Small Gaming Companies

Dr. Briggs is a major advocate for the creation and success of small businesses, particularly those within the games industry. She provides a critical, but fair perspective on the game development process and highlights the strengths that each company brings to the industry table. Below are some games companies she has directly worked with to develop, expand, and market their products to the general public.

Founded by military personnel, Clarion Game Studios was born out of frustration after a particularly tense game of Magic the Gathering. One table flip later, the team decided to sit down and design their own game. Thus, the military space combat game HullBreach! was born. In the years since their initial development, Clarion Game Studios has released two expansions to their HullBreach! game through successful Kickstarter campaigns, and has gone on to develop a new game called Henchman. Clarion Game Studios has partnered with Operation Supply Drop, a charity dedicated to sending games to soldiers abroad, and has received permission from both the estates of Nikola Tesla and H.P. Lovecraft to use their likenesses in game. Further. fans of the Honor Harrington books will be pleased to learn that membership in the Royal Manticoran Marine Corp allows players access to rare promo cards for their decks. Clarion continues to work hard in developing their setting and games, and can be found at gaming conventions along the east coast.

Twice Alive Studios

Founded by Jon Dyer, Twice Alive Games hails from South Carolina and is home to a host of imaginative and interesting game designs that appeal to players of all backgrounds and age groups. Their flagship game, Midnight Zombie Sabotage, initially started life as a spin off idea for the popular Werewolf brand. However, the initial idea was rejected, so Twice Alive decided to run with it and make their own game from the concept. A creative deception-style game, Midnight Zombie Sabotage adds new twists to the traditional Werewolf set up. Twice Alive is also in the midst of designing and marketing brand new games, including their Viking strategy game, Tross, their take-that style pirate game, Backstab, their quick-paced family racing game Don’t Flip Me Off, and their tactical war game Ghosts of War. Twice Alive can primarily be found in the Carolinas, however they are working hard to expand their influence and brand.

Empire Games

Run primarily out of Charlotte, NC, Empire Games is home to a series of social card games featuring take-that mechanics and chance elements. Their flagship game, I Drank What, draws inspiration from the battle of wits scene in The Princess Bride, wherein wine glasses holding poison are exchanged. Empire used the concept to create a Russian roulette style card game designed for large groups of players to enjoy. Further, Empire has connected their flag ship game to special tournament events at local conventions, providing custom glasses as rewards to the victors of their games. In addition to I Drank What, Empire is host to other card games including Oktoberfest, and Alchemy 101. Empire Games has fostered a long and healthy relationship with their early adopters, taking in feedback from players to design new expansions and ways to engage with their products.

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