Inspired by being a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Air Force, Ball State University student Keith Richards from Denton, Texas is creating DEFCON, a Cold War-themed board game.

He recently received a $795 grant from Ball State’s Entrepreneurship Center to develop the project.

An avid board-game-player and a graduate student in the Cognitive and Social Processes program, Richards wants the game to bring people face-to-face for an entertaining competition and provide a historical perspective on the Cold War.

The game concept pits forces from NATO against the military might of the Soviet Union. It’s a race to reduce the opponent’s political, military, and economic strengths, all while avoiding a nuclear Armageddon. The first team to run out of resources loses, and both teams lose if nuclear war breaks out.

After developing the game concept, Richards sought funding from the Entrepreneurship Center’s

“Pre-seed” grant program. These grants are designed to empower young entrepreneurs in the early-stages of venture creation and development and were awarded to four applicants in March.

He was approved for $795 to create two prototypes and test them with focus groups. Once tested and modified accordingly, Richards can license the board game to a manufacturer or self-publish the game.

Richards thanks Ball State and the Entrepreneurship Center for the constant empowerment, inspiration and support.

“Ball State has empowered me to grow upon an idea I’m passionate about. With the funding, I can bring my venture to the next level, and hopefully create a board game that will bring friends and families together in a compelling and educational way.”

Richards plans to explore other game concepts at the completion of ‘DEFCON.’