GHOULASH: A Comic Book With Our Exciting Game Inside!
Our book features thrilling comic book action set in the GHOULASH universe along with a selection of all-new game scenarios!
This Kickstarter campaign is to raise funds to support the production and release of Ghoulash Games' first combination comic book and game book. The first half of the 32-page book will feature a comic book adventure set in the GHOULASH universe, while the latter half of the book will feature all-new GHOULASH game scenarios that can be played right in the book, easily removed or photocopied.
The adventure story will be written by GHOULASH creators and publishers Mike and Joe Suchcicki, with the art by the sensational artist Shawn Surface of Orlando, Fla.
Note that the funding goal of this campaign is for a black-and-white version of the comic book. All inside pages and frames shown in color are simply for promotional purposes, although a color version of the book will be our first stretch goal.
Larger samples of the inside pages in black-and-white appear below.
What is GHOULASH?
GHOULASH: The Last Game on Earth, created in 1982, is an action-adventure game for two players played entirely on paper using specially designed game charts called Scenarios.
While the game is played according to a standard set of rules, each GHOULASH scenario is different, with its own grid, victory condition and twist on the rules. This project, the GHOULASH Comic Book/Game Book, will include four all-new scenarios. The charts will be repeated in the book, to allow several different two-player games of each scenario. (In other words, two players will be able to play several games of each scenario using the charts out of just one copy of the book.)
The game's publishers, Mike Suchcicki (who first created the game) and his son Joe Suchcicki, differ when it comes to describing the game. Joe calls it a miniature dungeon crawl, while Mike likes to refer to it as an advanced version of the old schoolroom game of Battleship (the one played on paper, not the one with the pegs).
You can download and play a sample GHOULASH scenario by clicking here. (PDF download, 662KB)
Each player serves as the dungeon master for the other. On one grid of the chart, you hide items, obstacles and Ghouls from your opponent. On the other grid you plot your movement. As you move, your opponent follows along on their obstacle grid and tells you what you've encountered. The first player to satisfy the victory condition of the scenario wins.
The main obstacle of the game is the deadly Ghoul. When you encounter a Ghoul you must attempt to destroy it by hitting its weak spot. Each time you miss you receive a wound. Receive 15 unbandaged wounds and you're dead.
The GHOULASH Adventures
Since the creation of GHOULASH in 1982, a rich mythology has grown around the game, beginning with the Ghouls themselves. In the original version, Ghouls were dispatched with traditional guns firing traditional bullets. When redesigning GHOULASH in the late '90s, Mike decided that a more elegant solution was required to streamline the game mechanics. Therefore it was necessary to determine exactly where Ghouls came from and how they could be destroyed. From there one thing led to another and before we knew it we had created the GHOULASH universe. We created short stories and webcomics set in the GHOULASH universe and populated with a lively set of characters.
In the GHOULASH universe, Earth has been infested by large, green, deadly creatures known as Ghouls. These creatures were created by scientists to be the adversaries in a wildly popular televised competition show called "GHOULASH: The Last Game on Earth." Somehow the substance from which Ghouls were formed was released into the populace, and soon the entire planet was threatened by the rampaging, soulless monsters.
Our story revolves around the efforts of a dedicated group of scientists and soldiers whose mission it is to eradicate Ghouls from the planet forever. But their mission is threatened by the sinister corporations who intend to milk the Ghoul threat for all the billions of dollars they can produce from a frightened populace.
David Lake: Renowned exobiologist and the world's foremost expert on Malectoplasm, the substance from which Ghouls are formed.
Pamela Gray: Research scientist who, with her late mother, co-created Ghoo, the only substance known to be damaging to Ghouls.
Cornealius: Former soldier, former professional GHOULASH warrior, now a full-time professional Ghoul-hunter.
The adventure in the first issue begins in the heyday of the "GHOULASH" TV show, when billions of viewers huddled around their sets to watch the warriors battle the deadly Ghouls, then fast-forwards three years to a world where Ghouls lurk around every corner, threatening every human on the planet. It sets up a mystery that draws Dr. Pamela Gray, with Lake and Cornealius following close behind, into a search for the answers behind her mother's mysterious death. Those answers are linked to a secret that rocks our heroes' world and shatters everything they thought to be true.
