In the beginning, there was my brother Sean
From my earliest memory, he was there and we were creating things. Everything else flows from this simple truth. Years later, Jodi Sweetman and I were walking through the woods. “I’ve always wanted to make a board game with my brother,” I said, shafts of light streaming through the leaves. “What would it be?” she asked, already plotting. “I don’t really know, but the board would be the Sun.”
I went to see my brother that weekend and we started right away. From there, we were off. It was inspiring to rediscover that joy of creating together and to realize how fundamental it is to our being. So my first thank you is to Sean Spangler, you made me who I am. Now at least one of our childhood dreams has come true.
Our earliest playtesters were Kyle Dawkins, John Brown and Nathan Nifong. Each of them gave critical feedback at a formative time, and each left a signature on the final shape of things.
We took a 5-month-old Sol to our first (and local) convention: Gamestorm. There we met Tim Eisner of Weird City Games and Anthony Gallela of Kubla Con Game Design Contest. Tim and brother Ben have become good friends and great allies in the world of independent game publishing, and Anthony’s wise and ruthless counsel on our rulebook will never be forgotten.
Print and Play Games, founded by the honorable Andrew Tullsen, has printed all of our remarkably high quality prototypes. Thanks to Toby Grubb and Martha Koenig for early guidance in vector graphics. Thank you, Jon Mietling of Portal Dragon, for creating our amazing pieces! And game board! And solar flare. And... eternal gratitude to Mark Dusk, who perfected the Elephant Laboratories logo and gave birth to our stunning Sol logo, which set the tone for the rest of the design. Thank you, Ryan Linstrom for your smart design insights and intestinal fortitude in our post-campaign design marathon. And there aren’t words enough to thank our design finisher and hero, Adam Murdoch, for your detailed eye, tremendous generosity and breathtaking layout of the Mythos book.
Thank you to all the people who printed 3-D pieces for us. I don’t know what drove me to make all these crazy pieces for the game, but it was great to have so many people willing to help out with the printing: Chris Crewdson, David Schaefer, Jon Mietling, Ryan Swisher and Jonathan Liu. Thanks to the early playtesters from PDX Epic Gamers: Mandy, David Abel, Brandon, Seeger and Joel Carson.
From Kublacon 2015, thanks to Paul, Andy and Chris for being our home base there. Thank you to Chad Nicholas and the crew at Geekline415 for your raucous support. Thanks to Kennith Grotjohn for the awesome diagrams you scribbled on the hotel stationery to explain the actions. Thanks to Peter Kral and Lisa and Darien, and everyone else there we shared games and laughs with.
Thank you to everyone in Stumptown Gamecrafters who suffered through our countless changes. Jason Clor, Mohammad Ali, Chase Van Epps, Scott Biersdorf, Peter Shaefer and everyone else who meets every other Monday. Your input and insights have been invaluable.
Thank you to the great people at our local game stores in Portland, OR. James and Kirsten Brady and Ben from Cloud Cap, and Ryan Mauk and Hans from the Portland Game Store: you guys have it figured out.
Thank you for letting Jodi and me be a part of the amazing community you continue to build. Also thank you to Guardian, Red Castle, Rainy Day and Off the Charts for hosting our early playtests, and all the FLGS of the world for your noble service to humanity.
Thank you to Cole Wehrle for incisive perspective and true thoughtfulness. Your review of Sol is a work of art. Also thanks to Josh Boykin, Steve Valladolid and Jonathan Liu for your heartfelt reviews. We are lucky to have you in our corner.
The guys who made our Kickstarter video are amazing! Thank you Jeff Harshman, Brandon Schoessler, Kyle Stebbins, Mark Dusk and Reed Harvey of Digital One for bringing our Mythos and story to life! Thank you to Mischa Krilov for your master guidance through the process of preparing and providing for our Kickstarter community and your love of random abstracts (Chase!).
Thank you to Moe, Lyndon and Brian of the Board Game Group for your savvy, insight and support. Thank you, Matt Sims of Panda, for working through our budding understanding of what it takes to make a game. And Carol Carmick, thank you for catching every typo and thinking critically about the words of Sol. Your invisible hand girds this very document.
C.J. Hallowell took a kernel of an idea for our Mythos and created something magical. We can never offer enough thanks for sharing the gift of your imagination with us all.
Thank you Linda Bache and Susan Ahrens for your generosity. Thank you to Beth Olsen Photography and Jason Washburn of Talon Strikes for your respective contributions to making our Kickstarter campaign sing. James Hudson of Druid City Games–you, sir, are a force of goodness. Thank you for your tireless support and enthusiasm. Special thanks to the Jersey Boys (Rob Austin and Lance Van Ness) and to Stacy & Brandan Flynn for spreading the good word (and so many Sol playtests) to the Midwest and East Coast. Thank you to Peter Gifford of Universal Head for making our beautiful and succint rules summary! Tak til Thomas Dorf Nielsen for at samle støtte og oversætte på BGG!
Thank you to all our Kickstarter backers. Especially our Galaxy Backers: Mohammad Ali, John Brown, Andrew Long and Matthew Hawkins; our Sun Backers: Chad Nicholas, Zelbinian (Dustin Hodge), Nathan Meyer, Mike Shiley, Craig Barrie, Portland Gamecraft (Evan Halbert); and our Planet Backers: Will Thomsen, Christopher McHenry, Lucas Kenall, Kyle Dawkins, Brandan "Xandar13" Flynn, Tim Eisner, Joseph Reisinger, Dave & Jen King, Bobbie Sweetman, Dan Pancakes Roberts, Jonathan Yost, Lance Van Ness and Mark Waldron; and finally our sole Deity level backer Michael Spangler, whose contribution goes so far beyond this pledge. He is everything a deity should be.
Thank you, Bobbie Sweetman, for your joy and inspiration. You show us what life can be.
Thank you to our mother, Carolyn Spangler and father, Michael Spangler, who gave us so much more than just life. Ma, I wish you could see what your boys have done. I know you would be proud.
But thank you most of all to Jodi Sweetman, without whom Sol would still just be some light beams shining through the branches. You took an idea and gave it a chance to be real. And now it is.