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A frantic cooperative card game about laughter and death(3-7 players, 5 min playtime)
A frantic cooperative card game about laughter and death(3-7 players, 5 min playtime)
649 backers pledged £9,785 to help bring this project to life.

Review & Funding

Posted by 3DTotalGames (Creator)
3 likes

"Poor human, your nature is contradictory. On the one hand you cannot live with yourself without the belief that you would help others if they needed it. On the other you know that other people would not help you. You think yourself special, but also are aware that every other person thinks of themselves as special in the same way and is not. Deep down you know that you are wrong. Come, I will show you the truth about who you really are before you wake."

Good news everyone, we've had a fantastic review:

I'd take issue with some of the cons he brings up (3 is actually my favourite player count!) but since he only lists three and two of them turn into pros as he's talking it's hard to be upset about it ;)

In the comments Björn wrote

"I'm having a hard time understanding why this project hasn't been funded yet... Hopefully people will start pledging when we're closing in on the 25th, I guess... Share this project! Tell your friends! :)"

I wanted to reply in update form. Firstly, thank you, the middle of a Kickstarter can be demoralising and it's great to hear from people who like the game and want to see it succeed.

Secondly, we're still on track to fund. I mentioned the prediction algorithm in the first or second post and have continued to use it, for the last week it's been predicting that we'll fund and as time goes on (and it gets more data) it becomes more reliable - so don't panic! I'm still confident that we'll get the game made.

In terms of why we're not already funded I think that the review actually sums it up nicely in two phrases. One is that he talks about not being convinced by the KS page, but being really convinced by actually playing the game. The other is he mentions that if this gets the exposure it needs it could do fantastically.

This is a great game, but a lot of the time people have to actually play it to be convinced of that. I suspect that if we did some tests we'd find that the current backers of this project are more perceptive than average and can get an accurate idea of what playing the game is like where most people struggle. I'm up for ideas about more ways that we can show off the gameplay itself but I think that reviews will help :)

Exposure is harder, I freely admit that I'm a game designer not a marketer and I have far less talent for advertising than for designing. None at all perhaps. So I really appreciate Björn's call to action here because you folks can help with this. I hate spamming and don't want to encourage anyone to mindlessly blather about the game - but if you find the review (or any review) entertaining then sharing it could amuse your friends and help us to build this into a much bigger thing.

Link for the whole thing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcZj45aQSnE
Link for the thing starting with the cons:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcZj45aQSnE&t=7m37s
Link for the thing starting with the pros:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcZj45aQSnE&t=9m42s

Thanks for your support and for your help :)

Comments

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    1. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      Well, it's easier for me to think of it because I've seen it in playtesting ;)

      Children are pretty resilient and much more so than most adults give them credit for, but it varies from individual to individual and I swiftly learned that only a portion of them have a good time playing this game. (And that's drawing from the set of children raised by parents who're okay with them playing this game)

    2. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      Good point about children and "it's all your fault" :-) I hadn't thought of that.

    3. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      I think that I'd want to cut down on the tension somewhat (while still being frantic), presenting as a family friendly game with brighter art and more whimsy would make the tenser experience less appropriate. Imagine being a child in a family game and being passed a card with the pressure of "Do this or everyone in the coop game loses and its your fault". I reckon that some mechanics changes would be helpful for such a direction. Perhaps a failure makes a player shuffle their hand into the deck and draw a new one undoing their progress rather than leading to a failed game.

      It could fit though and it'd improve both projects since you could shuffle dreams and nightmares together without having a disconnect and apply the really harsh rules to nightmares and the more forgiving ones to dreams which'd help both themes.

      All things to think about for the future :)

    4. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      I think that dreams are a pretty good thematic fit, since they can make singing, talking in rhymes, etc. seem reasonable. The question then becomes what type of dreams and what artstyle would best match a game of frantic tension, singing, and laughs?

    5. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      Oh I see what you mean! I don't really have the opportunity to do that, I had a go after the Noc's box preview highlighted the problem that nudity would create for him in stocking the game, but we couldn't replace everything I'd want to in an ideal world. The image we're principally talking about here is one of those.

      I confess I'm tempted to cancel the project, retheme the game entirely and release with a complete different theme. But then I'd probably have lots of reviews going "This is too stressful for a party game!" ;) Perhaps sometime down the line making a compatible set about good dreams would be a nice development.

      But I should get my head out of the clouds and focus on doing this one as well as I can first :)

    6. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      Oh, I'm not talking about swapping out the art on the page - sorry for being unclear - I totally agree that that wouldn't be right.

      What I was trying to suggest was that you removed the "worst" artwork from the game entirely and replace it other artwork you have in stock. There could be a ton of reasons for why this wouldn't be possible :-)

    7. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      It's definitely a tough message to get accros :-)

      Let me know if you make changes to the campaign page, I'd be happy to take a look at it again, though, my usefulness might be wearing down, since I can no longer come to the page as a blank slate.

