There are so many reasons why someone wants to develop a game. For the developers of the game Fly a Way, the motivation, or goal, was a very simple one – “How do we raise awareness about endangered bird species?”.
If I’m honest, I came across a talk about bird extinction through a Linkedin ad that referenced the game – otherwise I never would have found it!
After we tested the game together, I again asked myself the same question I ask about so many other small publishers “How can it be that so few people are unaware of such a great game, which is even very much in the spirit of our time?”
Despite the long distance to the developers, I am very happy that we can sell another game from Singapore here in Europe.
Why have you decided to create your own game?
We are from Playlogue Creations, a game company in Singapore that believes in enriching conversations on different issues through games. Fly-A-Way is our first board game and brings together our love for design, experimentation and collaboration.
Working on a brochure on bird conservation for BirdLife International (Asia) in 2018, we had slowly but surely become enamored with migratory birds. The BirdLife Flyways Coordinator Yong Ding Li regaled us with tales of birds from around the world—something our creative director Oon Hong also often did in her other capacity as a bird photographer.
We knew we wanted to do something new in the area of bird conservation and something that would be fun and educational. We found the board game to be the perfect medium to map out the drama of bird migration and invoke the urgency of bird conservation.
With some passionate board game players already in our team, we got to work, developing the game mechanics and reaching out to different people from the board game community. It has been a rewarding and insightful journey, and we hope people will enjoy playing Fly-A-Way as much as we enjoyed creating it.
What interest you the most about developing games/ and what not?
Playing games as part of our work, learning from other games and using our experiences to create games that communicate the underlying messages we wish to convey. We like how games can simplify complex issues and connect with players. The process of playtesting, however, is filled with ups and downs. Through playtests, we learned that we cannot cater to everyone and have to filter and accept feedback, both good and bad.
Tell us about the funniest failure or situation that you had as a developer.
In choosing the birds for Fly-A-Way, we had to consider the replicability of their journeys on our game map, while also picking suitable powers for them.
After refining our game during the final playtesting sessions in the two months after our Kickstarter campaign ended, we found that the Ala Shan Redstart card caused certain imbalances and didn’t work as well as we wanted. As a result, we had to replace this bird with the Snowy Owl.
The funny thing is that, though the Snowy Owl only came into the picture due to an oversight, we now can’t imagine Fly-A-Way without it. It’s such a pretty and majestic bird.
What makes your game/games unique?
We realized a lot of wildlife-themed games are centered in the US or European regions. Being a Singapore-based company, we wanted to shine a light on migratory birds in the Asian region. Working with BirdLife International (Asia) as our knowledge partner for Fly-A-Way, we hope to increase awareness of conservation efforts in this region.
What was the best moment you had as a game developer?
The best moment was being able to ship Fly-A-Way to our supporters after we had worked on the game for almost two years. We will always be grateful to the Kickstarter backers, the playtesters and everyone else who has been part of our game development journey.
Games sold: Fly a Way