The Gub characters began a long time ago. They have been in my life for so long, I can’t even accurately pinpoint the date of their creation. Perhaps it was 1992. I was in the 4th grade, a big fan of doodling figures on my school work, and Gubs, in their original form, were easy and fun to draw.
I remember the card game first appeared late one night several years later. I was up into the evening, drawing little Gubs and Mushrooms and Tanks (yes, before Toad Riders the primitive Gubs rode around in little cartoon tanks). The first set of cards were made from cut up index cards, cut into uneven squares covered in pencil drawings and an abundance of spelling errors.
We played the game more and more, and cards were added. Eventually I wrote up the rules. A few times I’d sit down and redraw all the cards, attempting to make them better as my artistic skills slowly grew.
Eventually Gubs evolved and a story was built around them. They lived in the forest, rode moths and lived in mushrooms, fighting to survive in a dangerous world. This back story appealed to me and others. Rules were tweaked and cards added. The game grew. My friends and I played it all the time, and everyone knew all the rules even though they were not yet written on the cards.
In 2002, I began working with Darin Quan to create some professional artwork for GUBS. It was the first step in a long road to creating a good looking prototype. The first drawing he sent me was the Omen Beetle (then called the Grey Beetle) and I remember being so excited to see it. It was the first time my creation took on a professional look. I was thrilled.
Over the next year or so, Darin would draw up the remaining 30 or so drawings. The sketches he did were in black and white, so I set about using Photoshop to add color.
At this time I was doing a lot of research to find a company where I could print the game, but didn’t find much within my price range. I tried printing the cards onto business card sheets, but the printing never lined up correctly (much to my continued frustration) and I gave up on that idea.
Aaron Peterson, a good friend of mine, and I scoured the internet for some kind of temporary solution, believing a paper die cutter (like a cookie cutter but for paper) might be the answer. I eventually found pre-perforated card stock which I could print the cards out onto myself and then just punch them out. So I ordered that.
The process to make a prototype was very time consuming: because the card stock wouldn’t go through my personal printer, I took it to Kinko’s and put it into the color copier. I then color copied (using master sheets printed on regular paper) all the artwork onto the card stock, sending it through the machine twice to print front and back. Half the time the machine ate my pre-perforated pages and spat them out destroyed. Half the time the printing did not line up right on the card stock. It took hours.
Once I had a few printed correctly, I would hang them all up, spray seal them, hope they’d dry without streaks or random bits of dust sticking to them, punch them out carefully so as not to tear the corners (a painstaking process), and finally sand down the edges of the cards to be smooth. All that work took about 10 hours per deck to produce the very first prototypes.
I started shopping the game out to different companies. I contacted Steve Jackson Games, Days of Wonder, Looney Labs, and Mayfair Games to mention just a few. Days of Wonder told me they were busy on ‘Shadows Over Camelot’ at the time and Looney Labs was not accepting submissions. Mayfair, however, looked at the game quite closely, eventually even requesting a prototype to playtest. I sent them a deck and, after some deliberation, they decided it did not fit with their current line of projects.
That was when I decided to self-publish.
I contacted Custom Playing Cards R Us and started getting templates from them. This was in 2005. I then spent a year working on the box art and the card layouts and final rule changes. After that I spent another year working on the rule sheet. It went through 8 drafts and many, many playtests… not the game, mind you, just testing which rule layout made sense to people. It is very difficult to explain a game, even one as simple as GUBS, in only 2 pages of easy to read text.
Main Contributors to Rule Sheet Revisions:
- Pamela Medeiros
- Robert Medeiros
- Alex Medeiros
- Aaron Peterson
- Chandra Peterson
- Maria Diploudis
- Will Clark
- Sara Henne
- Jered Boggs
- Santiago Heredia
- Leah Smith
- Wan-Yin Tang
Finally, with everything finished on my end, I had to work with the printer and also a lawyer to get things set up. GUBS was already copyrighted but the name needed to be trademarked, which was finished this in 2007. Custom Playing Cards R Us was incredibly helpful and patient, but the process took a long time to get everything set up correctly. Proofs were sent back and forth many times.
Once everything looked good, I gave the final ok and waited for about 4 weeks before the decks came back: 14 huge boxes, a total of 1000 Gub decks, nearly filling my living room! And that’s how the game was created.
