We put together a video to show the craftsmanship that will go into creating the New Forest Arimaa Set. As Kickstarter is not a charity site, all funds raised here will go into producing prototypes and the first production models, as well as designing and creating a box worthy of housing our creation.
Arimaa is a deep strategy game designed by Omar Syed and his son Aamir. The game is designed to be extremely easy to learn for humans, but extremely difficult for computers. It also happens to be one of the deepest strategy games around - after a decade, new strategies are still surfacing and a new player can come along with a fresh approach and demolish the opposition in a tournament.
To learn more about Arimaa, visit http://arimaa.com/arimaa/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arimaa and http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Arimaa
To this day most Arimaa games are played online through a computer interface - ironic for a game meant to defeat computer players. Although there is a plastic and cardboard physical Arimaa set available for everyday use, there are no "centerpiece" fancy sets available. Our goal at New Forest Earth is to create a handmade wooden Arimaa set that can be proudly displayed as the centerpiece of your living room.
The pieces are made of two different colors of wood, red and yellow/gold, which distinguishes the teams. They are polished to a glossy finish and coated with local beeswax.
The board is split into two colors, giving each player an idea of where their territory ends and their opponent's begins. It also contains a mechanism for REAL traps, which allow your to actually drop the oppositions piece into the drawers below. The board will be much thicker than the original design pictured above, which did not hold up to drying and shipping.
When we started this project, we did not anticipate the expense that would go into prototyping. Essentially, each prototype costs the same to produce as the final set, since it requires the same quality materials and several days of labor. The only way to know for sure that a new design is going to work is to make it, and that's expensive. So the project has been sputtering since we cannot afford to pay for each prototype without recouping our investment.
At the same time, it has become obvious that the demand for a centerpiece Arimaa set is there. We have received an incredible outpouring of support from the Arimaa community, which is small but dedicated and growing. At one point, a man offered to buy one of the prototypes and not tell anyone. Other people have contributed advice on set design and construction. Even more have signed up to hear updates because they want to know when the final set is completed.
Which brings us to Kickstarter! This platform could be just what we need to turn the very dedicated community around this product into the funds we need to bring the New Forest Arimaa Set to life. We'll reward your efforts with a combination of Arimaa SWAG and recognition of your efforts. And the best part is, if we don't make it to our goal you get to keep your money!
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