Why a comic book/game book?
Why not just a full comic book? Why not just a book of game charts? Well, it's like this: In the years since we first created GHOULASH, our "product" has come to include not only the game but also the mythology that has grown around it, what we call the GHOULASH Adventures.
This book is meant to be the official calling card of Ghoulash Games. With it we are presenting our two "products" to the world. Come for the comic and stay for the gaming action, or come for the game and enjoy the dramatic adventure based upon it.
We'll be frank: This book is designed to be our way of illustrating -- to potential players and fans, game publishers, licensing agents, movie and television studios, reviewers and anyone else we can corner -- the real potential of GHOULASH as a game and as a pop culture property. Sure, we can do that in a press release, but why not do it in a form that offers a great illustrated adventure and a bunch of fun games? This is our "pilot," if you will.
Continuing on this frankness kick, we'll be honest about our pledge rewards: We don't have a lot of fancy knick-knacks to offer. No stickers or T-shirts or bookmarks or things like that. The reason? We want you to A. play our game and B. read our comic book. That's why the Comic Book/Game Book combo is our main pledge reward. In fact, that's why the rewards for levels $40 and above offer multiple copies of the book; we want you to hand them out to your friends and family and the gamers and/or comic book lovers in your life.
That's not to say we don't have some extras, however.
Print Scenario Packs: Beginning with the $25 level, we are offering our three Print Scenario Packs. These magazine-sized books feature pre-printed game scenarios on perforated pages for easy removal. Each pack features three GHOULASH scenarios in the Advanced format. Advanced scenarios, while played by the same rules, have more detailed grids and more elaborate movement than do the Basic scenarios. These packs rewards also include official GHOULASH pens.
11-by-14 Print of Cover: The $75 level includes an 11-by-14 print of the GHOULASH Comic Book/Game Book cover, signed and numbered by artist Shawn Surface. This reward is limited to 50 backers.
The funds raised in this campaign, if successful, will be used to pay the artist, for the initial print run and for rewards and shipping. Our timeline goal is to have the comic completed and to the printer by the end of the year and for delivery in January of 2014.
(By the way, if you disagree with us about goodies and pledge rewards and have some ideas of what you'd like to see, please let us know in the comments. We'll be happy to oblige, within reason of course!)
Our funding goal is for a relatively small print run that we hope to use as a foundation for future issues of the Comic Book/Game Book combo. Not to jinx things, however, but we do have some stretch goals:
$5,000: A full-color run of the Comic Book/Game Book.
$7,000: The digital form of the comic book will be expanded to 32 pages, plus game scenarios, distributed to backers at all levels. The print version will remain at 16 pages of comic content.
Our deepest thanks
We thank you for taking the time to read our campaign information, for watching our video and for backing our project. We look forward to your comments and questions as the campaign continues. If you cannot back the project, we hope you'll share this link with your friends and family, Like us over at our Facebook page, facebook.com/ghoulash, and/or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/ghoulash.
The above page takes place early in the book and depicts Ghoul-warrior Cornealius as he participates on an episode of the TV reality competition show "GHOULASH: The Last Game on Earth." The next two pages take place three years after the Ghouls somehow have been released upon an unsuspecting populace.
Risks and challenges
It's always risky to attempt to enter the hectic world of comic book publishing, just as it is risky to attempt to enter the frantic world of game publishing. To attempt to enter both worlds at the same time with the same product is, we admit, double the pleasure, double the fun.
We are, however, a team of creative and experienced folks. Shawn Surface, who has brought the GHOULASH universe to life in ways we never thought possible, has spent years at the drawing table (go check out his work at http://surfaceart.deviantart.com). Writer, cartoonist and game designer Mike Suchcicki has spent more than three decades as a professional in the publishing realm. Joe Suchcicki is a talented game designer who literally grew up playing and designing GHOULASH scenarios.
The only problem we anticipate with this campaign, and it's a welcome one to have, is if it is overfunded beyond our original estimates and available resources. We have, however, built contingencies into our stretch goals that would help to address this situation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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