Camp Nightmare is a co-op game for 1-6 players where everyone works together to survive and thrive on a camping trip where absolutely everything goes wrong. The idea for the game came from a camping trip I went on last fall that had a few minor disasters but ended up being a really good experience in the end. When I arrived home I felt I needed to build a game to reflect on both the good times and bad. Half an hour later the core of Camp Nightmare was done and I have spent the past year refining and perfecting it.
How the game works
On each player's turn they have two things to do. Firstly they take one Action to try to forward the group's goals. There are a variety of Actions including Gather Wood, Start a Fire, or playing a Gear card from hand. Then the player chooses which Disaster the group will deal with next. There are a huge variety of Disasters that must be handled from Downpours to Scary Shadows to Park Ranger visits. (Watch out for the sneaky Thieving Magpie) Everyone has to work together to cook food and gather wood during the day and then roast marshmallows and party all night to have lots of fun! You can see the complete rules Here.
The goal of the game is to both survive all the Disasters that show up and have as much Fun as possible in the interim. In the basic game most groups survive fairly easily and aim to have the highest Fun score they can, trying to beat their previous best record. However, for those who like to live on the edge (and occasionally die gruesome deaths in the wilderness) there is Starvation Mode where just making it to the end of the game alive is an accomplishment.
What I am trying to accomplish with Kickstarter
This Kickstarter isn't here to create the game - that part is done. I built the game and Nathan Nun created all the art for it so the creative work is almost entirely finished. What I am trying to arrange is a reasonably large scale production order so that lots of people can enjoy the game. My goal is to order 500 units produced (or more, if possible!) and then ship them all out to the people who support this Kickstarter. Because all of the work on my end is already done there is minimal risk because all I have to do is say go and wait for things to arrive.
Why support Camp Nightmare?
So why is this game worth supporting anyway? Several reasons! First off, it is simple to understand yet hard to play perfectly. The rules are easy enough that my nine year old daughter can play the game but my hard core gamer nerd friends still have good debates over what choices are best to maximize the group's chances for success. This makes Camp Nightmare ideal for a mixed group of gamers from beginners to the most hardcore of grognards. It has a short rulebook and anyone can pick up the flow of the game in just a few turns... but figuring out whether or not it is optimal to pick Freezing Cold or Downpour for your next Weather effect can be a tricky thing indeed.
Co-op game design
Co-op games often fall into two common design traps. The first trap is that they are extremely random, usually because they are marketed more for children than adults. Camp Nightmare is designed to have easy rules but deep strategic possibility so that playing it feels like a strategy game instead of just rolling dice. The second trap is a design that leads to one player telling everyone else what to do and playing their turn for them. In Camp Nightmare each player has their own cards in hand and the other players don't know what those are. This means that everyone has to work together rather than just following directions from the most experienced player (or just the loudest player, depending on your group.)
Flexible number of players
Camp Nightmare fills a niche for gamers who like to have game nights without knowing exactly who will show up. You can add or subtract players from the game in progress without significantly disrupting the game. If you have three players and Joe is coming soon but you don't know when, just get started! If Joe shows up ten turns in you just give him 2 Energy tokens, deal him 4 cards, and he can sit down and take turns just like anyone else. If Sarah has to leave early, she can just shuffle her cards into the deck, toss away her Energy tokens, and everyone else can continue. The remaining players will no doubt be a little sad at the loss of their comrade (kidnapped by vicious deer, presumably) but the game will carry on just fine. Camp Nightmare is a co-op game where you can just play with whoever is there at the time and have a fantastic time doing so.
I am located in Canada and so this Kickstarter is in Canadian funds. Because our dollar is worth considerably less than the US dollar you should take that into account if you are south of the border. This also explains why the shipping costs will probably seem high for US residents - it just costs more to ship up here than it does down south.
The game designer
I am Sky Roy. I blog about games, both ones I am playing and building at http://brightcapegamer.blogspot.ca/ I have built a number of board games, a roleplaying game, and done some modding on computer games. This is my first serious attempt at publication. I have been really excited to finally see a game of mine look and feel real as none of my previous efforts have come to the stage of having proper art, design, or publication. Here is a picture of the pieces when I first got them. It was nice to have them in my hands, but I definitely look forward to having copies I don't have to cut out myself!
Nathan Nun is the artist who created all the art for the game. He does all kinds of artistic and design work, which you can see more of at http://nathannun.ca/ , or at his etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/NathanNunArt
If you like the pictures in the game and want prints or something of that nature, feel free to contact Nathan about it on the website.
Risks and challenges
The challenges with this project are minimal. The work is done, the art is made, the game is built. Production is always going to take some time, but there isn't any great likelihood of real problems since I have quotes for production all ready to go.
The only real issue I might run into is delays in production timing, which would be annoying for sure, but the product is going to be exactly what I have presented here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)