About this project
Outside your door lies a world of adventure, danger, mischief, and mayhem waiting to be explored! Grab a backpack, a sandwich, that monster you call a sibling, and head out into the wilderness, leaving the comfort of home at your back.
The objective of The Siblings Trouble is to cooperatively play through a pocket-sized adventure with your friends or family. During your adventure you’ll explore a mysterious place (the Hillside Cave, the Ancient Forest, etc.) and have a series of narrative moments that lead to the final encounter and Epic Treasure. Survive them all and the memories and treasures of your experience will be yours; fail and get sent home. If all players are sent home, the game is over... no more fun, just an early dinner, bath, and straight to bed.
The Siblings Trouble boils down the core elements of an RPG (storytelling, exploration, discovery, treasure, encounters, etc.) into a fun-to-play narrative romp. This is a 30 minute game you can play as an ice-breaker, in-betweener, or as a way to introduce storytelling and adventure games to new players. This is not trying to make a simplified, beginner version of Dungeons & Dragons. It is an experience unto itself which leverages the fun of pen and paper games and lets players have quick, enjoyable adventures together. Rather than high-fantasy, TST is influenced by Miyasaki, The Goonies, The Hardy Boys, Stand by Me and even Pikmin.
To learn how to play The Siblings Trouble, you can download the instructions or watch the How to Play video below.
Being selected as one of eight games to be included in the PAX South Indie Showcase was an incredible honor. It was a great show and we played TST more times than I can remember.
We created this PAX Supercut Video to show some of it.
Reviews, previews and comments on The Siblings Trouble:
"I think there's something here that could be really, really big for a lot of different gamers." ... "I'll be honest - I find this enchanting. I can see this being a hit."
- Rodney Thompson, Game Designer, Dungeons & Dragons / Lords of Waterdeep
Undead Viking's TST Video Review
My niece says "best game ever!" And has not stopped talking about it all week. I say "great intro to pen and paper RPGs, with a great theme and the art is fantastic"
- Tessa Van Boxtel, Board Game Reviewer
Bower's Game Corner TST Video Review
The Meeple Mechanic Review,
In The Siblings Trouble, I was on my feet all the time, thinking about what I would say whether the dice came up in my favor (or, the more likely situation in my case, not so much). It's like gamemaster training for when you want to run an RPG.
- Daniel Zayas, Founder, The Meeple Mechanic
Gamer's Remorse TST Video Review
Board Game Authority Review (score "A")
"As we ventured farther into the cave battling bats, tiptoeing around trolls, and trying not to get cursed, the game really sucked us in. It was quite enjoyable drawing a card each turn and coming up with a fitting story. And actually, the real joy for me was listening to my wife come up with impressive ways of getting us out of trouble."
- Richard Miles, Reviewer, Board Game Autority
Giant From The North Review
"We stole from a troll, found a mysterious transforming box (the powers of which have not been fully explored), and even jumped inside of a slime monster to control its actions like a puppet. It was one of my favorite gaming experiences I have ever had."
- Rob Cramer, Reviewer, Giant From The North
The Cardboard Republic Preview
If you’re up for your own short stories of adventure, The Siblings Trouble can provide you with the Marauder’s Map of materials to get you started over on its Kickstarter. The rest is up to you.
- Ryan LaFlamme, Founder, The Cardboard Republic
Tabletop Deathmatch is a yearly contest sponsored by Cards Against Humanity. The Siblings Trouble was named a finalist! Getting to spend time with the Tabletop Deathmatch team, judges, and the seven other teams was an incredible experience.
Since Gen-Con 2014, we’ve made some specific improvements to the game in response to this feedback.
Card / Presentation Clean Up
Cards were hard to read and needed clean up. They are much improved. We also had great feedback on making each card spectacular. We embraced this and every card was refined.
Every turn ends with something
Another change we made was to ensure that every turn, no matter what card or roll occurs, the player adds something interesting to the story.
Big Secret / Fear Counters / Adventure Deck structure
The biggest single piece of feedback we received was that our game experience felt flat and didn't offer enough sense of progress and climax. We took this to heart, thought a lot, and designed the Big Secret / Fear Counter system.
Now a third of the way into the game, one of the players reveals a huge secret that casts a shadow over the adventure. They also reveal the Boss and the Epic Treasure at the end of the game. From this point on, cards can add or take away Fear Counters from the Boss which makes it fiercer and harder to overcome. This system creates fantastic story moments, a nice narrative arc, and a satisfying conclusion.
Keep up on The Siblings Trouble
Blogs and Podcasts
- COG Gaming: TST Preview
- Paste Magazine: 5 Board Games We Wanted from PAX South
- The Inquisitive Meeple: Designer Interview
- The Geeky Gimp: Designer Interview
- The Purple Pawn: Kickstarter Roundup
- Casual Game Revolution: Crowdfunding Roundup
- Rollin' Dice: Top 3 Kickstarters in April
- The Meeple Mechanic: Top Spot on Kickstarter Badger
- WDYPTW Podcast Thing: Week 22
- Club Fantasci: Kickstarter of the Week
- Troll In the Corner: Kick The Box - April
- The Nerd's Table: The Siblings Trouble Review
- Back it! on DFW Nerd Night: Ed Interview
- Docking Bay 94: The Siblings Trouble Podcast
- League of Gamemakers: Distributed Design
- The Game Wire: Interview with Ed Baraf
- BGG Design Blog: Blog by Andy Ashcraft
- The Inquisitive Meeple: The Meeple Report
- Altema Games: Blog by Kim Robinson
- Board Game Jungle: The Siblings Trouble Review
- Life in Games: The Siblings Trouble Review
- Chalkboard Game Reviews Talking Games: Ed Interview
The Siblings Trouble is possible because people believe, support, and lift each other up. Thank you to everyone who contributed even a moment of their time to making this game the game it is today. Thank you to all those incredible storytellers who allow us to enjoy even a brief moment as a kid again. Magic.
Special thanks to Andy Ashcraft for all of his fabulous design support on the game. Couldn't have made it without you!
Thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time to look into The Siblings Trouble, sharing it with your friends, and offering your support!
Risks and challenges
The Siblings Trouble is my second Kickstarter - Lift Off! Get Me Off This Planet! was my first. I learned a ton with Lift Off!, hit some bumps, but went out of my way to inform and engage my backers.
The Siblings Trouble is well tested and balanced. The graphic design is complete pending a few cleanup tasks and 80% of the card art is final. We are already in preparation for print (box, instructions, etc.) and we have been working closely with our printer.
There are inherent risks whenever undertaking a project as complex and large as producing and distributing a board game, but I have been making complex projects with countless moving parts and large budgets most of my career. I've gone out of my way to surround myself with experienced board game developers, distributors, and people who have run and launched successful Kickstarters. This team of friends has been exceedingly supportive and I'm sure will help as we hit any upcoming bumps in the road. And there are bumps. Strikes, shortages, shipping delays are all hard to predict.
Most importantly, if something does go wrong, I will keep everyone in the loop as the project moves forward and comes to market. This game will exist because you all will have made it happen. You are a part of the The Siblings Trouble story.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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