The Space Monkeys Are Crashing Down
I am Aj and along with my wife, Jenna, we are Space Monkeys Down. We love stories and roleplaying games and when the two meet, it’s fantabulous. However, it took us a little while to understand how to use this great combination in the games we created. In 2014, we started working on Topexx Dominions as a card game. The premise was that our characters were fighting battles over a powerful source of energy called topexx crystals. We worked on the card game for many months, and even went to a Metatopia event to have it playtested. We got great feedback on two fronts. The first, the game plays as a light strategy game; this helped us in determining our target audience. The second, the game is firmly in the alpha stage. This was news to us, as we firmly believed we were solidly in the beta stage.
Leading up to Metatopia, we had steadfastly worked on our characters and by this time, we had over 40 different units. In fact, months before Metatopia on our drive to Gen Con we mapped out how our characters connected to each other and the impact they had on the world. We didn’t realize it at the time but this formed the beginning of Topexx Dominions as an RPG. It took us several more months, until well after Metatopia in fact, to figure that out. Sometimes we’re too stubborn for our own good.
A new year brings new ideas. In early 2016, with the help of a friend we decided we would focus on our steampunk characters. We started working on making miniatures to raise awareness about the characters and the world we had developed so far. I mean we had already spent over a year getting illustrations made and developing back-stories, so we decided to put that work to good use. I honestly think that every project starts with the thought, “How hard can it be?” Then months later, I laugh at myself forever thinking that, of course, that doesn’t stop me from doing it all over again with the next project.
Here we are in 2017 with our first successful Kickstarter for six steampunk miniatures. We already have plans for another Kickstarter in summer 2017. We working on a Topexx Dominions RPG, projected for 2018 at the earliest, and we have another fledgling idea that we are trying to get off the ground in 2018. We are going to make this a great year for Space Monkeys Down.
President and Chief Monkey, Space Monkeys Down
Space Monkey Aj, aka Weird Beard, is the President and Chief Monkey of Space Monkeys Down. To pay the bills he works as a software developer by day, but once he leaves work for the day he plays games. Roleplaying games, video games, board games, he’s up for playing them all. He finally decided to take up the mantle of game design. Follow along as he toys with his ideas, often to see them fail, but that’s ok, he learns from every trial, and his next design is better for it.
Vice President, Accomplished Color Crayon Artist, Space Monkeys Down
Space Monkey Jenna is the Vice President and Chief Color Crayon Artist (also known as the Art Director) of Space Monkeys Down. She splits her day between being a personal chef and honing her digital art skills as she works on character design for the future games and miniatures of SMD. She only uses her powers for good, though often finds her creative work has an unexpected twist at the end (okay, at the beginning and middle too…let’s face it, the whole thing is a bit twisted).