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$36,980 pledged of $65,000 goal
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$36,980 pledged of $65,000 goal
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About this project

 

 

Special Committee is a bluffing and hidden identity game featuring Current US Politicians.

Each person has two concealed Senator Cards. Players need to pass legislation that is important to their own Senators; HOWEVER, if other players figure out both of your Senators, and correctly accuse you, you're out of the game.

The cards in the game represent US politicians and the agendas reflect current events.

A recent Massive Millennials Poll asked those between the ages of 18-34 to name - just one - of their home state senators. Seventy-seven percent answered incorrectly.

Help us make these cards - and this game - to inspire curiosity in the political process.

NEW! Watch full length playthrough here! (We have better materials even since this playtest!)

In this bluffing and hidden identity tabletop game, you will:

  • Build influence by passing important bills
  • Shut down competing interests
  • Use your politicians' abilities to stack the odds in your favor 
  • Win the game by securing the most wealth and power -- or simply remain in office while others are dragged through the muck
Should Senators Ayotte and Warren be included in the Special Committee Game? Back us and help decide!
Should Senators Ayotte and Warren be included in the Special Committee Game? Back us and help decide!

Your vote counts! Every backer has an opportunity to vote on one (or more) politicians to be included in the game. You can always check the polls to see who's ahead. 

New Prototype Materials for IndieCade
New Prototype Materials for IndieCade

 

The nitty gritty:

  • 9 & up 
  • 45 minutes - 1 hour 
  • 2-5 players
In-game agendas featuring current events and scenarios
In-game agendas featuring current events and scenarios

Keep up to date with the campaign at www.specialcommitteegame.com or connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

James, our game designer, can't seem to win a game of Special Committee, and it's becoming a thing. 

NEW! Watch full length playthrough here! (We have better materials even since this playtest!)

Each copy of the Special Committee Game includes:

  • Policy Deck (28 Agenda Cards; 6 Election Cards, 4 Red/Blue Cards) (38 Total)
  • Politician Deck (14 Cards) 
  • Scandal Cards (15 Cards)
  • 5 Upright Screens (for covering resources throughout the game) 
  • 3 Badges (Treasurer, Majority Whip, Press Secretary) 
  • Coin Tokens 
  • Favor Tokens 
  • Vote Tokens 
  • 1 Regular Die 
  • 1 Special Die
  •  2 Quick Reference Cards 

 

 

IndieCade-Ready new Prototyping Materials
IndieCade-Ready new Prototyping Materials

If you’re only interested in getting your paws on some rad Politician Cards (i.e. just the Cards -- not the whole game box), please back at the $12 level and you’ll receive:

 

A Pack Contains 14 Randomly Selected Politician Cards
A Pack Contains 14 Randomly Selected Politician Cards

   

Collect em, trade em, toss 'em out during casual conversation to impress friends with your deep political knowledge. They look especially good on coffee tables and refrigerators.

Other reward tiers include a Collector's Edition, and an opportunity to have our incredible illustrator, Jason, create a custom card with YOUR IMAGE, or a person of your choosing.

For those who have always wanted to play insider politics, this is your chance. 

Every single backer will also receive 5 votes to help select some of the politicians to include in the game.

Representative Wilson spending a sunny day at the National Mall
Representative Wilson spending a sunny day at the National Mall

 

 

Sparking Curiosity 

Special Committee celebrates politics (the good, the bad, the deceptive) with a subtly mischievous eye, inciting debate and sparking further investigation.

Placing Politics “On the Table” 

Special Committee provides an irreverent learning opportunity for you to dig deeper into individual politicians, congressional initiatives, and political priorities.

Emergent Narratives 

What's more fun that getting to play a role? In Special Committee, you become part of the action.

Abstract Bluffing 

Gameplay centers around your deductive reasoning and abstract bluffing skills. Critical thinking helps you suss out the difference between what other players say, versus what they do...

Additive Play 

Special Committee’s modular design supports expansion packs and updates based on the shifting political landscape. To ensure the freshest and most relevant content, the team intends to release new packs of politician and agenda cards on a yearly basis (or more, if possible).

 

 

A pack of 14 select Politician Cards (packaging subject to change)
A pack of 14 select Politician Cards (packaging subject to change)

 

We’ve had a blast imagining, developing, and playtesting Special Committee, but we need your help to take it to the next level.

We’re excited to partner with AdMagic, the awesome team that brought Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens to an awaiting public. We’re confident that their incredible experience, insight, and manufacturing expertise will help us create and ship the highest-quality product. We have also been working with MakePlayingCards.com and TheGameCrafter.com for prototypes along the way.

Mysterious hands playtesting an early prototype
Mysterious hands playtesting an early prototype

We've developed and extensively playtested the game. We also have a strong grasp on the world, the story and the graphics. With your help, we can create even more politician cards, prepare the final art for production and ship!

Getting samples in the mail!
Getting samples in the mail!

Our Kickstarter goal is carefully calculated based on the minimum requirements to bring this game out of its prototype stage and into the lime light. If we get 2,500 pre-orders we can ship the game; if we get more, we can start a business and make an even greater positive impact on the world. 

