Bored of ‘board’ games? Put your game in a box!
A profile on Meeple Keep: Calgary’s newest board game invention
By Lexi Wright, Staff Writer
The oldest board games were mounted directly on thin wooden boards, hence the name “board game.” But two Calgary inventors are challenging board game ideals with the invention of Meeple Keep, a board game storage box.
Designed originally for the tile-placement board game called Carcassonne, creators Ed Mort and Matthew Mulrooney have high hopes for their new product.
Calgary’s increased popularity of board games has led to the development of several board game cafes. The Hexagon Cafe in particular, supports the idea of Meeple Keep to help make board games more organized for open public gaming events.
“Board gaming is going through such a renaissance, especially in Calgary. The board gaming community has been so receptive. We actually went to two conventions this year, FallCon and the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo — it was amazing to see all the support,” says Mulrooney.
With their love of board games stemming from since they were children, Mort and Mulrooney were inspired to create Meeple Keep simply from their own personal experiences.
“We would go to play board games with our friends and found ourselves lugging boxes and boxes of our favorite games. It was seriously impractical, so we thought, how can we make board game boxes smaller?” says Mort.
Meeple Keep was created at Protospace, a community-based space in Calgary that offers independent entrepreneurs access to workshop space and educational tools.
“A meeple is a small figure used as a playing piece in some board games, which is essentially where Meeple Keep got its name. ‘Keep’ because we’ve designed a place to safely store your game and ‘Meeple’ because of the playing piece,” says Mort.
The Meeple Keep box is laser cut and strategically designed to organize all your playing pieces into the smallest possible space. There are even separate compartments to store individual pieces, and push game tiles to the top of the box.
In addition to designing their product, Mort and Mulrooney have had to learn the ins-and-outs of marketing, which they say has been the biggest challenge.
“Business for us, is learning everything we don’t know. There’s been a ton of learning curves, especially with figuring out a website and our Kickstarter campaign, but we’re excited to finally have the ball rolling,” says Mulrooney.
Although Meeple Keep has only been designed for one game so far, if the storage case proves successful, Mort and Mulrooney will more than likely design boxes to accommodate different games.
“I have a love of so many board games and a hate of so many board game boxes. This is just the first of many we hope to create,” says Mulrooney.
Meeple Keep is planning to fully launch their product to the public in late October.