Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The Reunion is a storytelling card game that cuts right to the heart of everyone's most horrific family experiences.
The Reunion is a storytelling card game that cuts right to the heart of everyone's most horrific family experiences.
216 backers pledged $6,452 to help bring this project to life.

About

The Reunion: A Storytelling Card Game project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$6,452

216

The hordes are descending. A storm is brewing outside. Resources are scarce, and won’t last the night. Your allies would sell you out in a second to get the odds in their favor. With the situation grim, and getting more desperate by the hour... 

Can you survive a day with your family? 

The Reunion is a storytelling card game where up to four players try to endure a family gathering on the fast track from bad to worse. Every encounter piles on more stress: a firing line of awkward questions from guilt-tripping parents, monstrous cousins, and snobby in-laws. 

Meanwhile the kitchen’s on fire, dinner’s ruined, the house is a wreck—and is that a funnel cloud forming overhead? You can’t even get a moment to yourself without loudmouth toddlers, creepy twins, or angsty teens bursting in on you. In this maelstrom of guilt, grudges, and recrimination, it’s only a matter of time till everybody’s deepest, most uproarious secrets come spilling out.

Leo Tolstoy wrote that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. The Reunion is the game that proves him right.

UPDATE: Project funded!

Skip down for all our project data, or read on about our:

Thanks to everyone's tremendous support, we've met not just our initial goal of $1000, but also our stretch-goal tiers all the way up to $5000. Because of that, we'll now be able to test and include two additional gameplay modes: Co-op, for those who want to work together to survive The Reunion, and Cutthroat, for those who want to doom everyone else to maximum suffering and struggle.

We'll also be able to upgrade our manufacturing and material stock—making sure these cards (and Stress-o-Meters!) look as great as they play, and hold up to all the rough treatment that family can provide. We're prototyping a board for deluxe reunions, and also planning expansions to allow for bigger, more in-depth play and even crazier family situations!

Although of course we are hoping to get The Reunion into as many hands as possible, this Kickstarter is still the only way you can be sure to get a copy of the game for yourself—and, of course, copies for your friends, co-workers, loved ones, and anyone else who could use a bit of gleeful catharsis.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled project data (though see our updates for more images and mechanics):

Despite your better judgment, you’ve shown up at the reunion bright and early. You’re nobody’s fool: you’ve learned over the years how to cope with your family. This time, you think, this time, maybe it’ll be different. 

It won’t be.

Trauma
Trauma

Right away you’re getting grilled about your politics, your relationship, your job prospects, and every other sore point that your family is so good at exploiting. Each turn presents its own Trauma, while only some turns provide Coping Mechanisms to soften the blow.

Coping mechanisms
Coping mechanisms

Meanwhile, your family is mercilessly targeting your unique Characteristics. Depending on what personality traits you've been dealt, the wrong question at the wrong time could utterly destroy you. Relationship troubles? ("When are you going to find someone and settle down?") Job loss? ("Why don't you ask your sister, I'm sure she can find something for you at her company.") Secret lifestyle? ("What on earth is a fur con?") The only limits to the torment are the vagaries of fate and the depths of your imagination!

Characteristics
Characteristics
As the reunion progresses, your blood pressure rises steadily, your strategies for coping wear thin, and it's not even time for dinner yet—and, as you know from long experience, that’s when the stress really starts to pile up.
Status effects
Status effects

In The Reunion, a game that balances both luck and resource management, players try to moderate their blood pressure on individual ‘Stress-o-Meters’ by shielding themselves from Trauma cards with a dwindling supply of Coping Mechanism cards. It’s impossible to avoid stress entirely, but you can survive the day if you play your cards right—unless cruel fate rips them out of your hand.

And you and your friends will be there to narrate each hilariously awful event right up to the most horrific of all: trying to escape at the end of the night. The culmination of the game will find you all either in a group therapy session, or so deep into the humor of the game, you might just cry till you laugh.

Last one to psychic annihilation wins!

