Founded in 2004 by Douglas Schwartz, Pegamoose Games is an Austin-based, small-press game company. John Lennon sang, "Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans." We believe you should enjoy life, make plans to play games, and share the good times with family and friends.
History of Snipe Hunt and the origin of Pegamoose Games
Coming from a family of serious gamers, I’ve played games as long as I can remember. I breakfasted on pretzels and Andes’ candies the morning after my parents’ bridge parties. As kids, my sister and I invented all sorts of ruleless games, such as Poker Chip Gold Mine and Marble Rodeo. My fellow band-geek and I played travel Scrabble™ in the grandstands at high school football games. In college, I spent hours playing Monopoly™, Risk™, or Jenga™ at the local coffee house. My college friends and I even invented an elevator version of Twister™. After graduation, we established a weekly game night.
In 1999, a friend from work got me hooked on Cheapass Games (CAG). While I was surfing the CAG site, something James Ernest wrote struck a chord with me. He said something to the effect of "If you have an idea for a game, don’t send it to me – do it yourself." I took those words as a challenge and began contemplating a game of my own.
I thought of a few ideas, some of which are slowly evaporating on the back burner. One idea was built around the concept of a game I played as a child, a game called This Game is Bonkers!™. The thing I liked about This Game is Bonkers!™ was the way movement around the board changed every time it was played. I designed a game with the random, fluctuating movement of This Game is Bonkers!™, and added a theme. The theme of the game reminded me of a wild goose chase, and set the premise for Snipe Hunt.
In the original Snipe Hunt, pawns traveled clockwise and counter-clockwise around a square, game board track, potentially hoping to land on a space with the Snipe. Two sets of cards defined the game: one set players would draw, the other providing the action of how to move the pawns. The very first creation of Snipe Hunt was written on the backs of no-longer-useful business cards.
Rehtmeyer Inc. professionally evaluated a later beta of Snipe Hunt. They determined the game was unbalanced with a playability targeted toward a younger crowd, and content and humor intended for a more adult crowd. I scrapped the game board and completely revamped it to bring the strategy and playability up to the level of content. After torturing friends and family with a bazillion versions of the game, I eventually settled on one.
Before Snipe Hunt neared the point of completion, I toyed with the idea to take my game further than the weekly game night. After six-plus years into my computer science career, two layoffs, and dot-coms crumbling faster than the fall of Rome, I plotted my way out of the tech-biz by establishing my own game company. A lot of great people have offered me tons of help. James Ernest responded to my emails with several pieces of sound advice. Kristin Looney of Looney Labs spared some time during a demo in Austin to answer several of my questions. The marketeers at Rehtmeyer Inc., although not the evaluation I was hoping for, fed me food for thought. The other members of the Game Publishers Association provided gobs of knowledge and support. And, of course, my wife Julie and our game night friends provided honest feedback, excellent suggestions and plenty of support.
To all of those who have played a Pegamoose Game, thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy playing our games as much as I enjoy designing them. For the rest who have yet to play a Pegamoose Game, I hope they build a foundation for your own clan of game nighters, and bring a fountain of fond memories.
Let the dice and the good times roll.
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