Elephants push each other down the track, dodging Holy Cows and the fearsome Mouse. It's Racing in a Whole New Weight Class.
You've got games about car races, boat races, bicycle races, sled dog races, and even ostrich races, but there's one type of racing that's missing–Elephant Races! Formula E is here to fill that gap.
FORMULA E has a double sided game board–one track is for 3 & 4 players, and the other is for 5 & 6 players. There are six colorful Elephant Meeples included with colors that "should" be tinted correctly for colorblind friendliness. There are ten Holy Cow Meeples that start the game scattered around the track but can be moved to create obstacles for your competitors. Then there is the Mouse Meeple, which you can use to scare elephants into backing up. As you might guess, there's a lot of "screwage" potential in a game of FORMULA E–and I haven't even mentioned the Cobras and Monkey's yet!
The game was originally called INDIAN DERBY by the designers Sergio Halaban and André Zatz. In 2011 they added Bruno Faidutti to the team to fine tune the rules and he submitted it to Clever Mojo Games. When I accepted the game for publication, I changed the name to HAATHI, the Hindi word for Elephant, because it sounded exotic but still thematic. Somewhere in our discussions, someone was being funny and suggested we call it FORMULA E. We all thought it was great, but we figured Asmodee wouldn't like us poking fun at their classic game with a very similar name. In 2012, when CMG joined forces with Game Salute, Dan Yarrington learned about the joke-name and liked it A LOT. Bruno has friends at Asmodee so he asked if they would give permission to use FORMULA E, and they said OK!
Now, let's hear from the designers. André Zatz and Sergio Halaban are up first, and then a few words from Bruno Faidutti.
The mechanics of FORMULA E are great and they make a game challenging and fun, but the art is what makes it a joy to play. Jacqui Davis provided the excellent art work, then our Art Director, Dann May, took it all to the next level with amazing filters and textures that really bring out the thematic aspects of the game. finally, Cody Jones, our Graphics Designer, created the wonderful card icons as a shorthand for what each card's effect is when played. Take a look at the progression images below to get a feel for how these three team members brought FORMULA E to life.
At its heart, FORMULA E is a racing game powered by hand management. Players start with six cards. Players can, and will, have more cards at certain points in the game, but if a player has fewer than six cards he refills his hand to six.
Cards are tinted green (short moves), purple (long moves), and yellow (modifiers & effects) and on his turn, a player can play one card of any color. However, if that card was yellow or green the player can also play a second card of the other color–yellow then green or green then yellow. There are three yellow cards that MUST be played with a green card, but in general, playing two cards is an option. There are also red tinted cards that are played out-of-turn to mess with the active player.
The manner in which the Elephants move along the track is unique among race games. Elephants must move forward if possible and, in doing so, they will push any other Elephants ahead of them in the same lane. If the lane ends, or if a Holy Cow obstacle is in the way, then an Elephant moves sideways, again pushing other Elephants in its path, until forward motion is once again possible. An Elephant cannot move diagonally unless a Mango Juice card has been played to modify its movement. A Magic Carpet card will allow an Elephant to move OVER Elephants in the same lane, and a Charge card will allow an Elephant to push Holy Cows as if they were Elephants. An Elephant can only move backwards if it has been frightened by another player using a Mouse card.
The How To Play video below is courtesy of Tim Norris of Grey Elephant Gaming.
Speaking of rules, while developing FORMULA E, I realized that the game is completely language independent except for the rule book. This created a marvelous opportunity to prepare this game for a world-wide release right from the start. We are working with translators now and already have the rules available in NINE languages. The green tinted translations will appear in the rulebook and the others will be download only. However, if we make the $30,000 stretch goal, all available translations will be printed in the rule book!!
If you're interested in helping out as a translator, or if you want to suggest another language that should be targeted for rules translation, please send a Kickstarter Message.
If we are lucky enough to inspire hundreds of backers to support FORMULA E we may be able to surpass our original goal. The more backers we attract, the more stretch goals we can achieve, so please, share the Kickstarter link for FORMULA E with all of your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and any other blog or social network you're on.
Hi, I'm David MacKenzie of Clever Mojo Games. You've probably seen my previous Kickstarter projects for Alien Frontiers, Alien Frontiers: Factions, Alien Frontiers: iPad, and Sunrise City. If not, feel free to take a look.
