Welcome! I'm glad you are here.
Here is a quick outline of the information on this page:
- Get Immersed (Beer & Board Games video)
- What is Psycho!Therapist?
- Free Download of the Game Instructions
- Videos! (Board to Death TV and an Introductory video)
- Gameplay Flowchart
- Game Components
- Stretch Goals
- Backer Icons
- Why Kickstarter (history of this project)
- More Videos (Gameplay, Testimonials, Guarantees)
- Project Cost Breakdown
Get Immersed in Psycho!Therapist
The video below has over 35k views on Youtube and is probably the best example of the Psycho!Therapist's improvisational nature and fun factor. Thanks to the guys at Beer & Board Games!
Make sure you watch the Couples Therapy segment!! (at about the 11:00 minute mark)
What is Psycho!Therapist?
Psycho!Therapist is a party game for 3-8 players. The players take on the role of Psycho!Therapists who are trying to cure their patients (called “clients”) who have a strange variety of problems. In some modes there is a judge (called the “Clinical Director”) who determines which player has made the best case for their treatment approach. The game contains 5 decks of cards. There is a Type Deck, a Client Deck, a Problem Deck, a Behavior Deck, and a Tools Deck. You draw one card from each of the first four decks (Type, Client, Problem & Behavior) to create the person coming to you for help.
The TYPE Deck:
The TYPE Deck is the first deck you will draw a card from to create a client. In other game modes (Group Therapy), it is the only card you are able to see before you select the target of your Psycho!Therapy. The TYPE cards typically describe a mood, personality trait, or a disposition. The next card drawn is from the CLIENT Deck.
The CLIENT Deck is the second card you draw, which generally describes the person’s occupation, though there are exceptions to this. At this point you have half of the information and can think about what this person would be like, what kind of things would be aggravating to them, what kind of complaints might they have. Let all players chime in on their ideas. If you are using the Alternate rules, this is where one player can begin role-playing the client in an improvisational manner.
The third card you will draw is from the PROBLEM Deck.
The PROBLEM Deck provides a variable around the actual behavior. Let’s say the Behavior is “Doing inappropriate things on the copy machine”.
- “Medical problems associated with this” might suggest the client has back pain or pulled a muscle.
- “Is addicted to” probably means they are compelled to do this frequently despite the consequences.
- If it happened “after a hypnosis session”, maybe there is some kind of subliminal cue to the behavior.
The PROBLEM Deck helps keep the game fresh because it adds some form of social context to the behavior.
The last card is drawn from the BEHAVIOR Deck
The BEHAVIOR Deck describes something specific that the Client has been doing that is creating a problem.It is meant to be a weird behavior, or at least something annoying so you will be motivated to cure them. So with a random draw of four cards, you might end up with someone like this as your client:
Now that you have established your client, how will you perform Psycho!Therapy? This is where the Tools Deck comes in.
Each player will have 3-5 Tools cards (depending on the game mode) to help assist with their treatment. Each TOOL card has an item and a points value. Your job as the Psycho!Therapist is to use the Tools to create some kind of remedy for the Client. You can use them to treat any aspect of the case. So in the above case, you might try to reduce their fear of germs, address the challenges or problems related to being a nun, restrict their drug use, or hinder their use of the copy machine. You might interpret their behavior in some way. You are always able to improvise your treatment and go wherever you want with it. The points value allows you to increase your odds of success. Each card you use (maximum of three) adds to the base 50% chance of success. So you might use the cards in any of the following ways:
- Something that rhymes with “Fail” (+10) She might need a “pail” filled with a cleaning solution - Maybe instead of marijuana she could smoke something more healthy like “kale” - Being a deprived nun, she might need a “male” - If you decide she got arrested, she might need some “bail”. - She might need to say some “Hail” Marys,..
- The Bed of Nails (+5) - She might have to lay on them for atonement (and they might have germs on them) - Someone might put a miniature one over the copy machine glass to deter inappropriate things from being pressed against it...
- Something that begins with the letter “R” (+5): - You might read her the Riot Act - She might be Reassigned to a different job at the convent that doesn’t involve the copy machine - She might be sent to Rehab - Maybe since she is so uptight, she needs a Relaxing vacation.
The idea is to come up with a use for the Tool (and in some cases, the Tool itself). If we used all 3 cards, we would have a total 70% chance of success.
50% (base chance) + 10% (Something that rhymes with “Fail”) + 5% (The Bed of Nails) + 5% (Something that begins with the letter “R”).
