About this project
Miss the campaign? Visit our website to find out how to get Karmaka.
Karmaka is a tactical card game set in a karmic universe. Players begin the game as lowly Dung Beetles. In life after life (hand after hand of cards) they climb their way up the Karmic Ladder, racing to see who will achieve Transcendence first.
During each of your lives you'll be working towards 3 ends:
- Score enough points to climb the Ladder and keep up with your rivals.
- Stash a good selection of cards to your "Future Life". This will become your opening hand next life.
- Play cards for their abilities to help yourself or to hinder others. But what goes around comes around. A key tension in Karmaka is that after playing a card for its ability, a rival may take the card into their Future Life. Your actions may come back to haunt you in the next life...
We love card games like Dominion / Ascension, Lost Cities, Smash Up, Magic, Netrunner... but felt there was a sweet spot in the space we wanted to play. Here's how Karmaka fits in.
- Karmic Balance: A key mechanic is, whenever you play a card for its ability, your rival(s) get a chance to take the card into their Future Life. What goes around comes around!
- Drafting a Future Life: A unique aspect of Karmaka is how it feels like card-drafting in parallel with play. Your opening hand and deck may be random, but you explicitly choose which cards go into your Future Life. Cards do not automatically cycle, unlike in deck-building games.
- Hand Management: Karmaka is filled with interesting choices. There's the tension in how to group your card colors, as well as how to play each card – for points or for its ability. You'll want to consider card synergies and which cards you want this life versus the next. And you'll need to consider what's going into your rivals' Futures!
- Highly Replayable: Karmaka is a very dynamic game that urges you to "think on your feet." We still find ourselves enjoying and improving at the game after hundreds of plays.
- Focused: Karmaka's set of 64 cards is intended to be a complete, deep play experience, with an interesting meta in and of itself. So it's quick to pick up, and there's no need to constantly add more cards to the mix to keep things interesting. We *may* create an expansion down the line if there's demand, but we don't feel there's need.
- Simple, quick setup: Just shuffle the deck, deal, and play. Unlike many deep card games, there's no need to separate/gather cards, lay piles, make decks, etc.
- Player Interaction: Karmaka is a race (e.g. Dominion, Lost Cities) that also has elements of confrontation (e.g. Magic); it's somewhat of a hybrid in this respect. The amount of aggression that emerges in a game is really up to players – we've seen games ranging from peaceful to highly aggressive, dependent on player style. Just keep in mind that your actions can come back to haunt you in the next life, and aggression is often not your best play. Many cards in the game can cause you more harm than good if played unwisely. Timing is everything.
If you think you'll like the game (see above), and you can afford it (see your bank account), please back this project!
- This may be your only chance to get it. We honestly don't know if there will ever be another Karmaka print-run.
- You're getting a great deal! Even if the game is available post-Kickstarter, it certainly won't be this cheap. Karmaka's MSRP (sticker price) will be about $30; your $25 pledge buys the game for under $20 (the rest is shipping)!
- We need your help getting it made. The more people who back it, the more stretch goals we can include, making the game better for everyone!
- We've put a lot of love and attention to detail into this game, from the mechanics to the art to the cards to the rulebook to the graphic design. We hope you'll agree it's something special and deserves a place in your game collection.
- We're offering a money-back guarantee. Change your mind before receiving the game? We'll refund your pledge. Don't like the game? We'll refund your pledge, so long as it's within 30 days of you receiving the game.
To get additional copies of the game, manually add the following to your "pledge amount" (after selecting your pledge level) for each additional copy:
- $20 for backers in the USA, Canada, and the UK.
- $30 for backers elsewhere in the World (EU, etc.)
You may also click the "Manage" button to update an existing pledge.
Retailers: We love and want to support Friendly Local Game Stores. If you're interested in carrying Karmaka, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing.
Interested in Karmaka art prints? Order them anytime from Society6, who will print and ship them right away to your door. Order the Box Art or the Karmic Ladder as a simple print, framed, or printed on canvas, in your choice of size.
