About this project
A GAME OF STRATEGY & BALANCE, ART & PHYSICS.
l've created a game called RoXzai that I want to share with the world. It's a game of balance and strategy - art and physics. Simply put, it’s a challenge to see who can stack a pile of rocks the highest. But there's a whole lot more to it than that because it pits you against yourself, others and the law of gravity.
My name is Buck Howdy. Last year I won a Grammy Award for the best kids/family cd. You’ll also see me in videos on Nickelodeon. One of those video shoots, a segment on rock stacking, inspired RoXzai. I thought at the time, “this would make a great game” because it’s wholesome, earthy, fun and devilishly difficult. On top of that, RoXzai requires no electricity; it's all natural; people of every age love it and it just might be the oldest game on earth - millions of years in the making!
I know, I know . . . why should someone buy a bag of rocks when they could just gather their own?
For one thing, RoXzai is much more than just a sack of stones. The enclosed rules (on recycled parchment-like paper) have been fine tuned during countless hours of play to throw a few wicked scoring twists into the game. And RoXzai's eco-friendly burlap bag plays an integral role in the challenge as well.
Then there's the rocks - these aren't your average run-of-the-mill rocks. They come from the oldest mountain range in North America - from a riverbed on our family farm nestled in a Virginia valley surrounded by a million acres of National Forest. We hand pick 'em - each about the size of a large bird egg, uniquely shaped and perfected by nature for stacking.
So between the rocks, the bag and the rules - not to mention the potential reward you'll read about below - RoXzai is one-of-a-kind!
Each player takes a turn with the bag of rocks. If it's your turn you reach into the bag (no peeking!) and take a rock. That rock is the foundation for what could be your towering piece of art (and major score) . . . or the basis of your downfall.
Then you select another rock and balance it on the first. Easy so far, right? Maybe so, but it's decision time - stack another rock or leave well enough alone? If you continue (more rocks = more points) you pick another rock to balance. Succeed at that and you’re faced with the same “Go? No Go?” dilemma again and again along with the constant worry that your tower might fall. But if you stop . . . well, that’s a gamble too - because if you do, other players can pick up where you left off and steal your stack (and points) by adding a rock.
Sooner or later the pile will almost certainly fall. (If a player should happen to defy the odds - and gravity - successfully stacking all 20 rocks in the set, I'll send them $100 AND a tougher set to conquer.) But back to the game - whoever balances the last rock on the pile gets the points. Whoever knocks the stack down loses points. So even if you started the stack and did most of the work, if someone else tops it you get nuttin’!
Now you might be thinkin’ to yourself, “Whoa, Buck's farm must be in a really small, really boring town. Stacking rocks can’t be that much fun.” Fact is, our farm is in a really small town, but RoXzai is fun. It's focus group tested - well, actually neighbors, family and friends played it (some of whom live in big cities) - and every time the reaction has been the same. Folks get lost in the moment of finding perfect balance between two random stones. And the higher each stack gets, the closer to the edge of their seats players get - collectively holding their breath and marveling at gravity defied, all the while waiting for their chance to top it and be a rock star.
Turning pieces of nature into works of art (however temporary) never gets old. Neither does RoXzai. There are 2,432,902,008,176,640,000 possible stacking combinations in each bag of twenty rocks. So no two games and no two RoXzai sets are the same.
RoXzai is not only an addicting challenge, it's also an artsy desktop decoration (or distraction!) perfect for solitary “Zen Time.” In its burlap bag it makes a unique paperweight or coffee table conversation piece. But first and foremost it's a game. And once you play you'll learn a simple truth - RoXzai is easy to pick up & hard to put down.
WHY I NEED YOUR HELP
There's a misconception that anybody who has won a Grammy must be rolling in dough. I wish! Truth is, doing entertainment for families and kids has many rewards - but money isn't one of them. So, without YOU, RoXzai will be just another swell idea that never gets off the ground - literally. (My hope is this inaugural edition is just the beginning - I imagine a Rocky Mountain Edition, a Volcano Edition, a Cascades Edition and others.)
Bottom line, I hope you’ll give me a hand and try your hand at RoXzai - I can't do it without you.
By pledging at least $23 you’re essentially pre-ordering RoXzai. Pledge $37 and you’ll get the basic version plus a tougher Black Belt edition. And check this out - some pledge levels get you a day at our farm in the wilds of Virginia where you can pick your own rocks. Any which way you go you’ll be helping make a great game a reality.
REMEMBER - Kickstarter only works (and you only get the goods) if I reach my fundraising goal. If I fall short, you won't be out any money but the world will never get to experience RoXzai.
I hope you’re intrigued enough to support the project AND share this Kickstarter project with your friends. You'll have my eternal gratitude and the gratitude of game geeks everywhere!
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