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A genetics-based competitive card game giving you a reason to play games in science class or mutate your parents at home!
A genetics-based competitive card game giving you a reason to play games in science class or mutate your parents at home!
A genetics-based competitive card game giving you a reason to play games in science class or mutate your parents at home!
616 backers pledged $12,055 to help bring this project to life.

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Linkage - A DNA Card Game with an Educational Attitude!

$12,055

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A BIG THANK YOU to all our Kickstarter backers! 

If you missed the Kickstarter project but still want to get your hands on a copy of Linkage: A DNA Card Game, you can purchase a copy on the Genius Games Website and hopefully on Amazon as well in the near future! 

Linkage is competitive card game with game play based accurately on a few simple genetics concepts (more specifically - for the geek in all of us - DNA Transcription!). 

Linkage is simple to learn, yet offers a great amount of hand management strategy, fun player-to-player “take-that” game play and lots of replay-ability for 2 to 4 players. (Up to 8 players with two decks of cards!)

Linkage's MSRP will be roughly $20 

Get your copy for only $14.00 until May 21st at 9:00 pm with FREE US SHIPPING (international shipping is extra)

 10 DNA Cards

  • 8 DNA Nucleotide Cards (2 Guanine, 2 Cytosine, 2 Adenine & 2 Thymine) 
  • 1 DNA Promoter 
  • 1 DNA Terminator

 24 RNA Basic Nucleotide Cards

  • 6 Guanine, 6 Cytosine, 6 Adenine & 6 Uracil

 18 RNA Specialty Cards

  • 16 Special RNA Nucleotide Cards (4 Guanine, 4 Cytosine, 4 Adenine & 4 Uracil) with "M" - Mutation Icons
  • 2 DNA Mutation Cards
 

* Graphics for game are 99% complete (with the exceptional of additional stretch goal graphics). The DNA to RNA color gradients are still being modified for easier nucleotide matching. Updated graphics will be posted as they come!  

 * PLEASE NOTE: Rules in the video use graphics from the prototype and DON'T reflect are a little outdated (Especially the SCORING). I am currently making a more updated video. The Rules attached show the most accurate set of the rules. Thanks for your understanding! 

 Proper DNA to RNA Nucleotide Matching 

Here is a link to the Game Rules *Please note - these are a draft and NOT the final version.

DNA cards are randomly aligned side-by-side creating a template strand of DNA cards. Players compete to build the most accurate RNA copy of this DNA Template by connecting their own RNA Cards side-by-side to accurately match the DNA Template. Players are awarded points based upon the number of RNA Cards in their strand that correctly pair with the DNA template. 

 Along the way, players look to outwit the plans of their opponents by cleverly playing mutation cards to damage opposing players' RNA strands while strategically utilizing Chaperone Cards to fix their own. 

The game can be played in as little 10 or 15 minutes, while points can be awarded over multiple rounds for a longer, more in-depth game.

ALL REWARD LEVELS RECEIVE A PnP (Print N Play) PDF OF THE GAME WITH THE UPDATED GRAPHICS!

For a pledge of $14 you get ONE copy of the game + access to the PnP version with updated graphics - One copy of the game allows you to play with 2 - 4 players . Now you have a reason to play games in science class or mutate your parents at home. Please only mutate your parents under adult supervision. (No parents were harmed in the design or testing of this game.)

For a pledge of $25 you get TWO copies of the game + Access to the PnP version with updated graphics - Want to play with more than 4 players, or give a copy to a friend - AND get a discount? If you pledge for two games you get them for $25 - which is $12.50 per game instead of $14. 

For a pledge of $50 you get TWO copies of the game + ONE of our twenty exclusive prototypes + Access to the PnP version with updated graphics - This reward includes one rare prototype used to playtest this game (Only 20 Available) with a signed note from the creator, John Coveyou. But you don't want to mess up that prototype, so you'll also get 2 copies of Linkage! The delivery date for the Prototype is June while the 2 manufactured copies will be delivery in July, 2014.

For a pledge of $60 you get FIVE copies of the game + Access to the PnP version with updated graphics - After mutating your parents, why not mutate the teacher next!? Eight games is enough for the whole class to play! Or just a great way to get a copy of this game for $12 a piece! Even after including international shipping to anywhere in the world, the per-game cost for one copy at this pledge level is cheaper than one copy with free shipping to the US. Can't beat that!

For a pledge of $110 you get TEN copies of the game + Access to the PnP version with updated graphics - After your teacher, why not mutate the whole neighborhood? Even after including international shipping to anywhere in the world, the per-game cost for one copy at this pledge level ($13.60) is cheaper than one copy with free shipping within the US. Can't beat that!

