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Xyzzy! Brave the perils of Colossal Cave to collect treasure in this card-driven adaptation of the classic 1976 text adventure.
Xyzzy! Brave the perils of Colossal Cave to collect treasure in this card-driven adaptation of the classic 1976 text adventure.
357 backers pledged $14,815 to help bring this project to life.

Nine days to go!

The oil has freed up the hinges so that the door will now move, although it requires some effort.

Colossal Cave: The Board Game just achieved a little bit of extra exposure in its last ten days on Kickstarter. I did an interview with Michael Fox of The Little Metal Dog Show yesterday, and this morning it's posted — I'm the third interview in episode 40, "Cadets, Cards, and Caves". Also in that episode: Geoff Engelstein talks about Space Cadets, and Michael interviews one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity.

There were a couple of talking points I intended to hit in that interview, and then forgot about... but hey, I can cover them right here!

Number one: Michael asks what I see as the draw of Colossal Cave: The Board Game. I really only gave half of the answer I was thinking. I know a lot of you guys are fans of the original Adventure looking for a nostalgia trip, and I gave that part of the answer, but then I sort of forgot that I was going to mention the other large group of backers: the astonishingly large number of you who came in from the Kickstarter front page, or from BoardGameGeek, and perhaps have never played Adventure in your life. For you, if the theme factors in at all, it's because you like fantasy cave crawls in general — not because of some specific cave-crawling computer game you've never heard of. And that's okay! The game doesn't require knowledge of Adventure to play and enjoy... although I won't deny that it helps. :)

If you haven't played Adventure yet, why not give it a try?

Number two: I got close to this point with my discussion of the "narrative voice" of the Infocom games. Colossal Cave: The Board Game may not be much like David Sirlin's masterpiece Puzzle Strike, but it shares one very interesting aspect. They're both one sort of game pretending to be a different sort. Puzzle Strike is a deck-building game pretending to be a puzzle arcade game (think Bejeweled) pretending to be a fighting game (think Street Fighter). Colossal Cave is a draw-one-play-one game pretending to be a single-player text adventure, and if you think about it, text adventures are really just computer programs pretending to be D&D game masters.

The fun thing about this sort of game is that you can skip around among the different thematic levels. Colossal Cave has cards that operate on all three planes. There are your typical "thematic" cards, such as Persian Rug or Stop! Pay Troll!, which just are what they are; but then there are cards like Speed Run and System Crash, which derive their names from the fact that the original Adventure was a computer game. And then there's Steal a Keeper, whose name and flavortext refer to the fact that in reality, the game you're actually sitting at the table and playing sure feels a lot like Fluxx.

New stretch goal: $12,500!

You are on one side of a large, deep chasm. A heavy white mist rising up from below obscures all view of the far side. A SW path leads away from the chasm into a winding corridor.
A rickety wooden bridge extends across the chasm, vanishing into the mist. A sign posted on the bridge reads, "Stop! Pay troll!"

I got a quote for those USB drives, and unfortunately even a whole lot of low-capacity USB drives would run about $3.00 apiece. That's too expensive to put one in every copy of the final game (as sold in stores). But it's not so expensive I couldn't offer USB drives as an extra reward to my Kickstarter backers, if we raise the money. So, I'm announcing a new stretch goal!  If we hit $12,500, every Kickstarter backer at the $30 level and higher will also receive a Colossal Cave thumb drive with the name of the game printed on it and playable copies of the original computer games Adventure and Adventure 550.

Art update

Only a small update today. Here's a small but wide-angle shot of how the lower left corner of the board is shaping up, including the Volcano View. Bedquilt and the mazes seem to be as tricky to depict as they are to navigate.

Please keep spreading the word about Colossal Cave: The Board Game. Only nine days left; let's see if we can hit that $12,500 goal!


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    1. Gregg on

      Yay, $9,000 achieved!

    2. Gregg on

      Yesterday someone dropped out, but I tried to make up for it by coming in. :) I think $9,000 is inevitable, but $12,500 will be challenging. The Little Metal Dog interview was just has to be plastered everywhere. Hopefully reviews will come out before the pledge drive ends. Word has to be spread everywhere in this last push. Gotta get those denizens to pony up!

    3. Joshua Sauer on

      I hope we make that goal. I've been kind of annoyed that things seem to have seriously slacked off over the past few days (one day even went backward). I'm not familiar enough with Kickstarter to know how much of a boost is typical at the end. I've done everything I could think of to spread the word, but my reach is rather limited.

      Art is looking good, of course. With the revelation that some of the cards in the expansion will add locations, I'm hoping that the board art will be designed to let those cards' art mesh into the layout.