A giant slate and a world-spanning office

A giant slate and a world-spanning office

It is my great pleasure to announce that Naylor Games will be producing the following game projects:

  • A massive new expansion to Tony Boydell’s railway classic “Snowdonia.
  • 21X - a pocket-sized math puzzle game and the first new East Street title since our acquisition of the company.
  • NG6” (codename) - A massive, real-time, campaign-driven dungeon crawler dubbed by playtesters as “real time Gloomhaven.”
  • Game Jama boardgame-making "turbo filler" for game lovers.
  • A Magnate: the First City sequel

In addition, we are publicly launching our comprehensive back office service for independent creators: Back Office by Naylor Games. 

It’s safe to say… we’ve been pretty busy recently. And we like to think we’re only just getting started.

Why now?

As soon as the Kickstarter for Magnate had ended in December of 2019, I knew I wanted to publish more games - and I wanted to grow Naylor Games into the kind of publisher that would consistently make the kind of games I believed in. 

But I come from a systems and product background professionally, so I also knew this would not succeed without groundwork. We also still had to prove to the world that we could produce anything - let alone an ambitious, engaging, critically applauded and commercially successful game. With the worst supply chain crisis ever happening around us, we wouldn’t even get to prove that until the end of 2021. And it wouldn’t be until well into 2022 - as we started running out of stock all over the world and signed brilliant localisation partners in other languages - that it seemed to me that engaging and commercially successful became fair descriptors of Magnate.

All of this meant our efforts would be best served behind-the-scenes. We took the calculated risk that Magnate would be at least moderately successful and prepared the way for when we could be bolder. So we put all our effort into building knowledge, building systems, getting better and better at development on a myriad of projects, and learning how to do the critical things you need to make and ship products efficiently and effectively. 

Game Jam was the only title we decided to share publicly and it only achieved this because it revealed itself to have so much more potential than the small proof-of-concept I originally envisaged merely to test our methods. And as an accessible card game, it had the added benefit that we could easily test it outdoors in the darkest days of the pandemic, so we didn’t lose too much pace while so many of our lives were put on pause. 

Perhaps more importantly the journey turned out to be just as much about reflection: confronting what we’re bad at, and most importantly of all, finding out what we honestly believe. This period was expensive, and not always the most fun. Operating a bit like a submarine for a long time isn’t fun. Now that we’re ready for the next phase, it’s a delight to share it with you.

The next phase: making forever games

This kind of release slate is what I plan to be the shape of things to come: A range of ambitious titles that we can’t wait to play the final versions of. A set of projects that we are inviting our players into, to further develop and release when they’re ready to create enduring joy: a set of forever games.

As insanely exciting as this release slate is for the whole team, the most important thing for me personally was the result of that reflection, crystalised into this mission of Forever Games we have also published on the site today. It feels like we have a compass now, built on distinct beliefs that are not the same values and practices as every tabletop company shares. Indeed, I think there is much that people will disagree with, dislike, believe to be foolish even or doubt the practicality of to be found on that page. 

I won’t go into further details here - that page says it best and explains the why. Now, it’s worth exploring a bit more about the games themselves.

The slate in detail 

Snowdonia mega-expansion 

A very substantial new addition to Tony Boydell’s railway classic Snowdonia. I can’t say too much more  for now but I can say it is beyond thrilling to work with Tony to develop this. What we have in store is, in its own way, equal in stature to NSKN’s 2019 Master Set. It is 100% Snowdonia, but it will deepen the experience and push the game into some completely new design space I think the fans will enjoy. We have a duty to a very substantial and loyal fanbase and we will rise to the occasion.

You can sign-up to get updates here. 


Blackjack for math lovers, this maths puzzle game will be our first East Street release since our acquisition. Absolutely  opposite scale to Magnate, it's very much in keeping with East Street’s focus on fast, family- friendly fun in small boxes. It's an incredibly simple, highly accessible game for players of all kinds: very much including people who have no next to nothing about modern games (which will present a new and exciting marketing challenge - building upon what we’ve learned about a wider market we’ve been lucky to begin reaching with Magnate in the US). It’s utter marmite as far as games go: if you don’t like math puzzles, 21x isn’t for you - but it's a piece of compact, streamlined brilliance from the very talented designer Leo Samson. This will be Leo’s first published game, but I am sure not his last. A name to watch.

Learn more here

NG6 [working-title]

Likely our next big new game release, there is no better way to describe this game than how some of our playtesters have: “Real-time Gloomhaven!”. If that’s not ambitious I don’t know what is: and it’s one hell of an intimidating high concept to live up to (a comparison to BGG’s number 1 title? No pressure!). But my hopes for this one are high. I can’t think of any other game we’ve done that’s had such overwhelmingly positive feedback and that we enjoy so much we have to actively resist simply playing it to playtest it. It’s innovative and very fresh: like playing an action RPG at your table. No surprise: this one has been brewing in our Lead Developer Jaya Baldwin’s head for many years, reaffirming that games from the heart, with long gestations, are the best. It is a joy to see a game with Jaya as the lead designer. 

You can sign-up here

Game Jam 

Formerly known as "Boardgames: The Boardgames (The Card Game)" this one is already underway and you can learn more about the game here. Gradually I am seeing more and more people engage with it, which is delightful - especially game designers. Expect to hear more soon!

Magnate II

This is the one I can say the very least about of all. We have a great design that has been brewing for some time. But I am unconvinced as yet if it really nails what it wants to be yet. What I can say is that this is not an expansion but a new standalone title. We do have several tested Magnate expansion concepts. It’s possible that in our agile approach, they will rocket forward and overtake this, but they are not our immediate goal, while we wait to see how the now localised versions of magnate and its second print run land. 

I am immensely proud of Magnate, there are things we can improve about but it is mostly already the game it wants to be. But I think the biggest area for improvement is in reconceptualisation of its form while preserving its experience, and gameplay. There is something in Magnate’s core that is so incredibly accessible and resonates with so many people, but a more accessible product overall would benefit it. 

Back Office by Naylor Games

As if this wasn’t all enough, we also decided this was the right time to take our comprehensive, global outsourcing service public. I think I’ve said enough about the work we’ve done to systematize what we do and lay the foundations for success by slowly building out the typically considered “boring” competencies needed for success in publishing. It only made logical sense to me to give others access to all this. After all, it turns out it's one of the things we are really good at and right now this industry is seeing this game-unrelated administration work senselessly duplicated all over the world. That's something we can fix. 

Our new information page says it all. If you’re an independent creator, we may be able to help you quite a lot. 

That is, I hope you will agree, plenty enough for now!

All the best,

James Naylor

CEO & Game Designer - Naylor Games


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