Update: Staff pick! Here are some card layouts!
UPDATE: Gameplay video right here:
"The art style is great, the theme preposterous, and it’s got me pretty damn excited." --Robert Kalajian, Purple Pawn
Quickly: 2-6 players, 30 minutes to play, digital version for $10.
Beasts of Burden is a quick-playing card game of treachery and debauchery. You and your backstabbing pals can only carry so much stuff, yet you will need certain treasures, tools, and weapons to survive a absurd menagerie of monsters, traps, and puzzles. For example, Party Orcs can be defeated with either weapons or a barrel of brandy, while the Monster That Can Only Be Defeated By Flaming Arrows can only be defeated by... uh... flaming arrows.
This game will be illustrated by the fantastic Nikki Burch, who did the art for our first kickstarter, Three Days Until Retirement. A print run of Beasts of Burden will feature 112 high-gloss playing cards each with it's own unique, hilarious illustration by Nikki.
Each player has a hand of 7 cards, drawn from the deck. There are three categories of cards, Items, Encounters and Effects.
Item Cards: You can play weapon, tool, treasure and container cards in front of you, symbolizing all the stuff you are carrying around as you adventure. You can discard these during your turn, as well as play them - which is important, because you can only carry 10 weight at any given time.
Encounter Cards: Monster, quest and puzzle cards are played in a 3x3 grid in the center of the table. Any player can defeat these cards, provided they have the correct item cards in front of them. Encounter cards are worth points, and the person with the most points after one of the four quests has been completed wins.
Sounds simple, right? Not so fast...
Traps are a special kind of encounter card that you can play on your unsuspecting buddies. So if some jerk plays "Many Alligators" in front of you, you better stock up on weapons or be willing to sacrifice a sack full of kittens.
Effect Cards: Things like curses, spells, hangovers, and clumsy accidents can increase or decrease your ability to handle all your stuff. They can also give you great satisfaction as you play them on others and have a reason to yell things like "I CURSE YOU WITH TINY LEGS!"
An incredible crew of people have helped me create and play-test Beasts of Burden. We believe that games and real-time creative social interactions are deeply rewarding and important to our lives and communities. I'm so excited to share this game with you and hope that you'll support independent publishing and game design. Beast of Burden was made with pride in St. Louis, MO. Help us get this card game printed!
All reward tiers come with an instant (well, as soon as I get around to sending it to you, which will usually be within a couple hours) download of the beta rules of the game, along with explanations on how to make the game yourself!
I added HELLA TIERS to this because I know international shipping rates suck and I want to help out by setting things up to make group buys easy. If you're non-international you can abuse my generosity by also organizing group buys. I give zero shits!
Are you a game shop? You rule! You should also order the big packages and stock my game on the CHEAP! It's like putting money in your dang pocket already!
BASIC TIERS: These rewards are pretty average (and by pretty average I mean pretty AWESOME) and they're a total steal so get on em.
- $10 Digital copy of the game!
- $20 Physical copy of the game mailed to your doorstep (international shipping extra)
- $25 Physical copy of the game AND A SWEET FAN CLUB PACK. Part of the reason I love doing kickstarters is the opportunity to print special physical "goodies" and this reward tier gets them! (International shipping extra)
- $30 TWO COPIES OF THE GAME (no fan club packs, sorry. They're $5 extra if you want some. International shipping extra).
- $40 TANK TOP! And a copy of the game. And a fan club pack. A heathered gray Canvas tank top with the dioxin dump logo writ large upon it, printed by Tiny Little Monster here in Saint Louis! I'm not sure I'm even making money on the tank tops BUT I DON'T CARE. International shipping extra.
GROUP BUYS AND STUFF: These reward tiers are designed for stores and international buyers that want to coordinate to avoid the murderously high international shipping rates. Of course, everyone is welcome to them so if you want to organize a group buy and get a sick discount then more power to you.
- $50 THREE COPIES OF THE GAME (and three fan club packs). (international shipping extra).
- $80 Three copies of the game, three fan club packs, three tank tops! It's like you and your friends are getting tanktops FOR ALMOST FREE. Get on it! (international shipping extra)
- $80 Six copies of the game and a fan club pack! What am I even doing?!?!? (international shipping extra)
- $120 TEN COPIES OF THE GAME. And a fan club pack. You get the idea (and the gettin is GOOD). (international shipping extra)
- $200 TWENTY COPIES OF THE GAME. And a fan club pack. That's basically the wholesale price. INSANITY. (international shipping extra but at this point it's like $2 per game, so WHATEVER, right?)
