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£528 pledged of £4,000 goal
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By Giles Lane
£528 pledged of £4,000 goal
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About this project

Three years in the making – the final version of Outside The Box PlayCubes by Proboscis is now complete. The project was initially inspired by the "Love Outdoor Play" campaign which aims to get more children to play safely outside. We imagined a set of PlayCubes (based on our award-winning StoryCubes) that children or adults could use to invent games together or on their own, indoors or outside.

What we created was a set of 27 PlayCubes – a cube of cubes – comprising 3 different game sets of 9 cubes each. Animal Match is a simple puzzle to match the animal halves together, but has the potential for much more fun things too. Mission Improbable is a role playing game with 6 different characters, each with 9 missions for you to complete. StoryMaker is a storytelling game to test your powers of imagination. There are also 6 mission log notebooks and a Play Guide to give you ideas and suggestions for making up your own games. Plus 9 blank StoryCubes for you to design your own playcubes with.

We are fundraising for £4,000 to manufacture a "first edition" of 100 sets or more to get it into the hands of as many people as possible by Christmas and see what they do with it.

Outside The Box was led by illustrator Mandy Tang who drew all the artwork and devised the game designs with the collaboration of Alice Angus, Giles Lane, Radhika Patel and Hazem Tagiuri. You can browse through the Outside The Box Collection (and download the individual files to make at home) on our self-publishing platform, bookleteer.com as well as read Mandy's posts from when she drafted the first set, including a description of our first play test with children attending an Easter play scheme run by the Central London YMCA (you can listen to some Audioboos of their funny stories).

Playtesting with children from Central London YMCA play scheme
Playtesting with children from Central London YMCA play scheme

State of Play
We have completed the design work for all 27 PlayCubes, as well as the Mission Log books and the Play Guide (see link above). Using our own self-publishing platform, bookleteer.com, we have generated all the Press-ready files and the entire project is ready to go. 

The cubes will be printed on FSC-approved sustainable card by our local printers (who have previously printed thousands of StoryCubes & bookleteer books for us) using HP Indigo digital litho printers on 300-micron silk card, die-cut to shape and creased for easy assembly. The books are full-colour A6 saddle-stitched on 250gsm matt stock for covers and 120gsm for content pages. We estimate that it will take about 10 working days to print, cut and package the sets.

drawing by Mandy Tang
drawing by Mandy Tang

About Proboscis

We're a non-profit artist-led creative studio based in London since 1994. Our projects range from public artworks to social engagement and technology research. Playfulness and mischief are important ingredients in our work and collaboration is at the heart of our ethos. We believe in creating "public goods" : things we value and share that increase the common wealth of our cultures and societies. Many of our projects are based around helping others do this too.

Risks and challenges

Timing is our key challenge and risk : there is a short window for production in late November before the sets need to be shipped in early December. Printing errors or reprinting could cause delays which may impact on our ability to ship in time for Christmas.

We aim to ship the numbered OTB PlayCube sets in the first half of December with the other sets and prints following as soon as possible afterwards or from January 2014. We plan to use Royal Mail for UK deliveries and other shippers for international deliveries.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    A digital archive (ZIP file) of all 27 PlayCube PDFs, Mission Log PDFs and the PlayGuide PDF.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    A copy of our deck of cards, Being in Common: Catalogue of Ideas, posted to you (UK shipping included).

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    Pledge £15 or more About $24

    A copy of our Fridge Magnet storytelling game: An Endless Landscape by Alice Angus (18 fridge magnets which can be arranged in billions of combinations) posted to you (UK shipping included).

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    Pledge £20 or more About $32

    ANIMAL MATCH PlayCubes Set with play guide book (UK Shipping included).

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    Pledge £20 or more About $32

    STORYMAKER PlayCubes Set with play guide book (UK Shipping included).

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    Pledge £25 or more About $40

    MISSION IMPROBABLE PlayCubes Set with mission log books and play guide book (UK Shipping included).

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $65

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: FIRST NUMBERED EDITION of Outside The Box posted to you (UK shipping included). Includes 27 play cubes, 9 blank StoryCubes, 6 Mission log books and the Play Guide book.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $65

    One complete set of Outside The Box posted to you (UK shipping included). Includes 27 play cubes, 9 blank StoryCubes, 6 Mission log books and the Play Guide book.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $81

    DONATE a set of OTB PlayCubes to the school, youth club or group of your choice. Includes a complete set of OTB PlayCubes (27 play cubes, 9 blank StoryCubes, 6 Mission log books & Play Guide book + digital files) PERSONALISED with your name & the recipient's.
    Please provide us with a contact name and full postal address of the intended recipient. (Includes shipping in the UK).

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    Pledge £100 or more About $162

    An OTB PlayCubes set + a signed & numbered Limited Edition A3 Print specially created by Mandy Tang. Posted to you (UK shipping included).

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    Pledge £100 or more About $162

    An OTB PlayCubes set + a signed & numbered Limited Edition A3 Print specially created by Alice Angus. Posted to you (UK shipping included).

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Funding period

- (15 days)