    8. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      I could make the swap, but I'm reluctant to do it. I'd feel really bad about someone buying this for their kids and then find out that there's a card like that in it after they've got it. I'm not sure that it's ethical not to show that it exists in the game.

    9. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      Do you have some extra art you could swap in instead of the "worst" ones? Or are you hands tied/the additional art wouldn't work with the cards texts? I'm asking because it seems to me that it's relatively few of the cards that has disturbing artwork.

    10. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      However it pans out thanks for knocking this back and forth with me and sharing ideas :)

    11. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      Let's try the quote and see how it goes.

      I think that an interesting thing to do in future launches would be to show the KS preview page to gamers who've not played the game and get them to fill in a playtester feedback form as they imagine the game is - then compare it to people who've actually played the game to detect mismatches and see what can be done to make the games best points shine.

    12. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      I think you may very well be right, there was a point that we were considering advertising on the level of challenge that it presents (In the same sort of way that computer games like dark souls are able to).

      The disturbing art does have that impact for a portion of people, it was largely unavoidable due to the way in which the game was developed ("build a game using this art" rather than "build a game then commission art") but I do acknowledge that it'll turn a portion of people away from the game.

      I'm convinced that you're right about the overlap, we certainly fall more on the side of getting the game experience to take advantage of the tension - but the message is complicated by how much people enjoy themselves. People tend to use humour to release tension, cutting the playtest video up as I did may not have helped. The observed pattern is that people tend to be quite tight and focused during play, but start bursting out laughing and telling jokes and talking about what happened after a game.

      We certainly could have put a lot of that across better if we'd been designing for it from the ground up in making the page, but at this stage talking about it near the header seems like the best approach that it's still possible to take.

    13. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      How about simply having that review quote as the first text of the page? It's more powerful than anything you could write, because it's a third party statement about how the game feels and it's very good, because not only does the meaning of the sentences tell you what the game feels like, the very way it's written also conveys the feel.

    14. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      That might very well be it.

      I haven’t investigated the game in detail, since as soon as I see stuff about singing and talking in rhymes, I conclude that the game is not for me (that’s not a criticism of the game, it’s just a statement about my subjective preferences). So, I might be a good example of what impression a casual browser will get.

      The other thing that comes into my mind when see mention of singing and talking in rhymes is that it’s party game like Charades and the art clashes strongly with that perception.

      Regarding the art, then the image I mentioned in my previous comment is disturbing to me and turns me off on the game. Maybe there are others like me? I’m a bit inconsistent regarding that kind of imagery, though, I for example have no issue watching The Walking Dead, which is pretty gory.

      Anyways, I think that you should ask yourself whether the group of people who like the artstyle overlaps significantly with the group of people who enjoys solo singing and talking in rhymes in front of a group of people. My gut feeling is that the overlap is rather small – but it’s just that, a gut feeling. Asking the backers about this will likely not make you any wiser, since by being backers they’re preselected for being in the intersection of the two groups.

      If you’re to overcome the hurdle, then I think you need to make it very clear very quickly at the top of the campaign page what kind of game it is and isn’t. Maybe even use the fact that the reader is likely to get the wrong impression about the game: “No, this is not Charades: The Splatter Edition”, "No this is not laugh out loud funny, it's damn tense and frantic" :-)

    15. 3DTotalGames 4-time creator on

      This sort of comment is what makes me identify it as a marketing problem. I mean have a look at the review that just went live:

      "The theme! The theme comes across fantastically, you're not scared, but it is tense, it is super tense. It's like 'I need, I need, I need this card. Is it a nightmare rule? Can somebody not trade me? Can somebody not talk to me? Does someone have to lie to me? And you're like come on! You're part of the team. You're getting excited. You're like fffrantic and I love that. I love that. I freaking love that."

      The game was designed to try to capture the essence of a nightmare and I think based on playtesting and on that sort of review that it does well - but we're doing a really bad job of displaying that this is the case because it's really hard to put across an emotion.

      There's this huge disconnect between the experiences of people who've played and the expectations of people who haven't which makes me worry that we're not doing well at putting across what's great about the game.

    16. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      I'd venture the guess that one of the causes for why the game isn't already funded is that there seems to be a strong mismatch between the game and the artstyle. At least it seems that way for me, but I might be completely wrong, since I have neither played the game, nor read the rulebook :-)

      To me it seems like it's a party game that's aimed at being fun to play as in laugh out loud fun, not as in it's fun to play chess. This type of game seems to make a strange bedfellow with the horror/splatter style art.

      E.g. the "Mutilation card" here: https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/004/818/143/769d32f39ade36ec863d7ac376006dc1_original.jpg… I find that card sort of disturbing and not compatible with laugh-out-loud-fun, talking in rhymes and singing in a board game.