Pillars of Creation Philosophy

With the introduction of our Pillars of Creation series, we are committed to making  a noticeable change to bring more inclusion to the board game world. Here is how we are trying to achieve that:


Theme

Choosing games with themes that highlight a myth or story that hasn’t been told in popular media or through board games yet. Our first two games each tell stories about the creation of the stars, Milky Way, and constellations told from the perspectives of the Navajo people of North America, and the San people of Africa, respectively.

Weight

Selecting and developing games that are light to medium-light in complexity. We love heavier games, and will continue to make them, however, this series will aim to be playable by a wider audience than some of our other games.

Inclusion

Working with diverse teams and cultural sensitivity experts to ensure our depictions are accurate, respectful, and educational. 

Our approach to making sure our games are respectful of the cultures involved, is a two step approach.
First, we do our own research. We have to make sure the game fits our above criteria, and also evokes a compelling game experience. By doing due diligence, we can educate ourselves about the chosen theme, and will often make adjustments to the theme, mechanisms, or details based on what we’ve learned.

The second step is hiring and working closely with a cultural consultant to ensure that the depictions in the game are accurate, the language is respectful, and any important aspects we may have missed are included. The “sin of omission” is the most common thing we encounter when doing our own research, and part of what makes a cultural consultant so necessary. When viewing a story, it is easy to read it in a vacuum, removed from the appropriate context. There’s not as much material to educate on if a certain story is still told, or if there is a popular variation, or if the story is irrelevant, or if the story is an allegory for a different meaning that is lost, etc.

We are committed to bringing more games, more stories, more voices, more artists, and more diversity to the tabletop industry.  We hope the Pillars of Creation series ends up being a meaningful step towards these goals.

Thanks for joining us on this journey!

Solani

In the early days of our Fifth World, the First People brought four lights from the lower world.

These lights were distant and cold, and though we had days and nights, there were no seasons and it was always the same temperature.

First Woman asked Glowworm, Fox Fire, Lightning Beetle, and Firefly to light the skies, and it worked for a time. However, the lights were too dim and flickered.

Next, they asked Fire Man to light the lands. He did so, but his light was too hot and created choking smoke.

*Finally, First Woman found a way to light the Earth. She and her helpers chiseled a large slab of quartz into two large wheels. *

After they were carved, they were decorated with purpose. Two wise old men offered their spirits to inhabit the wheels and thus move them across the sky. They did so and were thus fastened to the sky with sheet lightning.

First Woman and First Man decided to use the remaining quartz pieces and dust to fill the night sky with constellations in order to guide people’s way of life. Joined by Fire Man and Coyote, they all set about their task.

Solani is an abstract tile-laying and drafting game for 1-4 players.

Populate the night sky with beautiful constellations assembled from uniquely shaped wooden tiles.

Players will assemble constellations to be set into the sky, taking turns selecting two different shapes of tiles in a unique “double-headed” snake draft, before laying them onto their personal board. Properly connect the stars, observe the roaming planets, and correctly identify the placement of celestial bodies to complete your constellations puzzle in the best possible way.

After twelve rounds of play, Coyote grows impatient; he grabs the edge of the buckskin rug and tosses the rest of the quartz skyward – creating the Milky Way.

Designed by Drake Villareal, with art by Bojan Drango.

The Girl who Made the Stars

My mother told me that one time a girl arose from her place by the fire, put her hands into the wood ashes, and threw the ashes into the sky.

She said to the ashes, “Wood ashes, you must become the Milky Way. You must lie white in the sky, and the stars will stand beside you.” 

The ashes became the Milky Way.

The Milky Way must go around with the stars, while the stars go to fetch the daybreak. The Milky Way stands still, and the stars sail along, following their own footprints.

The Milky Way comes to the place at which the girl threw up the wood ashes, and there it sets with the stars. 

The darkness comes out, and the stars grow red, where they had at first been white. When the stars are white, then the people go by night, when the ground has been made light, when the stars shine just a little. 

The Milky Way gently glows like embers in the fire. 

The girl said that the Milky Way should give a little light for the people, so that they could find their way home in the middle of the night. 

The earth would not have been light, had not the Milky Way been there, and the stars.

The Girl Who Made the Stars is a worker placement/tile-laying puzzle game for 1-4 players based on a San African myth about the creation of the Milky Way and the stars.

In the time of the first people, the night sky was dark and featureless. The village elders prohibited venturing out into the dark starless night for fear of the dangers that lurked there. One night after her mother cooked dinner, a young girl, frustrated with these restrictions, took a bit of ash and roots and cast the embers into the sky, forming the Milky Way and other stars, in an attempt to illuminate the night so the villagers could safely collect resources necessary for their survival.

As a village elder, gaze upon the new stars in the night sky and discern the forms of constellations to provide wisdom and illumination to the village. Draw constellations into the earth, with your depictions gaining light, stardust, and reputation. Then, the villagers guided by this newfound light venture into the surrounding darkness to collect much needed resources, including fruit, fish, and small and large game. The resources you collect and offer to the village will boost your standing, and the player with the highest reputation at the end of the game wins.

Designed by John Shulters, with art by Lamaro Smith.

For more detailed overview of the game components, what’s in the box and reviews of the game please visit or Kickstarter page available through the button below: