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Step back in time and experience the wonder and beauty of this grand exposition in a Euro-style board game for 2-4 players.
Step back in time and experience the wonder and beauty of this grand international exposition.
Step back in time and experience the wonder and beauty of this grand international exposition.
1,431 backers pledged $45,468 to help bring this project to life.

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World's Fair 1893 - Board Game

$45,468

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The World's Fair of 1893 in Chicago was a spectacular international exhibition that showcased many great achievements in science, technology, culture, and entertainment. Acting as organizers of the fair, players use their influence and supporters to secure the grand exhibits that will be put on display.

— What's in the Box? —

Rob Cramer, Giant from the North — "The first Ferris Wheel [was] one of the biggest attractions of this World's Fair, so of course it’s the centerpiece of this game. The scoring timer as a car revolving around the wheel throughout the rounds [is] a neat touch in a game full of neat touches." (link)

— Backers To Select Exhibits —

World's Fair 1893 features artwork for more than 60 unique exhibits and attractions. During the campaign, backers have been voting on content for 12 cards to include in the game. (Just like fair organizers, backers have been able to use their influence and supporters to get the exhibits they want into the game!)

Voting on the final 2 cards, Midway tickets, will end an hour after the campaign ends. See Update #10 for details on how to vote.

Backers have been voting on content for 12 cards during the campaign.
Backers have been voting on content for 12 cards during the campaign.
We finished the artwork for the first 8 selected cards during the campaign, ...
We finished the artwork for the first 8 selected cards during the campaign, ...
... and the artwork for the other 4 will be revealed in Update #13.
... and the artwork for the other 4 will be revealed in Update #13.

James Edgcomb, BoardGameGeek reviewer — "I really enjoyed this game. It plays fast, it’s fun, and it’s easy to pick up. ... Your choices are not easy, and there is more strategy than I would expect from this style of game." (link)

World's Fair 1893 is an area majority and set collection game for 2-4 players that plays in about 40 minutes. On your turn, you send a supporter to one of the fives areas and collect all the cards next to it. Choose carefully to collect the cards you need and also beat out your opponents for control in the various areas:

Main Exhibits - Influential Figures - Midway Tickets
Main Exhibits - Influential Figures - Midway Tickets
  • The main exhibit cards could earn you the most points, but only if you have the supporters you need in the matching area to get the exhibits approved into the fair.
  • Favors from the influential figure cards will increase your supporters in the areas and help you approve the exhibits you've already collected.
  • The Midway ticket cards for the fun and profitable attractions score you a small number of points and move the game forward.

You can download and read a draft version of the full rulebook:

If you want to play World's Fair 1893 to see if it's a good fit for you, you can use our print-and-play (PnP) files to make a prototype. It requires 16 sheets of card stock to assemble:

Erik Dewey, Indie Cardboard — "There is interconnectedness to everything in World’s Fair 1893 which keeps the gameplay strategic [and] increases its weight beyond what you might expect." (link)

Scot Eaton, designer of Blend Off from Thunderworks
"The best [at Gen Con] was definitely World's Fair 1893. I was blown away. This is a unique blend of card drafting and area control/influence that had me engaged every step of the way! ... I'll be a day 1 Kickstarter backer."

Agent Emme, BoardGameGeek reviewer (link)
"I was eager to try World's Fair 1893 because I had visited a special exhibit on the topic at the Chicago Field Museum last year. ... [It] lived up to my expectations. ... I was excited about the choices, and I like area control games that aren't super vicious."

Viking Ship - Tesla's Experiments - Olden Fruit Farm
Viking Ship - Tesla's Experiments - Olden Fruit Farm

Brandon Nall, Brawling Brothers podcast (link)
"World's Fair 1893 is an elegantly designed game of area control and set collection that is certain to delight the masses. This has quickly risen to be a favorite for me to introduce people to our hobby because of its simplistic rules and complex mastery. Brilliant. Elegant. Fluid. World's Fair 1893 is a game that everyone should have in their collection."

Chris Kirkman, State of Games podcast (31:27-33:05, 1:46:00)
"It's easy to get into, and it has really good choices in it. ... A super good game ... It was an instant-back for me after I played it." 

Prototype. Photo by Rob Cramer.
Prototype. Photo by Rob Cramer.

Patrick Kelly, Blue Peg Pink Peg (34:08-40:45)
"I love this game. It has so much more depth than I expected, but it's totally easy to get into."

