About this project
WANDS came about when I was trying to teach my non-nerdy girlfriend (now wife) how to play Magic: the Gathering. It didn't go very well :)
After that, I wanted to blend the fast-paced action and easy-to-pick-up-it-ness (it's a word now!) of Uno with MTG, to create something that was quick and fun for the whole family, but that had a little bit of strategy to it.
And thus, WANDS was born.
How To Play
You play the role of a witch or wizard, engaged in a magical battle with your opponents. You and your rivals start with 10 life points each. Using a combination of Blasts (unblockable magicks), Spells, and Counter-Spells, you try to reduce your opponents to zero life points and be the last spellcaster standing.
If you cast a Spell, opponents have a chance to cast their Counter-Spells. Multiple Counter-Spells can be cast on each other, adding more damage and greater effects, shifting effects, or canceling them altogether. Imagine one of the wand battles from the Harry Potter movies and you get the idea. It's quite fun to cast a spell on your buddy, watch someone shift the effects to someone else and add to it, watch someone else shift the effects to yet another player, watch someone dispel that shift, watch the next person dispel that shift, and finally, you shift it back to the original target.
WANDS is best with two to five players. Games can be as short as a couple of minutes, and it shouldn't take more than ten minutes for anyone to learn the rules.
WANDS is not a collectible card game. You only need one set of cards; there's nothing to collect; no booster packs; no rarity; no drafts. This is the full game.
WANDS is tremendously easy to play and fun. A testament to this is the fact that both my seven-year-old nephew and my not-seven-year old wife enjoy playing.
WANDS has been exhaustively play-tested and iterated on over a span of months.
Draft rules can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2JIXEygDHOUYlF0bVdaOTgzNTA/edit?usp=sharing
These are near-final (but not final), and don't include production card names, for example.
WHAT'S IN THE GAME
WANDS is a 104-card deck, with 15 separate cards of custom art. Card fronts and backs are full-color. WANDS comes in a double-tuck box (the same kind of box UNO comes in).
WHAT'S GONE INTO IT
We've spent over a year prototyping and playtesting the game. It's gone through several revisions.
We've brought on board an artist and art director and had the overall design of the game set down, art created for some of the cards, the card backs, the logo, and the box.
ART AND PRINTING
Art is from Lindsey Lea (http://grumble-bee.tumblr.com/), who's done art and animation on everything from an MMO for Playdom/Disney to G4's CODE MONKEYS. Art direction is courtesy of John Flynn (http://www.behance.net/bryne), who's done art and/or art directed for Playdom/Disney, Meteor Games, and NeoPets, among other things.
WANDS will be professionally printed here in the United States on 2.5" x 3.5" poker cards. They are glossy finished, with a nice heavy weight to them.
Wow, my name looks nice as a heading. Who am I? Why am I qualified to make this game?
I am a game nerd. I love board games, card games, and video games, and have been playing them obsessively since I was a small nerd.
I also do this for a living. For the last few years, I've been employed by companies including Acclaim, Playdom/Disney, and Nexon to design, produce and/or product manage video games. I've shipped twelve games for PC, Facebook, and mobile devices. Before that, I co-wrote (with David S. Goyer, writer of the Batman reboot and MAN OF STEEL), produced, directed, and designed the streaming Web series and Alternate Reality Game THE HANGED MAN for Icebox.com, and spent years developing and producing films and TV shows (some of which people have actually seen).
I've run user, beta, and other game tests for literally tens of thousands of users at a time, and I've applied this process on a slightly smaller scale over WANDS' development process. Many different groups from two to ten players have tried WANDS over several dozen iterations of the game, resulting in its current incarnation. To put it into hard numbers, it's been fun-i-fied 7,233%.
Why Kickstarter? Because people on Kickstarter love cool games.
Funding will be used to finish up the art, make all the art files ready for printing, and get the decks and rewards printed and shipped.
After Kickstarter, prices for WANDS will be increased. A single copy of the game will sell for $20-25. So you can get yours at a significant discount now (20-40% off, for the non-math inclined). And reward items like giclees will not be available post-Kickstarter.
We didn't want to go too crazy with stretch goals, because we want to focus on getting WANDS out.
However, if we're able to raise a total of $15,000, we will print the entire run of the game with foil backs. Foil backs would be a la Magic:the Gathering or other CCG type games. Foil backs would be on the entire print run for the Kickstarter campaign, and everyone would get them instead of regular old non-foil backs.
STRETCH GOAL #2
If we hit $10,000, we will add in another "bomb" card that rewinds time, undoing the entire last turn taken (and all of its effects). This card can only be canceled by a Dispel (no other Counter-Spells work on it).
STRETCH GOAL #3
If we hit $12,000, the rewind bomb card is exclusive to Kickstarter!
Risks and challenges
The major risks associated with WANDS are that the key personnel (artist, art director, and myself) may become injured or incapacitated, delaying the project.
Other, not as likely risks include the apocalypse, alien invasion, a swarm of out of control nanomachines rendering the world into grey goo, or someone opening a portal to another dimension, releasing beings of great power beyond our comprehension into this realm to create madness and destruction. But let's be honest, if any of those things happen, you'll be a lot more angry about life as we know it ending than you will about not getting your card game from Kickstarter.
On a serious note, I've been working as a professional producer, project manager and/or product manager across film, TV, and the Web for almost two decades now, and have made games for everyone from World Poker Tour to Disney. This project has been scoped and costed out, and our deadlines are reasonable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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