The Wilson Wolfe Affair is a cooperative game for one or many players, where you receive a crate full of seemingly innocuous goodies – but – after looking things over, finding hidden clues, and solving puzzles... you unveil a sinister conspiracy that covers the globe.
Upon finding the diary of a studio animator in a box of old cartoon memorabilia, you become convinced of his theory that someone was hiding secret messages in the cartoons. You find yourself searching through old newspapers, reading old letters, examining toys and games, and scouring the internet for uploads of the antique films to pick apart, as you get sucked in to the most immersive mystery game you will ever play.
In your package you will receive a small white envelope, containing a short letter outlining some bare-bones rules. As far as instruction… that’s it. Everything else appears to be an authentic 1930’s artefact from the early days of cartoon cinema. You’ll start to read the letters, memos, and notes, and realise that the bulk of the objects in front of you belonged to a studio animator, who collected them together because he suspected that cryptic messages were being hidden among the toys games and films that the studio produced.
You’ll start to read his diary. Through his entries he tells a gradual story of landing his dream job, starting work, noticing a bit of odd behaviour among some of his colleagues, beginning to see strange patterns in the cartoons the studio is putting out, starting to ask questions, and then his slow decline into conspiratorial madness.
Each diary entry roughly corresponds to one main object in the package – and through reading the entry and examining the relevant objects you’ll see that there is a puzzle that needs to be solved. Upon finding the solution (perhaps a name, a date, an address, a lead), a little bit more of the story will be revealed to you. In this way, the game can be broken down into small stand-alone puzzles which can be tackled alone or by a group. And each puzzle solved will help you unravel the story, and solve the large overarching meta-puzzle; finding out exactly what happened.
A HOME PUZZLE HUNT WITH 'MAGIC TRICK LIKE' SOLUTIONS
In our game you make progress by:
- reading letters and diaries
- piecing stories together
- making deductions
- fact checking
- breaking codes
- solving puzzles
- finding messages hidden in plain sight
- playing games
- chasing clues online
- cracking riddles
- discovering unique interactions between objects
- and looking at what’s in front of you in a different light
Everything is of movie prop quality, and being forced to interact with the objects in totally new ways makes the game immersive as hell. After the first time you find a link, or a clue, or a hidden compartment, you forget you are playing a game; you just become Sherlock Holmes.
FIND ANSWERS AS YOU'VE NEVER FOUND THEM BEFORE
We've designed puzzles that involve real world physical objects instead of just being limited to pen and paper or computer screens, so we can design solutions which are way outside the box from anything you have ever seen before.
It might just look like a cool old jigsaw puzzle – until you find a code hidden in its imagery
They might just be random slides of vintage cartoons – until you find out more about them online.
It’s just an old toy, just a newspaper, just an envelope – until its rotated, or folded, or held up to the light – when it becomes so much more…
We custom design everything you receive, so every object has its unexpected hidden mysteries, and everything links to everything else in a tangled web of conspiracy.
CRACK CODES AND SOLVE PUZZLES
The game roughly follows a ‘puzzle hunt’ style – you solve many smaller puzzles, and then combine the solutions in order to solve larger and larger ‘meta puzzles’.
The length of the game is hard to say – it can be played alone or in groups of any size – and the amount of content is colossal. The main narrative push takes the form of a diary, with roughly each entry corresponding to one puzzle that needs to be solved. Each of these stand-alone cases has its own conclusion, reveals a little more of the mystery, and is very satisfying in its own right.
The Silver package contains roughly 20 such cases, the Gold roughly 35, and the Platinum around 50.
That's not to mention the time spent unravelling the riddle of the narrative; comparing letters and articles and newspapers to piece together a timeline like a detective. Nor the challenge of solving the large overarching meta-puzzle of the main storyline.We have given rough estimates of the playtime, but really you can discover the story as slowly as you'd like.
