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Search through books for text to take way out of context.
Search through books for things to take way out of context. Your favorite book is your new favorite game!
Search through books for things to take way out of context. Your favorite book is your new favorite game!
1,883 backers pledged $55,193 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Bring Your Own Book, the game of borrowed phrases

$55,193

1,883

Thanks to all our backers for their enthusiastic support of our first printing!

If you missed the Kickstarter campaign and would like information about purchasing OR you want to download a copy of our free print-and-play demo, sign up here.

As always, the latest details about Bring Your Own Book will be available on our website.

You can also find us on social media:
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Players: 3-7
Duration: 45-90 min, depending on the group
Age: young and old (see FAQ)

Bring Your Own Book is fun and simple. Players take turns drawing prompts from the deck, then race to find the best phrase in their own book that satisfies the prompt. Watch this quick tutorial to see the rules in action.

You've probably asked yourself these same questions:

  • What's the tastiest “name for a candy bar” in that history textbook you're reading for school?
  • How quickly can you find “lyrics from a country western song” in your dog-training guide?
  • what kind of “advice for graduating seniors” will appear in your anthology of limericks?

With Bring Your Own Book, you can find out! And since you can use a different book each time, you can play it with any audience, and there's an almost limitless supply of source material.

Click here to try the free print-and-play demo today.

Bring Your Own Book started as a response to one of those memes on social media: "Grab the nearest book and turn to page 36; the first full sentence describes your love life!" They were occasionally amusing, but they lacked agency and reliable entertainment. Still, that act of reading text from books out of context was begging to be turned into a game.

So Matthew (the designer) created some prompts, printed up cards, and playtested at length. Before long, players were regularly asking to do just one more round. They were hooked on hunting for political speeches in Winnie-the-Pooh or horoscopes in Emma. (Our best: "Go and eat and drink a little more, and you will do very well.")

The evolution from early prototype to the current print-and-play.
The evolution from early prototype to the current print-and-play.

Now, we need your help taking the next step. Bring Your Own Book has been tested for months, renamed thrice, and has received more than one face-lift. At this point, it could live forever as a charming print-and-play game, but our goal is to give it a much more polished treatment. With sufficient backing, we can devote time to upgrading the visual design and we can afford the professional-quality first printing this game deserves.

Now that we've reached our goal, Bring Your Own Book will be printed on high-quality playing card stock with a classy linen finish. Luke (the artist) has several card face designs to pick from, and he's been steadily working on a card back that's light years beyond the current patterned backs. Combine that with a classic sand timer and a custom box that snugly fits all the components. While the print-and-play demo is good for sampling, the Kickstarted version of Bring Your Own Book will be something special you can play for years.

Explorations for new card face, logo, and card back designs.
Explorations for new card face, logo, and card back designs.

We have sketches, mock-ups, and big dreams. We also have exciting news.

Bring Your Own Book was selected as one of eight games for the PAX South Tabletop Indie Showcase. We were in the exhibition hall with a bookcase all weekend long, and the response was tremendous. We also had great company; after you're done backing us here, click the link above to check out some other outstanding indies.

To say thank you for your help, we are putting together the following rewards (which are combined into the various backer levels above).

THE GAME: First and foremost is a copy of the game itself. Every backer level except BOOKMARK includes a copy of our first printing. Currently, the game will include 72 cards (144 prompts), a sand timer, and instructions (now on cards!).

In addition, all the PATRON backer levels include a second copy mailed to the library of your choice. When Matthew told the librarians at his local branch about the game, they broke into wide smiles; we'd like to spread that feeling around. Note: The extra copies will all include a standardized note explaining your kind gesture to any confused recipients. (Special love to the team at SPL Fremont.)

THE PERSONALIZED CARD: It's all about you, dear backers. While there's good fun in finding Elvis lyrics or something Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, it can be even better to have players search for your catchphrase or your secret agent code name. With this card, your copy of the game becomes one of a kind. (You provide the name and we'll provide the prompts.)

THE BYOBOOK TEE: Luke whipped up an elaborate version of the Bring Your Own Book logo to be printed on shirts for our team to wear at PAX. You will receive a soft cotton shirt just like one of those...unless enough people back at this level to justify crafting a second design.

ARCHIVAL ART PRINT: Once the final design for the card backs is complete, it will be a beauty to behold. At this level, you'll be able to behold it much better than everyone else, because you'll receive a limited-edition, poster-sized print of the card back art, signed by the artist. More details as we work them out with the printer.

THE VIRTUAL HANGOUT: Matthew wishes he could play the game with everyone, but time is short and distances are long. A limited number of backers can arrange an internet video chat (Skype, FaceTime, etc.) with the designer of BYOBook to play with their class, family, book club, library staff, or whomever. Those who choose this reward can also pick whether to wait for the final game or use the print-and-play right away!

Reaching our primary goal so quickly was amazing! We have a supply of grand ideas for stretch goals, and we'll do our best to keep you updated on them as you continue to shatter our every expectation.

