Pitch Deck is a game where you and your friends make ridiculous, creative pitches for objectively bad startup ideas. Like:
The concept is super simple—combine a Pitch card from your hand with a Company card on the table to create a new business. Then everyone makes a quick elevator pitch describing what their company does. One person plays an investor, who decides which company everyone will secretly fund that round. At the end of the game, the funding amounts are revealed, and there are two winners: the person who pitched the most valuable company and the person who invested the most in that company.
We’ve been working on Pitch Deck for the past year, and we’ve gotten it to the perfect combination of smart/dumb that makes a party game great. Seeing friends and strangers pitch the most absurd, deranged, and oddly compelling startups has been some of best times we’ve ever had playing games.
We think you’ll love it.
1. Everyone gets a hand of Pitch cards with weird stuff ranging from “Platonic cuddling” to “Human centipedes” to “Your parents”
2. The investor draws 3 Company cards and picks one they want to hear pitches for (“I’m looking for the next Tinder”)
3. The other players combine that with a card in their hand to create a new business idea (“It’s Tinder for Platonic cuddling!”)
4. Everyone gives a quick elevator pitch describing what useless, weird, absurd thing their business does
5. The investor decides which business to fund that round, and everyone chooses an amount to invest
6. At the end of the game, two people win: the person who pitched the business that received the most investment AND the investor who invested the highest amount in that business
All in all, we’re planning to ship the game with:
Plus each game will come with a stack of custom in-game currency for each player, which in no way depicts actual people:
Oh—and we’re also making the game available as a free Creative Commons licensed download, so you can literally print it and play it right now:
Pitch Deck is our take on a classic genre: improv games. We were inspired by games like Funemployed, Snake Oil, and Superfight—and wanted to make something in that spirit, but with some innovations:
- Improv for introverts AND extroverts: Talking is stressful! Honestly, the idea of pitching a product or interviewing for a job for minutes at a time makes us break out in hives. Pitch Deck takes the fun of improv games—saying something funny and making your friends laugh—and boils it down to 5 seconds. You *can* say more, but you don’t *have* to. Phew.
- A game that supports you being creative: We love fill-in-the-blank games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, and wanted to create something between that and an improv game—a game where you feel supported by the jokes on the cards, but have room to take them in whatever weird, unexpected direction you want.
- Providing space for satire: Comedy is one of the best ways to critically question our assumptions about the world. And even though Pitch Deck is just a goofy card game, it helps explore some of the biases and absurdities inherent in technology and business.
But most of all, when we were testing the game with friends and at festivals like PAX West and XOXO, people kept telling us what they loved most about the game was that it gives them a context for seeing their friends being creative in ways they didn’t even know about. Which is sort of the best thing we could ever hope for from a party game.
Anyway, it’s hard to describe what makes Pitch Deck so much fun. There’s something incredible about seeing someone take an idea in a crazy, orthogonal direction that you never expected. And while you’re doubled over laughing, you also sort of learn something new about how they think. It’s great.
Risks and challenges
Fred and Alex have collectively run 7 Kickstarter projects and have successfully (somehow?) delivered thousands of rewards ON TIME to backers around the world.
Also somewhat inexplicably, Alex now has years experience on the manufacturing and fulfillment side of game production. And we're using the same partners as he does with Monikers: Ad Magic for printing and Blackbox for fulfillment—both of which are amazing and we feel totally confident in.
That said, it’s not impossible that we’ll run into issues. We could always hit the regular types of delays that occur across all types of Kickstarter projects: getting the printing process right, making sure the cards and packaging are up to our standards, etc. And we could also run into unknown unknowns: litigious centaurs, malevolent robots, or zombie companies.
Finally, and in case this weren't abundantly clear, this game is a work of parody. There's always a chance some people might not get that.
Most of the game is already made, but these are all parts of fulfillment that can end up taking longer than expected (even when you expect them to take longer than expected, AKA Hoftstadter’s law).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)