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Go Extinct! Go Fish... evolved's video poster
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A fresh take on an old classic -- now use SCIENCE to topple your opponents! Featuring fast-paced strategic gameplay and original art. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 31, 2014.

A fresh take on an old classic -- now use SCIENCE to topple your opponents! Featuring fast-paced strategic gameplay and original art.

About this project

A big THANK YOU to all our Backers for making this campaign a success!! 

Miss the campaign but still want Go Extinct!? Curious what STEAM Galaxy is up to next? Head on over to STEAM Galaxy's website

Learning about evolution is in your hands -- literally with this card game! 

Middle school students playtest a Go Extinct! prototype
Middle school students playtest a Go Extinct! prototype

Inspired by the Go Fish we all nostalgically remember (from rainy afternoons driving our parents up the wall with unending repeat games), Go Extinct! infuses new life into the old stand-by with strategy and science.

Go Extinct! is a revolutionary evolutionary card game for humans aged 8 and up. The game set includes a deck of 54 beautifully-illustrated animal cards and a simplified, yet accurate, evolutionary tree board used for reference during play.

An excerpt from the rules. NOTE: images for the tree frog and caecilian are just placeholders. When this project is successful, Anita can create gorgeous illustrations for the rest!
An excerpt from the rules. NOTE: images for the tree frog and caecilian are just placeholders. When this project is successful, Anita can create gorgeous illustrations for the rest!

We have a final game prototype, a manufacturer lined up, and an awesome artist, Anita Tung, on board! We’re launching a Kickstarter campaign in order to...

1) Create more gorgeous art! Once we're successful, Anita can:

  • Illustrate the remaining 21 animal cards 
  • Re-design the evolutionary tree so that it fits on a standard 18x18” game board 
  • Make a sweet box design

2) Manufacture production-quality cards, game boards, and boxes through AdMagic (the same company that manufactured Cards Against Humanity).

3) Offer teachers a free version of the game in the form of printable PDFs. Teachers interested in this can sign up here! 

We also made sure to budget enough for the Kickstarter + Amazon fees as well as fulfill the other awesome backer prizes and ship it to you, wonderful Backer, you!

Expected ship date is late summer 2014. 

We can’t help but agree with Zada from the video -- Go Fish was far past due for a serious upgrade.

But we didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater! We kept the good parts so you can start having more fun playing sooner, rather than later after a long and complicated explanation of the rules.

Just like Go Fish, gameplay involves asking other players for cards in order to complete sets of animal groups. When the player has the card requested, the card must be handed over. When the player does not, however, they say…

At the end of the game, all of the cards are organized into scientific clades, or sets of animals that share a common ancestor. By playing a strategically engaging, yet familiar style of card game, players learn about evolutionary trees and the evidence used to classify land vertebrates. See? You can compete with your friends AND have fun learning science AT THE SAME TIME.

By playing Go Extinct! you’ll become a rockstar at reading evolutionary trees -- a super important way scientists visualize the relationships among organisms. 

"I learned that chickens are dinosaurs and we’ve been eating them.” - 7th grader
"I learned that chickens are dinosaurs and we’ve been eating them.” - 7th grader

In other words, this is how you get to know your evolutionary family: chickens are indeed dinosaurs, you are related to some pretty awesome egg-laying mammals, and we humans share more in common with mice than we do with lions.

The mammal half of the Go Extinct! game board! "Fur scrambles" are our nickname for Monotremes, the egg-laying mammals. You can find us humans in the Retro Poser group along with mice and tree shrews. Lions are in the North Sider group to our right.
The mammal half of the Go Extinct! game board! "Fur scrambles" are our nickname for Monotremes, the egg-laying mammals. You can find us humans in the Retro Poser group along with mice and tree shrews. Lions are in the North Sider group to our right.

Really? You ask. Can a game as exciting as Go Extinct! be actually, for real, is-this-on-the-test educational? Despite the fact that educational game design has a...err...lackluster history, STEAM Galaxy has discovered that learning can be fun, too!

