So last week (April 20, 2021, for posterity’s sake) I received a package in the mail from Thailand. Yes, I receive parcels all the time…but this is the first time I’ve ever received one from Thailand, which was cool. Even more cool is what was in that parcel. It was a game that I had backed on Kickstarter, called LIFE: The Evolution of Life. In case that name doesn’t make it clear, it is a boardgame predicated upon using some simple concepts to work through the earliest periods of macrobiotic life (Ediacaran through Devonian), evolving species from a range of different clades, 268 genera in all. This is cool. But what was truly mind-blowing, and the impetus for this week’s theme, is that the creator made a figure for every single taxon!
The designer of the game is Oammararak Suchimonsri, and she has a website here: https://oumcraft.com/. I highly recommend taking a look at everything after you look at all of my lovely pictures.I am not certain of her background, but I do know that this project has been a labour of love–and the detail and care that has been put in is fantastic. She has taken a lot of feedback at the Dino Toy Blog forum and incorporated what she could…but all of the game development, digital design, moulding, and casting has been the work of one person. I am honestly in awe in of her.
As a fan of prehistoric and primitive fish figures, that list is/was astonishing and to me was such a great chance to expand the taxonomic range in my collection. Only a week ago I wrote about an acanthodian figure being one of very few…now I have so many different species of them! I am nearly giddy about it. Plus, thelodonts, conodonts, very early vertebrates, even a basal actinopterygian. And that’s just today! There are also a lot of lobefins and placoderms coming…and that’s just the fish. There is a huge range of molluscs, trilobites, crinoids, lots of ediacaran weird things. Something for everyone.
Instead of letting the random number generate, I decided to just push these figures to the front of the blog list. I am not going to write a lot more about the background or the game (I haven’t even had the chance to play it yet!). I just really want to get some photos and thoughts on here! I will just make a few further comments in these paragraphs. Today’s focus will be the (only) Ordovician figure, and a number of Silurian figures. Next post will be the Devonian figures.
The best part is that not every figure was ready to ship…so that means I get to wait for a few more to show up! And once I saw these ones…I might have to add a few more to my cart before those are sent! Again, I really recommend taking a look at that link https://oumcraft.com/. Check out the whole range of figures. Of course, the figures are meant to be part of the game, with every taxon already represented by a colour token as well. They’d also be great for role-playing games and, obviously, will be great on the shelf! The sizes should work nicely for dioramas too as they tend to be smaller and would match the few Palaeozoic figures normally made.
So next post, I will look at the rest of the figures that I received, visiting a number of fish and tetrapodomorphs from the Devonian. And hopefully I’ll be able to give a little insight to the game itself because again…just haven’t had time. I haven’t even mentioned (until now) that the game looks amazing, with lots of fancy components and what looks like a game mechanic that I should be able to learn!