The Origin Story
Right after his birthday, Michael was intrigued by an email from good friend Craig Strickland, “…I believe the unbridled creative fire and game-playing zeal of the Varma-Strickland team could--no, MUST--put together a worthy proposal for Kickstarter.” And so it began.
We determined early on to create a playing card game that was OPEN:
- Objective: a game that is simple and fun(ny).
- Pleasant to play – visually engaging and a conversation-starter.
- Easy for kids and adults to play together or independently.
- New and exciting, filled with skill and strategy and not too hard nor too easy.
We envisioned a fun family or adult game that you could easily play at a party. Initially we pitted cat people against dog people to determine who was the cat’s meow or top dog. Fur began to fly between Craig and Michael as well as our family and friends until we determined the perfect common enemy: Fleas.
We dreamed up the concept of cats and dogs joining forces to defeat an army of evil fleas. Soon thereafter, the perfect title came to us: World War Flea.
Since Michael has produced four educational cards games, a dozen novelty gift and puzzle books, and is known as a numbers nerd (he loves statistical analysis – yup, nerd!) he was able to determine the appropriate number of pet, point, and disrupter cards for the game. Craig, a teacher and published author of mystery stories, numerous articles, and two books, is adept at plotting and strategizing.
After playing hundreds of test rounds we discovered the difference between theory and application. Numerous adjustments were made to the total number of cards as well as the disruptors (Stay and Play Cards) until we identified the appropriate risk and rewards to provide the ideal complexity for all ages. We believe we have developed a stellar, new, and unique game.
Adults, teens, and children came together while they played World War Flea and provided a great deal of feedback (and we'll take more input from our Kickstarter friends, too) to confirm the current rules are easy to understand and the fun factor is high.
- Options are simple with exciting results.
- Play with wild abandon or with skill and strategy.
- I love seeing the dogs and cats – especially when your pet comes up!
As for the furry icons of the game, neither of us can draw worth a lick, so we worked with friends, family, and multiple independent freelance artists until we created original artwork for our cat, dog, and flea characters.
Special thanks to our ever-patient and extraordinary primary artist Abe Aguilar.