Tantrix in Your Country
|ABOUT THE TANTRIX TEAM|
The Inventor - Mike McManaway
Mike grew up in New Zealand and studied geology at Canterbury University. As a student he became addicted to Backgammon, competing in international tournaments and winning the New Zealand Backgammon title in 1986. He worked briefly for IBM's marketing division before opening a small chain of specialist game and puzzle shops called "Mind Games". Tantrix originated as a two-player cardboard game, invented and manufactured in South America while Mike recovered from a climbing fall.
Mike's other passions include paragliding, a sport where modified parachutes allow pilots to fly cross country using thermal updrafts. His most memorable flight was a few years ago in Spain, taking off near the town of Piedrahita and flying northwest to Sacramenia - a total distance of 178 km and for a while the furthest distance flown by a kiwi pilot.
However, New Zealand's weather is fickle and recently Mike has switched allegiance from above the ground to under it. Unlike paragliding, caving is not particularly weather dependent. The hills around Nelson have some of the world's most interesting cave systems, including the nearby Nettlebed cave which has so far been explored to 28 km of passages and 900 metres of height gain.
In 2007, after ten years of constant trying, Mike finally won the World Tantrix Championship.
Tantrix is published by Colour of Strategy Ltd, a New Zealand company owned by Mike McManaway and Britta Steude. The company was founded in 1987 as a retailer of puzzles and games. The company's purpose and products have evolved over the years, so has the company name: first Mind Games, then Tantrix Games and now Colour of Strategy Ltd, to reflect the range of games published.
For more info visit: www.colourofstrategy.com
Tantrix by country
Tantrix Games Australia was created in 1998 after John Hanley and Angie La Motta obtained exclusive rights to Tantrix in Australia. This husband and wife team had already been in business together for 15 years running a management training company. Their love of getting people to think at the same time as having fun, has been the emphasis of their work, which they say fits Tantrix perfectly. Recently they were awarded "Australian Puzzle of the Year" for the Discovery puzzle. John is currently hard at work developing an educational version of Tantrix for use in Australian schools.
Tantrix UK has the curious distinction of being run by two former World Champions. When Steven started organizing online tournaments, he got to know Mike well. He did not imagine that one day he might end up responsible for Tantrix, until he was offered the exclusive rights to the UK in 1999. Steven has also been responsible for defining tournament guidelines and competition rules and has up to this day remained the most active tournament organizer, most notably the annual World Championship (WTC).
Julia sold thousands of Tantrix sets direct to the public at weekends on Greenwich Arts & Crafts Market while she was a linguistics student. Nowadays she works for Tantrix full-time and is responsible for many aspects of the business.
Lennart, Lewis and Monica are Swedish Tantrix Masters and have played Tantrix at competition level for many years. They have organized and hosted national Swedish Tantrix tournaments since 2006. In 2009 they formed a new company to control the manufacture, marketing and distribution of Tantrix in Scandinavia. They are especially proud of introducing the "Tantrix Flower" puzzle, an easy way for newbies to pick up skills. In Denmark they work closely with Bjarne Juul from the publishing company Adlandia, and ditto in Finland with Tomas Lindén from Sloyd AB, a company specializing in puzzles and brain teasers. In 2011 they added Norway to their list of countries where they are selling direct to customers.
Websites: (Sweden) www.tantrix.nu (Denmark) www.tantrix.dk (Finland) www.tantrix.fi (Norway) www.tantrix.no
Péter Petrecz from Hungary, known as "Pepe" in the Tantrix lobby, began playing Tantrix in 1998. He quickly became addicted and went on to win the European Championship in 1999. Since then Péter has been been kept busy launching Tantrix into Hungary, not to mention maintaining the Hungarian Tantrix website, organising the Hungarian Championship and producing a regular Tantrix newsletter in both Hungarian and English. Last but not least, he was the first player to reach 1000 points in the Lobby rankings!
In 2003 Octavi and Nuria took a travelling holiday around New Zealand, little knowing that it would change their lives. They visited the "Puzzling World" in Wanaka where their children Pol and Laia bought a Tantrix Discovery puzzle. During the long New Zealand winter nights inside their mobile home they became addicted and pretty soon bought a Game Pack. Arriving back in Barcelona, Octavi decided to contact Mike and a year later a "Spanish edition" of Tantrix is launched.
Tzafrir and Tali had already specialised in mind games for managers and executives when they received a copy of Tantrix as a present from Tzafrir's brother who had visited New Zealand. They were surprised that nobody was yet selling Tantrix in Israel. Not to mention that their brother had left the set packed in a box for 6 months before it was handed over! So Tantrix Israel was established late in 2003. The company now markets to gifts shops, art & craft markets and presents the game at different festivals around Israel.
