BRAIN TRUST is a real-time design project.
We, Adam Vass and Will Jobst, are going to design a game from start to finish, week-to-week. Be sure to check the updates for the most recent on the campaign! So far, the Brain Trust have narrowed down our pitches to one. Get your magic lanterns out, this is A GUIDE TO CASTING PHANTOMS IN THE REVOLUTION.
Players take control of a cast of characters working to dismantle the aristocracy the only way they know how: summoning demons. This game is a one-shot area-control roleplaying game for 3-6 players, played on a story map (a pentagram).
This is a one-shot focused role-playing game about phantoms eating the rich. Set during the French Revolution, players use magic lamps to cast phantoms, demons, and revenants against the aristocracy! Build your spectres at the table and let them eat cake.
In the late 1700s, the premiere spooky form of entertainment was the magic lamp. With specially created slides and lamps, a caster could create demons, skeletons, and monsters that dance across the room, the phantasmagoria. This is their secret history. In this game, you play those magic lamp casters, who create, collect, and battle with their spectral beings.
Want to know more? Join the BRAIN TRUST and vote on our final question, choosing the title of this game. We're designing live, so make sure your voice is heard!
As a part of #Break Kickstarter, we're breaking norms in the tabletop Kickstarter community. Typically, projects are nearly complete and in the final stages once they're on Kickstarter. Our goal is to design a game in the open, sharing notes, conversations, prototypes, anything!
That's not all, we need your help.
Throughout the campaign, we'll use project updates to post weekly podcasts of us discussing and designing the game. Each week, we'll have a question for you, the BRAIN TRUST. This will usually be a multiple choice question. We call your participation in this process "*play" and it is available to all backers at levels $10 and higher.
Here's an example: What format should this game take?
- Deck of cards
- A collection of snap bracelets
- A training video
To vote, back the Kickstarter and check out the questions posted in project updates every Tuesday. These topics will change from week-to-week, so check in regularly and toss wrenches our way.
This campaign includes weekly podcasts with guests to discuss aspects of the game, our guests' creative practices, a general sense of anxiety, and polls for you (the BRAIN TRUST) to vote on. Check them out now via Apple Podcasts. New episodes will release every Tuesday during the campaign. If we exceed our funding goal, we will be able to record extra interviews and podcasts episodes post-campaign.
Backers can send recorded voice notes with questions, critiques, suggestions, or commentary to firstname.lastname@example.org. We might play it or address it on the next episode.
At the Archives Only level ($1), backers will get access to the digital archive of this game, including prototypes, design notes, and whatever else we make.
At the Digital level ($10), backers will get access to the digital archive, *PLAY access, the digital version of the finished game, and any other downloadable design assets created during the campaign.
At the Physical level ($20), backers will get access to the digital archive, *PLAY access, the physical version of the finished game, the digital version of the finished game, and any other downloadable assets created during the campaign.
At the Id level ($50), backers will get access to the digital archive, *PLAY access, the physical version of the finished game, the digital version of the finished game, any other downloadable assets created during the campaign, and access to a channel to talk to Adam and Will.
At the Ego level ($85), backers will get access to the digital archive, *PLAY access, the physical version of the finished game, the digital version of the finished game, any other downloadable assets created during the campaign, access to a channel to talk to Adam and Will, and a limited-edition embellished physical edition of the final game. The exact nature of the embellishment is TBD, but it will be special.
What about the Superego? The superego is the self-critical part, which I think we have handled.
We haven’t hired an artist yet but have a few options available which we plan to pursue once we know more about the game itself. Designs shown on the campaign page were done by Adam, who will be doing the layout of our game, but these might not be indicative of the final product.
We plan to ship physical rewards via USPS First Class Mail in December 2019. Obviously, we will figure out together what the physical edition exactly IS, but your shipping rate will not change. The cost of shipping is added to your pledge, whether domestic or international, and will not interact with you ability to vote with your pledge amount via *play.
The Brain Trust is a collaborative effort orchestrated by Adam Vass & Will Jobst.
Adam Vass is a game designer, graphic designer, and musician currently living in southern California. Since 2016, Adam publishes tabletop games under the moniker World Champ Game Co, including titles like Babes in the Wood, Minimum Rage, and Protest Singer. He successfully ran his first Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to produce two RPG zines: the story game compilation Wish You Were Here and the system agnostic fantasy resource Tome. He is on twitter @WCGameCo.
Will Jobst is a game designer, zinester, and musician living in Boston. They've been making games for a while, including games like two hearts beat as one and Black Mass. Will has been nominated Most Innovative for the Indie Groundbreakers by the Indie Game Developer Network. They're on twitter @will_jobst.
Risks and challenges
This is an open-ended design project, so there's a lot of variable we can't account for at this point. We've given ourselves padding on the end of the schedule, and we both have run successful Kickstarters in the past. As our goal is transparency, we'll keep backers aware of any challenges or struggles with the process. It's going to be a journey!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (37 days)