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Welcome to BackerKit’s High-Five Interview series where we ask creators 5 questions revolving around their projects, inspirations, and overall crowdfunding journey.

Ursa Miner is a fun new tabletop game from Room and Board Games where players represent bears working together to gather delicious honey. We recently spoke to co-creator Eli Kosminsky to learn more about his crowdfunding journey and his awesome new game which was recently funded on Kickstarter.

Why Crowdfunding?
Because we thought it would be fun! We really wanted to engage with the community where we could learn directly from our supporters. Hearing their feedback is immensely rewarding and a great way to build community. Maintaining control over Ursa Miner was also important to us. Larger publishers might have cut corners to save money, but this is a passion project for us, so we can spend all of our money on custom meeples and still deliver for a low price.

What’s the coolest crowdfunding project you’ve ever seen? (Besides your own of course)
That’s gotta be Lazer Ryderz! It’s basically a game about racing Tron lightcycles in space, and it is VERY radical. The whole thing is packaged in what looks like a box set of VHS tapes, and everything is covered in shiny foil – it’s the most 80’s game ever. It’s also designed by the best people in the world over at Cardboard Fortress.

How did BackerKit change your overall experience?
The preorder store was huge for us! Whenever I tell new people about my game they ask how long before they can order it. The fact that I can say “You can order it right now!” without having to set up a store is a giant help, and has increased our reach to many fans. The add-ons are also a great way for backers to get what they want – people want to play other games like Carcassonne using bear meeples, and now we can let them!

Ursa Miner tabletop game box from Eli Kosminsky

Do you have any hobbies and/or collect anything?
I do a lot of volunteer event organization. Right now, I’m working with a nonprofit called Willpowered Woman, which provides classes and one-on-one advocacy for women affected by intimate partner abuse. Representation of gender in games is very important to me (even in a silly game about bears!), so I like to surround myself with people who can speak to these issues better than I can.

What’s next? Any upcoming projects you want to share?
Room and Board Games doesn’t have any projects lined up – we are hyper focused on delivering a quality game in Ursa Miner! However, we are playing with the idea of publishing games from other designers using our newfound skills. If you have a game with an educational or social justice theme, we’d love to hear about it (…especially if the title is a pun). Feel free to get in touch at info@roomandboardgames.com.

BONUS ROUND!

What’s your personal favorite tabletop game?
Pandemic Legacy! I dig the trend of games based around building a narrative.

What’s the coolest gaming Con you’ve attended?
Boston Festival of Indie Games – maybe cheating because I helped organize it, but it’s the best display of indie games the Northeast has to offer!

What’s the best bear pun you’ve ever heard?
Our reviewers came up with SO MANY it’s tough to choose, a lot of koala-ty options.

Want to help support Eli and get your very own copy of Ursa Miner? Head over to the BackerkKit pre-order store before time (and honey!) runs out!