Brandon Kempf, What Did You Play This Week (link)
"I’ve previewed a handful of Kickstarter games, but there hasn’t been a single one that seemed to grab my game group as soon as we sat down and started playing. ... World’s Fair 1893 broke that. ... The game [pulls] you back in, making you want to play it back to back to back."

Chris Leder, designer of Roll For It! from Calliope Games (link)
"World's Fair is simply amazing. The gameplay is accessible and smooth, the theme is implemented in a perfect way, the art is gorgeous, and the wealth of strategy is immense. ... This is a truly unique and enjoyable game."

Approval Tokens - Leader Medals - Midway Coins
Approval Tokens - Leader Medals - Midway Coins

Anitra Smith, The Family Gamers (link)
"We loved this game. The artwork is beautiful, the cards are detailed, and the mechanics are relatively simple once we had played a few turns. ... World’s Fair allows for plenty of competition, but also rewards second-place finishes, so it mostly avoids winner-take-all, cut-throat game play."

Punching Cardboard, podcast episode (21:00-59:17)
"A lot of games could really learn something from [World's Fair 1893 about] flow. ... It goes around the circle and before you know it, the Ferris wheel has gone around, and you're scoring your first round. ... Fantastic. ... We just kept wanting [this game] to come out. ... It's a really good game."

Start Space Podcast, Episode 58 (24:45-26:45)
"Playing this game was a really, really good time. ... What Ticket to Ride did for route building, what Carcassonne did for tile laying, I think World's Fair 1893 is going to do that for area control games. ... A really good, solid game."

Moorish Palace - Bertha Palmer - Daimler Quadricycle
Moorish Palace - Bertha Palmer - Daimler Quadricycle

Maurice Fitzgerald, Club Fantasci (link)
"Combining several different mechanics into a solid, lightweight euro, Foxtrot Games and designer J. Alex Kevern have a sure fire winner in World’s Fair 1893. It will have broad appeal thanks to its unique theme, charming artwork and balanced gameplay."

BoardGameGeek

- World's Fair 1893, official game page

Blogs and Podcasts

- Blue Peg Pink Peg, "Highlights of Gen Con 2015" podcast (19:42-22:14)
- Blue Peg Pink Peg, Gen Con Interview with Randy Hoyt and Alex Kevern
- Indie Cardboard, An interview with Alex Kevern and Randy Hoyt
- Indie Cardboard, An early look at World's Fair 1893 
- Indie Tabletop, World's Fair 1893 Review
- Game Design Round Table, Interview with Designer Alex Kevern
- Club Fantasci, World's Fair 1893 Kickstarter Preview
- Punching Cardboard Podcast, World's Fair 1893 Kickstarter Preview
- Giant From The North, World's Fair 1893 - A Kickstarter Preview
- Inquisitive Meeple, Step Right Up: J. Alex Kevern Talks World's Fair 1893 
- Cardboard Republic, On World's Fair 1893
- Back It! World's Fair 1893 LAUNCH PARTY: Interview with Randy Hoyt
- Club Fantasci, Kickstarter of the Week (October 4)
- Smarter Backer, Top Ten Tabletop Games This Week
- WeTheMeeple, "Awesome Games on Kickstarter This Week"
- The Tablestop, Kickstarting the Habit
- GeekDad, 5x Video and 5x Tabletop: New Game Projects on Kickstarter This Week
- The Married Gamers, Kickstarter Roundup: Ragnaroll and World’s Fair
- On Board Games Crowdfunding Edition #33, World's Fair 1893
- Creaking Shelves, Kickstart Your Week
- Featured on Casual Game Revolution
- Dice Tower News, Episode 469
- State of Games, Episode 93 (31:27-33:05, 1:46:00)
- The Family Gamers, World's Fair 1893 Preview 

Foxtrot Games is an independent board game publisher committed to beautiful, engaging, and approachable board games. We previously raised funding on Kickstarter for two games, Relic Expedition in 2013 and Lanterns: The Harvest Festival in 2014.

— About the Game Designer —

J. Alex Kevern is a board and card game designer, best known for the recently released Gold West from Tasty Minstrel Games. During the day, Alex works as a Strategy Consultant for a Fortune 500 company. Alex lives in New York, where he enjoys playing sports with his wife Sara and throwing the frisbee for his dog Boomer.

— About the Game Producer —

Randy Hoyt, as co-owner of Foxtrot Games, develops and produces board games, including the award-winning Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and two young sons. He works as a web developer at a software company in his day job, and he will be handing the official communication for this campaign.

