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Starving Artists is an award-winning game in which you are a paint-by-cube artist trying to become famous before you run out of food.
Starving Artists is an award-winning, paint-by-cube game with more than 90 beautiful works of art and 150 transparent cubes.
Starving Artists is an award-winning, paint-by-cube game with more than 90 beautiful works of art and 150 transparent cubes.
1,309 backers pledged $50,329 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Starving Artists - Award-Winning, Paint-by-Cube Game

$50,329

1,309

There's no question: the life of a paint-by-cube artist is hard. What little money you do earn is invested right back into paint and canvases. Without that paint and those canvases, you won't be able to follow your dream of becoming a famous artist. Being a starving artist is a constant struggle.

Starving Artists is an award-winning, blind-drafting and resource management game for one to four players.  Using some of the world's most beautiful works of art, players complete these masterpieces using transparent cubes in an attempt to become famous artists. It takes about 40-60 minutes (approximately 20 minutes per player).

Starving Artists is played over a series of turns. Each turn represents a new day. On each day, you must choose between: buying new canvases, painting the canvases you already own, or working in order to get more paint. If at the end of the day, you've completed a masterpiece, you can sell it to earn more paint and food. If you don't spend your days efficiently, you won't be able to feed yourself, and you'll have to give up on your dreams. 

You can read the current version of the rules or scroll to the end to see a short how to play at the bottom of this page.

As an aspiring paint-by-cube artist, your life centers around the paintings you must complete.

In order to complete those paintings, you take two actions each day. You can buy new canvases from the market, paint canvases in your studio using your paint cubes, or work to collect new paint cubes.

At the end of each day, you can sell your completed paintings. But, you'll be competing in the limited marketplace for paintings with anyone else who wants to sell. If there's not enough paint to go around, you'll have to make do with less.

The following how to play video is from the survival contest version of the game. There are some changes to the gameplay, but much of the gameplay is the same.

Each copy of Starving Artists comes with everything that an aspiring artist needs: paints, studios, canvases and food. They also come with things that you probably wouldn't think about: telescoping box, rule book, paint bag, and a wooden carrot (to mark the first player).

52 Jumbo Cards with great works of art and 145 acrylic cubes.
52 Jumbo Cards with great works of art and 145 acrylic cubes.
Four player references, nutrition markers, first player token and paint bag.
Four player references, nutrition markers, first player token and paint bag.
Jumbo-sized canvases (3.5"x5.5") that feature the works of art.
Jumbo-sized canvases (3.5"x5.5") that feature the works of art.
Telescoping box, acrylic cubes and paint bag
Telescoping box, acrylic cubes and paint bag
Canvases being painted
Canvases being painted
Transparent, Acrylic Paint Cubes
Transparent, Acrylic Paint Cubes

 Plus, the game now includes all these great stretch goal art packs:

You can read the current version of the rules.

You can also try the Print & Play version of the game.  The print & play includes the current set of cards and printable squares to use instead of cubes.

The current version of Starving Artists is available to play it today on Tabletop Simulator: Subscribe to it here.

All tiers get you access to the downloadable content and allows you to participate in the community voting.

  • $1 Starving Artist Tier. You get our thanks!
  • $29 Van Gogh Tier. You get the game and stretch goals.
  • $49 Vermeer Tier. You get the game, stretch goals, and the game mat.

Picasso - If you pledge at this tier, you will work with me to select a painting to add to the base game which everyone gets. The selected work must be consistent with the rest of the game, family-friendly in nature, and be dated prior to 1923. If you wish to submit your own art, art of a friend or family member, or art from your gallery please contact me. This tier also includes a copy of the game, all the stretch goals, and access to all the downloadable content. 

In order to keep the campaign moving forward and the game consistent, I reserve the final editorial rights and, if we cannot agree, I will refund the difference. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Paul Durand-Ruel - This tier is available to retailers including bricks & mortar stores, galleries, and museums. Please contact me (fairway3games@gmail.com) for additional information.

Starving Artists is already a great game with lots of beautiful art and components. If we exceed our funding goal, we have plans to help make it even better. Let's open these exhibits:

Backers can also take the opportunity to create their own cards.  Unhappy with the number of cat canvases in the base game, add some more using the Custom Card Creators on this page. 

Upload your own art, set your own values, and place your own paint squares. Then, upload them to The Game Crafter as Jumbo Cards and print them and include them in your game.

Check out some of the examples from our great backers during our Custom Canvas Card Challenge:

 

You can add additional playmats that hold the Canvas cards and sort the market's paints to any of the game-level tiers.  The playmats are especially helpful for colorblind players. Simply add $20 for each one to your pledge at any tier.

14"x24", rollable playmat.
14"x24", rollable playmat.

You can also buy additional copies of the game with any game-level tier. I've reduced the cost if each copy to account for savings on shipping.

Extra copies: add $25 each (and +$5 each for international shipping)
Extra copies: add $25 each (and +$5 each for international shipping)

Here's what people are saying about Starving Artists:

More reviews coming soon!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and use hashtag #StarvingArtists.

Show your support on BoardGameGeek. Become a fan of Starving Artists.

During this campaign, the Starving Artists backer community will be voting on 10 new canvases that will be added to the game. Every three days, there will be a new vote. Vote in the comments and spread the word on Twitter and Facebook!

The final vote is on for the last spot in the Starving Artists box. Vote in the update's comments:

  
Proud Member of the Indie Game Alliance
Proud Member of the Indie Game Alliance
                                       
Protospiel Tested
Protospiel Tested

Risks and challenges

Starving Artists is mostly complete and tested. The art was largely completed over a hundred years ago, and only a few minor things will be left until after the campaign, including professionally editing the final rulebook. I am confident that the game will be ready for production without delay.

Beyond that, I'm using a conservative delivery timeline and working with a reputable game manufacturer to produce the game. I am confident that Starving Artists will be delivered on-time and at a high quality.

Copyrights and the Public Domain
I am using only images that have fallen into the public domain and are thus no longer protected by copyright. The paintings are in the public domain because either they were "published" before 1922 or it has been more than 70 years since the artist's death (which was probably not due to starvation). For more information about the duration of copyrights, please refer to this wonderfully, helpful chart produced by Cornell: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

If you believe that any of the paintings are not in the public domain (whether in the United States or elsewhere), please feel free to contact me.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Starving Artist - Your support means a lot to this project. You'll be part of the campaign, get access to the all the downloadable content, and be able to vote on the community-selected canvases.

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    Van Gogh - You get a copy of Starving Artists with all the stretch goals and access to all of the downloadable content.

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    Vermeer - You get a copy of Starving Artists with all the stretch goals, playmat, and access to all of the downloadable content.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Paul Durand-Ruel - RETAILER - For US brick and mortar retailers, museums, and art galleries only. Please private message me for details.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Picasso - You get a copy of Starving Artists with all the stretch goals, access to all the downloadable content, and you will work with me to select a painting that will be included in every copy of the game. (See campaign page for additional details)

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Funding period

- (30 days)