The team playtesting an early version of The Reunion at DHSI
The team playtesting an early version of The Reunion at DHSI
Without digging too deep into this family history, it all started in the far-flung reaches of British Columbia. A group of gamers (you know the type) descended upon the University of Victoria to attend a course called ‘Games for Digital Humanists,’ at the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute. The Games course was a scholastic excuse for creativity, mechanic development, and in this team's case, hilarious and cathartic storytelling.

Andrew, Greg, and Bronwen, brought together by suspiciously adjacent birthdays, survived the week by creating a game that would successfully entertain and offend everyone in equal measure. Guided by ghoulish instructors and egged on by maniacal classmates, the trio took mere days to conceive, design, and implement a basic outline for The Reunion. They drew inspiration largely from their own beloved families, but owe thanks to the other Gamers in their course and at the DHSI conference for sharing ideas and experiences as well.

The legendary #GamesDH cohort
The legendary #GamesDH cohort

Andrew Ferguson (Author/Designer) peaked as a toddler and has been sliding slowly downhill since. His skills include sleeping, snark, and conversing intelligently about books he hasn’t read. Personal Coping Mechanism: Booze

Greg Lord (Artist/Designer) masquerades by day as a designer, and at night reverts to his true persona: a person who long ago lost all grip on reality after years of forgetting to sleep. He can be most often be seen playing video games or, occasionally, rationalizing the playing of video games with the logic that this will (somehow) help him to (someday) make them. Personal Characteristic: Secret Lifestyle

Bronwen Hudson (Project Manager/Designer) usually runs screaming when you mention real life to her, but she’s calmed down enough to (temporarily) handle reality because she’s desperately passionate to see this game produced. Personal Coping Mechanism: Redirect Conversation

CONTACT:  We'd be thrilled to answer any questions here on the page or via our Gmail address, TheReunionGame@gmail.com. You’ll probably get an answer from Bronwen first (because she’s obsessive) but the whole group is available to answer questions and address concerns that you might come up with. Lay it on us!

You can also check out our website and find additional details about The Reunion at: 

www.reunionthegame.com

You can also follow the game developers Bronwen, Greg, and Andrew on Twitter at @bronwenharp, @gplord, and @epiktistes, and follow the game account at @reuniongame!

For additional information about the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (and how great it is) check out http://www.dhsi.org or tune in on Twitter (hashtag #DHSI2014, or #GamesDH for the games course specifically).

Video song credit: "I dunno" by grapes (CC-BY):http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/grapes/16626

We are hoping to raise $1000 to produce a few prototype decks, and to convene the team (and some guinea pigs) for in-depth playtesting later this summer. Every cent we raise will be going toward making Reunion the best and most dysfunctional game it can be!

UPDATE: Goal met! See more about our plans and stretch goals above.

Funding Rewards

So what are we offering, then? Glad you asked! You can check out the tiers to the right, but in short, $10 will get you a print-and-play version of the finalized game, and $25 a printed version including extra goodies (add $5 for international shipping). We’re also offering original game artwork, as well as custom designs and perhaps other bonuses to follow—and, of course, our undying gratitude!

Pledge $1 or more:

Thanks for the support! We appreciate it, and personally promise never to gossip about you at our own family gatherings, no matter how much we might want to.

Pledge $5 or more:

Hi Everybody! Our gratitude to you will be expressed by printing a name and short message of your choice on our game’s site in perpetuity. You can even use that space to come clean before the world!

[Ships anywhere in the world; Expected Delivery Date: December 2014]

Pledge $10 or more:

Printing Player! You will receive a high-resolution file, suitable for printing, containing the finalized version of every card in the Reunion deck, as well as an instruction booklet telling you what you can go do with them!

[Ships anywhere in the world; Expected Delivery Date: December 2014]

Pledge $15 or more:

Option One: Button It! You will receive the print-and-play file, and also a pair of buttons proudly displaying your preferred Characteristics, Coping Mechanisms, or any other game icons to the world. Finally, a simple way to declare your relationship problems, or your love for booze! (When the project is funded you will receive an email asking you to specify which icons you would like on the buttons.) [Ships anywhere in the world for FREE! Expected Delivery Date: December 2014]

Option Two: Thanks, Really! You will receive the print-and-play file, and also a personalized thank-you note from our project manager, Bronwen. (Yes, sent through the actual mail. Bronwen is a Winner of the Gratitude Council's Lifetime Achievement Award in the Category of Thank-you Notes.) [Ships anywhere in the world for FREE; Expected Delivery Date: December 2014]

Pledge $20 or more:

Thanks, Button! You will receive the print-and-play file, a handwritten thank-you note, and your choice of buttons—almost enough to fill in for the affection of your blood relatives!

