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CA$ 1,717 pledged of CA$ 117,000 goal
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By Arik Sternberg
CA$ 1,717 pledged of CA$ 117,000 goal
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About

There are many interesting people in your city that play tabletop games, and they're probably within walking distance of your house, so why is it so hard to find them?  

Why do we still need to dig through Facebook, Meetup, WhatsApp, and countless other apps, forums, and platforms, if we just want to find a few local people for game night?

It’s 2017 after all! We are all connected in countless online ways, the tabletop gaming market has finally broken through the $1 billion ceiling, and the most invested type of project on Kickstarter are board games. Feels like a golden age of games, doesn’t it?

But with all those social-networks and event discovery platforms, and with all those classic and hundreds of new games coming out every year, we still don’t have a simple online environment dedicated to nothing else but finding great games and local people to play them with.

 

Whether it’s Chess, Poker or Settlers of Catan, Bridge or Bloodrage, Pandemic or Magic the Gathering, whether you are looking to try a new game or host your own classic one, we decided to develop the PlayPals app as a simple solution for:

  • Connecting with local people in your area for a playful get-together.
  • Discovering and Joining board games, card games, dice games, role-playing, etc…
  • Creating and Hosting your own game event. 
  • Finding new players for your game group.
  • Learning to play new games before buying them.
  • Saving your neighbors from another lonely evening of Seinfeld re-runs :)
  • And much more…  

 

 

 

 PlayPals Beta version is already in the app stores and you can try it out right now in the links at the bottom of this page. 

But first, check out the results and comments we got from the three weeks soft-launch we did in Vancouver, Canada two months ago:

 

 Click to view the in-app three weeks soft-launch results: 

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Unlike other projects in Kickstarter (which are usually pre-development), we already invested the time and money to develop the first version of PlayPals. It wasn’t cheap, quick or easy, but the app is already in the app stores and is completely free for use.  

To understand the market and community better, we also decided to test it in Vancouver, which required us to reach out to thousands of local board gamers through extensive online advertising, countless chats, many events and meetups, and more than a few fun games. During this test, we also made sure to connect and personally meet with most of the friendly game store owners in the Vancouver area, and hear their comments and suggestions.  

And guess what?! The test in Vancouver was a great success. We got great comments and suggestions, and even got requests from people all over North America (and as far as Italy) that we launch their city next. From our talks with the users, we also learned a lot about all the features and functionality that are still needed to make PlayPals a fully developed platform the board gaming community deserves.  

All those development and marketing activities are going to cost more than we can afford personally. We already invested in the first chapter, and we now need your help in writing the next one.  

So, bottom line is, to develop PlayPals' next mobile and web versions, to keep it completely free for use for all us board gamers, as well as to be able to launch it in more cities and countries, we need a minimum of $80,000 USD for:

• Online Marketing & Advertising  

• Data and Third-Party App Services  

• Development & Testing of new versions  

• Local Launch Activities and Events across the US, Canada and Europe  

• Outsource & Experts Help  

• Media Production  

Note:  

As we a have a combined 36 years of professional experience in online marketing and platforms development, we are confident that our skills and experience will enable us to keep it all as efficient and cost effective as possible in today’s expensive market (where the average cost of just one developer is $10,000 USD per month).

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What you get if we reach our goal:

You get to kickstart the first dedicated platform for Tabletop gamers, and the following rewards according to your investment level:

    

 

 

 

Check out the cool t-shirts we're giving out to almost all pledge levels:

 

PlayPals t shirt
PlayPals t shirt

 

 What you get if we exceed our goal:

Any funding beyond our goal will enable us to launch PlayPals in more cities and to introduce new options & capabilities we have planned in our "Future Features" deck:

 

 

So... 

Whether you are a casual player or a board game geek, an owner of a game store or bar, a game creator or a publisher - if you are interested in growing the tabletop gaming community into its rightful place in mainstream culture, then please join our quest and help us make PlayPals the best app it can be for all of us Tabletop gamers.

Thank you for your consideration. (and please share this project with friends who might like to join the quest).

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It all started a few years ago when I emigrated from Israel to Canada. As a new resident in Vancouver, I found a new and beautiful place to live and work, but I also discovered that contrary to my expectations, it wasn’t easy making new friends and building my social circles.

Being active with many meetups and meetings for my consultation work definitely helped, and I got to know some good people and to make a few friends, but there was still something missing.  

I wasn’t looking for another date, meetup or music event, but for something different where I could actually get to know the people I was with. My social quest continued like that for a few years, that is, until I was invited to join a board game by a local friend who knew I used to play back in the day.

After a few months of good games and great people to roll dice with (or rob resources from), it became apparent that I had found what I was looking for: a simple excuse to meet local people in a fun environment for a few hours.

But I'd also found out that there was no simple way to find those local games or people, and talking to my new playpals only confirmed it, there was no mobile app or web platform to do this one simple thing.

I played with the idea of creating such an app for a few months, and when I was ready, I presented it to Guy, an old friend and an experienced online entrepreneur from Israel.  

