Today I want to tell you the story of ZAM-POP! and our vision for where we’d like to take it.
ZAM-POP! is a game that goes back in our family for generations. We actually don’t know how far it goes back. The first time I remember playing it was when some of my relatives from New Zealand came over to visit us. I was nine or ten at the time. There were too many of us to sit at the table and play, so we moved some furniture, and all sat on the carpet. All I remember is that it was fast and fun and there was a ton of laughing. We had so much fun! And I was proud that I was able to keep up (barely) with the adults in my family. From that moment on, I was hooked.
ZAM-POP! is not a kid’s game. It’s fast and it’s competitive and there’s no holding back. There is only one speed when you play ZAM-POP!; full speed. We don’t slow down to accommodate a younger player. But if they can keep up, they’re welcome to play. And this is what makes it special for kids to play. It’s almost like a right-of-passage in our family. They are proud to play and keep up with the adults, because they know we don’t hold back. That’s what makes it fun!
So here’s how it usually goes. When a child is around 8 or 9, they watch in awe at the grown-ups playing the fast, rowdy game, but they usually don’t want to play yet – it’s too intense for them. Then usually when they are 10 or 11, they’re ready to step into the game. The first couple times they’ll do Ok. Then they may win a hand, and when they do give them a high five and congratulate them because they’ll be proud as can be. Then, with their confidence built up, they really get into it, and soon they’re “hangin with the big-uns”. Trash talking starts soon after.
Now, 40 years later, I love it as much as the first time I played. This is our go-to-game at every family get together. It’s a tradition for our family (the good kind). And every time a friend comes over for a family event, they get initiated into that which is ZAM-POP! And they all, without fail, love it.
So that brings me to the next part of the story.
I kept asking myself, “How can it be that no one knows this game that has brought us so much joy?” This game has brought our family closer together. It gets us off our phones, away from screens and gets us truly engaged with each other. Isn’t this what the world needs more of right now?
For quite a while I didn’t talk to anyone about the idea that was starting to take form in my brain. Sometimes I like to let ideas just roll around for a while; to let my brain start to work out some of the issues. This germ of an idea that I planted, sprouted and started to inspire me. I got excited thinking about how we could bring this to the world. I woke up one day with the name “ZAM-POP!” on the tip of my tongue.
So I told my son. We like playing around with concepts, so we bounced idea after idea off each other. We brought my father in on the idea. There was, however, one added element that the game needed that was just waiting for us to figure out. We wanted to have game modifiers that would change up the game and add some spice and craziness. We experimented with all kinds of modifiers, and we discovered that the wacky ones added a new dimension of fun to the game. They are SO MUCH FUN! These modifiers (our “ZAM Cards”) definitely turned ZAM-POP! into a world-class game. We couldn’t have been happier!
We then figured out that each box set needs a theme (we started with “Pirates” and “The Mob” and have many more planned). We found a great designer who brought order to our chaos, and the final touch was when we found our local comic book artist. He’s awesome! He created a completely unique look to our ZAM Cards, and it fit our vision for the game perfectly!
Then it was a matter of fine tuning (this took forever), experimenting, getting prototypes made, experimenting some more, making more prototypes and talking to people in the game industry.
This process took more than a year. But here’s the thing, it was so much fun! Compared to everything else I’ve ever done before, ZAM-POP! has been absolutely therapeutic to me. I LOVE working on it. Not only do I love working on it, but I love working with my son and my father on it. Of all the things I’ve done before, nothing has been as rewarding as ZAM-POP! It really has been a wonderful experience.
Our vision for ZAM-POP!
I truly believe that ZAM-POP! is going to become really big. This is not some game that we just randomly came up with. We’ve been playing it for decades. We know it inside and out. We are experts at this game. We know that the gameplay never gets old. We know that most people, when they play it, love it.
Yes, people are going to love this game. It will bring families together. It will become a family tradition. All we have to do is get people playing it so they know how fun it is, then word will spread.
We believe that families who “play together, stick together.” And that’s our goal with ZAM-POP!
On a personal level, I’m excited to work on this with my son. I can’t imagine anything better.
I want to travel around the world with him to teach people the game and to put on ZAM-POP! events! We want to have contests and tournaments. We want to get churches involved. We are excited about coming up with new themed box sets and new ZAM Cards, and we’ll create an online group in which we work with excited fans to help us come up with great ideas.
The one sentence that summarizes our mission with ZAM-POP! is, “We want ZAM-POP! to bring families and friends together in fun and laughter!” I think this is a pretty awesome mission! Don’t you agree?
(Have you taken advantage of our amazing ZAM-POP! pre-launch offer yet?)