Planting Trees and Starting Conversations: Tremor

Set in a post apocalyptic world destroyed by climate change, Tremor is a 2-to-4 player strategy game where you play as ancestral animal spirits, trying to save their species from a disaster ridden world.  With an theme revolving around climate change and a campaign to plant trees, Curly Bros Games is doing their part to promote good earth stewardship through gaming.

Why did you feel like this theme was important to tackle through your game, Tremor?  

Sustainability is a topic that many people want to leave to big businesses and governments, but we really believe that people can make a difference on an individual level. We’re hoping a climate change themed boardgame might spark a debate on games night or raise a conversation with children playing. That’s how change happens. We wanted our game to have a subtext that would hopefully leave people thinking about a dystopian world that might be closer to home than Cthulhu, even if it makes it them a little uncomfortable. It’s also an opportunity to make a tangible difference as well, as we’re planting five trees per game funded. We’re over 1500 trees to date. 

Whats the response been?

Mostly amazing. The majority of people we meet love the concept and try to help in anyway they can, and it’s great to know so many board gamers really care about our world. However, sometimes we’re written off as a novelty, which is frustrating because we’ve spent two years designing and playtesting to make sure the game is fun in and of itself. We’ve also been rejected by reviewers who claim climate change is too political a theme, or too depressing. It’s troubling that the environment is still seen as a political issue and not a scientific one. As for being too depressing, climate change is not going away, and we certainly won’t solve it by sticking our heads in the sand. 

How do you think the industry can make strides towards better environmental stewardship?  

There are a few easy ways. First, publishers can use manufacturers who are FSC certified. Essentially that means that all cardboard and wood products are sourced ethically from sustainable forests. We could also cut down on the plastic use where possible. Not everything can or should be avoided, but it’s also important to not go overboard with inserts, sleeving or shrink wrapping. Boardgames in general are very sustainable entertainment. I still play the same games I bought 10 years ago! 

Tell us about your partnership with Treesisters.  

The Treesisters are a women established and run collective designed to plant trees all over the world. They help to empower, educate and employ women in developing countries by funding sustainable projects. We we’re looking for an ethical environmental NGO and we couldn’t of done any better. They have also been guiding us through the process, helping us to navigate the manufacturing industry and make sure our materials are ethically sourced. 

Whens the KS end? 

Our Kickstarter ends on the 9th of November 2019. We’re ecstatic that it’s funded already, but want to plant a lot more trees and put a lot more into the game, so we’re hoping the funding will continue. We don’t have concrete plans for retail distribution at this stage, but we have been taking retail pledges from independent stores around the world. They can be accessed on our page too. 

You can keep up with Tremor and Curly Bros Games on Facebook and Twitter.