About Us


Introduction Actually, this section should be titled something like "All About That Guy Rainsford" but I didn't think anyone would click on it... Anyway, on with the background on Phantasy Realm and me.


The short version: Phantasy Realm has been a love and a hobby of mine for 15 years. At first is was a hobby, then I had 2 failed attempts to self-publish. Then, 15 years after I began, technology caught up with my desire so I updated the game and figured out how to "publish-on-demand".

Phantasy Realm has turned out better than I ever expected. I am definitely a proud father. :-)

2006 update: Tragedy struck in early 2006 - on a trip to an industry convention I had my laptop stolen, leaving me with only a bad, old, desktop computer to work on... one with no working CD/DVD reader, no printer, and no scanning ability. Phantasy Realm began its hiatus. While a new laptop is in the works, it is unclear when we will begin production again.

2012 update: I have continued to create games, completing: "Mad Scientists", "From Here to There", "Wilcox War", and "Zeppeldrome" - and an unnamed game that can only be played in microgravity. I am eyeing Kickstarter as a way to reprint (and fully print this time) Phantasy Realm. Am also eyeing submitting "From Here to There" to LEGO. More to come if anything happens.


The long and twisted/boring version: We'll start at the beginning...

Back in the day, almost 15 years ago now, I was playing a fantasy board game (who shall remain nameless) and realized I loved the CONCEPT of the game (fantasy adventure) but the balance sucked, and you had to kill everyone else to win, which just made them mad at you. So I said, "I could write a better game than that!" To which my friends said, "Okay, do it."

Do it. That's all I had to do, simply write a game that was better than the astronomically popular fantasy adventure board game of yore. Well, since the glove had been thrown, I was just the ignorant goober to pick it up and take the challenge.

[1 year passes] I have a rudimentary game. It looks okay, everything is hand-made. People love it. I write an expansion... and people love that as well. So now is the time to publish!! So I get 15 of my favorite friends-who-want-to-run-a-game-company and we start laying out our plans.

Nothing happens but we DO have the coolest Halloween Party ever.

[4 years pass] Phantasy Realm (the working title, I tell myself) is now 5 years old. In a fit of passion for my game I create 2 copies and take them to a big local gaming convention, Pacificon (now defunct.) I schedule a game to begin every hour on the hour starting at 10:00am in the open gaming room. My friend and I quickly fill every available slot until 2 am the next day with eager players. The last group demands the use of one of my hand-made expansion sets and plays with twice the recommended number of players. They love it. I see this as a mark of success.

An acquaintance says to me, while watching the games run, "Call me. We should get this published." And I am off to the races again! This time for real!

Raptor Games is formed and now I add real art, along with a real business plan and some actual money, to the mix. And two years later we have a product that can't be published based our business plan. So Raptor Games closes shop.

I put Phantasy Realm into a box, and into the back of my mind, for another couple years until...

GAMA 2000 Games and game designers everywhere! A friend mentions I should show Phantasy Realm around as he has overheard a couple companies mention they are looking for a new board game! My wife FedExes it overnight and I shop it around and I get a few interested nibbles... none of which, after excitedly sending off demo copies, comes to anything.

In the mean time I begin to work on a couple other games, completing three, all of which go to interested companies for review.

[This year (2002) - 15 years later] Some friends self-publish the board game Dwarven Dig. They sell a few and then a nice big company buys up the game... look for it soon! I talk to them about how they did it. While they talk to me I keep hearing myself saying "You can DO this! You can DO this!"

So I hunker down with computer in hand and rewrite the whole game for self-publishing. I update rules and mechanics to give it a better, more modern feel. I start Curious Games. And print out the first copies of the game, Phantasy Realm, my baby.

I am definitely a proud father. (See, the long version has the same ending as the short version.)

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the game!!

[This year (2005)] The story continutes in fits and bursts.  Phantasy Realm has been picked up by a couple of stores and one distributor despite a complete lack of advertising on my part.  Additionally, it has garnered a great set of reviews and solid ratings on BoardGameGeek.com.  I have begun looking around for a publisher for Phantasy Realm - someone who can do a full press print run, toss some marketing dollars at it and support it in the maret as it should be.  Based on the reviews and rating I have a presentation scheduled with just such a publisher at GenCon.

More when it becomes available.

2006 update: Tragedy struck in early 2006 On a trip to an industry convention I had my laptop stolen, leaving me with only a bad, old, desktop computer to work on... one with no working CD/DVD reader, no printer, and no scanning ability. Phantasy Realm began its hiatus. While a new laptop is in the works, it is unclear when we will begin production again.

2012 update: I have continued to create games, completing: "Mad Scientists", "From Here to There", "Wilcox War", and "Zeppeldrome" - and an unnamed game that can only be played in microgravity. I am eyeing Kickstarter as a way to reprint (and fully print this time) Phantasy Realm. Am also eyeing submitting "From Here to There" to LEGO. More to come if anything happens.