Survive Et Al! The game that teaches you how to stay alive. project video thumbnail
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$2,085 pledged of $10,000 goal
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By Jesse Fister
$2,085 pledged of $10,000 goal
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About

The game invented on the floor of a boat in the Amazon jungle.  

“Genius! Awesome! Everyone needs to check out this game.” —Karen Hood, Survival.com.

Imagine sitting down to game night with your family.  You find yourselves stranded in a winter wilderness with a blizzard on the way. You each have a couple survival kit items like a knife, flint-and-steel, or a water container. 

Together, you must figure out how to outlive the storm and make it home alive.  Do you have what it takes to survive?

Game Story and Origins

The game designer in the Amazon Jungle.
The game designer in the Amazon Jungle.

I spent my early twenties traveling the country, learning from many of the best survival Instructors in the field.  Teachers like Ron Hood (Woodsmaster Survival DVD series), Christopher Nyerges (How to Survive Anywhere), Jack Spirko (The Survival Podcast), Paul Campbell (The Universal Tool Kit), Cody Lundin (Dual Survivor), Jason Hawk (History Channel's Mountain Men) and various S.E.R.E. and military survival instructors.

This idea for this game came on a two-week boat trip up a tributary of the Amazon Jungle. I knew there was no game about real wilderness survival on the market.  I wanted people to discuss and learn what they would do in these situations.

For years I visited Ron and Karen Hood, creators of the Hoods Woods instructional DVD series, in their home. Each time we played the newest version of my game and discussed ideas for improving it.

After far too long, I am excited to present this as a game created by survivalists, for people everywhere. We have worked hard to bring you something that has never been done before. 

Game Summary

For anyone who enjoys survival reality tv, brace yourself for a learning adventure that will pit you and your friends against the beautiful brutality of the Rocky Mountains.

Facing the elements is only part of the challenge, as players find creative ways to stop a bleeding wound, survive a storm or escape in the dead of winter.

No two games are ever alike:

  • Escape from Blackfoot Indians, barefoot and on the run, in Colter’s Run. 
  • Search for friends and family in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Whitewater Wash
  • Work cooperatively with a friend in Whiteout! to make it home in the dead of winter. 
  • Climb for a dangerous photograph in Yeti Hunt
  • Escape the fate of stranded pioneers in The Donner Party: Forlorn Hope
  • And more. 

Get drawn in by the breathtaking panorama of the Rocky Mountains to experience their harsh majesty from the comfort of home. Or, play around a campfire with friends and family. You can even play alone! 

Imagination is the core of the game and your mind is the only limit. What you don’t know you will learn, because if you don’t—well, it could kill you. 

Test your mettle to see if you have what it takes to Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains? 

Game components: turn spinner, weather ticker and sorted box.
Game components: turn spinner, weather ticker and sorted box.

 

Resource cards
Resource cards

Gameplay 

Each game is unique.  Choose a storyline, set up the weather in season, choose your survival kit cards and begin.

Roleplay your turn by describing what you do. Travel to a new resource area, fish for trout, set a trap, construct a lean-to shelter or rest to avoid some end-of-turn penalties.  You can gather materials, prepare a fire or seek out a river to draw water from.

Each resource card features one item and its practical uses for survival. You will need them to survive. But beware the sometimes fatal condition card which can change the weather suddenly, or put you face-to-face with a Grizzly bear or managing hypothermia. 

The unique weather ticker board makes weather unpredictable and each game unique.  Roll the dice to watch it rise and fall.

Learn as you go with the field manual at your disposal, full of useful instruction on what to build or do.  Improve each time you play and try harder scenarios. You can even design your own game. 

Learn Wilderness Survival 

Survival skills in all seasons.
Survival skills in all seasons.

Unlike a wilderness course or survival manuals, this game puts you in the heat of a wilderness survival situation and forces you to make critical decisions about survival priorities.  Watch variables compound against you as you try to survive.

  • Will you try to make it to the yurt through the darkness of night with a storm brewing, or stop to make a shelter?
  • Make fire or hunt for food?
  • Treat the water or drink it unfiltered?
  • Carry your friend or head for home alone?
  • Push on toward your goal or stop to rest?

These are the important choices every survivor must face. 

Discover the Rocky Mountains through the cards as you play. Learn plants by their community and what survival uses they have. See how difficult surviving can be as you roll the dice to make fire, hunt for food or search for water in your area.

Learn real wilderness skills.
Learn real wilderness skills.

