2020 Wrap Up

This year has brought a lot of changes to the world but at Parallel a lot of things haven’t changed. Being in lockdown and avoiding a global pandemic is not only critical to the health and safety of the country, but it’s also very draining.Β  We’ve been working hard on getting the second edition Kickstarter prepped and ready to launch, however work, family, holidays, and health have taken more focus than we’ve intended in the last two quarters of the year.

The great thing about making board games, are that it’s fun, and exciting, as well as more than a little time-consuming. As a two-person operation, we divide and conquer as best we can, working hard to take baby steps toward bigger picture goals on new and current projects. This fall, however, our time has been very limited and some unexpected stressors have hindered progress.

In early Fall Raymond and I both went through some life and health changes. My husband and I, bought our first house. We’re thrilled to own our own home but a slew of major plumbing, roofing, and insulation issues have caused us not only delays on moving and settling in but a great deal of stress as well as. (Cross your fingers we’ve discovered the worst of the issues.) Meanwhile, around the same time as we purchased our home, Raymond contracted COVID-19 and was out of commission for several weeks. Raymond has recovered and is doing much better now, but progress has been slow for the both of us getting back into the swing of making games.

With the new year, we’re feeling better about getting the second edition Kickstarter up, however things are still going slower than we’d like. We’re excited to see the game reprinted and we’re hopeful that another season or two of mindfulness, social distancing, along with the COVID vaccine will bring the world a lot closer to normal.

We’ve got some big things planned and we’re excited to dive into new projects with Nemo’s Island and Astrolabe. While our timelines have shifted, our plans have not. We’re still taking steps toward getting our 2020/2021 projects off the ground. We still love creating and playing games and we can’t wait to play something new with you in the coming year.

Thank you for your patience and support as we find our feet. Have a wonderful New Year.

πŸ’œΒ Emily

A taste of things to come

As many of you know I got COVID-19 at the start of August. While this wasn’t great it and set us back in a lot of ways, it also gave me an opportunity to try a few things out for the second edition for City of the Big Shoulders. We’ve been trying to find a way to introduce new goodies to the game that aren’t necessarily enough for a full new expansion but as a way to reward our backers and supporters who upgrade to the new edition or support us in the second printing of the game.

Today we are releasing the prototype for the Advanced Supply Chain variant of the game.

Supply chain too random for ya, huh? Money not tight enough for ya, huh? Well, okay then. You asked for it.

So how does it work?

This is a static supply chain for City of the Big Shoulders. It still relies on a bag draw, however it is a much more stable resources market. Here are the rule changes:


Place this board over top the existing supply chain at the top of the game board. During setup draw 2 of each resource from the bag and place them on Haymarket Square as you usually would. Also place 9 Livestock, 8 Steel, 7 Coal, and 6 Wood on the darkened spaces of this track.


When using a building that supplies resources from Haymarket Square, first attempt to gain the resources from Haymarket Square. If they are not available from Haymarket Square, your company may gain the least-expensive matching resource from the Supply Chain at no cost.


During the operating phase, you may purchase any combination of resources you wish that are available. The price for the resource is listed at the top of the column from where the resource was taken.

At the end of your company’s turn you are going to draw some number of resources from the bag and place them in the highest valued empty columns on their respective rows. To determine the number of resources look for the left most column that is completely empty, then look to the solid line at the immediate left of that empty column. For example if all the cubes from the left most $20 column is empty, you would draw 4 cubes from the bag to refill the supply chain at the end of your turn. If only the right-most $10 column is empty you would only draw 2 cubes.

If there is no space on the Supply Chain for the resource drawn, it goes back in the bag and you DO NOT draw to replace it.

When spending resources to produce goods, they return to Haymarket Square as usual.

When the bag of resources is empty, remove all the resources from Haymarket Square to refill the bag. DO NOT seed Haymarket Square with 2 resources of each type.

One last thing, this will significantly tighten the money in the game, so it’s intended for advanced play.

Happy gaming!
<3 Raymond
Parallel Games

Licensed under Creative Commons Share Alike Attribution Non Commercial 3.0.
Print it. Play it. Share it. Don’t tell people you made it. Don’t sell it. Have fun!
All commercial use is prohibited.

City of the Big Shoulders Second Edition: Coming soon to Kickstarter

City of the Big Shoulders Second Edition is coming soon to Kickstarter! Enter your email address below to get notified when the City second edition launches and is available for order.

City of the Big Shoulders Second Edition is coming soon to Kickstarter!

Get notified when City of the Big Shoulders launches on Kickstarter

Play City of the Big Shoulders Online!

City of the Big Shoulders is now in beta testing and available for play on Board Game Arena. BGA is a free online board game platform where you can play dozens of your favorite games.Β 

Available in a 3D environment, you can download Tabletop Simulator and the City of the Big Shoulders Mod to play online with friends all over the world! Tabletop Simulator is a low-cost platform available on Steam that allows you to have a virtual 3D table-top experience.Β 

City of the Big Shoulders featured on Nerdist!

