Wibbell++ is a game system.
I want to make it the best-curated game system ever.
With 48 cards, each featuring a pair of letters, number and border, you can play countless games.
Of course some of those games are about making words. Some of the word games also involve speed, memory, set collection, or just force you to think about words in an entirely new way.
Some of the games are about language. They encourage you to invent stories or phrases.
Some games are completely abstract! Some are about matching things quickly, one is about creating sets of patterns as you use numbers for auctions, a few are about using the alphabet as an arbitrary order for symbols (i.e. letters) to be arranged into.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
- 48 cards, each featuring a common letter, a less common letter, a number (that tells you how often the lower letter appears) and one of 6 borders. This is the core!
- 7 bonus cards, with the card back, and either just one of 6 borders or a fully blank front.
- An informational sheet about the deck.
- Rulesheet for WIBBELL - a fast realtime wordgame that tests your ability to make words under pressure.
- Rulesheet for GRABBELL - a speedy, frantic pattern-matching game.
- Rulesheet for PHRASELL - a creative game that tests your mastery of the language.
- Rulesheet for FAYBELL - a storytelling activity.
- Rulesheet for ALPHABETICKELL - an abstract game that tests your analytical skills.
- Rulesheets for COUPELL - a highly co-operative 2-player word game.
- A sturdy-and-compact-yet-fancy box with actual shiny cold-pressed gold foil.
That's 6 games, and all of them are made with love and thorough attention to detail. They have been thoroughly tested.
But which ones are the best?
There are 6 'core' games and each year - until I retire - I will add another game to that list on BezDay (1st August). No game will be for everyone but they will all be worth trying. They will be focused on over the preceding year, with blind-tested rule sheets and professional proof-reading as a final touch.
A website will be rebuilt. Everyone can submit their game ideas and I consider it my duty and pleasure to continue designing for the deck, test all the submitted games, help with development as needed, and let everyone search through and vote on hundreds of games.
Whether you want solitaire games, educational activities, quick games for the pub or deeper games to play over an hour, they already exist. And more will be coming.
There are enough games and infinite possibilities. I will do my utmost to help guide you towards those games that you will enjoy the most. By contributing to this KS, you are helping me on this mission: to make the best curated game system ever.
Nearly 2 years ago, I Kickstarted Wibbell++.
I made something good, which I'm very proud of.
As planned, I spent the following year developing the graphics and drawing the lettershapes. With the help of my backers, I created a 1st edition box that has been enjoyed by countless people around the globe!
I have shown it to hundreds of people around the world - in one single convention, I played over 200 games of Wibbell! And I went to 11 conventions last year and hosted many more events/gamenights. I have the luxury of hindsight and have had time to consider each and every aspect of the deck
Now I want to make something even better.
I will be using all the feedback I've gotten over the past 6 months.
The box will be a compact 2-piece box that is a near-perfect fit for the deck. I have a sample that I've literally jumped on and generally mistreated. It still functions perfectly as a box.
The tree was a lovely way to celebrate the birth of the game system, but I'd like a stark, bold version of the card back on the front of the box.
After the KS is funded, I will start showing you thumbnails, then sketches, then more sketches, then final art for the outer box sides, inner box sides and back of box.
I will do my utmost to make this a beautiful box that you are proud to have displayed on a table, or bring out of your bag.
I am redrawing S, G, O and maybe Y to help make these letters as readable as possible.
The rules - instead of being on cards - are on rulesheets. This allows me to use 11-point text for the main rules and explain things with greater clarity. There will also be space for more diagrams and even helpful tips/strategies to get you started.
The borders will be a brownish red and the numbers slightly fainter, to better focus attention on the letters.
Some borders will be swapped.
After observing thousands of games, a few rules are changing slightly. For 1st edition owners, these will of course be up on the website.
The cards will be 320gsm linen-finish. This feels nice when you're playing with it.
The box will be literally shiny, with cold-stamped gold foil.
You could consider it a 'deluxe' version.
I think that you should definitely back this KS. But I'm clearly biased.
Here's some quotes from some less-biased folk.
(Click on any of the quotes for a link - each quote is from a reviewer or someone online. None were ever paid by me. Some review copies were sent. Unlinked words are my own.)
2-7 players, 10-15 minutes
Shout words quickly, but make sure to use
A letter from every card or you lose.
"It's about your speed of thinking rather than just being the 'smartest' person." - Toucan Play That Game
"Super fast." "Super portable." "Setup is super simple." - What's Eric Playing
"The race-based tension of Wibbell can re-energise tired gamers." - Games Night Guru
"stunningly brilliant" - Creaking Shelves
2-7 players, 2-3 minutes
"A quick thirty-seconds-to-a-minute action game." - The Offline Gamer Podcast
You grab cards as quickly as you can - but each card you grab must match a letter or border with the previous card. Whenever you want, slap the table and eliminate yourself.
"Everybody except the last person is going to get 10 bonus points. But they get all the cards on the table! So you're trying to do some math: how many cards are on the table? When should I slap my hand?" - Bower's Game Corner
"A really fast, simple, fun little dexterity game."- Cardboard Cultist
"Grabbell is simply ludicrous, in a good way." - Games Night Guru
2-4 players, 15-30 minutes
First you use the cards to inspire 4 story elements.
"EP might be Exploding Possum or Elemental Parka or Everyday Person" - Meeples Like Us
Then you take turns to tell a story involving these elements in that order.
