Wordsy: An unabridged tabletop game for 1-6 wordsmiths
Wordsy is a tabletop word game for 1-6 players. It takes only 20 minutes to play, but when you finish, you'll want to play it again. That's because Wordsy is unlike most other word games.
In Wordsy, you get 8 letters dealt out on the table. All players simultaneously try to come up with the best word on the board.
Here's the thing: you don't need all the letters in your word to be on the board. You can add as many letters as you want! So you're never just one letter away, like in most word games.
This means Wordsy rewards longer words. Those 2- and 3-letter words you have to memorize for other word games won't help you here!
Here's a sample board. What word do you see? Remember that you can use any word you want, other than words with capital letters, hyphens, or apostrophes. You can skip both vowels and consonants; you're just trying to use as many letters on the board as you can.
To figure out your word's score, add together the value of the column each letter is in. You only score each letter once, even if the letter is in your word more than once. The Z is worth 2 bonus points, and the K is worth 1 bonus point.
I'll give you a few seconds...
...a few more seconds...
Did you see the word CATS, for 14 points?
How about SCRATCHING, for 21 points?
Kudos if you found BACKSCATTERING, for 27 points!
Play is simultaneous. All players try to come up with the single best word on the board at the same time. There's a 30-second sand timer within easy reach, but it's not running yet.
The first player to write down their word takes the 30-second sand timer and flips it on their scoresheet. They're now the fastest player, and they cannot change their word.
All other players have 30 seconds to write down their words. After 30 seconds, it's pencils down and time to score.
In addition to scoring your word's bonus, you get bonus points if your word scores more points than the fastest player's word, or if you're the fastest player and your word is better than half the other players' words.
After 7 rounds, each player adds the scores of their best 5 words plus all their bonus points. The player with the most points wins!
Want to learn more about the game? Read the rulebook draft, or try it yourself with a free, no-art print-and-play version of the game!
And if you're on Twitter, check out @WordsyBot, which tweets out a different board of letters every 30 minutes!
Wordsy is a re-implementation of my first published game Prolix, which Z-Man Games released in 2010. While I'm proud of Prolix and its accomplishments (like making the Games 100), I've learned a lot about game design in the past six years, and I've always wanted to return to my first game to see what lessons I could apply to it.
Wordsy takes half the time to play that Prolix does. Its rules are much easier to learn and follow. It is smoother to play. And it scales to 6 players better than its predecessor.
I'm really happy with how Wordsy came out. It's become a very important game to me. I feel like it's doing the things that I really wanted to do with Prolix.
So many games have optimistic player counts, but when you actually play them, it turns out that the 2-player game was just marketing, or the 6-player game is intolerably long.
Wordsy scales smoothly and effortlessly from 1-6 players. Really. I've played dozens of games at each player count, and I put a lot of work into making sure the 1-player game is just as good as the 6-player game.
No. Wordsy is a real-time game, but it's not a twitch game. You're eligible to get bonus points if you're the fastest player and your word is good, but if you come up with a lousy word just to run the timer, everyone will score bonus points off you. 30 seconds is long enough to think of something!
But don't take my word for it...
"Wordsy is truly a unique word building game that fosters creativity and clever thought over simple mastery of the English language. With its focus clearly on allowing its players to create words of their choosing over making them use all the letters revealed from round to round, Wordsy become incredibly approachable and enjoyable for a variety of gamers." - Man Vs. Meeple
"After several plays through the game, this is going to be one I get to the table as often as possible. It’s quick, anyone can play, and the myriad letter recombinations means near-infinite replayability." - GeekDad
"So here's the final word: if you enjoy speedy games that tax your nerves as well as your creative thinking skills, Wordsy is certainly one game to check out." - Cardboard Republic
"Wordsy gives me the freedom to dream big. The outlay provided by the cards is only a starting point. It’s an invitation to search my memory banks for words that fit the pattern of the letters on the board. It is definitely a step up in fun and challenge from Boggle and Scrabble and other games that limit your choices, and the addition of the timed bonuses really adds some punch to the experience." - Board Game Gumbo
"Wordsy is so smart in so many ways. The puzzle it presents is simple – open your word-hoard and release the most potent salvo you can. And yet, because of the timing element, each round has this really awesome arc of tension; you start slow and before you know it, someone decides that ‘quell’ is good enough and you’ve got 30 incredibly short seconds to decide between ‘loquacious’ and ‘qualifications’ and damn it, why did they have to start with such a short, obvious word?!?" - Gameosity
"Wordsy is a game that takes the standard word game mechanics and flips them into something completely new and interesting. Not only does it shake things up, but it makes you have to think in different and unique ways, which is a blast!" - Meeple Mountain
Thanks for following along the campaign! You will get your choice of a handshake, a fist bump, or a hug if our paths ever cross.
RETAILERS ONLY - Pledge here if you're interested in ordering the game by the case. You'll pay the balance when we are closer to shipping.
Fine print - Contact me for details like case size, retailer cost, and quantity.
Get early access to the full-art print-and-play version of the game!
Get one (1) copy of WORDSY, delivered anywhere in the world! Includes all stretch goals, as well as all rewards from the WATCH WORD and VIRTUAL WORD reward levels.
