End of the Trail - Find fortune in the California Gold Rush

Created by Brent Dickman (Elf Creek Games)

End of the Trail is a game for 2 to 4 prospectors searching for gold during the California Gold Rush.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

One Year Later... Tying Up Any Loose Ends and One Last Way to Support Us
about 1 year ago – Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 11:49:55 AM

Hello backers,

One year ago Mike, Peter, and I were busy finalizing files for printing End of the Trail.  It's been an amazing year since then, filled with so many opportunities and memories.  I'm sure that many of you, just like Mike, Peter, and I, have had years filled with happy moments and trying moments.  I know it brings Mike so much joy to know that his game has brought a smile to people the world over.  I know that losing his Mom at the same time that the game released, was hard, but that she was proud of him, of us, for accomplishing what we set out to do—bringing a little more happiness into lives.

Lately we've heard from a few of you. You've realized after a few months that you're short a couple nuggets or you never received your promo. You might feel a little weird about contacting us after this time, but please go ahead and do so. We want to make sure that you received the reward you signed up for.

I hope you've had time to get a game or more of End of the Trail in.  If you like, please continue to share pictures on our Facebook group, or on Board Game Geek (BGG).

Speaking of BGG, one huge way that you could help us, is to take a moment to give our game a rating on that platform.  All sorts of folks use that platform all over the world—folks looking for games, stores looking for games, distributors looking, you guessed it, for games.  Taking a moment to rate End of the Trail and say that you own it ("add to my collection") is of enormous help to us.  Would you be willing to do so?

Help us get to well over 100 ratings!  Doing so will require a BGG username. There is a BGG Newsletter you may opt out of, if you wish. They won't spam you. But you will find a fantastic resource for finding new games.

Speaking of which...

Our Next Game

We wanted to let you know about our next project that is live on Kickstarter now, Atlantis Rising. This is a cooperative worker placement game for 1-6 players. What if you could sit down with friends and work together to save the people of that ill-fated continent?

In Atlantis Rising, players are the councilors of Atlantis, trying to save the population of Atlantis before the isle sinks below the ocean waves.  To do so, you must work together as a team to gain resources, carefully avoid the many misfortunes besetting the island, and build the components to a cosmic gate that will let your people escape.  The game plays in 1-2 hours and is for ages 10 and above.

The game has many different, easily setup difficulty levels. So whether you're looking for your first cooperative game, Forbidden Island+, or your next major challenge, we think this game can fit that niche. We hope you might fall in love with it as deeply as we have. Please check out the Kickstarter.

As always we're happy and ready to answer any of your questions, comments, or concerns.

Best wishing and happy gaming,

On behalf of the End of the Trail team with kind regards,


P.S. For those of you who were, like me, drawn to the historical detail of End of the Trail, you can find a lot of fun historical detail here as well. Our Atlantis is loosely based on Minoan Greece, as many scholars think that may have been Plato's real Atlantis. And though this game is set in myth and legend, we have given quite a bit of consideration to the historical early Bronze Age. What can I say, I remain and will be always, a proud history nerd. :)

What to do when you receive End of the Trail
over 1 year ago – Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 02:02:40 PM

Hello all,

Brent here with your next update. We know that backers in Australia and New Zealand received their copies in the past couple weeks, and we’re super excited to see that so many of the rest of you are starting to receive your copies of End of the Trail!  If you haven’t received an email from Games Quest (Europe) or Quartermaster Logistics (North America and “Rest of the World”), don’t worry. Our fulfillment partners are still preparing shipments, so you should receive an email with tracking information soon. We can’t wait for the game to be out there on tables, hopefully bringing a little joy and fun to your lives!

We wanted to go over some things to consider when you receive your copy of End of the Trail.

Damaged Boxes: We specifically chose fulfillment partners who are typically fantastic at carefully packaging games. But, try as we might, we realize that a few games will still arrive dented and damaged. And we know that this can be a big disappointment. No one likes their brand new game to arrive in less than perfect condition.

If this happens to you, please take some quick photos of the damaged packaging and the damage to the game and send them to us. Unfortunately, we don’t have a supply of extra boxes. Any replacement box that we send out comes from another copy of the game, which becomes a loss for us. But your experience of End of the Trail matters to us.

