WELCOME TO STRÄCKSPELSFABRIKEN
a Swedish indie card game designer.
Sträckspelsfabriken is a one man show (with loads of help from friends and family) that invents, designs and self-publishes card and board games. My name is Johan and this is my greatest hobby.
Most of my games are published as print-on-demand on American website The Game Crafter. They're great, because their online shop and world wide shipping services allow me to make my games available to everyone. I don't have to sit on a box of 500 copies of a game of which most might never be sold. Self-publishing a game is a massive undertaking, and quite frankly, if it wasn't for TGC you probably wouldn't be here right now.
On this page you'll learn more about the games I've created, what's coming in the future, and the process and efforts that go into making each individual game. While I have a ton of ideas I would never publish a game that I wouldn't play myself. I take pride in releasing games that work, are balanced, bring something new to the table, and/or I feel are commercially suitable.
On the individual game pages you'll learn more about each game, find additional resources, strategy guides, high score lists, and more. All written by yours truly unless otherwise stated.
"Cash Cards" from the game Highest Bidder: Art Auction.
Timber "Cargo Tokens" from the game Trains & Cargo.
MONTHS OF LABOR
You can imagine the time, effort and money put into all of this — editing the games, writing and proof reading the details of the rule books, designing all the cards and game boxes, setting up this website, not to mention the countless hours of test playing my ideas. It takes around six months for a game to be ready and published from when I seriously start focusing on an idea.
I do all of this because I love and enjoy it, at a financial cost that's far greater than what I can ever hope to get back. But if you're here, reading this, it must mean that you have at least a slight interest in what I do. And nothing means more to any creative person — be it an artist, musician, or card game maker — than when someone shows appreciation for your work by buying it.
Keep scrolling to learn more about what I've created. If you like what you see and think you might enjoy playing it, head on over to The Game Crafter to buy yourself a copy. These are games that I love to play with friends and family, and which my friends and family love playing with each other even when I'm not around. I'm confident that you too will love them if you give them a chance, and that you'll be impressed by what I've accomplished in my spare time.
If you have questions, suggestions, concerns or just want to say hi, please reach out. I'd be happy to hear from you!
Four game series by Sträckspelsfabriken:
An exciting 2-5 player game in which you place secret bids on cards at the center of the table. Your bids will include cards such as "Next is invalid", "Draw a random card" and "Double points", and bids are revealed one card at a time — the order matters and you cannot change it once the bidding has begun.
Highest Bidder has received excellent reviews from players and board game sites, praising its social aspect and card interactions. It comes in a variety of versions with different designs and rule tweaks.
A fresh and triangular take on traditional playing cards with which you can play a wide variety of games. This series of stunning decks comes with 90 cards in each and printed rules for two games — with more to download for free here on the website!
The Triangles series is not a game of its own, but more of a unique take on traditional playing cards. Each card represent a third of a triangle. Match three pieces to make a complete triangle. There are 9 whole triangles which serve as jokers in some games, and though each deck has a visually different theme all games can be played with any of the decks.
Collect cargo, load it onto your train and send the train off when the time is right. Manipulate the market values of the eight cargo types and play special cards to bend the rules.
Trains & Cargo is a game all about predicting the market through the cards in your hand and the actions of other players. Keep your own cargo high in value while lowering the values of others. Play individually 2-4 players, or 4-6 players in teams of two.
Includes a "Routes & Locomotives" add-on which comes in the box as standard. This is Sträckspelsfabrikens heaviest game in terms of components.
Play as the Hunter or the Mammoth in this unforgiving two player game of survival. Hunt down and kill your prey and your village will live to see another day. Fail, and it will slowly give in to starvation.
In Tribal Hunt there are three decks: the Hunter deck, the Mammoth deck and the Tribe deck. As the Hunter, throw spears at the Mammoth in attempts to hit and kill her. As the Mammoth, lash out and charge towards the Hunter. Before each hunt, select a Tribe card with a unique ability from your village to be active this turn.
An innovative distance system utilizing wooden cubes is used to enhance the games' feel of intense battle.
