About this project
$12,000 stretch goal REACHED! - improved components and 7-game instruction booklet
Current stretch goal: $20,000 - A surprise!
"This is a cool word game."
- Tim Fowers -- Game designer (Paperback)
"You have scored a scholastic trifecta: educational, challenging, and fun. As a pediatrician, now retired, I have only rarely made a professional endorsement, but you inspired me and "Wordwright" is clearly deserving. I hope you achieve the recognition you deserve. There are many who can benefit from this game."
- Bennet Rosenthal -- Puzzle player on Facebook
"I've been playing this game after being picked as a 'beta' teacher! My class loves it (7th grade), my family loves it, my friends love it. Thank you Defined Mind!"
- Middle school teacher in Canada -- Blind playtester
"It's a really pretty game. Vibrant art. Neat, little product. You spend a lot of time thinking about the words you're making -- easy words now versus saving some parts for later."
- Albert Hernandez and Julius Besser -- Game reviewers (1 player podcast)
"I really like that Rachel and Jay shaped Wordwright in such a way that there is unlimited games that you can play. It's really neat. And the artwork is really crisp."
- Brittany and Brady Williams -- Game reviewers (Smarter Backer)
"I enjoyed trying the game out at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, and I can't express how disappointed I was when I found out I couldn't purchase one of the sets at your table."
- Elementary school teacher in Illinois -- Playtester
"If you like words and word games this is definitely a good one to have ... it's different from pretty much anything else out there, because you're working with word parts rather than individual letters. Plus, the variety of game options, very small size, and simple theme make this easy to take with just about anywhere and pull out with anyone. It's very convenient, accessible, and provides several game options in one small, great looking package. Wordwright is definitely worth $15 (on Kickstarter, $20 MSRP) for a fun, flexible word game system."
- George Jaros -- Game reviewer (GJJ Games)
Read the comments for more praise for Wordwright from backers like you.
Check out a short photo album showing how we made and launched Wordwright.
Check out our puzzles on Facebook that relate to individual games.
Wordwright is a new way of playing word games, using an old way of building words.
We've carefully curated a collection of word parts (prefixes, roots, and suffixes) that have the main word part, spelling variations and definitions printed on them. Players combine these cards together in different ways to form and reform hundreds of common words. This mimics how the English language evolved and continues to grow.
Bundled together, the cards become the Wordwright Base Kit, which is an elegantly designed pack of cards that you can take anywhere to play a variety of word games -- our game variations and ones you invent. Perfect for solitaire players, couples, families, teachers, casual gamers, Wordwright should have a place in every home.
How do the cards work?
Every card is a word part that has meaning. We print the definitions on one side, which often come from Latin or Greek. The main word part is interchangeable with any of its spelling variations (printed below the main word part). This allows you to use the same card multiple ways to make different words.
What games can you play?
Update: We've been adding puzzles that relate to individual games on Facebook, and you can check them out here.
We have a ton of game and puzzle variations to compete, collaborate or ponder over, including ones where you quickly spot words in a large group of cards, make words from your hand, or reform communal words. The games are very quick to learn, and sometimes reminiscent of classic games, like our reworking of rummy in Rewrite Rummy. But our unique mechanic brings a depth to word play that we've never seen before in games.
We've shown Wordwright to a wide range of people: From kids to seniors, and all ages in between, whether they identify as gamers, puzzlers, teachers, parents, or anything else, there's a game variation for everyone, even those that don't typically like word games. And in the process of having fun, you learn a bit about the English language and etymology.
Below is a playlist of a few game variations, but this is by no means exhaustive. We have several variations in the works -- most with complete rules written -- and keep coming up with new ways of playing. However, we often are lacking time to record and edit new game videos. We are aiming to add more videos during the campaign.
Instruction manual (early version):
Link to PDF (adjust browser width to zoom)
Wordwright across the web:
Below are various mentions about Wordwright.
- Preview video from Board Game Brawl:
- Preview video from Cloak & Meeple (with a somber opening):
- Article about the educational benefits of using Wordwright to teach morphology from Atlanta Reads.
- Longer preview article for gamers from GJJ Games.
- 10 minute podcast segment as it applies to single players from 1 Player Podcast (starts at 50 minutes).
- Interview about the game pre-Kickstarter on Smarter Backer (choppy internet).
- Small snippet for casual gamers.
- Short mention on Dice Tower's Board Game Breakfast.
- Mention on GeekDad
Notes on general backer involvement and Stretch Goals
Beyond backers pledging money in exchange for games and to support Wordwright, we want to involve backers through the whole of the process to help improve the final product. We will have standard stretch goals of improved components for reaching higher goals, but the following are a few noteworthy elements we are aiming to accomplish in our campaign.
- Wild card design: Mirroring a standard deck of playing cards, each Wordwright deck has 52 word part cards, and two Wild (joker) cards. None of the games require use of the wild cards, but we have a handful of suggestions of how you can use them in existing games to change them up, and it can aid the creation of new games. We will be generating Wild card design options internally, and from backers through a pledge level. The final Wild card design options will be decided in part by voting all backers can participate in.
- Longer instruction booklet stretch goals: As Wordwright is a game platform with near limitless game variations, there is a need to cut off the printed instructions at some point, as the instruction booklet is one of the most expensive elements to produce for us. Rules and videos for game variations will be available online, but we will only be able to include a few games in the instruction booklet at the base goal in order to keep prices down. As the campaign gains success, the power of bulk buying will allow for a cheaper cost for additional booklet pages, meaning we can include more game variations in the printed booklet, adding replay value in a self-contained, offline single Wordwright pack. As we approach project goals to increase pages, we will ask backers to vote on which games should make it in.