[Ships anywhere in the world for FREE! Expected Delivery Date: December 2014]

Pledge $25 or more:

Decked Out! You will receive everything from Thanks, Button, plus your very own physical copy of the game: 144 cards and a rule booklet, and probably even a box to put them in! Also, we will print your name in the rule booklet, because while our love may be for sale, it’s nonetheless everlasting. Shipped to you for FREE anywhere in the USA and for only $5 extra worldwide!

[Free US shipping; $5 elsewhere; Expected Delivery Date: March 2015]

Pledge $50 or more:

Piece of the Pie [Limit 100!]! You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus a signed, numbered original card from the deck lovingly crafted by our designer, Greg. Like the family buffet line, it’s first come, first serve.

[Free US shipping; $5 elsewhere] [Expected Delivery Date: March 2015]

Pledge $75 or more:

Helping Hand! [Limit 24!] You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus an original card made by our designer, Greg, to your specifications. Slip it into the deck to cause havoc among your friends, or just to undo all our careful balancing work!

[Free US shipping; $5 elsewhere; Expected Delivery Date: March 2015]

Pledge $100 or more:

Option One: Family Style [limit 12]! You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus a signed, numbered original card from the deck, plus a new and wholly unique card made by our designer, Greg, to your specifications. While this does not include the right to make up rules on the fly, no one’s stopping you from doing so. Certainly not us. [Free US shipping; $5 elsewhere; Expected Delivery Date: March 2015]

Option Two: One of Us [Limit 4]! You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus the chance to have your opinions considered and probably ignored by the designers of The Reunion. After sending you a print-and-play prototype of the game for you to try out with up to three friends (or, if you're really bold, family members), the three of us will hold a Skype chat with you to get your feedback on the game. If you're near the DC area, you'll also be invited to our playtesting sessions in August (exact dates TBD). Banana bread will also be served. [Free US shipping; $5 elsewhere] [Expected Delivery Date: August 2014]

Pledge $150 or more:

Favorite Child [Limit 2]! You will receive everything from Family Style, plus the One of Us bonus: the chance to have your opinions considered and possibly ignored by the designers of The Reunion. After sending you a print-and-play prototype of the game for you to try out with up to three friends (or, if you're really bold, family members), the three of us will hold a Skype chat with you to get your feedback on the game. If you're near the DC area, you'll also be invited to our playtesting sessions in August (exact dates TBD). Banana bread remains in effect.

[Free US shipping; $5 elsewhere; Expected Delivery Date: March 2015]

Pledge $500 or more: 

“What are you, made of money?” [Limit 2]! Do you have a building named after you somewhere? Thank you so much! For this massive contribution you get everything from Family Style, plus Producer credit in the instruction manual, plus an extremely limited edition handmade Reunion game board, as well as a complimentary copy of any future expansion packs!! Also, the designers will carefully consider* your personal suggestions for the names of their firstborn children.

(*And reject. We have enough family drama already.)

[Free US shipping; $5 elsewhere; Expected Delivery Date: March 2015]

Risks and challenges

All of us love games. We mean really love games, enough to cross a continent in order to take a summer school class about games. And we’re pouring all of that love (mixed with equal parts nightmare fuel) into The Reunion. The main challenge we face is making sure that this results in a game that isn’t just a curiously cathartic novelty, but one people will eagerly return to, even knowing the horrors lurking within. This is why we’re focusing on prototyping, balancing, and playtesting—while we’d love to be a smash success, what we’d love even more is to build a community of gamers who love games like we do and want to help us make The Reunion the best little psychic hand grenade it can be.