$16,000 MET! » TWO-PART BOX: The game was going to come in a tuck-box, much like a pack of poker cards. Then you blew past our first goal, and we were all set to upgrade to a tray-and-lid design, except...

$20,000 MET! » CLAMSHELL BOX: You blew past the second stretch goal too! The game will now come in a clamshell box with a portfolio-like cover and a magnet closure. In our minds, Bring Your Own Book belongs on a shelf with its raw materials, and this design will make it feel right at home.

$26,000 MET! » INSTRUCTION CARDS: And you've done it again! Double our original funding goal and Bring Your Own Book just keeps getting more elegant, durable, and amazing. Now that this stretch goal is met, the rules will be printed on cards themselves, ready to withstand years of teaching without fear of wear and tear. They'll receive a custom design that compliments the game cards while being distinct enough to pull out during a quick shuffle.

$32,000 MET! » BLANK CARDS: The chances that you know an exceptional prompt we don't are actually quite high, and now that doesn't matter, because you can add whatever you'd like to your game. We'll include 6 (or more) blank cards in every box for exactly that purpose.

$40,000 MET! » MORE PROMPTS: By reaching this level, you've made a good thing even bigger. We're adding 18 more prompt cards to the deck. That's 36 more prompts, an increase of 25% over the base game. The box design will have to expand to accommodate the additions, but it is totally worth it.

We've already booked a prompt review party with many of the original playtesters. Nothing will make it into the expanded game without getting a thumbs up from dedicated BYOBookers.

$46,000 MET! » BYOBOOKMARKS: Well, that certainly didn't take you long. Now that you've met this goal, you'll be able to take a little bit of Bring Your Own Book anywhere. Everyone who pledges at a backer level with physical rewards will also receive two professionally printed bookmarks with prompts from the game.

We had promotional versions of these made up for PAX South, and they were quite the hit. You can see pictures of them in the February 20th backer update. The bookmarks you receive will be printed on coated, ultra-thick card stock, but they'll be redesigned to be jam packed with prompts instead of promotional text.

$52,000 MET! » NEW SOLO + CO-OP RULE SET: Thanks to your enthusiasm, Bring Your Own Book will now ship with four official ways to play. Joining the Classic, Democratic, and Cutthroat rule sets will be a kind of solitaire, co-operative hybrid experience. This game mode for 1-2 players isn't ready for prime time just yet, but we'll carve out some hours, bribe our playtesters with gummy bears, and make it happen, all in time to include the rules cards in the first printing.

$$,$$$ » JUST MORE BYOBOOK: We have no more pre-determined stretch goals to post. Needless to say, the more you exceed our funding goals, the greater our flexibility in design and manufacturing. If there's room in the budget, will we upgrade the card material? You bet. If we can spend a little more, will we get embossing or foil printing on the box? For sure.

We want this game to be both fun to play and a work of art. We want it to feel at home on your bookshelf as much as on your gaming table. If you're a backer, you'll receive private updates as we explore what's possible now that you've exceeded 400% of our initial target. Even though we can't commit to any specifics right now, whatever we can do to honor your enthusiastic response, you can bet we'll do it.

Luke Nalker (art) and Matthew Moore (design) are the principal dreamers behind this project. They met while working at prominent MMO developer ArenaNet. Matthew has been a QA tester, trainer, and game designer for the last six years (Microsoft, Disney Interactive), but he's always had a soft spot for tabletop gaming. Luke is an accomplished UI artist (Double Fine, WB Games), but more recently, he's discovered a soft spot for Matthew's wild ideas.

In addition, we need to acknowledge the following people for their help and participation, without which Bring Your Own Book and this campaign would not exist:
Miranda Marti: Design, QA, and Motivation
Adrian Bonar: Web Development and Production
Ryan McIntyre: One kickass Kickstarter video featuring...
Shereen Morse, Tim Essington, Will Erstad, & Sophie Mackey

Playtesters:
Adrian Bonar, Alex Loret De Mola, Andy Michael, Anna He, Becca Lepore, Ben Kirsch, Chris Smith, Daniel Cook, Danielle Bartone-Holt, Dr. Owen Macindoe, Drew Vance, Emily Eppley, Isaac Nickerson, Jake Sand, Jeff Few, Jennifer Ash, Justin Mullen, Kelly Mendenhall, Kim Kirsch, Maggi McConnell, Matthew Noguchi, Megan Reardon, Nico Prins, Raleigh Cooper, Russell Duhon, Scott Andrew, Todd Voelker, Whitney Sheehan, Yu Heng Mo, Zack Nickerson

Thank you for reading this far. Please do us one last favor and share this project with everyone you know who loves games or loves books. We can't make it happen without you.

Risks and challenges

With the game design finished, four things stand between us and world domination: content, graphical design, production, and distribution.

The content for the base game is complete, but if we meet any stretch goals expanding the number of cards, those prompts will need to be created and vetted through playtesting. Creativity has its risks and could extend the length of the project, but... RISK RATING: Trifling.

