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A novel deckbuilding game for 2 to 4 players inspired by civilizations of antiquity with beautiful illustrations and wooden components.
A novel deckbuilding game for 2 to 4 players inspired by civilizations of antiquity with beautiful illustrations and wooden components.
710 backers pledged $28,911 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$28,911

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Welcome to the fifth publishing campaign from Hyperbole Games!

SPQF is a novel deck-building game for 2-4 players that takes about 30 minutes to play. The design is inspired by the ancient civilizations of Rome and Greece, plus a desire to contribute a fresh design to the deckbuilding genre. 

The name SPQF is a playful twist on the acronym SPQR, which means "the Senate and the People of Rome." I replaced the R with an F, for forest.

The deck-building genre is crowded with phenomenal games. I knew this wasn't a minor undertaking!

At the beginning of the design, I began analyzing deckbuilders like Dominion and Hero Realms to identify what makes them tick, but also how my own design could stand out. I also looked at games like Race for the Galaxy, and my own design Five Ravens, to create something different. 

I wrote about this effort here and here

SPQF's mechanisms are inspired by the pillars of the Roman civilization, including Engineering, Leadership, Military, Science, Agriculture, and Industry. Its novel card acquisition reflects how the movement of people and ideas can influence and change a culture, such as the Roman acquisition of Greek ideas and philosophies. 

SPQF combines a few elements that make it distinct, including:

  • Players "recruit" unused cards from their opponents. In the same way ideas and people immigrated in ancient civilizations, so will your cards around the table. Buying cards is therefore very different.
  • All of the cards, including the starter cards, are powerful.
  • Players can follow every card played with a weaker version of the action, which means you're involved in every player's turn. You aren't just building a deck for yourself, but a deck for the table. 
  • Cards have a simple multi-use functionality: use their action, use them to increase the potency of an action, or use them to follow.
  • Simple tableau building creates interesting choices without adding complex rules.

If you hate reading, I created a humorous video to teach you how to play the game.

SPQF is built with individually simple mechanisms. It is the combination of these building blocks paired with the choices of your opponents that creates a rich game filled with nuance and constant decisions. A learning game is required to grasp the icons, but after 30 minutes you'll be racing to build your second civilization. 

Each copy of SPQF features the components listed and shown below:

  • 20 Starter cards
  • 48 Civilization cards
  • 4 Monument cards
  • 4 Reference cards
  • 25 Crop and 25 Material 10mm wooden cubes
  • 4 wooden tableaus and 4 wooden Civilization Level markers
  • 1 First Player coin
  • 40 wooden Victory Point acorns
  • 16 page full color Rule book
  • 1 sturdy two piece box that is gorgeous

The goal is for SPQF to feel special, crafted, and high quality. The components should feel as fresh as the design itself. The cards are the highest quality embossed poker cards made by my manufacturer.

I hired an incredible team to help me, including Sid Quade for illustrations, Fredrik Skarstedt for icons and graphic design, and Daft Concepts for woodworking. 

If you want to learn more about the process of creating SPQF, there are several articles on BGG

"It’s that unflinching cleverness that marks SPQF as one of the best pure deck-builders I’ve played in a very long time. It’s demanding, yes, but the effort is worth the investment." - Dan Thurot of Space Biff

"One of the smartest things SPQF does is eliminate the need for a real “economy” by just having every card be worth the same amount. Some have costs to play, some have slightly better benefits in context, but the lack of having to track money (beyond resources for Civilization Level expansion) makes the game feel a lot more crisp, clean, and streamlined." - Erik Yurko of What's Eric Playing

Read these thoughts on the final game, or better yet, download the Print and Play from BGG and try it for yourself. You can also read the final rules here

Note: The cards and rules linked in the Print and Play are for the prototype only and are not indicative of the final product. 

"SPQF is a great deckbuilder that keeps all players engaged in everyone's turn. The action of recruiting card from the other players trade row is so fresh and innovative from other deckbuilders we have played in the past." - Luis Lara, playtester

I create games differently than most, so I want to provide an explanation for why you should back right now instead of waiting.

  • SPQF will not be in stores! I'm only printing copies for the campaign and do not intend to sell it widely afterwards. 
  • SPQF is thoroughly developed. I've personally played over 100 times. It has also been blind tested and played at events like Protospiel.
  • It's gorgeous! I hired great people to craft the visuals. Your support lets me explore new visuals for every design.
  • SPQF is great fun! If you like deckbuilding, or wish they were more interactive, or just love clever card games, SPQF belongs on your shelf.
  • If you enjoyed one of my games such as Hocus, Solstice, Five Ravens, or Farmageddon, I believe SPQF is my best design to date. 
Civilizations are a messy business.
Civilizations are a messy business.

