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By ChoicerSize
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Our existing board game, called The Charles Challenge (which is the foundation and basis of the Wellness with Friends app), is a highly strategic board game uniquely designed into a jigsaw puzzle format. The game is made up of identical player game boards with each board holding 20 jigsaw puzzle pieces and each puzzle piece having a different food, beverage or exercise type. Players compete against each other when they choose from a common pool of 80 puzzle pieces, all with different food, beverage and exercise choices. And each puzzle piece gives a separate score for weight, cholesterol and blood pressure so you can use just one score to name the winner or a combination of all three scores.

The game grows in intensity as players choose their puzzle pieces, forcing each other with fewer and fewer food and exercise choices. In a 3- or 4-player game, the competition escalates because not only do you need to know which food or exercise choice will yield a better score, you have to use strategy to get to the best choices first – before your opponents get to them.

We want to make the game available to many more people, but the board game is expensive and heavy to ship (5 pounds), so we put together this Kickstarter campaign because we want to convert our board game into a mobile app game called “Wellness with Friends.”

Maybe you have a loved such as a parent or grandparent who you wish would make some changes or maybe even your pet wishes his human would make some healthy changes...

So, if you like to play games on your phone or tablet, or if you or your friend are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to play this 30-minute wellness simulation game with your friends first and take the Challenge to see how much you can lower Charles’ weight, cholesterol and blood pressure against your friends.

We think you will be very surprised when you see how your game score rates compared to your friends and how you statistically stack up to other people who have played the game!

*Typical game play time duration averages 30 minutes but game play time duration can vary.

We want to explain the board game to help you better understand the overall gaming concept.  Though the purpose of this Kickstarter to convert it into the app, understanding the game board version is the basis of our game.  The game board version is a simple game to play. It’s basically a jigsaw puzzle with choices on each puzzle piece. The object of the game is to fill in Charles with your choices.

Take all 80 puzzle pieces and lay them out on the table, just like you would do with a regular jigsaw puzzle with the front side of all pieces facing up.

There are 4 puzzle pieces for each puzzle coordinate location on the Charles puzzle board. Shown below are four heart shaped puzzle pieces that go into the heart location on the Charles puzzle board. Each piece represents a food, beverage, or exercise. In this example, the heart represents exercise choices.

Opponents compete for the best choice, and each player must choose one puzzle piece for each coordinate in order to fill up his Charles puzzle board.

Players do not have to choose the same shapes in the same order. Example: Player 1 chooses the (tennis); Player 2 chooses the (salmon) and so on.

Each of the 4 choices is like a visual multiple choice test. One will be the best choice. The others will be progressively worse.

After each player places their 20 puzzle pieces in the game board, players turn the board over to reveal their scores. They add up their scores for each color. The lowest score wins. Now comes the eye opening part.

Compare your score on the index to see how much you lowered Charles weight, cholesterol and blood pressure and see who is the smartest when it comes to making Charles healthier. Winner is the Wellness Champion!

The Wellness with Friends app will be played in the same manner as The Charles Challenge board game, except each player will be on separate Smart Phones or Tablets and scores for Weight, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Blood Glucose level will display with each placement of a puzzle piece. Players can select which of the scores will determine the winner. Clearly we need help to improve our game graphics and we will use the Kickstarter funding to do that.

In fact, over 50% of health insurance claims are related to weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Even 1 in 8 preschoolers is obese, and this is the first generation of children who are expected to live shorter lives than their parents due to poor health. We think this game has potential to help educate children to help save the lives of tomorrow. 

Health Awareness - Health awareness is the first step in the process of making changes to improve health. There are several ways to encourage health awareness. Health risk assessments, biometric screenings, and surveys are all ways to help bring about health awareness. If a person is not aware they have high blood pressure, then they won’t know to make any changes. If a person is not aware that the food they eat on a daily basis exceeds their sodium limit each day, then they won’t know to make the appropriate changes.

Health Knowledge Assessment - Wellness with Friends has a built in health knowledge assessment tool right in the game. Just by playing the game, the score the player receives assesses the player’s knowledge base on nutrition and physical activity. Scores can be used to identify gaps in knowledge and provide the correct intervention to the workforce. While biometric screenings provide a physical snapshot of the population’s biometric risk factors, what they don’t provide is the identification of the gaps in knowledge and what specific health education the workforce needs to make better choices.

Health Education - Knowledge is power, and when it comes to health it’s no different. Research shows that the more education people have, the better their health. When the workforce is healthier, costs are better controlled and employees are more productive and satisfied. Learning key health and wellness concepts can dramatically improve the health and well-being of employees and their families. Learning about key factors such as sodium, cholesterol and calories teaches people how to better manage their health. Lifestyle choices with regard to nutrition and physical activity contribute to well over half of disease and medical claims.

Who is Charles you ask? Charles represents the average American male.  He is 5’10”, 195 pounds, borderline hypertensive, moderate cholesterol. Like most Americans, Charles eats out about 50% of the time, and eats 2800 calories per day.  He also eats 4400 milligrams of sodium, which is also the daily average for many Americans.  The reason why Charles exists is because he can simulate health outcomes for you depending on the choices you make for him, and this allows you to see the results of your choices on a fixed person.

