Project image
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$17,667
pledged of $43,000pledged of $43,000 goal
56
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, July 28 2016 4:27 PM UTC +00:00
JoymakerBy Joymaker
First created
JoymakerBy Joymaker
First created
$17,667
pledged of $43,000pledged of $43,000 goal
56
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, July 28 2016 4:27 PM UTC +00:00

About

If you ever loved Monopoly, if you ever got tired of Monopoly, this is the upgrade you've been waiting for!

What is Microbiz?

Microbiz is a little simulated economy, "Business in a nutshell." A game for 3-6 players. Farms and factories make things. Cars, trucks, and boats deliver them. Contract cards provide a way to sell goods to off-board buyers, bringing new money into the game.

So where's the excitement? Making deals! You need each other. Many factories need each other's output to create their own products. Everyone needs food. Goods need transporting. So the dealing never stops – and any deal is legal! Everyone is trying to get the best of the deal, and with multiple players jumping in to make a better offer, it sometimes comes to shouting!  (Watch the video, right in the middle are some great examples.)

This little board game turns out to be really realistic! So much so that all kinds of real-world business situations naturally arise, just in the process of dealing:   joint ventures • joint or community ownership of property • loans at interest • pay in advance, pay on completion, pay when I get paid • noncompete agreements • and more.

Overview

  • Properties are factories: they allow you to make things. 
  • Contract cards create opportunities to sell goods and make money. 
  • Use cars, trucks, and boats to move around the board and deliver those goods. 
  • Invest profits to buy more industries and build your business empire.
  • Players are interdependent, even while competing. Industries need each other!
  • Make deals among players -- any deal is legal! Anything you hold can be sold. 
  • When the dealing’s done, the richest one wins.

How it works

Properties give you the power to make things. Properties need each other's products. Example: wood from a farm is needed to make a boat. So you often need to order goods from other players.

Contract cards create opportunities to sell goods and make money. Deliver the goods to the destination to get the payoff. Free-for-all cards create a public opportunity, a race!

But those are only the mechanics. The excitement begins when the dealing begins – and that's almost immediately. You need each other – you have to deal – and everything is up for grabs! Will I pick up or will you deliver? Pay in advance or pay on completion? In what time frame? Oh, and just as we're about to close the deal, a third player jumps in with a more competitive offer! The shouting can get heated!

And that's only the beginning. Complex, multi-part deals happen: I'll get you these three commodities, you produce those two, and together we'll split the proceeds of a big free-for-all that just came up. Need a little extra money to buy that business? Oh, just propose a loan at interest. Someone will do it, if the price is right.

Oh, and accidents happen! You can get a flat tire. Pests can reduce your food supply. And if you run out of food, starvation! You will be disabled until you can persuade someone to rescue you...which they will, if the price is right!  And that may completely change the course of the game.

It's very open-ended. Some players may take to the river and specialize in transportation. Others may focus on steel and automotive industries. The computer industry is a powerhouse – if you can raise the capital to get it going.

Testimonials

"As a homeschool Mom as well as an avid board game player growing up, I cannot say enough good things about this game of Microbiz. We've hosted several MicroBiz games in our home and have NEVER seen a group of teens having more fun making deals and interacting so enjoyably–so much laughter–these kids as well as adults are actually learning the ins and outs of business while having the BEST time.

"Growing up I thought Monopoly was the best game out there–but it truly pales in comparison to Ken Brook's most wonderful new game of MICROBIZ!!!

"The several hours it takes to play this game is not just several hours of silly laughter and fun....It's several hours invested in learning how to deal, how to grow a business, problem solving, and so much more! I have heard my kids say many times "This is the BEST game out there! It's Genius!"

          – Robin Overstreet, mother of 2 teens, early purchaser of Microbiz

"This is the most fun I've had all Christmas!"

          – Heidi Palethorpe, age 15

The Team

Ken Brooks, Inventor
Ken Brooks, Inventor

Computer scientist, freelance software engineer, game inventor

John Foutz, Artist
John Foutz, Artist

Graphic artist, movie director, actor. 

