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Clades & Clades: Prehistoric are animal-matching games about evolutionary descent, ages 6 to adult, from the Grandmother Fish team
Clades & Clades: Prehistoric are animal-matching games about evolutionary descent, ages 6 to adult. Good fun and good science. Preorder here.
Clades & Clades: Prehistoric are animal-matching games about evolutionary descent, ages 6 to adult. Good fun and good science. Preorder here.
805 backers pledged $29,538 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Clades, the Evolutionary Card Game

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Thanks, everyone, for another successful Kickstarter. Next year, we’ll publish Clades and Clades: Prehistoric. Karen and I are gratified that once again we could come to Kickstarter and find the support we needed to pursue our vision. We love bringing evolution science to children and grownups.

If you’d like to learn more about Clades, Clades: Prehistoric, and Grandmother Fish, please follow us on social media.

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When we are ready to take pre-orders for Clades and Clades: Prehistoric, we will put that information on our website here. You can order Grandmother Fish here. Thanks for your interest in evolution science for children.

 

When I was doing research for Grandmother Fish, I learned all about clades. A clade is a complete branch of the evolutionary family tree. That means it’s an ancestral population and every population that descended from it, with no other populations included. Scientists used to classify animals according to their characteristics. Birds were in a separate class from reptiles. Now scientists classify animals according to their evolutionary descent, that is, what clades they are in. Birds, it turns out, are descended from prehistoric reptiles. Reptiles and birds together form a clade called Sauropsida (“lizard faces”).

The order Carnivora is a clade.
The order Carnivora is a clade.

 

The group “monkeys” is not a clade because it is not one complete branch.
The group “monkeys” is not a clade because it is not one complete branch.

 

Players try to spot matches of three cards among the cards that are face-up on the table. Each player also has a personal card that only they can use to make a match. You collect the cards that you match, and whoever has the most cards collected at the end of the game is the winner. You earn extra cards if your match is a “clade match”, such as all mammals, and bonus cards give you an extra boost as well. 

A match is three cards that go together based on four traits found on each card. For each trait, all three cards must be all three the same or all three different. For any two cards in the deck, there is one other card that completes the match.

Clade: Arthropods, sauropsids (reptiles and birds), and mammals. On the cards, arthropods face up, sauropsids face left, and mammals face right, so you can tell which cards are in which clades.  

Environment: Air, land, or water, specifically the environment of the animals’ most recent common ancestor. 

Number: One, two, or three species on the card. When two or three species appear on a card, they have a common ancestor not shared with any other species in the game. 

Color: Dark red, medium blue, or bright yellow-green, representing the variety inherent in every population. Since color vision varies within the human population, Karen adjusted these colors so color-blind players can distinguish them. 

These three cards form a match. Environment and number are all three the same, while color and clade are all three different.
These three cards form a match. Environment and number are all three the same, while color and clade are all three different.

 

These three cards form a match. Color and clade (arthropod) are all three the same, while number and environment are all three different.
These three cards form a match. Color and clade (arthropod) are all three the same, while number and environment are all three different.

The play style has several nice features. Everyone plays at once, with no one waiting for their turn. Play is competitive, but players never lose the progress they've made, and no one is eliminated from the game. The rules also include tricks for balancing the game when some players are more experienced than others. Any number of players can play, as long as they can crowd around the game table. You can even play Clades solitaire!

 

Mostly backers get copies of Clades, but there are plenty of other good things in this Kickstarter, too.

Also: Free shipping to US addresses, and free shipping anywhere in the world on rewards that are $150 or higher. In addition, the new Worldwide Player level gets you 5 copies of the game with free shipping everywhere in the world. Other rewards shipped to non-US addresses have $20 shipping fee. 

Your name in the book. Get in the game! Like we did with Grandmother Fish, we will let you designate a name to be printed in the rulebook with our thanks. After the campaign is over, we will survey you to ask you what name you want us to include.

A copy of Clades. Play Clades! You get a deck of 83 cards and a rulebook in a sturdy box. These will be professionally produced cards in color front and back.

A copy of Clades: Prehistoric. Dinosaurs, pterosaurs, marine reptiles, and more! We hit our first stretch goal, so we’re creating this prehistoric version of Clades.