Mrs H C. Chen (founder of Go Youth) and Shawn Kao came into contact with Tantrix in 2004 after a Taiwanese pre-school education center had purchased the Game Pack. They saw potential in Tantrix helping the development of logical thinking, pattern recognition and memory skills in pre-school kids. After spending a year experimenting and evaluating Tantrix in classroom situations, they made the decision to become Tantrix Agents, and launch the TGP and Solitare editions into both the pre-school classroom and retail market.
In 2005 on a travelling holiday in Chile, Aretha was introduced to Tantrix by a fellow traveller. Coincidentally, Chile is where Tantix was first invented way back in 1987. Anyway, when Aretha realised that the ultimate game was not available in South Africa she contacted Mike and shortly after that “The South African edition” of Tantrix was launched.
Alessandro moved to London in 1994 to find himself. He's still searching, but in the mean time he found other things, including a love of puzzles and brainteasers. When he tried Tantrix Discovery he loved it, he wanted more, even Tantrix Extreme was not enough, so he started to play the Tantrix Game...was hooked and became totally addicted. He contacted Mike, became the Italian Agent in 2005 and moved back to Italy. Alessandro loves the outdoors.. seas, mountains, and deserts. His dream? Simple: to take a flight to London, jump on a bicycle and ride it back to Italy.
Susi and Klaus got to know Tantrix in 2003 when Susi bought the Game Pack as a souvenir during her holiday in New Zealand. After several games back in Germany with Klaus they lost a tile and needed a replacement. They phoned and visited many shops only to find out that Tantrix was not available in Germany. So they emailed New Zealand and asked to be sent the missing tile. They got it without any problems. Totally enthusiastic and convinced that the Germans needed to know what Tantrix is, they kept in contact with Mike and decided to sell Tantrix at Christmas markets. The positive feedback encouraged them to go on. Klaus quit his job as a chemist and started up “Tantrix-Deutschland”.
In 2007 Carla and Javier spent the most of the year travelling around New Zealand. However, when they got to Golden Bay (top NW corner of the South Island) they liked it so much they decided to stay for awhile. Inevitably, they met Mike and Britta at the local sports climbing crag, actually halfway up an overhanging roof climb known as "1080 and the Letter G". Well of course they were soon introduced to the delights of Tantrix. Not long after that plans were hatched to create and launch Tantrix in Argentina by early 2008 and the rest of South America in due course.
Kanako purchased her first Tantrix in Nelson in 2006. She met Toshi later that year while holidaying in Samoa and introduced him to the game. In 2008 Kanako happened to be talking to Mike in Golden Bay and this led to discussions about her and Toshi becoming Tantrix agents and sharing their enthusiasm for the game with the people of Japan.
Toshi lives in Tokyo and has a background in sales. He loves travelling and has visited nearly 100 countries. Kanako lives part time in Golden Bay, New Zealand where she helps out with her partner's kayak business. She spends the rest of the year in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
While traveling around New Zealand in 2007 Alexander and Dasha bought a small Tantrix Discovery to explore with their three children. Unfortunately, after returning home, they couldn’t find anywhere in Russia to get a Game Pack to play the game. There is, however, an old Oriental saying: ”If the palm tree won’t come to Nasrudin, then Nasrudin must come to the palm tree”. That is how Alexander and Dasha turned up one day at Mike and Britta’s flat in France to start filling in a Russian page in the Tantrix World Atlas.
In his spare time Alexander is an amateur Tantrix player and a national water skiing champion.
In 1996 InterNetivity came up with the idea of creating an online version of Tantrix, programmed in java, which would allow game play over the Internet. Java applets were an experimental field at the time. InterNetivity's goal was to produce a leading-edge game server to demonstrate the capabilities and versatility of java applications. Their company is based in Ottawa, Canada and more recently develops web-based analysis and reporting applications.
Two years later, Dave Dyer took over responsibility for all programming-related issues at Tantrix. Since then he has rewritten most of the original code and added many new features, including the design of the best Tantrix-playing Robot to date. Tantrix is the latest symptom of his permanent affliction with games and software for games. Dave's own site Boardspace.net is "devoted to direct online play of board games that few have ever heard of".
Web design and online promotion are the domain of Britta Steude who joined Tantrix in 1994. Her intention is to grow the site's traffic slowly by promoting it selectively and by continuously improving the playing environment.
In 2006 Jim Risner came on board to help with the day to day operations. He is in charge of website content and is the first point of contact for the anyone who has a question about the website or the game. Jim enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and while he doesn't cave or climb like Mike and Britta he does borrow their kayak on occasion.
In 2007, James Carter sent in some Tantrix cartoons. Since then he has gone on to provide illustrations which can be found around the site, in the Java applets, and in the new Gobble booklet. For more of his work, check out cartercreations.co.uk.
© Copyright 2012, Colour of Strategy Ltd, Nelson, New Zealand. All rights reserved.
Last update: April, 2012