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Idiot Lumberjacks, New Year’s Eve, and the Birth of Countdown: Action Edition

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Every week until the Kickstarter launch we will be posting new articles, letting you know all about the game and world of Countdown: Action Edition!

Our first article starts with the crazy reason this game even exists! 


Wait a second...wait a second…are you telling me every single one of us forgot to bring a game to the New Year’s Eve party?”

Almost one year ago, this sentence triggered the birth of Countdown: Action Edition. We found ourselves needing to cough up a game fast. One that could be played by over ten people, most of them non-gamers, and would be easy to understand and quick to play. We had talked a big game (get it) about this upcoming party and none of us wanted our gamer reputations to suffer. After finding myself forcibly locked in my office by my mates, I spent the afternoon creating a game that would combine what I felt like playing that night (a hidden role game) with what we needed (a giant party game).

First, I threw out everything that I don’t enjoy about hidden role games; needing to have a moderator that sits out on the fun, different game phases to keep track of, a long play time filled with endless looping arguments, and player elimination. For all you hopeful game designers out there, I have found that this is one of the best ways to start a new design. Then I focused on adding what I thought made party games so great; acting silly, laughing at your friend’s stumbling answers, choosing who you want to play, and getting to be involved in the action often. Finally, I added some of the elements that I knew were favorites of soon to be drunk Viking Lumberjacks; betrayal, role playing, and ridiculous scenarios. I wanted a game that would be more than just social deduction. I wanted the players to feel like they were actually in the game’s over the top scenarios, acting out what their characters would really do in that situation.

That night we played Countdown until long after the New Year fireworks had faded. It wasn’t a perfect game at this stage, in fact the gameplay was raw and often broken, but for every moment the game crashed to a halt, there was a moment where someone fell out of their chair laughing. This was mostly due to the gameplay although I admit there was a good amount of mead passed around. While unsure whether we had created a hidden role game that felt like a party game or a party game that felt like a hidden role game, we had unintentionally created something special. We didn’t know if the community needed or even wanted a game like this, but we knew it was different. With the knowledge that being different has worked out for us so far, we decided to make Countdown the first title of our newly revived game division.  

Since that night a year ago Countdown: Action Edition has continued to morph and change in unexpected ways. After months of rigorous playtesting with the Dog Might Playtest team and large-scale testing at cons, it’s been slowly polished and streamlined into the game it is today. Endless hours have been spent focusing on the balance between easy learning for new players and depth of gameplay for experience ones. However, our goal and vision for Countdown has never changed. To keep the games, laughter, and mead going long into the night.

Stay tuned next week to learn more about the Action Hero Role and why it’s cool to wear sunglasses at night!


Till the next time we meet in Valhalla,


Lindsey Rode

Valkyrie of Dog Might Games




Befriend all the radical woodland creatures with the Lumberjack Hostage Role. 

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Lindsey just got in her huge ass banner for PAX unplugged and it is killah!


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