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Drill and ship oil, buy hi-tech start-ups and meddle with the media to lead your crumbling oil giant into a future without oil.
Drill and ship oil, buy hi-tech start-ups and meddle with the media to lead your crumbling oil giant into a future without oil.
Drill and ship oil, buy hi-tech start-ups and meddle with the media to lead your crumbling oil giant into a future without oil.
1,397 backers pledged $72,223 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Peak Oil, a tabletop game about Crisis and Profit

$72,223

1,397

Welcome to the near future. Welcome to Peak Oil: A game about Crisis and Profit.

You are the top manager at one of the big oil companies, tasked with leading your enterprise into a future without oil. With peak oil looming ahead, you try to squeeze the last drops from oil fields around the world to gather the resources to invest into various oil replacement technologies. While you may try to emerge from the coming crisis by regular means, your competitors will most probably not, forcing you to dirty your hands as well.

Peak Oil is an eurotrash-style game of worker placement, set collection and push your luck for 2 to 5 players of ages 10 and up. Games last around 45 to 60 minutes.

 

 Undead Viking's review

"Peak Oil is an interactive game with just the right about of interference. I really dig the game because of the clever action selection mechanism along with the artwork is amazing. For me, backing this game is easy. I love interaction in my games and Peak Oil has it in spades, plus its not hard to teach. This means more table time." - Larry Cruz (U.S.A.), of The Boardgame Group

"This game is great. I went in wanting to make all the right decisions and by round 3 I was doing everything wrong." - Patrick Leder (U.S.A.), of Vast: The Crystal Caverns

"There haven’t been very many oil drilling based games through the years. But Peak Oil is a fantastic game of drilling, shipping, & investing in the future. Peak Oil hits on the real reality of things." - Christopher Richter (U.S.A.), of Board Gaming For the Win

"As a dreamer who wants to one day design his own game, I would love to sit down and pick the brains of this design team to see how they created such a minimized and sleek project." - Paul Gypson (U.S.A.), A.K.A. TaylonMoon

"The base mechanics are easy to teach and learn, but there's a lot of factors that give it great depth and replayability. Plus, the graphic design and illustrations are fantastic!" - Juegos y Dados (Spain)

"The art work while simple is very easy on the eye and it would be a mistake to think of it as just a satire take on a global industry. Behind the exterior is a deep game offering great player interaction and choice but above all else its great fun to play." - Martyn Poole (UK), of Zatu

"The game's duration is great, as you can never do all that you want to do. There's also plenty direct interaction with other players, by blocking them and forcing them to push their luck. We can't wait to have the final version on our shelf!" - Doctor Meeple (Spain)

Here's the interview to co-author Tobias Gohrbandt by Jeff Beck of Your Table is on Fire podcast.

  Peak Oil packs a lot of premium quality components, because we're determined to give you, dear backer, the best possible playing experience (We obviously don't expect a top manager at one of the big oil companies to play with inferior components...)

Also, we're happy to announce that all game materials are FSC certified.

Peak Oil is an eurotrash-style board game. What does that fancy word mean? It means that both the mechanics and the theme are an integral part of the game, and they been wrought in together to create a unique playing experience.

Since you already know about the theme, let's talk mechanics. Peak Oil's gameplay revolves around 3 main mechanics: worker placement, set collection and push your luck.

Worker placement: On your turn, you assign your agents to different action spots on the board. If your agents are in the majority, or tied for the majority, at any given action spot they squelch the competition there and allow you to take the linked action(s).

Actions include developing and harvesting oil fields, building pipelines, hiring new agents, buying new ship contracts, investing in oil replacement technologies, conducting PR campaigns, engaging in piracy, and manipulating public opinion and oil prices (Yes, you can do a lot of stuff.)

Here some of the guys and gals willing to lend you a hand
Here some of the guys and gals willing to lend you a hand

Push your luck: At the beginning of the game you will put barrels (red, yellow and black) in the bag. Black barrels represent earth’s remaining oil supply, and its number will dwindle down when you drill for oil. Each time you do something “cost-efficient” (I mean, you're an oil corporation, right?), you have to draw 1 or more barrels from the bag. If you draw a red or yellow barrel, it means the media has learned of your misdeeds and you get a PR Crisis (Yes, those are bad for you. You don't want to be on TV.)

  Set collection: After some time, the oil will run out. This is called "peak oil" and marks the end of the game. Players then show the cards they've collected during the game: This is the point where you want to hold the cards that are worth more points. Whoever shaped the future best,wins the game (best as in best for their company, obviously. You're not that concerned with the welfare of the populace!)

 

You can also play the game on Tabletopia, the leading digital boardgaming platform, here (You need an account to play.)

You can also check the game's entry on Board Game Geek, the leading boardgaming forum, here (You can find all sorts of interesting stuff in this link, including microbadges!!)

OK, let's get serious here.

- It plays great: Whether you play a more cut-throat 2-player game, or a free-for-all backstabbing festival with 5 players, the game works as a well-oiled machine. That's precisely the reason why we haven't included a solo mode: we tested a ton of variants but none encapsulated the playing experience we wanted to offer.

The longer the game progresses, the more the bag is checked...
The longer the game progresses, the more the bag is checked...

- It looks great: Author Heiko Günther (of Tesla vs. Edison, Glory to Rome, Potion Explosion, among others) is also the responsible for both the graphic design and illustrations. Being in charge for the art of his first published game as an author has inspired him, and we think that transpires on the final look of the game.

...and this is an old version of the prototype
...and this is an old version of the prototype

- It feels great: The game packs only premium quality components. We believe that going the extra mile in this not only ensures the durability of the game, but also enhances the gaming experience.

- It's fun: Who doesn't want to experience the power of an oil magnate? Fly on the Concorde, hire Mercena...erm, Consultants, buy start-ups, sway the masses, shape the future! This is a game with a light-hearted, ironic approach to a "serious" theme. 

- It is a finished & tested game: Peak Oil was initially concepted in 2005, and has been in professional development since Essen Spiel 2015, when the authors pitched the game to 2tomatoes (You can read the full story here). The game has been thoroughly tested and perfected until we all felt it was ready for release: besides our in-house testing, the game has been available on PnP form (with more than 800 distinct downloads) thorough the development process, and has also been present in major Fairs & Events (Essen Spiel 2016, DAU Barcelona 2016 and Cannes 2017). The invaluable feedback we've got from those varied testing groups and has been taken into account and incorporated into the game. And last but definitely not least, we were blessed to have the generous input of awesome boardgame designer Gil Hova (of Bad Medicine & The Networks, among others) during the development.

Co-author Tobias explaining to a tester why he always wins at Peak Oil (Essen Spiel 2016)
Co-author Tobias explaining to a tester why he always wins at Peak Oil (Essen Spiel 2016)

- Your pledge actually matters: Unlike other publishers out there, 2tomatoes needs your help to release this game in time for Essen 2017. This is an expensive game to produce, and despite our previous successful games (which you can check out here), we need you backing in this project.

 

 Please note that there are no early birds in this campaign, and all pledge levels include all unlocked stretch goals. We value all our backers equally, and we do not want to give anyone a pricing advantage (And we're fully aware that you're too busy managing your oil empire to be constantly checking this website for the start of this campaign.)

 Tally of backers who want the game in another language (including retailers):

  • Spanish: UNLOCKED!
  • French: UNLOCKED!
  • German: 106 backers (with Spiele Offensive)


If you're a retailer, and want to buy copies of the game, please pledge for the $1 reward. After you pledge, contact us and we will provide you with further information. A survey will be sent to you after the campaign has ended.

A brief note about Lord of the P.I.G.S.

WARNING: Contains Pig Meeples
WARNING: Contains Pig Meeples

Lord of the P.I.G.S. is 2tomatoes' first game. It is a fast-paced filler card game of hand management and negotiation for 2 to 4 players of ages 14 and up. In it, you and your friends will take the role of Meridia’s (a melting pot of southern European countries) leaders and will vie for economic supremacy!

We include it in the pledge level Pig Oil for 2 reasons:

  • It is not so easy to get hold of a copy of it, as it didn't really enter international distribution
  • Thematically, it has a lot of common with Peak Oil: it deals with a contemporary issue (in this case, the economic & social crisis in southern European countries) with an ironic, tongue in cheek approach.

While every backer means the world to us, regardless of where you are based in, we can’t avoid the reality: shipping is very expensive and is a cost we all need to share for this project to be successful. However, since we want to do our best, we have included a discount for ALL shipping.

The rewards will be shipped to anywhere in the world. Depending on the number of backers of each region, we will ship from different logistics centers or from a single one. In the latter case, shipping might be slightly delayed. In any case, all shipping will be done through experienced fulfillment companies, so that you don't need to worry about anything regarding the shipping process, nor customs.

Shipping costs are detailed on the reward text, on the rewards sidebar. For your convenience, we've also assembled them here:

  • Peak Oil, Start-Up and Corporation rewards: $0 if pick-up at Essen Spiel 2017 (see below), $7 U.S.A, $2 Spain, $6 Rest of E.U., $10 Canada & Australia, $15 Rest of the World.
  • Pig Oil reward: $0 if pick-up at Essen Spiel 2017 (see below), $11 U.S.A, $5 Spain, $10 Rest of E.U., $14 Canada, $15 Australia, $20 Rest of the World.

However, if you’re attending Essen Spiel 2017, you can skip this cost by simply coming to our booth and picking up your copies. To do so, simply select the "United Nations Neutral Zone" when you choose the shipping destination of your reward (After all, Essen Spiel is the Neutral Zone for the United Nations of Gamers!) 

 Peak Oil is the brainchild of awesome game designers Tobias Gohrbandt and Heiko Günther.

The authors pose stylishly in their HQ
The authors pose stylishly in their HQ

Here's Tobias' very official bio:

"Tobias was constructed in the early 15th century as a semi-sentient cyborg, designed to rid the world of the threat of the dodo. That noble goal accomplished, he commenced to work as a lawyer. He currently resides in Saarbrücken. Should the dodo one day return, he stands ready."

Here's Heiko's very official bio:

"Heiko was found on the doorstep a shaolin temple deep in the darkest Texas. At the age of five, by then versed in every way of fighting imaginable, he was sold to traveling gypsies, and introduced to the ancient art of the shadow. A few years later, after acquiring degrees in philosophy and criminalistics, he started to work as a vigilante in Shanghai, under the guise of managing a gallery for contemporary nihilistic arts. In 2010, he discontinued his promising career as No performer, and since then lives in Saarbrücken and works as a graphic designer."

The game will be published by 2tomatoes games.

Everything was blurry back in the noughties
Everything was blurry back in the noughties

There are 2 tomatoes: Álvaro Lerma and Jordi Rodríguez. We met at uni and after having adventures more or less all over the world we founded the company with a simple goal in mind: make games that are different, that stand out.

We're a young publishing company, based in Barcelona. We've published and distributed several games including Lord of the P.I.G.S., and the Spanish editions of Guilds of London and The Walking Dead - All Out War. We've also done other crowdfunding campaigns in the past.

We're very passionate about what we do and we only publish games that we love. It is a lot of work but we can live with the burden. Expect more from us soon...

The whole team wants to give very special thanks to Gil Hova for his outstanding input during the development process, and for the great times passed sharing the booth at Essen 2016. Fist bumps!

2tomatoes wants to thank the special playtesters Guillem Roig, Sergio Navarro, Alberto Cano, Victor Samitier, Chris Halaska, Arne Kjell Vikhagen and Patrick Surdez; all our fellows at the "Pati Llimona" playtest meetings;  all our fellows at the "Ludo" (Spain's game designer's association) playtest meetings; all our fellows at the BGG's Peak Oil forums and everybody who has downloaded the PnP and/or has come to visit us and test the game in all the events we've attended. Without you this would not have been possible.

Credits

(Listed in alphabetical order, we don't play favorites here)

Game Design: Tobias Gohrbandt and Heiko Günther

Game Development: Gil Hova, Álvaro Lerma and Jordi Rodríguez

Illustration & Graphic Design: Heiko Günther

Campaign video: Carlos Luján at Pupu Producciones, voicing by Carrie Margulies.

 

Risks and challenges

The publication of a board game is a complicated process. It is prone to many mistakes and things can sometimes go wrong. However, 2Tomatoes has successfully run and delivered all of our crowdfunding projects (Kickstarter, Verkami), and this one will be no different.

Here are the steps we have taken in order to reduce the likelihood of mistakes and delays:

1 - We have done significant pre-production. This includes having all the materials for the game complete and the graphic art over 95% complete; the remaining 5% will be achieved by taking the backer feedback into account. We already have the production quote and an agreement with our manufacturer. We just need the funding to be able to start producing!

2 - We use fulfillment companies for shipping when we have a large number of orders to ship in a short period of time. Peak Oil will use fulfillment for at least international shipping

3 - We are fully committed to transparency and backer communication. We will be updating you on a regular basis and we will be present during the whole process to answer any questions and read every comment

We want to thank you, dear backer, for your support and trust. Peak Oil could not be made without you, and in return we give you our guarantee that we’ll make it the best possible.

Yours sincerely,

The Team

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    Peak Oil

    (=37€)
    Welcome on board!

    SHIPPING:
    Pick up Essen Spiel 2017: $0
    US: $7
    Spain: $2
    Rest of EU: $6
    Australia & Canada: $10
    Rest of the World: $15

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    Pig Oil

    (=60€)
    Enjoy both Peak Oil and Lord of the P.I.G.S.!

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    Pick up Essen Spiel 2017: $0
    US: $11
    Spain: $5
    Rest of EU: $10
    Australia: $15
    Canada: $14
    Rest of the World: $20

    Includes:
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    Subsidiary

    =70€
    You name 1 of the 21 Start-ups in the Private Portfolio cards* (see page for details), and you also get your copy.

    SHIPPING:
    Pick up Essen Spiel 2017: $0
    US: $7
    Spain: $2
    Rest of EU: $6
    Australia & Canada: $10
    Rest of the World: $15

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    Start-up

    =93€
    You name 1 of the 25 Start-ups in the game* (see page for details), and you also get your copy.

    SHIPPING:
    Pick up Essen Spiel 2017: $0
    US: $7
    Spain: $2
    Rest of EU: $6
    Australia & Canada: $10
    Rest of the World: $15

    Includes:
    • Copy of Peak Oil
    • Unlocked Stretch Goals
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    Corporation

    =139€
    You name 1 of the 5 Oil Corporations in the game* (see page for details), and you also get your copy.

    SHIPPING:
    Pick up Essen Spiel 2017: $0
    US: $7
    Spain: $2
    Rest of EU: $6
    Australia & Canada: $10
    Rest of the World: $15

    Includes:
    • Copy of Peak Oil
    • Unlocked Stretch Goals
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Funding period

- (21 days)