Father-son team develops board game

2013-04-14T20:33:00Z 2013-05-15T17:03:10Z Father-son team develops board gameDiane Poulton Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 14, 2013 8:33 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Valparaiso High School student Austin Shingler and three of his friends spent many hours of their spring break playing Time Soldiers, a newly developed board game.

“Family game night at the Shingler home takes on a whole new meaning now,” Shingler said.

What makes their experience different is the game was designed through the collaborative efforts of 15-year-old Shingler and his father, Ray, a mechanical engineer who has lost his job. But during his career, he'd branched into graphic arts and website design for Fortune 500 companies.

Time Soldiers, which can be played in 20-minute to 90-minute scenarios, is only available through sponsorships at kickstarter.com with a goal of raising $16,500 to finish the design and manufacture the game. Once that goal is reached, a pledge of $10 earns a Time Soldiers T-shirt, $15 a Time Soldiers wall poster and $35 the entire board game. The first 100 people to pledge $25 get the game at a reduced rate, Ray Shingler said.

Per Kickstarter’s policy, no pledges will be charged to credit cards until and unless the funding goal is reached, Ray Shingler said.

Time Soldiers adds a science fiction twist to World War II, where Allies battle to destroy a time-travel port that guarantees the survival of the enemy's supreme human race. It is set in time on May 7, 1945, just hours after the official surrender of the German army. In the game plot, Allied intelligence has discovered documents about an Axis secret time-travel port, successful temporal jumps and a radical plot to rid the world of the human race, Ray Shingler said.

“The Allied plan of attack must be carefully thought out and executed,” Ray Shingler said. “Any wrong move could signify an Axis win. All the while, decoys and Axis forces lie in wait.”

Ray Shingler said the idea for the game began when he questioned his eldest son’s fascination with Xbox games.

Austin Shingler said he enjoyed the fast action.

“He liked the feel of the hands-on experience and the story line,” Ray Shingler said.

“That started the ball rolling and the dialogue between him and me,” Ray Shingler said. “Most board games don’t have a story line like that; they have more of a goal.”

Shingler also “tween tested” the game on his 11-year-old son and his friends.

Austin Shingler had been playing a World War II-based game but he didn’t know the history behind it.

“I thought it would be fun to bring a little of that into board game,” Ray Shingler said. “He also plays some other sci-fi games so I kept a sci-fi twist to this as well. I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if one side could time travel?’ and that is how the story line started.”

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