About Us

Plaid Hat Games

Plaid Hat Games is the board game studio behind Dead of Winter, Mice and Mystics, Summoner Wars, and other beloved tabletop franchises. Led by founder Colby Dauch, we are committed to producing games that captivate players' imaginations and deliver over-the-top fun.

Plaid Hat Games' designers build award-winning stories and game systems that pull you in and drive you to play your best. Our designers are supported by an incredible team of artistic talent, making our games look and feel like true adventures. Our hope is that whenever you sit down to play our games, you'll have a brand new experience of drama and excitement that you'll remember for years to come.

At Plaid Hat Games, we believe tabletop games are a powerful tool for cultivating community, and we seek to unite our own fan community through conventions around the world, the Plaid Hat Podcast, PlaidHatGames.com, and more. Play with us and join us in our quest for the ultimate tabletop experience!

A Great Game

As a company we have a vision for what we think makes a great game.

  1. A great game is fun.
  2. A great game creates an opportunity for you to make interesting, engaging, and challenging decisions that affect the outcome of the game in your favor.
  3. A great game allows you to directly engage the other players at the table.
  4. A great game is thematic (It is our belief that games should tell stories. They should draw players into their exciting worlds and put them in adventurous roles).
  5. A great game is unique. (We realize that unique might be in the eye of the beholder, but we like to believe that we are bringing something fresh to the table with each of our games.)
  6. A great game is pretty. (And by pretty, we mean it should look like something that excites you and makes you want to play it.)

Who We Are

Colby DauchColby Dauch is a one-hit-wonder with an inferiority complex. He designed Summoner Wars in 2009 and, after being rejected by reputable publishing companies, started Plaid Hat Games to publish his design. Colby reinvested the money made from Summoner Wars into the games and contributions of people he believed in and year by year Plaid Hat Games has grown. Colby now finds himself in the newly formed position of Plaid Hat Games Studio Manager. ARE YOU PROUD OF ME NOW DAD?!

Mr Bistro Mr. Bistro is the heart of Plaid Hat Games, meaning he's red, full of blood, and makes a mess if you squeeze him. As a small child, Bistro's mother refused to let him play those demonic video game machines, so he turned to board games as means of compensation. He's been tragically uncool ever since. Mr. Bistro has playtested countless game products over the years, and has a few game credits to his name. His career really didn't take off until he met notoriously bad businessman Colby Dauch, thus allowing his worst ideas to be unleashed upon the world. In addition to Dungeon Run, be on the lookout for such future hits as Hot Dog City: Battle for the Chili Wieners, Cripes! Look at the Pipes, and of course his magnum opus, Poopin' Joey.

Jerry HawthorneJerry Hawthorne simply refuses to grow up or, more accurately stated, refuses to believe he's already grown up. Regardless, he spends his ridiculously limited free time begging his family to play games he's created from various household items, chewing gum, and choice bits fiendishly liberated from from his kid's toy-boxes. Jerry loves dice, and embraces luck even if it doesn't always embrace him back. Jerry designed Mice & Mystics for Plaid Hat Games and has done design work on games such as Heroscape and Battleship Galaxies.

Dave RichardsDavid Richards finds soul satiating comfort through the pushing of pixels. When he isn't having philosophical discussions with his collection of Funko POP! figures, you'll find him weeping beneath his desk whenever Plaid Hat Games' fans give credit to game illustrators for his graphic design prowess. A fan of all things geek ever since his father took him to see the original release of ‘Star Wars’, his love for table top gaming stems from being introduced to a myriad of RPGs in junior high and high school, and the friendships forged alongside the roll of the 20-sided die. He has been doing work for Plaid Hat Games since the very beginning as graphic designer for Summoner Wars. David is also responsible for the graphic design of the Mice and Mystics series, Dead of Winter, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, and Tail Feathers, among others. He even designed the Plaid Hat Games company logo. Don’t act like you’re not impressed!

