Welcome to the *re*launch of our humble campaign!!
What's "Plan B"?
The great pivot! This is a relaunch of a Kickstarter campaign we began earlier in the month - based on feedback received and advertising efforts underway, we decided to "pivot" by altering the structure of the campaign in order to significantly lower the available donation tier price points.
In the original campaign, the donation tier price points were prohibitively high due to built in costs for manufacturing and shipping a final version of the game. We quickly learned that the way the tiers were structured did not resonate with the backer community. Since this campaign's primary purpose is to raise money to fund the gorgeous professional artwork we desire for the game, this new Plan B campaign has been designed to raise just the funds we need for the artwork, which will be included in an enhanced Print & Play version of the game. Once the artwork has been finalized we will publish this game through one of the popular Print-On-Demand platforms, such as The Game Crafter, allowing anyone to optionally purchase a fully manufactured version of the game.
Mars vs. Earth has existed as a prototype in Print & Play format since 2012. The image above shows most of the game components with the original prototype artwork. Read on to see how we intend to upgrade this game to an otherworldly new level!
They came for our resources…
They came to annihilate us…
To complicate matters (as if inside-out cows weren't bad enough), the aliens can replicate our DNA and clone human beings. They know our agency is the last line of defense and they have infiltrated our ranks. That trusted partner of yours may actually be an alien spy! When was the last time your DNA was screened?
Mars vs. Earth is a fast and furious card game, playable by 3 to 10 players in 30 to 60 minutes, that employs a rich "hidden loyalty" system. Mars vs. Earth introduces unique mechanics, such as scaled martian powers and a player driven accusation/trial system, that sit atop a wacky theme to maximize play value and enjoyment.
Think your neighbor is secretly working against the agency? Keep him from leading missions, or better yet make a formal accusation and bring him to trial for his evil deeds! Of course you need to be careful - if you accidentally oust a true human from the agency they will become a lowly civilian with far fewer powers to help combat the martian threats!
The game is over when either the humans have foiled enough of the martians' plans or the martians have destroyed every last human resource, be it military defenses, tech, people or food. In either case, Mars vs. Earth is guaranteed to create some of the greatest play experiences imaginable!
We need your help to level up this great game!! As you can see in the intro video, we are working with a pro artist to create amazing artwork for the main game board and cards. Artwork is where the majority of funds raised will be spent. Here's a quick breakdown:
Here's a quick comparison of my own humble prototype artwork, initial concept art, and detailed professional art - following a successful Kickstarter campaign, all game artwork will match the quality and style of the right-most image:
We expect to complete the artwork and deliver the Print & Play version in early 2015. This will give you something awesome to do during those long, cold, dark winter months!!
Here's a general overview of how Mars vs. Earth is played - please note that each image that follows was taken from the prototype Print & Play version, before any professional artwork was added.
At the beginning of the game all players are dealt a random Agent card, each with a unique set of skills, and an initial DNA card. The DNA card indicates that the player is either Human or a Martian Clone, a core mechanic that drives each player's win conditions. Throughout the game there will be two Cloning Waves, whereby each player will receive two additional DNA cards - if any one of these cards contains Martian DNA, then the player is aligned with the Martians and must defeat the human agency in order to win!
Unlike other games involving a "hidden loyalty" system, in Mars vs. Earth if a player is ever discovered as being aligned with the devious Martians, either because they were brought to trial and found guilty or because they voluntarily revealed themselves, their resulting Martian power level is directly based on how many Martian Clone DNA cards they received and in what Cloning Wave(s). This unique mechanic allows for rich strategies to emerge regarding when a Martian player will choose to "reveal" themself vs. attempting to stay hidden as long as possible.
The main portion of the game comprises two key phases - Threats and Accusations/Trials. During the Threat phase, several Martian Threat cards are presented to the players, who proceed to discuss and (dis)agree which Agents should lead each Threat based on their Agent skills, Skill cards in hand, and proximity to other players. One by one players will choose to either Lead or pass on leading the Threats. From there Skill cards are played, face down, into each Threat - one critical aspect is that players cannot contribute as much "help" to Threats that are further from their position at the table (referred to as Proximity). Once everyone has contributed what they can, Threats are resolved one by one in initiative order. The outcome of the Threats, which includes dealing with special abilities and Leader decision points, will determine whether the Human team is one step closer to victory over the Martian menace, or whether the Martians have succeeded in further depleting the Human resources!
Following the Threat phase, Agent players have the opportunity to openly discuss and publicly accuse other players of being a Martian in disguise! Each accusation must be seconded by another enlisted Agent. With two accusations against an Agent in effect, the Agent is brought to trial and may attempt to defend himself. If he is successful, he retains his Agent status and the game will continue. But if he fails to defend himself, he will be stripped of rank and his true nature will be revealed - if his DNA cards were all human, he will remain in the game as a Civilian player, with far fewer capabilities and options to help the Human race (Civilians can possibly be reinstated later on); if any one of his DNA cards was Martian, then he will finish out the game playing as a fully revealed Martian player with power equal to his "level" (determined based on how many Martian DNA cards he received and in what Cloning Waves). Martian powers include variable hand sizes, the ability to increase Threat target numbers regardless of proximity, and most importantly the more powerful Martian players can even directly "lead" a Threat, assuring its most certain failure and further reducing human resources!
There are many nuances, tactics, and strategies to be discovered throughout the game, and no two games EVER play the same!! You and your group are sure to be in a complete uproar, and we cannot take any responsibility for loss of friendship or familial status!
We ran an extensive public playtest program using the prototype Print & Play version of the game, recording hundreds of sessions across the globe, including a Play-By-Forum game with over 1900 conversation replies! Below are a few of the great statistics that came out of this playtesting:
And of course the most important statistic to us was how likely people would be to recommend Mars vs. Earth to a friend - on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most likely, we landed squarely and comfortably at a 9!
If you are interested, feel free to check out the recorded session report comments and feedback!
We hope you'll help us reach these awesome Stretch Goals!! Reaching our initial target goal of $300 was great, but check out everything else we can add in at these higher DEFCON levels - hand-drawn Agent illustrations such as the one represented above ("Joe Anderson"), illustrated character cards for Civilian players (who would otherwise simply discard their Agent card), uniquely illustrated character cards for Martian players (based on the Martian level), and tarot-sized Threat cards with 20 unique illustrations themed to 50s sci-fi movie posters... let's do this!!:
Jason Miceli and Matt Plourde created Geek Fever Games in 2012, with the explicit mission to "deliver the most exciting and compelling game experiences on this side of the known universe!" We stand firm that Mars vs. Earth embodies this very goal!
Moving forward, we are already hard at work on several other great games, as well as expansions to existing ones! Please join our Geek Gods newsletter so you can keep up to date on our latest news!!
Please back this amazing project - we promise you will be thrilled you did! We cannot thank you enough for your support!!
Risks and challenges
Great artwork takes time. The greatest risk this project might face is a artwork completion delay due to procurement and approval processes. Since we are approaching this campaign with that knowledge, we believe we have built in any necessary wiggle room. We have a great relationship with our lead artist, and everyone is equally excited to see this project completed, so we do not anticipate major issues meeting the established timeframes.
Should we run into any unforeseen challenges, our first course of action will be to notify our community of backers immediately. You are placing your faith and trust in us, and we will always respond in kind. From there, we will be relentless in resolving the situation in an effective and timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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