Step into the ring
Kabuto Sumo is a family skill and action game designed by Tony Miller and published by Boardgametables.com. Take on the role of a tough beetle with a bad attitude and something to prove. Push your opponents out of the ring and become the greatest insect wrestling champion.
As developers, our core focuses included adjusting the game for varying player counts, selecting components & sizing, and adding replayability to the base game from the designer. The largest part of that was our proposal to add unique wrestlers and non-disc pieces to the game, which brought a lot of theme and character to the final product.
We went through many rounds of lasercutting and physical prototyping to get the pieces just right.
We researched real beetles, insects, and other creepy crawlies to find bugs that had unique biological features that could inspire gameplay mechanisms. Part of what makes Kabuto Sumo so special is the complex physics of the wooden pieces pushing against each other & so we spent months experimenting with new piece shapes, sizes, and weights to develop a new "Signature Move" system. We coupled the new pieces with pop culture references and bug biology to bring 16 unique wrestler characters to life.
"Michael Dunsmore and John Brieger didn't just play Kabuto Sumo looking for issues to correct, they honed my design into the best possible version of itself. They were committed to the vision of the design... in a way that allowed us to really have the best of all worlds."
— Tony Miller, Designer of Kabuto Sumo
- Playtest Coordination and Analysis
- Expansion Design
- Content Design
- Blind Testing
Case Study: Kickstarter Expansions
As we designed Kabuto Sumo's wrestlers, we began to look at the total costing of the product and what people wanted from the game experience. While the base game contains only beetle wrestlers, we had a wide set of insects and arthropods we wanted to showcase that often appear in these types of contests in real life.
We also found an opportunity to design a high-margin expansion for the game that could deliver great value to backers in the form of new wrestlers while keeping the core game price point low for retail ($35 MSRP). We proposed and designed a new SKU with 8 additional wrestlers for the game
"Brieger Creative did a great job again! They took the core game concept and added variable player powers to give the game personality and replayability. Their team created creative, well researched names and powers that matched the theme, and exhaustively playtested them. All of this while keeping great lines of communication." — Chad Deshon, Boardgametables.com
This $15 expansion helped increase average order value for the campaign and allowed Boardgametables.com to include great new gameplay content for backers. Add-on sales of the Insect All-Star expansion we designed generated over $70,000 in additional revenue during the Kickstarter, far more than paying back the cost of our development fees for the entire project.
See more on the Kabuto Sumo Kickstarter page.
Praise for Kabuto Sumo
"A delightful, delightful game. I have had tremendous fun with it... relentlessly endearing." — Mark Bigney, So Very Wrong About Games
"Kabuto Sumo is a delightful little thing. It's one of those perfect games that's great for a mixed group of adults and kids, silly and easy but with a hint of deeper play that may or may not pan out." — Dan Thurot, Space-Biff
"A joyous object." — Tom, Shut Up and Sit Dow
Brieger Creative Team
- Michael Dunsmore
- John Brieger