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Solve clues & unravel an interactive story within 18-20 packages mailed to you over 2 months. Mysterious suspense awaits. A great gift!
Solve clues & unravel an interactive story within 18-20 packages mailed to you over 2 months. Mysterious suspense awaits. A great gift!
Solve clues & unravel an interactive story within 18-20 packages mailed to you over 2 months. Mysterious suspense awaits. A great gift!
94 backers pledged $8,700 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Decoder Ring Organization - A Mail-Order Mystery Game

$8,700

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We’ve crafted an experience that captivates by sending you down dark twisting and turning pathways with clues that arrive to your door over the course of eight weeks.

Are you the type of person who likes mysterious things like true crime podcasts, suspenseful TV shows, or page-turning mystery stories? Before you were an observer, but now you are an active player in the middle of solving a mystery, and that mystery is called: The Decoder Ring Organization.

And, we need your help to finalize the production of the game!

Each season is comprised of 18-20 packages, including many handcrafted letters and objects, along with digital content such as audio, video, and websites. These items will be mailed several times per week over the course of 8 weeks, meaning a subscriber gets 2-3 clues per week, along with the digital media.

Season One, which is titled, “The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland”, will send a welcome email mid-December. This means it can be given as a perfect holiday gift for 2016. The experience officially starts in the beginning of January, and will span until the beginning of March. After the Season's story comes to a close, the subscriber can decide if they would like to continue experiencing the story by signing up for subsequent Seasons.

 The Decoder Ring Organization is the name of this interactive experience. The name comes from the fictional organization in the game that begins the player on their journey. You can see a little more about that organization here:


You can also visit their website TheDecoderRing.org

You may recognize the guy in that video if you watched the main video up above- it’s me again. I hate being on camera, so, yes, part of this project’s budget is allocated to be put towards people who can act. :)


Every season ties up the mystery within its own story, but there is an over-arching storyline that connects each Season. Currently, I have fully planned out the 3 seasons offered in the rewards, which I will be releasing over the course of 2017. If these first 3 seasons are a success, I have even more planned that will continue the story with future Seasons.

As I mentioned in the Project Video, Season One, The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland, centers around the dark circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Julie Harrison, a high school student. She was a resident of rural Moore County, VT. It kills me to have to stop explaining the story here. There is so much more to it, but I want you to be able to explore as much of it as possible on your own as you play through the clues. Within the journey of the game, you will come across different characters and tricky situations. You’ll receive packages that may seem confusing, but they will fall into place as you realize that it is a necessary thing for another part of the game. When we say the story is twisting and turning, we absolutely mean it.

 


I can’t explain it, and I won’t try, but there is something about getting a package in the mail and not knowing the contents. There’s something about holding an object in your hands and diving into the story it holds: the tangible items make it that much more real.

It’s a different connection than playing a video game, watching a movie/tv show, or even reading a book.

There’s something nostalgic about The Decoder Ring Organization. Like ordering a mystery item from the back of a comic book or painting along with Bob Ross, there’s something inherently exciting about interacting with the your media. 

 

 The Mini Mystery – Add-On (+6)

A thank you letter- but is that all it is?

This is a compact puzzle with a few layers to solve. It appears to be a thank you letter. A very strange thank you letter from The Decoder Ring Organization. And, there’s something else in the envelope to help you.

How do I add this on?  

  • If you have already pledged at least $5, add-on $6 to get this reward. 
  • These will be delivered December 2016, and make a great teaser for the upcoming experience.

(This piece of mail does not affect the story that is laid out in the standard Seasons, but it is a fun little enhancement that will arrive before the rest of the story in December.)

Haven’t backed yet, but want to get The Mini Mystery on its own?

This Add-On is also available as its own reward tier, now- with free shipping in the U.S. ($2 everywhere else)!

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Kickstarter! I’m Rob Kramer, and I am largely the person behind The Decoder Ring Organization.  

At the very beginning of 2016, some friends and I were discussing another friend’s upcoming birthday. We talked about what to get her, and we were discussing what she liked.

True crime podcasts.

Gaming.

Mystery.

Artistic works.

So, seeing as we were all creative people, we started talking about making her a game that combined these elements.

Since that discussion, the small game has taken on a life of its own. I began filling notebooks with sketches and notes. Something about the idea that we discussed just fascinated me. I started adding in my own influences as I began to realize that what I was making was not just a single gift, but rather its own large-scale project. I would come up with a package or clue and realize, that with my background in graphic design, illustration, and having made props, that, yes, I could create this.

When I first began chiseling away at the rough idea, I kept some guidelines in mind. One of the most important was: "what would I like to see, as a player."

My Other (self-imposed) Rules:

1. Something that arrives on a frequent schedule so that the plot can unfold like a television show.
2. A varying of puzzle difficulties, with rewards for success, but no punishments for failing to solve them.
3. A game world that felt almost real, and the player could interact with the situations and realistically developed characters.
4. Take the excitement you get from a video game, and merge it with receiving unexpected gifts in the mail (even if you just forgot what you ordered on Amazon). Wrap that up into an experience that you can be excited to see among your mundane day-to-day junk mail and bills.
5. Make the idea as affordable as possible, but including as many interesting objects and interactions as possible. The game would get boring rather quickly if the only thing you received were letters.

I have done my best to stay true to these goals, and I think it shows.

Having multiple iterations really helped the creation process. Some things worked beautifully, and some things needed to be tweaked, reworked, or completely removed from the game. Having game testers eager to critique the prototypes, helped me to create the best version of these ideals.

 

 

Thank You Kickstarter 

I can not wait for our backers to start the experience that is The Decoder Ring Organization!

Have a question or a suggestion? You can email me at rob@cyclopticmedia.com

I really would love to hear from you.