We’ve built a fantastic tabletop game that we believe can open a lot of interest in politics... but we can’t do it without you. Your support will ensure we’re able to bring this game to tabletop game enthusiasts, politicos, and everyone else in between.

Our first prototype -- we've come so far!
Our first prototype -- we've come so far!

 

With your help, we can take these tokens to 11!
With your help, we can take these tokens to 11!

 

(The art is much further along than the prototyping materials shown in this video.) 

Special Committee is a side project that’s coalesced over the course of…years. James (the game designer) has been dabbling in “irreverent education” for years. While in graduate school, James was researching the ways students in middle school interact with Pokemon trading cards. He observed that the students had staggering depths of knowledge about these mythical creatures. “Wouldn’t it be great," he joked, looking at one of the cards, "if these were famous political figures?" James wrote out the original idea for what would become the colorful, illustrated Senator Cards in a graduate school paper, tucked it away, and forgot about it.

Meanwhile, Elise has made her career developing products that bridge playful learning and entertainment. James and Elise found themselves working at the same company in Los Angeles, where they would occasionally chat about shared interests.

A year later, James shared the game concept he had been developing in his spare time -- describing it as "an idea that just wouldn't go away." Elise, a DC-native who plays a lot of Coup and spends her days gushing over FiveThirtyEight's gorgeous interactives, fell in love with the illustrated characters and the fresh perspective on political discourse. She immediately jumped in to help bring the product to life.

Over the next few months, the team coordinated multiple time zones, conducted countless playtests, and wrangled seemingly endless spreadsheets and folders to bring Special Committee to a Kickstarter page near you.

 

From James: The imagery of politics always seemed stuffy and distant to me. In chatting with friends, colleagues, educators, and fellow game enthusiasts, I learned many otherwise socially engaged individuals shared this feeling.

As a designer, I believe games have the power not only to entertain but also to spark deeper curiosity. Using this playful medium provides a light and engaging invitation to the world of politics.  

  

       

A dabbling of sample agenda categories and cards
A dabbling of sample agenda categories and cards

In this season of walls, undisclosed tax returns, and email servers, help us celebrate, with absurd wonder, the people and processes that make our political system tick.

With filibusters, earmarks, and love,

~ The Special Committee Team

Check out our website: www.specialcommitteegame.com

Socials: 

Twitter 

Facebook

Instagram

 

Stretch Goal: RFID enabled cards to connect to the digital abyss
Stretch Goal: RFID enabled cards to connect to the digital abyss

 

Risks and challenges

As we've already created a project flow and established relationships with a manufacturing partner, producing the Politician Cards and the Special Committee game should be straightforward. Our anticipated delivery date is based on selecting the remaining politicians included in the game, completing the related art, production, handling and shipping time estimates.

As frequent Kickstarter backers, we know the frustrations of endless delays. We will work tirelessly to ensure you receive your reward in a timely manner.

In keeping with our promise to deliver a high-quality product, we've decided to keep our reward tiers simple. As much as we love magnets and stickers, we'll keep our laser focus on getting you the most duplicitous, most mischievous, most enjoyable game as soon as possible. We love you. We trust you. Best Regards.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    POLITICO

    You’ll get five chances to vote on the Politicians that should be included in the game. Thank you for besprinkling our project with potential. Look for an email with a link to the voting page.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    BELTWAY BANDIT

    One pack of 14 Politician Cards (full game is available at the $30 level). This gaggle of fourteen real-life politicians is sure to add some swagger to any collection. Keep em, trade em, collect em -- do what you wish. Look out for an email with your instructions to vote on politicians included in the game.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    FLAPDOODLE (Look it up!)

    Your very own copy of the Special Committee Game. All the bells, whistles, and melee of political intrigue to share with your most despised board game night invitees. As you’re obviously very powerful and important, you’ll receive five votes to cast for your favorite politicians.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    POLITICAL APPOINTEE: COLLECTOR’S EDITION

    Receive a copy of the Special Committee Game signed by the project team You'll receive five votes to cast for politicians of your choosing!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    YOUR FACE GOES HERE

    Our incredible illustrator, Jason, will make a card in your likeness (or someone else of your choosing). You’ll also receive a copy of the Special Committee Game and the ability to vote five times (that’s like, some superPAC influence).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Friend of Politics

    Your personalized Politician Card (with your likeness - or a likeness of your choosing) goes in every printed copy of the game. Of course, you also receive a copy of the game signed by the team.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Producer

    Receive a Producer credit on the back of every box of the game. In addition, your personalized Politician Card (with your likeness - or a likeness of your choosing) goes in every printed copy of the game. (Of course, you also receive a copy of the game signed by the team.)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Executive Producer

    Receive an Executive Producer credit on the back of every box of the game. In addition, your personalized Politician Card (with your likeness - or a likeness of your choosing) goes in every printed copy of the game. (Of course, you also receive a copy of the game signed by the team.)

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Funding period

- (33 days)