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Producing a movie takes skill and a silver tongue. You've got to hire the right director and actors, get a good script put together, and add those extra intangibles that boost ticket sales. You also have to watch out for the other producers as they race to get their movie to the box office before you; they might even try some sabotage!
Producer is a light, card-based game that balances strategy and storytelling. Players create a movie by playing film clips from their hands or swapping for ones in the Auditioning Room. A unique trade mechanism allows players to interact off-turn and keeps them engaged while others are the active player. After several rounds, players wrap their movies and try to gain extra ticket sales by telling the movie trailer.
This image is of my most recent prototype. About a quarter of the images are complete with many more sketched and inked. We are waiting to finish the art to allow the Cameo backers choice of cards to have their image on. Also, this image shows the two part box I would like to use for the game as well as the larger format rules book.
- 105 Film Clips, each with a unique illustration
- 5 Admission Tickets used both in trading and in the endgame
- 1 Wooden Nickel for coinflips and as an active player token
- 1 Rules booklet, a larger one than pictured
- 5 Reference Cards
I am planning on a small, fewer than 1,000 copies, sized print run which means the per-game costs will be higher. To keep the components high quality, the game will come in a side-by-side, two-deck tuck box. This allows budget for the card stock to be very good quality. I won't be adding stretch goals, but I have added two backer levels that can upgrade the wooden coin and the tuck box to a metal coin and two part box, respectively.
You start with a Director in play and a hand of 5 Film Clips. Four cards are placed face up next to the Draw Pile to create the Auditioning Room. During your turn, you manage your Director's Budget by sliding the Admission Ticket along the budget track on the bottom of the Director Film Clip. This budget is used to play Film Clips from your hand or obtain new ones from the Draw Pile or Auditioning Room.The Wooden Nickel designates that you are the Active Player and is also used for optional coinflips on some Film Clips.
At the end of your turn, you will pass the Wooden Nickel to the left. You will also flip the Admission Ticket over to reveal the Trade side, signaling your ability to trade. While the new active player is taking her turn, you can barter away, trying to get cards from other players' hands that will benefit your movie while trading away ones you don't need. Once a trade is complete, all participants flip their Admission Ticket back over to the Ticket side. They can't trade again until the end of their next Active Player turn.
To wrap the movie, you need your Director, 3 Actors, 3 Characters, 1 Conflict, and 1 Resolution. You may also have up to 3 Bonus Film Clips as well as any Actions played on you by other players.
Once one player wraps, the final round is initiated and all other players get one more turn to finish their masterpiece. After that, you will arrange your Film Clips to make a filmstrip and will release the trailer by telling the story of your movie. Then, you pass your Admission Ticket to the film, other than your own, that you liked the best.
Final scoring is a combination of individual Film Clip scores, the film's genre, individual Film Clip bonuses, and Admission Tickets you collected.
The combination of strategy and storytelling engages a players who like either game style, and the movie theme draws on players' interests in actors, movies, and related topics. The side conversations, especially during trading, add to the game experience.
Below are the seven types of Film Clips along with one side of the Reference card and both faces of the Admission Ticket. These cards reflect the most current version of the art and design.
Game play video
After sitting and playing the game at Boston FIG, Jonathan and Andrew from Wicked Anime chat with Evan on his podcast, No Borders No Race. Producer is reviewed around minute 46:30.
- Listen here (you can skip ahead to minute 46:30)
Dan Riles is a father, husband, elementary school teacher, maker and a game designer. With all those hats and more, Dan is thankful to his extended community, including the Game Maker's Guild in Boston, for all the help and support over the last year and a half that it took to get Producer ready to publish. Also, he thinks Kris' art is the bee's knees!
Kristina Huffman works in creative services at the salesforce marketing cloud, enjoys board games, drawing, and rats. Kristina is a midwesterner living in Somerville, MA.
Risks and challenges
This is the first game I have pushed all the way to publication. Being new at this, I am trying to simplify the process as much as possible. I am not ready to tangle with international shipping, I am keeping the manufacturing straight forward, and I have built in what I hope is ample time to complete the project. I will certainly not start another project until this one is complete and all copies are out the door!
I am anticipating a small print run and have received quotes based on that assumption. I do not intend to print many more copies than are backed because I don't want to warehouse it or become a games salesman. If for some reason, thousands of people get excited about this movie-making card game, then I will have to learn to work in that scale--a problem that would be good to have.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)