Arkham Horror card game co-designer Maxine Newman hired as Earthborne Rangers design lead

Maxine Newman, the co-creator and long time design lead for the Arkham Horror card game, has been hired as the lead designer for sustainability-focused co-operative card game Earthborne Rangers.

Newman spent more than 11 years at Fantasy Flight Games, initially working on The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game before co-creating Arkham Horror: The Card Game in 2016.

She spent six years leading design and development for the game and its eight expansions, before moving on to other projects at FFG towards the end of 2022.

Her move to Earthborne Games comes a month after the company scored its second crowdfunding success by raising almost $1m for the new printing of co-operative card game Earthborne Rangers.

Earthborne was launched in 2020 by former Fantasy Flight head of studio Andrew Navaro, who worked on seminal games including Twilight Imperium 4th Edition, Arkham Horror The Card Game and Marvel Champions.

He founded the company on the principle that tabletop games “can and should be manufactured sustainably”, and saw that principle through with the first printing of Earthborne Rangers, which raised more than $450,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in mid-2021.

That campaign came with a pledge to create the game sustainably, targeting suppliers and manufacturers offering carbon-neutrality, eco-friendly materials, efficient energy use and waste reduction.

The game itself sees players take on the role of future protectors of a mountain valley, beginning with a deck of cards representing that character and exploring the world across a branching narrative campaign.

Newman joins a string of other former FFG employees at Earthborne Games, including game design director Andrew Fischer and visual design director Evan Simonet.

Navaro, said, “She’s a rare talent, and arguably the best narrative card game developer on the planet. I can’t wait to see what she does with the Earthborne Rangers game system and the narrative design. We’re all in for a treat.”

Newman added, “I am beyond excited to be joining the Earthborne Games team alongside such amazing talent. I can’t wait to get started crafting new content and stories for players to discover!”

She previously said in a Twitter post on February 28, “FFG has been my home for over 11 years, and leaving is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I will forever cherish my time here and the many friends I’ve made along the way.

“I’m so proud of everything we’ve done and all the amazing, talented, and lovely people I have been fortunate to work with. But all good things must come to an end, and it’s time for me to embark on a new adventure.

“To my FFG friends: I love you all so, so much. Thank you so much for encouraging me, helping me, and accepting me for who I am. I’ll miss working alongside you and listening to your incredible thoughts and ideas. To everyone else: Don’t panic! I’m still making games.”

The second printing of Earthborne Rangers and wave of expansions is scheduled to begin fulfillment at the end of this year.

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