Source: Sherman Publications

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Got game? Goodrich alumni finding success

by David Fleet

June 19, 2013

Matt Onica plays games and gets paid for it.

About three years ago Onica, a 2003 Goodrich High School graduate and now a Holt Alternative High School teacher, joined former GHS classmates Jameson Carbarry, Noah Lane and Dan Misura, to form Float a Goat, LLC with the mission to desgin board games.

"It was tough finding work after college a few years ago," he said. "So we started brainstorming about creating games and how to make them fun, not to mention a small profit. We all played board games and just developed the idea in the basement of my house."

The team kept their day jobs, but created three board games:

nSomething Different: a card game played with rules that constantly change and alternating objectives;

nZombies: the game itself is played with a 16 ounce American-style pint glass with the rules printed right on it;

nBirds: a strategy game for 3-6 players where players take on the role of birds fighting for survival.

"The games just seem to evolve," said Onica. "It's pretty simple, you have to play the games to test it, so we just get a group of people together then they give us advice or suggestions as they play. Sometimes they say the game is too hard or confusing—even boring or no fun to play."

The games have been selling online at Something Different has been the best seller with more than 1,100 sold so far.

"The market for board games is big," he said. "Video (games) have cut into the market, but people are nostalgic about games. Our games are designed so anyone can pull it out at gatherings or parties and play. There's still a market, we don't really compete with video games. We wanted to create a popular game, but not necessarily like Milton Bradley. The key is the game has to be fun and players have understand the game. If it's too confusing or takes too long to figure out the rules people will just not play."

Onica said board games continue to be popular.

"There are a lot of game hobbyists out there," he said. "We've created games that hopefully bring people together to have fun."

At 5 p.m., June 30 Lakeview Community Church, 10023 South State Road, Goodrich will host a game night which will include the Float a Goat games.