For some folks, a little dent in a game box is no big deal. For others, it’s quite upsetting. We understand. When you reach out to us with those pictures, let us know what we can do to help you. For some folks, that will mean a reimbursement of a small percent of your pledge price, done through PayPal. Others will only rest easy if they have a nice box. The bottom line is just, reach out to us, and we’ll come to an arrangement that will make everyone happy.

Missing Parts: When you open End of the Trail, please let us know if any components are missing or broken. Our manufacturer, Panda Game Manufacturing, is a leader in the board game industry, but a very small number of copies could still arrive with missing or damaged parts. If that happens to you, again, just reach out to us and we will be more than happy to send you whatever replacement parts you need.

Outlaw Mini-Expansion Promo: Every Kickstarter copy of End of the Trail comes with a promo, free for backers, as a thank you for helping us fund our game. This promo contains 1 meeple and 9 cards (4 “Outlaw” cards, 4 Jokers, and 1 double-sided rule card), and is packaged in a small resealable bag. So be sure to look for it inside your shipping package!

Deluxe Pledges and Playmats: Every deluxe version of End of the Trail comes with a special bag, labelled deluxe components, that contain your resin nuggets, metal pan, animeeples and wagon meeples. Playmats also come packaged in their own plastic, so be sure to look for both inside your packaging if these items are included in your pledge.

Learning End of the Trail: The Rules Girl made an outstanding, quick video that highlights most of what you need to know to learn End of the Trail. We high recommend watching her video before cracking open the rulebook and playing your first game. There are QR codes on the back of the main box and on the 2nd page of the rulebook that will take you directly to this video. Or you can just google Rules Girl End of the Trail and easily find the 4 ½ minute long video.

Or check it out now too :)

BoardGameGeek: If you have any other questions, we highly recommend looking on BoardGameGeek (BGG), where you can ask the question directly, or look to see if anyone else has asked the question and already received an answer. That way, others who have the same question can benefit of finding the answer in a public forum. We’re always actively monitoring BGG for questions.  Here's a direct link to End of the Trail's BoardGameGeek page.  While you're there, feel free to let others know about your experience of the game, by rating it, commenting, or voting on polls like game category, best player count, etc.

Money-Back Gauarantee: Within 30 days of receiving End of the Trail, you can send your copy back to us and receive a full refund, for any reason, no questions asked, as long as all the components are present. Just message me through Kickstarter and I’ll provide you with an address to send your game.

Help us spread the word! A great way to help us spread the word about End of the Trail is for you to share your experiences with the game, whether that’s with friends, your game group, on BGG, in Facebook board game groups, or on social media. You can find us online @elfcreekgames and can tweet about the game using the hastag #EndoftheTrail.

And if you’re on Facebook, don’t forget to share your excitement with other “prospectors” on our End of the Trail Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EndoftheTrailGame

Local Pickup: For local folks, our games are scheduled to arrive sometime tomorrow. Mike is about to leave town to visit family and to go to Dice Tower Con, so we’re scrambling to find a venue where you can come pick up your rewards from us. We hope to find someplace for this Friday night, but so far, we’re still in the process of looking. Expect an announcement by email sometime later today.

Until next time,

Best wishes and happy gaming, 


Shipping Update and Kickstarter Sleeves
over 1 year ago – Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 06:50:21 PM


First, we would like to thank you for your continued support, which has seen End of the Trail come to fruition. It has been an amazing ride and I hope that everyone is as pleased as we are with the finished product.  

Timeline for Fulfillment  

For our backers in Australia and New Zealand, you should have your game from Aetherworks. If you did not receive them or have questions, please email at mike@elfcreekgames.com.  

For our backers in the UK, EU and the rest of Europe, Gamesquest will begin shipping out orders starting the middle of next week and ending by Friday. If you do not receive an email with tracking information from Gamesquest by the end of next week, please email at mike@elfcreekgames.com.  

For our backers in the US, Canada and the rest of the world, Quartermaster Logistics has started packing the games and generating tracking numbers today! The packages should be shipping from Orlando Monday at the latest. If you do not receive an email with tracking information from Quartermaster Logistics by then, please email at mike@elfcreekgames.com.  

