About this project
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The Story Behind the Game's Development
Hangtown the board game has been in development for the last year or so. It was inspired by a fresh blend of contemporary game mechanics, behavioral decisions theory, and the Gold Rush history of Placerville, California, also known as Old Hangtown.
As the game designer and producer, I have pulled together a fantastic team of graphic artists, information designers, and rules editors. It has also been extensively play-tested by many gamers and groups of different interests and backgrounds. The testers provided invaluable feedback, which led to the solid game it is now—a game finely tuned which allows players to delve in without getting tied up with extraneous “fiddly” rules or tedious bookkeeping. In other words, the game has a natural sense of flow, and very little downtime, as many of the actions can be played simultaneously—even in a six-player game!
The game's mechanics and the Gold Rush history have been carefully woven together. By researching though the El Dorado County Historical Society, reading history books, city building records, and websites—as well as picking the brains of local experts—I found more than enough content to apply a strong theme to every bit of the game. Many of the actual historic places and events inspired additional features, which were added into the mix as well. (But have no worries—there is no trivia aspect involved actually playing the game.)
This is my first Kickstarter campaign. Because I have some good friends and connections in the gaming industry, I am aware that there are some trends in crowd-funding: gimmicks that come and go, dos and don’ts, black-swan potato salads, and so on. But I am coming to Kickstarter with a very straightforward attitude, which I hope appeals to those who believe in the heart of the platform.
I am a creative person with a strong vision for a product that I cannot afford to mass produce by my own financial means. It’s a true grassroots effort. I have put in countless hours, as have each of the other people involved—in addition to a good chunk of my own money to pay for the development expenses (prototypes, supplies, artwork, video production, etc). The funds I hope to raise are to cover the game manufacturer's "minimum order quantity" costs + their setup fees, etc. (Note: They are a trusted, high-quality "clean & green" company.)
If the campaign succeeds, I hope to see Hangtown played for years to come by all those who supported it, and their friends and families—making it a timeless piece that can bring joy to those who love to gather around a table for a fun and interesting gaming experience.
Note: Everything pictured and seen the video is a prototype; the actual game may vary slightly.
Hangtown is a Wild West themed board game based on the California Gold Rush of 1849.
As Pioneers, the players compete for riches, resources, property, and prestige. They mine for gold, build historic buildings, districts, and monuments, and string up the unruly at the infamous Hangman's Tree! They must also be prepared for shootouts when the Outlaw comes around...
The game features a thoughtful variety of streamlined mechanics, which are notably innovative, yet traditional and familiar in feel—such as fresh spins on tableau engine building, worker placement, simultaneous action selection, variable turn order, and resource and hand management.
One of the standout themes is “Boom or Bust”. If a player can break away from the pack, he or she can profit from a “Boom yield”, while the others may end up with a "Bust". Those with nimble minds and good instincts can see their boom towns prosper and grow.
The game plays from two to six players, and can be setup in two modes: Discovery: for newcomers and casual gamers, and Highgrade: for seasoned gamers and experienced players.
And an included expansion board grants the players unique character roles, such as the Robber, Deputy, Prospector, and Gunslinger—each equipped with a special advantage.
Hangtown offers many roads to victory and great replayability!
What comes inside the box...
- 150 poker-sized custom playing cards (21 in each player color + 24 general town cards)
- 30 Euro-mini-sized custom playing cards (5 in each player color)
- 3 game boards (expansion board not shown below)
- 7 wooden "Pioneer" pawns (1 in each player color + the gray Outlaw)
- 144 - 10mm wooden cubes (18 in each player color + 36 gray)
- 13 - 15mm wooden discs (2 in each player color + 1 gray)
- 2 - 6-sided dice
- 1 black cloth bag
- 65 money tokens
- 5 rule supplements
- 1 master rulebook
- 1 game box
...Over 400 parts!
+ Kickstarter Exclusive: "Strike it Rich!" cards!
A Turn Overview
What's all this about Boom and Bust? When players Boom, they get the best outcomes, such as bonus actions and free resources. When they Bust they get much less—and sometimes have to forfeit resources to make up the difference.
It takes a balance of sharp wits and good instincts to stay ahead of the pack!
As each stretch goal level is successfully funded, additional or upgraded items are included with every copy of Hangtown!
Additional Pass Actions - This expansion includes 4 more Pass
Action cards in each of the 6 player colors, 1 Railroad Shipments card,
and the rules for setup and play.
