Techlandia

by Dan Ackerman

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About


Imagine a world where people are enslaved by their electronics. Where we willingly allow smartphones to spy on us, and even pay for the privilege. A world where a handful of all-powerful multinational corporations control the flow of information by dominating hardware, operating systems, social networks and search engines.

Oh wait, that actually kinda sounds like real life

But, imagine all that stuff, plus the twisted CEO of one of these tech giants also using his power and influence to open the floodgates to another plane of existence, bringing ancient evils to Earth and generally causing a big mess.

That's what you suspect is happening at the Techlandia Corporation, the world's biggest maker of overpriced smartphones. CEO Charles Ward is announcing the company's newest phone, the top-secret Techlandia TX-1, at an invitation-only press conference later today. 

You haven't been invited to the grand launch of the TX-1 smartphone, but you're not a tech blogger because you like following the rules. There's something strange going on here, and you're going to expose it all. Sneaking into the main building should be easy enough with all the other press milling around, but gaining access to the massive underground auditorium where the TX-1 is being announced is going to be tougher. 

It's Silicon Valley meets Lovecraft in Techlandia, a funny+scary new tabletop game for 1-4 players. 

“Thematic and cool...an incredibly unique and interesting experience.” — Jorge Zhang, Rulebook Preview

[Read the full game rules at BGG]

 Techlandia is a modern dungeon crawl adventure, where 1-4 players attempt to infiltrate the high-tech corporate headquarters of the Techlandia corporation. 

The objective of this episode is to gain entry to the invite-only Techlandia TX-1 smartphone unveiling being held in a subterranean auditorium under the Silicon Valley headquarters of the secretive Techlandia corporation. 

You've heard of mysterious disappearances and dark doings surrounding this all-powerful multinational conglomerate. Getting a scoop on what's really going down would be a career-making move. So guess what? We're sneaking in!  

  •  In order to do that, you must get past the security checkpoint, which will allow you access to the elevators leading down to the event level. 
  •  In order to do that​, you must present the proper QR code invitation at the security desk.  
  •  In order to do that, you need to collect four QR code fragments, then present the correct final code at the security desk.  
  •  In order to do that, you'll need to investigate rooms in the building for clues, discovering where the QR code fragments can be found and collecting them before anyone else.  

By fighting and defeating cultish Techlandia public relations employees, known as Tech Cultists, you'll be able to decipher the four QR code fragments and present the proper complete code at the security desk to gain access to the elevator.  

Fail at any of these tasks and you're likely to be arrested for trespassing. And the world might end, too. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.  

All the while, a Doomsday Clock ticks down between rounds, from 20 to zero, unleashing new horrors at inopportune moments. 

In the game, a ​turn ​consists of a player taking up to two ​actions​. A round consists of every player taking a turn, and ends with the Doomsday Clock counting down one number. A single action can include: 

  • Moving ​from one room on the board to another room directly connected to it.  
  • Investigating ​a room for clues. 
  • Picking ​up a QR code from a room. 
  • Fighting ​a Tech Cultist or other enemy. 
  • Reloading ​your Gear deck from the Press Room.  
  • Submitting ​your QR code to the security scanner.

 Surprising, right? After literally decades of covering video games as a journalist, author and TV news talking head, I became fascinated with the growing interest in analog tabletop games. Much of the most creative thinking in game design is happening right now in tabletop games like Gloomhaven, Scythe, Nemesis, One Deck Dungeon and others. 

*Record scratch* *Freeze frame* Yup, that's me. You might be wondering...
*Record scratch* *Freeze frame* Yup, that's me. You might be wondering...

 I spent many months playing dozens of different games, and put together a list of what my ideal tabletop game experience would look like. I envisioned a game featuring:

  • A tile-based hex map with different possible layouts
  • Cool character full-color standees 
  • Supports solo or multiplayer
  • Can be played in about an hour or less
  • Fits on a normal human-sized table (very important)
  • Continuing narrative that unfolds as you play
  • Depth, but without overly fiddly rules or parts
  • Excellent component quality, but reasonably priced 
  • Expandable and episodic, expanding the story with new content 
A playtesting session from game night at the American Museum of Natural History.
A playtesting session from game night at the American Museum of Natural History.

