Rt. 60 Man Gaming Company creators Caleb Huff,

Michael Valentine, and Kyle Quinn


In the spring of 2018 in Huntington, West Virginia, my cousin Caleb Huff told me

he had a bunch of ideas for board games. That’s nice,” I thought. It was only a few weeks

later  that my longtime college friend Kyle Quinn, unprovoked and out of the blue said,

“I’d like to make a board game, I just don’t have any ideas.” “That’s nice,” I thought…

Wait a minute…a rusty cog started to slowly turn in my brain as I connected the dots…

“My cousin was just telling me about all these ideas he had for board games! Let’s sit

down with him.” And so began my unpurposeful interest in designing board games,

stuck somewhere in between creativity and craftsmanship. Caleb pitched us a few

suggestions, some lavish, sprawling, complicated, worker-placement games  with

resource gathering-over my head, but others closer to my level of competence  and

patience,  such as one idea that captured our imagination immediately –

A game he was considering naming ScrapBots.

The original proposal involved collecting money and multi-tiered upgrades,

but being the resident dummy in the group, I championed for stripping it

down to its essence and trimming out any of the over-complicated concepts.

We beat it around for a couple weeks and once we had our mechanics settled

on and did some play testing, Kyle and I (being former art majors at Marshall

University) went to work drawing out the 60 Mission Cards,

110 Junk Cards, and 105 Robot Parts.

Some of Kyle Quinn’s prototype homework

Finally, after settling on the name JunkBots, we met at Caleb’s office with a paper

prototype – he’s one of those baby-delivering doctors btw.  Hey,” we thought, “This

game is actually fun. How did we do this? Making games is easy.
We might have this printed in a few months.” Har har.

How innocent.  How ignorant.  How imbecilic.

Caleb Huff and Kyle Quinn take the prototype for a spin.

We knew right away who we wanted to do the actual artwork.

In art school, Kyle and I had become close friends with Glen Brogan,

who has earned a name for himself doing illustrations for Disney, Marvel,

and many other big time fancy-shmancy corporations. We anxiously

wondered if he could make time for his old pals in between his more

illustrious gigs, and he did…kind of. Glen began by designing the

box art and creating three of the 21 full robots for the game before

he got buried in other work. Of course we totally understood  and were

grateful to even have some of his original art included in our game. The reins

were picked up by Jesse Lewis, an artist I had worked with while managing

a frame shop a few years prior. We waited patiently – drawing hundreds of

pictures can take a while – especially when you have another full time job!

RustBots artists Glen Brogan and Jesse Lewis

When we finally had our art, we produced 3 copies of the game, ordering the cards

through Game Crafter, then spray gluing to chipboard and cutting the robot pieces

by hand (for those of you keeping count at home, that’s 105 pieces x 3 = 315 at 4 cuts

for each side, drumroll…1,260 cuts, phew!)  Now who is going to print this thing?

Having no clue what we were doing, we more or less flipped open the phonebook

and stuck our finger down. Got a few quotes from China and actually began working

with a company that ended up changing ownership and in the end didn’t seem to fully

understand what we were asking for. We decided to find a printing company in the

United States so there would be no language barrier misunderstandings. Staring at a list of

US printers I found online-…Hmm Florida. Sounds exotic. Shuffled Ink it is!

So totally by random chance we began work with the Americans at Shuffled Ink and

couldn’t have been happier with their customer service. Charles Levin and his team are

professional, patient, and detail oriented. He had every opportunity to take advantage of

us  (again, if all we knew about producing a game was leather, we couldn’t saddle a flea),

but rather, mentored and advised us even when it meant making less money for his company. 

And here comes October 2020. It is brought to our attention that there is a toy called

JunkBots where you use pieces of trash to build robots. Sound familiar? Oof.

Rather than chance it, we renamed the game to RustBots and with some clever photoshopping,

were able to redo the box title. With the new name in place, it was off to Kickstarter where we were

most thankful to have our project successfully backed by 260 wonderful individuals! Next came

some final tweaks to the art -I’m sure my over-attentiveness to tiny details bugged  the snot out

of the Shuffled Ink staff, but they remained tolerant throughout the years of email exchanges.

It was exciting for us to receive our white box and proofs from the printer as well as to approve the

production copy which began the process of manufacturing 1,000 of our games. We couldn’t have

been happier with the quality of the components. After five years of on and off work and through

our trusted relationship with Shuffled Ink, in February of 2024 we finally got to hold our

completed games. It’s a pretty crazy and humbling feeling to go from scribblings on a

piece of notebook paper to something that looks and feels like a real live

board game and further unfathomable that is now on four continents!

-Michael Valentine, co-creator of Rt. 60 Man Gaming Company/RustBots

Caleb Huff and Kyle Quinn contain their excitement

checking out the first RustBots shipment

Check out what else we are working on at: rt60mangamingco.com
Or, you can find Rt. 60 Man Gaming Company on Instagram and Facebook

About Shuffled Ink

Shuffled Ink is a multigenerational family business that specializes in printing custom playing cards, tarot & flash cards, custom card games, packaging and more for businesses and individuals worldwide.

To receive complimentary samples of our card products, either follow this link or please include your delivery address and phone number on your custom quote request form.

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