Of course, other players have different Tools and will be competing to bid for the best treatment. Lets assume the Clinical Director (The Judge) for this round chose our treatment. Now it’s time to see if the treatment worked. The player now rolls the percentile dice and must roll equal to or lower than the percent chance of success. In this case, we need to roll under 70.
The player rolls the dice and gets a 39. The treatment is a success! The next client is drawn and play continues.
Download the Training Manual (the full color Game Instructions PDF):
A Preview Video by Board to Death TV
One of the game modes that they talk about is called "Dark Mode (aka there might be a serial killer in group)". This preview gives you an idea about the variety of ways to play the game.
An Introductory Video
*Scroll further down the page to see more videos.
Currently the game comes with the following:
- 505 Game Cards
- 1 set of Percentile Dice
- I Game Board
- 8 Tools Mats
- 8 Success Mats
- 8 Failure Mats
- The Psycho!Therapist Training Manual (the game instructions)
- Full Color Game Box
$35,000: I will add 18 more cards to the Core Game (why 18 you ask, because the cards are initially printed in sheets of 18 before they are cut, so it doesn't make much sense to me to make less than a sheet at a time)
800 Backers: I will add a new Game Mode to the Training Manual
$40,000: I will create a Kickstarter Exclusive Expansion/Add-on Deck #1 ( that's not the final title, but the content will be influenced by backer input, likely via a survey)
$45, 000: I will add another 18 cards to the Core Game
1200 Backers: I will add a second new game mode to the Training Manual
$55,000: I will offer a second Expansion/Add-On Deck (again, based on Backer preference)
1600 Backers: I will add a third new game mode to the Training Manual.
$65,000: I will add another 18 Cards to the Core Game
* If we exceed these numbers, I'll continue to use feedback from backers to determine what else can be offered.
Help spread the word and make Psycho!Therapist a reality! We have designed several avatars for your Kickstarter account.
To download the avatar, right-click and Save As. On Kickstarter, you can change you avatar this way: Click on your Backer Icon in the top right hand corner My Stuff / Profile /Edit Profile / Picture.
Why Kickstarter? (and a little backstory)
The purpose of the Kickstarter is to raise capital to produce a print run of the game through a professional game manufacturer. In order to do this, we need to achieve the minimum print run of 500 units. I’m bringing this project to Kickstarter to determine if enough people are willing to pledge so that they can enjoy their own copy of Psycho!Therapist. To me, this is in the spirit of how Kickstarter began. This isn’t about pre-ordering a game that will eventually be in stores or available on the web. This project is about making the game happen.
This is my first project on Kickstarter. I have done a lot of research on what makes a project successful as well as identified variables that create problems in campaigns. I have also spent time talking with other project creators who were willing to share their insights. I am dedicated to making this game available, but it can only happen through your support.
An example of my ability to create a product and have it available:
Although Psycho!Therapist is an irreverent parody of the what it’s like to be a practicing psychologist, I also created The Encounter Deck, which is an actual tool that has been successful in working with groups as well as individuals. Because of the Encounter Deck’s simplicity, I was able to place it as a Print on Demand item through The Game Crafter
Psycho!Therapist is a much more complicated project because of all the game components. The backstory is that I actually created Psycho!Therapist before The Encounter Deck (around the Spring of 2013). I had always been a fan of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, and I had just backed a project by David Malki! called Machine of Death. I was inspired by the improvisational gameplay and I thought to myself “I could do something like that, except people will be therapists and have to deal with crazy clients”. As an homage to David and the MoD Crew, I eventually designed “Dark Mode: a.k.a. There Might Be A Serial Killer In Group” as a variant rules set of the Group Therapy game mode.
I started writing the game out in a notebook, then made the first test copy on index cards. After I taught myself enough to use Adobe’s various products, it was a natural extension to produce a real game prototype (and then subsequently The Encounter Deck).
At that point I was content to have created a real game and began playing it with friends, family and students. There were enough people that asked “How can I get a copy?”, yet I had no good answer.
The prototype was expensive (about $100), so that didn’t seem feasible, and there was no way to reduce the cost. It dawned on me that with the feedback I was getting, this could be a successful project. So I started to watch and monitor campaigns I backed much more closely. I looked at decisions, noted the factors that contributed to late delivery, and examined my own experiences of what made some campaigns attractive (often despite the difficulties). I spent nearly a year gathering data, making some connections, and working with a different professional game manufacturer with a great reputation (AdMagic) who have handled production for other successful Kickstarter campaigns (Cards Against Humanity being one of them). That brings us to where we are now.
My Guarantees to you:
This piece of video was originally included in the main page video, but I separated this section to reduce the overall running time.
