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Specimen! board game update

If you’ve been following the goings-on at Toxic Bag, you know we’ve been developing a new board game called “Space Monster.” Well…it WAS called “Space Monster.” That was a working title, and always felt a little temporary. We’ve now settled on the new name “Specimen.” Same game, cooler and more serious title. We’re still taking pre-orders in hopes of being able to produce the game, and we’re still running demos at conventions to get the word out (our next appearance will be at Capricon in February).


Deep Space – Echo Quadrant 3H-8 – The fully loaded commercial freighter TCS Brown, its seven-member crew in suspended animation, is making the return run to Earth. In the cargo hold lies Dr. Viktor, also in suspended animation, and the mysterious specimen containers that came on board with him.

Awoken from their slumber to repair the damage caused by a meteor collision, the crew discover to their horror that Dr. Viktor has been killed and one of the mysterious specimens has been let loose as a result of the damage…and it is a life form that will stop at nothing to survive. The seven astronauts have only the tools and resources onboard to subdue and kill an organism never before encountered–an organism that evolves quickly into a nearly-unstoppable predator. Now, a simple repair job becomes a desperate struggle for survival.

SPECIMEN is a card-driven two-player board game.


Rock-Con wrap up

Hi, I’m Joe Griffin, from Toxic Bag Productions…

The Toxic Bag crew had a great time at Rock-Con this part weekend. We played lots of demos of Space Monster with some fantastic people. In the coming days, Mr. Blood will be posting after-action reports about some of those demo games on his blog. We’re learning a lot about where we need to take the game from where it is, and we’re quite blown away by the enthusiasm people have for Space Monster. Thanks, everybody!

Space Monster pre-orders!

We’re tremendously excited to announce that we have begun accepting pre-orders for Space Monster, our new board game! We’ve done years of development and play-testing, and now it’s time to see if we can produce it! Here’s how it works in a nutshell: You pre-order the game, but we don’t charge your credit card just yet. Once we have enough pre-orders that we know we can afford to print up the game, we charge all the cards, print up the games and send them out to you. For more specifics, see our P500 page.

Much like the Kickstarter fundraising programs you may be familiar with, this method allows small businesses such as ours to create cool new products without risking everything by taking out huge loans or subjecting ourselves to scientific experiments for cash.

Space Monster is a two-person, card-driven board game that pits the human crew of an interstellar freighter against the predatory creature that has come aboard. For more information, visit the Space Monster page on our site.

I-Con Space Monster demos

A couple of weeks ago we went to I-Con in Springfield, and ran a bunch of demos for Space Monster.

Set up for the first two demos

We’ll be using the feedback from these demos (and we’re getting great responses, thanks everyone!) to improve the game as we work towards publishing it. Steve (Mr. Blood) will be posting a series of After-Action reports on the demos, so you can get a sense of the game, and follow its development. The first one is on his blog.

Space Monster Press Release

Toxic Bag Announces New Sci-fi/horror Board Game

CHICAGO, IL (August 15, 2011) –Toxic Bag Productions announces its entry into the board game industry with its first product, titled SPACE MONSTER. SPACE MONSTER is a two-player card-driven board game that pits a group of human astronauts against a predatory extraterrestrial life form.

At the beginning of play, the SPACE MONSTER boards the ship in an embryonic stage and evolves throughout the game, becoming more difficult to kill as the turns progress. In addition to attempting to kill the crew, the monster can also destroy sections of the ship, forcing the human players to divide their efforts between defense and structural repair. The monster can win the game by either killing all seven members of the crew or damaging enough sections of the ship that it breaks apart. Adding the destruction of the ship as an alternate victory condition allows for varied strategies on the part of both players. The human player can use tools to effect repairs, construct weapons and trackers to hunt down the monster…or ultimately blow up the ship if all seems lost.

The SPACE MONSTER player constructs his/her monster from a selection of over 20 different attributes (offensive, defensive, or special abilities), providing new and different threats to the human player each game. This constantly changing monster, combined with 80 event cards driving game play, allows for infinite replayability. No two games should ever be the same.

Game designer Steve Baldwin said, “This game is something I’ve always wanted to play and couldn’t find anywhere in the industry – so we decided to make it.”

Production of the game will be funded in part with P500-style pre-orders. SPACE MONSTER is currently in the playtesting stage.

Toxic Bag plans to start taking pre-orders in September, 2011. For more information, visit

SPACE MONSTER will ship with:
7 Crew Character Cards
40 Crew Event Cards
40 Monster Event cards
21 Space Monster Attribute Cards
22″ x 34″ Game Board
Space Monster Screen

Images are not final artwork, and are subject to change.

Game designer: Steve Baldwin
Product code: TBPBG001

Toxic Bag Productions, Inc. is a Chicago-based company known primarily for its groundbreaking line of sound effects for pen-and-paper role playing games. The company’s critically acclaimed “Game Masters Collection” of sound effects is available on CD, as mp3 downloads, and packaged in an app for Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

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