FAT MESSIAH GAMES

Unique fantasy & science-fiction boardgames. Our games feature tactical richness, innovative mechanics, and high playability. On this site you'll find detailed information about our product line, plus lots of support material including new scenarios, errata, and rules variants.

Hard Vacuum

Fight World War II in the hard vacuum of 1940's outer space!

Microgames

Small games, big play value!

Last Frontier: the Vesuvius Incident

Shapeshifters

Insecta

Savage bug-to-bug combat in a devastated world!

FMG Presents...

Games by guest-star designers!

Lifeboat New!

Robotanks

Virtual Sold Out

What's New?

March 16, 2005: Something's Moving
Well, someone's still buying our stuff, because Phil over at Sierra Madre says we just sold out of Hard Dice and Mutant Kits. Surprisingly, the dice never sold particularly well. (Who could have predicted we'd have trouble selling dice in this business!) But the Mutant Kits are the core of our still-popular Insecta line, so I'll work with Phil to get that back in stock as soon as I can.
-- Neal

March 15, 2005: Stayin' Alive
Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, we're still here. Response to last August's plea for feedback was underwhelming, but so is traffic to the site in general -- maybe all that indicates is that no one comes around here any more. So I'm embarking on a site rebuild, hopefully to include some new Hard Vacuum and Shapeshifters material in addition to bringing our technical underpinnings into the 21st century. Those of you still reading this, the first thing I plan to do is replace the 15-year-old main FMG email account with a mail form. Please drop me a line when it's ready so I know you're out there.
-- Neal

August 1, 2004: Is The Fat Lady Singing?
For more than a decade, FMG has been able to weather the ups and downs of the hobby games industry. We sailed through the card crash, distributor consolidations, the rise of the Internet, and even the Playstation incursion without too much damage. But the dice of destiny have finally landed on us, and the sixes may be on the bottom. Several factors have combined to hit us with the most serious crisis in our history:

  1. Our revenues for the last 18 months of Wizard's Attic fulfillment are buried in their Tycho-sized crater. Recovery chances are infinitesimal.
  2. The unstoppable D20 juggernaut changed the industry's outlook on small publishers in general, and independents in particular. Combined with our traditional slow release schedule this resulted in our separation from Impressions and consequent loss of access to the distribution network.
  3. As noted in late 2002, FMG is down to a single part-time staffer (Neal Sofge). The birth of his baby daughter Maia in January effectively halted all FMG operations other than the trickle of retail orders continuing to be processed by Sierra Madre Games. While he'll have a bit more time now that she's older, it's difficult to imagine design work continuing at the old pace. (As noted above, the old pace apparently wasn't fast enough anyway.)
  4. Finally, and perhaps most damaging, the hobby world seems to have rotated away from us over the past few years, if the disappointing market performance of the Shapeshifters 10th Anniversary Edition is any indication. Neal theorizes that the contemporary adventure gaming population has grown accustomed to higher priced, larger games with excellent component quality, lower rules complexity, and shorter playing times. This is exactly the opposite of the FMG design and production philosophy, which has its roots in the "cheap & deep" microgames of the early '80s. While we strive for decent components and clear rules, Insecta isn't X-Bugs.

We're still hanging on regardless of all of this, if only just barely. We've lasted through tough times before, and a new infusion of money, design talent, artists, production people or other resources could make the company healthy once again in spite of the first three factors listed above.

However, that last factor's hard to deal with, and so we'd like to take this opportunity to listen and see if the fat lady's singing after all. This is your chance to vote with your dollars: if you like our games, our attitude, or even just our company name then please head on over to Sierra Madre and buy something to give us some sorely-needed cashflow. In addition to providing operating capital, a big enough surge of orders might get Neal back to putting in some decent hours running the shop in between diaper changes.

Older site update items reside in the Site History archive.


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