Guy listened to it all, realized why such an app could be useful in his own life, and immediately started to breakdown the necessary Development & Marketing steps for the next 6 months (as he often does :)  

It was obvious in that very moment, that this was something that needed to be done. So, we decided to dial back on our client work, to sacrifice some personal time, and to invest the needed funds to develop a beta version of PlayPals as a proof of concept.  

Six months later, after many long days, nights and weekends brainstorming, outlining, defining features & functionality, designing the UI and UX, and working from two time zones with our app development team in the Ukraine - and here we are: with the app in the stores and the PlayPals’ team ready & willing to take it to the next level.

 

To read about our current professional lives and our combined 36 years of skill & experience in online marketing, product development and all things startup, you can read all about us on our LinkedIn profiles:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariksternberg 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/guysagie

 

PlayPals in the App Stores

You can download and try the PlayPals app right now (but if we haven’t launched in your city yet, you probably will not see a lot of activity, yet).

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.play_pals&hl=en 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/playpals-discover-local-tabletop-game-events/id1207049719?mt=8

 

 

Risks and challenges

The development of PlayPals’ next version with the new features and functionality is a relatively straightforward process, not easy, but straightforward.
There may be delays (as there usually are), but since we already developed the current version and got great results and feedback, and since we have past experience creating and optimizing other types of online platforms and services - we are confident that we are able to provide you with what we promised: A fully developed platform for people who like tabletop games and people :)

So the biggest challenge for us, as it was for any successful ‘Local Events Discovery Platform’ that came before us, is to launch PlayPals in specific cities in the US, Canada and Europe, and to make sure that those locations become self-sustaining, with a consistent growth powered by the active local Tabletop communities, as well as by the countless occasional players out there.

Which is why we first tested PlayPals with a soft-launch in Vancouver a few weeks ago. A successful launch that taught us about the needed features and functionality for our next version, but more importantly, about the best ways to communicate and activate the many types of tabletop players in our community.

So even if one of us is crushed to death in a board-game landslide, we are confident that the rest of the team will make sure the dice keep on rolling and that everyone gets what they were promised.

Thank you for your trust in us, and let's bring PlayPals to all Tabletop gamers around the world!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    "PlayPals Backer"

    Thanks so much for joining our little quest and helping us make PlayPals the app the board gaming community deserves.
    By taking this pledge, you’ll be the first to get development updates & news about your city launch.

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    15 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $20

    "PlayPals Patron"

    With this level of investment, you become an essential part in transforming the PlayPals app into a fully developed platform.

    As a "PlayPals Patron" you get:
    • The "PlayPals Patron" badge on your profile
    • To test and comment on new features before we release them.

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    22 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $48

    "Neighborhood Captain"

    If you consider yourself a board-game geek, and believe (like we do), that it’s about time we got our own dedicated platform for finding great games and local people to play them with - than the "Neighborhood Captain" mission might be what you are looking for.

    As "Neighborhood Captain" you:
    • Can direct the PlayPals launch in your area
    • Get the PlayPals "Neighborhood Captain" badge
    • Get the PlayPals T-shirt
    • Can join official PlayPals management meetings in your city
    • Can test and comment on new features before we release them

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    4 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 200 or more About $160

    "City Chief"

    If you believe in the value of playing real games with real local people, if you see the social potential it has in our online saturated culture, and if you can’t stop evangelizing about it to the innocent citizens around you, then the "City Chief" challenge is just for you.

    As "City Chief" you:
    • Can lead the PlayPals launch in your city
    • Get to conduct official PlayPals management meetings
    • Can help in the planning and production of local events
    • Can join our ‘Online Board of Directors’
    • Get an expanded game-map of your city
    • Get the "City Chief" badge on your personal profile
    • Get all the T-shirts and swag we can send your way

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    2 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 350 or more About $279

    "Innkeeper" for Game Store Owners

    If you own a friendly local game store, bar or cafe, you can be the first to add an icon on your city’s game-map and make sure that your location has a clear and visual presence that all players in your city can see and click on.

    As a PlayPals "Innkeeper" you get:
    • A permanent icon for your location, with a set description of your weekly game-events, and a link to your Website and Social-Network page.
    • The PlayPals "Innkeeper" badge on your personal profile and on your game-events icons/tabs
    • The PlayPals T-shirt and other swag
    • An expanded view of all game-events in your city
    • To be the first to use the city-wide events and promotion features planned for store and bar owners
    • More local players to play in-store
    • Real-time metrics/maps on your local market

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 450 or more About $359

    "Game Champion" for Creators/Publishers

    Just like Catan, Monopoly, Santorini and other popular brands, your very own game can be an icon in the PlayPals platform, making sure you catch the interest of anyone that checks in for new and interesting games to play - thus building brand awareness one game at a time.

    As a PlayPals "Game Champion" you get:
    • Your own customized game icon
    • The PlayPals "Game Champion" badge in your personal profile and on your game-events icons and tabs.
    • The PlayPals T-shirt and other swag
    • To use the upcoming game promotion and marketing features
    • Real-time metrics/maps on your game in local markets
    • To create special testing sessions for your current and upcoming games
    • Real-Time Feedback on your game
    • To find other local game creators to mastermind with

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Funding period

- (30 days)