About this project
Morbid Curiosity: A Game About Death
Morbid Curiosity is a game of 156 trivia and conversation cards which challenge players to share what they know and think about death while having a delightfully morbid evening with friends. So kick off your shoes, sit down, and let’s get to know Death a little better
It all started with a group of children. Strange for a game about death, but, it did. I was working as a therapist at a grief center, facilitating a children's group. I was struck with the remarkable difference with which the kids approached a subject most adults see as grim and taboo. They drew pictures, sang about decomposition, had mock funerals where they acted out the roles, from the priest to the deceased, and asked all sorts of questions that would make most adults squirm. They encouraged and supported each other with ease. The kids were simply... curious.
One night after work, I had a realization: Adults need something to help them to regain their wonder with death. And that's when this all started.
The first thing I decided was that whatever “it” was needed to be fun and have a broad appeal. A game. And, though it could be a useful tool for facing grief and our mortality, it needed to be about ALL aspects of death: the strange, fascinating, and even the irreverent. Something for those who wanted to take a closer look at death... or at least had a morbid streak and wanted a fun party game.
I drew in James, a historian and holder of arcane knowledge, as my co-creator to this strange, dark, (and rather interesting) world.
We brainstormed numerous ideas: a board game where you moved round the Ouroboros answering questions, “Have You Ever” questions, competition vs. group play, a job interview to become Death. None of that worked
In the end, we created a card game of trivia and discussion. We designed the game to allow players to move between conversation and playfulness. We spent a year and a half trying out rules, refining questions, developing the look, and play testing until we felt we got it right. Numerous friends (game designers, game players, writers, scholars, therapists, artists, and business folk) became our sounding board and test players. Now, when people play, we see all the elements we envisioned: laughter, storytelling, wonder, maybe a tear or two, and yes, curiosity.
HOW TO PLAY
The game is played round-robin. Each player selects a black or white card in turn, while the others attempt to answer the question posed.
Cards are awarded to the first correct answer or, in the case of conversation cards, the answer that was the most interesting to the reader. Play continues around the circle. Game ends when one person awarded seven cards.
It takes only a few minutes to learn and, depending on how talkative your group is, takes about 90 minutes to play. We think it plays best with four or more players, but we’ve done it with as few as three and it’s gone well.
As you see, on the surface, it’s a fairly uncomplicated game yet, within that simplicity, much discovery and humor awaits. Morbid Curiosity is not a harsh look at your own mortality, or some delicate, awkward conversation about the end of life. Rather, it is a unique, well crafted game that lets people look at death while having a good time with friends.
When you set up a game play, pick people you really want to get to know better. Pick the intriguing ones, the funny ones, the mysterious ones, the ones who have something to say. Interesting people make for good game play. When we set up our test plays, we were always very cognizant of the people we picked. Sometimes they knew each other for years. Sometimes they had just met that evening. We’d set out some food, open a couple of bottles of wine, set out the cards, and let the go of the wheel. The results were pretty much always fantastic. Everyone walked away knowing the others, and themselves, a little better. Everyone spoke of the wonderful evening they spent with the game, and the others with whom they played.
The limited edition signed silk screen print of our Death's-Head Hawkmoth will be printed on French #100 black paper. We've also decided that our illustrator deserves more. So each print claimed, is a bump to his pay!
The game and art have already been fully developed, prototypes created, refined, and test played. As you can see, the majority of the budget will go to printing and shipping.
As we do not know how much the final game weighs, to make sure we can cover any shipping cost overages, if we reach $40,000 we'll start shipping internationally!
The game is being produced by AdMagic, the same printers who work with Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens. We wanted someone who has experience and a reputation for on-time delivery and quality. Currently, their estimated turnaround time after final proof approval from the plant is 95-125 days.
We are really hoping to meet our stretch goal so that we afford air shipping (vs. the boat shipping we are currently signed up for) and deliver the deck close to **2 months** earlier than this proposed timeline.
As soon as we receive the decks we’ll begin shipping.
OUR CREATIVE TEAM
Kimberley Mead (Creator) Kimberley was raised by eccentric parents who frequently traveled abroad, collected rare books and took her to cemeteries on Thanksgiving but never any family funerals. This is perhaps where her fascination with death comes from. She works as a grief and trauma therapist in Austin, Texas and is an accomplished photographer, graphic designer, and actress.
James Young (Co-Creator) James has a deep background in theatre and music, and has an M. Ed. History. He’s got a wicked sense of humor and a brilliant brain. A large percentage of the multiple choice answers were thought up by him. So blame him when all the answers seem likely.
Prem Krishnan (Illustrator) Prem is a Seattle-based mixed media artist, photographer, and illustrator with many tricks up both his sleeves. Through his experience as a commercial artist, Creative Director, Art Manager, and Producer, Prem's professional background gives him the rare combination of both implementing and managing the creative process.
Risks and challenges
We're keeping it simple, and giving people exactly what they're supporting: the game and the art. This will keep us focused and on time delivering rewards. Specifications have already agreed to. Currently, the only remaining items are the final packaging and proof approval, which cannot be completed until we move forward with an order. If we get blown out of the water we’ve already contacted and priced with a fulfillment center.
Though this is our first Kickstarter both Prem and Kimberley are professional designers and are familiar with budgets, print setup, manufacturing, and shipping. We've crafted the rewards to play to our strengths.
We know there is always the possibility of unforeseen delays, we have done our best to keep it simple, get our supply chain lined up, and researched the hell out of kickstarter distribution and fulfillment. We’ll remain diligent in keeping things on time. Should our schedule change, you'll be the first to know: we'll tell you what's happened, how long it will take to fix, what we're doing about it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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