Risks and challenges

I understand that different materials or printing times could be delayed. I have addressed that by adding about a month of leeway into the schedule.

I also understand that the things I have priced out could shift in price between when I am posting this Kickstarter and when I am able to order everything to begin work. I have attempted to address that with the monetary buffer I have built into this project's goal.

All-in-all, I've addressed my own concerns in advance, and, if anything goes differently than expected, I will just have to rely on the backup plan I have prepared.

If any unexpected problems do arise, I will keep backers informed of any changes in plans.
However, backers should feel confident that when the goal is reached, that this project will be shipped at the specified times, and will not have funding issues.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you!

    Thank you so much! I will post your name or business name on a Thank You section on cyclopticmedia.com

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Mini Mystery (Free Shipping - U.S.)

    A thank you letter- but is that all it is?
    This is a compact puzzle with a few layers to solve. It appears to be a thank you letter. A very strange thank you letter from The Decoder Ring Organization. And, there’s something else in the envelope to help you.

    Also available as an add-on to other tiers.
    ← See the main post for more info on adding this on if you’ve already pledged $5 or more.

    (This piece of mail does not affect the story that is laid out in the standard Seasons, but it is a fun little enhancement that will arrive before the rest of the story in December.)

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Tools of the Trade

    A pen and hardcover travel notepad branded with The Decoder Ring Organization logo on it. Just right for the detective or thinker. This hardcover notepad also features sticky notes to help keep you - and your clues - organized.

    Includes:
    • Pen & Notebook
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Detective's Uniform

    A shirt with a graphic on it. The design will be decided on during the campaign.

    Shirts in this reward tier will be similar in quality to Gildan brand tee shirts.

    Includes:
    • Regular Tee Shirt
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Fancy Detective's Uniform

    A shirt with a graphic on it. The design will be decided on during the campaign.

    Shirts in this reward tier will be similar in quality to American Apparel brand tee shirts.

    Includes:
    • High Quality Tee Shirt
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    The Abridged Version of Season One

    Receive the two-month long first Season experience but all at once. You will receive ONE package containing all of the clues numbered in the order in which you should open them. This package will not include any personalized items, and it will be shipped after the live Season One is over.

    The package will be shipped Priority Mail and will include tracking.

    Includes:
    • Abridged Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    The Abridged Version - INTERNATIONAL

    The same as The Abridged Version of Season One but with International shipping ONLY.

    Receive the two-month long first Season experience but all at once. You will receive ONE package containing all of the clues numbered in the order in which you should open them. This package will not include any personalized items, and it will be shipped after the live Season One is over.

    The package will be shipped Priority Mail and will include tracking.

    Includes:
    • Abridged Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Season One - The Full Experience

    Receive the FULL two-month long first Season experience. Unravel the mystery one clue at a time as you receive 2-3 packages in the mail per week.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
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    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    Season One & Two

    Receive the FULL two-month long first Season experience.

    You will also automatically be mailed Season Two, when it becomes available.
    This is currently planned for Summer 2017.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
    • Season Two - The Decoder Ring Organization: TBA
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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    The Abridged Trinity Pack- INTERNATIONAL

    You and two of your friends will receive The Abridged Version of Season One.

    Work together! Whether the three of you are neighbors or live on opposite sides of the country, enjoy playing together and talking about the latest package.

    Includes:
    • Abridged Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Year Pass! Season One, Two, & Three!

    Receive the FULL two-month long first Season experience.

    You will also automatically be mailed Season Two and Three, when they become available.

    Season Two's release is currently planned for Summer, 2017. Season Three's release is currently planned for Fall, 2017.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
    • Season Two - The Decoder Ring Organization: TBA
    • Season Three - The Decoder Ring Organization: TBA
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    The Trinity Pack

    You and two of your friends will receive Season One - The Full Experience.

    Work together! Whether the three of you are neighbors or live on opposite sides of the country, enjoy playing together and talking about the latest package.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
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    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    The Handshake (ABRIDGED)

    You and four of your friends will receive The Abridged Version of Season One.

    Work together! Whether the five of you are neighbors or live on opposite sides of the country, enjoy playing together and talking about the latest package.

    Includes:
    • Abridged Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
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    Pledge $230 or more About $230

    The Handshake

    You and four of your friends will receive Season One - The Full Experience.

    Work together! Whether the five of you are neighbors or live on opposite sides of the country, enjoy playing together and talking about the latest package.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Patron of the Arts

    Receive the 'Year Pass' - Season One, Season Two, and Season Three. They will be sent as they are released.

    Also, because you're so awesome, I will include your name, likeness, or photo within the game's story or in a clue.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
    • Season Two - The Decoder Ring Organization: TBA
    • Season Three - The Decoder Ring Organization: TBA
    • Get in the Game
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    Pledge $315 or more About $315

    The Triangle

    You and two of your friends will receive Season One - The Full Experience.

    In addition to that you will each get the Tools of the Trade and Fancy Detective Uniform tiers.

    Work together! Whether the three of you are neighbors or live on opposite sides of the country, enjoy playing together and talking about the latest package.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
    • High Quality Tee Shirt
    • Pen & Notebook
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    Pledge $505 or more About $505

    The Detective Agency

    This is the 'Triangle' tier on steroids!

    You and four of your friends will receive Season One - The Full Experience.

    In addition to that you will each get the Tools of the Trade and Fancy Detective Uniform tiers.

    Work together! Whether the five of you are neighbors or live on opposite sides of the country, enjoy playing together and talking about the latest package.

    Includes:
    • Season One - The Decoder Ring Organization: Roland
    • High Quality Tee Shirt
    • Pen & Notebook
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Funding period

- (30 days)