Curt Covert

Today we are featuring a person who is both a game publisher and designer who will be joining us at #G2S18, Curt Covert from Smirk & Dagger. Curt is a fourteen-year veteran of the industry and the owner of Smirk & Dagger Games. He is the designer of Hex Hex, Run for your Life Candyman, Cutthroat Caverns, Nevermore, Tower of Madness as well as the inventor of Crayola’s 3-D Sidewalk Chalk, which won Toy of the Year in 2005. He has also had a long career as a graphic artist, writer and Creative Director for marketing agencies. Curt will be showing off some games, playing, and meeting with some of our designers. He will be joining us from Connecticut.



  • He was the first art librarian for Hanna Barbera Animation, home of Scooby Doo and The Flinstones, creating one of the first digital, keyword search engines before the internet and Google existed - and had no idea what he'd had done or the potential it had.
  • He was a huge drama club geek in high school, which led him right into RPG games.
  • His first D&D group consisted of friends from the drama club. Curt and six women, who played a very Lawful Good campaign. His transition to a college D&D group of all guys was so jarring, as he was suddenly a lot more afraid of the other players than anything the DM could throw at him, that it inspired Cutthroat Caverns.

Questions by Kimberly Revia (KR), and answers by Curt Covert (CC). 



KR: How did you first get into game publishing?

CC:  By building on the brilliance of others, creating expansion products for games I loved to play with friends. One time I spent two years on expansion content for a dead game - when someone asked why I didn’t create my own games. I’d never thought of that. And it was much harder starting from scratch.

KR: How do you select which games you would like to publish?

CC: I look for games that have an emotional impact, that create a real feeling at the table. It used to be just backstabbing games, but this year Smirk & Laughter games will allow us to explore a whole range of emotionally driven games. Typically though, I will only publish a game when I consistently get players of the prototype to ask when the game is coming out, so they can buy one.

KR: What are some of your favorite parts of publishing?

CC: OMG. Most everything -except logistics. I love designing games and working with other game inventors. I love naming them, doing the graphics and working with illustrators. I love doing demos and shows. But shipping, dealing with issues on press… that’s the stuff I could do without.



KR: What is your dream team for creating a game?

CC: Ha. I don’t know if it has ever been the same twice. Part of the fun is identifying and assembling the dream team for any given project. Pulling together the talents of people is what makes the game unique and compelling - and there are so many super creative people out there.

KR: Do you have a go to beverage and snack for game nights?

CC: Salsa and chips is an easy choice - and a frosty adult beverage.

KR: What do you enjoy most about board game conventions?

CC: Doing demos and seeing our fans. I absolutely love showing of the games and seeing the excitement in the eyes of gamers. There are so many folks I have met at shows that are now friends, toddlers that have grown with us into adulthood and stop by with friends to say hello. The connection you make with people - that’s what I love the most.


You can find more about Curt as well as Smirk & Dagger Games by following the links below!


Twitter: @Smirk&Dagger

Facebook: Smirk&Dagger