Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 6, 2013.

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Build crazy machines with ridiculous words in a fast, easy card game where 47 different artists illustrated the cards!

Many thanks to all of the backers, artists and others that made Widget a success!!

Once this Kickstarter project ends, I will regularly update all backers using the Kickstarter site and Twitter:  @widgetthegame

If you are interested in my other games and projects, you can find out more information at Sources and Methods Games.  

You can also follow the progress on my next game on Twitter:  @TeamVikingr or @TeamCthulhu (your pick)!

Thanks again and see you in a few months (hopefully) with a new project!

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(NOTE:  If you are new to Kickstarter and don't understand about "stretch goals" yet or if you just want to know more about Widget first, you might want to skip this section for now and go to the section marked The Basics of Widget a little bit further down.)

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Gadgets that put scrunchies on squids? Good! Gizmos that shoot pickles at vampires? Better!!

That's the idea behind the first stretch goal for Widget - The All Star Monster Expansion Pack!  I intend to add new monster cards to everyone's basic Widget deck until the campaign runs out of time.  Let's take a look at the first few cards:

Loren Stump has drawn an amazing series of 26 dragons each in the shape of a letter.  I asked him to spell "Dragons" with dragons and now its the first card in the Expansion Pack!

Chinese artist Fu Cong was brave enough to tackle the mummies so now we have a whole bunch of them!

Not everyone knows who Cthulhu is but those who do tend to love the big lug!  That is why I turned to one of my favorite artists, Kris Brannock (who also drew "Monkeys"), to do justice to the ruler of R'lyeh (and well-known Widget aficionado). 

The wonderful Kotoria (who also did "Squash") happily agreed to add to the Monster Expansion Pack with her take on Vampires.

Zombies feeding the birds, zombies walking the dog, zombies brushing their teeth - all the things you don't normally get to see zombies do - only in Widget!

This exciting new addition to the Expansion Pack was drawn by Natalya P. (the artist that also drew scrunchies).  Not only does it demonstrate Natalya's extraordinary range, it is also the only known image of Mrs. C (captured, apparently, just as she was about to go shopping!).

Just in time for Easter!  Sort of a weird combination of HAL 9000, a Sith lord and a 1987 movie, Robo-bunny is not someone you would want to meet at your local Easter egg hunt!

So...an anime ghost sings a magic song while drinking from an empty teacup to her creepy but unimpressed friend while...look, you figure it out, you tell me!  I just know I like it!

What do Yetis do on their day off?  Now you know.  The happy but increasingly exhausted artists promise, promise, promise to color in the line art once the campaign is finished and they have a bit more time.

Another happy family just chillin' on their day (night?) off.  Not sure I want to know what is on that grill, though...  This is another bit of line art that gets colored in once the campaign is over.

AaaaaaaH!  Ninjas!  So you KNOW what is coming next!

I'm sure you saw THAT coming!

As a purist, this image bothered me.  Since when did Basilisks have wings?  Then I was enlightened - It really depends on which Bestiary you consult.  Lesson 1:  You learn something new every day.  Lesson 2:  It is such an elegant piece of art, I don't care; this is my new idea of "Basilisks".

"Trenti" is, apparently, Spanish for "Mischievous Elves".  Done by a Spanish artist, this card is, in my mind, simply wonderful.

This is a very special card for me.  It is drawn by Mark Chen, who is not only an old friend but is also a backer of this game.  I genuinely appreciate his help and I think this is as good a place as any to end Stretch Goal #1.

This card will not be included in any commercial version of the game.  It is only available through Kickstarter.  The card, when played in the game, will have a special benefit for the person who is lucky enough to draw and play it.

I have a confession to make.  

While I have been working on Widget, I have also been working on my next game as well.  It is very different:  An exciting, extraordinary and completely unexpected adventure crafted by some of the most creative people I know.  It brings together the talents of not only artists but also sculptors and storytellers as well.  

It is almost ready to launch.  

This card - the Vikings card - is a hint and stretch goal #3.  If we, by some miracle, hit this, every backer will get this card and ... I have another hint waiting.

If, in the highly unlikely case this project makes Stretch Goal #4 in the next 90 minutes, I will reveal all about my next project in an exclusive backer's only update.

All the images we have to date, all of the maps, all of the sculpted pieces, and all of what we know of the island and all of what we know of the story -- so far. 

 I will share it all.   

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The Basics Of Widget:

...with something like...


... that shoots ...

... at ...

... or puts ...

... on ...

... or balances ...

... on ...

... and then it gets really weird.

Hi!

My name is Kris Wheaton and I am the designer of the game, WidgetWidget is a fast, easy, card game that asks players to make crazy, silly, funny, weird, unusual or otherwise great sentences out of the words they have in their hands.  The person who creates the "best" sentence, as judged by the other players, wins.  

