About this project
Losswords turns classic literature into a social word puzzle game. It’s a new indie mobile game where you become a member of a secret literary underground. It’s the latest creation of Local No. 12 - the folks who Kickstarted the popular card game The Metagame.
Get to know Colleen, Eric, John and Peter through this painfully awkward video.
Losswords is a novel (pun intended) cultural experience. As you play the game, you scramble and unscramble passages from classic works of literature. Losswords includes hundreds of literary classics from public domain book collections like the Project Gutenberg library.
As far as we know, this is the first game where you can dive in and play with the actual written words from so many classic books. The more you play, the more books you collect for your secret underground library.
To help us select books for Losswords, we have enlisted some amazing cultural figures to act as our literary curators. Check out their book selections below - we'll be adding more as the campaign goes on.
In the future world of Losswords, books have been banned and video games are the only form of state-approved culture. You are a member of secret literary underground called The Readers. To keep books alive and out of sight from the oppressive government regime, you scramble and unscramble passages from famous works of literature.
Losswords gameplay is a two-part process: LOSSWORDING and SOLVING.
First, you LOSSWORD a book. You do this by finding the words inside the words of a literary passage. Like finding ALL inside CALL or EARS inside YEARS.
The leftover letters then fall down to the bottom - leaving behind a scrambled version of the text.
After that - your scrambled passage is sent to someone else who has to SOLVE the book by putting the letters back in the right place.
The cool thing about Losswords is that as you are scrambling a passage, you are actually creating a word puzzle for other players. Losswords includes hundreds of books and thousands of passages taken from the books. But because the word puzzles you solve are made by other players as they Lossword a book, the game will generate millions of constantly changing games. Each time you play there will be new puzzles to play... new books to Lossword and solve.
We’ve got an addictive prototype and a complete game design, so now it’s time to move into production mode. We need to staff up our programming and animation resources, so that’s why we are here raising money.
We are aiming to finish the game sometime in the next year. (If you join the campaign as a playtest backer, you will get to play it earlier!) Currently we have a playable build with about 75% of the game’s features implemented. The art direction is done (and we think it’s quite snappy). But we still have to make a lot of the visual elements and animate them. We also need to implement music and sound, as well as programming and debugging.
By the way, this isn’t our first time around the block. After two successful campaigns for our card game The Metagame, we have grown to love Kickstarter as a platform for indie game designers. So many awesome games have been born here!
As individuals, we have created many games. Eric ran his own game studio for a decade (Gamelab, the company behind Diner Dash and other popular games) so we really do know what we’re doing when it comes to software development. For example, we're partnering with the amazing artist Winnie Song for the game's illustrations.
Your help will make this game happen.
Our heartfelt appreciation and a thank-you on the Losswords website.
A complete copy of the game - plus your name appears in the in-game credits.
For the Losswords connoisseur.
A special Kickstarter-only premium version of Losswords with exclusive books unlocked. And your name is listed inside the game credits.
For the true insider.
Be the very first to experience the game with an early-access iPhone Beta. And when the game launches, you'll get Kickstarter-only exclusive books unlocked and your name in the game credits.
Build the Losswords library. Help us curate the Losswords book collection - choose up to three public domain books that will actually appear in the game (subject to our approval). You also get all of the Playtester rewards, including access to the pre-release iPhone Beta version of the game. And when Losswords launches, you’ll have Kickstarter-only exclusive books unlocked plus your name in the game credits.
The swag bag! Losswords bookmarks, bookplates and yes - a totebag! Plus early Beta access if you want it! When we launch the game, you'll also get the Kickstarter-only exclusive books unlocked and an extra-special thank-you inside the in-game credits.
Lead the revolution! You get to choose your favorite public domain book for inclusion in the game - and you get a high-quality custom-illustrated print of that book cover. Plus everything else: early Beta playtest access; the swag bag of bookmarks, bookplates and a totebag; Kickstarter-only exclusive books unlocked in the launch version; and your name in the game credits with an extra-important thank-you-so-very-much.
Risks and challenges
In game development, there is always a risk of failure. So, can we produce this? Yes. We’re veteran developers, with a background in both tabletop and digital games including Diner Dash, SiSSYFiGHT 2000, and more. We’ve made many prototypes of Losswords, and the basic gameplay is stable and working really well. So while we have a lot of production details, the overall design is locked.
Another risk is that we’re making a mobile game —notoriously the lowest funded category on Kickstarter. In fact most don’t get the funding they need. Why? Primarily because people are used to paying very little (or eve nothing) for mobile games.
The Losswords team is not a big corporate game company. We’re an indie group of game makers that sees the potential for new, experimental mobile games. We’re putting all of our energy behind this campaign to make it happen, and we’re setting what we think is a realistic goal to fund the production of Losswords.
Finally, there is a risk that we’ll finish the game later than we're planning (sometime in 2017). If that happens, rest assured that the game will launch, and the extra time will be spent making Losswords amazing.
We are going to do whatever we can to make this campaign a success. We want to see new, experimental, fun indie games find the kind of crowdfunding they need through Kickstarter. By pledging to help us make Losswords a reality, you’re part of making it happen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Hopefully, yes! At $15,000, we will reach our stretch goal of bringing the game to Android phones! If you have an Android and want to play Losswords, help spread the word so that we can reach our goal and get it on your phone.
We are planning on having approximately 200 books inside the Losswords library, all of them public domain literature. Our literary curators have selected some of them, but there are lots more that will be part of the game! We'd like to add even more - keep an eye out for stretch goals that will bring more books into the game!
Because of the challenges of distributing mobile games, we can't offer Losswords worldwide. Right now the game is available in the US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the UK, the European Union, and Switzerland. However, if you live in a country that isn't listed here and want to support the game, let us know and we'll look into it!
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