Stumped: A Deck-building Game with Buildable Wooden Trees project video thumbnail
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$25,651 pledged of $10,000 goal
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By Outside In Games
$25,651 pledged of $10,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

Stumped adds a huge twist to the traditional deck-building game: buildable miniature wooden trees. Your objective is simple: successfully grow a 10 leaf tree before your opponents do. But actually doing this can get a bit tricky, with a huge variety of 165 different cards, ranging from some downright nasty attack cards, to more growth-focused and defensive cards (scroll down to see all of them). Every game has a fresh set of challenges, opportunities, and strategies. You might try and truncate your trainee's tree, or you might just end up Stumped. 

For 2-4 players (5-8 with two copies). 30-60 minutes. Ages 12+.

 

 

  

 

 ***Scroll down for stretch goals #1-4! #1 and #2 are already unlocked!***

Combining the elegance of deck-building with buildable miniature wooden trees, Stumped is more than just a hybrid. It’s a plant-punting, stump-stomping, frondescent brawl!

Stumped takes the traditional deck-building style a step further. We’ve forgone the all-card approach for something completely original: miniature wooden trees made of actual wood, adding some tangible charm to the good ol’ deck-building style that we all know and love.

Your task is simple: turn your pile of dirt into a 10 leaf tree before your neighbors do. But be careful where you roll your wheelbarrow! It’s hard to avoid making enemies, and easy to to lose friends. Each new game will present a unique challenge as you try to find the perfect balance between hedging up your own tree and destroying your neighbors'. Do you invest your resources in a protective garden fence? Or should you be that guy, take a match to your buddy's tree, and hope for the best?

Only you can decide…

For 2-4 players (5-8 with two copies). 30-60 minutes. Ages 12+.

 

  • 4 Miniature Tree Bases
  • 4 MiniatureTree Trunks
  • 16 Miniature Tree Branches
  • 48 Miniature Tree Leaves - 12 Green, 12 Pink, 12 Yellow, and 12 Orange
  • 8 Miniature Fruit Pieces
  • 75 Basic Resource Cards - 25 dirt cards - 25 water cards - 25 sun cards 
  • 70 Action Cards - 35 action cards X 2 
  • 20 Energy Cards - 10 Fancy Fertilizer Cards - 10 Impressive Irrigation Cards 
  • 1 Rulebook

How it Works

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A game in progress.
A game in progress.

Stumped has a unique set of mechanics. We've been playing board games our whole life, and feel that it's safe to say that there's no game like this one. Although it shares some similarities with other deck-building games, incorporating miniature trees into our game has allowed us (and well...forced us) to come up with a unique system of resource allocation, card purchasing, attack, defense, and scoring.

So here's how a typical game of Stumped goes:

Each player starts with a hand of 5 dirt cards. With that hand, players purchase cards from an open (and random market) consisting of 42 unique offensive, defensive, and growth-focused cards. As with any deck-building game, these cards are continuously recycled once they're part of your deck. From there, it's all about finding the easiest path to a 10 leaf tree (at which point, you win). You can either try to sprint to the finish by focusing on growth, go the slow and steady route with a more defensive strategy, have a go at your buddy's plant with some nasty (and amusing) offensive cards, or put them all together! But be careful. There are a lot of great strategies out there, but your ability to adjust to each game's unique environment that'll really give you the edge over your opponents.

 

 

 

 

 

A picture of all 165 cards that come in every copy of Stumped! These range from some downright nasty attack cards to defensive, and growth focused cards. There's plenty of variety!
A picture of all 165 cards that come in every copy of Stumped! These range from some downright nasty attack cards to defensive, and growth focused cards. There's plenty of variety!

 

As with any deck-building game, the cards are the backbone. Stumped has a LOT of cards. 165 to be exact. As fun as the trees are, its the countless combinations and combos brought about by the cards that really make Stumped what it is. Believe it or not, we spent significantly more time testing the cards than we did the trees, in efforts to ensure that they were as 100% balanced as humanly possible.

In essence, your decisions regarding which cards to buy, and how to use them will shape the growth of your own tree, and inevitably, everyone else's too. And with 42 completely unique cards appearing randomly in the open market, each new game is completely different.

