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Cardboard Utopia was started from the belief that the best, most cherished games are the ones that engage you through gameplay, story, and characters. Games that are not just flashy experiences that leave your thoughts once you put down the controller, but make you think, plan, question and discuss. These are the things that create memories for future years. These are the types of games we make.

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, the game development capital of Canada, we are currently developing a Tactical JRPG that plays off our love of classic games like Shining Force and Final Fantasy Tactics, but with a modern, boardgame twist.

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Dossier de presse

***Nous sommes désolés, cette page n'est pas encore traduite en français.



Fact sheet



Cardboard Utopia


Square Enix Collective

Release date

July 18, 2017


Windows & Mac (upcoming) 

Playstation 4

Age Ratings

ESRB T Violence
PEGI 12: Violence
Bad language


Andrée Boutin, Biz and Communications Jason Kim, Creative Director and CEO

Social & Community



Kickstarter (Ended Feb. 2016)

Available on

Steam, Playstation Store,, Green Man Gaming, Humble Store


The game

Children of Zodiarcs is a story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus; a world divided by affluence and poverty. Take control of Nahmi and her fellow outcasts, utilising a brand new deck and dice based combat system to strike a blow to the noble Lords’ and Ladies’ unquenchable thirst for profit.


Professional thieves on the trail of an ancient relic, the group infiltrates the glittering halls of a corrupt noble’s private chambers in pursuit of their target, narrowly escaping the wrath of the city guards at every turn. Desperate to find an escape, they seek refuge in the city’s seamy slums and brave the sunless pits of the underworld. Out to get them are heavily armed city guards, rival gangs and psychotic families of subterranean cannibals. Abandoned by the system and used by selfish criminals, these young companions will be forced to come to terms with their own reality. But be warned - in the world of Children of Zodiarcs, no one escapes unscathed!


Combat Cards
Each of your party members’ attacks & abilities are bound to combat cards. Drawing different cards during battle provides you with ever changing combat possibilities every time you fight!

Empower Cards through Dice
Once you’ve chosen your attack, physics based dice allow you to roll for bonuses! Favoring symbols over numbers, these dice deliver attack, defence, healing, and special ability modifiers.

Influencing Lady Luck
To add yet more layers of stratagem to Children of Zodiarcs, you can craft dice to favour your play style, and re-roll up to two dice every time you throw. You need not fear being at Lady Luck’s mercy!

Building Decks
Each playable character comes with their own customisable deck. This allows you to tailor their skillset to the types of attacks and abilities you want to have in your hand during the heat of combat.

A World Full of Characters
Along the way you’ll come to learn about Nahmi - stolen from her homeland as a child, Brice - forced to survive on the mean streets of Torus; Zirchhoff - a charismatic bandit leader who employs young orphans to do his bidding: as well as many more mischief makers

A Fully Orchestrated Score
Children of Zodiarcs’ music captures the feel of tactical RPG classics with its fully orchestrated soundtrack composed by the award winning team at Vibe Avenue.

The studio

Cardboard Utopia was born in 2014 in Montreal, the game development capital of Canada. Counting several veterans of the AAA game industry in its ranks, the studio strives to produce memorable, high quality games. 

Putting the skills of our experienced team to good use, we aim at creating engaging experiences through technical game design that translates into deep mechanics for the players to obsess over. We also founded Cardboard Utopia on the belief that the best, most cherished games are the ones that generate thoughts & emotions. To do so, we want to exploit the storytelling power of the video game medium and craft originalrich stories with diverse characters which will resonate with a wide range of players. 

Children of Zodiarcs is Cardboard Utopia’s first project. 

The history of the project

When Cardboard Utopia was founded in march 2014, the concept of a hybrid game merging a classic tactical RPG gameplay and cards and dice mechanics was already in the works. With the help of a handful of friends and future team members, Jason Kim, founder and Creative Director of the studio, put together an early prototype and concept documents for the project over the next few months. In September 2014, The project - then called War of Zodiarcs - was submitted on the Square Enix Collective feedback platform, and received 93% positive votes from its community! 

Comforted in the idea that indie games and tactical RPG fans wanted to see this game being born, Jason presented the project to Execution Labs, who became the first financial partner of Cardboard Utopia and enrolled the studio in its incubator program in January 2015. Now officially a small team of four, the studio set up shop in the co-working space Gameplay Space,  also home to the Execution Labs family and hub to the Montreal indie community, and started working full time on its first game.

With the support and coaching of Execution Labs and of the indie community, Cardboard Utopia learned the ropes of being an indie studio and a start-up. In November 2015, the studio succeeded in securing an investment from the Canada Media Fund for the production of what would soon become Children of Zodiarcs. The completion of the project was now assured, and the team could start to grow!

A few months later, in January 2016, Cardboard Utopia  launched a Kickstarter campaign for Children of Zodiarcs with the support of Square Enix Collective. The objective was to collect $50,000 CAD to add a little more content and polish to the game. The outpour of love was overwhelming! The project was funded in 43 hours. In the end, 6,683 backers joined forces to provide the project with over 500% of its original target, for a total of $259,593 CAD. 

In March 2017, Cardboard Utopia brought its long-standing relationship with the Collective one step further, by signing a publishing agreement for Children of Zodiarcs. Considering that this is a game crafted with love and care to recapture the spirit of the tactical RPGs of our youth, the same kind of games Square Enix has been publishing for decades, we believe we could not have found a more fitting partner to help us bring Children of Zodiarcs to market on July 18th, 2017!

Events & Awards

Children of Zodiarcs had its first public outing in January 2016, during the Montreal DemoNight, an annual event dedicated to showcasing pre-release projects to the local development community. Since then, the game has been shown and demoed at many other industry or consumer focused events, both local - such as Montréal Joue, Otakuthon, Dreamhack Montreal, the Montreal Independent Game Festival (MIGF), the Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS), and Montreal Comiccon - as  well as International events such as PAX East (Boston), EGX Rezzed (London), and E3.

Children of Zodiarcs won two awards at the Montreal Independent Game Festival, the Gameplay Design Award and the Public's Favorite. As a studio, Cardboard Utopia was also awarded a Grant+ by Fondation Montreal Inc. as a support for a promising start-up project by young entrepreneurs, and won the Independent Videogame Start-up NUMIX Award.


(Core development team)

Jason Kim, Creative Director

Denis Dufour, Technical Director

Samuel Daher, Design Director

Erica Lahaie, Art Director & UI Designer

Michael Winder, Lead 3D Artist

Damian Ebanks, Writer

Camille Matéo, Programmer

Axel Baldoni, Level Designer

Andrée Boutin, Business, Operations, and Communications

Music by

Vibe Avenue


Selected Articles

"It’s not difficult to see that I am absolutely loving every minute of Children of Zodiarcs." 
Azario Lopez,

"This game is looking pretty darned awesome."
Jessica Fisher,

"If turn based tactics games such as Fire Emblem are your bug then this title is for you."

"The cards and dice together add a staggering amount of depth to the usual formula this genre deals with, and allows for some unprecedented amounts of strategy."
Michael Jones,

"It’s a lot of fun learning the many different aspects of this game, and perfecting your deck and dice to make an efficient team."

"...I had a lot of fun with the challenge that Children of Zodiarcs presented." 
Dale Emasiri,

"...a game that breaks the genre mold in several different ways."
Cody Medellin,