Stretch goal:  $51000

The plastic prototype vehicles that you saw in the video were 3-D printed. It turned out that producing them in quantity would be rather expensive with tooling costs. If this campaign funds minimally, the vehicles will be made of thick punch-out cardboard printed with colorful designs of the vehicles.

If this stretch goal is reached, the vehicles will be made of molded plastic, designed in such a way that the player pawns snap neatly into them, as you saw in the video. Then the two can easily be moved around the board as one unit.

Where things stand

This game is ready, all but the package design and a few minor additions to artwork. Several prototypes have already been sold to happy customers, including both gamers and homeschoolers who bought it for educational value. We have a precise manufacturing quote and good estimates on shipping. Artwork will be completed as this campaign proceeds.

The details

Here is the budget behind this campaign:

  • $26800 Manufacturing 
  •     8000 Shipping 
  •       900 The video (done on contingency) 
  •     3700 Contingency 
  •     3600 Kickstarter fees 
  • $43000 Total

Risks and challenges

Surprises happen in manufacturing and shipment, and to ensure that we can keep our promises, we have included a $3700 (over 8%) contingency fund in our budget. (How many projects do that?)

Production schedule completes in early November, which should provide plenty of time for arrival by Christmas. But if things get tight, we have the possibility of using a fulfillment house that ships directly from Hong Kong, improving that timing.

We know that while the product will be carefully checked before leaving the factory, damage can happen in transit. We are committed to replacing games, or components of games, that have been damaged in transit. The manufacturing order is much larger than the number of games needed to fulfill the Kickstarter campaign, and will be increased if this campaign radically overfunds, to ensure that parts are available to do so.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    I just want to help the project

    We appreciate your enthusiasm and your support!

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    List of Honor

    You will be listed on the List of Honor on the Microbiz website.

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    Pledge US$ 38 or more About US$ 38

    Early Bird Special

    You will receive one copy of the game.
    (MSRP $70)

    Please note: Shipping to the US is free. Contact us with regard to the possibility and cost of shipping outside North America.

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    Pledge US$ 48 or more About US$ 48

    A copy of the game

    You will receive one copy of the game.
    (MSRP $70)

    Please note: Contact us with regard to the possibility and cost of shipping outside North America.

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    Double Your Business

    You will receive two copies of the game.
    (MSRP $140)

    Please note: Contact us with regard to the possibility and cost of shipping outside North America.

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    Deluxe Edition

    As mentioned elsewhere, unless the stretch goal is reached, vehicles in the standard game may be made of die-cut printed cardboard. However, you will receive, in addition to the standard game, 3-D printed vehicles that snap neatly together with your game pawns. Even if the stretch goal is reached, these will look cooler.

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    Limited Signed Edition

    You will receive a personally signed copy of the game.

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    Custom Game Characters

    Instead of ordinary game pawns to represent the players, your game will include 3-D printed custom characters, to your chosen design. You will also receive the deluxe vehicles of the Deluxe Edition reward, and the custom characters will snap into the vehicles to move neatly around the board as one unit. You provide the 3-D design files, we will add our snap-in base.

    Note: some physical limitations apply. Excessively spindly legs or horizontal overhangs (outstretched arms) may be impossible to print. If so, we will ask you to pick a different design or modify the one you have provided.

    You will also receive a signed copy of the game.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Personal Skype Introduction

    I (Ken) will spend up to three hours with you and your chosen group, on a Skype connection, introducing the game, sharing stories and experience, and participating if you so desire. Expect this to take place within 6 weeks of receiving the game.

    You will also receive a signed copy of the game.

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    Personal Visit Introduction

    I (Ken) will come to your chosen location within 300 miles of Redding, California. This reaches the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Reno. I will spend up to half a day introducing the game to you and your chosen group, sharing stories and experience, and participating if you so desire. This could be a classroom setting if you want it to reach a larger group of people. Expect this to take place within 3 months of receiving the game.

    You will also receive two signed copies of the game.

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    Personal Visit Introduction

    I (Ken) will come to your chosen location within 600 miles of Redding, California. This reaches Portland, OR and the Los Angeles area. I will spend up to a day introducing the game to you and your chosen group, sharing stories and experience, and participating if you so desire. Expect this to take place within 3 months of receiving the game.

    You will also receive three signed copies of the game.

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Funding period

- (40 days)