The educational components were chosen because they enhance gameplay and player experience. For example, Chief Genius Ariel Marcy first got the idea to teach the concept of evolutionary trees this way because she recognized that the nested “sets within sets” structure of the trees would make a strategically engaging twist on Go Fish.

The other half of the game board. Check out the chicken chillin' with the other dinos in the top right :) NOTE: these tree images depict the prototype version of the board, Anita will redesign it to fit a square game board after the Kickstarter.
The other half of the game board. Check out the chicken chillin' with the other dinos in the top right :) NOTE: these tree images depict the prototype version of the board, Anita will redesign it to fit a square game board after the Kickstarter.

Furthermore, unlike the glorified multiple-choice quizzes that we’ve become accustomed to in the world of educational games, in Go Extinct! the primary learning objective is the winning strategy: to win, players must be able to identify the most recent common ancestor of different animals using an evolutionary tree. 

And for our fellow educators out there, you should know that Go Extinct! aligns with multiple Next Generation Science Standards. And we laid them all out in that nice document for your convenience. You’re welcome.

Finally, Go Extinct! can be a launching point for students to create their own evolution-inspired games.

Middle Schooler, Jane Dawson with her Cat Family version of Go Extinct!
Middle Schooler, Jane Dawson with her Cat Family version of Go Extinct!
When we playtested Go Extinct! with San Francisco Brightworks Academy, Jane Dawson, a middle school student, researched and designed a Cat Family version of Go Extinct! as part of the school’s project-based unit on evolution. 

Know someone who would love to design a game like Jane did? Check out that last Backer reward...
Compare the King Snake and Stegosaurus (from classic Go Extinct!) to Jane's Tiger card!
Compare the King Snake and Stegosaurus (from classic Go Extinct!) to Jane's Tiger card!
We here at STEAM Galaxy Studios know that science education needs to be: 
1) scientifically rigorous
2) creative (more on this soon), and, above all, 
3) mind-blowingly fun.

As scientists, we know that there is no innovation, no invention, no discovery, without CREATIVITY!

That’s why we stuck that “A” for ART smack dab in the middle of STEM. Leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics all agree --  without the arts, the human capacity for creativity is stunted, and without creativity, well...good luck solving that climate change/antibiotic resistance/what-have-you problem.

Learn more about creativity in science, evolutionary trees, and Go Extinct! from Stanford Biology Professor, Dr. Elizabeth Hadly: 

We're educators ourselves so we know how time- and resource-strapped teaching can be. How can we help empower teachers to bring creativity into the classroom?

Ariel teaching Stanford's Human Biology Core final review session; Vanessa teaching at Joseph George Middle School... yes, that is a hover craft.
Ariel teaching Stanford's Human Biology Core final review session; Vanessa teaching at Joseph George Middle School... yes, that is a hover craft.
This is where you come in once again, faithful Backers! In addition to improving your own understanding of evolution -- or that of the kiddos for whom you’re purchasing our fine product -- you’re also giving STEAM Galaxy the power to offer Go Extinct! to teachers for free in the form of printable PDFs. These will be offered to any teacher -- yes, for free -- once our project is successful. Teachers can sign up here.

So the next time Ms. Smith has to teach her evolution unit to a classroom full of unimpressed high school freshmen, she can introduce it with an engaging game that maximizes her students’ understanding of evolutionary trees the longer they play.

 Idealized Science Ditty:

 Never Mind:

Parental Warning Note: We were in college when we made this CD and we swear once or twice - be forewarned! 

We are a team of people obsessed with: games, education, science, creativity, and the conviction that learning should be mind-blowingly fun.

While teaching biology as a Course Associate at Stanford University, Ariel was inspired by the idea of creating educational games in which the learning objective was embedded within the winning strategy. As an evolutionary ecologist, she also felt passionately about the rampant misconceptions surrounding evolution that prevent people from understanding what it is, and what it isn’t.

With a strategy-rich improvement on Go Fish-like mechanics, she created Go Extinct! and assembled a crack team to get the ball rolling.

Anita Tung graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is crafting the gorgeous card illustrations for Go Extinct! We’re excited to see how her passion for “incorporating new and exciting information into her work while preserving a sense of play” comes to fruition through Go Extinct!

The card back design by Anita Tung. The central evolutionary tree depicts the major lineages of vertebrates - which includes fish as well as land vertebrates like dinosaurs, platypuses, and humans!
The card back design by Anita Tung. The central evolutionary tree depicts the major lineages of vertebrates - which includes fish as well as land vertebrates like dinosaurs, platypuses, and humans!

Charlie Chung is an education technologist who brings his extensive business and marketing chops to the team. He keeps us moving as Project Manager.

Vanessa Kerr is a former middle school teacher and a science fiction author. She is our standards-alignment expert and teacher liaison. She connected us to many of our early playtesting classroom teachers and also crafted STEAM Galaxy’s voice.

And STEAM Galaxy was born!

Risks and challenges

We have played Go Extinct! with hundreds of kids from ages 6 to 84 in a wide variety of settings including homes, classrooms, after-school programs, museums, college dorms, science lab meetings, and indie game design demos.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We know that it is a delightfully engaging game that can be replayed over and over.

Go Extinct! will be printed by AdMagic, the same company that did previous wildly successful Kickstarter card games like Cards Against Humanity and Story War. They do nice work, don’t they?

So we have manufacturers lined up for the game (AdMagic), t-shirts (Fairfax Screen Printing), and stickers (Zazzle). We have worked with Anita Tung, our artist, since September and she is super reliable.

The only risk we foresee is distribution of backer rewards in the event this Kickstarter goes crazy and we have a bajillion boxes to pack and send. If that (very positive!) problem arises, we will immediately engage professional fulfillment services.

We are fully committed to this project and our mission. We will stay in close contact with our backers through backer updates.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    14 backers

    DIGITAL THANK YOU! We'll put your name up in lights on our Go Extinct! page thanking all our Backers.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    16 backers

    ZOOLOGISTS STICK TOGETHER You get 3 awesome Go Extinct! Stickers + a digital thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    50 backers All gone!

    GO EXTINCT! GAME PACK --- EARLY BIRD GETS THE BLUEGRASS Limited to the first 50 backers at the $30 level. You will also receive a Nimbleweed Sings Science! music CD made by project creator, Ariel Marcy's bluegrass band. One of the songs is featured on our Kickstarter video!

    You will receive 1 Go Extinct! game set which includes 54 color illustrated animal cards and 1 game board in its own box. You'll also get all previous rewards.

    FULL LIST: 1 Go Extinct! game set. 1 Nimbleweed Sings Science CD, and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    138 backers

    GO EXTINCT! GAME PACK You will receive 1 Go Extinct! game set which includes 54 color illustrated animal cards and 1 game board in its own box. You'll also get all previous rewards.

    FULL LIST: 1 Go Extinct! game set and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    50 backers All gone!

    GO EXTINCT! FAN PACK GAME + T-SHIRT --- EARLY BIRD GETS THE BLUEGRASS Limited to the first 50 backers at the $50 level. You will also receive a Nimbleweed Sings Science! music CD made by project creator, Ariel Marcy's bluegrass band. One of the songs is featured on our Kickstarter video!

    You will receive 1 Go Extinct! game set which includes 54 color illustrated animal cards, 1 Go Extinct! t-shirt, and 1 game board in its own box. You'll also get all previous rewards.