The board game was created by us, Amy Hathaway (a registered dietitian) and Terry Weed. Our very first customer for the board game was in June 2014 when a local Medical center purchased several of the Charles Challenge board games for use in their out-patient classrooms that teach healthier habits to people with heart problems.  

The classroom instructors love using our board game in their classrooms but the instructors have continuously pressured us for a version of the game to include blood glucose level for diabetics, as well as a Spanish version, but they mostly they want us to develop the game software App for smart phones and tablets. 

The reason is they want the game in an App form is so that they can use the game in hospital rooms so that hospital patients can play the game with family and friends or other patients.As we began working with health educators, doctors, dietitians, employees, and teachers we realized that there is huge gap in tools available to teach these concepts in a fun and memorable way. We stopped watching television, stopped going to the movies and stopped socializing with friends. 

We spent all our spare time creating a hand-crafted, presentable prototype that we could begin to demonstrate, test, and find a manufacturer to create.  The feedback from focus groups was very positive.

We also saw that with diabetes rates skyrocketing, the demand for a diabetes version and a Spanish version were very much needed. Customizing the board game to each specific condition wasn’t going to be feasible, especially given the patient education and classroom environment where sanitizing the game would not be possible. Having a digital version gives us much more flexibility to meet the needs of the population.

With the popularity of gamification and the preference of so many people with smartphones to use apps, it only made logical sense for people to begin requesting a digital version of our beloved game.

In this digital age, it only makes sense to have this game available as an app, so more people can have access to it at a much lower cost, and less carbon footprint. Surveys from players show that not only is the game enjoyable, they are learning and retaining the information and applying it to everyday nutrition and activity choices.  

Families and Children have requested an app because the of convenience, familiarity and the ability to play on the go.

Doctors, Nurses and Health Educators have requested we create a tablet or web version because they can't properly sanitize the puzzle pieces between patient uses.

Elementary School Teachers have asked for a tablet or web version to use in the classroom so they can integrate it within the Common Core Standards of education and more easily monitor the children's learning progress. Many classrooms are utilizing computers to help teach children key concepts in this digital world. The game has also been played “tournament style” in elementary school classrooms with groups of 30 kids.

Worksite Wellness Challenge programs have asked us to create a digital version for employees to compete against each other in a worksite wellness challenge, so they can better track participation and engagement as well as incentives. Everybody can challenge their loved ones, friends and community (or even strangers across the globe!) to compete and learn while competing against their opponents.

The game has the potential to help heart patients, help people with high cholesterol as well as diabetics and most certainly the game has the potential to make a dent on the fight against child obesity. But because of our limited resources, we are reaching only local people with our board game right now. We want to make the game available to many more people, but the board game is expensive and heavy to ship (5 pounds), so we put together this Kickstarter campaign because we want to convert our board game into a lower cost mobile App game called “Wellness with Friends” and see if we can reach thousands of people with this entertaining game instead of only hundreds of local people near where we live. 

But we need your help to make this happen.

The app development will take approximately 9 months to complete.  Delivery for the app is expected in December of 2015.  The board games and t-shirts will deliver in August of 2015.  Updates will be provided on a minimum of a monthly basis, and more frequently when requested.

The budget created for our Kickstarter is comprised of the following estimated costs:

  • Design
  • Software Development
  • Kickstarter Fees
  • Giveaways & Shipping

Design, Development, Giveaways, Fees, and shipping are included in our fundraising goal at cost and include no additional benefit or profit above the amount listed. 

All work of nutrition calculations, approval of design concepts, management of project, and biometric outcome calculations will be done by Amy and Terry on a volunteer, unpaid basis and will not be paid from the Kickstarter fund.  All stretch funding will go towards the outlined stretch goal projects.  Anything beyond that will be based on Kickstarter backers votes for additional expansion of the project.

We committed our own resources to develop the board game and have invested countless hours into the development of this project.

Photos & Images: All photos and images were created by us, except for a handful of Creative Commons images that were free to use commercially and without credit required.

Music:  Music tracks were sourced from Bensound.

McKinsey Global Institute.  Overcoming Obesity:  An Initial Economic Analysis.  November 2014.

Nutrition information on foods: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/list Foods Composition USDA Database Ref 24.

Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity in the United States, 2009–2010. NCHS data brief, no 82. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.

NHANES. Intake of Calories and Selected Nutrients for the United States Population, 1999-2000.

Wright JD, Wang C-Y. Trends in intake of energy and macronutrients in adults from 1999–2000 through 2007–2008. NCHS data brief, no 49. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010.

Fryar CD, Hirsch R, Eberhardt MS, Yoon SS, Wright JD. Hypertension, high serum total cholesterol, and diabetes: Racial and ethnic prevalence differences in U.S. adults, 1999–2006. NCHS data brief, no 36. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010

Freid VM, Bernstein AB, Bush MA. Multiple chronic conditions among adults aged 45 and over: Trends over the past 10 years. NCHS data brief, no 100. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.

