About this project
In Shenanigans: The Musical you play as members of an orchestra in crisis. Someone cannot play an instrument and the music is suffering for it. They have to go!
You storm into the manager's office and demand that they remove the culprit. They agree and ask you to point to the person who cannot play their instrument. Without hesitation everyone points at everyone else.
We've also recently added a collection of shirts, featuring art from the game as an optional add on. We've found time to prototype the shirts and to ensure that they're consistent with our manufacturing and shipping plans (See the updates for details). They look something like this:
And can feature any one of these five characters:
Shenanigans is a quick, easy to play game for 4-10 sneaky players. Each player receives a role and that role dictates how they win:
- The manager would like to kick the artiste out of the orchestra.
- The artiste will be happy for anyone else to go.
- Everyone else has their own goal, such as the Overlooked Viola Player who doesn't care who wins as long as someone finally pays attention to them.
They each then use their abilities to find out information whilst hiding their own allegiance. Once they're done all eyes turn to the manager as everyone tries to influence her choice of who to kick out.
Most musicians want the artiste gone so that things return to normal, so the manager can generally trust their advice - but a minority have solo objectives or even want the artiste to win!
We think that we've made an excellent game, but don't take our word for it! The following reviews are by independent reviewers who have no affiliation to The People's Orchestra:
"I had a lot of fun with it. It’s a game I can wholeheartedly recommend. Backing it will not only get you a copy, but will also help to support a great cause in The People’s Orchestra" - Boards and Bees
"The muddling mechanic is clever and enjoyable. It’s easy to start out as the manager only to discover you’ve become the artiste in the final round and have to do some quick thinking." - Casual Game Revolution
"I like how there are so many different roles, the Manager and the Artiste are in every game, but everything else is significantly varied" - Game Fondue
"Shenanigans is simple, humorous, and excellent with large groups. It's a refreshing take on Mafia/Werewolf style party games, and is much quicker and more fluid." - Purple Pawn
"It’s absolutely fantastic the People’s Orchestra has decided to sell a board game to raise money to support their charity. More should be done to make board games a power for good. You and some mates could sit round and have a good blast of fun and silliness with this game and have no regrets." - Rolling Dice Show
"Shenanigans: The Musical is a light-hearted experience that can please a rather large number of people; this is practically a small party. It takes less than a minute to explain and does not last more than five minutes to play. It's easy and entertaining, played for laughs and to kill time. The engine behind it is simple yet effective." - RPGnet
Three expansions have been unlocked, each adding ten cards and a new gameplay mechanic to the game. You can mix and match which expansions you choose to play with in any given game.
In The Lovers the performers let their feelings for each other get in the way of the music. Your secret objective might change to match your lover or the manager might find herself unwilling to eject her paramour.
In Performance the musicians recognise that the music is only half of the show. Clap, drum, sing and dance your way to victory with this collection of physical action roles.
Finally the Artiste's Conspiracy adds seven new artiste roles to the game, so that you can inject some variety into the behaviour that the artiste is trying to hide.
You may wish to call shenanigans on the fact that all of our stretch goals are unlocked by the first pledge. Perhaps they should be called "Cool stuff above and beyond the main game that would normally be considered a stretch goal but that we wanted to offer them from the start", but that's a bit of a mouthful.
We've written an article about the decision here, but it basically comes down to these things:
- It's good for us to know exactly how much we're printing and shipping up front.
- The base game plays very well and feels complete with 24 cards.
- Ten cards is enough to make a meaningful gameplay expansion.
- It's very affordable to print 54 card decks, due to their ubiquity.
- 24+10+10+10 = 54
- We trust you. We don't feel that we have to lead you along by claiming that these are things that we're not going to offer unless we get loads of money. We want to give them to you now.
If you'd like to have a more detailed look at the gameplay then you can see the rules here and the cards here. If you hate reading here's a video of me explaining the rules, but alas this line is powerless to convey that information to you in a way that you'd enjoy:
The People's Orchestra was founded to make orchestra accessible to everyone, as both audience and performers, regardless of their wealth or status. We run active volunteering programs as part of the "steps to work" initiative, create and support charity events and provide £300 bursaries to enable talented young people from deprived areas to take part in the orchestra.
We also like to do things just because they're awesome:
Thanks for reading our page and I hope that whether you pledge or not you get a chance to play the game and have a fantastic time! If you've got any suggestions or questions please drop me a message.
If you would like to help the campaign spread then please share our video and consider using one of our avatar badges to show your support:
Finally, here are a couple of bits and pieces about the project as well as a piece of the character art chosen completely at 'random'. Thanks for reading!
Risks and challenges
Development: The game is complete, at this moment the designer and artist could be struck by lightning and the project could continue unhindered. While we're pleased to have mitigated the risk to the project we still hope not to be electrocuted.
Manufacturing: We're using exactly the same process for this game that was used for Escape the Nightmare. As such we're using a tried and tested approach with a manufacturer that we know we can trust.
Shipping: Shipping is the Achilles heel of Kickstarter and many projects have been laid low by it. We've done everything that we can to minimise the risk: We've budgeted generously for it and have a very robust shipping plan with only one pledge tier and one destination for the initial shipment.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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