We call ourselves fortunate to have met Clay from Capstone Games last year at Essen Spiel. First at the Heavy Cardboard meetup with a short hello and we did a long talk, with Mira, at the Capstone booth the day after. Clay is such a smart, wonderful and energetic guy, and together with his lovely spouse Ashley, they have something great going with their publishing house. They introduced a new label, Simply Complex, for their more accessible yet challenging games, and launched that with the excellent The Climbers.
So when the possibility came around to have a virtual sneak peek at The Estates, designed by Klaus Zoch, the second title on the Simply Complex label, we couldn’t help but comply to write a little post on it. Include the work the Dutch guys, Thijs & Daan Van Paridon, did on it too and we are very excited!
The premise of the game
If you are like us and have that weeknight’s where time is precious, with the kids taking up the time or other social activities eating up possible board game time, a 40-minute shifting economic area control game for 2 to 5 players, sounds like a blessing!
The second luring thing here is, who doesn’t want to make loads of money and become the biggest investor & tycoon in The Estates its history? By cunning building and pleasing the Mayor a little, but not too much the City Council won’t like that, you will try to gain the most points by completing rows or lose points with incomplete ones. The City Council is something to think about nonetheless, I know you are greedy and don’t want too, but they will tear down uncompleted rows when the first two are finished. And you can figure where that leads to, loss of investments and that ain’t good for becoming that legendary Tycoon now, does it?
For the older or more informed audience, this title is a reprint of Neue Heimat. That title has been out of print for some time now. But gladly it will be back and now also through Kickstarter, available for a worldwide audience!
Enough with the talk, we demand pictures!
Want to get to know the man behind Capstone Games, Clay Ross?
As we want you to experience everything related to a board game life, and not just a dry game pitch or an overview of a board game, we include some fun stuff from the people behind our beloved games. We want you to get to know them a little more and keep the so important human connection, which makes this amazing hobby so great, tangible through the growing virtuals connections.
Here we go with Clay Ross, the man, the myth and the brains, behind Capstone Games! (we all know that behind every great man, there is an even greater woman. In this case, Ashley Ross! 🙂 )
Q: How would you describe your job to a child?
We make fun games about different activities in this world from historical settings to modern day times.
Q: Describe your life using board game titles only.
A little bit of Arkwright and Agricola to help Climb in this Terra Mystica world while enjoying some Vinhos all in the Pursuit of Happiness
Q: What is your guilty pleasure, it can be board games or any other noteworthy pleasure.
I’m a sucker for classic video games (Doom, Duke Nukem Age of Empires, Half-Life, etc) — brings back the memories!
Q: Would you let us hook up YOUR recently played list on Spotify to the office speakers? And if so, who will argue your taste of music the most?
Sure! It’s Your Favorite Coffeehouse — my brother Drew would hands-down argue about this taste of music as it’s not metal enough!
Q: Who or what “thing” or which moment has been your greatest inspiration in life and why?
Elon Musk — He’s all-around great guy doing amazing things and not afraid to go after big corporate entities
Q: What’s your favorite Disney ride? (if not Disney, what other?)
Oh my gosh Marlon — I’ve NEVER been to Disney! Probably a rollercoaster of some sort.
Q: If money, time and place aren’t relevant, what IP and with who, would you love to make an epic style boardgame series?
Rollercoaster Tycoon, Sim Golf, or Age of Empires (I love tycoon games and these are some of my favorite from back in the day)
Q: Will we live in a fully virtual reality world in 10 years? And how do you see analog board games evolving with that?
We will have both a massive AR and VR presence in 10 years. Some board games will incorporate it, but the classic euro wood/cardboard style will always be around as it’s the one of the best mediums for temporarily removing technology in one’s life.
Q: If you could place one billboard, which everybody could see, what would it say?
Q: What’s your favorite sports team and why?
Cincinnati Bearcats, college team! I’m also a huge Phil Mickelson fan.
Q: Any closing thoughts or things you want to share with the world?
Enjoy your life the way you want – be yourself.
Thanks for your Answers Clay! Some great answers here, but you really should chance that Disney fact and ride Space Mountain or Big Thunder. A theme parc building tycoon as you, is going to love that!
We hope you liked our short and fun questionnaire, and you got to know Clay a little better. But now we want something from YOU all:
What is YOUR number one take away from this?
~ Marlon & Erna