Basic Resource Cards x75 (Draft)

The basic resources have a double function. They can be used either to buy cards from the market or grow your tree.
The basic resources have a double function. They can be used either to buy cards from the market or grow your tree.

In order to accommodate our miniature trees, we've come up with a dual-function basic resource system. In short, our our basic resource cards: Sun, Water, and Dirt serve two important functions:

  • 1) Buy cards. Sun, Dirt, and Water serve as the basic monetary system of Stumped, and can be used to purchase a wide variety of market cards, ranging from defensive cards (e.g. Garden fence, Potting, etc.), to more growth focused cards (e.g. Plant-roids, Water Silo, etc.), and finally, to some downright nasty (but OH SO amusing!) attack cards (e.g. Plant Punt, Bugs, Arsony, etc.). 
  • 2) Grow your plant. Just like in real life, Sun, Dirt, and Water cards can be used to grow your tree. In order to do so, these are played Tetris style (see image below) next to the base of the tree and turned in as sets each turn.

Energy Cards x20 (Draft)

The energy cards give more spending power, which translates to more powerful cards in your deck.
The energy cards give more spending power, which translates to more powerful cards in your deck.

Action Cards x70 (Draft) 

 

Once unlocked, these will be included in every backer's copy of Stumped. Here are the first two:  

We flew past $15,000 much quicker than we had been expecting, so we've decided to throw in the Thunderstorm card (x2) for all of our backers! This is a fun little card that doubles as a growth-focused card and an attack card. Enjoy!

We're doing our second stretch goal a bit differently. We're letting YOU decide what Ma' Hen (x2) should do, and including it in the game! We love the idea of our backers being able to actively participate in the creation process of Stumped. We've already received dozens of great and creative ideas from you, but now we're putting you to the true test! Please either message us or comment with your idea about what this card should do. After we hit $25,000 we'll announce the winning idea, and unlock this stretch goal to all of our backers!

With any deck-building game, we know that being able to set up, clean up, and just keep everything in it's own little place is really important. For Stretch goal #3, we've decided to fully customize our box with dividers that keep the trees and cards organized and separate.

The most frequently requested stretch goal from our backers is a linen finish. We've been working out the numbers (thank you again for your patience), and have decided that at the $30,000 mark we'll have the budget for a full card upgrade, including an upgraded linen finish, and standardized size on all 165 cards.  

 

We're not the biggest fans of complicated reward levels or expensive add-ons. Since our backers are the ones that are really going to bring Stumped to life, we're proud to give you the best price Stumped will ever go for. Our reward levels are straightforward:

$1 - $9 Your name engraved on our hearts. Thank you!

$10 An emailed PDF file of Stumped, including 2D trees, cards, and rulebook.

$30 One copy of Stumped

$58 Two copies of Stumped

*If you would like to purchase more than two copies of the game, please message us so that we can give you a bulk discount.

Thank you!

Stumped is a heavy game, weighing in around 2 pounds (thanks to all of the wooden parts). We've been looking into different shipping options for months, and are pleased to be able to offer worldwide shipping for just $10 per copy of Stumped. U.S. shipping is $8. If you're ordering 3 or more copies of the game, please contact us so that we can reduce your shipping costs accordingly. 

 

"Stumped is such an inventive game! The strategy this game requires keeps you on your toes, while the unique concept keeps you interested the whole way through. You'll love doing whatever it takes to make sure your tree reaches its full potential. I highly recommend this game!"-Sarah

"Stumped is a top quality game. The beautiful art, interactive gameplay, and original design has created a game that is a glorious mix of entertainment and art."-Jacob

"Stumped great for game lovers and game newbies. It's simple, fun, and easy to learn, but also challenging enough to keep the competitive spirit alive. Building a tree is a whole new dynamic that isn't found in other board games. I think that Stumped has found a great balance between challenge and fun. This is my new favorite game!"-Tanner

"Stumped is the perfect game for me because it balances the fun aspects of both a strategy game and a party game. It gets you thinking about what approach to take to win the game, but there are also unpredictable moments- like when someone tries to use Plant Punt on you! If you're lucky and have the Eye For An Eye card, you can punt their plant right back! The cards are all so unique and the variety makes the game so much fun. You can also choose whether you want to take a more luck based path to winning or a more stable path to victory, based on which cards you purchase from the market. The game can be completely different every time you play, so it keeps you on your toes!"-Erica