That’s also why we’ve set the goal fairly low, with room to grow. This minimizes risk, as between the three of us we have years of experience in designing, shipping, and retailing products. Our labor costs are virtually nil, and everything short of the stretch goals and high-level bonuses will be manufactured in-house.

Join us! Together, we can survive The Reunion one more time.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thanks for the support! We appreciate it, and personally promise never to gossip about you at our own family gatherings, no matter how much we might want to.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Hi Everybody! Our gratitude to you will be expressed by printing a name and short message of your choice on our game’s site in perpetuity. You can even use that space to come clean before the world!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Printing Player! You will receive a high-resolution file, suitable for printing, containing the finalized version of every card in the Reunion deck, as well as an instruction booklet telling you what you can go do with them!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    15 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 $15 or more About $15

    Thanks, Really! $15+ OPTION TWO: You will receive the print-and-play file, and also a personalized thank-you note from our project manager, Bronwen. (Yes, sent through the actual mail. Bronwen is a Winner of the Gratitude Council's Lifetime Achievement Award in the Category of Thank-you Notes.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Button It! $15+ OPTION ONE: You will receive the print-and-play file, and also a pair of buttons proudly displaying your preferred Characteristics, Coping Mechanisms, or any other game icons to the world. Finally, a simple way to declare your relationship problems, or your love for booze! (When the project is funded you will receive an email asking you to specify which icons you would like on the buttons.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Thanks, Button! You will receive the print-and-play file, a handwritten thank-you note, and your choice of buttons—almost enough to fill in for the affection of your blood relatives!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Decked Out! You will receive everything from Thanks, Button, plus your very own physical copy of the game: 144 cards and a rule booklet, and probably even a box to put them in! Also, we will print your name in the rule booklet, because while our love may be for sale, it’s nonetheless everlasting. Shipped to you for FREE anywhere in the USA and for only $5 extra worldwide!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    176 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Double Decker! You’ll receive everything from Decked Out, plus a whole ’nother deck—that way you can keep one pristine, or maybe even give it to that one person in your family (you know the one) as a not-so-subtle hint! Shipped to you for FREE anywhere in the USA and for only $5 extra worldwide!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Piece of the Pie! You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus a signed, numbered original card from the deck lovingly crafted by our designer, Greg. Like the family buffet line, it’s first come, first serve.
    Shipped to you for FREE anywhere in the USA and for only $5 extra worldwide!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Helping Hand! You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus an original card made by our designer, Greg, to your specifications. Slip it into the deck to cause havoc among your friends, or just to undo all our careful balancing work!
    Shipped to you for FREE anywhere in the USA and for only $5 extra worldwide!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    $100+ OPTION ONE: Family Style! You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus a signed, numbered original card from the deck, plus a new and wholly unique card made by our designer, Greg, to your specifications. While this does not include the right to make up rules on the fly, no one’s stopping you from doing so. Certainly not us.
    Shipped to you for FREE anywhere in the USA and for only $5 extra worldwide!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    $100+ OPTION TWO: One of Us! You will receive everything from Decked Out, plus the chance to have your opinions considered and probably ignored by the designers of The Reunion. After sending you a print-and-play prototype of the game for you to try out with up to three friends (or, if you're really bold, family members), the three of us will hold a Skype chat with you to get your feedback on the game. If you're near the DC area, you'll also be invited to our playtesting sessions in early September (exact dates TBD). Banana bread will also be served.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Favorite Child! You will receive everything from Family Style, plus the One of Us bonus: the chance to have your opinions considered and possibly ignored by the designers of The Reunion. After sending you a print-and-play prototype of the game for you to try out with up to three friends (or, if you're really bold, family members), the three of us will hold a Skype chat with you to get your feedback on the game. If you're near the DC area, you'll also be invited to our playtesting sessions in August (exact dates TBD). Banana bread remains in effect.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    “What are you, made of money?” Do you have a building named after you somewhere? Thank you so much! For this massive contribution you get everything from Family Style, plus Producer credit in the instruction manual, plus an extremely limited edition handmade Reunion game board, as well as a complimentary copy of any future expansion packs!! Also, the designers will carefully consider* your personal suggestions for the names of their firstborn children.
    (*And reject. We have enough family drama already.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (29 days)