SS Sandbrook: Awful News!

Old newspaper print showing large fire on a steamship

An awful day! Conflagration aboard the SS Sandbrook

Mystery on the SS Sandbrook is our first released social deduction game based on a little town called Sandbrook. You can check out the game here.

More news of a recent Heist and strange goings on at the Sandbrook Museum have also been heard so keep your eyes open for more information about our little town.

Interesting picture? Check out the original here!

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Sandbrook: Reaching New Shores!

visit sandbrook 1.png
Mystery on the SS Sandbrook is our first released social deduction game based on a little town called Sandbrook. You can check out the game here.

More news of a recent Heist and strange goings on at the Sandbrook Museum have also been heard so keep your eyes open for more information about our little town.

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Our little ‘Cult’ of Sandbrook Pt. 2

Part 2: Latest News: Danger on Board!
Part 1

SS Sandbrook sinking in flames

Terror on Board!

News has come in about trouble aboard the SS Sanbrook. Telecomunications sent from the Captain during the night indicate foul play. Apparantly members of the crew were awoken suddenly when an explosion rocked the ship in the night. On investigating the engine rooms our famed Mystic Madame Fazir saw a robed person leaving the scene. A statement fron Sandbrook Shipping indicates that a royal inquisitor is on board and may be the target of the attack. Negociations between the Sandbrook Cult and the Inquisition came to an explosive end last month following the assasination of Head Inquisitor Lord Broderic and this could be linked.

Want to find out what really happened aboard? Mystery on the SS Sandbrook is our free to print and play card game for September. You can find it here from the first of September.

Heist at Sandbrook Museum!


The only released picture on record of the person known only as “The Mastermind”

A heist at Sandbrook Museum took place on Monday, with thieves taking several valuble treasures, including an ancient book supposed to be over 3000 years old! According to the local investigation team the task was well planned and has lead to the arrest and investigation of 2 suspects, one of which has been released without charge. According to our sources, the person known only as ‘The Mastermind’ left his calling card of a bloodied severed hand at the museum and a message to the investigation team stating simply “He lives”. Very strange!

Sandbrook Heist! is a free print and play card game currently in development for a late 2017, early 2018 release.

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SS Sandbrook 0.8 Release

Hi all,

Just a quick post to let you know that the Beta 0.8 of our upcoming card game SS Sandbrook is now on Patreon for download. Its a social deduction game about a cult trying to get rid of an inquisitor on an old steamship, with a steampunk/lovecraftian theme. Check it out here!

Have fun!


Sunday Progress Update: 11th June 2017

Hi all! Here’s our roundup of this week’s progress, an overview of what’s available and what’s coming soon.

What’s available to download or order now?

Free for anyone

Pocket Munch: see here

Let’s Photograph: see here

Free to Patrons

Cat Academy Micro Battle 0.8: a wallet game version of Cat Academy, see below.

The Lowest Bidder 1.0: a simple wallet card game where player’s compete to sell their products.

Harle games, the lowest bidder card front

$5 subs: 

SS Sandbrook 0.7 print and play, see below

$20 subs:

Sandbrook Heist Alpha 0.2, see below

Cat Academy Beta 0.7, see below

Don’t forget Patrons are only charged when a full, complete card or board game is released not every month, and it doesn’t cost you a penny to sign up!

What have we been working on this week?

Village life version 2 being played at Harle Games

Village life under heavy (messy) Playtesting

Village Life: currently working on prototype 3, an economy game designed for teenagers, but with a complexity that adults will also enjoy. We have been Playtesting version II this week and the players are enjoying it, but the economy needs a little tweaking to make it more enjoyable. Playtime currently between 30 minutes to an hour. More info here, and here.

Game mechanics: 0.4
Artwork: 0.2
Rules and rulebook: 0.4
Costings: 0.5

SS Sandbrook: A social deduction card game for 3- 9 players. Version 0.7 has been playtested fully and we are now finalising version 0.8 for printing. We hope to have this as the first finished release to Patrons in the next month or so. An expansion is also currently on hold at 0.3 whilst we complete the main game. More info here and here.

Game mechanics: 0.8
Artwork: 0.2
Rules and rulebook: 0.6
Costings: 0.7

Sandbrook Heist! A quick social deduction card game. Currently playtesting version 0.2 with an update to 0.3 in the pipeline.