If you know me and CMG, then you might think that I've been around long enough not to need Kickstarter any more, or that publishing a game from big-name designers like Bruno Faidutti, Sergio Halaban, and André Zatz would make for an instant success all by itself. Every game project, however, is a new adventure, a new world unto itself. There's no stash of funds set aside to handle the $30,000 or $40,000 up-front costs needed to release a new board game product. Each product (hopefully) becomes self sustaining, raising enough funds to finance it's next printing, but new projects, like FORMULA E, need your support.
I've already paid out thousands of dollars for prototyping, play testing, and amazing art, and I'll be paying out more money for graphic design work very soon. Raising the funds for actual production is where I need the assistance of gamers like yourself. If you like the rules posted above, if you like the art you see in the introduction, if you're excited about the video clips from Bruno, Sergio, and André, please consider supporting this project to bring FORMULA E to the marketplace.
The Springboard Seal of Quality is your assurance that a new game project is worth your time and attention. All titles approved for Springboard campaigns are vetted by the game professionals at Game Salute. During this comprehensive evaluation process, Game Salute play tests the game to make certain it is solid and fun, and examines all aspects of production plans to verify that you are getting the highest quality for your pledge dollars.
Thanks to partnerships we have arranged in key locations around the globe, we are able to offer greatly reduced shipping costs to most international destinations. We'll also ship games from within your regional borders so you will probably not have to pay duties and taxes.
Games for Canadian backers will ship from Canada.
Games for UK backers will ship from the UK.
Games for EU//Eastern European/Russian backers will ship from Poland.
Games for Australian and New Zealander backers will ship from Australia.
FORMULA E will be available locally all around the world through friendly local game stores that participate in the Game Salute Select Stores system. FORMULA E will also be available online through Shop.GameSalute.com for delivery worldwide.
You can use GameStoreLocator.com to find a Game Salute Select Store near you. If your favorite store is not on our Select Stores list, be sure to ask them to sign up today at GameSalute.com/SelectStoreSignUp .
We have special Preview Nights bundles available for local stores. These bundles provide retailer pricing, free shipping with minimum order, complimentary demo copies, and more. Contact James Takenaka at Sales@GameSalute.com or 1-800-459-5516 to pre-order your RUSE products now.
We are pleased to offer access to our game designers and creative team for podcast, blog, newspaper, or television interviews. Team members can also be present for conventions and event appearances with a timely invitation and appropriate travel and lodging expense allowances. Please contact David MacKenzie at email@example.com to discuss any of these media support opportunities.
Game Design and Development: Bruno Faidutti, Sergio Halaban, André Zatz
Art Direction: Dann May
Artist: Jacqui Davis & Dann May
Graphic Design: Dann May & Cody Jones
Executive Producer: W. David MacKenzie
Design Studio: Clever Mojo Games
Publisher: Game Salute
Special Thanks to: All of Our Dedicated Play Testers.
We will update the project FAQ below as you send in your questions.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Publishing a board or card game is a cash intensive endeavor. Long before a game project appears on Kickstarter, the designers and developers will have spent hundred of hours on play testing the game and thousands of dollars on art and design to get the project to state where you will take it seriously. In the case of small design studios like Clever Mojo Games and small publishers like Game Salute, this money is all paid up front from a VERY limited budget. FORMULA E has big-time designer names attached to it, but it's still a small project as games go. Even so, it can't be made without your help.
FORMULA E is virtually "Print Ready" so we plan to send the final files to the printer within a month of the project's close. That means we hope to have it available for release in time for GenCon 2013. Every game project is subject to potential production delays, but we believe this date is achievable.
The final challenge is getting the game and rewards out to the backers. Game Salute is well versed in Kickstarter reward fulfillment and we are prepared to meet this challenge for FORMULA E.
Yes. Just add $45 to your pledge for each extra copy Formula E to be delivered in the USA ($55 for each extra copy delivered internationally). When the campaign ends we'll send a link to a pledge manager and you can tell us how many extra copies of Formula E you want.
Yes. Just add $20 to your pledge for every Pack of 50 Formula E Meeples you want to add to your rewards. When the campaign ends we'll send a link to a pledge manager and you can tell us how many extra meeple packs you want.