The Road to Bethlehem. Journeys through time & space (Canceled) project video thumbnail
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$4,706 pledged of $30,000 goal
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By Gates of TAU L.L.C.
$4,706 pledged of $30,000 goal
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About

Dear Backers!

Thank you very much for your support! We really appreciate your help and good will. Even though we were not able to meet our funding goal on Kickstarter, we managed to raise enough capital from other sources to allow us to continue with our mission. We are closing our Kickstarter campaign today. Of course, your credit cards will not be charged for the pledges you so generously made. We have learned a lot during the campaign and gathered a lot of extremely valuable feedback. We also managed to lower our projected costs and, consequently, lower the price of “The Road to Bethlehem” to 89 US dollars.

Within days, “The Road to Bethlehem” will be available on amazon.com. We will very much appreciate if you look for it within 10-14 days, but if you would like to be notified exactly when it becomes available, please write us at contact@road2bethlehem.com and you will be among the first people to know about it.
Again, many thanks for your support and trust! It really meant a lot to us.
God bless!
The Road to Bethlehem Team

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Dear Friend in Christ!

This project has two main goals. One is the producing the game, the other - preparation of more language versions.

The First goal of this project is to gather funds (with minimum budget at $30 000) to deliver as many copies of 'The Road to Bethlehem' to as many English speaking families as possible.

Second goal is to gather funds allowing translation of The Road into as many languages as possible. This will allow us to bring the game to more families all over the world (Stretch Goals). By making a pledge for a reward containing a full game set you contribute to creating new language versions of the game, at the same time.

The pledge amounts reflect the sum of these goals.

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If you dare to walk through the Gates of Tau, you and your companions will embark on an amazing journey through time and space. Let’s go…

  • Completely immersing – body, mind and spirit.
  • You do not play as an imaginary character, you play as yourself, in a way you never played before.
  • NO zombies, orcs or vampires. You will face much more challenging rivals.
  • NO magic spells, no sorcery, yet emotions skyrocket!
  • During gameplay you will meet many characters, who seem kind of familiar, like you’ve met them before. Then you realise - they are from the Bible!

 

‘The Road to Bethlehem’ is an adventure family & friends game featuring real experience. It is the first game to use the innovative gameplay engine – REAL Challenges System. Easy & Simple even if you are not familiar with scenario adventure games. With this game everyone can become a Game Master and lead family & friends on the journey after… 5-10 minutes! Just use Quick Start in Manual and let the journey begin!

‘The Road to Bethlehem’ is set in biblical times and designed for the entire family. It centres on the Book of Adventures, where each scenario is a separate, fully fledged adventure, with the action taking place across eight thrilling environments including deserts, mountains and great cities. The game begins with a mighty figure of Archangel Raphael transporting the party of TAU Travellers back two thousand years, to the time when Christ was born. This is how the journey begins, but where will it end? How your journey unfolds and where ‘The Road…’ leads depends on you – or, more precisely, your choices and performance throughout the game. ‘The Road to Bethlehem’ skilfully weaves biblical themes into the gripping action; is rooted in and enriched by Christian culture and is great fun for players of all ages.

 

We spent a good part of this year, developing an English language edition, because we want as many families as possible to enjoy our game. It was prepared by a team of native speakers (from the US and the UK) and the author, working together. It is not a simple translation of the Polish prototype, as it was adapted to the customs and traditions of the English-speaking World. We think that our prototypes are great and people who played the English version loved it. 

Your support will enable us to produce "The Road to Bethlehem" and ship the first batch before Christmas… this year!

 

  315 pieces, to be exact:

 

REAL Playing Game originates from Role Playing Games but harnesses the powers of several other genres. The engine of the game is hybrid and modular (for easy and various expansions). Some elements may seem familiar, but all of them are creatively altered and blended together into a completely new way of playing. The synergy effect makes a BIG difference, therefore:

  • playing it means real participation thus performing real spiritual, intellectual and physical challenges; does not require game pieces or made-up heroes;
  • chance factor is minimized – real personal and/or team efforts decide an outcome;
  • becoming a Game Master in our game is amazingly easy - the only requirement is… knowing how to read! You just go with the flow, and follow the Steps in a Book of Adventures. No more thick Game Master Manuals;
  • offers many hours of entertainment to everybody - regardless of age; 
  • involves building bonds and cooperation, not rivalry;
  • players can join or quit a gameplay at their convenience;
  • there is no upper limit of players (just common sense);
  • may be easily put on hold and resumed.


