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Tak is a new abstract strategy game created by James Ernest and Patrick Rothfuss, based on the game in The Wise Man's Fear.
12,187 backers pledged $1,351,142 to help bring this project to life.

Questions and Answers

Posted by Cheapass Games (Creator)

What a week!

Two days ago, Kicktraq was projecting our end total just shy of $1M. Now we are at $1.2M and still climbing! Campaigns usually spike on the last day, but it’s rather insane when that spike alone is larger than six of our previous campaigns.

As we try to adjust to this insanity, and brace for the task of fulfilling 10,000 pledges, we thought you’d like an update with some answers to your recent questions.

Secret Achievement?

For some time now, we’ve had a secret achievement on the bingo card. We honestly didn’t have anything in mind, and while we have been holding out for Tak at Stonehenge, on Splash Mountain, or in Space, the fact is that we are super impressed by everyone’s contributions, and it's time to go ahead and unlock it (and that covers the bingo card!) So far, our favorite submission is these two tortoises playing Tak.

Tortoises playing Tak. Like they do.
Tortoises playing Tak. Like they do.

It’s the final day, so we will go ahead and clear that space, for the sake of the tortoises. Achievement Unlocked!

Secret Stretch Goals?

We’ve also had three secret stretch goals, which were always just for fun and only slightly more premeditated than the secret achievement. Here they are!

10,000 Backers: Earlier in the campaign, we hinted at something special at 10k backers. This item was so secret that we would have to travel a thousand miles, sleep a thousand nights, etc.

The idea was a 7x7 game board with a Chandrian theme. Unfortunately, we hit a snag in creating this, because our designated artist was not available. 

We’d still like to make a 7x7 “board of seven,” but unfortunately it won’t be part of the campaign. It will be a 7x7 hybrid board, which means 36 squares and 49 intersections, decorated with appropriately creepy hints of the Seven.

We will continue working to make this game board a reality, but we’re not sure when it will happen. In the meanwhile, let us be careful not to speak of it too loudly.

Stretch Goal at 24 Points: Not the Rules for Tak. As you know, Pat Rothfuss tried to create the rules for Tak while he was writing The Wise Man’s Fear. Instead, he invented a game where the only possible result was a tie, and he learned that this game design thing was harder than he thought. We’ll include the rules for this game as a section in the Companion Book, unlocked as the secret stretch goal at 24 points.

Stretch Goal at 25 Points: Plans for Bredon’s Capstones. Nate Taylor has made a preliminary sketch for Bredon’s Capstones, a carved pair representing an eagle and a wolf. We can’t make them just yet, but here are the sketches, in case you're ambitious enough to create your own.

Sketches of Bredon's Capstones
Sketches of Bredon's Capstones

Future Plans:

After a successful campaign like this, you can be sure that Tak will have a long life beyond Kickstarter. We are not adding any more items to the campaign, but the future holds many possibilities.

New Board Designs: We’ve shown just a few of our designs for Tak boards, and we would like to create many more in the future. One way to accomplish this cheaply will be to post them for sale at a place like The GameCrafter, which is a print-on-demand board game site that just happens to make a one-piece 10" x 10" game board.

New Piece Sets: We researched metal and stone pieces for this campaign, but neither is ready for prime time. We will keep working on them, and hopefully we can create new products that we can make available through Cheapass Games and / or Worldbuilders, or perhaps through a licensee who specializes in such pieces.

Wyrmwood Boards: If you can’t pick up Devi’s Box now, don’t despair! Devi’s Box is limited to the campaign, but we will work with Wyrmwood to create comparable sets and new designs, starting in November 2016 (after the campaign rewards have shipped).

Other Questions:

The Royal Caps: Many of you have asked if you can get the Vintas Royal Capstone (Update 17) in two colors. We considered this, but our options were basically to make a 2-piece set available for $10, or to give you a single piece for free. We decided that as a free item, and as a special souvenir of the campaign, it made more sense to make just one version. In the future, you can be sure of many options for Capstones, both singly and in pairs.

Why no “Looney Lewis”? Some of you have asked for a 62-piece version of the Crazy Martin. That is, a bag with 62 game pieces, enough for a 6x6 game (the Crazy Martin has 44, which is a 5x5 game). We are not offering this piece set, because the price would be roughly $50, and for $55 you can get the entire Classic Set, which has the board, pieces, box, and rules. At that price, we think the pieces alone just don’t make sense.

What Box Number Will I Get? People have asked how we will be numbering the Devi's Boxes, and what number they will get. We would like to give preferential treatment to people who backed earlier, but it's not actually that easy. We know every backer's "number," but that only indicates when they joined the campaign, not necessarily when they upgraded to Devi's Box. So even if you were the first to pledge for the Box, you might get trumped by an earlier backer who upgrades later. We will do our best to figure this out, and we obviously all want the same thing, but we can't promise anyone a specific number of box.

What's Exclusive? What's Not? People have asked what items from this campaign will still be available once the campaign is over. There are really three categories of item here: Retail, Limited and Exclusive.

