About this project
The Santa Ana winds beat the streets of downtown Los Angeles like a boxer on a speed bag. When it gets this hot, I like to cool down at The Cantina Club on Wilshire Boulevard. I come for the backroom poker, cheap drinks and cheaper dames, but I stay for the live entertainment. Tonight was fight night and the joint was packed. The feature fight showcased a local hero, Willie Armstrong. The whole room of shady dealers and hard luck stories got on their feet and roared when a vicious left hook sent Willie’s chump opponent to the mat, but I stayed seated in shock - the big lunk forgot he was throwing the fight.
The next day the Cantina was shut down by the cops after the janitor found a stiff in the boxing ring. The bloody mess of a corpse belonged to “Ratso” Russo, the Cantina’s manager. Word got out quick that he was fixing the fights, and the safe in his office was cleaned out before the law turned up. I wasn’t the only one who got the short shrift last night. Ratso had pissed off more than his share of customers, including the ones in high heels and eye shadow. It’s going to take gumption, savvy, and a healthy dose of duplicity to come out on top of this disaster.
- Tom Bullitt
The Big Fix is a strategic and psychological card game that puts each player in the shoes of one of Film Noir’s most iconic roles. As the Private Investigator, the Femme Fatale (or Homme Fatale), the Politician and more, players uncover clues and trick their friends, all while searching for their enemies’ true intentions. Six roles, five agendas, three vices, and twelve character cards combine randomly so that a new story is told every time you play.
From top to bottom, The Big Fix is designed to play and feel like a Film Noir. Our goal was to create a game which is not only fun and strategically deep, but makes its players think and act like they were a character in a Film Noir. The game emphasizes individual agendas, simultaneous and interconnected player storylines, and temporary alliances driven by mutual benefit - all of which are key themes and motives in Film Noir. Winning at The Big Fix requires strategy, cunning, and a hard-boiled attitude.
Players score points by accomplishing the goals on their Role and Agenda cards, getting away with their Vice, and by trading their points with other players (by trading, we of course mean bribing and extorting). The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
The most common way that players interact with the game and other players is with Moxie cards. Modeled after playing cards, Moxie cards are what make up a player’s hand.
Depending on the number of players in the game, each game will take between 6 and 8 turns, or days. Each day has a dawn, day, and night, which comprise the three phases of a turn. Watch our gameplay demo for a demonstration of each of the phases.
The dawn is the first phase of a turn. In the dawn, each eligible player puts a card from their hand face down onto the table. When each card has been placed, all players flip their cards up simultaneously. The player with the highest numbered Moxie card of each suit wins a bonus, such as the ability to steal a clue from another player or to draw a card from the Clue deck.
After dawn comes the day, the biggest and most important phase of the game. In the day, players take turns bidding and battling over clues by playing larger and larger Moxie cards. The winner of a Clue can elect to reveal it for all to use, keep it for themselves, or bury it. At the end of the game, players score about half of their total points by ensuring that the right clues are going into play and the wrong ones end up buried.
After day comes the night, the most deceptive phase of the game. Like in the dawn, each player places a card from their hand face down on the table. Players who played a Savvy card flip their cards up first and chose a target from the players who played either Gumption or Duplicity, attempting to catch players who spent the night satisfying their vice and revealing players hidden traits.
If there are no more cards in the clue deck at the beginning of a turn, the Detective reveals him/herself and attempts to convict the Murderer. After the conviction, players reveal their Hidden Agendas, tally up their points, and declare a winner!
- 90 Moxie Cards
- 32 Clue Cards
- 12 Character Cards
- 6 Role Cards
- 6 Agenda Cards
- 6 Vice Cards
- 6 Fingerprint Cards
Risks and challenges
Our biggest risks in this project are related to getting the game printed and shipped to your door without incident, the only parts of the project which we can't completely control. We’re almost halfway done with the art, and we already know the game is great fun. We have quotes from several reputable and reliable printing companies and we anticipate no complications in getting our game printed through any of them. That said, we have never shipped or printed a card game at this large of a scale before and there could be a few delays on our way to a January 2014 ship date.
We may end up adding extra cards to the deck or design a bigger/nicer box, which would result in a higher quote for printing. Since we have quotes from multiple companies, we have a backup plan in place in case we can't work out our changes with one of them. These printing risks are a very small concern and pose a problem only if we barely get funded. Any money we raise beyond our initial goal turns these small risks into new and exciting options.
We fully expect there to be an issue or two when it comes to shipping. Stuff gets lost in the mail, addresses get incorrectly recorded... you get the picture. There’s a lot of factors when it comes to shipping a game which are completely out of our hands and we can’t guarantee that a game won’t get lost in the mail. We will absorb any unforeseen costs associated with shipping (including reshipping lost packages), and have planned for these costs within our quote. Much like with printing, any additional funding we receive beyond our goal will alleviate these risks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
How much playtesting have you done of The Big Fix? Has there been any blind playtesting? Do you plan on sending The Big Fix to a tabletop game review site before the campaign ends?
We've undergone extensive internal playtesting of The Big Fix, having run play tests nearly every week for 6 months. We still have a little ways to go before we can say we’re done playtesting, and some of the playtesting we still have to do will be blind tests. We want to get to a point where we are completely firm on the rules of the game before we start blind tests - we’re very close to that point, and we will be starting blind testing of The Big Fix very soon. There are currently no plans to get early copies of the game to reviewers before the campaign is over. We simply don't have the resources to pay a reviewer at this time. The funding from our Kickstarter campaign will be going towards completing the rest of the art of the game and for the best quality printing we can afford, meaning we only have a prototype version of The Big Fix at this very moment. We’d much prefer to wait until we have a fully printed version of the game before we send it off to reviewers. Blind playtesting and reviews by renowned board game review sites (such as dicetower.com) are commonly viewed as requirements for any established professional gaming company seeking funding of a board game through Kickstarter. An established professional gaming company, however, is something we are not. As new game developers funding their first project on Kickstarter, we simply don’t have the resources to pay a game reviewer to tell you The Big Fix will be worth your every penny. What we have for you is a very fun and strategically deep card game, an enormous passion for both card games and Film Noir, a total commitment to every one of our backers to deliver the best game we can possibly create, and the talent and creative vision to bring these all together into one incredible Film Noir experience.
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