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A card game about death. Part trivia, part conversation it offers an intriguing and delightfully morbid evening with friends.
A card game about death. Part trivia, part conversation it offers an intriguing and delightfully morbid evening with friends.
A card game about death. Part trivia, part conversation it offers an intriguing and delightfully morbid evening with friends.
692 backers pledged $23,539 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$23,539

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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

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OUR STORY

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.

Early game concept. We quickly hired an illustrator.
Early game concept. We quickly hired an illustrator.

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.

Black Trivia Cards
Black Trivia 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.

White Conversation Cards
White Conversation Cards

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.

REWARDS

Level 1: Backers receive a personalized Death's-Head Hawkmoth Postcard
Level 1: Backers receive a personalized Death's-Head Hawkmoth Postcard

 

Level 2: Backers receive a Morbid Curiosity Deck of 156 cards (image is a mockup of game's box)
Level 2: Backers receive a Morbid Curiosity Deck of 156 cards (image is a mockup of game's box)

 

Level 3: Backers receive two decks Morbid Curiosity. Please note these will be delivered to one address.
Level 3: Backers receive two decks Morbid Curiosity. Please note these will be delivered to one address.

 

Level 4: Backers receive a Signed Limited Edition Death's-Head Hawkmoth Print + a Morbid Curiosity Deck of 156 cards
Level 4: Backers receive a Signed Limited Edition Death's-Head Hawkmoth Print + a Morbid Curiosity Deck of 156 cards

 

Detail
Detail

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!

STRETCH GOALS

Stretch Goals
Stretch Goals

 

Detail of Gold and White Print
Detail of Gold and White Print

OUR BUDGET

Budget
Budget

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!

OUR TIMELINE

Timeline
Timeline

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

Creators of Morbid Curiosity: James Young & Kimberley Mead
Creators of Morbid Curiosity: James Young & Kimberley Mead

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.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The "Slightly Morbid" Level

    For those who are a bit curious and want to support the project, we'll send you a postcard of our Moth illustration with a handwritten note of thanks from one of the creators.

    Includes:
    • Illustrated Postcard
    • Handwritten note of thanks
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    17 backers
    $
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $26 or more About $26

    The "Morbidly Curious” Level

    This is it. This is how you get the deck. 156 cards of morbid fun! It's a delightful evening with friends and a safe way to get better acquainted with Death. I mean, you're gonna meet him anyway.

    Includes:
    • Deck of 156 cards about death
    • Shipping to the US included
    • All stretch goals
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    Ships to Only United States
    557 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The “Twice as Morbid” Level

    Double the pleasure, double the fun, double the dea... um, never mind. This is a perfect choice for those who want to "share the love". You'll get a deck for you and a deck for a friend. Save yourself a couple bucks - literally.

    Includes:
    • Deck of 156 cards about death
    • Shipping to the US included
    • All stretch goals
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    Ships to Only United States
    75 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The “Morbid Artist” Level

    We think our moth is an illustration worthy of hanging on your wall. We know we'll have one on ours soon. You'll get the deck and a limited edition 12x16, white ink, silk screen print signed by the artist. For every poster purchased, we'll make sure our illustrator Prem Krishnan gets a bump in pay!

    Includes:
    • Deck of 156 cards about death
    • Signed Limited Edition Print of Death's-head Moth Illustration
    • Shipping to the US included
    • All stretch goals
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    36 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The "Memorial" Level

    Let us speak the names of the dead so that they may not be forgotten. At this level, you are invited to provide us with the name of a loved one and we’ll print a small memorial to them on one of our conversation cards for the Kickstarter deck. (You won’t be able to choose the card, but we will ask you for their name and a short remembrance and send you an email proof before printing.)

    Includes:
    • Deck of 156 cards about death
    • Memorial Tribute on 1 conversation card for the Kicksarter deck
    • Shipping to the US included
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The "Dead Man's Party" Level

    Spend a curious weekend in Denver, Colorado discussing the hereafter surrounded by giant dinosaur bones. Our host will be The Dinosaur Hotel (Best Western Denver Southwest), a natural history-themed hospitality establishment recently featured in Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders. (Participants responsible for their own travel and lodging).
    In addition to a deck and limited edition silk screen print, you’ll receive the following: a round of Morbid Curiosity with the creators, a séance with Bryan and Baxter, numerous fascinating talks by death-related artists and professionals, a Saturday night party around the pool, and brunch in Paleo Joe’s, The Dino Hotel restaurant and bar. (We’ll have full description of the presenters closer to the event. Right now we have a Victorian Hair artist, an author who has an upcoming book on cemeteries, a deathworker, and a paleontologist who will talk about really, really dead things.)

    Includes:
    • Deck of 156 cards about death
    • Signed Limited Edition Print of Death's-head Moth Illustration
    • A round of Morbid Curiosity with the creators
    • Séance with Bryan and Baxter
    • Saturday night party
    • Fascinating death-related talks
    • Sunday brunch in The Dino Hotel's Restaraunt
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)