3 Tabletop Games That Take All Evening

By Rick Heinz
Did you ever play games of Risk or Axis and Allies with the maximum number of players? How about a seriously loaded game of Arkham Horror complete with all expansion packs? Sometimes playing board games with our families or friends should be an all-night affair. This is one of those times. Short games that only take fifteen to twenty minutes are a blast. They give everyone a chance to try new strategies, or you can cycle through your library…

2019 Wrap Up & The Year to Come

2019 was a big year for Parallel. We are so thankful for the great support you’ve all shown us and we’re very happy that City of the Big Shoulders has become a favorite game for so many people.

With the closing of the year we’re happy to announce that the first edition of City is completely sold out! This is phenomenal news and we’re already hard at work on the second edition reprint.

City of the Big Shoulders Second Edition Changes

We’ve had some feedback from customers and reviewers alike and while the game is solid, we believe in improvement when improvement is necessary. Thanks to the help of Paul Grogan and some awesome folks on BGG, we’re currently wrapping up a reorganization and clarification of the second edition Rulebook. There were a few things that weren’t clearly stated or needed some refinement to clearly convey all the complexities of certain rules. We will absolutely release this rulebook for you to peruse in the coming weeks. We believe this is a team effort and would love your input before we go to print! We will also be releasing the final second edition rulebook free for download once it’s finalized.

In addition to the Rulebook the game board will have two minor changes – the Appeal track and Stock track will be reoriented so that they go from top to bottom instead of bottom to top. This change should not impact game play at all.

The player aids will also get a minor update to make sure all rules are clear in alignment with the rulebook updates. These will be available for download once finalized as well.

Pre-Orders for City of the Big Shoulders

In the past few weeks we’ve had inquiries about purchasing the game. Once the changes are finalized you will be able to pre-order the second edition of City. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or join our mailing list to get a notification about pre-ordering the second edition.

Future games, Nemo’s Island and Astrolabe!

This upcoming year is planning to be just as busy as before for us. We’re excited to announce that we’re producing the game Nemo’s Island from Ed Wedig. This is a 45-60 minute exploration game where player’s will explore an island and collect treasure and resources. We will post more information in the near future, but for now we’re quite excited. Currently, we’re working with our WONDERFUL illustrator, Simona Ceccarelli, on the absolutely fantastic artwork, as we playtest and refine the rules.

In addition to Nemo’s Island we’re very happy to announce that we’ll be working on developing Astrolabe by Daniel Newman. We will have tons of additional information on Astrolabe in the coming months, but be sure to follow us on social media or check back for more soon.

Join us at GAMA Expo

2019 was a huge adventure for Raymond and I and we’re excited to see what 2020 brings. Our first con of the season will be the GAMA Expo March 9-12th in Reno, NV. Be sure to stop by Booth 801 to say Hi.


CotBS Learn-To-Play & Demo Event Announced

City of the Big Shoulders Learn To Play and Demo Event
City of the Big Shoulders Learn To Play and Demo Event

Hey All! If you’re in the Greater Columbus / Central Ohio area, we’re happy to announce a Learn to Play and Demo event!

Join us on Saturday, August 31st from 2:00-5:00pm at TableTop Game Cafe in Clintonville!

We will be demoing City of the Big Shoulders, teaching the rules and running through exactly how to play the game. Come out to check out the NUMBER 1 Rated Gen Con 2019 release, or just stop in to say hi!

KS Update #23: Gen Con and Final Fulfillment

Hello friends!

First off, I want to thank you all for helping us make this game a reality. Without you standing behind us and our game none of this ever happens. Thank you!

Final Fulfillment Updates

Me with the pallets we air-shipped into Gen Con for the show. :)
Me with the pallets we air-shipped into Gen Con for the show. πŸ™‚

Folks in Australia and most of Asia should have either already received their copies or should be getting them in the next few days. πŸ™‚

For US Backers, the warehouse has started unpacking the games from the pallets and are prepping them for shipping to your house. They will begin to ship out next week, and should arrive on your doorstep by the end of the month.

For EU Backers, GamesQuest has received your pallets of games and are prepping them for shipment to your house. Folks closer to the UK will get their games first and folks further way in central Europe will take a bit longer, but the games are on the way.

For Canadian Backers, Snakes & Lattes will be getting pallets of games in a couple weeks and they will ship out by the end of the month. You should get your games either during the last week of August or the first week of September.

I am monumentally proud of the fact, that as a new company we were able to hold onto our promise for final delivery. It shows us that the incredible amount of care and planning we put into this, and the partners we chose to work with were the right things to do. πŸ™‚

Why Games Quest?