Simply speaking – yes. We have developed a unique REAL Challenges System for our game. Such challenges allow the Game Master to transform events happening in the game world into real activities to be performed in the real world. Measurable outcome of challenges determines the course of the game through in-game Effects.

There are Team challenges and Personal challenges (to be faced by individual players). Each challenge has its own Category and Type. There are three Categories of challenge: Mind, Body and Spirit. It means that during this game all of your five senses will be employed. You may feel joy, exhaustion, relief, anger, you may actually sweat and feel the satisfaction from conquering fear. And all this without even leaving the room!

For example - an imaginary snake inflicts an imaginary bite on one of TAU Travellers. What happens next is up to you - will you complete the challenge succesfully?

 

(You are welcome to download the Manual for all the details.)

The game begins with all the players sitting around a table. One of them (preferably an adult) becomes the Game Master and leads everyone on a journey through the adventures described in the Book of Adventures.

The journey starts with an encounter with Raphael the Archangel, who opens the Gates of TAU – a portal through time and space, so the team can set out to meet the Holy Family. The Archangel asks one of his signature questions (55 in the box). Here is an example:

You think you know the right answer? What if only one is really wrong, or, better to say, with zero effect? Yes, Archangel Raphael has a sense of humor, therefore there is a unique pattern of effects the answers can bring. Typically it goes like this:

  • Excellent! (+2 Authority) - for the best answer;
  • Pretty good (+1 Authority) - for a true but not complete answer;
  • Good one! (+1 Equipment Token) - for a witty answer. A bit of laughter never hurts on the road, don't you think?
  • Tell me more... a creative answer needs an explanation. If the rest of the team accepts it (thumbs up!), the player is granted: +1 Equipment Token and +1 item from the Bag of Surprises!
  • Nope! (0) - zero effect.

Of course the sequence varies form card to card.

Once the Effects are applied, Equipment Tokens are distributed. Then it is time to reveal the first adventure. One of the players draws an Encounter Card and the Game Master reads the corresponding narrative from the Book of Adventures...

...and presents the team with a Choice of Starting Options:

For players' convenience the Choice of Starting Options for every scenario is presented to them simulatneously on each Encounter Card. Players vote with their Decision Cards to select the Option and a joint team decision is made (sounds easy, but sometimes this can be quite an emotional process).

Whichever option to proceed is chosen, various real challenges await the players. They test their dexterity, endurance, agility, perceptivity, knowledge, courage and teamwork. The game develops depending on the Results of these challenges. They can lead to further forks in the road, new challenges, availability of new options, different reactions of the characters the team encounters on the journey and, ultimately they affect the outcome of the game.

Throughout the game, players develop their own attributes - Authority and Reputation. Depending on the decisions made and results of challenges these indicators can go up or down. They influence how the adventures develop and the Epilogues of the journey.

The combination of various potential options and choices on the road, challenges and their varying results makes 'The Road to Bethlehem' a different game each time you play it.

Here are some characters you will encounter on 'The Road...':

 

 

Depending on how your game progressed your meeting with the Holy Family will be different. If, of course, you manage to find the humble little Manger in time and space… It might turn out not to be that easy…

 

 

 Simply speaking – to help our family detach from mobile phones, tablets, computers and other cool stuff that erodes relations and makes zombies out of people. To help us meet again with each other. To reconnect all the generations of the family in a fascinating and meaningful way.

From the very beginning it was clear to me that this could be accomplished only if the ‘solution’ will be really – and I mean REALLY – immersing for everyone.

At first I was looking for something like this – to no avail. Then I realized that I have all I need to design it myself because of my experience which I call: 3 x 15. 15 years of being a father, 15 years of being a business trainer and 15 years of being a Game Master in Role Playing Games.

For the last 15 years, I always started professional workshops by saying: ‘Now, prepare yourselves, as I will lead you on an fascinating adventure! Let the journey begin!’ At first, participants always looked at me with disbelief (and caution, sometimes), but after a few hours… Well – I just delivered, what I promised – challenges, emotions and… a wide array of personal experience and relations. I employed all my experience of being an RPG Game Master and creativity do so. Their blushing cheeks, radiant eyes and engagement were a real payoff for me - just like during RPG’s sessions. Seeing how beautifully it works in a professional milieu I’ve asked myself: How to get it to work for the good of my own family? With all these emotions, engagement and joy?

In 2014, I have started designing an innovative gameplay engine. Alone at first, but that changed quickly. The first version of the game was accomplished by the effort of three people, who were insane/inspired enough to affect next… 60 people! Players, teachers, parents, testers, illustrators… even priests and lawyers, all working together for an idea to become a reality. And, against all odds - we did it!

