A dream nearly 25 years in the making. What started as a basic idea with a simplistic prototype grew into a successfully launched board game, and is helping spread an important message: no matter the circumstances or obstacles in life, inventing a new concept is a real possibility for everyone.
Keys To The Capitals, a board game now selling through Amazon, was invented by Tony Tinervia in 1991 when he started with just a basic prototype. For many years Tinervia worked on different game ideas, having to do with sports and sports teams, but eventually changed his focus to geography games. He would sit down and focus on creating games for hours, and he still has many of the original game designs today. Keys to The Capitals is a simple and fun board game created to help kids as young as seven years old learn all the names of the states and their capitals in the United States, all while enjoying time with friends and family.
He built and tested Keys To The Capitals with family members on a model made from National Geographic maps until 2015, when he reached out to Enhance Product Development to help him build a retail-ready version of the game. “Getting my prototype built with the Enhance team, and having that in hand to play and test, was my favorite part of this process,” said Tinervia. Working collaboratively with Enhance Product Development, he could see how the game would look and feel to an average player. As a first step, a patent search was completed on this game to determine the patentability of the idea. From there, the design team first build a 3D Virtual Model of the game to work out how the gameboard should look and function based off of the original models Tinervia had built. From there, the physical model was built, working out many details like game piece designs and a folding pattern. The first prototype was completed just over one year ago and has had incredible success since.
“Asperger’s Syndrome invented this game 100%,” Tinervia said. He explained that, growing up, he knew that he was different, but he was not diagnosed with Asperger’s until just a few years ago. Following his diagnoses, he worked with doctors and therapists to fully understand Autism and how that effected his life. He went on to say that, when he was young, he dreamed of being a game designer. Regular therapy sessions helped him to fully realize his creative spirit, and inspired him to do something bigger with Keys To The Capitals. Since his diagnosis, he can fulfill these dreams and show people that Autism should not stop you from doing the things you really want in life. He now has a successful product launch.
“For many years, there was not much awareness or treatments for people like me. I think if people were more comfortable talking about it, and spreading awareness about Asperger’s Syndrome, there would be more opportunities for people like me to accomplish cool things like I did. I think there are many people who might not know they have Autism. They test children at a young age now, but not always for adults. Being diagnosed helped me make a comeback and discover my purpose.”
His journey, from his diagnosis, to creating a successful board game, Tinervia wants to be a positive influence to the Autistic community. Specifically, he wishes to garner attention for Autism Speaks (https://www.autismspeaks.org/). He would like to set an example and make others aware that Autism Spectrum Disorder should not stop you from fulfilling your own dreams. Tony has donated his games to schools for kids to enjoy, and loves hearing stories about families enjoying time together through his game. Through social media, he uses his game as a platform to give hope and encouragement to kids and adults.
Tinervia, who also his mother’s full-time caregiver, says this is just the start to his game. He expects it to arrive in Target stores this fall, and is currently selling his inventory on Amazon.
What’s next for Tony Tinervia? He is currently working on a new game that interfaces with smart phones, and is eager and excited to see what this next project may bring. Tony regularly does fundraisers and giveaways, shares stories of how people connect through his game, and his personal journey with product development and Autism.
Please visit Keys To The Capital on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeysToTheCaptials/
Enhance Product Development is a professional design firm that specializes in launching new products for inventors, entrepreneurs and start ups. For product development inquiries please contact Enhance Product Development at https://enhancepd.com/contact/ or call us at 877-993-6426.
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