GOOFY TRAVEL DELUXE TIERS: Will anyone buy these? PROBABLY NOT. But if someone does? TIME FOR AN ADVENTURE.
- $250 Come party at my house! With my game crew! I'll order hella pizza (or possibly make many delicious pizzas!) You gotta pay for your own travel though.
- $1000 I WILL APPEAR ON YOUR DOORSTEP. Hand delivery of your package (heh heh) and I'll also cook you dinner and teach you and your friends how to play Beasts of Burden! I'll cover my own travel costs because WHATEVER.
The tabletop gaming community on kickstarter is absolutely fantastic and getting to talk to backers and listen to their thoughts and feedback is so rad! As mentioned above, I ran akickstarterfor Dioxin Dump's first game,Three Days Until Retirementand I know for a FACT that the game came out much better because of the campaign. Talking with backers allowed me to refine the rules, answer questions I hadn't thought of and further shape the look and feel of the product into the fantastic game it is today.
Plus, the kickstarter campaign allowed me to greatly expand the print, editing and art budget for the game, producing wonderful full-color cover, expansion content, dozens of interior illustrations and a full edit job. Now Dioxin Dump isn't just a dream company that I started while avoiding work, it's a tiny-but-growing game company with a line of published products! All thanks to backers like you!
Could I make this game without kickstarter? Maybe, if I wanted to run into credit card debt and print only a few copies for friends and family. This campaign will allow Dioxin Dump to pay a freelance artist and an editor/project manager to ensure that we produce the best game possible, along with a much larger print run (which brings per-unit cost down) and a whole host of cool physical goods (remember Infocom's "feelies"?) that we would otherwise never be able to afford to print.
Effectively, crowdfunding this game is turning the reality (a card game prototyped with playing cards and mailing labels) into a fully art-ed up published card game with amazing illustrations and extras to go with it. Thanks for looking!
If you're into statistics, CLICK THE SHINY GOLD THING:
Risks and challenges
I ran a very successful kickstarter last fall and I was a few months late on the deadline for shipping print goods. I delivered digital stuff on time but I got hung up on some expansion content and fulfillment issues, and while everyone received what they ordered, I still want to talk about what I learned and how I am going to avoid/fix it this time around:
1. Don't offer expansion content if you don't have it outlined already. I got way excited about the level of success of the last kickstarter and definitely over-promised on content, given how short my turnaround time was. While the main game came out digitally ahead of the time, the full expansion content (weird adventures in suburban America and a separate setting for recreating Hong Kong action flicks) took MUCH longer to write than I expected. Had I outlined each before promising them I would have shifted some deadlines. I think backers for that campaign are still thrilled with their rewards and the overall timeliness, but missing deadlines bothers me.
2. Shipping is costly and time consuming. I somehow expected shipping to be a quick one-or-two day affair. Then it turned out I had 355 backers and most of the packages weren't media mail and many of them required larger bubble mailers and in short shipping turned into a monthlong ordeal. I have a contract inked with the freelancer that edited Three Days Until Retirement to do project management for this campaign, including assistance with shipping. So regardless of how well this campaign does, shipping should be a much smoother process. PROTIP: Print USPS mailing labels and postage at home! Don't be an idiot about it!
3. Art can really slow things down. We ended up with so much extra art (thanks to stretch goals) for the last kickstarter that hitting our production deadlines became impossible. To alleviate that this time, I've gone out of pocket on art for this game, and approximately 40% of it is done. Nikki is a fantastic, professional artist and since the amount of art for this campaign is relatively static (i.e. art for the cards plus maybe some extras, as opposed to illustrating a book) we've put together a timeline that will make sure we can hit our deadlines.
There is one big Big BIG unknown with this campaign, though, and that's offshore printing. I've got a quote from a reliable printer in China (not Panda!) and they've given me a production timeline that I'm pretty sure they can hit, but I'm adding an extra month or two to the deadline just to make sure we do what we say we're going to do.
Kickstarter isn't a cash grab or a marketing platform, it's a community of people that believe in creativity. I endeavor to treat backers as friends and co-creators as well as respect the trust you've placed in us to bring this dream to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)