DR Games is a family affair….
How it began.
Toby Lancaster is the creative director at DR Games. Having studied a degree and masters in fine art and spent many years teaching art, he stumbled in to drawing maps one day when he was randomly sketching out a crypt. Pleased with the way it looked he set up a Twitter account, posted it and was surprised by the many positive responses. And thus Dark Realm Maps was created. His maps and drawings have appeared in many books and products. After a while, and through his own experiences, he expanded out into writing supplements and self-published these through DrivethruRPG and DMsguild. Toby’s background is in gaming. So having run many role play systems over the years, sunk thousands of hours into strategy games and having been and always will be an avid board gamer he found this progression to game design a natural step forward.
Of course, now it was more than just Maps so Dark Realm Role play was created and soon to follow that was Dark Realm Games or DR Games as it is known. Toby wanted three distinct areas that could be easily recognised, giving a clear message of what could be expected from the three areas, i.e. Maps, Supplements and Games.
Out of Dark Times
The opportunity for DR Games came out of the pandemic times. Toby wanted to create a Solo game for people at home. A game that was inspired by the situation at the time, with people stuck at home during lock down. Meaning there was a sudden increase in demand for solo player games. Kickstarter provided a platform and were calling for such content. They got behind DR Games and Dark Force Incursion, a solo hex based, print and play game, was created in 2020. This was officially their first product and was successfully funded.
Rad Zone (2021) was the next DR Games product. This one that was far more complex but tapped into the same group of gamers. A solo market now used to playing these games but one that potentially wanted new more involved experiences. Rad Zone was successfully funded on Kickstarter and was viewed as an overwhelming success for DR Games. What it did was establish an expectation of quality that will now be carried forward into their future games.
DR Games and Dark Realm Role play will keep making games and supplements. They support each other through sister Kickstarter accounts, working together to create a business model that shows steady growth. Toby, Jo, Kai, Tate and Ivy are a creative bunch with big aspirations and have an exciting schedule planned out for the coming year.
Meet the Family
Toby Lancaster – Designer and Illustrator
Deeply rooted in RPG, tabletop games, popular culture and art and design, Toby has been involved in gaming in some shape or form for over 35 years. He studied Fine Art at university and then went on to do a masters degree, specializing in illustration and painting. Toby is also the ENnie nominated and published cartographer from Dark Realm Maps.
Jo – Logistics Manager and wife of Toby who is largely responsible for keeping him in order, managing the technical side of distribution, quotes and play testing. She also manages order fulfillment and the website. Her input into the creative process is invaluable for Toby.
And then there are the kids: Kai, Tate and Ivy, who all provide additional art work. Kai is currently studying Concept and Comic art at University. She will then choose to either join the family business or go on to forge an exciting career of her own once she graduates. While Tate is studying photography and Film and would like to go on to make wildlife documentaries. Ivy fits her drawing in around her dancing and has yet to decide whether she is a Ballerina or Illustrator.