Remember that feeling in Risk where your ridiculously strong army should totally win against your opponent's force and then he just keeps rolling sixes? Or when you clearly have the best starting position in Catan and then 9s don't get rolled the entire game? Man, that is just the worst.
I much prefer to win or lose games based on my own merit, not the whims of luck. Then, when you win, you have something to feel proud about. And when you lose, you can pinpoint the decisions you made that led to that loss and learn from the experience.
Cephalofair Games is on a quest to make super-amazing games that minimize randomness and reward player savvy.
Our big claim to fame is Gloomhaven, a massive Legacy-style dungeon-crawler with combat that features actual meaningful decisions and no dice (WHAT). We have also published Forge War, an epic, economic Euro-style game about turning mined resources into weapons used to kill big, bad fantasy monsters; and Founders of Gloomhaven, a city-building game of logistics set in the Gloomhaven world.
There are many more exciting things on the horizon, including the upcoming sequel to Gloomhaven, Frosthaven, which is going to be vastly more epic and expansive than the original, if you can believe it!
CEO / Game Designer
Isaac loves board games. He was going to be a physicist (got his PhD and everything), but then decided it would be more fun to design and publish board games for a living. He hasn’t regretted that decision yet.
Isaac is the founder and driving force behind Cephalofair Games. He started the company back in 2014 to self-publish his first game, Forge War, and has since led a growing team that handles design, development, writing, art direction, promotion, publishing, and fulfillment for all their games ever since.
Isaac’s “magnum opus,” Gloomhaven was Cephalofair Games’ second title, published in early 2017. He could not be happier with the reception it is receiving and has since published three additional titles set in the same world: Forgotten Circles, Founders of Gloomhaven, Jaws of the Lion, and is hard at work designing the highly anticipated "sequel" Frosthaven.
He is generally a fan of heavier Euro board games like Gaia Project and 18XX, though he does have a soft spot for dungeon crawlers and RPGs. You can read all about his unhealthy love of board gaming here.
Isaac lives in Lafayette, Indiana, with his wife Kristyn and his dog Millie.
Chief Operating Officer
Price handles the day-to-day "behind the scenes" at Cephalofair and considers himself incredibly fortunate to work with so many talented individuals who bring the world of Gloomhaven to life for fans all over the world.
Bringing 12 years of outside experience in operations management, marketing, sales, hiring, and a passion for tabletop games, Price has been responsible for leading various efforts around Cephalofair since 2017, such as: an ever growing convention schedule, expansion of retail partners and e-commerce, and as Executive Producer on both 2020's Jaws of the Lion and Frosthaven Kickstarter campaign.
Price lives in Sacramento, California with his wife Marcie, and his kids Clarke & Liam.
Josh McDowell started playing board games after his wife encouraged him to find an inexpensive hobby. The joke is on her, as that encouragement turned into an expansive collection and regularly scheduled game nights. Then again, it also turned into his job.
Josh brings brings over 20 years of graphic design experience to Cephalofair having worked on projects from Forge War to Frosthaven. He’s worked at Purdue University since 1998, producing graphics and video for athletics, the performing arts series, and the College of Agriculture. He has also worked as a freelance designer since 2002, creating touring video for country stars like Vince Gill, Martina McBride, and Brad Paisley, and creating graphics and video productions for corporate clients like Ford, Syngenta, and Bank of America.
His love for games drew him into freelance game design, and since 2015, he’s created visuals for many publishers including Ravensburger, Stonemaier Games, Renegade Games, and Restoration Games.
He lives in Indiana with his wife and three children, gamers in the making. You can find his portfolio at www.behance.net/mcscowl.
Illustrations & World-Building Artist
Alexandr lives in Ukraine, Odessa and works as a freelancer and specializes in several styles: sci-fi, cyberpunk and fantasy. He’s looking for exciting projects in the styles that he likes. Most of all, he is proud of his artwork for cards in board games.
He dreams to release his comics and develop an indie game with a small group of people In the future. You can see his portfolio at http://kotnonekot.deviantart.com/.