- When certain goals are reached in the campaign, we would like to donate games to educational organizations. We will be asking backers to nominate which organizations they would like to see receive copies of the game, and then possibly vote on those organizations.
You may notice most pledge levels have an option to sponsor/gift a copy of Wordwright for an educator.
We designed Wordwright to be first and foremost a collection of fun games and puzzles for anyone. Yes, there is an educational aspect to the game, but there was never an intention for Wordwright to be used solely for an educational purpose. We, as the creators of Wordwright, can't learn much more about words from this game, but we still enjoy playing. They're solid games with a lot of depth, and they continue to challenge our brains to work in a different way than any other game we've played.
That said, we have received a significant response from educators (elementary, middle and high school teachers, ESL teachers, and more) that have been in need of a product like ours to engage students in English language learning. Many of these educators have expressed that they do not have much of a budget, and they are teaching disadvantaged populations.
We grew up without much money, but are better off today because we received a good education, so we have an interest in helping other disadvantaged people get a better education, too. If our game can help people who don't have the resources to purchase it themselves, we want to figure out a solution to that problem. We're taking a small gamble that the Kickstarter community will want to support these educators, too, by providing an opportunity to sponsor an educator. Additionally, if we hit certain goals in growing this campaign, we pledge to donate several games to organizations backers nominate and vote on.
However, there is no obligation that a backer must sponsor a game in order to receive one.
If you are an educator that wants to sign up for an opportunity to receive a copy, please fill out this form to register: http://bit.ly/WordwrightForTeachers
In the unlikely scenario that there are more copies sponsored than teachers requesting copies, we will donate the sponsored copies to educational organizations voted on by backers. If you are part of an educational organization that would like to be considered, email us at email@example.com.
Hi, we're a sister and brother from Chicago, raised by educator parents. We are passionate about the engaging qualities of gaming and the equalizing benefits of education, and have an idea for a gaming company that helps people empower themselves. Wordwright is hopefully the first of several games that will help people unlock different doors of knowledge. We chose the linguistics genre first, as language is the secret key to communicating pretty much all other knowledge.
The idea for Wordwright is decades in the making. Rachel learned to read at the age of three, and advanced her literacy rapidly thereafter by using word part meaning as a short-cut to literacy. Once you can read and figure out the tricks to understanding words quickly, all other knowledge comes easier. She wanted to make a game out of this concept, but needed help to develop it, so she asked her brother.
Since both of us have a background in software, the obvious answer was to make a mobile app using the general word part concept. Over the course of a couple months of late nights turning wireframes into functioning code, we made a fully playable prototype. One major problem: It wasn't much fun.
Still, the concept was a good one. Jay, a lifelong card player, suggested a better way of making the game might be to treat it as a card game platform, where inside an elegant pack you could take anywhere, you had a variety of games you could play. And keeping the deck minimal had the additional benefit of keeping the cost affordable for pretty much anyone. The idea for the final product was born, but it still took several more months to refine the game to a polished point ready for the Kickstarter audience.
We are very proud of Wordwright. It's a great product that is fun and educational for those still learning the language, and is rich and thought provoking to those familiar with it. The ability to make hundreds of common words across unique mechanics allows a level playing field between word game aficionados and those that usually don't enjoy the genre.
With a lot of game variations, Wordwright becomes infinitely replayable. We've played the games more times than any sane person might want to in the past few months, and they continue to be engaging, enjoyable and challenging. We still spot new moves in games we've played a hundred times, and continue to think up new games to play with these cards. When you get your copy, you'll see how versatile these cards are. In our most idealistic dreams, we hope Wordwright can be the Legos or Minecraft of word building.
Our big goal with this Kickstarter is: Get Wordwright into the hands of as many people as possible. Our ways of tackling that are:
- Make the best product we can
- Make it at an affordable cost
- Create a conservative goal
- Provide opportunities to the Kickstarter community to sponsor games for educators and organizations to benefit disadvantaged people
We've done our part -- we've invested a lot of our own money, and countless hours of our time to get Wordwright where it is. If you like what you've seen, please back our Kickstarter. And please let others know, too.
Risks and challenges
This is our first Kickstarter – that’s a challenge in and of itself, but we have confidence that we are prepared. We have a simple-to-manufacture product with calculated costs. Our design is complete, minus swapping in some art based on how the campaign develops. We have had a promotional version run from our manufacturer (who has been in the card printing business for decades), and we were very happy with both the quality of the cards, and the speed of production and delivery.
That being said, there are still a few potential risks:
1) Manufacturing issues. If somehow our manufacturer fails us, we will address it straight-away to ensure that we get a quality product to our backers as soon as possible.
2) Shipping delays. The level of success for this campaign is an unknown. If Wordwright becomes wildly successful with a large number of backers, fulfilling all order at the same time could become an issue. We will communicate that to our backers as soon as we realize it's a possibility. However, we are confident we can work with partners to ensure that all backers receive their rewards in a timely fashion.
3) The unknown. Again, this is our first Kickstarter, but our goal is for this to be the first of many. We want to make sure to leave a good first impression. We will do everything in our power to ensure that, addressing any issues as they arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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