"The first player flips over the top card of the deck and creates a starting sentence using the top letter of the card. In addition, a separate word must start with the bottom letter of the card. As example, if the card flipped had the letters “E” and “M” the player could start the story with “Early morning mist surrounded the city.” He/she would also come up with a word for the letter “M” such as “murdered”. The next player would flip a card and come up with a sentence using the top letter of their card and would need to include the word “murdered” into their sentence. This activity does not involve winning or losing and is more about simply having fun." - Board Game Doctor
5-15 players, 15-25 minutes
First the judge uses a card to inspire any topic they wish.
'The judge then flips over two more cards and the other players have to think of a 4-word phrase about the topic beginning with those 4 letters (in any order). For example with the topic 'fox' and the cards RD/WN, Joe came up with "Night-Wandering Red Dog".' - BGG comment
[RH] and [SL] could be "'Rebel Halflings Love Sauron!’, ‘Red Hot Shire Loving!’, ‘Second Lunch: Rarely Hot’, and so on." - Meeple Like Us
"You don't get a designated turn, where you think of what you want to say and then say it. But I personally actually like that because people are just shouting stuff out, and then crazy stuff is just popping out of your head..." - Bower's Game Corner
"Does what the best party games do: let you appreciate your friends’ wit and humour." - Creaking Shelves
"It makes a great after-dinner game and is hilarious and revealing by turns." - Games Night Guru
2-5 players, 20-30 minutes
Alphabetickell is all about choosing cards that fit at the start or end of a line of letters (not in the middle). Originally designed by Andrew Dennison in 2015, I developed it and eventually removed the speed component. (There is no video because the turn-based nature changed it enough to invalidate previous comments and interviews.)
At a basic level, it's a simple game suitable for families.
If you delve more deeply, there is a lot of analysis involved - based on memory of the cards gone, knowledge of other players' desires, and understanding the uneven distribution and probabilities involved.
"part luck, part strategy and part knowing your ABCs." - Big Red Barrell
" It is… not as easy as it sounds." - Meeple Like Us
"It's simple but offers some fun strategy, like so many of the games in Wibbell++" - Cardboard Cultist
"Very good fun at 2-player." - Toucan Play That Game
2 players, 30-45 minutes
A 2-player co-operative game. You help each other make longer words, by working on each other's rows of cards and trying to stay in perfect balance.
At the end of the game, your scores need to be exactly equal!
As it wasn't included in the 1st edition deck, it's been overlooked slightly. In the 2nd edition deck, full rules will be included of course.
"It works really nicely." "Perfect restaurant game [or] on an aeroplane" - Rahdo Runs Through
1 player, 10-20 minutes
Puzzell will be the 7th 'core' game, with full development, blind-testing and proof-reading completed by 1st August 2018.
You must lay out all the cards but are only allowed to lay cards when creating 'runs', i.e. fragments of the alphabet. There are 20 setups to beat, and any will setup might play differently when you shuffle and play again.
It's unlikely that all 6 core games will be perfect for you. Hopefully you'll enjoy all those you get a chance to try, but maybe you'll find yourself hating the physicality of Grabbell, or hating the deep cognitive load of Coupell. Maybe you don't like activities - you only like games. Maybe you don't like mixing games with creativity. Or maybe you don't like the somewhat abstract nature of Alphabetickell.
Even Wibbell itself - the most universally enjoyed game in the deck - has some who hate its rowdy nature.
I do believe, however, that there will almost certainly be a game here for you.
If your sensibilities align with mine - enjoying lighter games, word games, party games - then this deck will bring you to gaming Nirvana. If you prefer heavier games, it's possible that another designer (such as David Brain, who has done some sterling work on this deck) is already working on games for your tastes.
And you'll be able to keep the whole thing in your pocket.
Thanks for reading.
Risks and challenges
I have completed 3 physically mass-produced projects for KS projects and hope I've proven my capability to do a 4th. I always do my own art/writing. In this instance, I have less artwork to do, more developed skills for writing rules, and more connections in place for blind-testing/proof-reading.
The games are 100% rules-complete and thoroughly tested.
Some assets (rule diagrams, box art, S, G, O) need to be drawn. I hope to be able to involve backers in the creation of the box art. In the past, only 0-8% of my art has been done before a KS so I am much further along and expect a correspondingly swift turnaround.
I have a printer lined up - Fabryka Kart, who printed my 1st edition deck. They have given me plenty of samples and I am intimately familiar with the new box.
I know they are able to deliver in a relatively short timeframe. The decks will come from Poland without any ships involved.
I will post the game myself - packing and sending the envelopes as I'm able and then sending via Royal Mail from London, UK. This will take a couple of weeks so I'll have to ask you to be patient during this process.
The main challenge will simply be the continued focus and organisation of time in the face of whatever life throws at me. A more terminal risk is that I might get run over by a bus. But if I did, I hope you'd sympathise and you'd be sadder for the loss of my life than the loss of your game.
The main risk is the postal service. Some packages take longer than others and some are unreliable - specially when going overseas.
Also, since I am personally fulfilling all orders, it will take me longer than usual to fulfill.
I hope that everyone will get their copies in June/July. But it may even be that a few folk get it in August.
My plan is:
Feb - KS
March/April - art/completion of everything
May/June - printing/delivery to me (UK)
June/July/August - folk get their games
until I retire - I keep making games for the deck and helping others with their own ideas
Ultimately, your realistic worst-case scenario (given my track record) is that they come a little later than you hope, or you are the last person in the world to get your copy.
A couple of months after everything is sent and things have had time to make their way around the world (even if the postal service in your country is being especially nosy) I will put out an update and start re-sending stuff that failed to arrive. You will get your stuff.
Conversely, the benefit is that you will get a brilliant package that has games made for it for many decades to come. And you're directly supporting someone trying to help make the world a happier place via games.
I think that's a pretty good risk-benefit ratio.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (16 days)