Sean Jacquemain: Diced Veggies: A Family Meal

by The Bloom Report | 19 Oct 2023

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed

At 11-years-old, the most important stuff to be focusing on should be things like your favourite baseball team (Blue Jays, if you’re curious), school work or debating the relative qualities between Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs. For cousins  Jory and Rowan Cappel, these things definitely are important, but they added another cool item to their resume this year, becoming first time game designers. 


Diced Veggies came together really smoothly. It’s not all that common for a game (especially by first time designers) to be signed within a few months of the initial idea. There’s something to be said about taking a kid’s approach to design and looking for the fun.


Together, they worked on developing their idea with dad/uncle Josh Cappel. The first spark of an idea came to the trio in Summer 2022. Getting together and developing the idea a bunch over the following months into the Fall and by early 2023 the game was signed and production had started. 


The concept of the game is quite simple: you collect ingredients to complete different international recipes for points in the game. However, there’s a lot more fun packed into this straight forward concept. Players are chopping sets of dice away from the central block using the unique Diced Veggies cardboard cleaver. They can take up to 10 pips worth of dice with each chop and then apply those ingredients to the recipes they’re working on. As recipes are completed, players have the opportunity to add Hype cards. These can be things like “World’s Greatest” and “Just Like Mama Used to Make”. They usually require some sort of dice combination in the recipe, like all even numbers or a total that adds to 17 or higher. 


Diced Veggies had its debut at Gen Con 2023, and it was a pretty special moment for Rowan and Jory. For the first time ever, their game that they had worked so hard on, was available to the public. If they had been nervous about the reception, those fears were quickly relieved. Diced Veggies was a huge hit. It sold out every copy that KTBG had at the show and everywhere you looked, people were playing it. 


The game has even been nominated for two TAGIE Awards! One for Josh and and illustrator Claire Lin in the Art Design and Visuals category and Rowan and Jory are nominated in the Young Innovators category. Not too shabby for a couple of first time designers.


Now, as board game industry veterans, the cousins are eager to share lessons with aspiring young designers.

“You'll need to spend a lot of time and patience working through all of the kinks, so that you're totally satisfied with your final game,” advises Rowan. 


Jory adds “Don’t give up when the game isn’t working. Find a way to fix it.”


What’s next for these young designers? Fresh off the success of Diced Veggies they have slightly different goals. Rowan is concentrating on school work, playing hockey, and building off her experience as the lead in her school play last year. Jory already has his second game idea in development. 


“I’m working on a game called Campfire Cookout with my dad,” he revealed. We can’t wait to see if it has the same simple gameplay and fun results.

Diced Veggies is coming to retail soon and look for Campfire Cookout in the not too distant future.

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