Francesca is a freelance cartographer and illustrator from Italy working in the game and publishing industry for companies such as Blizzard, Games Workshop, Square Enix, and Dark Horse.
In her studio, she happily draws maps and paints illustrations, imagining new ways to build fantastic or dangerous worlds. She always looks forward to new exciting projects!
You can check her works at www.francescabaerald.com.
Dungeon Tile / Scenario Artist
David is a freelance artist and art director who specializes in science-fiction and heroic fantasy art.
In a previous life, David worked in the video game industry for more than 20 years, creating 2D and 3D art for famous games like Duke Nukem 3D, Alone in the Dark, Lord of the Rings, Driver, Counterstrike, King Kong, Star Trek, and Legacy of Kain.His hidden passion, however, was illustrations as he was always inspired by the art of Chris Foss and Frazetta, so he started a new career to pursue illustration for board games as well as book and music album covers.His work includes art for Mythic Battles, Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, Joan of Arc, Claustrophobia 1643, HEL, and is now focusing on creating atmospheric map tiles for the world of Gloomhaven.
You can find his many works at http://www.daviddemaret.daportfolio.com/
Play-testing & Development
Marcel lives in Vienna, Austria, working as a freelance developer, proofreader, and play tester on projects from Cephalofair, Fantasy Flight Games, Forged by Geeks Games, and others.
He also teaches math and cognitive science for adults. He and his fiancee host a sprawling board game collection for friends, family, and "research" for the possibility of his own game one day.
Design & Development
Satire's early contributions to the Cephalofair community were warmly embraced and quickly grew into a more significant partnership with Cephalofair.
Their work includes tutorial, event, & battle goal design in Jaws of the Lion as well as brand new systems, events, mechanics (and more!) in the upcoming, and highly anticipated sequel Frosthaven.
Andy Nellis is a writer and editor specializing in fiction, narrative design, and health science. He has written and edited in a range of industries including film, medical research, higher education, and tabletop gaming. In 2015 his screenplay "More Cowbell" won the Nantucket Film Festival's Tony Cox competition. He is currently finishing a Masters of Fine Arts.
More information on his services can be found at: https://andynellis.com/
- SCULPTING -
Cephalofair would also be nowhere without the talent of so many additional sculptors, artists, and editors who have helped shape our worlds:
James van Shaik; Detective City of Angles, Cthulhu Wars
JAWS OF THE LION / FROSTHAVEN
Chris Lewis : Reaper, MERCS, CRY H.A.V.I.C.
Andrew Cothill : Fireaxis Games, WizKids, Reaper, GCT
Chad Hoverter : Mice & Mystics, Spector Ops, Heroes of Land, Air & Sea
FORGOTTEN CIRCLES / FROSTHAVEN
Tom Mason : Reaper, WizKids, MERCS, DGS
- RULEBOOK EDITING -
Mathew G. Somers : Gloomhaven, Forgotten Circles, Jaws of the Lion, Frosthaven
Jim Spivey : Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, WizKids, HarperCollins
- RULEBOOK DESIGN -
Jason D. Kingsley : Lanterns, Spy Club, Machi Koro, Wasteland Express Delivery Service
- PHOTOGRAPHY / GRAPHIC DESIGN -
Cat & David Bock : Ravensburger, Eagle Gryphon, Grandpa Beck’s Games
- COSPLAY -
Monica Paprocki : Frosthaven, Geeks A Go-Go
Cephalofair Games makes epic board games that break the mold. People like to fit games into categories they can easily understand: heavy games, light games, deck-builders, dungeon-crawls. But I have no desire to fit my games into predefined holes.
My design philosophy is start a project with a strong, thematic concept, and build the game organically from there, integrating fun mechanics where they fit naturally. The end goal is to create epic game experiences that are approachable, but also reward strategy and planning over luck and randomness.
I want players to get the following from my games:
If this sounds like a good time to you, I encourage you to check out some of my games.