Research shows that childhood creativity is on the decline and we should all be concerned. Our goal of this project is to foster creativity in this modern world through an old-school tabletop game that’s simple, fun and expands your mind. Help us make this game a reality by backing this campaign!
While the decline in childhood creativity was our impetus for designing the game, it is extremely fun with or without kids and promotes creativity in all. To spice things up a bit for adult game nights, we created the optional Adults Only Expansion pack.
Each round of Starting Lines provides a creative prompt (a category) and a constraint (the starting line). What happens next is creativity.
Everyone gets the same Starting Line, but inevitably takes it in a completely different directions. You will be surprised by what kids see in a Starting Line and be brought to tears laughing at what your weird friends find.
How to Play
Quick! You have 2 minutes to turn the Starting Line into a ridiculous image and craft the perfect caption. Don't worry if you can't draw. A good caption might be all you need to win.
Play with as few as 3 players or as many friends as you can assemble. If playing with kids, the game works best if they are old enough to both draw and write. The game includes enough markers for 6 players, additional players simply need a marker to join in.
In each round of play, there is one Creative Director who serves as judge and several Drawing Players. The Creative Director provides the same Starting Line drawing to each Drawing Player, reveals a category card, and starts the two-minute timer.
Each Drawing Player will use a green marker and a creative mind to turn the starting line into a creative or funny drawing that relates to the Category Card prompt and gives it a caption. Players may orient the Starting Line in any direction they choose.
SIDEBAR CONVERSATION: Do you like drawing with golf pencils? No? No one does... This is why Starting Lines will come with 6 quality washable markers. Gameplay will remind you of yesteryear when you spent time scribbling until your markers went dry.
The Creative Director collects the drawings and selects her favorite drawing. The winner of that round collects the Category Card and game play continues. Play as long as you like. The player who collects the most Category Cards wins!
What's in the box?
All backers who back at a level to earn a game will receive a fully packaged final product in a quality game box. Inside the box will be all the high quality game components needed to play with up to 6 players, additional players simply need a marker to join in.
Here is what’s in the box:
- (18) Starting Line Cards
- (24) Category Cards
- (6) high-quality washable (non-permanent) markers - (1) black for the Creative Director, (5) green for Drawing Players
- (1) 150-sheet drawing pad
- (1) two-minute timer
Adults Only Expansion Pack
Creative output is a reflection of one’s thoughts, and we all know these aren’t always PG (even when a group of immature adults play the standard Starting Lines game, it can get risque).
To encourage immature fun in adults, we created the Adults Only Expansion Pack. This expansion pack includes another 18 unique (and completely innocent) Starting Lines, additional drawing paper and 24 Adults Only categories, which are mostly harmless, but are likely to inspire drawings that you will want to hide from any children and professional colleagues. Bring creativity to your next adult game night!
The Adults Only expansion pack adds:
- (24) Adults Only Category cards
- (18) additional unique Starting Line cards
- (1) additional 150-sheet drawing pad.
Want multiple games?
If you would like to order more than one of any reward, simply multiply the quantity you want by the pledge amount and add $2 for each additional item added to your order (to cover the additional shipping costs). Also, send us a message via the KickStarter private messaging system so we know what you want. (You can access this through the "Contact Me" link on the main project page.) So, if you want two Starting Lines Games, select the $25 pledge level, and pledge $52 ($25 to cover the cost of the additional game and $2 to cover the additional shipping).
Why this Game Matters
According to research, from the 1960’s to the 1990’s, creativity in the United States experienced moderate increases, or at least remained stable. In the 1990’s, creativity began to steadily decline.
Is it technology? More structured academics? Less time for free-play? We don’t claim to know, but, we propose that creativity is like a muscle. Use it or lose it. We suggest you exercise yours by playing this game. We were inspired to create this game based on the documented decline of creativity in the United States. We suggest you play it with a diverse group of people. Research suggests young children (5-9) are in their creative prime. You may find this is one game in which a seven-year-old can genuinely beat you.
What Your Support Means
This game is our small attempt to help reverse the effects of declining creativity. Your support is your contribution to this mission.
We conceptualized and repeatedly tested this game which ultimately led us to the creation of some beautiful prototypes of the game, which we assembled ourselves. While this was a fun way to spend a year and half, we want to get this game into the hands of as many people as possible.
Your support will help us fund the first production run of the game and ensure this game takes the next step towards being available to everyone.
Our goal reflects the higher upfront costs of large-scale printing and assembly, which requires larger minimum orders of the game. While this is more expensive than print-on-demand in upfront costs, the large-scale printing and assembly process will create a game of higher quality. We want our backers to be delighted and inspired by the game each time they play.
History of the Game
Starting Lines was created by Adam and Meghan Owenz. He's a business professor and she's a psychologist and college professor. They have two young kids and they are always looking for fun things to do as a family. One day, while researching creativity, Meghan stumbled upon the Creativity Crisis and after a depressing conversation with Adam about the future of mankind, they had a cool idea. Tired of kids’ games that involved spinning a color wheel and moving thoughtlessly across a board, they wondered, “since kids can be naturally more creative than adults... could we create a game that capitalized on a child's creativity and also helps adults think outside of the box?” The idea for Starting Lines was born.
