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Argo is a space station crawler, with a big puzzle aspect and a unique "not-cooperative but you have to behave" twist.
Argo is a space station crawler, with a big puzzle aspect and a unique "not-cooperative but you have to behave" twist.A game by Serge Laget and Bruno Faidutti.
Argo is a space station crawler, with a big puzzle aspect and a unique "not-cooperative but you have to behave" twist.A game by Serge Laget and Bruno Faidutti.
564 backers pledged €16,237 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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If you missed Argo on Kickstarter, you can get more information on our website :

http://www.flatlinedgames.com/Games/argo

 Rules in 4 languages : English, German, French and Dutch.

 After a few moments, you come to your senses. The nausea and splitting headache are now familiar, as is the smell of the cryostasis coolant that just was drained from your Pod. Around you, other crewmembers are awakening.
But wait... what is this place? This is not the Waking Room of the ship you were put to sleep! What happened ? Could it be that our transport was hijacked by organ traffickers and our cryotubes stored here ?
As the rest of the humans awaken, the central computer broadcasts a message on the P.A. system: "Station Argo central systems. Xeno presence detected. All personnel proceed immediately to Escape Pods."
The lights change colour to further stress the emergency.
First, the location change, now Aliens ?What the...

- "Chief, where are we ?"

Your team has awoken, and is reporting to you.

- "Don't know, don't care. You heard this. Let's find the Escape Pods and leave this place, stat!"

Lead your team to the safety of the escape pods and leave station Argo before the Aliens kill you!

Push the others to make way in the cramped corridors, and use Astronauts from other teams to slow down the Aliens. Be careful however because if too many die, everyone will lose!

Argo is a tile-laying space station crawler, with lots of puzzle aspects, and a "not-cooperative but you have to behave" aspect that makes it unique in its genre.

Playing Argo is easy:

1) First, you move one Alien

If the Alien kills an Astronaut, you gain one point.

The dead Astronauts are placed on the Alien score track.
In this example, the Aliens have killed 2 Astronauts, and have 5 points.

2) Then you place a new tile or shuttle into play.

If it has a red Alien head, it comes with a new Alien on it.

3) Then, you move your Astronauts. If there is no room, you PUSH other Astronauts!

You can make up to two moves with different Astronauts each turn.
The active player makes all decisions and gets all benefits : push your opponent Grunts to kill Aliens, and get the points for yourself! Push their other Astronauts on Aliens to kill them, and score points!
Rooms also can be activated for special effects. Corridors hold one Astronaut, rooms 2.

4) As soon as two Astronauts are in a shuttle, it leaves station Argo.

You gain points for your seat (2 for Yellow, 3 for Green). Last aboard gets most points! Chief doubles the points, so Yellow scores 4.

5) When all shuttles are gone, the player with the most points win ONLY IF the Aliens don't have more points.

If Aliens have more points than the player with most points, everybody loses!

BE SURE TO WATCH THE GAME VIDEO BELOW!
This is the best way to know how Argo plays!

http://www.trictrac.tv/video/Argo_The_Game

2-4 players, 40min, 13+

In Argo, you lead a team of Astronauts to the Escape Pods. However players also control the Aliens, and the seats in the Escape Pods are limited, so unpleasant things will happen. The pushing action in the cramped confines of Station Argo make for a puzzling challenge as you strategically plan your moves. There is no room for luck in Argo.

You earn points by placing your Astronauts in the escape pods Pods and by killing other Astronauts with the Aliens. However, the Aliens also get points each time an Astronaut dies, and if you use them too aggressively the Aliens will win the game!

http://geekdad.com/2016/02/argo/

Here are a few pictures of the components :
All pictures are from a prototype version or 3D renderings, not actual game components.

The box size is 30x30x7Cm, a large box is required to accommodate all the components!

Here's what the game looks like during play. (Only part of the components are shown on this image, there is much more in the box.)

 Click here to download the multilingual rulesbook (En Fr De Nl) 

http://www.flatlinedgames.com/files/games/argo/rules/argo_rules_endefrnl_web.pdf

Here is a presentation of the game with Mr Jamie from TricTrac

http://www.trictrac.tv/video/Argo_the_How_and_What

Here is a full 2p game with Mr Jamie from TricTrac:

http://www.trictrac.tv/video/Argo_The_Game

 https://youtu.be/SirMw-4C_JU

Here is an interview in French of Bruno Faidutti at Paris est Ludique 2015, shot last summer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rII11Xnv4QY

All 'Game' levels will get any stretch goal benefits.

The Security Center is a room that can host 2 Astronauts. When activated you can launch any shuttle that has at least one astronaut inside it.
This allows some nasty launches, where your opponent's astronauts runs to the shuttle only to see it go before they reach it, and you can use it too to make one of your Astronauts leave alone.

 The Core Room holds 2 astronauts. It is the reactor core, and a very hazardous place. If an astronaut starts the player's turn in that room and does not leave it before the end of that turn, he dies at the end of the turn.
The core room is a place you often need to cross, but where you cannot just stop and wait. And if you push an opponent's astronaut there, he will have to move it during his next turn, or let it die.