John Ariosa John Ariosa is three babies sitting on each other's shoulders under a large coat. John was trained as an industrial designer but spent all his time drawing spaceships and orcs instead of studying human factors and market research. He started his career in the game industry as an intern on Battleship Galaxies and since then has moved on to work as an illustrator on a number of titles including Summoner Wars, Dungeon Run and Mice and Mystics. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his loving wife and their herd of cats.

Issac VegaIsaac Vega (isaac@plaidhatgames.com) is a strong, proud, independent woman that don't need no man. He has an unhealthy addiction to Anime and has been black listed by Square-Enix due to his obsessive fascination with Final Fantasy. After being introduced to Plaid Hat Games, by his overly intrusive mother back in 2010, Colby has taken this budding designer under his wing and propelled Isaac into the wonderful world of board games. Although he still considers himself somewhat of a noob, Isaac just can't stop designing prototypes. With two games already well on their way to be released and a plethora of others in development, Isaac Vega is truly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Chad Hoverter Chad Hoverter spent most of his early life ... well, doing nothing of any consequence. Growing up in a weird mind control cult kinda sucks the ambition right out of a body... brain... whatever. After gaining his majority and regaining (parts of) his own mind he went to college where he was once again brainwashed by another cult led by the devious but brilliant Richard Garfield! He sunk so much money into that cult its truly amazing he could afford to get so fat! Food costs money, ya know!! But it wasn't all for naught. Eventually, chasing Magic cards lead Chad to a game store where he was indoctrinated into the miniature gaming community and he finally found a permanent prison..er ...home. Painting figures lead to conversions lead to the idea that maybe he could sculpt his own figures. So he tried it and finally he was free!!! Chad has sculpted for all of Plaid Hat's miniature games and has worked with several other board game producers and Kickstarter projects as well. He has also been lucky enough to have had figures cast with Reaper Miniatures and Bombshell Babes. Glory be!!!

Alex Eding Alex Eding has an extreme addiction to spotlight. If he is not the center of attention in any given situation, he is simply not happy. He also thinks he is hilarious. Alex's background in music and his "snowball's chance" hopes of forging a career as a voice over artist convinced Colby Dauch to bring him into the fold at Plaid Hat Games. Alex is the Producer and Editor of the Plaid Hat Podcast. His shining personality and "face for radio" will lend him great advancement in the field of podcast fame.

Joe Ellis Joe Ellis was raised by a two-dimensional array of integers. When he was discovered by scientests, he only communicated in binary. He stumbled along in life, lost in an endless recursive algorithm, until he discovered board games, a critical communications bridge for Joe to the human world. Eventually he traded in his native logic-based thinking for several liberal arts degrees, providing him with the perfect combined skill set for directing Plaid Hat Games' online initiatives. When not playing board games or coding a new feature at PlaidHatGames.com, Joe's hobbies include critical thinking and learning new alphabets.

Brian Beyke We have no idea why Brian Beyke has a profile here. He stalks all of us on twitter, emails Colby way too many times, and started the A Doug's Guide to Summoner Wars fan podcast because he 'finally found his voice.' In attempts to quiet him down, we brought him on board as the Community Relations Director. We aren't sure if that was a good idea or not. He talks about coffee way too much for someone who isn't, and never was, a barista, and knows where all the best geocaches in Ohio are. Nicknamed 'Geek Swagger' by Colby and his wife, Brian joins the PHG team to playtest, pitch unwanted game suggestions, and bring a touch of swag to an otherwise geeky establishment.

Frank Balog We believe that Frank Balog is merely one of several dissociative identities. The one that we've met is the strange cousin of the Plaid Hat family... randomly showing up to game nights halfway across the country acting as though he's known everyone forever. Judging from his constant incoherent babbling that he never seems to remember himself, we surmise that his other identities have something to do with finances, bowling, hitting chains with flying discs and a family, all of which seem to be completely unrelated. We've also come to suspect that he believes himself to be the Lead Playtester of Summoner Wars and knows far too much about the game than can possibly be healthy.

Contact Information


Plaid Hat Games
15928 Midway Rd.
Addison, TX 75001-4261
United States of America





Office Hours

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST