This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
A retro card game about finding the Poser. With art by Yoko Honda.
A retro card game about finding the Poser. With art by Yoko Honda. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Poser is a hidden identity card game. It’s group storytelling. It’s a party. It's a nostalgic trip to the Awesome 80s. And it’s totally rad.
How to Play
Every group of teens has a Poser. A Slacker trying to keep up with the Jocks. A Prep trying to pass as a Punk. In this game, one of your group just doesn't belong. The rest of you are trying to find out who it is.
Each round, players are dealt a face-down Character card, inspired by an 80s teen clique. Everyone gets the same Character, except the player who gets the Poser card instead.
Next, a Location card is revealed — like a diner, high school, pool, or arcade — along with a Scene card, a situation right at home in a John Hughes movie. Scene cards set up the story and end by asking "What happens next?"
Players take turns continuing the story and asking each other questions, with everyone trying to find the Poser (and the Poser desperately trying to figure out the Character). Most of the time, players are just laughing at the absurdity of it all, while navigating a plot crisscrossing between Perfect Strangers and Pretty in Pink.
Life Moves Pretty Fast
Play continues until (1) the group agrees on who the Poser is, (2) the Poser guesses the Character, or (3) the five-minute timer runs out. If time runs out, the group is forced to vote on the Poser's identity.
Scoring is simple:
- the Poser scores if they correctly guess the Character or if someone else is accused of being the Poser
- everyone else scores if they find the Poser or if the Poser guesses the wrong Character
And that's it. The player with the highest score after a set number of rounds is the winner, pumping their fist in the air like Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club. The losers are left outside holding boomboxes above their heads in defeat.
In practice, everyone usually keeps playing and laughing well after a winner is crowned, as the sweet synthy sounds of Simple Minds fill the air.
Confused? Don't spaz. Read the abridged Rules Book, and take a chill pill.
Woah. That Art.
All 15 Location cards have original artwork from acclaimed Japanese illustrator Yoko Honda. Inspired by classic MTV graphics and 80s Miami and LA, she's created a nostalgia-fueled look at the decade. Her work has been featured by Urban Outfitters and numerous fashion brands, displayed in hotels in Ibiza and billboards in Times Square, sold on Atelier Des Jeunes and Neon Talk, and used for album covers and movie posters. There's not enough 80s slang to express how radical it is that she's part of this project.
See more from Yoko on her Instagram.
Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle K
The 30 Scene cards are inspired by familiar 80s set-ups, with subtle and not-so-subtle references to movies, TV shows, music, and pop culture. You'll encounter friendly aliens, spar with the rich kids, ask your crush to prom, and try to avoid nuclear war. A most triumphant group of guest writers have stepped in to bring freshness to these cards, including Jason Anarchy (creator of Drinking Quest), Marcus Miller, and other cool dudes and dudettes.
Poser is nostalgic. It's resplendent kitsch. It sounds like this. It feels like games you played with your friends in high school, after skipping class to hang by the pool. Or that time you went to the house party in the hills, on the outskirts of town, with the rad view of the beach. Except all that never happened.
Poser is a party game for 3-8 people. Here are some things you might want to know:
- Poser was conceived as a hidden identity game like Spyfall, Secret Hitler, or Resistance.
- At it's heart, it's a storytelling game. Your group arrives at a hangout spot, with an 80s set-up, and decides what happens next.
- Except one person is hiding something. It's role-playing. Just don't tell your cool friends.
Some people get really competitive. Some people don't keep score. It depends on your mood, dude. The rules are all there.
A New Take on Hidden Identity Games
Poser owes a lot of credit to classic hidden identity games, but it breaks from their formula in two main ways:
Less anxiety, just as much fun
The fear of being the Spy in Spyfall or a Fascist in Secret Hitler is real and palpable. Poser feels... different. Being Secret Molly Ringwald is just way chiller than being Secret Hitler.
More creativity and variety in rounds
Each round becomes a story told by your group. Some will be hilarious, or memorable, or awkward. They'll always be different. With over 50,000 variations of Character/Location/Scene, it would take, like, a long time to play them all.
Existing hidden identity games are great in different ways. Poser just complements them, like Oates to Hall.
In the Box
Prior to stretch goals, your copy of Poser will include these 125 cards:
63 Character cards (9 unique x 7 copies)
Ranging from Surfer to Hacker to Punk to Slacker, Character cards are your secret 80s personas for each round.
15 Location cards
With Yoko Honda's original artwork, Location cards determine the choice spot your group of 80s teens is chilling at.
30 Scene cards
Inspired by retro classics like Karate Kid, E.T., and Sixteen Candles, Scene cards set-up the round and start your story.
9 Poser cards (1 unique x 9 copies)
The lame wastoids who didn't receive a Character card receive a secret Poser card.
8 Reference cards
A condensed version of the rules lives on the Reference cards, with copies for each player. Posers won't have to memorize the possible Characters or get caught looking.
Each box will also include a full-color Rules Booklet. A stretch goal will increase the number of Character, Location, and Scene cards.
Poser is on Kickstarter because it needs your help. This is totally an independent project — designed by one guy (Alex), with support from his friends and family, and art by an iconic illustrator (Yoko). The funding goal is the minimum amount needed to conduct a full printing run at a high quality.
A $20 pledge gets you the game, but, even radder, you'll be part of the process. Expect frequent updates during the final artwork and design revisions. Give feedback if that's your thing. Hear about opportunities to demo the game.
You'll laugh. You'll wig out. You'll cry at how much more $20 would have gotten you back in the 80s.
PLEDGE $20 — One copy of Poser
Righteous! You'll get the full game with any relevant stretch goals at a one-time discount off the future MSRP of $25.
PLEDGE $32 — One copy of Poser, plus Poser: The 90s Deck
The full game plus a special edition deck of 90s-themed cards, designed as an expansion. Get out your snap bracelets and pogs, The 90s Deck will ship separately in time for the holidays. Word up!
At the $25,000 stretch goal, the deck becomes a standalone game! Pledge includes added shipping cost for The 90s Deck.
PLEDGE $67 — One limited edition Yoko Honda art print, plus one copy of Poser and Poser: The 90s Deck
Pick from one of three original, numbered 12x18 art prints made for the game by Yoko Honda. Printed on museum-quality, Giclée, bright white, 100% cotton, slightly textured, smooth archival paper. DEADLY!
PLEDGE $127 — All three limited edition Yoko Honda art prints, plus one copy of Poser and Poser: The 90s Deck
Get the full set of three original, numbered art prints by Yoko Honda. Printed on museum-quality, Giclée, bright white, 100% cotton, slightly textured, smooth archival paper. WICKED!
PLEDGE $200 — Write a scene card! Plus, one copy of Poser and Poser: The 90s Deck
Take inspiration from Hughes, Spielberg, Carpenter, or other 80s icons, while you write a Scene card for the final game. Keep it fresh.
Interested in a bulk order? Shoot over an email.
♫ We've got big thoughts, big dreams.
We want a big brown Mercedes sedan. ♫
But mostly we want to manufacture more games to reduce our per unit cost and make an even better product. Stretch goals are staying simple to reduce complexities in the manufacturing process (and we think the base game is pretty choice as is).
$15,000 — More Location and Scene cards!
Where's the beef??? ...it's right here. At this funding level, we'll add more cards to every deck (including new illustrations). Gnarly!
$25,000 — The 90s Deck becomes The 90s Edition!
CHA-CHING! Instead of just an expansion deck, The 90s Deck ($32 pledge level) becomes a standalone game. More 90s Locations. More 90s Scenes. More 90s Characters. All that and a big of chips.
$35,000 — Retro VHS Cassette Box!
This would be wickedly cool. We'll go all out on the packaging for all backers. New design. Fancier insert. And raddest of all: it'll look like a VHS cassette box. Tubular!
Poser has been in development for over a year, as a work of passion and nostalgia by Alex Herrity (that's me). The idea was born from a love of memorable party games, quirky storylines, the 80s, and highly-stylized art and design. Poser grew into something real when it became clear it's really freaking fun.
A child of the 80s, Alex lives in the suburbs with his wife, two toddlers, bulldog, and minivan. During weekdays, he works at a digital product agency in Brooklyn. He's spent the last decade designing and building things that people use every day, for companies like HBO, FOX, and Epic Games. Poser is his first Kickstarter and second tabletop game, after making “Mega Man: The Board Game” in 1989 to rave reviews from his mom.
Poser wouldn't be possible without a lot of help. Huge thanks to Yoko Honda, Juan Hodgson, Ray Larabie, Devin Cook, Algebraic Satellite, Josh Blitzstein, Seamus Kelly, Ellen Cepele, Andrew Herrity, Eric Porter, Marcus Miller, Laura Herrity, and all playtesters. And to Max Temkin and Alex Hague for unknowingly acting as design inspiration.
Most of all, sincere thanks to you for considering backing this.
Risks and challenges
The biggest remaining challenge is making sure Poser lives up to your expectations.
Remaining illustrations will be completed throughout the month, and a few Scene cards will be rewritten or added. Minor designs tasks and improvements will continue until production starts in early June.
Manufacturing and shipping is using tried-and-true methods, including a logistics supplier and a well-known card manufacturer (AdMagic, maker of Cards Against Humanity). Both are erring towards the most reliable instead of the most economical - and using the longest estimates given for production and shipping.
If anything goes wrong, it'll be really embarrassing, as Alex manages large-scale technical projects for a living.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter