$1,472
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33
backers
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Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 22 2014
Chris WarrenBy Chris Warren
First created
Chris WarrenBy Chris Warren
First created
$1,472
pledged of $14,000pledged of $14,000 goal
33
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 22 2014

About

I'm cancelling the project for now - not 'so long' but 'see you again some time'  

I thank you all so much for your support, but the reality is that based on the funding trend this project will not make its goal this time around. I greatly appreciate your votes of confidence both in myself and the game. I'll definitely be re-launching at some point and incorporating everything I've learned from this round to make it better next time - I still think Business Mogul is a great game that the wider world should be able to play. So, good bye for now, and I look forward to getting back in touch with you when I re-launch.  

Thanks again

  -Chris Warren

About Me and Games

I started toying around with game design in the early '80s when I was about 10 years old. I would make up additional rules and custom items for DnD, create variants for various games I'd play with my younger brother (crazy Risk and Monopoly :) ), and evolved a war-game-like (though I certainly didn't know it as such at the time) set of rules for various toys and figurines to duke it out across the bedroom floor. I played games of all sorts through high school and college, always with an eye to what made them tick. In 2001 I got more serious about game design as a hobby and co-founded a weekly game design group.

Since then members of the group, and sometimes the group as a whole, have created a number of really great games, and learned a lot along the way. We talk on occasion about trying to get some of them published. Then about 2 years ago I put together the first version of what would become Business Mogul. It was really rough, but even then I could see that for me this was a game to run with. Since that start it's been improved through many, many rounds of play testing, work shopping, revision, and always more play testing. And now... it's time for me to take the plunge into the world of manufacturing, fulfillment, setting up a business, and all that complicated stuff. But I need your help to make that happen, and you need to know whether this is a game you'd enjoy. So...

About the Business Mogul Board Game

Business Mogul mid-game
Business Mogul mid-game

In Business Mogul you play as the leader of a rising corporate empire, competing with your peers to amass the most power. Game play is centered around building an economic engine, and uses a bidding mechanic that I've not seen elsewhere. The game has a fixed number of turns - six seasons of five rounds each - and total play time tends to be about 2-2.5 hours for 4 people (the game is designed for 3-5, with a solid 2-player variant), on par with a feature movie. In every round there is one card per player up for grabs - every player gets a card every round. The cards on which you bid are businesses that are used to build up your economic engine, extra actions to be saved until needed most (and they let a player do some things outside the normal rules of play), special agenda cards that give you a bonus at the end of the game (how much depends on how well you fulfill the conditions for the given card), and events (which are to be avoided if you can). 

some of the cards on which players bid
some of the cards on which players bid

You’re bidding pick order rather than on a particular item. You use a set nine of bidding cards (you get them all back at the start of each season), which represent how you, as the head of your businesses, are dividing your attention that round between trying to get the best of the available items and getting other stuff done. Each bid has a specific action that it allows (lower bids have more powerful actions), and bids saved for the end of the season are worth extra money - the higher the bid the more it’s worth. These additional aspects associated with each bid, the action and the end-of-season cash value, make for exciting, meaningful choices every round.

If you want to know more about how it works you can check out this video

It covers starting a game and the first season of play, with commentary about the kinds of things the players are considering and why they choose the things that they do. 

The latest version of the rule book is also freely available as a PDF from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx4gqxm5SrEcYWxsMXdkU0VCaE0.

Business Mogul supports multiple valid strategies, though the highest final score usually goes to the player that dabbles in additional strategies beyond their primary one. The key to winning is being tactically smart about balancing pick order vs action vs end-of-season-payout, paying attention to the state of other player’s empires and the bids they've already used in the current season, and executing a strategy that adapts to the flow of items up for bid. 

There are some fairly common game mechanics/attributes that Mogul specifically does not have:

  • It has no player-to-player aggression - the bidding each round is the only point of direct competition. 
  • It does not have random action outcomes (that is whether or not a given action succeeds is not determined by dice, card draw, or anything like that). 
  • It does not have any kind of territory control. 
  • It has no resources / production beyond money and end-game score.
  • It does not require memorization of what’s been played; aside from a single hidden card each player gets at the start and the particular bid a player is making in a given round, the state of the game is fully revealed.

If you really want one or more of those things in a game, then Mogul is probably not a game you’d enjoy - thanks for taking the time to read this far, and maybe you’ll like the next game I make... and perhaps you can mention this one to a friend who would be interested in it :)

About This Project

The version of Business Mogul shown above is a final game-play prototype. The published version would have a different design for the board and some of the pieces (e.g. the play-money would be different too).

If successful, most of the money from this campaign will go towards 4 things:

  • manufacturing - actually getting the game produced with high quality parts
  • fulfillment - making sure the resulting games get to you and the other folks who want a copy
  • business - filing fees, general start-up overhead (thus far funded out-of-pocket)
  • promotion - ideally, space at one or more gaming cons, but regardless some kind of time and resources devoted to getting the word out about Mogul, and laying the groundwork for the next game

I'd love to be able to devote some of it to upgrading the art assets of the game, but whether that's possible depends on how much the final tally is.

Contact

If you have any questions of comments please feel free to contact me via kickstarter, at my email address csw11235@gmail.com, or via google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ChrisWarren_as_csw11235.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge of this project is that I've never published a board game before. While I've been a serious amateur designer for a long time, it's a major step from one-off prototyping up to full scale design, managing production, and handling fulfillment (not to mention all the financial complications that come with getting a business up and running). In particular, I'm hoping that the game would be shipped in December, but I don't really know how long it will take and won't be able to give a better estimate until the publishing process actually begins - I'll let you know as soon as I know.

That being said, I've successfully handled other major projects, and there's a lot of great advice out there from people who have done it. I've contacted several production companies to get rough quotes for production, and to fulfillment companies to get a handle on the expected shipping fees and processes. That has let me set the goal for this campaign at a level that I know will make this work. I hope everything will go perfectly smoothly, but this will be a learning process for me, so realistically I can't promise anything beyond the fact that I will get the games to you one way or another. I will keep you updated on the process at all stages, so that if there are any hiccups you know exactly what's going on and how the schedule would be affected.

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Support

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Mail Clerk - "You're a vital part of this organization!" : You get to be a part of something big - thanks! :) Backers at this level and above will get an electronic copy of the rule book.

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    Cubicle Monkey - "You are the backbone of this venture!" : You get one copy of Mogul.

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    Middle Management - "Without you this enterprise would not run!" : You get 2 copies of Mogul - one for yourself and one for a friend.

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    VP - "You are the heart and soul of our business, or at least the pancreas!" : You get 4 copies of Mogul - appropriate for a small retail operation.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Board - "You know how important you are." : You get a signed copy of Mogul, special mention in the game credits, and my heartfelt thanks. If you're within 3 hours of me (roughly the circle defined by New York NY, Boston MA, and Burlington, VT) I'll come to your shop / gaming group for a play/demo session.

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    Angel - "Wow!" : All of The Board rewards, plus you get a special mention in all future game credits, plus if you're interested I'll include references to you (your name, artwork based on you, or other such things - any instance to be reviewed by you) where possible in my future games.

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Funding period

- (30 days)