All stretch goals have been unlocked! Thank you so much for helping us to achieve 100% of our vision – our ideal version of Karmaka. This game is going to rock!
Additional information about some of the stretch goals listed above can be found in our updates:
- Custom Meeples. The meeples will be thicker than they might appear in the image above. The mockup of the 2-card Ladder in that update gives a better perspective on them.
- Multiplayer Variants. Note that the latest rules can always be found here.
- Art prints. These are all available on our Society6 page.
- Plastic Insert. The image in this update isn't the final design, but it's more accurate than what's pictured above. And yes, we will make sure the card wells are wide and deep enough to fit card sleeves.
- Translations. Note that we are printing Karmaka in English. These translations (rules + quick-lookup sheet for the cards) will be freely available to download from our website when they're ready.
- Portable Ladder. That update contains a bigger image so you can see how it'll look.
We've done a lot of research and legwork in order to provide you, our backers, with the most reliable and cost-effective way to get Karmaka into your hands. And we're happy to say we've teamed up with the folks from Cards Against Humanity to handle fulfillment via their new Blackbox service. (They did a bang-up job of this for Exploding Kittens.)
Games will be shipped in bulk to fulfillment centres in the US, Canada, and the UK, meaning that we will take care of any customs fees & VAT so you don't have to worry about additional charges on delivery.
Part of your $25 pledge goes towards shipping your game to you. For backers in the USA, that covers it, and so US backers simply pay $25. For folks in other countries, our costs are higher, and so we add on an additional amount at checkout:
- Canada and UK: $7
- Europe (EU countries, other than the UK): $14
- Rest of World: $7
Note that for backers outside the US, Canada, and the EU, we will be using an alternate shipping solution: air-mail direct from China. This is a more cost-effective solution (doesn't ship from within those countries), especially for backers in Asia, Australia, etc. That's why the "Rest of World" price above is so good.
Note shipping is only added on once per pledge, not per game. You can add additional copies (for gifts or to share shipping costs with a neighbour) for $20 apiece if you're in the USA, Canada, or the UK, or for $30 apiece if you're elsewhere.
Lane Brown painted some gorgeous pieces as well – foremost the Karmic Ladder!
- Our friends at Cards Against Humanity / Blackbox (especially Dan Dranove and Max Temkin) for taking us under their wing in the intimidating land of worldwide fulfillment.
- Brent Kinney of Panda Game Manufacturing for guiding us (and answering our million-and-one questions) through the land of tabletop game manufacturing.
- Alyssa Bistonath for her pro work on our videos, and Sarah Davignon and Andrew Patten for sound.
- Our partners at Indie Fund for their financial management help.
And of course big thanks to our families, friends, all our playtesters, and the generous folks in the tabletop developer community who have given us so much of their time and advice on this exciting project. <3
If you'd like to know more about our process, check out our blog.
- Back us! :)
- Add a second copy to your pledge for your most karmically deserving friend.
- Tell your friends about the game via the Facebook and Twitter buttons below, or via good, old-fashioned mouth-to-ear communication.
Risks and challenges
Anyone who knows us or who has played Osmos knows we are passionate about our work and take our commitment to quality seriously. We always do our best to create something we can be proud of – from design details all the way to customer service.
Yes, this will be our first self-published tabletop game – our first time dealing with manufacturing and fulfillment. So we've made sure to get up to speed with a ton of reading on the subject, and picked the brains of many experienced creators. (We're really grateful to them for their advice and willingness to share information.) As a result, we feel confident we can get it done, especially now that we're partnering with a top-notch manufacturer like Panda GM, and the Blackbox / Cards Against Humanity folks for fulfillment.
Karmaka is pretty much ready to print, excepting some stretch goal tweaking that may occur over the course of the campaign. As such the only real uncertainty we see for the project are the timings for manufacturing and shipping. (ie. external dependencies) As backers we've seen things slip on many a Kickstarter project in this department! So, we're basing our schedule on what others have actually managed to deliver, rather than what they've promised – and have added a little safety factor. We believe we can deliver Karmaka to you by (and perhaps even before) November 2016, and with a quality we can all be very pleased with.
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