Here's a quick peek at the RNA Translation Game Prototype I am currently play-testing in case anyone is tempted to pledge at the $350 level :-) 

 For a pledge of $350 you get EVERY GAME WE PUBLISH FOREVER + FIVE copies of the Linkage + Access to the PnP version with updated graphics - So some of you just want to give a lot of money and need a good reason to - here it is! Lifetime subscription to Genius Games! That means you get the 5 Copies of Linkage from above and EVERY game we ever publish FOREVER - Upcoming games include: a DNA Replication Expansion AND an RNA Translation Expansion for Linkage; Atomic Zero - a post-apocalyptic Chemistry Game; CellCraft - the game where players compete to build the inner-workings of a cell (name TBA!)

(*Note: a game with more than 6 or seven people may get hectic, so for larger groups - like a classroom - I'd recommend breaking them up into smaller sized groups.

If we make it to $5,500 ALL DECKS will receive upgraded card stock: The basic 300 gsm - White Core - card stock will be upgraded to the 310gsm - Black Core - card stock!

If we make it to $8,500 ALL DECKS will receive an upgraded Rule Booklet: Previously, the rules were simple text printed on two cards. With this stretch goal, we can afford to have a separate rule booklet added to the game, to give it an overall more professional feel! 

We already hit the $10,500 mark, but I am throwing this stretch goal upgrade in after the fact to say thanks so all my backer. Yes, this will greatly increase manufacturing and shipping costs all around, BUT the two part box will be much more durable and sturdy, look much more professional all around and will able to hold an expansion that we want to release!  

If we make it to $12,500 ALL DECKS will be upgraded with Ribosome Cards. These cards visually depict RNA Translation - the process of using the RNA strand which player created and form a protein (A chain of amino acids). 

On the card above, the Ribosome is the big red glob in the middle, the strand running horizontal through the ribosome is the RNA Strand that each player is competing to build (more accurately named mRNA), the green twisted strands are called tRNA and the colorful spheres (or balls) are the individual amino acids. 

Each amino acid (one building block of a protein) is attached to the end of the tRNA, while at the other end of the tRNA is a three nucleotide sequence that matches up with a specific three nucleotide sequence in the mRNA strand. 

This allows the mRNA strand to be "translated" into a specific amino acid sequence. And there you have the "quick and dirty" explanation of RNA Translation. 

ISN'T SCIENCE AWESOME! - And all the geeks sign and smile...

Social Media Stretch Goals  

If Genius Games gets 50 new likes (we are currently at 248 so 298 total) I will post an instructional video explaining how the process of DNA Transcription works, using Linkage as a Teaching Aid!  

If Genius Games gets 150 new likes (we are currently at 248 so 398 total) I will post an instructional video explaining how the Process of DNA Replication Transcription works!  

If Genius Games gets 250 new likes (we are currently at 248 so 498 total) I will post an instructional video explaining how the Process of RNA Translation works!  

If Genius Games gets 350 new likes (we are currently at 248 so 598 total) I will post a professionally shot and edited video that explains the rules of the game!

------ Facebook ----- Genius Game on Twitter ---- John Coveyou on Twitter ------

I am a complete science nerd - AND - I love playing games!

Now don’t get me wrong, I greatly enjoy playing sci-fi and fantasy games, but as I was thinking about cool game ideas and I thought to myself, “Why not design a game where the game play and game mechanics are based entirely, and very accurately, upon some science concept.”

That way, instead of diving deep into a non-existent alternative universe, you dive deeply into real-world concepts that only the super geeky - or someone right in the middle of a biology class - know about! (There’s that geek in me flaring up again.)

So that’s what I did. I wouldn't strictly call this an “educational game”, but becoming familiar with some biology and genetics concepts is an unavoidable consequence of playing the game.

 The game is 95% finished; the artwork is complete, but we are mainly waiting to finish up the graphic design of the box and rules sheets and then finalize the files for a manufacturer. At this point, I have taken a little too much money from my daughter’s college fund to produce this game (just joking – but also kind of serious…) to pay for the graphics and prototyping. 

 So I am asking for funds to help pay to put the finishing touches on the graphic design, the final file preparation and ESPECIALLY to help pay for manufacturing (and the cost to ship you the game!). 

 On my blog, I estimated the total funding needed to be right around $4,460 (roughly $4,500 like I said in the video), which included the future costs of damages and shipments, and errors and contingencies along the way. 

 The upfront monetary expense I've estimated at right around $3,860. This includes manufacturing: $1,440, Shipping: $1,385, Graphic Design and File Preparation: $480+ plus the standard 10% Kickstarter and Amazon fees. There are also many problems that could arise which will incur additional costs and fees, and it's inevitable that some packages will lost or get damaged. 

 But I want to see this project become a success so I am setting my funding goal right at $3,800 and I will make up the difference out of my daughter's college savings account if necessary. 

 She can get a perfectly fine genetics education started for only $14 with "Linkage" so why does she need a college fund anyway?