"This is a super fun game that we got to try with our friends. It is the perfect blend of strategy, luck, and competition. Definitely a game we'd want in our home."-Wes and Micaela 

"I'm not much of a gamer, but of all the games I've played, Stumped is a good balance of fun, strategy, and luck. The pieces and cards are perfect!"-Nataly

"Stumped is a chop of ingenuity and creativity. It required strategy and offers so many ways to win, which makes every new round exciting and fun! It's a "log" of fun!"-Sean

"Stumped is unprecedented!"-Seth

"What I like about Stumped is that it is simple and fast paced, but it has the same kind of strategy as a more complex or longer game. It is simple enough to learn easily and start playing quickly and complex enough to keep playing with a variety of strategies and outcomes."-Danica

"I like Stumped better than Dominion. It's shorter and more fast-paced."-Ashley 

"I'm a big fan of my own game."-Nathan

 

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Winning Stumped is simple: turn your pile of dirt into a 10 leaf tree before your neighbors do. Actually getting there can be a bit tricky, as each game presents a new dynamic with multiple roads to victory and obstacles that depend heavily on your opponents' strategy.

That being said, the mechanics of Stumped are fairly straightforward, regardless of whether or not you're familiar with deck-building. 

Mechanics

Stumped has a unique set of mechanics. We've been playing board games our whole life, and feel that it's safe to say that there's no game like this one. Although it shares some similarities with other deck-building games, incorporating miniature trees into our game has allowed us to come up with a unique system of resource allocation, card purchasing, attack, defense, and scoring.

So here's how a typical game of Stumped goes:

Each player starts with a hand of 5 dirt cards. With that hand, players purchase cards from an open (and random market) consisting of 42 unique offensive, defensive, and growth-focused cards. As with any deck-building game, these cards are continuously recycled once they're part of your deck. From there, it's all about finding the easiest path to a 10 leaf tree (at which point, you win). You can either try to sprint to the finish by focusing on growth, go the slow and steady route with a more defensive strategy, have a go at your buddy's plant with some nasty (and amusing) offensive cards, or put them all together! But be careful. There are a lot of great strategies out there, but your ability to adjust to each game's unique environment that'll really give you the edge over your opponents.

Setup

The typical setup of Stumped
The typical setup of Stumped

Each player begins the game with an identical hand of cards (5 dirt cards). Give these starting cards to each player. Also give each player 1 Tree Base, 1 Tree Trunk, 4 Tree Branches, 10 Leaves, and 2 Fruit Pieces. 

Shuffle the 70 action cards and place them face down in the middle of the table. (Optional: Feel free to remove any sets of 2 action cards that don’t mesh well with your group’s play style). Draw the top 8 cards and lay them face-up in 2 rows of 4 next to this deck. These 8 face-up cards form the market.  

Place the 25 Water cards, 25 Sun cards, and remaining Dirt cards each in their own deck above the market.  

Finally, place the 10 Fancy Fertilizer Cards, and 10 Impressive Irrigation Cards face-up in their own deck above the Water, Sun, and Dirt Cards.

Turn Breakdown

Each players' turn consists of 4 simple phases: Growth, action, market, and renewal.

1. Growth Phase

During the growth phase, players check their roots to see if they have any complete sets in them (1 Sun, 1 Dirt, and 1 Water card). If they do, they immediately move that set from their roots to their discard pile and get +2 growth for their plant. There is no limit to the number of sets that can be discarded in this way on a given turn. Also, players must discard each complete set that they have. Players then immediately use the growth to grow their plants in any combination with the following options:

  • 1 Growth = 1 trunk, 1 branch, or 1 leaf 
  • 2 Growth = 1 fruit

On the first turn of each game the growth phase does not apply because no one has played cards in their roots yet. It is, however, important to start each turn with this phase in later parts of the game.

Important: Players must grow the trunk first, and then at least 1 branch before you can grow leaves and fruit. Fruit must be placed on the end of a branch and leaves in 1 of the 3 side holes in the branch. You are also allowed to grow branches from existing branches using the side or end holes.