Kickstarter Sleeve  

Thank you for your feedback regarding the sleeve. After weighing your input, Brent and I have decided on a way forward, and are electing to make the sleeve a limited edition product.  

All backers will be receiving a numbered sticker, signed by me (as the designer), that may apply to their game box or sleeve, denoting that this is a limited edition. All other copies of End of the Trail from this print run will have a similar, but un-numbered and unsigned sticker applied to their shrink wrap. Some retailers, in order to better sell the product, may choose to receive unsleeved games, and we will decide this with them, on a case by case basis.  

We know that there isn’t a perfect way to rectify this issue, but, as many requested, it will be the most cost effective for us, it minimizes waste, and it will give backers a way to denote that their copy is a Kickstarter edition. If you wish to NOT receive a signed sticker, you may OPT OUT, by commenting below, messaging Brent, or contacting us by any of your preferred methods.  

Having learned from this, future print runs of End of the Trail will not contain the sleeve, though we may choose to make a limited number available to future Kickstarter backers (for example, of possible future End of the Trail expansion).  

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon!  

Mike (and Elf Creek Games)

Important Update: Some Unfortunate and Some Good News
over 1 year ago – Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 08:28:50 PM

Hello Backers,

Brent here, with an important update.  Mike is unavailable this week, as he is on bereavement leave from his duties with us at Elf Creek. His mother passed away this past Sunday evening. I've known Mike and his family for over 20 years. His mother was an amazing, absolutely wonderful person, who will be deeply missed by her family and friends, myself included.

Quite a few of those friends and family are backers of End of the Trail. To them I offer my deepest condolences, and I am keeping Mike's family in my thoughts and prayers.

This means that Mike will not be attending Origins this week, and I will miss the show on Friday, as I fly from Columbus to Saint Louis for the funeral. If you were planning to stop by the booth to see us, please stop by on Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday and look for me. Thank you.

An Important Update

We made a mistake---I made a mistake, and I want to explain what happened, how it affects you, and what we are doing about it.

We promised one Kickstarter exclusive in this campaign---a covered wagon box sleeve, with, for deluxe backers, moving wheels.  I did not clearly communicate this with Panda Game Manufacturing, and all copies were manufactured and shipped, shrink-wrapped in the sleeve, with a moving wheel kit packed inside.

We paid such close attention to the details of printing, that, somehow, the presence of this Kickstarter exclusive simply slipped our mind.  It didn't occur to us until the games were on the boats from China.  Before we brought it to your attention, we wanted to see if there was anything we could do about it.

We approached some of our friends and mentors in the industry, seeking their advice.  Mike and I decided that we wanted to make good on our word and fix the problem, even if it meant that we had to swallow a substantial cost.  On the advice of Panda, we approached our fulfillment partners about unpacking the games, removing the sleeves and moving wheel kits from all pertinent copies, and then re-shrink-wrapping them.  That became our plan.

But then that tight schedule got tighter, and we recently heard from Quartermaster Logistics (our fulfillment partner for North America and "Rest of the World"), that they would not be able to unsleeve games that are headed to Origins.  What's more, it's become clear to me that folks attending Origins will be able to purchase copies of End of the Trail before it's in most backer's hands.  That is something that we never wanted to see happen.

I am deeply upset about these circumstances.

I weighed the possibility of canceling our shipment to Origins.  But, ultimately, as a company, we need to be able to sell copies of End of the Trail there.

So now what?

  • We're still planning to pay our fulfillment partners to unsleeve the games marked for future retail sales (note, this does not include those games going to stores that backed the Kickstarter project).
  • Origins copies will come with sleeves.  Effectively, what was supposed to be a Kickstarter exclusive is now a Kickstarter & Origins exclusive.

I sincerely apologize for this mistake, and take full responsibility for it.  In the future, we'll give ourselves a longer timeline in production.  And pay close attention to things like exclusive sleeves.

Let's end on a good note, shall we?

Fulfillment should begin this week.  Things were slowed down a little by the UK Games Expo for EU backers and by Origins for North American backers, but you should start receiving emails about shipments by the end of this week or early next.

End of the Trail is a gorgeous, wonderful game and we are very proud of it.  We cannot wait to get it into your hands, as we think you'll find it a joy to play.

