Special Note

How We Ended Up Here

The Executive Producer of the studio behind Moonrakers shares a personal note about how Moonrakers started and the people who have made it possible.

The cold January air bite at my face as I made the short walk across the parking lot and into the coworking space that houses our Mondo poster-clad office. As I settled into the workday after a prolonged holiday break, I reflected a little on the previous year. We’d made massive progress toward the launch of our first mobile game, Bouncy Smash, and our core business—an animation studio—was thriving. We’d hired to new and, with it, took on more risk. It was a crazy year, but everything seemed to be settling into a rhythm. For the first time in many years, it seemed like there was a clear path ahead of us. Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by Zac and Austin—they had and idea. “We should make a board game and launch it on Kickstarter.”

I probably mumbled a sarcasm stuffed “here we go again” under my breath, but one of our core principles at IV is to follow the things that make you excited. Zac and Austin both had a passion for tabletop games and the idea of making one themselves had crystalized over the holiday break. By the end of the day it had been decided—we would make a game and (eventually) it would be called Moonrakers.

Austin had spent the two previous years doing a lot of the heavy lifting in our sales efforts. He was good at it, but we decided it was time for a little change. Over the years of starting and either finishing or not finishing projects, we had identified one key factor that make the difference between the two outcomes—a dedicated and passionate project lead able to spent most of their time dedicated to the endeavor. Austin would step back from his sales focused workload to be the Moonrakers (then known as Space Pirates) project lead.

I still remember looking at an early schedule that Austin create that had us finishing the game in June 2018 and launching on Kickstarter in August. It’s laughable now, but it also reminds me just how much we’ve learned about making a tabletop game. Of all the lessons, taking the time to play the game and make iterative changes over a long period of time is certainly the most valuable. Any idea can be fun it you take the time to discover what’s fun about it.

Now it’s January 2019. A year has passed since that cold January day—and we’re 5 months past our imaginary August launch date—and it’s not any less cold. However, rather than just the idea of a tabletop game, we now have a nearly completed (AND EXTREMELY FUN) tabletop game. We’re still a few months away from launching on Kickstarter, but it’s been an amazing journey.

I’m extremely proud of what Austin and Zac (and Max) have been able to accomplish in a year. They took an incredibly crude idea and honed it into a shining gem through nothing but hard work.

We’d love for you to follow along as we share the journey from here to launch, including art creation with the amazing Lunar Saloon, some memories from the last year of creation, playtesting, some tabletop game theory, and much more.

You won’t want to miss this game.


Samuel Cowden

Executive Producer, IV Studio





Coming to Kickstarter in early 2019
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