How Sträckspelsfabriken operates
The Game Crafter
All games produced by Sträckspelsfabriken are invented, designed and play tested by myself. The latter is of course done thoroughly with the help of others, but there's no big brand or team behind the process.
The games are printed on-demand in America by a manufacturing company called The Game Crafter, and sold via their online shop. They're pretty awesome! Great quality, good service and a lot of flexibility for game creators such as myself — a copy is printed each time someone places an order so there's no need for a storage facility, and with reasonable international shipping fees it could hardly get any better 😀 For a simple card game in a smaller box, such as Highest Bidder: Art Auction, international shipping is less than $10!
Of course, print-on-demand comes at a cost. I could print 500+ copies in China at a fraction of the cost of The Game Crafter, and sell at a greater profit. But it's an incredibly crowded market and without a publishing house backing me or a massive marketing budget odds are I would end up with a box of 490 games that would never get sold.
Each game I create I make primarily for myself. I create games that I want to play, and I thoroughly enjoy the creative process. A few friends and family members might buy a copy each, and if a single stranger buys one too that's a bonus, but bottom line is that, as much as I love and believe in my products, I don't have the interest to mass market them. And therefore, I'd rather have them available online at a slightly higher price than not available at all.
Spread the word
As a tiny game creator in a crazy crowded market, hitting it big is near impossible. That's why I work on social media and rely on word-of-mouth. I sell my games as print-on-demand in low volumes. I'd like to think my games are awesome, and I believe you will feel the same.
Please support me and what I do by purchasing my games. Follow my Instagram account and like Sträckspelsfabriken on Facebook. Use #strackspel and the individual hashtags for each game. Post photos, videos and status updates about that awesome game you just played.
This is my hobby and passion. Thank you for being part of it!
Artists, look here!
I admit it, I suck at art. At the moment I work in various apps and Photoshop to produce the artwork for my games, but for future games I definitely need some assistance.
If you're an artist, get in touch! While I can't pay you the way larger companies can, we can produce something beautiful together – maybe even inspired by your art – and of course you'll get a supply of the game we make together.
I firmly believe that the artwork is half the appeal of any game. In the past, I have taken different approaches to solve this challenge, including:
- Working together with artists with permission to use their existing artwork as art in the game. For example, I collaborated with my friend Pernilla Lindgren on the game Highest Bidder: Art Auction and Swiss artist Dominic Vonbern on Triangles Beetles.
- Using a combination of public domain art/cartoons and paid-for stock images. I did this with Trains & Cargo.
- Using free art-generating apps.
- Using my own photography, for example in Triangles Original and Triangles Oceans.
- Paying for original art designed especially for my games, for example on buyer/seller website Fiverr.com. I've done this for Tribal Hunt.
GET IN TOUCH...
Game questions, suggestions, concerns or just to say hello...
TOP IDEAS IN PROGRESS:
I'm constantly working on new games and ideas. Some make it to print, others fail at the testing phase, and some only become a series of notes in my notebook. Here are the projects that are currently likely to make it to print over the next six months, in order of how far along they are:
1. TRAINS & CARGO:
This card game already exists in a basic version, but the full version which will be released sometime in the autumn of 2017 is currently being tested and checked for artwork and spelling errors.
2. TRIBAL HUNT:
This simple but satisfying game is inspired by a mobile game. Unfortunately, I have been unable to reach the developers. Instead, I have now hired an artist and am hoping to be able to release the game later this year.
3. TRIANGLES NUDITY
The Triangles series of playing cards already has three unique decks, each with a base game plus one unique game for that deck. The Nudity version started as a joke with a friend but is now closer to become reality as a new game for it is being tested and the artwork is half-way done.
4. SKI SLOPE
This work-in-progress name is about a race down a ski slope. The game is different because all players will be playing cards from their hands that react differently depending on where in the slope they currently are. Your speed will increase or decrease depending on what cards you play, and as you progress your options will be more and more limited as your cards are running out. This is currently only an idea, but it will be play tested using a prototype very soon.
Cards from Triangles Original.