 

A game created by survivalists
A game created by survivalists

Kickstarter Goals

  • Our primary goal is to raise funds to print 100 BETA version copies of the game. 
  • Our secondary goal is to sell 100 collector's versions of the game.  
  • Selling 1,000 collector's editions, or raising $50k, would truly bring this game to market.

The more people test our game, the better.  The more funds we have, the more options we will have for refining game materials into a great finished product.  

We would love to source our materials in the US using sustainable practices and green materials.  Think glass or stone beads instead of plastic or a 3D molded game part to represent your campfire or player.

Stretch Goal

  • As soon as 100 BETA versions have been funded, we will open up collector's edition pre-purchases as a single item reward.
  • If we sell 1,000 copies of the collector's edition, we will design and add a "Mountain Man" expansion to every game.
  • We will add further expansion packs for reaching higher levels of funding, TBD.

Rewards 

T-Shirt design #1.  Add $15 to any order to include a t-shirt.  We will collect size, color and design choice from you after the campaign ends.
T-Shirt design #1. Add $15 to any order to include a t-shirt. We will collect size, color and design choice from you after the campaign ends.

 

T-shirt design #2.
T-shirt design #2.

 Available in any standard color or size.

Woodsmaster Survival DVD's and Survival Quarterly Magazines donated by Hoods Woods
Woodsmaster Survival DVD's and Survival Quarterly Magazines donated by Hoods Woods

 Visit Survival.com for more information about the Hoods Woods products.

Digital prints of any artwork in the game by John Harwood.
Digital prints of any artwork in the game by John Harwood.

 Visit John Harwoods webpage.

Fully playable BETA version copy of the game.
Fully playable BETA version copy of the game.

 

A $500 gift voucher towards any course at Twin Eagles Wilderness School in Sandpoint, ID.
A $500 gift voucher towards any course at Twin Eagles Wilderness School in Sandpoint, ID.

Visit the Twin Eagles Wilderness School website. 

12'x18" steel prints of any game artwork in the game by John Harwood.
12'x18" steel prints of any game artwork in the game by John Harwood.

Help us design the game 

This campaign offers you the unique opportunity to be involved. Help improve gameplay by playtesting it with friends and family and then provide us feedback using the online forum. Your experience and ideas will make the game better. You become a designer with us! 

Contribute Photography 

Every part of the game will be improved during our BETA test period. Players with excellent photographs of the Rocky Mountains are encouraged to submit their images during this time. Accepted images will become part of the final version of the game. 

Contribute images of the Rocky Mountains to be included in the game.  Photo credit: John Harwood.
Contribute images of the Rocky Mountains to be included in the game. Photo credit: John Harwood.

Expansions 

Your ideas for new cards, storylines, and game features may become future expansions. What would you like to see? An herbalist expansion?First Aid? Psychology of survival? Help us design more to give the game more depth and fun. 

Deadlines 

If our Kickstarter is successful, we will immediately print and ship BETA copies and other prizes to contributors. BETA testers will have access to the online design forum and will be able to contribute ideas, corrections, edits, storyline, cards and other insights or ideas. 

BETA will last from 6-12 months. During this time, additional expansions, revisions, and edits may be necessary. Occasional re-releases of edited or revised elements may occur. BETA testers will be offered these at manufacturing cost only. 

Photography will also be continually updated. Many of the images we have chosen for the BETA are temporary, unlimited use placeholders. 

Collectors editions will release during November of 2018. 

Our Team 

This game was designed by Jesse Fister. Christine Generoux is the project director. Our lead photographer is John Harwood. Gregory Fister is our Marketing Manager. Ashley Fister is our Accountant. The Kickstarter video was produced by Paris Bread.

John Harwood has been featured on Chicago city buses advertising for the State of Montana and National Geographic
John Harwood has been featured on Chicago city buses advertising for the State of Montana and National Geographic

The Future of Life Games 

Future editions in the Survive Et Al! boardgame series are a real possibility. What would you like to see?  Desert Survival?  Jungle?  Urban Disaster?  

Life Games also has an assortment of games in mind not related to survival. Contributing to this game helps us get on our feet. 

From the LifeGames team, thank you. 

Thank you very, very much.

Small game box fits neatly on your shelves.
Small game box fits neatly on your shelves.

 

Risks and challenges

This is our first time assembling and distributing games. We have already begun construction of 600 pace bead sets, requiring 18,000 beads! If we sell more games than we anticipate, we may need to hire local help, which we are prepared to do.

BETA Testers:

Please understand that this is an unfinished work. That's why we need your help.

We still need to simplify, smooth out, edit and redo certain aspects of the game to make it easy to use and fun to play. Your feedback helps us problem solve gameplay, so expect some bumps when you sit down to play. You can help make this game great.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Monte gets a treat.