One more thing happened at the very beginning of this work. Though I am not really a ‘mystic’, I need to give a true testimony of some events that took place during this project.

First event. During the first working meeting, me and my friend suddenly and unexpectedly said the same phrase, with exactly the same words in exactly the same time, to each other. It was a flash of inspiration about the theme for this first game – a journey in search of the Manger.

Second event. When I realised what it would cost to prepare graphic design for the game I started to ask the Holy Spirit for help, as it seemed hopeless. I was quite persistent with asking for sufficient funds (that was my simple thinking). One day, I was walking to pick up my kids from school with my head full of uneasy thoughts about the project. Unexpectedly I felt that something strange is about to happen. I didn’t know what exactly, but this - quite uncomfortable – feeling grew with every step. I saw a man standing by the entrance to the building. At this very moment, the inside feeling focused and became a strong conviction that I need to tell that man about the project and the graphic design problem. I am an open minded person and I develop relations with ease, though… I am not accustomed to stand up in front of complete stranger and tell him about my own problems. That feeling became so strong that when I was next to this guy I was so frustrated inside that I just stopped and started to stare at him. This was so awkward…

I didn’t feel FORCED to do anything. I just felt that this SHOULD be done to help the project. I decided to bury my ego and I started talking. The guy looked very surprised (and a little bit cautious), yet he was kind enough to listen to me. He interrupted my speech just once to ask me who I am – He kindly withstood my quite emotional speech and told me that he needs to pick up his kids right now, but he will contact me soon. Yeah, sure… Nevertheless I thanked him with a feeling that he wanted to get rid of me, politely.

To my astonishment he called me the same evening and gave a phone number to some guy saying that I should contact him. So I did, and we met the next day. After 15 minutes he asked me to stop - that went well… - and told me that his company will prepare illustrations for the game. I didn’t understand him at first and started to ask if he offers to prepare some of the graphics for a lowered cost or what? But he stated again that he will assemble a team of graphic artists and they will prepare the full graphic design for the game for… free! Couldn’t believe this at first, but next week a team was created and work has started. 20 illustrators worked for about 5 months to create what you can now see. Praise the Lord!

Only later I have learnt that sense of humor is a hallmark of Archangel Raphael. There are many other strange stories to be told, someday. This was just one of them. Some may call it just a coincidence but I strongly believe, that the project is under special guidance. The Archangel Raphael! He is the patron of travel and healing – including relationship healing.

Well, that’s what the game is all about! I don’t believe in chance – I believe that everything is just a part of God’s plan. And I love when a plan comes together – to quote Colonel John ‘Hannibal’ Smith. :)

Jacek Malkowski, creator of 'The Road to Bethlehem'.

The prototype Polish edition was launched in the fall of 2016. The results:

  • more than 1600 copies distributed,
  • thousands of families played and enjoyed the game,
  • lots of positive feedback,
  • longest single reported runtime: 8 hours,
  • biggest team of TAU travellers – 16 persons,
  • youngest autonomous player: 6 years; oldest: 69 years.

Some comments from players back in Poland:

EXCELLENT!!! The whole family played together – it took us several hours... But the emotions, discussions, laughter ;))) We reached the goal! ;) Anna

Lots of fun during the challenges (herding sheep, tasting spices, etc.) The game lasted several hours and nobody had to check their messages on Facebook. Jarosław

On the Road from 5:30 PM till 1:30 AM :) The game rocks! Damian (father of 4, homeschooler)

A super cool game. Very similar to RPG games based on competition, but the difference is that this one is based on collaboration. Adam (17 years old)

 

Now it is up to you to help us manufacture it and enable thousands of people around the World to have fun and learn on 'The Road to Bethlehem'. Thank you for your support, we really appreciate it!

We want to offer 'The Road to Bethlehem' to as many people in as many countries as possible and develop the REAL Playing Game genre. This why we have two types of stretch goals:

  • making the game available in more and more languages;
  • expanding the existing game.

When we achieve the declared funding goal we will begin to reveal the  corresponding amounts.

