Welcome to an interview for the series Game Credits Who’s Who (#GameCreditsWW). Ever read the credits page of a game you enjoy and wonder about the various positions listed? Would you like to work in the game industry someday but are not sure how some of the positions work? This Monday series will take a personal look into those positions and introduce you to real people doing those very jobs in the game industry. This week, let me introduce you to Level3B, Game Accessory Provider.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do as game accessory provider.
We, here at Level 3B, are a team of 3 designers: Amy Burns, Jason Burns and Matthew Bluhm (that’s where the 3B comes from in our name ;D). Jason and Amy are a brother-sister team, and Matthew and Jason went to the same school for 3D art and animation. While our personal art interests vary from painting and paper crafting to sculpting*, and pen and ink calligraphy, the heart of our work lies in our love of graphic design, innovation and story.
*See the picture of a sample of Jason’s sculpted designs for an upcoming Kickstarter release for Taiyo Dynasties by Ulfsark Games.
The three of us started working together shortly after Jason and Matthew finished school, and each of them had a chance to work in the design department for Fisher Price. We began with a series of conversations about story that led to the development of a couple of children’s books (which are still in progress.) It was only a matter of time before we realized that board games were our strongest ties with each other and began to develop concepts for theme and game play for multiple game ideas. We began researching the question, “what makes a great game?” We would spend hours watching YouTube reviews and playthroughs by all the greats in the board gaming world. Also, we spent more and more time at the table with games that were recognized for ingenuity, beauty and fun. It didn’t take long before our combined collection had surpassed 500 games! This was when we realized that what makes the gaming experience most meaningful is the environment, people at the table, stellar components, immersion of theme and connection (or camaraderie) between players. Of course, this seems obvious to an avid gamer, but it was an important turning point in our design work.
From our experience working with fabrication tools, and digital modeling, we began to dream of ways to increase the depth of story immersion by upgrading components. From this background, we started developing and laser engraving custom dice ~ namely, Level Up Dice.
How did you become a game accessory provider?
Due to the fact that we were always on the look-out for the next great game to bring to the table, we realized that what was most lacking was a way to transport these gems to and fro to each other’s homes. Nothing ruins a game experience more than spilled chits and crumpled cards scattered all over the car or pavement (things we have experienced first hand.) So, from this frustration we began to forge the great paper pattern for the advent of the Game Canopy System. This is our first big launch into the game accessory world, but we are so excited about the other ideas we have for the future.
Share with us some of your recent projects.
Level Up Dice ~ Custom designed dice for the purpose of upgrading games for a more thematic experience. While we enjoy them just for the artful expression, we are excited to be working on developing a full game experience around them.
Game Canopy System ~ The Game Canopy, Vanguard and related accessories: a comfortable shoulder strap (or two for backpack style option,) saddlebag – the removeable side pouch, and Canopy Crest – the ID tag.
We are also in the stages of working on some new models for the Game Canopy and will be prototyping them in the next few months.
What is your greatest frustration or pet peeve as a game accessory provider?
Finding a publisher for our dictionary of made-up words inspired from typos during the writing of pages and pages of copy: i.e.. the “zapper flap” (origin: the zipper flap protection for the Game Canopy and Vanguard) “Poe-tenkale” (the ruler of the “Socal-meid” lands ~ origins: potential and social media) and “Deige” (a war cry ~ origin: a mis-spelling of design.)
Wishing we could have all the colors of the Game Canopy and Vanguards available 😀
Trying to find the perfect art and upgrading wooden cubes to sculpted minis and other great components for our favorite games.
Coordinating shipping as it pertains to international law and logistics. We love the interaction we have with our fellow gamers, and we especially enjoy sharing our designs with them. However, we feel the frustration when anything comes between us and delivering these ideas to those around the world.
How can readers learn more about you or contact you?
Over the next year, we have ideas for content creation of behind-the-scenes videos and interactive story creation. Our first priority is the fulfillment of our Kickstarter for the Game Canopy and the launching of our online store to be found through our website (level3b.com.) It currently isn’t live, but we will keep our newsletter subscribers in the know.
We are so humbled by everyone’s support, and enthusiasm, for the Game Canopy System! We encourage you to sign up to our newsletter at Level3b.com so you can stay up-to-date on the latest news and other great content from Level 3B.
Website/Newsletter ~ Level3b.com
Twitter ~ @Level3b https://twitter.com/level3b
[Note: we each have our own Twitter accounts where we focus on our own personal interests @Matthewlevel3b @Amylevel3b and @Jasonlevel3b]
Instagram ~ https://www.instagram.com/level3b/
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/level3b/
YouTube ~ https://www.youtube.com/c/level3b
Email ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog ~ we are in the process of creating one, in the future it will be found at level3b.com