A second copy donated to a nonprofit. Share your love of science and games with others! Like we did with Grandmother Fish, we will be donating stacks of games to nonprofits, such as Camp Quest. These donated copies are generously provided by backers like you.

A signed and numbered collector card. Something special for our most enthusiastic fans! Karen and I will make 30 collector cards, number them, sign them, and distribute them among the highest-level backers.

A customized Grandmother Fish matchbox. One lucky creationist gets this special item, plus ten copies of the game to do with as they please.

Choose a favorite species. Do you have a favorite animal? You can choose what kind of rabbit, rodent, whale, songbird, raptor, lizard, snake, butterfly, spider, mollusk, or ray-finned fish Karen will draw. Choices are subject to approval. For example, a legless lizard would be a confusing choice to represent lizards since it looks more like a snake. First-come, first-served, so if you want the whale to be a humpback or a narwhal, act now!

Not that we are creating Clades: Prehistoric as well, we’re offering a reward level that lets you tell us which dinosaur to include in that game. 

A child illustrated in the game. Would you like to see a loved one appear in the game? Pick a child for Karen to draw as one of the “land mammals”. Any child will do, even your mother drawn as a girl. With Grandmother Fish we had room for several people, but with Clades we probably have room for only one.

 

In addition to whatever rewards you pledge for, once the Kickstarter is over, you will have the opportunity to add copies of the games to your order. These add-ons are simply additional copies of Clades or Clades: Prehistoric, so you can get as many copies as you like.

Additional copies of Clades: Just add $20 to your pledge for each additional copy you'd like. 

Copies of Clades: Prehistoric: As with Clades, just add $20 to your pledge for each copy of Clades: Prehistoric that you’d like to add. 

Signed copy of Grandmother Fish: We are offering 50 signed copies of Grandmother Fish for backers who pick our special combo reward, including one copy each of Clades and Clades: Prehistoric

It was my great good fortune to have Karen as my artist on Grandmother Fish. Together we created a book that School Library Journal calls “groundbreaking.” Now we are together again for Clades.

Karen Lewis: Karen is a children’s illustrator with a specialty in nature and science. She really impressed people with Grandmother Fish, creating approachable animals that accurately represent the species being depicted, while at the same time appealing to children. Karen loves drawing cute animals, especially when she has a purpose. Clades features 29 animal images from Karen, everything from roly-polies to whales. Here’s some of her art from Grandmother Fish.

An Ischnacanthus from 400 million years ago.
An Ischnacanthus from 400 million years ago.

 

Karen did a great job capturing the diversity of humanity.
Karen did a great job capturing the diversity of humanity.

 

Karen's phylogenetic tree from Grandmother Fish.
Karen's phylogenetic tree from Grandmother Fish.

Jonathan Tweet: I've been designing games professionally for almost 30 years, I'm an instructor in the Game Design Certificate program at the University of Washington, and I've been a major science geek since I was a child. Science literacy is a passion of mine, and I love doing a game with a purpose. Science educators applaud the science in Grandmother Fish, so you can be sure that I will handle the topic of evolution as serious science. Over the last 30 years, I have designed a lot of games played by a lot of people. I was the lead designer on the highly successful 3rd Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and I designed beginner sets for Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: the Gathering, Pokémon, and Star Wars Miniatures. Original tabletop games to my credit include Ars Magica, Over the Edge, Everway, Omega World, and Thirteenth Age. As proud as I am of my previous games, Clades means something special to me because I remember how much I loved learning about science when I was a child.  

 

What’s better than an evolution game? An evolution game with prehistoric animals! Did you know that Pteranodon were not dinosaurs? Do you know what ruled the seas before fish with jaws took over? We hit our $20,000 goal in funding, so Karen and I will create a second version of Clades with all prehistoric animals. The prehistoric version plays the same way as the regular version, and you can even build a combo deck with cards from both games!

If we reach $40,000 in funding, Karen and I will create an evolutionary tree poster. Kids love the evolutionary tree in Grandmother Fish, and this poster will include all those organisms, plus all the new animals in Clades and Clades: Prehistoric. But we’re going to need everybody’s help to hit that funding goal.