— About the Artists —

Beth Sobel is an illustrator from Bellingham, Washington with an MFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design. She illustrated our game Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, as well games from Stonemaier Games, AEG, Fantasy Flight, and more. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and a weekly board game group.

Adam McIver, owner of The Cre8tive Dept, works full-time as an artist and graphic designer in the gaming industry. His work can be seen in games from Crash Games, Dice Hate Me Games, Green Couch Games, and more. He lives in Cincinnati.

— ORGANIZER —

For the ORGANIZER pledge level, we contribute $8 towards shipping costs for all backers. All rewards will ship from within the United States, and for backers in the United States this contribution covers all shipping costs. An additional amount will be added for backers in other countries: 

— DOUBLE ORGANIZER —

We offer a slight discount on pledges for multiple copies of the game. For any number more than one copy of the game, you should use the DOUBLE ORGANIZER pledge level. The pledge amount will be automatically calculated for two copies, but you can pledge an additional amount for additional copies. Here is a chart showing the total pledge for multiple copies:

Foxtrot Games would not exist without the amazing support and enthusiasm from our Kickstarter backers. It has been so rewarding to have so many of you join us to publish this game, Relic Expedition, and Lanterns, to interact with you on BoardGameGeek and Twitter, and to meet some of you in person at conventions and at game stores.

Andrew Brooks, Lanterns backer — “To me, the ideal of what Kickstarter can achieve is a community of people supporting a vision they believe in and want to become a reality. Being a part of the Lanterns campaign and seeing the joy it brought to many (including the creators) proved to me that this ideal is still possible.”

The Fisherman - Electric Fountains - Windmills
The Fisherman - Electric Fountains - Windmills

This project contains a number of items that might typically be added only as "stretch goals." However, we are including these all right from the start: to reduce the risk of new artwork delays, to give you the best value we can, to thank you for backing early and for joining us for the full campaign experience, and to show you how much we believe in this game: 

  • Upgraded cards (310 gsm, linen finish)
  • More variety in Transportation card art (7 new illustrations)
  • More variety in Manufacturing card art (7 new illustrations)
  • More variety in Agriculture card art (7 new illustrations)
  • More variety in Fine Arts card art (7 new illustrations)
  • More variety in Electricity card art (7 new illustrations) 
  • More variety in Midway card art (27 new illustrations)
  • Wooden Ferris wheel car marker (custom)
Ferris Wheel Car Photo — Ferris Wheel Car Marker
Ferris Wheel Car Photo — Ferris Wheel Car Marker

We are fortunate that our previous game Lanterns: The Harvest Festival did well on Kickstarter and has continued to sell well since. This has given us some profits that we can afford to put into World's Fair 1893 to include these additions right from the start — while still keeping the project's funding goal low.

Risks and challenges

Manufacturing thousands of board games is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. There are a lot of steps in the process, and delays or setbacks could happen at any one of them. We have successfully navigated this process twice before. We even delivered rewards for our last campaign more than a month early!

Here is some feedback we received from our last campaign:

— John Butler: "Foxtrot Games really did an excellent job on this game/campaign. Great customer service and communication. Thanks for an awesome kickstarter experience Foxtrot games!"

— Terry Wrightsman: "WOW! The February 18th update was great. THAT is how all Kickstarter updates should be done. Personable, professional and informative."

— Michelle Aquilino: "You guys are definitely in the top tier on Kickstarter."

We are working with many of the same companies to deliver rewards to backers, including partnering with Renegade Game Studios as a co-publisher to handle logistics and distribution. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask. You can leave us a public comment, send us a private message here on Kickstarter, or email us at <contact@foxtrotgames.com>.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    FRIEND OF THE FAIR — Postcards were first sold as souvenirs at the World's Fair of 1893. Support the project, and we will mail you a souvenir postcard.

    (Add $1 to any other pledge level to receive this reward.)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    ORGANIZER — One copy of World's Fair 1893. Expected Retail: $39.

    Shipping:
    - USA: Included
    - Canada: +$9
    - Western EU: +$15
    - Rest of World: +$19

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $54 or more About $54

    DOUBLE ORGANIZER — Two copies of World's Fair 1893.

    Shipping:
    - USA: Included
    - Canada: +$18 = $72
    - Western EU: +$26 = $80
    - Rest of World: +$34 = $88

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    COMMISSIONER — One copy of World's Fair 1893, one prototype copy, one print of the box cover illustration, and your name mentioned in the rulebook.

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Funding period

- (29 days)