I took all those ideas, and wrapped them around a ripped-from-the-headlines story based on my years as a tech journalist, covering companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others. That high-tech world is already absurd enough, so it made perfect sense to take a classic Douglas Adams satire vibe, add a dose of Lovecraftian horror, and combine it with our obsession over smartphones, spyware, digital privacy and hacking.  

$35 / Techlandia Core Game

 You'll receive one boxed version of the final game, including all the cards, tiles, tokens and minis, plus detailed rulebook. The Core Set components will be used for upcoming episodic content, including free downloadable PNP scenarios. 

$75 / Techlandia  Early access prototype + Core

Want to play right now? With this pledge, you get the standard Core set for Techlandia when available, including all minis, cards, dashboards, tokens, tiles, etc. In the meantime, I'll send you one of my personal prototype sets, including professional-quality cards and tiles, plus 3D printed components, including minis and tokens. Each of these is one-of-a-kind, and a unique collectors' item. 

$8 /  Deluxe PNP + 3D Print Package

 Get access to the deluxe PNP version of Techlandia, ready to print and, uh, play right now! Tweaks, upgrades and stretch content will be included as well. Besides higher resolution files and extras, this also includes 3D files for minis, tokens and markers, ready to be printed on your favorite 3D printer. 

$12,000 [The Prequel Scenario]

$15,000 [The Final Battle Scenario]

$20,000[3D Printable STL file: Custom Box Insert]

$25,000 [Techlandia: The Novella, original e-book]

$30,000 [Plastic standees with full-color stickers]

$XX,XXX [3D Printable STL file: Custom Dice Tower]

Risks and challenges

The game is in a near-final state before the start of this campaign, including extensive prototyping and playtesting. Final manufacturing bids have been received, and all artwork is complete. As the creator/designer, I have extensive project management and operational experience, and a deep history in the games space, including authoring a critically acclaimed book on game history and an excellent reputation built over 20-plus years as a journalist for major print and online publications.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Basic Tech Support

    Support the fight against Eldritch terrors and capped data plans! Your tip is greatly appreciated, and will help us bring the world of Techlandia to life.

    Includes:
    • Our eternal gratitude
    • Access to the standard PNP version of Techlandia
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Deluxe PNP + 3D Print Package

    Get access to the deluxe PNP version of Techlandia, ready to print and, uh, play right now! Tweaks, upgrades and stretch content will be included as well. Besides higher resolution files and extras, this also includes 3D files for minis, tokens and markers, ready to be printed on your favorite 3D printer.

    Includes:
    • Access to the Deluxe PNP version of Techlandia
    • Access to PNP-ready 3D files for game accessories
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Techlandia: The Core Game

    You'll receive one boxed version of the final game, including all the cards, tiles, tokens and sstandees, plus a detailed rulebook. The Core Set components will be used for upcoming episodic content, including free downloadable PNP scenarios.

    FREE SHIPPING in the US. Subsidized shipping elsewhere, charged after the campaign ends.

    Includes:
    • Access to the Deluxe PNP version of Techlandia
    • Access to PNP-ready 3D files for game accessories
    • Techlandia Core box
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Early access prototype + Core

    Want to play right now? With this pledge, you get the standard Core set for Techlandia when available, including all standees, cards, dashboards, tokens, tiles, etc.

    In the meantime, I'll send you one of my personal prototype sets, including professional-quality cards and tiles, plus 3D printed components, including minis and tokens. Each of these is one-of-a-kind, and a unique collectors' item.

    FREE SHIPPING in the US for the Core game. Subsidized shipping elsewhere, charged after the campaign ends. Additional shipping for the prototype will be charged after the campaign ends.

    Includes:
    • Access to the Deluxe PNP version of Techlandia
    • Access to PNP-ready 3D files for game accessories
    • One-of-a-kind prototype set, including 3D printed minis
    • Techlandia Core box
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.