  • ??? - Legacy of Ages (set of Special Cards adding array of mystery items to be found and used on your journey, although… you will learn the effects by using them – that could be surprising to you and to your team!; extension to ‘The Road to Bethlehem’).
  • ??? - Expansion pack - Missions of Archangel Raphael (special missions that can be undertaken and accomplished when travelling the Road - new characters, new options for characters already known, new challenges; extension to ‘The Road to Bethlehem’).
  • ??? - Book of Adventures vol.2 for ‘The Road…’ (new book with 8 new scenarios).
  • ??? - ‘The Wilderness’ – map-based, cooperative, REAL Playing Game, fast paced with enhanced Personal Attributes Development system. Game can be blended with ‘The Road…’ or played independently.
  • ??? – French, German, Portuguese and Spanish editions of ‘The Road to Bethlehem’.
  • ??? – Chinese, Japanese and Korean editions of ‘The Road to Bethlehem’.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 'SHIPS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD' does not mean free shipping, unfortunately. Depending on where you live, different rates will apply. We promise to keep them as low as possible.



Risks and challenges

Design & Content
The content is complete and all designs have been finalised and formatted. High-quality prototypes were produced and tested and are ready for manufacturing.

Manufacturing
We are using the same tested manufacturer who produced the Polish prototype and we ensured that the materials used, meet the requirements of the American standards regarding toys as well as CE (European Union) safety standards.

Stretch Goals
All stretch goals have been carefully pre-planned and pre-budgeted.

Schedule
Our target is to ship all rewards asap, and to have them in your hands on time. Please bear in mind that there are many factors affecting when the final product will land on your doorstep.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Shining Star

    One star shining in heavens can hardly illuminate the Road, but when there are thousands of them... Every journey becomes easier with radiant firmament over the Road to Bethlehem.

    Becoming a Shining Star grants you - should you make a wish - eternal place (your name and your city) on our Map of Shining Stars illuminating the Road to Bethlehem. The Map will be created and placed for all eternity on our website.

    You get:

    > One Shining Star with your name and city on our website Map of Shining Stars.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Ambassador

    Becoming the Ambassador of 'The Road...' grants you a package of 7 wallpapers, for you mobile, Facebook or desktop. Each wallpaper will show a character from the game along with a cheering qoute.

    You can use them, you can share them, you can be... the Ambassador of 'The Road to Bethlehem'.

    You get:

    > package of seven JPG wallpapers.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    101 Dalmatians

    Becoming a member of the 101 Dalmatians Society gets you a picture of our team with a Dalmatian puppy (of course). And we will be holding a 'Thank you!' banner personalised with your name.

    You get:

    > Special 'Thank You' photo with your name.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Dirty Dozen

    Becoming a member of Dirty Dozen grants you possibility to ask the Author three questions concerning... anything. Video with answers will be sent to you.

    Be careful what you ask - you will always get an answer but maybe not be the one you expected. Golden rule: better the question - better the answer.

    You get:

    > A video with answers to your three questions.

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    Pledge $129 or more About $129

    2017 A.D.

    This is no movie. This is reality. This is our distance in years to the source of Christianity. Start your own journey, this year.

    You get:

    > 'The Road to Bethlehem', complete game set - THIS YEAR.

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    Pledge $129 or more About $129

    Where Eagles Dare - THE GAME

    You would rather play in Polish, or learn a new language while playing "The Road..."?
    We can help. But you will have to make the pierogi yourself. Sto lat!

    You get:

    > 'The Book of Adventures' PDF in Polish
    > Archangel Raphael Cards PDF in Polish
    > 'The Road to Bethlehem', complete game set.

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    Pledge $139 or more About $139

    The Sky's the limit

    To become a Sky walker some training is needed and that takes time. Your TAU Traveller set will fly to your doorstep within several months. With something worth waiting for.

    You get:

    > 'The Road to Bethlehem', complete game set;
    > a sterling silver, TAU-shaped Game Master's pin (15 x 13 mm).

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Winchester '73

    Becoming member of elite Winchester '73 club grants you 'The Road...' with a special weapon against evil - a wooden rosary with a TAU-cross. Heavy duty, blessed, reliable and action ready - excellent gift for everybody. It is the creator's weapon of choice against evil, too - he uses exactly this kind of rosary.

    You get:

    > 'The Road to Bethlehem' complete set;
    > wooden rosary with TAU cross.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Chosen One

    Becoming a Chosen One is never as easy as some may think. Therefore special aid is needed to overcome temptations, to learn about ourselves, to understand and embrace our destiny in this life.

    For the Chosen One a completely new, additional scenario will be written, featuring:
    * 3 characters from the Bible specified by The Chosen One;
    * 8 names - family and/or friends - specified by the Chosen One;
    * 1 special challenge/event for each of the above;

    You get:

    > One of a kind, leather bound Book of Adventures with an additional custom-written scenario ans special dedication from the creator;
    > 'The Road to Bethlehem', complete game set.

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Funding period

- (30 days)