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Paiko: like chess but with more awesome built in

TubeTube Registered User admin
edited September 2012 in Indie Games
Yes, a board game made out of actual paper, not on your phone or computer.

Paiko is a two-player abstract strategy board game, less daunting than chess but more grit than checkers, designed to rely on intuition and tactical skill. As you play, you'll find Paiko creates an engaging tactical drama with enough clarity to let you create your own play style, and enough depth to foster a long term interest. (We think it's awesome, and others have reinforced this idea.)

It's easy to learn, free to print and play, and we think it's pretty balanced across different play styles and between pieces. Your goal is to tell us we're wrong. Find a strategy that always wins, and tell us what it is. We want you to break our game, so we can fix it, and by all means try to break it again.

We handed out some of our hand-made color versions around PAX, but the B&W version is free to print.

Our website:
Get the game in black & white:
Instructions are handy:

Board Game Geek page:
We Facebook:
and we Tweet:

Tube on


  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    I'm one of the developers. If there are updates, I'll post here.

    Ask away if you need tips or tricks to mocking up the game on something sturdier than plain paper, or if you have any questions or comments. People seem to get the game faster watching the video and/or reading the text instructions, and using the illustrated instructions on the site for removing confusion or rules lawyerly questions.

    Yamara on
    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • LochielLochiel Registered User regular
    I saw one of the developer made boxes at PAX and it was one of the more beautiful looking games that I have seen. I wasn't able to play it myself, but several people who had played it told me they enjoyed it and it was a good game.

  • CuvisTheConquerorCuvisTheConqueror They always say "yee haw" but they never ask "haw yee?" Registered User regular
    I played the prototype of it on the PAX Train last year. It was, indeed, awesome.

    Love the new boards and tiles, too. Really nicely done.

  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    Lochiel: I had never made a box before, and the cover art had me brainstorming for a decent chunk of time. I was really happy to hear people talking about it! I posted a bunch of photos on Facebook so people could see how it comes together (check out box-making). Gluing the paper cover down wasn't quite as painful as I had feared, but neurotic alignment and prep was pretty key.

    Cuvis: We still like our large round tiles, but the medium square tiles have a good bit more hinting on them. There's something about the large size that doesn't lend itself well to square tiles though. The PAXtrain has been a great place to play, and we've gotten some wonderful input there. <3

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    If you got a board during PAX, or just got some quality game-time in, please give us some love on Board Game Geek. It feels a bit incestuous to rate ourselves, though I know it's not uncommon. :D

    I'm hoping to get some minor tweaks done to wording of the instructions in the next few evenings. We got some really good input from PAXers to clarify some of the last few complicated wordings. I'll post again once it's up.

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Is your eventual goal to get full color versions for sale? I was thinking this would be a great game to print and play with my son. I was going to take the time to make it fairly sturdy in case he plays it when friends visit or something, but if you will eventually have them for sale I'd just go cheap and quick for now and buy one from you later.

  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    Lindsey: Full color versions in an awesome glossy box is our goal. My guess is it will take a while longer, though I have no direct experience in the matter. I would be pleasantly surprised if it happens within a year.

    The pieces are definitely less annoying to use when they have more height than just plain paper. Michael's sells some wooden squares that work well, or cardboard works in a pinch. I put some thoughts down on our forums, and I'd be happy to provide some advice there or on these forums, if you decide that more than a year merits a sturdier copy.

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    Ever read some confusing rules to a game and just wished you could ask the designer what in the world they were thinking? Well, now you can, and we really want you to. We hate that feeling too.

    Based on information gathered from people we played with at PAX, we've updated the text describing the Fire tile and cover, and tried to simplify text in a few places. We'd love to hear how it reads to you now, as a lot of the people we hear from we've taught ourselves.

    (I wouldn't mind exclamations of joy at how well they're written either, but I'll be realistic. :) )

    Here's a link for convenience:

    I'd love some time to revamp the whole design to center around the text instructions, with the graphical instructions being designed to provide specifics. That will depend on more input, I think, and more free time.

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    By request of the Ravenclaws from the Triwizard Drinking Tournament at PAX Prime 2012, I designed and donated a Harry Potter inspired box set of Paiko. The result was pretty awesome, with a homeground designed for each house, and spells and monsters tailored perfectly for each piece. The proceeds from the auction were donated to Child's Play.

    I finally had a chance to get photos up, so you too can bask in the glow:
    Expecto Paikonus album on Facebook

    Here you can see Hufflepuff vs Slytherin, with tiles on the board in play: Incendio, the Whomping Willow, Patronus, Dementor, Phoenix, and the slightly more obscure Avis/Opugno.


    Like all the other boards we've made, it was hand stained, cut and finished. The tiles have an aged parchment look, and the board is reminiscent of the leather-covered desks, with a pitted metal grid overlay. It was a lot of fun to make.

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    PAX Prime 2013 is coming, and Mike and I plan to make our yearly trek to Seattle. We will be taking the PAX Train both to PAX and back, and are really looking forward to meeting up with previous and new playtesters there.

    We plan to spend some time in TableTop Freeplay as well. We'll post on Facebook and probably Twitter while at PAX to keep people up to date on playtimes. I'll do my best to post the schedule here beforehand as well.

    We have a 3-player and 4-7 player variant we'd like to give some more play time. You can find them, plus the rules on how to play and the B&W print-and-play game itself, on our Paiko website.

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    Just figured out our schedule for playing Paiko at PAX Prime 2013:

    - First, we'll be on the PAXtrain. We'll be on all day Thursday, the 29th. (Also on the way home!)
    - After the train, Mike will head to the Sheraton Pre-PAX Board Game Night, around 9:30pm Thursday, after the train gets in.
    - On Friday through Sunday, we'll find a table in the Convention Center in Tabletop Freeplay, 2nd floor, from at least 2:30-4:30pm. We'll try for room 205 first, if there's space.

    Hope to see you there!

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
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