HOW TO PLAY VIDEOS
Below are two links to videos that show live gameplay filmed over the summer. There are currently two main ways to play Psycho!Therapist (with several variations).
This first video is our group playing the Case Conference mode described above (Its variants are called Dual Diagnosis and Marital Therapy).
This second mode being played is Group Therapy. Its variants are Family Therapy, County Funded, Court Ordered, and Dark Mode (aka There Might Be A Serial Killer In Group).
The short video below was captured at the end of filming the previous videos. People were just asked what they enjoyed about the game. The responses were unrehearsed and unedited.
Project Cost Breakdown
As you can see, almost 75% of the project cost is made up from Manufacturing and US Shipping (which is included in US pledges).
Kickstarter, Amazon and BackerKit fees cumulatively take another 11%. The remaining 14% is divided between Art + Design costs (Art Department time, software lease, etc.) Shipping Supplies, and the safety budget (to cover unexpected costs).
*SHIPPING! (Please Read if you are backing from outside the US).
If You Are An International Backer:
If You Are An International Backer: All I can say is that I hate how much shipping costs are. I had strongly considered making this project USA only simply due to the international shipping rates, but I have come up with a solution. You can pledge for the game now as long as you understand that you are expected to pay for the shipping later through BackerKit. It’s an idea I saw Fred Hicks/Evil Hat Productions use, and I have modified it to my means.
Look for the rewards that start with "BILL MY SHIPPING LATER" Please choose a reward tier that's appropriate to your geography; Canada or Rest of the World.
To set some expectations about the additional shipping costs, in terms of the estimated shipping weight for Psycho!Therapist (before stretch goals) right now (December 2014) the U.S. Post Office is quoting around $45 (to Canada) to $65 (to the Rest of the World). This doesn’t include the cost of packing supplies, nor the fulfillment service fees (those add on average around another $6).If you pledge where your shipping is billed later, you will be expected to pay this total through BackerKit (the shipping + handling cost).
Also, the USPS has been known to increase rates in the months between a KS concluding and the actual shipping event. I have watched a lot of projects make this mistake and then lose money/go into the red due to shipping. I want to avoid that problem, and only charge you what it costs me to get it to you. I will establish that cost as close to when fulfillment starts as I can.
All shipping will be handled by the USPS. I am currently favoring Priority Mail (both for Domestic and International shipping), and the rates will established based on the USPS cost + Fulfillment service fees (as they provide shipping supplies, labels, custom forms, labor, and a reported fast turnaround time from receipt of goods to fulfillment).
I had considered simply adding an estimated amount into the pledges themselves, but this created two distinct concerns. The first concern is that I would be doing this based on an estimation of how many pledges would be received from Canada and Rest of the World. Even with the projection of 25% Canadian backers and 10% Rest of the World, this (the second concern) would raise the funding goal by $10,200.
Reversing the formula (25% Rest of World and 10% Canadian) resulted in a necessary funding goal increase of $12, 600.
So the combination of guessing at the number of backers per region combined with increasing the funding goal (from $29,500 to almost $39,700-$42,100) seemed too risky.
Risks and challenges
The funding goal for Psycho!Therapist has been set to ensure that there is enough capital to print the minimum amount of copies required with a reputable, high-quality game manufacturer.
The biggest risks to delivering the game by the deadline include
1. Pre-production delays
2. Manufacturing issues/delays/quality issues
3. Shipping/Logistics, including customs delays
4. Potential of natural disasters/ or as your insurance company calls them “Acts of God”
5. Miscellaneous bureaucratic/administrative delays (ex. Lack of timely communication to the project creator about any of the above issues- essentially waiting on other people to communicate issues, needs, concerns, updates, etc.).
Another point to consider, because we’ll be printing overseas, sometime there are communication issues and delays. (I encountered this in building the prototypes you see in the videos). I’m working with a manufacturer who does this sort of thing all the time, so hopefully there shouldn’t be many problems.
As I reflect about the process of bringing any crowdfunded game to life, I expect there will be some bumps along the road (game component misprint, foreign holiday, etc.) and issues may arise that are out of my control (though I've tried to plan for as many of them as possible before this project launched). If/when these come up, I will keep you informed about them if they cause any delays and I'll do everything I reasonably can to address them
I don’t see this mentioned much in other projects, but probably the biggest risk relates to my status as a sole creator. I have taken steps to document what needs to occur if anything unfortunate were to happen to me. My wife and close friends have shown enthusiastic support for this game, and I feel certain they would step up to the plate if I were in some way incapacitated and unable to see the project to its fruition.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)