The only "Retail" item is the Classic Set. We will make this product available to game stores through standard distribution channels, so you'll be able to buy this set in your local game shop, shortly after the campaign rewards have shipped.

"Limited" items will be available through Cheapass and/or Worldbuilders after the campaign is closed, for a limited time. We will make more of these items than we need for the campaign, so we can continue to sell them directly. This includes most of the items in the campaign, except for the Retail and Exclusive list.

"Exclusive" items include Devi's Board, Devi's Box, and the Vintas Royal Capstone. These items are available only through this campaign, and we will set the production limit once the pledge manager has been open for one month (it will open roughly three weeks after the close of the campaign). Other similar items may be available in the future, but these things are exclusive to this campaign.

What was Pat Talking About?

In a blog post last night, Pat Rothfuss mentioned “another secret improvement” to the Classic Set. We’re not actually sure what he was thinking of. It might have been something we have already announced. Or he might have meant a change in the companion book, like the inclusion of his original Tak rules (mentioned above).

Either way, to be clear, this update contains the final list of freebies and stretch goals as we know them. It has been a great campaign, we’ve already unlocked a lot of stuff, and in the last few hours it can sometimes be hard to uncross every wire.

Thank You Thank You!

Thanks once again for being part of this amazing campaign. Shadowstalker posted a preliminary review of our statistics today, showing where we stand on the all-time list of top KS campaigns. We’ll take another look and post the official rankings after the closing bell rings. Wherever we eventually fall, this has been an amazing ride and we can’t wait to start the next phase, of actually bringing this game to life.

Thanks for your support and kind words, and thanks for helping us make Tak!

Our prototypes are already having a party!
Our prototypes are already having a party!


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    1. Hannah Sher on

      Looking at this, I'm a bit confused as to how they were numbered. It doesn't seem as if it was done by backer number.

    2. Chris Mortika on

      Congratulations, Cheapass. You've done a tremendous amount of work for Tak, and you deserve your success.

      I'd like to ask a question about expectations. When you started this campaign, with the goal of selling a few hundred sets, you'd set the expected date of delivery in November. Now that the dust has settled, with 20 times your initial goal and several stretch-goal products added, what's a reasonable expectation? Is it possible that we might still get our games by the end of the year?

    3. Missing avatar

      Tony Shimkets on

      When you guys get around to the 7-by-7 hybrid (for which I am QUITE excited, by the by), will you be making a wood version as well? One of the things that really sticks with me about this game is the aural component - the almost musical click of the pieces on the board as you play them. I'd love to be able to have that in 7x7 land too.

      The Chandrian designs would probably be too expensive to do as inlays or veneers, but I'd be perfectly happy with a mass-produced painted wood version. To be honest even though I'm going to be getting a wooden board in this kickstarter, I'm a little envious of the beautiful painted designs the classic version's board is coming with!

    4. Stuart Barton on

      The wolf and eagle capstones are the coolest idea yet! I want so much!

    5. Missing avatar

      Meghan LaPoint on

      It would be great for those of use who only get the classic set by backing the campaign have something with their classic set (besides the special capstone). Perhaps an exclusive Kickstarter board design? Perhaps redesign the classic board for regular retail distribution?

    6. Hannah Sher on

      @Tev Kaber, none of the pledge levels come with the ebook.

      @Wes Frazier, they've said it'll be open for more than a month, but Devi's box and Devi's board will be capped once the pledge manager has been open for a month.

    7. Missing avatar


      RE New Piece Sets....
      Perhaps a synthetic countertop material would work. The main cost would be the mold, but after that they're cheap (think Corian, or swanstone)

    8. Wes Frazier on

      How long after the kickstarter ends will we have to upgrade pledges and whatnot through the pledge manager?

    9. Tev

      Does the Student level also get the PDF version of the book?

    10. Asa on

      @Leonardo Why not buy the $5 ebook instead?

      I'd love to see a Chandrian themed board someday. The Name of the Wind Pairs deck did a nice job of playing with the number 7, and it would be cool to see something like that with Tak as well.

    11. Leonardo Jorge on

      At what exclusivity category does the companion book fits?
      24$ is a lot for international shipping for the book alone, if it is available at other online stores (such as Amazon) I may get it with a lower shipping.

    12. Cheapass Games 12-time creator on

      @Alvin: Obviously no one needs permission to make a checkerboard, but if you'd like to make something official (and get some traffic from us in the bargain) contact us in Q4. We don't want to issue any official licenses for new products until the Kickstarter has shipped.

    13. Alvin Helms

      @Cheapass -- If those of us who are Graphic Designers & Artists would like to try our own hand at creating Tak boards, and offer them for sale on The Game Crafter website, may we have permission to do so?

      I mean, obviously anyone could create a board with a grid, and would need no permission. But can we *call* such a thing a "Tak Board?" Or in any other way make reference to the fact that it is intended for use with Tak?

      Or would you sue us into oblivion for doing so?

    14. Jayce Pentad on

      I'm not near Stonehenge but I'll get you Tak at a stone circle as soon as I can. :) I just couldn't get out there in time for the end of the campaign. Consider it a post-campaign offering.