Miya Sohoza’s project Rare Elements is on Kickstarter now and fully funded. I caught up with Miya a while back to ask her about the project. Here’s the details:
GDC: Give us an overview of Rare Elements. What is it?
Miya: Rare Elements is a fantasy currency, designed to enhance quests & foster a sense of reality during game play. Our “flag ship” coin is a 1.54” Fire Dragon coin & is made of antique nickel silver. The currency set will include 6 denominations each one representing an element, (Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Magic & Time) and features unique hand illustrations that follow the elemental theme.
GDC: What is your primary target market? Who can make the best use of Rare Elements?
Miya: Primarily table top RPGs, but the hope was to create something that could be used universally with boardgames, Larping & for collecting.
GDC: What was your inspiration for bringing Rare Elements to market?
Miya: Endless conversations about using poker chips, cardboard nubs or pogs as currency, sure it worked, but it wasn’t very fun or attractive & it didn’t enhance the experience. I wanted to design a set of coins I would be proud to plunk down on a table surrounded by some hardcore gamers.
GDC: Let’s talk about the design process. Tell us a bit about the iterations your product has gone through and the refinements you’ve made along the way.
Miya: I knew right away that we needed amazing art & it had to be someone familiar with the culture & who had a unique style. Kerry Bodenbender was the obvious choice. Her work is amazing & usually has a fantasy/mythology theme. I designed the back of the coins & worked closely with our engraving department to create an elegant, aged feel. It was a long process to come to our final decision on metals, sizes, finishes, edges, art & quantity per set. We’ve only completed production on the first coin & are working to cut dies for the second (50 denom, Water Naga), but need to get the project funded before we can move any further.
GDC: What has been your biggest challenge in designing this product?
Miya: Trying to make it accessible to everyone. Which isn’t possible, you just can’t make everyone happy. But I’m dedicated & passionate about creating unique, substantial supplements & will keep at it!
Getting the word out, in a grassroots sort of way has been a challenge as far as designing the project & campaign.
GDC: Let’s shift gears and talk about you. What is your gaming story? How did you get involved in gaming?
Miya: My brother introduced me to Vampire the Masquerade when I was 13. Ever since I’ve gravitated towards anything with vampires or big monsters/things that eat people, films, books, games, I was an instant geek. I don’t get in as much gaming as I would like (be it table top or video games) so working on this project has really been amazing & it keeps me in constant geek out mode.
GDC: What games have you been playing lately? What have you liked, what have you disliked, and why?
Miya: I picked up D&D Legend of Drizzt boardgame at Gencon this year & love it! I really love that I can play alone or with friends, anymore it seems like everyone is too busy to play (including me!), so this is an awesome way to get a relatively quick gaming fix.
GDC: What is in store for the future from Osborne Coinage? Any major plans for after your Kickstarter ends?
Miya: I have a laundry list of plans for new themed sets, in a variety of sizes, shapes & materials. As well as non-coin items as supplements & enhancements. But our first priority is making this Kickstarter happen. We can’t move forward with the project (or future projects) without the support of gamers! I would really like to create a gaming division that focuses on uniquely designed supplements, but again, we need to take it one step at a time & make this happen first!
GDC: Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to? (playtesters, design mentors, your friendly local game store, etc.)
Miya: Yes! Too many to thank here, but here’s the short list; Budge at Gamers Guild in Boulder Co., Jim with Fox Miniatures in Cincinnati Oh., all of our followers on Instagram & our backers so far. They’ve all been a tremendous help, giving great feedback, support & spreading the word! We have a great group of people on staff & the team has really pulled together to make this project happen! And of course we couldn’t do it without Kerry’s art.
GDC: Tell us how (and where) we can find you (social networks, BGG username, website, cons you plan to attend).
Miya: Our con attendance is contingent on the success of this Kickstarter campaign, but we’d like to be at Origins & Gencon next year!
For now, you can find us on Kickstarter.com (Rare Elements)
Instagram – RareElements
Twitter – @rarelements
Email – Rareelements@osbornecoin.com