The Unified Field Theory of How Things Stack

Now that we’ve got our new website up and running and we’re working on the game, we thought it was time to start sharing a bit more about how this game actually works. Fabulous Beasts combines a couple of classic game types into something new, and one of those is balancing games. The most famous balancing game by miles is Jenga, but there’s are some really wonderful and less well-known ones: Tier auf Tier, Bandu and Hamsterrolle to name a few.

One of the magic things about having a 3d printer or two around the office is that we can try a huge number of block styles to figure out what makes for the the funnest set of pieces to play with. After a year of playtests and hundreds of block designs, here’s our to stack things on top of other things.

3 Points Is a Face

Mostly, when stacking things like bricks, you are aligning one nicely flat surface with another. It turns out to be much more fun to reduce faces to their minimum viable form – which is any three points of a solid. Here’s one of the new action pieces with a funky 3-pointed end, landing on the Hurricanes block.


A video posted by Fabulous Beasts (@fabulousbeasts) on


Parallel Surfaces In X,Y,Z The amount of overlapping parallel surface between top and bottom is a big factor in stackability. Here’s the new Shark piece being played three times – with varying degrees of difficulty.

Parallel Surfaces in X,Y,Z A video posted by Fabulous Beasts (@fabulousbeasts) on


Available Horizontal Surface

The XYZ rule gives rise to a defensive style of play that we’ve seen a lot in playtests. Reducing the amount of available surface for pieces to be played on limits the lifespan of a tower… A handy strategy if you are ahead on points!

A video posted by Fabulous Beasts (@fabulousbeasts) on


Friction Is Your Friend We’re experimenting a lot with different types of finish for the pieces – and a big reason for that is how much friction helps with placement. Here you see the difference a coat of paint makes to the placement of a Shark.

The importance of friction as a vector of stackability

A video posted by Fabulous Beasts (@fabulousbeasts) on

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