7TV: Fantasy. Picture by Paul Heyes.

Creative Writing students at Edge Hill have released a brand-new tabletop game as part of their professional internship with tabletop games creators Crooked Dice Game Design Studio.

Over the last two years, the students created 7TV: Fantasy, a tabletop-skirmish game that takes inspiration from 70s and 80s fantasy films – and is already seeing huge sales following its release.

To create the game and to increase their employability skills, student interns worked as a professional design team on all aspects of the product, from research, development and artwork to compiling stand-alone rules, characters and storylines. The process also included playtesting and filming complementary videos to ensure accessibility and playability before launch.

Isabel Lovell, who interned with Crooked Dice and helped create 7TV: Fantasy, said: “Working with Karl and Crooked Dice has helped me gain a huge range of skills and I’ve learned so much about how I can apply my degree in a professional setting.

I’ve gone from not knowing much about tabletop games to seriously considering a career in games design, and I’m now confident in my abilities to achieve this.”

Isabel Lovell. Picture by Paul Heyes.

Dan Cliffe, who has been on the internship programme since 2019, said: “I was really excited to apply for 7TV: Fantasy.

“I love all types of gaming from digital to tabletop, and I thought being involved in a project all about game design, fantasy and tabletop stuff would be great, and it turns out it was.

“I spent a good amount of my time on the project proof-reading and editing most of the game’s material.”

The partnership was set up by Dr Peter Wright, Senior Lecturer in Speculative Fiction, and Karl Perrotton, the Managing Director of Crooked Dice, who had a chance meeting at the UK Games Expo in 2017 and together created this unique internship programme.

Peter said: “From the beginning we had very clear aims; we wanted to provide our student interns with the opportunity to develop professional creative content and graduate with a publication credit – the 7TV boxed game.

“We also wanted to ensure the students gained much-needed real-world experience to help them begin and develop their careers.”

Dr Peter Wright and some of the student development team. Picture by Paul Heyes.

7TV: Fantasy has already seen huge sales since its release last month and the previous boxed set, 7TV: Pulp, also developed by Edge Hill students, has sold out entirely. Sales have matched the massive rise in sales seen across the tabletop games industry, increasing nearly 80% during lockdown.

“Tabletop games have seen a huge resurgence in the last decade.” Peter explained. “I put this down to an overall simplification of the rules leading to greater accessibility as well as a much wider variety of games for people to play.

“Tabletop games also continue to offer players an irreplaceable social experience that can’t be found in digital games.

“I think we’ll continue to see their popularity grow in coming years. This is also giving students a chance to break into this thriving industry, which is totally unique to Edge Hill.”

Every year Creative Writing students at Edge Hill University are invited to apply to work with Crooked Dice, helping to create fun tabletop games and gaining unmatched employment experience along the way.

Karl said: “Even with the challenges of the past 18 months, interns have gone above and beyond with 7TV: Fantasy.

“This is a team of writers, editors, designers, proof-readers, project managers and marketeers – and I have seen the students develop and demonstrate skills that I know they will be able to take into any career they choose.

“It has been an absolute delight to work with such a diligent, smart, focussed group.”

To learn more about the students’ latest creation visit the 7TV: Fantasy page on the Crooked Dice website which features how to play videos scripted by and starring some of the students. Additional background to the team and the game, including the fictional 7TV: Fantasy film and television studio created by the entire development team can also be found on the 7TV blog.

Students taking part in this programme are supported by the Student Opportunity Fund which contributes financial support that helps undergraduates and postgraduates to take part in activities that enhance employability and develop transferable skills.

If you’re interested in studying Creative Writing at Edge Hill, you will learn from a world-class community of writers and gain insights into publishing, broadcasting and professional production on a degree brought to life by guest writers, visiting professionals, readings and workshops.