Note: A maximum of 2 fruit can be purchased in the basic game. Each fruit on a player’s tree increases their hand limit by 1. (e.g. A player with 2 fruit on their tree would draw 7 cards during the Renewal phase rather than 5).  

2. Action Phase

Every card in Stumped follows this format.
Every card in Stumped follows this format.

During this phase, players may play up to 3 action cards, performing the action listed on the cards. Players may also play any number of basic resource cards from their hand into their roots. When players play basic resource cards into their roots they will make stacks below their tree as shown. Each stack will hold 1 type of resource. Basic resource cards that are played in the roots will stay there until a complete set is formed and they have a growth phase on the following turn (See growth phase). In addition, players may play any number of energy cards. 

Note: Basic resource cards can be played either in the roots, or as an energy card.

Example Action Phase: Let’s say that I have 4 dirt cards, and 1 impressive irrigation card in my hand on a turn. I could play 2 dirt in my roots (as basic resource cards), and play 2 dirt and the impressive irrigation card as energy cards. This would give me +4 Energy during the market phase and I would be closer to growing my plant by placing basic resources in my roots. Notice that I did not use any action cards.

3. Market Phase

During this phase, players calculate the amount of energy gained from energy cards or action cards during the Action Phase this turn and can use this energy to buy up to 2 cards which they must then place in their discard pile. Cards can be bought from the market deck or from the other face-up piles in the middle play area. Card costs are found in the bottom-right corner of each card. After a card is bought from the market, a new card is immediately drawn from the market deck to replace it. 

Occasionally the market deck may run out through the use of the “Flash Flood” card or other cards. If this happens simply shuffle the discarded market cards and form a new deck. 

Note: Energy does not accumulate from turn to turn. All unused energy is lost at the end of the market phase.

4. Renewal Phase

Players discard their hand, and all cards played in the play area except those played in the roots. After discarding, the player’s turn is over and they draw 5 new cards for their next turn (or 6-7 with fruit). If a player does not have enough cards in their deck to draw up to 5 cards, they draw what remains of the deck and then shuffle their discard pile to make a new deck.

Game End

First player to 10 leaves wins! 

Important Terminology

  • Basic Resources: Basic resources are the Sun, Dirt, and Water cards.  
  • Energy Cards: Energy cards are the Fancy Fertilizer, and Impressive Irrigation cards. Basic resources can also be played as Energy cards, but are not referred to as such. 
  • Action Cards: All cards other than those 2 types listed above.
  • Roots: An area in which players will play basic resource cards during their turn to later grow their tree. This area is directly underneath where each player sets up their plant base. 
  • Plant Segments: Fruit, leaves, branches, and the trunk are all plant segments. 
  • Mulch: When a card is “mulched” it is removed from the game.

Rulebook (1st Draft - Text Only):

The best ideas happen in the shower. The original inspiration for Stumped was no exception. That being said, it's been a long LONG road from start to finish, involving more twists and turns that we ever expected.

Stumped actually began as a ridiculous idea called Plant Punt, involving some sort of buildable (and puntable) plant that players had to try to grow in order to win. This is about as far as we got: 

What started as a joke became an actual prototype over the next couple of months. We spent several months trying to come up with a practical design for the trees. Our ideas ranged from small connectable discs to more elaborate models. After a lot of deliberation, we settled on some simple, yet beautiful wooden tree miniatures, and developed a prototype including seven of them.

From there, we began messing around with different mechanics that would allow you to both grow your tree from the ground up and also punt other peoples' trees into oblivion. 

This was a fun idea. After all, it's pretty satisfying to kick your buddy's masterpiece tree into a wall, or another room for that matter. But after playing around with several different mechanics, we started to envision something a bit more sophisticated than just punting plants.

Among the several mechanics that we tried, we ended up falling in love with the idea of basic resources (sun, dirt, and water) that not would not only allow you to grow your plant, but that could also be used as the basic monetary system:

After months of play testing, we decided that the mechanics of our game were more important to us than our original premise of punting plants. Notice though, that we couldn't bear to let go of the idea completely. We've just made Plant Punt one of the action cards rather than the game itself! 

