Are you looking for hours of connecting fun?
Then you’ll need a love of words, creative play and Connections Card Game – think of it as a crossword puzzle combined with dominoes.
Knowledge Probe Inc is a Canadian based company, which is family owned. The Connections Card Game was designed and self-published by Knowledge Probe Inc.
We were grateful to have an interview with Connections Cards creator – Mark Kolb.
Thanks Mark for allowing us to ask you some questions about your game. Can you please tell us a little bit more about your game?
CONNECTIONS CARD GAME – www.CONNECTION.cards
This word game is about connecting people in a fun manner. Players take turns connecting words on cards by finding commonalities between the words and at times ”selling” those that don’t make obvious sense.
The game has only been out since mid March, so it’s been going for about three months. We’re getting some attention and great feedback.
Wow, only 3 months! So tell me how did you begin Connections Card game?
It is a labour of love. I am a computer programmer.
I’ve always enjoyed word games and have created several online in the past decade just for fun. Eg www.UPLIFTED.ME www.OUTWIT.ME www.QUIZACROSS.com www.COMMXNITY.com www.QUADZZLES.com www.WORDGAMES.me www.WordRotation.com www.FestivalPassports.com www.NameTag.me
I had an idea about 10 years ago to create a physical card game instead of an online game. It would be a game about connecting words through conceptual relationships, eg ANT is an INSECT, CAR has a WHEEL, FARMERS grow VEGETABLES.
I started with one word per card and created prototypes. I played the game with my family. Then let it sit in a closet collecting dust until rediscovering it in January this year.
I told my wife it’s “now or never” so I went ahead and refined the prototypes to something not available on the market. Four words per square card (one per edge), 100+ words. A month later, I had narrowed down the word list from the 1,000 most popular English words to about 500 with a fair number of relationships to other words.
The big job was finding those connections. The current game of 496 words has at least 7,500 possible connections.
With four words per card, the next phase was balancing the words in two ways:
- No two words could be related on the same card (eg cannot have COLOR and RED together)
- Words across from each other had to be more or less the same length to look right
This was done programmatically. After that, it was a matter of assigning points 1-5 for each card. Again this was done programmatically.
I had to design a box so one of my sons helped. I sourced a local supplier who handmade each box. I found a local printer who printed and cut the cards as well as the instructions. My wife and another son hand collate 124 cards into each box taking four minutes to make a set.
From that project phase, the next thing was to copyright and trademark the game.
We hear there are a variety of ways to play Connections?
Ten years ago I envisioned only one way to play. By the time I had packaged the game and printed the instructions, I had six ways to play. Now there are 16 ways to play (on the website) because as I play ‘tested’, and met new people and received feedback, I came up with other ways. I even found a way to connect an office for team building (Team Secrets) – ideas come all the time.
In fact, the last way was two weeks ago on a plane coming back from a wedding. I was sitting with two strangers and asked if they wanted to help me test a new game. “Airplane Mode” was the result.
That Airplane mode sounds intriguing! What makes you so passionate about Connection Cards?
The world around us is full of connections, some obvious some not. But almost everything you see, think about, interact with, is connected to something else. There are relationships between objects and actions. My passion is to find many more connections and bring them into future versions of the game.
I would like to see something tangible take off as a popular game.
How does your game set out to make a difference?
It’s a unique game that brings enjoyment to everyone who has played it. It becomes a game about connecting people instead of words. This is because eventually someone will try to “pull a fast one” with a connection that makes no sense to the other players. This causes the player to “sell” the connection to the other players. It creates debate and talk, which is often really funny. (watch the videos).
Where is the game available from?
Where too from here for Connection Cards?
I’m looking into creating a French version (as we are Canadians), then maybe a Spanish version.
From there, I would like to create expansion packs.
If you would like to learn more about the game or contact Mark: