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[GDS] APRIL 2013 "Let's Get Kickstarted"

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

April 2013 Game Design Showdown - "Let's Get Kickstarted"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Entries are in!

Only 2 entries this time, so it's head to head!

As it turns out, both entries received the same number of votes! So we have a tie - 2 winners this month :)

I will open up the critiques thread. I don't know about anyone else (and by the participation in this month's challenge, maybe I'm alone in this), but I think Kickstarter dynamics are fascinating, and they seem like a great basis for a game to me :)

Thanks to both participants, MysticHobo and mindspike!

"Let's get Kickstarted - Let's get Kickstarted in here!"
(my sincerest apologies to the Black Eyed Peas)

Crowdfunding: Ever since Alien Frontiers and Eminent Domain knocked down the door, Kickstarter has become a major force in the hobby game industry. Crowdfunding has allowed many new games find their way to the marketplace, and has even provided a way for several small publishers to thrive where traditional publishing methods would have put them out of business even before they'd even started. Some people like this new evolution of the industry, and some hate it - but either way it's tough to deny that crowdfunding has become a fact of life.

This month's showdown challenges gives you the opportunity for some social commentary if you like. It challenges you to create a game which uses crowdfunding dynamics as a game mechanism. You don't need to actually make your entry about using Kickstarter, indiegogo, or any other similar crowdfunding site (though you could). But the entries should all feature dynamics and mechanisms that apply to the current crowdfunding craze.

You can include things like (or analogs for):
Funding goals
Stretch Rewards
Project length
Reward levels
or anything else you can think of!

Educational: It is said that games can be used as educational tools. In the case of this showdown, the entries should act not only as fun games, but should also teach some kind of lesson. It is acceptable to make that lesson be about the crowdfunding process (like what it's like to run a Kickstarter project), and it is also acceptable to use an entirely different theme and teach an entirely different lesson.

Word Limit: I don't know how people have been feeling about word count lately, but I'd like to give everyone a chance to describe this one as best they can, so I'll set the word limit at 800 this time. Remember, the word limit is really just intended to keep the entries short enough so that people will be willing to read, vote, and comment on the entries. So I'd worry less about the word count as a hard and fast rule, and use it more as a guideline to keep from being too verbose.

Good luck!

Voting: Award Gold (3 votes), Silver (2 votes), and Bronze (1 vote) Medals to your three favorite entries. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Meal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

When submitting your entry: Please PM submissions to sedjtroll with the following subject line. PLEASE use the correct subject - it makes my job much easier!

Subject: GDS - April - [your username]

  • Submissions: The 1st of the month through the 8th.
    Since I am late posting, I will accept entries through the 11th this month.
  • Voting: Through the 18th. PM your votes to sedjtroll.
  • Voting Format: Each person has 3 Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with values 3, 2, and 1 vote respectively) to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:
    • Entrants may not assign any Medals to their own entry!
    • Entrants must assign all 3 Medals.
    • An entrant who does not assign all 3 Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (-3 votes) as a penalty.
  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were handled on the Comments Thread.

  • CRITIQUES: After voting has closed the entries will be posted for comments and critiques. Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread
  • GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, especially the details around the word count and graphics limits, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy, and good luck!

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #1 - Fund This!

Fund This!

2-4 Players recommended

One day you and your friends make a bet that you could raise more money than they can on a Crowdfunding site. The winner is the person that raises the most money the fastest while everyone else must hang their heads in shame.


Before the game players will agree upon a set funding goal (target score). Each player starts with a hand of 5 cards drawn from a shared deck and rolls a die; high roll goes first.


Each round players take turns playing one card from their hand and rolling a die to find the result of their play. Most card/roll combinations will increase a players pledged funding. After adjusting their score they will draw a card to refill their hand to 5 cards.

After one player reaches the funding goal they become the Funding Leader. Each other player gets one more turn to try to increase their score. If any player passes the Funding Leader’s score they become the new Funding Leader. The game ends if a player begins their turn as the Funding Leader.

Card Example:

̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ Mentioned in a Blog Post You just heard that somebody has mentioned your project in a Blog. This could be really good for your project… or a complete waste of time to read. Time to find that post and see what they said about your project. 1. Personal Blog; +$0 2. Obscure Blog; +$100 3. Minor Industry Blog; +$500 4. Trade Show Blog; +$1000 5. Major Industry Blog; +$2000 6. Industry Icon’s Blog; Reveal the top card of the Deck. Gain $1000 plus $s equal to the amount you would gain if you’d played that card and rolled a 5 on that card; then discard the revealed card. ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶

Alternative End Condition:

  • For a faster game the first player to pass the funding goal is immediately declared the winner.
  • Before the game begins agree on a set number of rounds to play. Anyone that reaches the funding goal before the set number of turns runs out has won, anyone that does not loses.
sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #2 - Crowdfunding: Project Manager

Crowdfunding: Project Manager

For 2-5 players.


Successfully fund your project and earn the largest profit.

Game pieces:

  • 1 deck of “Backer” cards
  • 1 deck of “Marketing” cards
  • 5 Projects
  • 1 score sheet per player

Project cards set a base Funding Goal, Attraction, Pledge Levels, and Cost. Each Pledge Level may have a different Attraction value.
Marketing cards change these values, or manipulate the Backer cards.
Backer cards are marked with Funds Pledged, and Attraction. A Backer’s funding must be at least equal to a the Pledge Level, and the Pledge Level’s Attraction must be at least equal to the Backer’s in order for a Backer to be played.

Each player is dealt 10 Marketing cards. The players then bid for Projects (one Project at a time) by offering to discard Marketing cards. The highest discard wins the Project. Players may then play up to five Marketing cards on their Project. Remaining Marketing cards are discarded.

Marketing rounds are now played. Player #1 deals seven Marketing cards face up into the center of the table. Starting with the dealer, each player takes a card and applies it to his project. Every player must take a card. When all the cards are gone, another round is played, starting with the next player. When all players have dealt, the Funding Period begins.

Funding lasts for ten rounds. Player #1 deals seven Backer cards face up into the center of the table. Starting with the dealer, each player takes a card and applies it to his Project. If the player is unable to apply any Backer cards to the Project, play passes to the next player. When all the cards are gone, another round is played, and the deal starts with the player who would have selected the next Backer card if any remained.

When all ten rounds of Funding are finished, the funding value of a player’s Backer cards are added together. If the total is less than the Funding Goal, that player is out. The number of Backers is multiplied by the Project Cost, and the total is subtracted from the total funds. The player with the highest remaining funds is the winner.

This game is meant to familiarize players with the basics of running a crowd funded project, including cost management, effects of marketing, and profit margin.

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