Game mechanics: 0.5
Artwork: 0.1
Rules and rulebook: 0.3
Costings: 0.9


Sandbrook Heist v0.2 printed for playtesting. Also shown ‘Spell Wars’ not currently being worked on

Unnamed kid’s matching game, basic emotional vocabulary. Idea stage. To be used in schools / young parents. Likely to be released free to Patrons.

See here

What’s also in the pipeline?
Current progress of all games not mentioned above:

Cat Academy Battle: a fun, fast mix and match game about getting the best Cat you can. Players match adjectives to their Cat cards to earn the most points they can in a round. In Battle! Mode, players also fight for their team – friendly or ferocious.

Version number: 0.7
Game mechanics: 0.7
Artwork: 0.6
Rules and rulebook: 0.5
Costings: 0.7

Evolve! A new 3 round board game where players build up their plant and animals over 3 seperate rounds. Taking on a different plant/animal each time with winner takes (eats?) all. Printed but not Playtesting due to time restraints. Pre-alpha stage.

Tranquility Station: players arrive, job cards in hand to their first job on a space station. Chaos ensues as traitors, aliens and viruses spread through the ship. Board game for up to 8 players. More info here. Pre-alpha stage.

Tranquility station being played online

Tranquillity Station on TTS

Sins of Satan: My own card game based on “Secret Hitler”, where players try to to promote virtues and stop Satan from playing Sin cards. More info here. A quicker play through designed for a younger audience.

Version number: 0.7
Game mechanics: 0.7
Artwork: 0.3
Rules and rulebook: 0.7
Costings: 0.8


One of the sins players must try and avoid

A note on game versions, alphas, betas etc.

Alpha means it is in a playable state, but either untested or needs a lot of work.

Beta means it is playable and has been well playtested, but requires some additional work or finishing off.

Version number: How close we are to completing the game overall.
Game mechanics: How close we are to having the mechanics tested and set in stone
Artwork: How much artwork we have completed for the game, usually the final part.
Rules and rulebook: How much the rules are set and the rulebook written and edited.
Costings: How far we have cost/benefited the game and considered publishing costs etc.

0.0 – 0.4: Game/area is in early stages.
0.4 – 0.7: Game has been well Playtesting but requires work.
0.8 – 0.9: Game is in the final stages of completion, usually lacking final editing, artwork etc.
1.0: Game is completed and released. “Free for all” games will have a blog entry with download. Others will be available to download through Patreon as completed.

Comments and suggestions? Want to see something not shown? Please let us know in the comments below!

Game update: SS Sandbrook V0.8 Redesign

Just a quick update to show what we have been working on.

We have been busy redesigning SS Sandbrook to make it easier to read based on some feedback and changing the art to creative commons 0 artwork.

We have also had art specially made for the card backs as seen in the top image, which are a big improvement from the old backs.

Character card, SS Sandbrook

Mystery on the SS Sandbrook print and play cards

Sneak peak at the print and play version for Patrons coming soon!

Fancy helping our tabletop club provide free games and a safe space for disadvantaged students? Want to get this and other games made up for you? Check out our Patreon page!

Focus on: 8 versions of SS Sandbrook

A little review of some of the changes to the SS Sandbrook game over the last year of playtesting and updates.


The game started as an offshoot from a defunct game called “Sandbrook Museum”, a board game where players work to either place 6 artifacts and two ritual objects before daybreak (10 rounds) or prevent this from happening. Sandbrook Museum also started the Sandbrook series of game, based in a small town with a steam punk and Lovecraftian theme.

Placing artifacts on the board also caused players to become confused or go mad, causing different effects such as making good players place more artifacts etc.

Good players could also end the game early by placing 7 research cards onto the board before the final artifact was placed.

Sandbrook musem game board

A later version of the Sandbrook Museum game board

Playtesting revealed that, whilst fun, players were confused as to when to play the different cards and felt that it was too obvious who the good and evil players were within a couple of rounds.

Sandbrook Museum was later developed into a card only game following feedback that it would be nice to have a portable / card version of the game. The game worked better as a board game though so the idea was quickly scrapped, however the ideas and characters involved in it were taken and used to develop later into SS Sandbrook and Sandbrook Heist.

