In early 2015, we started with a simple idea: What if we could use modern technology to create a comedy party game that was more seamless and fun than any other party game ever made? We hosted a small game night to try the idea out on some friends (one of them told us we should call it "Use Your Words!") and by the end of the night we knew we had an amazing idea on our hands.
Use Your Words! is a video game that plays like a board game. Players gather around a screen (TV or PC, typically) and interact with it using their smartphone or other internet enabled device (tablet, e-reader, PC, etc). No pencils, no paper, no waiting, just streamlined laugh-a-minute fun!
By June, we had one working mini-game. In September, we had an awesome (but glitchy!) prototype. By January of 2016, we were ready to show off the latest build at MAGFest.
And now, with the basic proof-of-concept completed, we need your help to fill it with hilarious content and make it look and sound as awesome as we imagined it!
This video gets a little more in-depth into the mechanics of the game:
AN ESTIMATED BREAKDOWN OF WHERE YOUR MONEY WILL GO IF WE REACH OUR MINIMUM:
Our minimum budget is $35,000. If we reach our minimum, we will release the game on Steam and Wii U with a guarantee of 200 text-based prompts, 75 photo prompts and 75 film clip prompts. That's an estimated 20 hours of non-repeating gameplay in Party Mode!
We'll be able to release Use Your Words! on more platforms and with more content if we reach certain budget milestones. For instance:
At $40,000 we will also port it to Apple TV
At $45,000 we will port it to the PS4
At $50,000 we will port it to the Roku OS
At $60,000 we will port it to the XBOX One Store
At $70,000 we can guarantee 50% MORE CONTENT! (An estimated 30 hours of non-repeating game play in "Party Mode"!)
At $75,000 we will port the game to the Amazon Fire OS (Fire TV & Fire TV stick)
At $85,000 we can guarantee 100% MORE CONTENT! (An estimated 40 hours of non-repeating gameplay in Party Mode!)
Up until now, our little two-person team has been spending our time and money on this project with no compensation. So let's be honest: If our Kickstarter generates more than $85,000, a larger proportion of the amount above that will go toward us feeding and housing ourselves during production so we can devote even more time and energy to the project!
That said, if our campaign generates significantly more than $85K, we may present another round of stretch goals to keep the party going!
At the start of the game, each of 3 to 8 players will open the browser on their internet-enabled device (phone, tablet, laptop, Wii U Gamepad, etc.), go to http://wordsgame.lol, and enter their name, as well as the unique room code generated for their play session. Once all players have joined the room, one of them can press the "start game" button to begin Party Mode.
In every round of play, players are given a prompt where they will provide the punchline. The first round of Party Mode is called Blankedy Blank, where players are shown an incomplete sentence. They will fill in the blank by typing on their device, press the "submit" button, and once all players have submitted their answers, the answers will be shown in a random sequence on the screen of their TV or PC. None of the answers indicate who wrote them, and, importantly, there is one extra House Answer thrown into the mix.
Once players have looked and laughed, they each vote for their favorite. If a player receives a vote for their answer, they will get 1000 points, BUT if any player votes for the House Answer, they will lose 500 points for that round. So, for example, if you were to get two votes for your answer but vote for the House Answer, you'd net 1500 points for the round.
The next three rounds are:
Hashtaggery, where you compete in a Twitter-style hashtag war a la @Midnight
Extra Extra, where you are given a strange photo and write a newspaper headline for it
and Sub The Title where you are given a subtitled film clip and you write the missing subtitle!
After two times going through all four mini-game categories, players compete in a special final round (details of which are forthcoming).
Once you complete a playthrough of Party Mode, you will unlock Quick-Play Mode, where players can choose which mini-games to play as they go.
The object of the game is to earn votes from your fellow players while avoiding the House Answer. Ultimately though, our goal is to create a game that makes it easy, fun, and rewarding to create sidesplitting laughs with your friends!
If you're still a bit confused about how the game works, don't worry! Soon we'll be uploading a video of a live demo of the game, so check back here in a day or two!
Risks and challenges
Kickstarter has asked us to enumerate the risks and challenges of this project and explain how we're qualified and prepared to overcome them.
1) While Julian has been in game development for over a decade, this will be Brent's first time managing the production of a video game. We're counting on the following facts: Brent has headed up projects as ambitious and diverse as several original musicals, a successful webcomic, and a summer arts program for children which he personally taught and managed. We're confident his vision for this game and his drive to get it right will make "Use Your Words!" yet another successful venture on his resume. He has made a name for himself (as well as a full-time living) for over 6 years injecting humor into video games, and this is an exciting new way to continue doing that! And if at any point he's unsure about which way to best move forward, Julian's expertise and experience will be there to light the way.
2) There are always unexpected hiccups along the way in the production of a video game. Maybe a member of the creative team has an unforeseen schedule conflict and we're left scrambling for a contingency. Maybe a certain element of the game costs way more than we expected and we have to restructure our budget. The possibilities are endless if you look at it pessimistically. But here's what we can guarantee you: We believe passionately in this project. We fully expect and even welcome the unforeseen. Come hell or high water, we will move forward and make this game the most fun, hilarious, and worthwhile experience we possibly can.
3) Kickstarter has also asked us to point out an obstacle we may uniquely face and have to overcome after the project is completed. This game will reference certain elements of pop culture in a parodic manner. For instance, you may be invited to complete an incomplete version of a well-known lyric with your own unique twist. Occasionally, copyright owners far overstep the bounds of precedented fair use allowances and make an unreasonable cease and desist demand (think "Blurred Lines" and the Marvin Gaye Estate). The beauty of "Use Your Words!" is that we have a dynamic backend. To put it simply, if there's an element in the game that needs to be changed or omitted, it's as simple as taking it out of a spreadsheet and creating an update that users will immediately receive on their chosen platform. Since we will be updating and improving the game regardless, this would be a seamless way to make any litigious copyright owner go away and allow players to continue enjoying our game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)