With the tagline, “the game where common knowledge becomes uncommonly fun,” Anomia challenges players to name items from categories such as “sports” or “dog breeds.” Sound simple? Try it under pressure against an opponent trying to beat you to the punch. Last month, Andrew Innes, 40 of Roslindale, Mass., released Anomia, a fast-paced card game that fuses trivia with word recognition.
With the tagline, “the game where common knowledge becomes uncommonly fun,” Anomia challenges players to name items from categories such as “sports” or “dog breeds.”
Sound simple? Try it under pressure against an opponent trying to beat you to the punch.
Last month, Andrew Innes, 40 of Roslindale, Mass., released Anomia, a fast-paced card game that fuses trivia with word recognition.
Inspired by the card games he played as a child, Innes started developing the game six years ago. Along the way, he got married, had two children and moved from Brooklyn to Boston.
“The biggest hurdle has been my [growing responsibilities],” Innes said. “I’ve got a full-time job. I’ve got two kids. I have a variety of other interests I like to pursue.”
Before the card game became Anomia, Innes made the first prototype on card stock with laser printer at home. It was packaged in black bags.
As had developed the game, he said it became “very complicated” and had considered making a board game.
“There were just all these moving parts,” Innes said.
Through the years, he simplified the game and it returned to being a card game. During the dozens of “play-testing” sessions, Innes estimated he had tried out Anomia on 300 to 400 people.
“I would literally get friends together and play,” Innes said. “As I got further into that, I would get friends of friends, and then I would I try to get people that I didn’t know at all.”
He said two results came from the play tests: feedback to refine the game and a directory of potential future players.
But the biggest question for Innes, who works as a product and project manager at a financial publisher, was whether he should pitch his creation to a game company or publish it himself.
Using online social networking Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, he launched a campaign in the spring to raise $20,000 — the amount he needed to launch Anomia Press and self-publish. Given his professional experience, Innes said he was confident he could run his own online marketing campaign.
In addition to his personal savings and other contributions, Innes presold 500 games. He raised the money in about seven weeks, which allowed him to print 2,500 copies of the game.
This past summer, production started in Battle Creek, Mich. Innes had hoped to receive the shipment of his games in September. The process did not go as planned.
“The production process took a lot longer than I anticipated,” he said.
But the delay was serendipitous, as the first shipment of Anomia games arrived on Nov. 15 on two pallets weighing more than a ton. His customers got the game in time for Thanksgiving.
“[It was] a perfect, concentrated time where people were gathering with their families looking for something to do,” Innes said.
Stephanie Daniels, 40, of Belmont, Mass., and her husband brought Anomia with them when their families gathered on Cape Cod for Thanksgiving.
The mother of one child said she and a few relatives are “real game people,” and were excited to have a new game for holiday get-togethers.
“It is so easy to jump in and understand how to play,” Daniels said. “And once everyone gets it, it starts to roll along quickly with people laughing and jumping in to try and shout out the right answer.”
Daniels said she is ordering several more copies as holiday gifts.
Anomia has a $25 price tag, but each set is numbered and individually signed by Innes. The game is meant for three to six players, ages 10 and up.
Innes said he hopes to build on the core game and develop variations and expansion packs.
“I would like to have a little rotating kiosk display with the core game and all the expansion packs in toy stores and book stores,” he said, adding he would happily make Anomia a full-time job if he could.
“If the feedback that I’m getting is any indication, I feel like I have something pretty good here,” he said.
For more information, go to anomiapress.com.