Niwa Niwa is a traditional-style board game inspired by Japanese culture and the game of Pai Sho as seen in the popular anime TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Gameplay is based on the ancient eastern practice of flower arranging as well as the 4-elements system of fire, water, earth, and wind. In other words, Niwa Niwa is a fun and unique strategy board game that I hope you will enjoy!
The purpose of this Kickstarter project is to raise enough money to get this game produced and ready for sale. Fairly straightforward. The money will be used to pay for things like production costs, shipping costs, processing fees, and artist commission. The company that will be making the game is Panda Game Manufacturing.
The Story of Niwa Niwa
The story of Niwa Niwa actually started a few years ago when I wanted to buy a Pai Sho set. It looked like a pretty neat game in Avatar, and I figured someone somewhere had surely turned it into a real game. Unfortunately Nickelodeon owned the rights, and had not yet turned it into a product that people could buy. Weird, right? But I did find that some people had gotten together and made their own Pai Sho sets, and even come up with ways you could play it.
Still, you couldn't buy it anywhere (legally). So I got the crazy idea that maybe I could make a game that was similar to Pai Sho, but that people could actually go online and purchase. I took that idea and played around with it for a while, and finally got to where I am now, ready to present Niwa Niwa to the public!
Some of you may be wondering why the game is called "Niwa Niwa." And if not, I'll tell you anyway. In Japanese, "niwa" can mean several things depending on the particular kanji used and the context it is used in. Niwa can mean "garden," it can mean "two of," and it can also mean "inside." So the saying "two birds in a garden" is translated as "庭には二羽鳥が居る" or "niwa niwa niwa tori ga iru." But since when does a board game have such a long title? Therefore, Niwa Niwa!
So what kind of game is Niwa Niwa, anyway?
Niwa Niwa is a two-player game for human beings who have been alive for at least 13 years. It plays similarly to the classic games of Chess and Go. A standard game takes anywhere from 15-45 minutes to play, depending on how familiar both players are with the game and how careful they are with their tiles. The estimated retail price immediately following the Kickstarter launch is $30 + shipping and handling, and sales are expected to take place online.
Each player begins the game with half of the tiles, which are color-coded (brown and blue) to indicate which player they belong to. Players take turns placing tiles on the board, and earn points by creating flower arrangements with their tiles. Bird and element tiles add an extra level of strategy to the game, allowing players to engage in all manner of shifts, blocks, captures, and other such board game rambunctiousness. Forming a chain of arrangements around the center in Niwa Niwa is a lot like capturing the Golden Snitch in Quidditch, ending the game and giving bonus points to whichever player accomplishes it.
I know, I know, flower arranging can seem kinda lame. But if a bunch of really cool old characters from Avatar can enjoy a board game centered around it, and even create a secret order based on the lotus flower, then surely you can too! Er, enjoy the board game, that is. Secret orders are totally optional.
Each Niwa Niwa set comes with the following:
- Niwa Niwa Game Board
- 1 Reference Card
- 12 Lotus Tiles
- 12 Lily Tiles
- 12 Cherry Blossom Tiles
- 12 Peony Tiles
- 12 Rose Tiles
- 12 Chrysanthemum Tiles
- 6 Fire Tiles
- 6 Wind Tiles
- 6 Water Tiles
- 6 Earth Tiles
- 6 Dove Tiles
- 6 Crow Tiles
All tiles will be 25 x 3 mm wooden cylinders. I wanted to make sure the pieces really had substance to them, and not just made out of cardboard. The board will be 1/4 fold 157gsm art paper with double sided matte pp lamination (approximately 20" x 20").
$30,000 - Yang on a Second
If we reach the stretch goal of $30,000 we will add 4 new tiles to every set of Niwa Niwa! They will be: Yin, Yang, Dragon, and Tiger.
$35,000 - King Kung Fu
If we reach $35,000 we will add yet another 4 tiles to every set of Niwa Niwa: Monkey, Crane, Snake, and Mantis.
Risks and challenges
My biggest concern at this point is that I might be missing a cost somewhere, or underestimated how expensive shipping might be. I've just never done something like this before.
To be safe, I have included a buffer in the Kickstarter project funding goal. So even if I did miss something, I should be able to cover any hidden costs and insure that all of the pledge rewards are covered.
The only other concern I might have is how long it takes to get everything ready to ship to you wonderful and amazing pledgers. I've set the date for July, and hope it is no later than August.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)