Meghan Owenz, Co-Creator
Meghan is a psychologist with a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Miami and currently an assistant teaching professor at Penn State University Berks.
Adam Owenz, Co-Creator, Illustrator, Designer
Adam is a former marketing executive and now an instructor of business at Albright College.
Stacey Andrelczyk - Graphic Design, Illustration, Layout - Special thanks to our friend and amazing graphic designer, Stacey Andrelczyk for cleaning up Adam’s sketchy design skills, adding illustrations and doing the layout for the box and cards. Things would not have looked as good without her. Learn more about Stacey here.
Anthony Burgos, Videographer - Special thanks to our friend and the next Steven Spielberg, Anthony Burgos for making everyone and everything look good in the videos. Follow Anthony on his site here or on Instagram and Facebook, better yet, he just graduated from College so offer him a job.
Making a Difference
Making a positive difference in this world is important to us and we suspect it is also important to our backers. For this reason we are offering a pledge option that includes both getting a game for yourself and donating a game to children’s non-profit organizations that foster creativity such as libraries, schools, boys and girls clubs, summer camps and afterschool programs.
We have identified many organizations and will handle delivery of the donated games funded through kickstarter. We will regularly update the list of non-profits who receive games on our website.
Our post-kickstarter long-term goals are that this game does well, so we can fund an expanded (and perhaps global) reach of donated games and ultimately financial resources to organizations around the world that foster creativity in children. This kickstarter campaign starts small, but we have very big goals! Help us make this happen and be part of the Creativity Movement!
When we reach certain campaign goals, Stretch Goals (added features of the game) will be unlocked. Note: Stretch Goal additions to not effect the number of cards included in the Adults Only Expansion Pack or the limited availability Starting Lines Prototypes.
Help spread the word about the game and help unlock these stretch goals!
Stretch Goal #1 - $30k
When our campaign reaches $30k, Stretch Goal #1 will be unlocked. Stretch Goal #1 will add 6 Starting Line cards to the Starting Lines main game. This means anyone who pledges at a level that earns the Starting Lines game will now have 24 Starting Line cards instead of 18.
Stretch Goal #2 - $50k
When our campaign reaches $50k, Stretch Goal #2 will be unlocked. Stretch Goal #2 will add an additional 6 Starting Line cards and an additional 6 Category Cards to the Starting Lines main game. This is in addition to Stretch Goal #1. This means anyone who pledges at a level that earns the Starting Lines game will now have 30 Starting Line cards and 30 Category Cards.
We have partnered with a fantastic fulfillment company who is helping to keep our costs down and also ensuring speedy and reliable delivery of backers rewards. Shipping costs vary by location and all shipping charges are listed (by country) in each pledge level. US deliveries to Alaska and Hawaii, however are an exception due to the added cost to ship to these locations, and will require an additional $10 in shipping fees. Backers in Alaska and Hawaii please select the US shipping option for all reward levels and add $10 to their pledge to accommodate the extra shipping costs.
Finally, if you do not see your country listed, please contact us and we may be able to add your country.
We are working with one of the top game production companies to produce a quality product for our backers. Starting Lines will ship in Winter 2019. Backers will receive previews and updates until the games are delivered. Below is our timeline for production/delivery.
- August 2018 - Kickstarter campaign live
- September 2018 - Kickstarter campaign ends
- September 2018 - Kickstarter releases funds (2 weeks after campaign ends)
- September 2018 - Final arrangements made with producer to accommodate stretch goals earned and orders placed.
- October 2018 - Receive pre-production proofs and request any necessary changes
- November 2018 - Game production begins
- Late January 2019 - Shipments of games arrive at our trusted fulfillment partners distribution centers
- February 2019 - Your Starting Lines game is mailed to you!
Risks and challenges
Adam and Meghan Owenz' diverse backgrounds of psychology and business have come together nicely in this project. Adam has experience successfully managing the launch of several academic degree programs while working in marketing for higher education, and he has overseen hundreds of printed publications through to production while working as the head of marketing and communications for a large University. Nothing get's in the way of Meghan completing a task and she is a project management rockstar. Together, we are confident we will fulfill pledges in a timely manner that will delight our backers.
While we have never published a game before, the successful production of prototypes along with the trust we have in our experienced production and fulfillment partners, we are confident that we will deliver outstanding games to our backers on time.
Of course, game publishing can be affected by unforeseen circumstances. These include possible production delays based on third-party circumstances we cannot control. We will do our best to mitigate these risks by working closely with partners and overseeing the process from start to finish.
We will be working with a major game producer to produce Starting Lines. This vendor is a trusted, reliable game production company. We have partnered with a fulfillment partner that specializes in fulfilling kickstarter projects. Both partners have assured us that we will be able to create & ship games to backers at any level of success.
If a very large number of games are ordered, production lead time may be increased. Additionally, there may be circumstances out of our control (like trade embargoes between the US and China) that could affect production. We will be prepared with backup production options in the event of a disruption.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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