We wanted something that could be slowly unravelled over weeks or months, like a good mystery novel. But we designed the game to be broken down into smaller chunks that could be tackled in one sitting, perfect for board game nights and gaming groups.
FIND MORE CLUES ONLINE
As the mystery unravels, you will find yourself researching online. You’ll find weird websites and old cartoons that help expand the case, each, of course, full of their own little riddles.
We tried to walk a line between board game, puzzle game, escape room, and alternate reality game. The result is something that is so immersive it doesn’t feel much like a game at all. As you thumb through the old letters and track down the old films and piece together what happened, you’ll swear you were in a mystery novel.
USE OLD FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK
An interwoven thread of diaries and letters forms the narrative of the game, which revolves around a shadowy cult-like organisation entrenched in the film industry of the 1930s.
Some characters are trustworthy, some are up to terrible business, some are going crazy, and some are just caught up in the middle. Part of the mystery is to look at the letters and memos and photographs and work out who knows what, who is telling the truth, and who is lying.
You will also need to back-up stories and check facts – “hey, look up if 8th of June 1936 was a Monday, because if so, that means this letter arrived before the paper was even published…”
We have packed the game full of high quality, well designed, interesting objects. The idea is that the pieces are so cool that you will want to keep them on display on the shelf in your office or framed on your wall after you complete the game, as a sort of collectable. With that in mind, and our teams' background in graphic and product design, we made every artefact as intriguing and good-looking as possible.
We split the game into three tiers - SILVER, GOLD, and PLATINUM. Each tier includes everything in the lower tiers, plus a lot more; each tier is around twice the size of the previous in terms of content and gameplay, and adds another perspective to the main narrative.
For a full list of exactly what is included in each tier level, see further down the page.
A full breakdown of included components in each package. Get ready to scroll for a while, because it's a long long list.
While scouring through the letters and articles, you will come across discussion of specific characters or movies that the studio is working on, and you’ll be able to go online, search for the name, and find them. Watching the old cartoons for extra clues adds a whole new dimension to the game.
The movies below are part of an ARG puzzle hunt we are currently running in parallel to the kickstarter campaign. The puzzles in these videos are far, far more challenging than what would be included in the delivered game (because they have to stand up to the hivemind; thousands of people putting thousands of man-hours of thought into them, as opposed to just one person or a small group), so don’t be intimidated if they seem hard. The final game has been carefully designed to cater to all backgrounds and skill-sets. But theses short films should give you a brief idea of the kind of style the final movies take.
Some the favourite moments of our playtesters were reading about details of the cartoons from the letters and memos of the animators, and then scouring the footage online picking out the parts they had read about, finding the hidden patterns or subliminal messages. This extra dimension really moves the game from the table-top to something that seems to live and breathe in the real world.
Because of the scope and size of the game, we don't envision ever being able to bring 'The Wilson Wolfe Affair' to game stores. Our plan is simply to run this kickstarter campaign, and then fulfil the orders to those that have pledged. So if you really want to play the game, the only chance you may ever have is to back the kickstarter now and help us fulfil our goal.
Creative projects that take a bit of a risk and attempt to seek out new experiences for new markets only succeed because of people like you - people who are willing to give their backing when they see something good. So if you like the look of what we have produced, and want to see more of this type of game in the future, give us your backing, and we won't let you down - we will deliver you the greatest game you have ever played.
We realised while making the game that marketing might be a problem - we wanted to show you all the cool unusual solutions our game entails, but by showing those we would also be spoiling the game for you. What's the point in buying a big elaborate puzzle game if you have already seen half of what you need to do from the teaser video? So, we decided to make some dummy solutions just for the preview. Any puzzles you can make out, or any solutions shown here, like the flame being held to the poster, the game board being folded to spell a word, etc. do not feature in the final game in the way shown.
