Coda: Respectful, Inclusive, Indulgent
At SMASH we had a bit of a time explaining our games to people, during which this little crystallised 3-word phrase came to the fore, one we want to share with you.
Here at Invincible Ink, we want to make games that are Respectful, Inclusive, and Indulgent.
Our games seek to be Respectful. This is about treating you, the consumer, well, and with an awareness of you and your life. You have material needs and space needs and you have a variety of experiences that we want to be aware of. When we make a game for you, we don’t want to waste your time, or your money, on things that you don’t need. We have a few games that require counters or currency, and we don’t include them – because we assume that you have some counters or you can sort that out yourself, rather than make you buy game components that literally do nothing but occupy space in a box. We don’t want to convince you to buy a game that isn’t a good fit for you, and we want our descriptions and explanations of why you should play a game to be good for you. If you’re a seasoned veteran of tabletop games with a host of reference points, we want to use them to talk to you clearly; if you’re new, we want to give you advice the helps you make informed decisions.
Our games seek to be Inclusive. We think games are for everyone, and this means we want our games to be available to and accessible to people of all genders, races, levels of ability, and any other such axes. This can be in the themes of our games, which can be about the themes that aren’t just the same four European fantasies; this can be in the characters our games forward, which are not just presented as generic white cis men, but instead want to reflect a whole range of possible life experiences, showing people that everyone can be a hero; this can be in who we want to work with and who we want our games to be for. This also means that our games are aware of how including and inviting some people make the play experience hostile for other people, and how we can avoid these conflicts, and how we can take the right side when these conflicts aren’t avoidable. Or I guess, to put it shorter: We are on the ‘no Nazis’ side of things.
Our games seek to be Indulgent. We want our merchandise, our designs, our games to be nice objects to own, nice things to play, experiences that give you a lot of what they are. We want our games to give you a pleasurable experience, we want our merch to let you embrace and share your love of a thing. We want to make things that are aesthetically pleasant, that are designed cleverly, that show thought and care for your experience and feelings about those objects.
That’s our plan, that’s our aim: We want to make nice things for nice people, nicely.