Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

June 24, 2014

Couple launches board game, business

TRAVERSE CITY — An idea washed over Barbara Overdier and Jim Muratzki during a rainy day on an anniversary trip to Mackinac Island.

The couple spent their vacation avoiding the island’s crowded fudge shops and t-shirt stands, and opted to hike quiet areas and visit historic landmarks. They dreamed of educating other visitors on the island’s natural and historic features and entertaining them during bad weather trips, and got to work on developing that dream.

“We feel like folks probably take the natural history piece of Mackinac Island for granted,” Muratzki said. “We want to put it out there for folks to see.”

Those developments turned into a board game, Mackinac Island Treasure Hunt. Overdier and Muratzki market it through their business, Archipelago Creative, which also sells Overdier's photos as note cards or calendars.

Mackinac Island Treasure Hunt is five games in one. Game pieces can be used for a matching game, dice-rolling game, scavenger hunt game, memory game or Clue-like treasure hunt game. Each one should feel like an educational trip to the island.

Making the board game took plenty of work. Muratzki and Overdier made prototypes, tested them on groups of volunteer gamers, refined the rules and had Mackinac Island experts check every fact.

Preparing the board game for sale took work, too. The couple found a Wisconsin manufacturer who will produce one game at a time, but they want to get enough pre-orders to make a big order from a Michigan manufacturer.

“In order to make this a viable business, what we need to do is make a lot of games, get the price-per down to a point where we can sell it at a reasonable price for wholesale and reasonable price retail,” Muratzki said.

The couple’s target retail price is $40. They’re optimistic about selling games to the 20- to 30-year-old market and Mackinac Island visitors, and have talked to the Michigan Department of Education about putting the game in schools. They hope to put some of the profits toward stewardship initiatives.

Text Only

the BIZ

AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide