The Origin of Our Mission Statement
When I started Deep Water we had a simple definition on what games we wanted to make, under $40 and play under 60 minutes. Then I discovered Bushnell’s law, the founder of Atari and the person who brought us the Chuck E. Cheese we know today:
“All the best games are easy to learn and difficult to master. They should reward the first quarter and the hundredth.”
I added that law to how we analyzed our games, and that is what led to signing such amazing games as MonsDRAWsity, Welcome To, Fantastic Factories, and Floor Plan.
If you ask any board game publisher their most asked question when they tell people not familiar with games what they do it is almost undoubtedly, “OH! Like Monopoly?”. The second most asked question is probably “Oh, so you design the games or do you do the art?”. My initial answer to this question was “No, I am not creative”.
That answer didn’t last long, it was almost always countered with a notion about how running a business IS a creative endeavor. Those people were right and now my answer is “My creativity lies in helping creators create. Be it selling the games or figuring out how to print them affordably”.
It is easy to think of businesses as impersonal entities that just are looking to turn piles of money into slightly larger piles of money, but in reality a business is an expression of someone’s creativity, philosophy, and what they wish to accomplish in life. As I have grown as a person I realized how my journey and experiences are reflected in what I want from Deep Water Games, and how they grow and change as I grow and change as a person.
So let’s go behind the creative process of how I arrived at these three simple concepts;
1.) Our games should be easy to play.
I believe that games are for everyone. Play is the universal language, and I think if more people played we would have a much different planet. The current hobby of games can be overwhelming and downright scary to join. That doesn’t make what others enjoy wrong, it just gives us a different mission, introducing more players to the hobby by making games almost anyone can play! This of course opens up to new challenges of making games that are easy, but still have the depth that best reflects the joys of our hobby. Our hope is that people will find our games, fall in love with the hobby of games and then maybe even venture into the aforementioned “overwhelming and downright scary” games.
2.) Our games will represent everyone.
Increasing representation is a conscious act, so we are making sure it is foundational to our company. When I first started Deep Water this was a simple statement of “we will never make a game about a castle”. As I gained more perspective I understood why there were 1000 games about castles, familiarity. It is easy to make a game about a castle because everyone knows a castle and most people appreciate castles, but European castles are not representative or relatable to a large majority of the world population. That doesn’t mean we won’t use familiar themes, Floor Plan is a great example of how we took a familiar subject of building houses but made sure it had representation built into the game from the ground up.
3.) Our games will be affordable.
Making games more accessible is not just about the rules and who we represent in the game, but about how people are able to consume the games we make. When I was growing up my mother had to make tough decisions about what to spend her money on. She was a single mother, and nowadays I can appreciate her decision making but as a child I distinctly remember having to stress over the price of a game that looked fun. We can’t pin affordability to a certain dollar amount like we once did, but we are constantly pushing to make our games as affordable as we possibly can.
Deep Water Games’ Mission Statement:
Deep Water Games’ mission is to bring more people to the table by making games more accessible.