SPQF lives or dies with this campaign. Your support means it, and new ideas from me, get to exist. 

Finally, the money earned is being spent responsibly to pay for manufacturing, shipping fees, and Kickstarter fees. All "profits" beyond that go towards covering the cost of the art, as the artists have already been paid.

Note: The number of pledges for this campaign are unlimited. However, due to the time required for manufacturing, I'm setting aside a small number for each pledge level so I can provide accurate and conservative delivery times. As one pledge fills up, I will open a new one. 

The art of SPQF was very important to me. Initially I had the idea of combining forest creatures and ancient Romans. This, combined with my love of the classic Robin Hood Disney cartoon, inspired the direction. Once Sid Quade reached out to me, I knew we had to make this, and I knew he was the illustrator to do it.

Illustrations are not enough. Designed alongside them is an incredibly thoughtful visual language to aid the gameplay. Our desire was to make SPQF language independent and Fredrik Skarstedt accomplished this. 

This may be a humble indie project, but we invested AAA time and money into crafting something you deserve and expect from modern tabletop design.

The icons are carefully integrated into the imagery to create an aesthetically pleasing experience. But, their simple consistency means you'll be able to gather, build, score, and store just a few rounds into your first game. 

The entire product revolves around this forest civilization. The creatures, the wooden tokens, and consistent aesthetic make it a truly special game for your shelves. 

If you've backed a previous Hyperbole Games project, you know that I do not use Stretch Goals. My reasoning is simple.

From day one, I design each game as it needs to be. No more, no less.

I work hard to design a product with great and unique components, amazing art, thoroughly tested mechanisms, and the best possible price. 

Stretch Goals create a moving target and are often wielded deceptively by creators. SPQF is a great game as is that doesn't require Stretch Goals. It's just that simple.

Hyperbole Games is not my career, but my passion. I am the only employee, and I choose to invest money in publishing like I would a hobbyist, not a businessman. I make games because I love doing so.

International Shipping is incredibly costly. I print only a few hundred games, which means I do not benefit from economies of scale, cannot partner with international distributors, and cannot assume the costs when things go wrong for international backers. It just isn't feasible.

I wrote about this more comprehensively here. I appreciate your understanding!

Risks and challenges

SPQF is my fifth Kickstarter campaign, plus I've fulfilled a sixth title off of Kickstarter. I have always delivered the product as promised on time (or earlier) with clear, transparent communication.

But, there are always risks. Let me walk you through my procedures to reduce risk to ensure a smooth, great campaign.

1. The game design is finished. I've done all the hard work already, which means aside from spot-check tuning, the game you're backing is the game you'll receive.

2. All art production is finished. I paid for the illustrations, graphic design, and wood shop prototyping already. The beautiful illustrations and refined graphic design are ready to go.

3. I've worked with every manufacturer before and have a final copy of the game IN MY HANDS. You can see pictures above! I'm working with DriveThruCards.com (cards), TheGameCrafter.com (box, rules, cubes, markers), and Daft Concepts (tokens, tableau). This allows for fast turnaround, easily resolved customer service issues, and strong relationships from years of working together.

4. I'll always make it right. If something is wrong with your game, I'll fix it. If you have questions on how to play, I'll answer them. Whether it's replacing missing cards for free, replacing a dinged box, or answering the 30th email for someone struggling with the rules, I'll support you and fix it.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    The SPQF Print and Play

    You will receive the high-resolution print and play files to print on your own. Your pledge helps offset art costs, so thank you!

    This is a great option for international backers.

    Includes:
    • Print and Play Card Files
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    128 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    One Copy of SPQF

    You will receive one copy of SPQF, which includes free shipping to the United States. If you wish to buy additional copies of SPQF, add $49 per additional copy to your pledge.

    Includes:
    • Print and Play Card Files
    • SPQF Physical Game
    • Free Shipping
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 230 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    One Copy of SPQF (2nd Shipment)

    You will receive one copy of SPQF, which includes free shipping to the United States. If you wish to buy additional copies of SPQF, add $49 per additional copy to your pledge.

    Includes:
    • Free Shipping
    • Print and Play Card Files
    • SPQF Physical Game
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 230 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    One Copy of SPQF (3rd Shipment)

    You will receive one copy of SPQF, which includes free shipping to the United States. If you wish to buy additional copies of SPQF, add $49 per additional copy to your pledge.

    Includes:
    • SPQF Physical Game
    • Free Shipping
    • Print and Play Card Files
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 94 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (13 days)