The Safe Room holds 2 astronauts. It is a protected room in which Aliens cannot enter.
Astronauts can be pushed inside or outside the Safe Room, and if it is the only passage to a section of the station it affects Aliens movement, and players tactics.

MORE TO COME!

More intermediary stretch goals will be revealed progressively during the campaign. However, your support allows for wonderful things, so we want to dream big and show you a hint of what you can make possible.
This is very far down the road, but you can make it possible.

We will be charging shipping after the Kickstarter campaign ends through our shipping manager. This will allow us to keep shipping costs as low as possible, while reflecting the actual volume and weight of the final games as produced.

Here are estimate costs for several destinations.
Keep in mind this is an estimate and the actual final shipping cost may vary.

  • Mainland USA : est. €10 to € 15 to inland USA
    (I am welcoming pointers about cost-effective solutions for shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The quotes I got are €25-45 so far)
  • Canada : est. €10 to €15
  • Latin America: est. €25 to €35
  • Asia: est. €25 to €35
  • Europe :
    - France/Belgium est. 10€
    - De/Nl/Lux/Uk/It/Sp/Sw/As/Ir/Pt/Hu/Pl/Cz est. 15€
    - Gr/Is/Fi/Nw/Bg est. 18€
  • Rest of the world : est. €25-45 depending on the location.

This project is EU and USA/Canada friendly:
Shipping will be domestic for EU, US and CAD locations!

We will partner with major web-retailers for shipping this project. They have expertise about sending individual parcels and volume to get cost-effective deals from carriers.

link to the retailer-specific offer on FLG website:

http://www.flatlinedgames.com/argo_kickstarter_retailer_information

Participating retailers :

Game Consultation: 1500€ (limited to 10 slots.)

This pledge level is for boardgame authors that want to get professional support for the game they are working on.
You must have a game design that already has written rules, a playable prototype, and that has been playtested by at leats 10 different persons to qualify for this pledge level.

This includes the 'the Game' pledge: you will get a copy of Argo

I will also spend up to 12 hours working on your board game design.
I will read your rules and review the prototype components. We will then define which areas you want me to focus on, and I will provide my expertise and assistance to help you improve your game or project.

The areas that can be any of the following :

  • How to manage contracts
  • Game target audience and theme
  • Game mechanics/engine
  • Game balance
  • What to look for in playtesting, how to get useable and quantifiable returns from playtesters
  • Game rules: structure, proofreading, flow
  • Theme integration, alternative themes, retheming
  • Market positioning
  • Pricing
  • Financing
  • Components specifications and quote request process assistance
  • Should you self-publich or look for a publisher for that specific game ?
  • What other similar games are out there and how does yours compare ?
  • Art brief redaction, how to source and get quotes for art
  • Anything else related to the game or the publication process, really

As I reside in Belgium, this consultation will be done online: documents shared via google docs, and communication via email and skype.
The total time will be split in chunks and used as needed as your project progresses.
And of course the consultations will remain strictly confidential and you will retain all rights to your game.

Hopefully some budding designers will see this as great value and want to take advantage of it!
I've limited this reward to 10 slots, as I want to make sure to be able to provide good service to the backers at this level so I do not want to stretch too thin.

Argo is set in the far future. Corporations have built a huge industry around space exploration and deep space mining, with outposts and mining stations on every planet and asteroid that can be mined for minerals, gasses or water.

Space mining is fraught with perils, as other corporations and space pirates routinely assault mining stations or cargo transports, strange alien creatures sometimes inhabit the remote mining locations, and law is enforced at gunpoint.

Mining crews travel vast expanses of space in cryostasis, immune to the passage of time but vulnerable to anyone intercepting their transport. This is what happens in space station Argo : your crew was hijacked and rerouted to another place during cryostasis, and you wake up in an unknown place, infested by Aliens. You only hope is to flee to the escape pods and hope for a safe return.

Bruno Faidutti (L) and Serge Laget (R)
Bruno Faidutti (L) and Serge Laget (R)

Serge Laget

My name is Serge Laget. I work for the national education, keeping teachers of the first degree up to date on their knowledge. My free time is used for game design and I started that career in 1985 with 'Le Gang des Tractions Avant”

Since then, many other games followed. Some are my own designs such as Mare Nostrum, others are team efforts. My favourites are Shadows over Camelot with Bruno Cathala and Ad Astra with Bruno Faidutti.

I am today especially happy to see Argo released now, with this very nice Flatlined Games version. I already worked with Miguel Coimbra for Cargo Noir and I really love his art.

Bruno Faidutti

My name is Bruno Faidutti and I am also a Teacher. My first game, Baston, was released one year before Serge's.

About fifty have followed since, the most well known probably being Mascarade and Citadels, and my favourites Speed Dating and Animal Suspect, both created with Nathalie Grandperrin. I previously worked with Serge to create Castel, which I hope will soon be released, mystery of the abbey, Kheops which is about to be reprinted, and Ad Astra.

Argo belongs to a genre I play less often, games with a lot of strategy and computing involved. This must be because of Serge's influence during the design process. I think this is my first game illustrated by Miguel Coimbra, which was long overdue.

Cover art by Miguel Coimbra.

Miguel Coimbra is known as the illustrator for the board games Small World, Cyclades and the 7 Wonders card game. He also worked for trading card games, including World of Warcraft and Star Wars Galaxies, as well as several book covers and computer games.

Components art by Alexandre de la Serna.

Alexandre has worked for a long time as colorist for French and Belgian comic books such as Kookaburra or Alix. He now also works as illustrator for board games and video games and recently joined the startup Haunted Tie to produce indie video games.

Flatlined Games is based in Brussels, Belgium.

Founded in 2008 By Eric Hanuise, Flatlined Games is a one-man-business.

Each game published by Flatlined Games is done in tight collaboration with the designer, and we take the time to develop each game so it meets its' full potential. We also keep games in print for as long as economically feasible as we believe a board game is a work of art and not some short-lived commodity product.

Since 2010, Flatlined Games has released many great games, all of which have been well received by the gaming community and some of which who received prestigious awards such as the Canadian 'protégez-vous' label or the Dice Tower Award.

Here are all the great games we have released so far :

Flatlined Games products are currently sold in Belgium, France, UK, Holland, Germany, Spain, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, China, Japan, Russia, Canada, and of course the U.S. of A. We publish localized foreign versions in collaboration with local partners such as Heidelberger, Asmodee iberica, Asmodee China, Go-kids, MyBG, Mosigra, Zvezda, Heidelberger, Bergsala, Esdevium, Blackfire, and many others.

Argo has been delayed many times in order to make it the best game that it can be. Now that everything is ready to go to press, we do not want to delay it further for lack of money to produce it.

We want to release Argo as soon as possible, and to make it a uniquely high quality product. Without Kickstarter we simply cannot publish Argo : we need your support to bring this game to the market!
Without you, Argo will not be printed.

We have a track record of high quality games, previous Kickstarter experience with Twin tin bots, and we can manage the complexity of this project. We have ran quotes with several manufacturers with a track record of quality games produced, to validate our design decisions and price them. We have the channels for logistics and fulfillment, everything is ready to bring Argo to your door. All we need now is your support.

Once the game is funded, lots of things happen. First it takes a couple weeks for the project to be closed, money transferred, polls answered, etc. After that, the production process starts, and will last for about three months. Then the goods need be shipped from the factory to the shipping and handling facility, which takes another month and a half. So it will take at least 5 months between the project end and the time you get your game box. If there are issues to be solved along the way, it will be a bit longer. (It could also be shorter, but we want to keep expectations realistic. Too many projects overpromise and underdeliver in that regard.)

We positively impressed our Backers with Twin tin Bots by delivering a bit early ahead of time, and intend to do so here as well. I have set a target date of October 2016, which is a worst-case scenario.

The key part of crowdfunding success if reaching a crowd.

Flatlined games is a small publisher, a one-man shop, and currently has little 'reach' in the US. To make this campaign succeed, it is critical that we can become visible to as many US gamers as possible.

As backers, you play a key role in that visibility : please tell your friends about Argo! Share the project page on Facebook and Twitter, on your website, everywhere! Each share reaches new backers!

You are our best ambassadors to make this project a success : people pay much more attention to your recommendation than they ever would to any banner ad or promotional video. Your network of friends and contacts is full or gamers we have no other way to reach. Your support makes a huge difference between a failed and a successful campaign!

Share this link : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo

Risks and challenges

The main issue to produce Argo is raising the funds to go to the factory.
Argo has received extended testing and development, and has been played on several events such as Canne's Festival International du Jeu, the Paris Est Ludique fair and the Essen 'Spiel fair.
All artwork for most of the game has already been produced, as the layout for the game components and design of the playing pieces : This project is mostly complete and ready to be produced, it is not a work in progress.
Flatlined Games already successfully produced five titles (Dragon Rage, Rumble in the House, Rumble in the Dungeon, Twin Tin Bots, Robin), and sold more than 50.000 copies of Rumble in the House/Dungeon over 5 years. We do have experience in this business, a proven track record, and a reputation to hold. We funded and delivered Twin Tin Bots through Kickstarter, and delivered ahead of schedule.
Publishing a board game is however always a risky endeavour. Many things can happen, errors can be made, as board games are such individual projects that there is no 'standard procedure' that can be followed. We are confident we can deliver, just as we did before with previous projects.
Flatlined Games is a one man business. The main risk is delays, in production or in shipment, as we will not compromise on product quality. Of course we will provide regular updates on production and shipping status and issues along the project.

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    Game Consultation
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    Consulting service for your game project.
    Up to 12h of consulting on game development and/or publication aspects.
    Restrictions apply, see description below shipping info.

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Funding period

- (28 days)