We asked Matt to tell us a little about his company, and how he came up with the idea for his game.
The name ‘Golden Ginty Games’ is based on a silly nickname we have for Amber (our beloved Sprocker spaniel). I’ve really no idea where that name came from, but we dog owners all seem to have them!
Golden Ginty Games is actually a family of five humans and two doggies – myself (Matt), Jo (my wife), Ollie, Isaac and Ella (the kids) and our two Sprockers, Amber (8 years) and Molly (2 years).
The company was set up in 2018 after my silly challenge to the family, ‘to create a game,’ got out of hand and somehow led to us running a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and eventually publishing Canine Kleptomaniacs!
If you’ve camped or caravanned, especially with kids, you’ll know there are those days where you’re stuck inside with the rain lashing down, and the threat of boredom ensues. Wind back the clock to 2017 and we’re stuck in our caravan in a boggy field in Cornwall somewhere, facing this dilemma. Usually, at this point, we’d whip out the board games and coerce the children into a few reluctant rounds of Uno, Boggle, Bananagrams or the dreaded Monopoly! Anything, in fact, to get the kids off their various screens!
On this occasion, I came up with a different idea – why don’t we invent a game? I can’t remember exactly what prompted this thought, except that even I was bored of playing the same old games, and I didn’t want our valuable family time away to be lost to the lure of screens. We had a family chat, and after discussing the matter we decided it would be funny to make the game about our spaniel Amber’s crazy thieving habits.
After scribbling on lots of bits of paper my middle son Isaac drew a really cute little squirrel character. I wish I still had the original drawing, but alas all those scraps of paper have long gone now. Anyway, this little character started to influence the whole creative process and sense of silliness. Meanwhile, my eldest son (17 at the time) discovered a talent for drawing on the computer, and we started to design some cards – with the whole family chipping in ideas for card actions and me (mostly) coming up with humorous quips!
We had to abandon our game creation efforts at the end of our summer trip, and it wasn’t until the following summer that we started to play with ideas again, but by the end of that summer, we’d got this whole thing to a point where we had cards printed out on the home printer and we were sharing it with family and friends.
That’s how Canine Kleptomaniacs started.
Tell us why Amber was the inspiration for the game!
Our 8-year-old Sprocker Amber has a dark and devious side to her character – she is an unrelenting, persistent, determined stealer of things. Socks, slippers, cycling shorts, t-shirts, towels, you name it, if it’s not fixed down, she’ll nab it.
This tendency to gather and stash stuff forms the basic premise of the game in which you play as a doggo trying to collect and hide sets of items to score pooch points. Everyone plays as a dog character and all the card actions are written as if in the mind and voice of a hound!
Tell us more about the Covert Ops add-on game?
When we dreamed up the original Canine Kleptomaniacs game, we simultaneously thought it would be fun to paint this sort of Mission Impossible / James Bond type picture of dogs as they go about their thieving of socks etc. Covert Ops (Mutts on a Mission) turns a central feature of the base game on its head. In Canine Kleptomaniacs, you collect and hide sets of cards in your Hiding Places, and once there, your cards are safe and will score you points. In the add-on game, there’s a whole new aspect where you can make raids on other players’ Hiding Places using all kinds of silly gadget action cards. It’s a lot of silly, sociable fun, and we still get a kick out of playing the game after hundreds of playthroughs!
What is your vision for the company?
We’re super chuffed with what we’ve achieved as a family, and with the steady stream of wonderful comments and reviews from people for whom Canine Kleptomaniacs has become a firm family favourite. It has exceeded all our expectations!
I think in the long run we’d like to find a game publisher to take on the title. In the meantime though, we’ll continue to enjoy writing our little thankyou notes to customers and packaging up the games, knowing they’re bringing much-needed joy, silliness and sociable fun into people’s lives.
Where can people buy your products?
We’ve got a Shopify store where you can buy both Canine Kleptomaniacs and Covert Ops. Although our US friends can still buy Canine Kleptomaniacs and have it shipped from within the US, we only stock Covert Ops here in the UK.
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