USDA. Composition of Foods Raw, Processed, Prepared.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24.

U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.

Bowes and Churches Food Values book.

NCEP ATP III Guidelines At-A-Glance Quick Desk Reference. NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. May 2001.

CDC Vital and Health Statistics Series 10 Number 252 January 2012. Summary of Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2010.

High impact interventions not getting media coverage
High impact interventions not getting media coverage

Risks and challenges

We've spent the past two years bringing the game board to life, including product design, hand made prototyping, researching and finding a quality manufacturer, and finally having manufactured games in our facility. It wasn't always easy, but we learned as we went along, and when we looked to bringing The Charles Challenge into the digital platform, we diligently worked to develop quality relationships with designers to developers so we could ensure they could see the vision and possibilities in a digital version of the game. The bulk of the hard work is behind us, and we feel confident we can deliver on the app in the timeframe given because our designers and developers have experience and expertise in their field, and have demonstrated successful delivery on several other digital development and app products and come with high recommendations. We've built in a small extra buffer of time, which will allow for on-time delivery (with a possibility of early delivery!).

Both of us are seasoned professionals who are passionate and committed to bringing Charles to life and will do everything possible to deliver on time. We will regularly provide updates and be transparent about the process along the way. We couldn't do this without you and because of you, we can all be part of change! Thank you for putting your trust in us, and I hope you will feel comfortable and confident in backing our Kickstarter!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    WELLNESS LOVE! We love you, too!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 1 PLAYER GAME, WEIGHT ONLY. Be the very first to use the basic smart phone app. This will be the solitaire version of the app playing for weight only and will contain 80 different food and exercise choices. By supporting us you will be helping us bring Wellness with Friends to smart phones and tablets everywhere. You will help people learn about the right types of food and exercises as they play the game to make Charles a healthier virtual man.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    WELLNESS GOLD! Your health is your wealth!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 2 PLAYER GAME, WEIGHT ONLY- Same as the above, but you will compete against your friend in this 2- Player, add-free version of the game. This reward will unlock two licenses of the app, one for each of two mobile smart devices. Each player will have their own smart device and play against each other. You can choose to play for weight only, or you can also choose to include cholesterol and blood pressure in your game scores. This version of the game will include 100 different food and exercise choices.

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    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    WELLNESS MASTER! Awesome!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 2 PLAYER GAME, WEIGHT & CHOLESTREROL & BLOOD PRESSURE- Same as the above, but you can choose to play for weight only, or you can also choose to include cholesterol and blood pressure in your game scores.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    WELLNESS AMBASSADOR! Nice!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 2 PLAYER GAME, WEIGHT, CHOLESTREROL, BLOOD PRESSURE & BLOOD GLUCOSE - Same as the above, but you can choose to play for weight only, or you can also choose to include cholesterol and blood pressure and blood glucose (diabetes) in your game scores.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    WELLNESS CHAMPION! Wow!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 3 PLAYER GAME, WEIGHT, CHOLESTEROL, BLOOD PRESSURE & BLOOD GLUCOSE - Same as the above, but you can choose to play for weight only, or you can also choose to include cholesterol and blood pressure and blood glucose in your game scores. This version will unlock three app licenses for three separate smart devices so all three players can play against each other.

    Exclusive only to 1000 and doesn't come with other pledge options.

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    WELLNESS CHIEF! Hail to the Chief!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 4 PLAYER GAME, WEIGHT, CHOLESTEROL, BLOOD PRESSURE & BLOOD GLUCOSE - Same as the above, but you can choose to play for weight only, or you can also choose to include cholesterol and blood pressure and blood glucose in your game scores. This version will unlock four app licenses for four separate smart devices so all three players can play against each other. You can play solitaire, or 2 player, 3 player or 4 player games with these licenses.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    CWO (CHIEF WELLNESS OFFICER)! You're the boss!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 8 APP LICENSES - Same as the above, but you can choose to play for weight only, or you can also choose to include cholesterol and blood pressure and blood glucose in your game scores. This version will unlock a total of 8 app licenses for four player games. Eight separate smart devices will be needed, one for each app license. You can play solitaire, or 2 player, 3 player or 4 player games with these licenses.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    WELLNESS SUITS YOU! Look who is rocking the wellness look now!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 8 APP LICENSES + T-SHIRT - Same as the above, but includes a “Wellness with Friends” T-shirt that has an emblem picture of Charles.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DICE IS NICE! Rocking & Rolling the Dice!!

    WELLNESS WITH FRIENDS APP – 8 APP LICENSES + T-SHIRT + Original board game - Same as the above, but includes a “Charles Challenge” original board game as shown in the video and at www.choicersize.com.

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

    WELLEBRITY!! Can we get an autograph?!

    All previous rewards plus allows you to choose a food or exercise choice to include in the game. It could be a dish that is your favorite recipe, or it could be a photo of you performing your favorite exercise. The photo and description would be included on a puzzle piece as a choice for game play on the app. The photo and description would be subject to appropriate editing for game play.

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Funding period

- (30 days)