PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - Thomas and Robin Kite met many years ago in art school and have incorporated art into every aspect of their lives.
If you get the chance to tour their Panama City home you might think you're in an art museum. Everywhere you turn there are unique pieces they've created.
"We transitioned from art to computers," said Thomas Kite. "We had an I.T. company for something like 20 years. So we took our art stuff and applied it to software."
Their love of art combined with their computer skills morphed into their latest adventure.
"It occurred to me that a lot of the work I had done over the past 40 years had this kind of element of games and gaming," Thomas said.
So they allowed their creative juices to flow, which eventually spilled all over their home with game ideas popping up everywhere. Especially on what they call the "magic table" which the couple designed and made themselves.
"If you leave a blank paper on this table certain times of the year with a sharp pencil, in the morning you'll have a new game all designed for you," explained Thomas. "All you have to do is make it. If it isn't true it ought to be."
It must work because the Kites have created some pretty interesting games called Pelta Games.
The name Pelta comes from an ancient Greek design.
"It is a circle inside the circle are two smaller circles. Each of those circles is the radius of a bigger circle," explained Thomas. "All the boards and everything are based on peltas."
He added the art drives the game... but that's not all.
"One of the things we try to do with these games is we make them STEM. So when kids are playing it, they're subconsciously learning a lot about relationships, mathematics, resource management and a lot more," he said.
Some of the games don't require a board. Pelta Peeps is a boardless game for two to six players. The pieces are called Peeps because they have eyes.
There are no dice and it's also fast-paced. The object is to make the most connections with your allotted 16 colored pieces.
"Everybody takes a turn going around in a circle until the game ends," explained Thomas. "The game ends when someone cannot place a new piece. Placing a new piece means it has to connect with another piece. Or it's over if they run out of pieces."
But there are twists and turns and ways you can block your opponents from making a connection or take points away from them or you gang up on a player who is getting too many points.
"The interesting thing about the game is it's not over until it's over because you have no idea who wins," said Robin. "You don't count the points until the end of the game."
There are variations to Pelta Peeps, meaning it's the same game with different pieces.
Then for the very serious gamer, there is Pelta World One, which is played on a game board.
"This is more of a strategy and tactics kind of game mixed up with
Monopoly," said Thomas Kite.
Pelta World One has many types of colored pieces. From Pelta Peeps to gold to cabochons, which are domes that represent resources, also called power domes.
The board is broken up into territories with each team fighting to take over another territory sometimes over land, desert, or water. The game has seven pages of rules.
"This is the more complicated of the three games that we've done," admitted Thomas.
All of the games and puzzles are designed, printed, and cut in their home. The game pieces and boards are made of UV printed acrylic, making them extra durable.
While this isn't how the Kites pictured themselves in their retirement years, Pelta Games is a passion that persists.
"If it's not fun it's not worth doing," said Thomas.
You can check out Pelta Games at their website or you can find them on Facebook and there are a number of videos on YouTube.