Gladius is an award-winning board game where players take the role of cunning Roman spectators trying to make the most money by betting on and rigging the gladiatorial games. Each round, players place bets on competing gladiator teams. Then through the skillful use of underhanded tactics, players can help and hinder teams to alter the outcome of each battle. In this game for 2-5 players, can you outwit your opponents to turn a profit, or will you be left empty-handed?
Check out our how to play for more info:
Who are we?
Cat Quartet Games is an indie game company based in Seattle, Washington. Although Gladius will be our first published game, we have confidence in our team that we have created an awesome game and will deliver a polished product. Victoria is a former management consultant from Deloitte and now works as a game producer at Wizards of the Coast. Alex is a data analyst by day, and an avid lover of all forms of media (games, TVs, movies, music) by night. Valerie is a seasoned graphic designer and gamer who has worked everywhere from Zappos to Meepleville (a board game café in Las Vegas).
We’ve spent three years pouring our hearts and souls into the creation of Gladius and plan on finally launching it on Kickstarter this coming February 2020. Thank you for your support on this journey.
Why are we making Gladius?
The creation of Gladius was founded on the idea of “What if we made the impossible possible?” What if two run-of-the-mill people who had dreams of working in the games industry tried to self-publish their own game? Although we loved the gaming world, there are a lot of things that we wish we saw more of: truly diverse and inspiring characters, dev teams consisting of women and POCs, mechanics and themes about anything other than conquering or colonization. It was our boldness and courage to believe “We could make that game” that got us the IGDN Metatopia Diversity Sponsorship, the LUCI People’s Choice Award, and the Bit Awards Tabletop Game of the Year. And, although we didn’t have the expensive equipment to make the most professional-looking video, perhaps that same boldness and courage would shine through our iPhone-app-made-video and catch the attention of the indie showcase curators.
Fast forward to January 2020 and here we are, wrapping up a life-changing weekend as one of the games in the PAX South Tabletop Indie Showcase. We gave away hundreds of buttons and business cards, got over 400 signups for our email list, spoke on a panel, and even had Jerry Holkins, one of the creators of Penny Arcade, come by our booth and say he wants to back our game. We used to have some doubts about whether our game was actually good or not. But let me tell you, after you demo a game to hundreds of people and almost every single one of them has a blast or tries to buy your prototype, it’s hard not to believe you have a hidden gem of a game.
What makes Gladius fun?
· The Simplicity of the Betting System.
Each player has 7 different tokens of different values to bet with: one 5, two 4’s, two 3’s, and two death bets (which score the player 2 points plus an additional point for each opponent’s regular bet they’re able to tank). It’s easy for players to understand the difference between a small, medium, and large bet and the fact that players can’t see other players’ bets until the end of the game prevents kingmaking or having them lose engagement if they think they’re behind.
· The Fun of Playing Faceup and Facedown Cards.
We have a joke among the Cat Quartet Games team that we should’ve called our company Faceup Facedown Games because it’s a mechanic we use frequently. There’s something really fun about playing some cards that have secret information and playing other cards that resolve immediately. It creates an interesting tension between secrecy and open information.
· A Diverse, Lighthearted Take on Ancient Rome.
So many games about Rome are exclusively about great men or violence and have hyperrealistic art where everyone looks almost exactly the same. As lifelong fans of Roman history, we wanted to make a game that was true to Rome’s values of diversity and the power of the people. Our artist, Cheryl Young, is non-binary, neuroatypical, and based in Hong Kong. She normally likes to draw hamsters and other cute stuff, but when we saw her turn around a sample sketch of a gladiator in a hijab within less than 12 hours, we knew we had found the right artist. From the get-go, our goal was to make sure over 50% of the characters in Gladius represented marginalized communities. That’s why in our game you’ll see a wide range of genders, body types, and skin colors. We hope that everyone can play Gladius and see characters that represent and resonate with them.