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The multiplayer social game that you play on Twitter, at the bar, in the car, and everywhere else you say things.
The multiplayer social game that you play on Twitter, at the bar, in the car, and everywhere else you say things.
The multiplayer social game that you play on Twitter, at the bar, in the car, and everywhere else you say things.
265 backers pledged $5,593 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Band or Album – The Social Game You're Playing Even Now

$5,593

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You’re waiting for your morning joe. The woman in front of you is on the phone with someone. Girlfriend? Boyfriend? Definitely someone like that.

“Oh man, that’s like the square root of my soul,” she says.

Before you realize what you’re doing, you’ve said it out loud: “Square Root of My Soul is the name of my next band.” You’ve never been in a first band, let alone have plans for a next one. You don’t even play an instrument. But it was too perfect not to say.

Then the guy behind you chimes in. “Sounds more like a concept album.”

He is an idiot, naturally. But how do you prove it?

Band or Album is the game that knows the truth. That every word or phrase in English could be the name of a band, or of an album, but not both.

The single correct answer, in each case, is a reflection of the Platonic ideal that is Band or Album, neither opinion nor conjecture, often elusive, and only arrived at through the consensus of playing the game with others. Sometimes augmented by social lubrication.

Band or Album is an easy game to be played with any number of friends, layered over any and every social interaction.

Chatting over drinks. On the phone with your mom. Posting on social media. Playing another game.

There’s never a wrong time to play Band or Album. In fact, you’re never not playing Band or Album – even now. Because Band or Album is a meta-conversation that, once started, is impossible to stop.

The rules tell you how to play. And show you how to play. And comment on the wisdom and strategy of playing. And teach you how to play on social media or while responsibly enjoying an adult beverage. And tell you how to respond to the weak-minded who are always, like, “What about self-titled albums?” They take the form of a set of old-school CD liner notes, with graphic design by the inimitable Will Hindmarch.

The collector coins are game pieces. They’re 39mm (top to bottom) minted metal coins shaped like guitar picks that let you and your cohorts play in style. They're not required for every playing circumstance, but they shine when you play in person, and most especially when there's a beverage, here, man. At such times, it's best if every player has one of their own — which gives you the opportunity to be the hero who produces enough coins for everyone from your pocket, purse, or backpack.

The coins' iconic images were created by the amazing Daniel Solis. They'll be produced by our friends at Campaign Coins, who positively rock at this. But are the coins just game pieces? Oh, hell no.

Band or Album collector coin manufacturing sample
Band or Album collector coin manufacturing sample

The coins are an outward sign that you love language, that you love play, that you have good sense and good taste. Band or Album coins look great sitting on your desk, because they show the world that you believe what we believe: That everyday discourse can be made even better with a game.

Kenneth Hite (Trail of Cthulhu, Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff) had the epiphany that led to Band or Album in grad school. For years it remained a private entertainment.

Then he shared it with Jeff Tidball (Eternal Lies, Horus Heresy), who became obsessed with the idea of publishing it.

Jeff recruited Will Hindmarch (Eternal Lies, Project: Dark) and Daniel Solis (Kigi, Belle of the Ball) to create awesome visuals. 

Renee Knipe leapt aboard to cut video, coordinate logistics, draft text, come up with great ideas, and take care of a million other things.

Campaign Coins will manufacture the coins — they've been a huge help.

But none of these people are making Band or Album happen. This is Kickstarter. You are making Band or Album happen.

October 29: The first stretch goal has landed. At $3,000, Band or Album goes platinum! Premium finish coins are baked into the Rock Star and Executive levels. If the campaign reaches this milestone, each backer at those levels will get a platinum coin for free, in addition to their other rewards. (November 12 Update: Unlocked!, with the clarification that we'll us the finish that Campaign Coins called "Antique Silver" to represent our platinum coins, because its depth of tones looks even better than the actual platinum finish.)

November 13: At $3,666, we'll add the black nickel finish for the totally metal among you. As the backer tiers describe, each Rock Star backer will receive one unlocked premium finish of their choice at no additional cost, while Executive backers will receive one of each for free.

Platinum ("Antique Silver") premium finish
Platinum ("Antique Silver") premium finish
Black Nickel premium finish
Black Nickel premium finish

At $4,000, we added the first ten #EarwormNinja meditations, in PDF format, for all backers regardless of backer level. Meditations on #EarwormNinja will be a work in the style of Things We Think About Games that presents rules for and explorations of the ideas behind social in-person and online games. Does that sound super-serious? It will be equal parts super-serious and totally irreverent, as all the best work of art ("Art") are.

At $4,500 we added a four-color, two-sided, Band or Album guitar pick for every Band Leader, Rock Star, and Executive backer.

At $5,000, we unlocked the extra-shiny double platinum premium finish.

"Double Platinum" Premium Finish
"Double Platinum" Premium Finish

And finally, on the last day of the campaign, we enlisted a wedding Executive to unlock our final stretch goal, the copper premium finish.

Antique Copper Premium Finish
Antique Copper Premium Finish

Thank you, backers. You've been magnificent.

Dave Chalker (Get Bit, Heat) rocked his playtest Band or Album coin so hard it broke in half.

Risks and challenges

Jeff Tidball is responsible for making sure you get your rewards. He’s been producing games on time since 1998. He’s been responsible for Ars Magica Fourth Edition, Feng Shui (first Atlas edition), Chaos in the Old World, Horus Heresy, and dozens more books and games. He recently spearheaded logistics for the Feng Shui 2 Kickstarter. Band or Album has the fewest components of anything he’s done in years.

The rules are written. They’ve been laid out. The coin art is done. The folks at Campaign Coins are ready to go. All of the delivery dates have been generously padded.

But: Campaign Coins might suffer production delays. Jeff could get sick, or have a family disaster. There could be a port strike. Acts of god. Collapse of banking systems. Life is risk.

But all told, most of the work’s already done, and the part that isn’t is going to be done by someone who has an almost twenty-year track record of responsibly turning things in on time, who promises to get this done for you, and who takes his promises really, really seriously.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You’re a GROUPIE. You get a PDF of the Band or Album rules.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You’re a SOLO ARTIST. You get one awesome Band or Album collector coin. You get a PDF and a printed copy of the Band or Album rules. Shipping varies.

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    54 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    You’re a BAND LEADER. You get five Band or Album collector coins, so you can supply the whole crew. You get a PDF and a printed copy of the Band or Album rules. Shipping varies.

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    65 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You’re a ROCK STAR. You get 10 Band or Album collector coins, a printed copy of the rules, and a PDF for good measure. You’re like unto an apostle, man, and what's more, if we unlock any premium finishes, you'll get one premium finish coin for free. Shipping varies.

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    86 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You’re an EXECUTIVE. You’re having a wedding reception, or you’ve got a cafe, or you’re gonna have the best birthday party ever. You get 50 Band or Album collector coins, 50 printed copies of the rules, and a PDF. You’re a protector of the faith, a lover of language, a haver of taste, and a spreader of fun. For you, shipping's on us, man, but that's not all, because if we unlock any premium finishes, you'll get one additional coin in every premium finish we produce.

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    12 backers
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Funding period

- (28 days)