Two years ago, people like you gave Karen and me the support we needed to create Grandmother Fish. It was an honor to have that trust, and it has been a joy to bring that groundbreaking book to thousands of children. Now we are heartened to once again find enthusiastic support among our backers. Please join in and back our project. Thank you. 

Risks and challenges

The game is designed, the artwork is mostly done, and a deck of cards is easy to produce, so we are confident that we can make this game. Grandmother Fish was a more demanding project, and it turned out great. It's just Karen and me here, so personal emergencies might delay the project. Given the number of game publishers I have among my personal friends, backers would get their rewards even in the worst case scenario that something happened to both Karen and me.

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    For true lovers of science and games. You get a name in the rulebook, a copy of Clades, and a copy of Clades: Prehistoric. In your name, we then donate a copy of either game to a nonprofit (thank you!).

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    Get a signed copy of Grandmother Fish shipped to you when the Kickstarter campaign ends (December 6th). In addition, you a copy of Clades, a copy of Clades: Prehistoric, and a name of your choice printed in the rulebook.

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    Get 5 copies of Clades and pay nothing for shipping anywhere in the world! International shipping is costly, but we will cover that cost for you if you pledge at this level. You also get to put a name in the rulebook.

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    This special combo pack lets you avoid shipping costs no matter where you live. You get 5 copies of Clades: Prehistoric, and you can designate a name to be printed in the rulebook.

    For a worldwide set with both games, see Double Worldwide, below.

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    You get one of just 30 signed and numbered collector cards created by Karen, plus your own copy of the game, we donate a second copy to a nonprofit, and we print your name in the book. In addition, if we hit our stretch goal, you will get a copy of Clades: Prehistoric at no additional charge.

    Includes:
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    Creationist

    Here's a special deal we also offered with Grandmother Fish. You get 10 copies of Clades, a collector card, and a matchbox. The matchbox was hand customized by Karen using Grandmother Fish art. In addition, if we hit our stretch goal, you will get a copy of Clades: Prehistoric at no additional charge.

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    Young Earth Creationist

    Do you think that dinosaurs are the fever dream of benighted paleontologists? This reward level gives you 10 copies of Clades: Prehistoric, one copy of Clades, and a custom matchbox. You also can designate a name to be printed in the rulebook.

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    Double Creationist

    For the even-handed creationist. You get 6 copies of each game, a custom matchbox, and a name of your choice in the rulebook.

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    Animal Lover

    Pick a species for us to depict in the game. You can choose what kind of rabbit, rodent, whale, songbird, raptor, lizard, snake, butterfly, spider, mollusk, or ray-finned fish Karen will draw. Species choices are subject to approval.

    In addition, you get a copy of the game, a second copy donated in your name, the collector card, and your name in the rulebook.

    Once someone picks a “humpback” for the whale, no one else can choose a whale.

    Includes:
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    Dino Lover

    We are going to include three dinosaurs as “sauropsids of the land”: one theropod, one sauropod, and one frilled or armored ornithischian dinosaur. Which ones should Karen illustrate? You can pick! If you would rather pick a different sort of prehistoric animal, such as a pterosaur or marine reptile, we can work with you. You also get a copy of Clades, a copy of Clades: Prehistoric, a copy of the game donated to a nonprofit in your name, and a name of your choice printed in the rulebook.

    Includes:
    • Pick a dinosaur in Clades: Prehistoric
    • Copy of the game
    • If we reach our stretch goal, a copy of Clades: Prehistoric.
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    Proud Parent

    Or proud aunt, proud friend, or proud whoever. Pick a child for Karen to draw as one of the “land mammals” in the game. The “child” can be a grownup today, but they’ll be a child in the game, so this could even be your spouse or parent. With Grandmother Fish we had room for several people, but with Clades we probably have room for only one.

    You also get a copy of Clades, a second copy donated to a nonprofit in your name, the collector card, and your name in the rulebook. If we hit our stretch goal, we will also ship you Clades: Prehistoric at no additional cost.

    Includes:
    • Child of your choice illustrated in the game
    • Signed and numbered collector card
    • Copy of the game
    • If we reach our stretch goal, a copy of Clades: Prehistoric.
    • We donate a copy to a school or nonprofit
    • Name of your choice printed in the rulebook
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Funding period

- (50 days)