259 – Tim Virnig, Thunderworks Games – The Family Gamers Podcast

We sit down with Tim Virnig, the brand ambassador (“media mogul”?) for Thunderworks Games.

Sponsor message: Now that we’ve talked about how to reduce risk, when do you make that decision? First Move doesn’t sell insurance, but they can help point you in the right direction and help you interpret the policies you currently have. To schedule a call with First Move, go to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers.

What We’ve Been Playing

Sleeping Gods
Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition
Super Mega Lucky Box
Quacks of Quedlinburg

SNAP Review – Rhino Hero Junior

We highly recommend this “My Very First Game” from HABA. See the video or read the transcript on our SNAP review page.

Tim Virnig, Thunderworks Games

Thunderworks has been working really hard to get their games polished and ready. “A year of not seeing anybody was worth it.”

Let’s go back to the very beginning. In 2013, Keith Matejka left Konami, with an idea that would later become Roll Player. He tested the waters with some less-ambitious games (Bullfrogs and Blend-off).

Roll Player

But the flagship game is Roll Player, released in 2016. And the world of Roll Player keeps growing – through Monsters & Minions, Fiends & Familiars, Cartographers, and Lockup.

Now it culminates in Roll Player Adventures, written by Keith Matejka and the Ryan brothers. This is a campaign, choose-your-own-adventure game. The choices that you make will change the storyline. It will be delivered to retail & to Kickstarter backers later this fall.

But there’s also Cartographers: Heroes, a stand-alone game that can be combined with Cartographers. It adds hero cards that can fight the monsters on your map! There will also be 3 new map packs that will add more variety to either of the Cartographers games… and a big box to hold everything (with colored pencils)!

Cape May

Now for something completely different – let’s talk about Cape May. Eric Mosso, the designer, grew up visiting Cape May in New Jersey and the game is obviously a work of love. You play an entrepreneur developing property in the growing seaside resort town of Cape May. Move around the map, build homes & businesses, and upgrade them. In each of the 4 seasons, collect your income and use that to build & upgrade more the next season. At the end of the game, you want to have the most buildings in each area. You’ll also collect bird tokens in sets. It all works together for a very thematic experience.


We’d never heard of it, but Dual Powers is a light 2 player game with the heavy theme of the Cold War.

Tenpenny Parks – illustrated by Vincent Dutrait – a polyomino building game with a carousel round tracker. Coming in 2022.

Cyberpunk game coming, and even more Roll Player storybooks.

Maybe some jigsaw puzzles?

And check out the Roll Player merch available from Sir Meeple! https://sirmeeple.com/collections/roll-player

Find Tim online mostly on Twitter: @tim_virnig. You can also find him on Facebook & Instagram.

And look for him in person at Gencon, Origins, PAX Unplugged & Gamehole con.

Find Us Online:

Facebook: @familygamersaa and thefamilygamers.com/community
Twitter (X): @familygamersaa
Threads: @familygamersaa
Instagram: @familygamersaa
TikTok: @familygamersaa
Youtube: TheFamilyGamers

or join the Family Tabletop Community on Discord! thefamilygamers.com/discord

Or, for the most direct method, email us! andrew@thefamilygamers.com and anitra@thefamilygamers.com.

Check out our new Family Gamers and Play Games with Your Kids merchandise – T-shirts, hoodies, and mugs – at thefamilygamers.com/merch.

PLEASE don’t forget to subscribe to the show, tell your friends about the show, and leave us a review at Apple Podcast or whatever your podcast subscription source is. We’re also on Amazon Music, TuneIn, and Spotify.

The Family Gamers is sponsored by First Move Financial. Go to FirstMoveFinancial.com/familygamers to learn how the team at First Move Financial can help you pile up the victory points.

First Move Financial - Financial planning for all stages of life. What's your first move?