Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Purdue students show their hand with Cube Hog Kickstarter

March 28, 2018
Cube Hog Header

The pigs and puns are flying with a new tabletop game developed by a pair of Purdue University students, and their idea is now on its way to becoming a reality.

Cube Hog just completed its funding campaign on Kickstarter and received about $2,000 more than its goal. It’s a two- to four-player card game that puts your memory and sleight-of-hand skills to the test.

Players each get five colored cubes and a face-down value card that assigns their color cubes a numbered value. The cubes are then turned upside-down, and from there, they're traded, rearranged and given different values while players try to amass the cubes with the highest values.

It’s all done in a bright, minimalist style that makes the game look as cute as it is frantic.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Cube Hog action cards gif Photo: TowerShield

As with any Kickstarter project, different amounts of money pledged lead to corresponding rewards. For instance, the four backers who pledged $500 or more get to name one of the four player pig characters.

In a welcome surprise, the project’s funding jumped from around 50 percent to complete about halfway into its campaign, when a company (yet to be named by the team) ordered more than 300 copies of the game for its employees.

The game itself is being developed by TowerShield, a company launched by Purdue University students Tyler Damm and Thibault Corens.

Damm, 22, told Indiana Public Media the concept for Cube Hog came about as a project for a business writing and entrepreneurship class last year. He said the assignment initially had students producing a board game, writing a manual and designing a mock Kickstarter.

“As an avid board gamer, I had some ideas on how to sell the concept to the class,” Damm said.

That class is where Damm met Corens, whom he said had a dedication to the game that was unmatched by anyone else in the class.

The two decided to carry the project out of the pigpen and into the tabletop gaming market. They spent a few months ironing out the mechanics and preparing it for primetime. The team enlisted the help of a couple fellow students: Kaley Price on the game’s art and Josh Hocker for 3D designs.

Our first game night was a success! Thanks to everyone who showed up and gave feedback! We will be looking at all the...

Posted by Cube Hog on Thursday, February 22, 2018

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, the guys at TowerShield poured hours into public game nights as a way to test Cube Hog. Damm said they produced 480 hand-cut cards, 200 hand-painted cubes and 40 hand-painted figures. They even ordered custom-made boxes to give the test nights a bit of polish.

“Some of our playtesters mentioned making it for more players or adding an expansion, but with our low budget we would have to rely on the success of our Kickstarter to add those things and do more months of playtesting,” Damm said.

[gallery.*?\]

Once the project was fully funded, Damm and Corens teased stretch goals like premium box designs or the addition of a fifth player to the game, but the Kickstarter didn't quite hit those benchmarks. Fortunately though, the Cube Hog piggies are on their way to market, so the possibilities are open.

It’s easy to see the effort Damm and Corens have put into Cube Hog. Apart from their regular classes, the two students are giving themselves a crash course in copyright and marketing. But it’s an endeavor the team is willing to bet the farm on.

For more on the game and future updates, you can check out Cube Hog on Kickstarter.

Watch: How an IU alumnus turned his love of puzzles into a job at the New York Times