As you can see, the graphic design is almost complete. It's not 100% locked down because we wanted to leave room for backer feedback and design changes that accommodate stretch goal improvements (box changes, printing upgrades, etc.). Those graphical changes could take time and extend the length of the project. Still... RISK RATING: Minuscule.

While this will be the first time either of us have mass-produced a physical game, we have sought expert advice from other tabletop developers, several of whom have had successful Kickstarters. In addition, we solicited quotes from multiple manufacturers, so we feel confident in our selection and prepared in case a fallback is needed. Finally, we are being cautious with our monetary goal, because when we make it, we don't want there to be any worry that the funds are insufficient to produce the game as promised. RISK RATING: Minor.

Based on our research, we originally planned to handle fulfillment ourselves. Now that the project has grown, we've found a fulfillment company that even allows us to extend international backing options. Also, we've added a few extra months to the expected delivery time to keep expectations realistic. RISK RATING: Teensy.

That's the honest truth. We've done the research. We've assembled experienced advisers. We've committed ourselves wholly. There are risks, but with your support, we will make this game a reality.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    BOOKMARK: If you give even one dollar toward making this campaign, you'll get all the backer updates. We'll also e-mail you a PDF to print a special bookmark, containing a few prompts from the print-and-play demo.

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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    READER: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. Free shipping anywhere in the U.S. included.

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    CANADIAN READER: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. Free shipping anywhere in Canada included. (Recipient may be responsible for local taxes/fees.)

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    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    NOTABLE READER: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. You'll also receive a customized card, featuring you, for use in the game! Free shipping anywhere in the U.S. included.

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    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    WORLDWIDE READER: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. Free shipping most anywhere in world included. (Excludes Brazil, on advice from our fulfillment agency. Recipient may be responsible for local taxes/fees. U.S. and Canada, please choose other options.)

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    Pledge $37 or more About $37

    NOTABLE CANADIAN READER: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. You'll also receive a customized card, featuring you, for use in the game! Free shipping anywhere in Canada included. (Recipient may be responsible for local taxes/fees.)

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    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    NOTABLE WORLDWIDE READER: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. You'll also receive a customized card, featuring you, for use in the game! Free shipping most anywhere in world included. (Excludes Brazil, on advice from our fulfillment agency. Recipient may be responsible for local taxes/fees. U.S. and Canada, please choose other options.)

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    Pledge $44 or more About $44

    PATRON: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. We'll also send a copy to the school library, public library, or Little Free Library of your choosing. Free shipping included; both addresses must be in the U.S.

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    Pledge $54 or more About $54

    NOTABLE PATRON: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. You'll also receive a customized card, featuring you, for use in the game! We'll also send a copy of the game to the school library, public library, or Little Free Library of your choosing. Free shipping included; both addresses must be in the U.S.

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    Pledge $68 or more About $68

    FASHIONABLE READER: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. You'll also receive a customized card, featuring you, for use in the game! And to top you off, we'll send you a Bring Your Own Book shirt in the size of your choice. Free shipping anywhere in the U.S. included.

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    Pledge $86 or more About $86

    FASHIONABLE PATRON: You'll receive one copy of the first printing + any stretch goal additions. You'll also receive a customized card, featuring you, for use in the game! And to top you off, we'll send you a Bring Your Own Book shirt in the size of your choice. We'll also send a copy of the game to the school library, public library, or Little Free Library of your choosing. Free shipping included; both addresses must be in the U.S.

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    Pledge $256 or more About $256

    PERCEPTIVE READER: You'll receive everything in the Fashionable Patron level (game, personalized card, shirt, second copy for a library) PLUS, you'll receive a limited-edition, archival art print of the card back art, signed by Luke. Free shipping anywhere in the U.S. included.

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    Pledge $256 or more About $256

    FAVORED PATRON: You'll receive everything in the Fashionable Patron level (game, personalized card, shirt, second copy for a library) PLUS, you'll get to play the game live with Matthew, the designer, in a 1+ hour internet video chat. Invite your book club, your class, your soon-to-be fiancée! (Each session will be arranged individually and will be unique for each backer.)

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    Pledge $256 or more About $256

    PERCEPTIVE WORLDWIDE READER: You'll receive everything in the Fashionable Patron level (game, personalized card, shirt, second copy for a library) PLUS, you'll receive a limited-edition, archival art print of the card back art, signed by Luke. Free shipping anywhere in the world included.

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    Pledge $256 or more About $256

    FAVORED WORLDWIDE PATRON: You'll receive everything in the Fashionable Patron level (game, personalized card, shirt, second copy for a library) PLUS, you'll get to play the game live with Matthew, the designer, in a 1+ hour internet video chat. Invite your book club, your class, your soon-to-be fiancée! (Each session will be arranged individually and will be unique for each backer.) Free shipping anywhere in the world included.

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    Pledge $365 or more About $365

    ESTEEMED PATRON: You get it all: game, personalized card, shirt, second copy for a library, art print, Skype session. Free shipping anywhere in the world included.

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Funding period

- (32 days)