Cards that allow players to switch cards around along with other special rules add an element of strategy to the game, making it easy to learn but different and exciting every time you play.  I have carefully selected the words and the illustrations such that it makes Widget a family-friendly game that also works as a good party game for adults.

To make the game more fun, I asked 47 different artists to illustrate the cards in the game.  All I gave any of them was their word, such as "hamsters" or "cakes" or "a gadget", and then told them to have at it.  The art at the beginning of this section is just a small sample of what they came up with.  

While some of these artists are based in the US (such as the wonderful Kris Brannock and her amazing "Monkeys" and the enigmatic Kotoria and her, shall we say, "interesting", rendition of the word "Squash"), others come from all over the world including artists such as Richard Svensson from Sweden (Walruses), Theresa Cann from Canada (Squids) and Natalya P. from Turkey (Scrunchies).  Artists from as far away as the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Israel, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Argentina, and Nigeria all contributed to this game.

I need your support to get this game, with all its incredible art, made and into your hands.  Your money will go towards printing, packaging and mailing the game along with all the other rewards.  It will also go towards improving the game and adding more words and art to the final deck.

Widget went from 3 X 5 cards to printed out on cardstock to prototype pretty quickly.  The rules are easy but playtesting showed it to be as fun as it looks.  I had to tweak some of the mechanics to get the play balance right but...what?...excuse me?  Show you what it looks like?  Sure!  (Sorry!)  

Here is the big pile 'o cards with everything currently in the deck.  Nouns, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, subjects, objects, you name it -- we got it!

or for those of you want a more organized view...

Finally, a few close-ups!

Widget can be played with just 2 or 3 people but it works best when played with 4-6.  Players draw a hand and try to make the best sentence they can with the words they have.  Each turn players pass their cards to the left or right (the player with The Decider card gets to decide which direction) and draw to fill their hands.  Players can build on an existing sentence or make a new one.  Special cards like Verb Switch, Noun Switch or Switch Any allow players to steal other players' words to make their sentences better or other players' sentences worse.  Blank cards allow players to add new words to the game.  Each game takes about 15-20 minutes to play.

I tried to create a series of rewards that would match just about everyone's pocketbook and level of interest in Widget.  If you just want to play the game, I have reward levels for that.  If you want to be part of the process and have you or your child, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or pet idolized, exalted and adored by the 1000's of future players of Widget, I got that too.  If you just want to kick in some scratch to help get this project up and running, I even have reward levels for you.  Specifically:

Every single one of you who contributes to this project at any level gets our deepest thanks!  

Ahh!  You Wordsmithing Mechanics get to put your skills to use with a print-and-play version of the game.

Early birds get the full game of Widget at a discounted price!

This is full game of Widget for those who truly like to build things with words.  All hail the Poet Machinists!

Let's be honest.  My autograph on this version of the game will probably not make it a rare and valuable collectors item ... but the extra $5 WILL go a long way towards making Widget a reality. Your generosity and belief in the project is truly appreciated!

Master Essay Craftsmen (and women) need two Widgets (at a discount price) - one for themselves and one for a friend!

Polyglot Grease Monkeys have all the fun!  At this level you get to be the official sponsor of one of the words already in the Widget deck (see list below).  Let's say you want to sponsor "Squash".  Your name, your company's name, your kid's name, your pet's name, your significant other's name or any other name you choose will go on every "Squash" card in every deck of Widget printed as a result of this Kickstarter project.  You will also receive a full size digital version of the original "Squash" drawing that you can use as cool wallpaper for your monitor, post to your blog or just ogle in awe in the quiet comfort of your own home.

Unsatisfied with stock words and phrases, the Ink-slinging Gearhead wants to customize and this reward level allows you to do just that.  You pick the noun (nothing naughty, of course) and our stable of illustrators make it real.  You will also get a digital version of this one-of-a-kind drawing as well as everything else.

At this level, you are a Writer-maker Laureate and deserve to have your image immortalized!  The clever and nimble illustrators at my disposal will carefully exaggerate, cartoon-ize and exploit any and all of your features for the joy and wonder of future ages of Widget players.  You will get a digital copy of this drawing for your personal use as well as a copy of the game and all the other stuff.

Not only will we immortalize your visage, at this level, you get three copies of Widget so you can share the joy with others!

See the Widget; be the Widget.  As Doodad Lama, you don't need any more stuff but you live to help bring more stuff into existence.  It is hard to imagine that an act this generous would go unnoticed by the cosmos.  It sure as heck won't go unnoticed by me!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I have worked very hard to minimize the risks associated with this project. While this is the first game I have attempted to produce on my own, I have a good bit of experience working on other games.

Much of the work on Widget is already done and I have plans in place already to get the rest of it done once the campaign is over. I have already designed and playtested the game. It is fun and it works. I have acquired all the art for all of the nouns in the game and had a prototype printed (see picture above). I have adequate extra space in the deck, though, for all of the premium reward words should people chose those reward levels. I have made arrangements with a local printer who I know well and have done work with in the past to get the games printed, boxed and shipped in a reasonable time upon receipt of funding. I have set the funding level such that I can cover my costs.