Version 1-3

SS Sandbrook developed as an offshoot, following on from the incidents that took place in Sandbrook Museum. The cult has found an inquisitor aboard a steamship and intend to take him out before he can report back. The inquisitor player must work with the other members of the ship to route out the cult before they are all turned against him, he is killed, or the ship is destroyed.

In the first version there were only the same characters as in Sandbrook Museum, the Inquisitor – though with new found powers (to actually do something!), the Mystic (formerly ‘the Seer’) , the Traitor, the Tycoon, the Tourist and the Doctor. They also discarded their names to become just titles based on feedback from players.

In version 3, Miss Waintrop, now known as the Tourist was dropped as unnecessary and not a fun character to play as (she could only play grey cards).

The Tourist player reappeared occasionally to add an extra player to the game when needed, but has officially not been part of the game since version 3.

Game character card

Wainthropp – Museum style

Tourist character card

Wainthropp – Steamship style

Party game card which makes two players skip their turn

Players were quick to point out that this just essentially means “pick up another three cards”

Chat game card which does nothing

Noone wants a chat anymore!

Some of the grey cards were also dropped as not being fun to play and therefore taking up space where more usable cards could be. These were dropped from the game.

Version 4-6

A redesign to the card layout removed the “in hand/pick up” icons and mechanic – players were often either confused by it or ignored it completely. When it was used it often also wasn’t fun. Eventually any cards that targeted the player solely because they picked it up were scrapped as players found that (unsurprisingly) becoming injured for picking up a card wasn’t fun.

This shows the importance of constant playtesting and updating your games -if something isn’t fun you won’t always recognise it yourself but others will!

New characters: the Shapeshifter appeared to take over other players’ lives. The Shapeshifter allowed another player to take part but as more of a neutral character than strictly good or evil. This character is also a slow burner, better for slightly longer games of over 15 minutes as the longer they are in play, the more powerful they become, eventually being able to kill others outright.

The Engineer and the Seducer also appeared alongside the shapeshifter, helping to fix the ship and turn people to their will.

Kraken character card for SS Sandbrook game

The Kraken! He has his own deck, own agenda and is out to get you all!

With version 5 also came the first iteration of the Kraken character, an admin role I originally created to be able to help run the games but without being one of the main characters. This character didn’t get playtests until version 7, and has changed little since except for taking a few of the more crazy cards out (like the one that changed everyone’s characters around – somewhat out of the games theme).

Call of madness game card, lovecraft themed

Funny – but a game ruiner. Discarded.

Between version 5 and 7, the markers for expansions were also discarded. You will be able to see on some of the cards a circle with “base”, “broken” or “Kraken” on. The base game and broken expansion (engineer/seducer characters) were rolled together and after version 6 were removed altogether as it confused players. In version 5 and 6 the card backs were also different to show the cards as from an expansion deck (I wanted it to be quick to playtest with and without the expansion). Playtests found they could work out who each others characters were by looking at the card backs, so this was scrapped for version 7.

Version 8 (Current playtesting version)

In version 8 the Kraken character made its proper debut as a playable character rather than an idea. With it came a few other characters which allows the playtests to get further play out of the game by changing how the dynamic works.

Apart from the Kraken (above), players can also chose from the Captain, the Cook, and The Collaborator. The Captain can work somewhat against the Kraken with the Engineer, the cook can defend other players but also poison players who are eating making that card much more dangerous. The Collaborator is a new version of the secret cultist with his own orange deck, the ability to play cultist cards and imune to one of the inquisitors powers. This is a powerful character, but has found to be fairly balanced and add a different tactic to gameplay.

A change to the cult has also been added, there are two cultists if there are more than 6 players – one secret (or collaborator) and one “known” cultist, making the cult more powerful.

Murdered players now also discard their cards on death, meaning that they cannot take cards out of the game as some players were doing on purpose and elimination cards also now take effect immediately to avoid confusion

Changes for version 9 so far are:

Need to sort out layout errors such as making captain the right colour (blue rather than grey).

Editing the rules to make more concise and change the order in which players are dealt characters to avoided having one over powered character.

I will continue to update this page as changes occur over time, but hope that this has been a little insight into how one particular game has developed over time through playtesting!

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