Thank you to everyone who helped 'kickstart' this idea.
I will keep everyone updated via the KS 'updates'. If you're looking for info, that's the first place you should look.
I might also post (edited) info on my website (coming sometime).
You can also go to Boardgame Geek and join the FB group.
Solo game variant demonstration.
Highlights of the Edinburgh 'Crowdfun' event.
A game to be played:
- in the pub
- in the park
- on a family holiday
- with children, in a school (learn left/right and body part names)
- or as a kids' group activity
- in private, with your partner(s)
This is a game that brings people together and breaks social barriers.
With the wildcards, get as crazy as you want!
You can tailor the deck to remove difficulty: e.g. by removing one single card, the deck is playable for wheelchair users.
Removing another 4 specific cards takes out 50% of the difficulty if you're having trouble.
Each turn you play a card on a victim, then draw a card. Keep your 2 cards in your hand, above the table. If you break a rule, you lose.
Those are all the rules.
Simple and fun, as all party games should be. It takes about 15 minutes to play and is best for 3-9 players (though I've had fun playing with 2 and team-rules allow for even bigger groups.
Cards have been carefully designed so that none contradict one another and it's possible to do a whole bunch together - it never becomes impossible. Just very difficult. Cheer on your friends as they contort themselves into further difficulty and silliness! Laugh as the card you played causes them to fail, fulfilling your sadistic streak. Smile as you manage to overcome difficulties and still draw your card.
- - it's only a deck of cards. You can fit it into a big pocket (or a tiny bag or under your hat) and take it everywhere!
- - You don't need floor space - just somewhere to put a deck of cards. It doesn't even need to be a table!
- - You could play in a pub or even a train or easy-going restaurant. During hundreds of games in pubs, we were never thrown out or even told off.
- - There will be at least 55 unique cards. Cards play differently depending upon combinations. Much variety and replay value.
- - The difficulty keeps increasing. Binds are never removed and so even a contortionist would (eventually) find the game somewhat tricky.
- - No required physical contact means you can even play with strangers without making anyone feel uncomfortable.
- - The team-based variant allows for actual co-operation and shared jubilation.
The game started life nearly a year ago, as a far more complicated game of chaos, randomness, card management and minimal strategy. In the original prototype, most cards gave points for doing bad things (e.g. giving away cards) or took away points for benefits (e.g. being able to play or draw more cards per turn).
I chose physical silliness.
Thanks to the playtesting/boardgaming groups around London, I was able to rapidly iterate. After a few months of exploring possibilities, the game became simpler, streamlined and focused.
By December, I had established the basic rules. Physical challenges no longer gave you points. Points didn't even exist! You just played binds or challenges and if someone was unable to comply, they were eliminated. The last player remaining won!
At Dragonmeet 2013, I publicly playtested with 12 folk I had never met before, all of whom seemed to enjoy it.
I continued to work on the exact cards. Some were removed because they were liable to annoy nearby folk. Some were removed or changed to ensure there were no 'impossible combos'. Some were removed because of wordiness. Challenges were removed from the 'base game' and it remained exciting, diverse and generally super-awesome-fun.
UK Games Expo 2014 allowed me to publicly playtest again, maybe with 30 folk. Nearly everyone wanted to play repeated times - the sign of a great game.
I have continued to explore ideas for binds and now feel I have a solid base deck of 55 cards. In theory, they could be all done simultaneously, but if you can do that and draw a card, you're incredibly flexible and probably able to draw cards with your feet.
Some of the ideas I came up with weren't really suitable for every situation, but seemed great boosts for the right environment.
Ideally, I'd like to include a whole bunch of 'expansions' INCLUDED IN THE BOX that you can use to tailor the game to taste after you've played it already. Add or remove any cards you want, since each group is different!
I'll work out what I can include based on money/costs after the campaign finishes. I believe I will be able to include - at a minimum - 2 copies of the 15 wildcards. (30 extra cards.)
The first expansion I'd like to include is a bunch of mad-lib-style cards with words omitted in the instruction. When playing the card, make up whatever you want for the question mark! Replicate an existing 'base card', or get creative! Don't give actually impossible instructions and don't be a numpty.
One finger touching…
- …your back?
- ...the bottom of your shirt?
- …your foot?
- …the table?
This is best played with groups who aren't taking the game too seriously and are treating it as more of a social activity. I'd ideally like to include 2 copies of each wildcard, since they can be different each time they're played.
These force a victim to do an action whenever they play a card, or whenever someone draws. With these, people will be forced to actually move a bit more. I love them but they're slightly wordier and more complicated than I wanted the main game to be.
Ideal for smaller groups (3-5).
An entirely different kind of card, which forces EVERYONE else to comply with the rule. Whenever a new communal challenge is played, it replaces the old one so you get some relief and the game becomes more dynamic. Again, I just felt like this was a complication that the base game doesn't need. However, for bigger groups, I'd strongly recommend this expansion as it gets everyone involved a bit more.
SILLIER, NOISIER AND BELOW THE WAIST.
The base binds are all 'above the waist' (with one exception) so that they can be seen over the table; and 'sedate' enough that they won't get you kicked out of a pub. But if you're playing in your own home (with breakables removed), or in a park, feel free to add this expansion.
Binds, triggered binds and communal challenges that expand the envelope. Engage your leg muscles, make a bit more noise, wiggle your limbs or use the game box itself!
"always creates a fun atmosphere" - Robin Harris, organiser of Playtest UK
"Genius idea!" "How does this not already exist?!" - Andrew Smith, founder of Spilt Milk Studios
"The best game ever" - Elzbieta Momola (attendee of the Edinburgh 'Crowdfun' event)
"In A Bind is fantastic." "It's just fun, zany, good times, lightning-quick, super-simple to learn..." - Forrest Bower, boardgame reviewer
"This is really funny!" - Maria, after trying the game for the first time
Kevin Macleod made the Royalty-free BGM that I used in the video.
Risks and challenges
I have already spent nearly a year - hundreds of games - testing various rulesets and cards. The rules are now final. The cards are 99% done.
The base set of cards is complete. The expansions are still being tweaked but of course only the best cards will be included.
Final artwork needs to be produced but I have experience as a professional illustrator and graphic designer so I have a good idea how long this will take and am leaving myself time to iterate until it's all beautiful.
Everyone who pledges to sponsor an individual card will be e-mailed during the production process so you have a chance to give feedback during art iteration and will be happy with your picture in the end.
The money raised will pay for the game to be professionally printed, to a high standard. I plan to print them in the UK, to eliminate some potential complications.
I hope to start shipping in December but am leaving myself some leeway.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (58 days)