But best of all, Linkage was designed to accurately employ mechanics from a process normally taught in high school biology: DNA Transcription, where an RNA copy is made from DNA for use in a cell. 

In this way Linkage offers a unique, engaging and tactile experience that anyone can use to familiarize themselves with this fundamental concept of biology.

DNA Transcription

The DNA of a cell is much like the blueprint of a house. In the same way that blueprints tell the builder how to build the house (the dimensions of each room, the electrical lines and outlets, the pipes for plumbing, etc.) the DNA of a cell guides the building of a cell (when to make more protein, enzymes, cell membranes etc.) 

Now, it would not be wise for the home builder to bring the original blueprints to the construction site of the house for fear that the originals may get dirty, damaged, or harmed in some way. 

Instead, a copy of the blueprints are brought to the site and the original documents are kept safe in an office. In the same way, the DNA does not itself go out into the wild chaotic 'construction sites' of the cell, for fear of being damaged or destroyed. 

Instead, a copy of the DNA goes out into the cell. This copy is called RNA. This game is modeled after the way in which a cell makes RNA by copying its own DNA. 

Risks and challenges

Risk 1 – I have never launched a Kickstarter project before so how can you be sure I know what I am doing?

Response – This is true. To come up to speed I have read every one of Jamey Stegmaier’s Kickstarter Lesson blogs, and most of them more than two or three times. I have listened to every one of Richard Bliss’s Kickstarter podcasts entitled “Funding the Dream”, most of them two or three times. I have even written an eBook with Richard entitled “Five Mistakes That Will Kill Your Kickstarter Project.” You can also find a detailed description of almost every logistical decision I made on my blog.

Risk 1 – I have never published a game before so how can you be sure I will deliver?

Response – You can see a detailed list of everything I am doing to make sure this game is manufactured with quality and love on my blog.

My last remark - I am asking for a few dollars of your support. If you want the game, $14 of your support. If this project successfully funds and I fail to deliver, you will most likely lose $14. But here is what I will lose... It will be difficult for me to publicly face any one who knew about this project, especially those who backed the project. This includes my closest friends and my family. A piece of my dreams will die.

I hope you will come along side me to make this dream come true.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    PnP & UPDATES

    For a dollar (or $2, or $3 or whatever you want to give) we will send you a Print & Play (PnP) version of the game, and of course you get backer-exclusive updates as well as a super duper long-distance air high-five!

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    1 COPY OF LINKAGE (EARLY BIRD)

    A copy of the DNA Card Game BUT at a reduced price! This reward level is a small discount to say thank you to the first 50 people who support our dream!

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

    Shipping to Canada - add $5

    Shipping to anywhere else - add $9

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    1 COPY OF LINKAGE

    A Copy of the DNA Card Game! It’s that’s simple – and you’ll be a geneticist in no time!

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    2 COPIES OF LINKAGE

    With 2 copies of Linkage, you are no longer limited to a 2 - 4 player game. With two decks, up to 8 geneticists can play together!

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

    Shipping to Canada - add $6

    Shipping anywhere else - add $11

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EXCLUSIVE PROTOTYPE & 2 COPIES

    This reward includes one rare prototype used to playtest this game (Only 20 Available) with a signed note from the creator, John Coveyou. But you don't want to mess up that prototype, so you'll also get 2 copies of Linkage! Now you won't be limited to just 2 - 4 players.

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

    Shipping to Canada - add $10

    Shipping anywhere else - add $20

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    5 COPIES OF LINKAGE

    Want to keep a couple copies of Linkage for yourself AND give a few copies away to friends? This reward level is for you and it offers a little bit of a discount!

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

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    Shipping anywhere else - add $16

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    8 COPIES OF LINKAGE

    This bulk reward level is meant to reduce the cost for backers who want to pool their resources and get a bigger discount. Especially helpful for international backers whose shipping is a larger cost.

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

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    Shipping anywhere else - add $20

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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    10 COPIES OF LINKAGE

    This bulk reward level is meant to reduce the cost for backers who want to pool their resources and get a bigger discount! Especially helpful for international backers with larger shipping expenses.

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

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    Shipping anywhere else - add $26

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    EVERY GAME WE PUBLISH FOREVER

    So some of you just want to give a lot of money and need a good reason to - here it is! Lifetime subscription to Genius Games! That means you get the 5 Copies of Linkage from above and EVERY game we ever publish FOREVER - Upcoming games include: a DNA Replication Expansion AND an RNA Translation Expansion for Linkage; Atomic Zero - a post-apocalyptic Chemistry Game; CellCraft - the game where players compete to build the inner-workings of a cell (name TBA!)

    Shipping is FREE within the U.S.

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    Shipping anywhere else - add $50

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Funding period

- (35 days)