take longer than planned, due to the fact that they are partly hand made. Still, the crafted feeling of HIRÞ is worth some extra time. Well made games will be delivered, only somewhat delayed.
- Ion Game Design as a company is run by very experienced co-workers. We have a clear understanding about responsibility, quality and professionalism. We feel confident that we will be able to tackle any bumps on the production road.
- (20 days)