Since then we’ve taken it to several trade shows including DundraCon, KublaCon and ConQuest Sacramento. Its been taken by other people to conventions around the Unted States, even making it to Gen Con via some assistance from others. Byron Roberts of Kanga Games has been toting it around Taiwan and the Philippines. Even despite nearly no advertising, GUBS has made it all over the US and the world. We’re nearly sold out of the original batch of decks and soon looking to order another.
A lot has happened! About a year ago, Gamewright Games contacted me and expressed interest in carrying GUBS. Since then we’ve been working together to revamp the decks and rerelease a new and improved version of the game. Now GUBS is set to be officially released next month (May) in a metal tin with all new artwork.
Once again, the Gubs have evolved. This is nothing new. Gubs have been morphing throughout their long history, and for those of us who fell in love with the fleshy, mouthless variety rest assured that that species is alive and well. They are hiding, and Gamewright’s much more colourful variety will no doubt flourish. I have grown to love their friendly smiles and yellow bellies. The new decks are beautiful, and will reside in a sturdy metal tin for better travelling. I can’t wait to share these with everyone.
Its neat to see people make GUBS their own and personalize it or express their enjoyment. This section is devoted to them:
This image was sent to me by Ed Healy. It was drawn by his daughter. I love it!
The above images were submitted by Lucas from Brazil. These are him and his friends playing GUBS (while trying to study as well). Good luck!
The above images was submitted by RJ Albin: “My nephew and I made a ‘lil GUB town outta our GUBS decks, using only GUBS cards, nothing else. Thought I’d send it to you.”
This bag was created as a personal carrying case for a GUBS deck. It was given as a gift to Bret Juliano by his girlfriend Val James.
These Gub girls were drawn by Katie Pool.
This artwork was created in photoshop by Jono Schaferkotter using the official GUBS artwork.
Matt Griffin (good friend and fellow Game Maker, as well as developer of GUBS: Pixel Edition) playing GUBS with his brother Adam. Looks like Matt is winning.
Jeffrey Vaca posted this on Board Game Geek of his daughter in her fairy garden with some GUBS.
This image was submitted by my old friend Joey Shinn.
GUBS has been sent to 17 different countries so far: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United States
In the States, GUBS has been mailed to 33 different states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
These are stores that carried GUBS when it was just a self published game. I’m going to leave these logos and links here as a thank you to them, and I encourage you to visit their fine stores if you have the chance. In the future, GUBS will be available directly through Gamewright’s site, as well as many other stores. Check your local game store and ask for GUBS!
Gamealot, Santa Cruz, CA
Comic Grapevine, Lodi, CA
Let me just say first, there are too many people to thank. So many contributed to make the game what it is, and I hope they all already know how much I appreciate them. If you’re not on this list and you should be, let me know.
Many, many friends and family contributed in smaller, but no less valuable, amounts along the way. All along GUBS has been a very home-grown, personal project that I am very happy to have been a part of.
- Cole Medeiros: Creator
- Alex Medeiros: Co-designer, All-Around Assistance, Support
- Pamela Medeiros: All-Around Assistance, Investor, Support
- Robert Medeiros: All-Around Assistance, Investor, Support
- Darin Quan: Pencil Drawings
- Matt Griffin: Playtester, Support, GUBS: Pixel Edition Developer, Fellow Game Maker
- Aaron Peterson: Research, Rule Sheet Development
- Chandra Peterson: Rule Sheet Development
- Maria Diploudis Rule Sheet Development, Support
- Will Clark: Rule Sheet Development
- Sara Henne: Rule Sheet Development
- Jered Boggs: Rule Sheet Development
- Santiago Heredia: Rule Sheet Development
- Leah Smith: Rule Sheet Development
- Julie Zack: Support
- Derek Wright: Playtester, Support, Rule Sheet Development
- Karl Neuharth: Playtester, Development
- Jake Wolf: Playtester
- Nate Hall: Playtester
- Brittany Chandler: Playtester
- Aaron Coe: Playtester
- Preston Greene: Playtester
- Mike Mariano: Website Assistance
- Steve Oskienik: Website Programming
- Micheal and Charles from Custom Playing Cards R Us
- Scott March: Legal Advice and Services
- Amy Juliano, Bret Juliano: Rule Sheet Development
- Roxanne Pedro: Playtester
- Pam Pimental and Paul Fernandez
- Byron Robert and Angel: Chinese Rules Translation
- Fernando Abad: Spanish Rules Translation