EU: $3 USD
Everywhere else: $7 USD
Get three (3) copies of WORDSY, delivered anywhere in the world! Includes all stretch goals, as well as all rewards from the WATCH WORD and VIRTUAL WORD reward levels.
US: $7 USD
EU: $12 USD
Everywhere else: $16 USD
The rules to Wordsy are set, and for this kind of game, there isn't much I can add in the way of extra cards.
But I will still have quite a few stretch goals. The more people back the game, the lower each copy will cost to print, and the nicer I can make the final product! I'm very excited about some of these stretch goals.
One important note: if I ever reprint this game, there's no guarantee the reprint will have these stretch goals. Backing this Kickstarter will be your most likely way to get a premium edition of Wordsy!
FUNDED! Thank you, backers!
FUNDED! Each game will ship with 100 double-sided scoresheets, up from 50 double-sided scoresheets.
I like having my games come with everything they need in the box. And at $16,000, we can do that. If we reach this level, you will get six cute golf pencils in each box.
The base game comes in a traditional 2-piece box. But if we reach $18,000, I will ship the game in a lovely magnetic clasp box that opens like a book!
At this level, we will put gorgeous foil stamping on the cover!
If you're a customer within the EU your rewards will ship from within the EU. Keep in mind that some countries like Switzerland are physically within Europe but are not EU members. If you're in a non-EU-member nation, you may still have to pay customs, taxes, or import fees on your package.
If you are outside North America, your shipment will not be tracked unless you specifically request it. In a perfect world, I'd ship with tracking, but it's shockingly expensive!
If you're from outside North America and you'd like tracking on your shipment, message me and we can work something out.
I may offer early backer pickup at conventions like UKGE or Origins (no promises, it depends on the schedule). In these cases, I will not be able to refund shipping for backers who choose to pick up at conventions. My apologies!
These notes are all hard-won lessons from previous Kickstarter campaigns I've run. I hope they don't cause you any difficulty; I'd rather you knew about them ahead of time!
I created Formal Ferret Games as an outlet for my game designs. I wanted to take advantage of the new tools offered to designers, and release my work directly to the public.
So far, it seems to be working. I've almost sold out the initial print runs of my first two games,
I believe that part of the reason for my success is that Formal Ferret Games allows me to demonstrate my passion for my games directly. People can see how much sweat and labor I put into what I do, and how great I try to make them before they hit shelves.
Indie game design and publishing is a lot of work, but it's incredible work. I'm very grateful to be able to do it!
I am a board game designer and publisher based in Jersey City, New Jersey, with my girlfriend and two adorable ferrets. In my life, I've recorded indie rock albums, edited sound for film, programmed computers, written and performed comedy, and seen more theater and live music than I can remember.
Wordsy would be my 5th published game and my 3rd self-published game.
Scott Hartman is a freelance graphic designer and art director. He specializes in board games, but has worked on plenty of non-board game marketing projects.
Scott has also worked with other well-known publishers such as Action Phase Games, Tasty Minstrel Games, and Arcane Wonders. Scott applies his extensive graphic design expertise and production know-how to deliver games that are both good-looking and functional.
Directed by Steve Landau
Written and edited by Gil Hova
Clucky performed by Carrie Margulies
Cameras and lights by Steve Landau and Brett Kodama
On-set sound mxing by Matthew Smith
Production assistance by MJ and Ben Warren
Music credits: "Covert Affair", "Dances and Dames", and "Sweeter Vermouth" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Thanks for everyone at DiceBreakers for their help making this video!
Risks and challenges
Board games are hard to make! Anyone who's used Kickstarter to back a tabletop game can tell you about projects that funded but delivered late... if at all.
I've been designing games for a long time, and I now have two successful Kickstarter projects under my belt: The Networks and Bad Medicine. And by "successful," I don't just mean that they funded. Both projects shipped to backers all around the world within a month of the estimated ship date.
I've backed enough projects to know what tends to go wrong with a tabletop campaign. Here is what I'm doing to make sure Wordsy will not be delayed.
First: Game design and graphic design are done. This game is ready to be sent to the printer. In fact, I am already in pre-production with the printer, so once the game funds, we will be ready to proof a physical copy of the game.
Second: I got a lot of feedback about production quality in my last Kickstarter project, so I've made a change. Wordsy will be printed by Panda Games, one of the biggest and best-known hobby game printers in the world.
Third: I will be using Funagain Games to deliver Wordsy to the US and most of the world, instead of trying to handle things myself. That leaves shipping in the hands of people who can send packages safely and quickly, and who understand that tabletop games require more packaging than other products. I'm also using a separate fulfillment service based in the EU to handle EU fulfillment, which will relieve a lot of logistical and tax-related headaches.
Fourth: I am using a company called OTX to handle the logistics of transporting the manufactured games from the plant in China to the warehouse in the US. This is an intricate process, but OTX is quite used to it, and they specialize in board game logistics.
Fifth: I've backed plenty of Kickstarter projects, some which delivered on time, some which delivered late, and some that never delivered at all. I learned a lot from each of them.
At this point, I'm familiar with just about everything that can go wrong in a Kickstarter. Believe me, failing to fund is not even close to the worst-case scenario! I've heard many stories, from artists never delivering their art, to pallets stolen at the port, to mold in the game boxes and snails in the shipping container.
But I've built a great team around me. I feel that I am prepared to deliver this product to you close to my estimate of July 2017.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)