UPDATE: Unlocked at $13,000!
Boomerang Saloon Gambling Table Playmat - This expansion includes a cardstock playmat
and the rules for setup and play. Players can go to the Boomerang Saloon to gamble for riches and resources!
UPDATE: Unlocked at $14,000!
Player Roles (Deck) - This expansion includes a set of mini cards with unique player roles and the rules for setup and play. Roles include Gun for Hire, Foreman, Tycoon, Madame, Greenhorn, Town Drunk, Harlot, Carpenter, Wheelbarrow Johnny, and more... It will be unlocked at $16,000!
Societies Playmats - This Kickstarter-exclusive expansion includes 6 cardstock playmats and the rules for setup and play. Each playmat offers a unique player ability. It will be unlocked at $20,000!
Hangtown backers can add on $12 to their rewards to get a copy of At the Heart of Gold Country, a 60-page book on the history of Hangtown (aka Placerville) and its surrounding areas. It features over 40 rare photographs! It was written and created by Nancy Dunk, the historian for Hangtown the board game.
What people are saying about playing the game...
"Historic events and signature locations await the players in Hangtown!"
"I am a sucker for thematic games and this game's flavor and theme are brought to the forefront through the clever usage of its mechanics and art direction. Whether you stick it out alone or follow the pack, the overall 'Boom or Bust' game-play, along with the pesky Outlaw, promises interesting tactical choices and memorable moments for the players and the town.
It's fast, simple, and very entertaining. Hangtown is an instant favorite of mine and I anticipate multiple sessions with it at my table for years to come!"
~David Hanold, designer of Showdown: Icons
Creative Director at Arcane Wonders
is a great game that combines many mechanics I like, in a new way. Role
selection with multiple possible outcomes, tableau building, combo
building, worker placement, and more! I loved playing it and couldn't
wait to play it again. "
~R.J. Adams, Highgrade "blind" play-tester
fast pace and quick to grasp rule set make it a fantastic addition to
any tabletop game collection. The game allows for multiple gaming skill
levels with a variety of play options. Something my family and I
discovered first hand! From my college fratboy brother to my grumpy dad,
we all found ourselves engaged and competing to claim victory. Even
after multiple plays I constantly found myself reworking past strategies
and discovering new ways to pull ahead. And the Gold Rush theme takes
me right to the streets of 1800s Placerville, a great addition for a
displaced (and homesick) Californian. I can't wait to have a copy of
Hangtown the Board Game to call my own."
~Jessica Scharff, play-tester, Dallas, TX
"I had enormous fun with Hangtown. Watching your boom town grow and prosper through correctly anticipating taking the least popular actions is hugely satisfying.”
~Matt Anderson, designer of ERIE
and Fall Schematic: The Cooperative Card Game
Risks and challenges
I am really happy to say that the game development is already 99% done. The rules, artwork, and components are all ready to move into the final manufacturing stages. There are no risks involving incomplete assets or the game being "broken" due to insufficient play-testing, and so on. The last year was devoted to getting everything in the game settled, polished, and played through—all before going public here on Kickstarter. (You can read the Designer Diary on the game's website for more details).
In regards to the next steps after funding, I do not foresee any major setbacks, but, such as it is with any large scale project, there can be little bumps along the way. That said, all of us involved are well prepared to overcome them should they arise. And I assure you that I am fully dedicated as a business owner, artist, and game designer/producer to see this product built and delivered soundly. I care deeply about this project and all of those who are involved, such as you, the backers.
As far as delivery times go, it will be somewhat dependent upon the manufacturer's schedule; quality board games can take up to a few months to complete, then some additional weeks to ship, etc. I've estimated June of 2015 to play it safe. But it may vary a bit. From there, the copies will be delivered or available for local pick up.
My plan is to update the backers with every bit of news I get regarding production and shipments. Though I'm excited and want to receive actual copies of the game as soon as possible, I will not risk of any potential oversights by rushing. The graphic designers and I will be reviewing proofs from the manufacturer before approving the full print run. Again, I am committed to making this game with a keen attention to detail—I see it as a big work of art.
I am available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. So by any means, feel free to contact me and I will try to get back to you within 24 hours. You can even set up a time to meet and talk in person if you are in the Placerville area. I hope to develop solid working relationships with this project's supporters, and pass on a sense of pride that we can all share for bringing Hangtown the board game to life.
Jonathan "JonnyPac" Cantin
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