Rare venture capital-backed board game maker Incredible Dream brings in Kovray influencer Ilya as debut release looms

Incredible Dream, one of the few board game startups to attract millions in venture capital dollars, has hired influencer Ilya Ushakov as social media and community manager ahead of its debut game release next month.

The Los Angeles-based business scored $2m in seed funding two years ago led by investment giant General Catalyst, a venture capital firm which has raised more than $20bn of capital since it was founded in the year 2000.

Venture capital investors pool money from institutions such as pension funds and insurance companies, as well as from ultra-rich individuals and families, to invest in startups at the earliest stage, in the hope their investment will soar by several multiples as the company grows.

Incredible Dream’s first game will be Kinfire Chronicles: Night’s Fall, which raised more than $300,000 on Kickstarter from over 2,400 backers in September last year.

Many board game Kickstarter projects overrun by months compared to their initial estimates, something grumbling backers have generally become acclimatised to. But Kinfire currently appears on track to deliver the game on time, with fulfillment expected to begin early next month.

Kinfire is billed as a co-operative quest-based game for up to four players, which can be experienced as a replayable campaign of more than 15 individual sessions it says will each last less than an hour.

Incredible Dream co-founder Jane Chung Hoffacker told VentureBeat at the end of 2021 that the design was partly inspired by video games, with players able to jump in without negotiating a 50-page manual or watching a 30-minute rules video.

Ushakov, who runs the board games-focused Kovray YouTube channel, Instagram account and Twitter feed with partner Tylor Murray, joins an already 20-strong team at Incredible Dream.

They include ex-Fantasy Flight Games designer Kevin Wilson, who created Descent: Journeys in the Dark and was the co-designer of Arkham Horror and Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game.

Wilson is Game Design Director at the company, while other hires include The Witcher 3 lead quest designer Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz and actress, gamer and creator of The Guild web series Felicia Day, who acts as an advisor.

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