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The designers bringing Indian culture into the world of board games

Indian board game-makers discuss how the past year has propelled their growth in the market

When Christina Maiorescu went to a toy store to buy some India-centric games for her family three years ago, she found nothing but Scrabble and Monopoly.

“I thought it was important to have access to games Indians could relate to and that represented their culture,” she says.

Tacit games, headed by Sindhu Murthy Kulkarni and her husband, Kiran Kulkarni, recently launched a board game called Hampi and the Sun Jewel, based on the Unesco World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka, "once, one of the richest cities in India", says Kulkarni, who left the corporate design world to initially make puzzles based on Indian cultural themes for children.

“It is an extremely intensive process to design and publish a board game, from arriving at the theme to the artwork and design. It involves the efforts of many people, from mathematical modelers to graphic designers and artists. The problem in India is that we don’t have an organized infrastructure for making games like in the West or an established supply chain. But every person we worked with was eager to learn and curious.”

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