For those of you that I will see at Origins, I cannot wait to meet you.  If, for any reason, Friday was the one day of the show that you needed to pick up End of the Trail, that's perfectly fine.  Our absolutely wonderful team of volunteers will be running the booth and will be able to take care of anything you need.

Until next time, best wishes and happy gaming,


Shipping and Origins
over 1 year ago – Thu, May 31, 2018 at 11:54:16 PM


We have some exciting news to let you know about…  

Games are beginning to ship. If you want to pickup your game locally (Champaign, Chicago, or St Louis) or at Origins, please let us know so that we don’t ship your game to you!  

Shipping UpdateThe copies of End of the Trail have reached our Australian and EU fulfillment centers and cleared customs! Here is our timeline. 

Australia & New Zealand: You should be receiving an email in the next day or two from Aetherworks, our fulfillment partner for Australia and New Zealand, with tracking information for your packages. 

EU & Rest of Europe: The copies of End of the Trail are being counted by our EU fulfillment partner, Gamesquest, in the next week and you should be receiving an email from them late next week with a tracking number for your packages. 

US, Canada & Rest of the World: The container with these copies is still being processed and should arrive at Quartermaster Logistics by Friday. At that time, they will do an inventory check and should start sending packages sometime next week. 

If there is an issue with the shipment being lost, please contact your fulfillment center via email, and cc us on that email so that we can help make sure that you get your game! If there is an issue with lost parts or damaged parts, please contact me (Mike) at contact@elfcreekgames.com. 

If your game box arrives damaged, please take pictures of the game in its packaging and of the damage itself, and send them to us and we’ll go from there. 

For some of you we’ll have local pickup options that you can use… 

Local Pickup If you’re local to Champaign, we will be hosting a release party for End of the Trail where you can pick up your copy of the game, enjoy some refreshments, and even learn how to play if you’d like. Please let us know if you’d like to pick up your copy locally (either by messaging Brent or commenting below) and we’ll keep you informed regarding time and place! 

Origins Game Fair Pickup, Columbus, OH
We will also have copies for sale at the Origins Game Fair. If you are interested in picking up your copy at the Origins Game Fair June 14-17, please let us know, either by messaging us or commenting below. 

Chicago and St. Louis pickup
We are also exploring the possibility of hosting smaller release events in Chicago or St. Louis after Origins. The St. Louis event would be the last weekend in June, while the Chicago event would be the weekend before that (June 23rd or 24th ). If you would like to pick up your games at such an event, please let us know, either by messaging us or commenting below. 

We know that you’re excited as we are to get your copy of End of the Trail! We can’t thank you enough for your support in making this dream come true! Expect more updates from us in the next few weeks. 

In the meantime, we can’t wait to hear and see everyone having fun with End of the Trail! Reach out to us here, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, BGG, anything works! We frequent BGG and Facebook Board Game groups everyday and can be found on social media @elfcreekgames! 

And remember, we have a special Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/EndoftheTrailGame set up just for fans of End of the Trail, which is another great place to post pictures and ask questions. 

See you at Origins?
June 14-17 we’ll be at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. We will be in Booth 354 and will be running demos of End of the Trail and our next game, Atlantis Rising.
Please stop by and say hi! And if you’d like to sit down and play a full game of either End of the Trail or Atlantis Rising, be sure to sign up for one of our events, http://originsgamefair.com/events/ 

And here’s the schedule of when those events are: 

End of the Trail
Thursday 10-11 AM
Thursday 2-3 PM
Thursday 4-5 PM
Friday 10-11 AM
Friday 2-3 PM
Friday 4-5 PM
Saturday 10-11 AM
Saturday 2-3 PM
Saturday 4-5 PM
Sunday 10-11 AM
Sunday 11 AM-12 PM 

Atlantis Rising
Thursday 12-2 PM
Thursday 2-4 PM
Thursday 4-6 PM
Friday 12-2 PM
Friday 2-4 PM
Friday 4-6 PM
Saturday 12-2 PM
Saturday 2-4 PM
Saturday 4-6 PM
Sunday 12-2 PM 

That’s all for now. Expect another update near the end of next week. 

Happy Gaming,
Mike and Brent