However, the final game does include posters and board games (along with everything else shown in the 'what's included' images on this page), and also has solutions involving special inks and odd interactions... just not the solutions we have shown here. That way we can give you a taste of what to expect, but you can also 'go in blind' from when you first open the box. So don't worry about having anything spoilt.
Stretch goals are extra funding targets, which when hit, will allow us to add new things to the game. The new objects will be added to every level of the game, and so make the final product better for everyone.
As each goal is reached, more information will be revealed about the next goal, and the titles give a little clue as to what to expect. All the goals above $70k involve adding a cool new component to the game, which will feature as the key to a new puzzle within the story. We have tried to rank them in order of how interesting they are, with the final $210k goal being something we think is particularly cool.
You can help raise the total by sharing the kickstarter page around. You would be surprised how far a little sharing can go. A single post on a facebook group or a forum, a submission to a gaming news site, tweeting the link to someone with a lot of followers who may like it – they are all little actions that can have huge consequences in terms of raising the total, which will allow us to make the game better for everyone. So please share the project around, help us reach our stretch goals, and we will be able to make the game even more intriguing!
Want to buy additional games?
If you want an additional Silver Package on top of what you’ve already pledged for, simply add another £79 onto your pledge amount. If you want three more Platinum Packages and two more Golds, just total it up and add it on.
Before the games ship, you will be contacted by our pledge manager, BackerKit, and the extra money you have pledged will show up as credit in your account. You can then simply click on the extra packages you ordered and you will receive them.
Also, for those who want to change pledge levels later, this too will be much simpler. If you pledge at the Gold level now, but want to upgrade to Platinum later on, you can just select the higher level when you are contacted by backerkit and pay the difference.
You won’t be paying a roughly 10% higher price, as mentioned in previous updates. You will just pay the current kickstarter pledge level prices.
Risks and challenges
NEW TO KICKSTARTER?: Select one of the ‘Pledge’ levels on this page to help support our game. If we reach our funding goal of £25,000, we will be able to make our game, and you will receive the game at the level you have chosen. The money you pledge will only be collected if we reach our goal. If we fail to reach our goal, your account won't be charged at all.
The team at Simulacra Games have years of experience as graphic designers, mainly working in print advertising and product design. This means we are very experienced in dealing with manufacturers and print shops, and very at home with the process of taking a design from concept to completion. The game is already designed (both in gameplay and graphics), and upon successful funding of the kickstarter will require only manufacturing/printing and delivery.
95% of components in the game will be produced by printers/manufacturers we have worked with before, and whom have always produced good work for us.
The other few pieces, by their nature, require specialist manufacturers, which we have already found and are in dialogue with regarding the project, so we have no reason to believe there will be any problems there.
When dealing with manufacturing and shipping part of the project is inevitably out of your hands, and so there is always the possibility of delays to delivery – however, having designs produced and printed and delivered to a deadline has been our bread-and-butter for many years as designers, so we are confident we can overcome any problems in the supply chain.
Certain parts of the design of the final game have been altered for the prototype in order to obscure the answers to puzzles, so as not to spoil the game. Thus the final product will vary in design from the prototypes pictured in this kickstarter. You will receive all components listed in the tier level you decide to back (see images titled ‘Silver Package’, ‘Gold Package’, ‘Platinum Package’) but the design of the components may be different. i.e. if your pledge level includes a poster, you will receive a poster, but the graphic design of the poster may be slightly different.
If for some unforeseen reason pledges need to be refunded, we will be unable to refund the charge incurred by kickstarter, amazon, etc. – representing roughly 10% of the total payment. We will be unable to offer refunds once we have begun packaging and shipping.
£20 / $26 / €23
Flat rate worldwide
(conversions from GBP approximate and rounded to nearest dollar/euro amount)
Project is EU friendly, US friendly, and UK friendly – items will be shipped from warehouse locations within those countries, ensuring relatively similar delivery times/costs worldwide. Buyer is responsible for any import duties or other duties, and for providing correct information in regards to name and address etc.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)