I understand there has been some hesitation and anxiety around our choice to use Games Quest to ship games in Europe. After a few of you reached out to us about problems they had with other campaigns we went into investigation mode, speaking with both Games Quest and Quartermaster Logistics directly. The story goes that Games Quest a couple years back, had a really rough year where they over-promised, over-committed, and then suddenly lost vital personnel who were managing this projects. This lead to Games Quest partnering with various folks on an “emergency contract” basis who did not put much care into how they handled shipping things to backers.Β 

I discussed this situation with QML at length and they assured me, in working with Games Quest that Games Quest has put several measures in place to prevent anything like this happening again in the future. Here are a few of them:

  1. They hired not 1 replacement Project Manager, but 3 and put redundancies between them so projects are no compromised by someone getting sick, leaving the company, or otherwise being unavailable.
  2. Regular *weekly* check-ins between QML and Games Quest to ensure projects are delivered on-time and at a high quality.
  3. Ongoing training and a commitment to process improvement around training folks who are new how to properly pack out games and quality checks along the way to ensure standards are exceeded in every way.
  4. QML and Games Quest will be sending us “pack out” example pictures showing us exactly how they will be packaging the games so we (Parallel) can be confident that there is a very low-risk of damage during final shipment to backers.
  5. We also reached out to a few other creators who recently used Games Quest and they all had positive things to say about the quality of the shipments and customer support that Games Quest provided them.

So given the crystal clear transparent communication by QML, and Games Quest understanding their past failures, admitting to them, and instituting changes to prevent them from ever occurring again, paired with other recent creators and backers great experiences with them, we are confident in using them. I think everyone deserves a second chance, and I think Games Quest has gone above and beyond in proving their capabilities here.

We will post pictures of how they are packing games in a future update to help lessen anxiety around their handling of your games. πŸ™‚

Gen Con 2019

I wish I took more pictures. :(
I wish I took more pictures. πŸ™

Oh man! What an event! It seems like I blinked and it was over. Pure chaos, fun, excitement, anxiety and awesomeness all rolled into four days. πŸ™‚ I loved every minute of it.

My partner Erin and I drove in Tuesday night with a U-Haul packed with stuff. We queued up for the docks at the back of the convention and unloaded our U-Haul into the booth, before dropping off the U-Haul 5 miles away and Ubering back to the hotel to unpack. We finished around 11 at night and went to sleep prepping for the next day.

On Wednesday, during setup we swung by BoardGameTables.com’s booth to pick up two Jasper tables we ordered for the show. We arrived back at our booth to coordinate setup with Patrick and John at Genius Games to figure out position of tables, banners, sales tables, etc. — Wait…. hold up. Did you say Genius Games? — Oh right. Yeah. I totally just did. πŸ™‚ If you haven’t heard, Artana was bought by/merged with Genius Games at the show! Huge congratulations to everyone!

After setting everything up our team met in the Crown Plaza hotel for some training on how to teach and sell the game to folks where we had pizza, soda, and snacks and just had an awesome time getting to know each other. Finally, we went back to the hotel to prepare for the following day. I got to hang out in the JW Marriott lobby briefly with a few friends and fellow designers before calling it a night.

From that point on everything was just a blur. You know those movies where someone goes on an all night drinking / drug binge where there are time-skips everywhere. That was what Gen Con was like for me. Haha! I woke up Thursday morning headed to the booth, and then next thing I remember was having dinner Friday night with Erin at Fogo De Chao (an excellent Brazilian Steakhouse). After our lovely dinner I went on stream and hung out with Josh & Matt at Twist Gaming where we played through a full game. I had a blast.

Saturday through Sunday afternoon was also a blur. I got to meet so many awesome people, and see everyone reach so positively to City of the Big Shoulders along the way. I want to think everyone who stopped by to buy a copy, or just to check out the game and say hello. I love you all. πŸ™‚

When it's all over :(
When it’s all over πŸ™

Next thing I knew we were tearing down the booth, and loading it back up in the U-Haul. Erin and I decided to stay for another day to relax. The plan of course, was to stay up late and play some games, but alas we passed out exhausted instead. :/ The next morning we hung out in the swanky JW Spa, met some new friends, and decompressed from everything before hoofing it back to Columbus.

By far, this is both one of the best Gen Con’s I’ve every experienced and also I think the fastest one. It was here and gone in a flash. πŸ™ I could have used another week of it.

Overall Gen Con 2019 was a monumental success for us. We brought 2 pallets of games, and sold through 2/3rds of our stock gaining us nearly $22,000 in revenue which thankfully will allow us to put on an awesome show at BGG Con, and give us some wiggle room to explore attending other shows. More importantly, we got the game into the hands of no-less than 40 different reviewers, made some deals with international partners, and landed on the BGG Hotness list. Had we not attended the show, City of the Big Shoulders could have easily been looked over. But now…. now we are going to fly.

Specifically I want to thank Nils Herzmann, Katrina Demeanour, Adrian Jones, Jonathan Sullivan, Izaac Gibson, Alexander Jaycox, Timothy R Warner, Shaina Pardue, Kenneth Phillips, and Heather Harkless for volunteering in our booth and helping us point on an amazing show. Dirk Knemeyer, John Coveyou, Marcus Muller, and Patrick Fitzgibbon for allowing us to share their space at the show.

So, where should we go next? Right now, we’re debating Geekway to the West, Dice Tower Con, and PAX Unplugged. πŸ™‚ Of course, we will be at BGG Con and Buckeye Game Fest later in the year. πŸ™‚

As always, thank you so much for supporting us along this journey. Because of you we get to live out a life-long fantasy in real time. We are so proud of what we created, and even prouder of the community we are building. I love you all!