    FULL LIST: 1 Go Extinct! game set, 1 Nimbleweed Sings Science CD, 1 Go Extinct! t-shirt in any size & style (mens, womens, youth) and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S. We will get your shirt size information at a later date.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total). Add $20 for each additional t-shirt (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    11 backers

    GO EXTINCT! FAN PACK GAME + T-SHIRT You will receive 1 Go Extinct! game set and 1 Go Extinct! t-shirt, . You'll also get all previous rewards.

    FULL LIST: 1 Go Extinct! game set, 1 Go Extinct! t-shirt in any size & style (mens, womens, youth) and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S. We will get your shirt size information at a later date.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total). Add $20 for each additional t-shirt (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    2 backers

    GO EXTINCT ARTSY FAN PACK GAME + T-SHIRT + ART PRINT You will receive 1 Go Extinct! game set, 1 t-shirt, and 1 5x7" art print with an original design by Anita Tung.

    FULL LIST: 1 Go Extinct! game set, 1 Go Extinct! t-shirt in any size & style (mens, womens, youth) and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S. We will get your shirt size information at a later date.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total). Add $20 for each additional t-shirt (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    16 backers

    CLASSROOM / MUSEUM PACK Includes 5 Go Extinct! game sets to allow up to 30 simultaneous players. We will also send you sample lesson plans and a digital version of the game board for class presentations.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $140 or more

    10 backers

    DONATE A CLASSROOM PACK + A SET FOR YOU - You will receive a sizable box including a classroom / museum game set for you to deliver to your favorite school/musuem/after-school program PLUS your own game set and a t-shirt.

    FULL LIST: 1 Classroom / Museum set as per above for you to give to the school, museum, after school program of your choice. PLUS 1 Go Extinct! game set, 1 Go Extinct! t-shirt for you in any size & style (mens, womens, youth) and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S. We will get your shirt size information at a later date.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total). Add $20 for each additional t-shirt (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    PERSONALIZED LETTER TO A YOUNG SCIENTIST - 1 game, 2 t-shirts, 1 art print, and a personalized letter to your favorite young scientist from a Stanford Ecology / Evolution researcher encouraging them to continue to pursue science! (Read their bios under the rewards section on our page.) We'll ask you for the name, address, and interests of the young person who will receive the letter.

    FULL LIST: 1 personalized letter from a Stanford biologist, 1 Go Extinct! game set, 2 Go Extinct! t-shirts in any size & style (mens, womens, youth), 1 art print, and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S. We will get your shirt size information at a later date.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total).
    Add $20 for each additional t-shirt (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    PERSONALIZED LETTER TO A YOUNG ARTIST - 1 game, 2 t-shirts, and a personalized letter to your favorite young artist from Anita Tung, Go Extinct's RISD-educated illustrator encouraging them to continue to pursue art! We'll ask you for the name, address, and interests of the young person who will receive the letter.

    FULL LIST: 1 personalized letter from artist, Anita Tung, 1 Go Extinct! game set, 2 Go Extinct! t-shirts in any size & style (mens, womens, youth), 1 art print, and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S. We will get your shirt size information at a later date.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total). Add $20 for each additional t-shirt (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    DESIGN YOUR OWN EXPANSION PACK - You'll get three 1-hour webchats with biologist and lead game designer, Ariel Marcy in which your favorite youngster will get to design a Go Extinct! version around a different part of the evolutionary tree - it could be bugs, bacteria, sharks, almost any living thing! At the end of our session, you will receive 2 prototype quality sets of your game.

    You'll also get 1 Go Extinct! game set, 2 t-shirts, and 1 art print.

    FULL LIST: 3-web chats with game designer, Ariel Marcy, 2 prototype quality versions of your game, 1 Go Extinct! game set, 2 Go Extinct! t-shirts in any size & style (mens, womens, youth), 1 art print, and a digital thank you. Includes shipping in the U.S. We will get your shirt size information at a later date. We will work with you to set up a schedule for game design sessions.

    Add $30 for each additional game (limit 4 total). Add $20 for each additional t-shirt (limit 4 total).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (39 days)