I have tried to think of everything and, of course, I am certain something will change or something will not go as planned (It probably wouldn't be a Kickstarter project if everything just worked...). I do think, however, I have adequate resources and sufficient flexibility to take care of the challenges that will inevitably come along.

FAQ

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    9 backers

    TINKERING SCRIBBLER - Our thanks! + Access to Kickstarter only updates! You'll get to see and comment on the remaining cards as they become available, and be the first to see the finished product!

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    14 backers

    WORDSMITHING MECHANIC - Print and Play (PDF) Copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! You'll get to see and comment on the remaining cards as they become available, and be the first to see the finished product! + Our thanks!

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    EARLY BIRD POET MACHINIST - You get one copy of the printed, boxed, wrapped and shipped game Widget, at a special price for early backers! + Access to the Print and Play (PDF) copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks!

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    POET MACHINIST -- You get one copy of the printed, boxed, wrapped and shipped game Widget! + Access to a Print and Play (PDF) copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks!

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    POET MACHINIST CUM LAUDE - For kindly kicking in a little extra scratch to get this project up and running, you get one copy of the printed, boxed, wrapped, and shipped game, Widget, signed by the designer, Kris Wheaton! + Access to the Print and Play (PDF) copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks!

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    MASTER ESSAY CRAFTSMAN - You get TWO copies of the printed, boxed, wrapped and shipped game Widget! (One for yourself and one for a friend - signed by the designer if you request) + Access to a Print and Play (PDF) copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks!

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    8 backers Limited (2 left of 10)

    EARLY BIRD POLYGLOT GREASE MONKEY - Sponsor a word at a special price for early backers! 47 different artists drew the illustrations for Widget. At this level, you will become the official sponsor of one of the words and the art that goes along with it. In addition to receiving a signed copy of the game and access to a print and play version, your name will go on the card as the sponsor in the final version of the game + you will receive a digital version of the original artwork. + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks! Note: Once you pledge at this level, I will send you a list of available words and you can pick which one you want to sponsor. The list will be updated as words get sponsors -- first come, first served, though, so hurry!

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    9 backers Limited (28 left of 37)

    POLYGLOT GREASE MONKEY - Sponsor a word! 47 different artists drew the illustrations for Widget. At this level, you will become the official sponsor of one of the words and the art that goes along with it. In addition to receiving a signed copy of the game and access to a print and play version, your name will go on the card as the sponsor in the final version of the game + you will receive a digital version of the original artwork. + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks! Note: Once you pledge at this level, I will send you a list of available words and you can pick which one you want to sponsor. The list will be updated as words get sponsors -- first come, first served, though, so hurry!

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    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    INK-SLINGING GEARHEAD -- Pick a word, any word! You get to pick a noun that will be added to the game after it has been illustrated by one of the 47 artists who worked on Widget! Your word will be included in the final copy of the game and you will be recognized on that card as the official sponsor + You will get a digital copy of the drawing of your word + You get a copy of the printed, boxed, wrapped and shipped game Widget signed by the designer, Kris Wheaton! + Access to a Print and Play (PDF) copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks!

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    WRITER-MAKER LAUREATE - YOU are the word, YOU are the card! Our team of crack artists will turn a picture of you, a loved one, your dog, parakeet or other pet into a card for use in Widget. We will give you a name based on your real name or whatever name you choose. We will include this card in every darn copy of Widget! + You will get a digital copy of the drawing + You get a copy of the printed, boxed, wrapped and shipped game Widget signed by the designer, Kris Wheaton! + Access to a Print and Play (PDF) copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks!

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    WRITER-MAKER LAUREATE CUM LAUDE with a BULLET! - YOU are the word, YOU are the card! You own THREE copies of Widget for you, your friends and family! Our team of crack artists will turn a picture of you, a loved one, your dog, parakeet or other pet into a card for use in Widget. We will give you a name based on your real name or whatever name you choose. We will include this card in every darn copy of Widget! + You will get a digital copy of the drawing + You get THREE copies of the printed, boxed, wrapped and shipped game Widget signed by the designer, Kris Wheaton! (Heck, at this level, I will sign it twice if you want me to!) + Access to a Print and Play (PDF) copy of Widget + Access to Kickstarter only updates! + Our thanks!

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    DOODAD LAMA -- You are the warrior monk of both words and machines and, as such, are beyond worldly possessions. You do not "fix" things, you merely imagine a world in which they are not broken and such a world is summoned into existence. At this level you seek only to balance the forces of the universe and you see the game, Widget, as a just and humble tool to help accomplish this goal. Here, my friend (my dear, dear friend), you get nothing but karma -- lots and lots of karma. (Really. No kidding. You get a whole boatload of karma if you pledge at this level...) + Our thanks!

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