Alex Houghton

Custom Web Development and Design.

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Russian Shark Roulette

2014-02-20 03:10:24

A board game where players control a giant whirlpool with a shark in it.

A few months ago, I saw some people play a video game called Venture Street. It was like Monopoly, but the board was dynamic.

I made a board game inspired by that. The main idea behind this game was that the entire board was made of rotatable tiles. Players would rotate them each turn to gain positional advantages over the other players. The rules, if anyone wants to try them out, are right here.

House Hoarders

Having play-tested that for a bit, I went on to think about other ways these tiles could be put to use...

And came up with Russian Shark Roulette.

The idea here is that, using the tiles, we have a whirlpool where the players are trapped and must try to survive the man-eating-shark.

I've been working on this in my spare time for the past ~3 months. It's been a fun ride and a lot of people really like what I've made so far! Good feelings all around.

Here are the rules: Shark Roulette Rules

Don't be afraid to read that! It's like 2 pages. Anyways, the tldr is:

  • On a player's turn, he first rotates (almost) any tile on the board. Generally, he's going to try to rotate it so that anyone but him will be in the path of the shark.

  • Then he rolls a die and his swimmer follows the tiles in that many spaces.

  • He rolls another die and the shark follows the tiles in that many spaces.

  • If the shark passes by or lands on a player, Bad Things happen.

And that's the gist of it! I'll be presenting this at Plattecon at the end of the month. I look forward to seeing some of you there!

The pieces used in this game were handcrafted by Print & Play Productions! I heartily recommend them; customer service was fantastic and the price I paid was very cheap.

The shark was molded by my sister. It's so cute.


A lot of time was spent tweaking the rules to this game. Questions had to be answered, like how easy should it be for the shark to eat a player? What part of a player's turn should they be allowed to rotate a tile? What should they be allowed to rotate? Where do players start? etc...

I'll do another post about that in the future, if people are interested.


If you want to print your own version of this game, feel free. I have yet to really look into merchandising this, but people keep saying I should, haha.

And thanks for reading! The next time I post here, it will probably be about Chocolate Box, an RPG system influenced by games like Battleship and FTL.

Email me at

Hi there!
I am a web developer from Platteville Wi, doing freelance contract work and a whole lot of side projects. I spend my free time with my boardgame-making hobby and talking about Star Wars. Did you know that John Boyega saves lives?

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Just backed it! This was one of the more memorable Protospiel games that I've played. Been looking forward to this……

Website Development Résumé

Current Web Projects

Story Game

Story Game is an online app that lets you create stories with your friends (or play anonymously) in real time.

I wrote the code, designed the site, and did pretty much everything there. I hope for it to be completely finished sometime this year, but there's currently no schedule.

The Platteville Gaming Association

The Platteville Gaming Association needed a way to easily organize their many different games sessions for Plattecon, so I worked with them to create a scheduling system full of useful options. Then I redesigned their website. This is ongoing!

Check out the Plattecon gaming convention, from March 4th to 6th in 2016 at UW Platteville, Wisconsin.

Boardgame/RPG Projects

Shark Roulette

You've all been trapped in a whirlpool with a ravenous shark! Rotate tiles to change the current and get the shark to eat your friends instead of you...


A 3-minute family-friendly party game where players work together to create ridiculous stories in the form of conspiracies.

Chocolate Box

An RPG system with the world's only 3d paper mache character sheet.

Last Draw

A card game where you can mix-and-match pre-built magical characters and weapons to fight with them. The unique timeline system makes this a downtime-free game.