Start your own distillery with this new board game


BORED? ENTER THIS NEW BOARD GAME. “Distilled” was created by several UW-Stout professors, namely Dave Beck and Erik Evensen. (Photo by Rebecca Mennecke)

Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a board game?

“There are a number of ways to answer this,” said Erik Evensen, associate professor of design at UW-Stout. “One is: how we do it? And one is: how do people normally do it?”

UW-Stout professors Evensen and Dave Beck took a different approach to designing their new board game – in part because of the pandemic, which put the brakes on traditional game testing methods, but also because their game is 100% locally designed and created.

At the time, I don’t think he knew what he was getting into, but everything went well.

David Beck

creator of “distilled”

The game, dubbed “Distilled”, draws inspiration from Beck’s sabbatical in Scotland in search of virtual and augmented reality for his work in video game design, and he has explored many of Scotland’s iconic distilleries. “I am a great social player,” he said. “And so I know the business pretty well, and I got this interesting idea of ​​how I could represent the industry – the alcohol distillation process – through a game. And I was pretty sure I was. to be right. There is no game on alcohol distillation.

After working “furiously” to flesh out his idea and develop paper prototypes, he texted Evenson to see if he would agree.

“At the time, I don’t think he knew what he was getting into,” Beck mused, laughing, “but it turned out fine.”

With the help of Seth Barrier (computer teacher) and Cody Reimer (English teacher), these teacher-slash-gamers from UW-Stout have developed “Distilled”, a game that challenges participants to start their own distillery and compete against other players. to create the most – and the best – whiskey and spirits.

While Scottish culture is very ingrained in the distilleries – “Just as you might say we’re used to things like farmland, football, beer and cheese,” Beck said – the game doesn’t focus exclusively on Scotland. Rather, these are popular spirits from Asia, Europe, North and South America, and expansion packs containing spirits from Africa and the Middle East.

“It’s meant to help you learn about this part of the world – spirits and the like – through the art of gameplay,” Beck said.

Beck started Paverson Games LLC to develop the game and then created a Kickstarter campaign to maintain complete local control over game development rather than sending it to a game developer. The team launched the campaign on Wednesday, July 7 with a goal of $ 18,000 to print 1,500 copies of the game – which would allow them to balance their capital costs. In 23 minutes, the campaign was fully funded.

“At first it was like, oh man, this is going to fund really quickly. I’d better go get another cup of coffee, ”Evensen said. “It was pretty awesome.” Today, the Kickstarter campaign has over 3,000 supporters and over $ 240,000 raised. Evensen said the support came from Beck’s work creating a community of players not only locally, but nationally and internationally.

“We have hundreds of people who knew it and knew it and (and) are kind of pre-fans,” Evensen said. “I think some of these people argued almost immediately.” Contributors have the opportunity to give their opinion on the games, determining the different artistic aspects of the game, alcohol flavors, etc.

“If we’re doing this kickstarter, it means we’re asking people to believe in us and invest in us,” Beck said, “and yes, sure, they’re making a game of it. Like yes. But at the same time. , the fact that they are part of this journey is important.

“Distilled” is expected to hit shelves in the winter of 2022.

Learn more about the game – and contribute to the campaign – at


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