Plant Punt also happens to be one of the most devastating attack cards in the game.
Plant Punt also happens to be one of the most devastating attack cards in the game.

 Over the ensuing year, we kept the potential name on the back burner, and focused much more heavily on play testing. As anyone who's gone through this process can attest, this is a long and frustrating process. Finding an adequate way to allow for powerful offensive cards without making them overpowered was particularly difficult. It took us a countless amount of deliberating, play testing, soul searching, head scratching, etc., etc., etc. before we felt ready to move onto the next stage.

Once our game was balanced, it was time to move forward with the name and the artwork. From a list of 50 or so names, we finally settled on Stumped (couldn't resist the double meaning). 

Our first shot at artwork was pretty experimental: 

Brainstorm sketches for the box cover.
Brainstorm sketches for the box cover.

 

More brainstorming...
More brainstorming...

Eventually though, our ideas started to come together more quickly.

Concept Art for Box Cover
Concept Art for Box Cover

 As the months rolled on, we began beta testing while our artist worked his magic. We spent countless hours ensuring that the cards were balanced. Things really started to come together at this point. Balanced mechanics, beautiful wooden trees, finalized artwork for the box cover, reasonable quotes from several factories, and everything else we needed to get this show on the road. 

And that's how it happened!

Final Proofs of Artwork
Final Proofs of Artwork

 

Final Box
Final Box

 

Final design of miniature trees. Each copy of Stumped comes with these four miniatures.
Final design of miniature trees. Each copy of Stumped comes with these four miniatures.

 

 

We chose Kickstarter because it's the only way we'll be able to share our baby with the masses. We don't hope or expect to get rich from Stumped, but we do hope to share an awesome and innovative game with as many people as possible! 

We really just want the world to have as much fun playing Stumped as we have!

 

 

Risks and challenges

We have already received final quotes from our factories, and they are lined up and ready to begin production as soon as we receive the funds. We're extremely grateful for our backers, and we realize that they're trusting us to do what we say. We're 100% committed to do just that...doing what we say. We've done everything in our power to mitigate any unforeseen risks. We'll do everything in our power to deliver on time to each and every backer. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions.

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    Print & Play Version of Stumped

    PDF file of Stumped ready for printing

    Each print-and-play edition includes:
    PDF of 2D Trees
    PDF for all 165 Cards + all stretch goal cards
    PDF of 1 rulebook

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    Stumped

    One copy of Stumped

    Game includes:
    4 Miniature Tree Bases (Wood)
    4 MiniatureTree Trunks (Wood)
    16 Miniature Tree Branches (Wood)
    48 Miniature Tree Leaves - 4 Colors (Wood)
    8 Miniature Fruit Pieces (Wood)
    75 Basic Resource Cards
    70 Action Cards
    20 Energy Cards
    1 Rulebook
    1 Game Box

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    Stumped x2

    Two copies of Stumped

    Game includes:
    4 Miniature Tree Bases (Wood)
    4 MiniatureTree Trunks (Wood)
    16 Miniature Tree Branches (Wood)
    48 Miniature Tree Leaves - 4 Colors (Wood)
    8 Miniature Fruit Pieces (Wood)
    75 Basic Resource Cards
    70 Action Cards
    20 Energy Cards
    1 Rulebook
    1 Game Box

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    Stumped (Early Bird Special)

    1 copy of Stumped

    Game includes:
    4 Miniature Tree Bases (Wood)
    4 MiniatureTree Trunks (Wood)
    16 Miniature Tree Branches (Wood)
    48 Miniature Tree Leaves - 4 Colors (Wood)
    8 Miniature Fruit Pieces (Wood)
    75 Basic Resource Cards
    70 Action Cards
    20 Energy Cards
    1 Rulebook
    1 Game Box

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    Stumped x2 (Early Bird)

    Two copies of Stumped

    Game includes:
    4 Miniature Tree Bases (Wood)
    4 MiniatureTree Trunks (Wood)
    16 Miniature Tree Branches (Wood)
    48 Miniature Tree Leaves - 4 Colors (Wood)
    8 Miniature Fruit Pieces (Wood)
    75 Basic Resource Cards
    70 Action Cards
    20 Energy Cards
    1 Rulebook
    1 Game Box

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