    A complete BETA version of the board game to print at home. No physical parts.

    Monte the Llama gets a treat.

    Includes:
    • Downloadable, printable version of the game.
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • Monte the Llama gets a treat.
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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank You! Postcard

    The most basic contribution.

    Includes:
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Survival Quarterly Magazine

    (Shipping included in US). This reward donated by Hoods Woods and survival.com. One random edition of Survival Quarterly Magazine. Limit 16!

    Includes:
    • One copy of SQ Magazine.
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    Boardgame T-Shirt

    (Shipping included) See campaign details for t-shirt images. Add this amount to any contribution to have a t-shirt added to your order. Any size or color. 50/50 cotton/poly.

    Includes:
    • Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains T-shirt.
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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Woodsmaster Survival DVD

    (Shipping included in US). This reward donated by Hoods Woods and survival.com. One random copy of a Woodsmaster, Urbanmaster or Cave Cooking DVD. Limit 28!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Poor Man's BETA Board-game

    Game set includes 162 cards, pace beads, gameplay tokens and game dice.

    The rest come in a digital/printable format: Weather Ticker board, turn spinner, gameplay manual (RM-FM 13-B), game-box image.

    Not included: game box, counters, counter bag, pencil, and paper.

    Includes:
    • Poor Man's BETA version board game.
    • 24 card 'Survival Kit' expansion.
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • Digital file access to the rule-guide and printable game boards.
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Become a BETA Tester!

    Become an official BETA tester of the Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountain Edition board game and receive one copy of the game!

    Fully playable, this game includes the 24 card "Survival Kit" expansion and online password access to the BETA designer's forum where you can get involved and help us improve the game before production.

    The bones of this game have been well developed and we are fine-tuning the game with your input. This is our manufacturing cost at 100 prints.

    Includes:
    • One BETA version copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • 24 card 'Survival Kit' expansion.
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
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    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    BETA + Collector's Limited Edition

    (Collector's editions ship in November 2018)

    An early copy of the BETA version will be delivered to you by Oct. 2017. One signed collector's edition copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Edition board game will be shipped to you no later than Nov 2018. This will be the ONLY opportunity to obtain this version.

    May include additional expansions, special parts, artwork, and features. Sure to be valued at $80 MSRP, but may hold a higher market value due to limited quantities.

    Includes:
    • One BETA version copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • 24 card 'Survival Kit' expansion.
    • Collector's edition of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Steel print of any game art

    Receive one steel print of any image in the game from John Harwood Photography.
    Dimensions: 12"x18"

    Includes:
    • Wall-mount steel print of any game art.
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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Investor's Package

    (Collector's editions ship in November 2018)

    BETA + 5 limited collector's editions.

    Think the limited collector's editions of the game will hold their value? We do. In fact, we hope for a good ROI. Buy now, sell later on auction for more!

    An early copy of the BETA version will be delivered to you by Nov. 2017. Collector's editions release no later than Nov. 2018. This will be the ONLY opportunity to obtain this version.

    Collector's editions may include additional expansions, special parts, artwork and features. Sure to be valued at $80 MSRP, but may hold a higher market value due to limited quantities.

    Includes:
    • One BETA version copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • 24 card 'Survival Kit' expansion.
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
    • Collector's edition of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Twin Eagles Wilderness School

    (Collectors editions ship November 2018.
    Shipping included) One BETA version of the board game, t-shirt, digital art and a collector's edition, plus:

    A $500 gift voucher toward any program at the Twin Eagles Wilderness School in Sandpoint, Idaho. Generously donated by Tim Cocoran, owner of the school.

    Learn:
    Wilderness Survival & Primitive Skills
    Wildlife Tracking
    Ethnobotany - Using wild plants for food, medicine, & tools
    Permaculture & Regenerative Design
    Nature Based Mentoring & Cultural Restoration
    Naturalist Training
    Bird Language & Native Scout Teachings
    Inner Tracking - Nature Based Self-Discovery

    Includes:
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
    • One BETA version copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • 24 card 'Survival Kit' expansion.
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • Collector's edition of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
    • Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains T-shirt.
    • $500 gift voucher toward classes at Twin Eagles Wilderness School
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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Serious Investor's Package

    (Collector's editions ship in November 2018)

    10 limited collectors editions.

    Collector's editions release no later than Nov. 2018. This will be the ONLY opportunity to obtain this version.

    Collector's editions may include additional expansions, special parts, artwork and features. Sure to be valued at $80 MSRP, but may hold a higher market value due to limited quantities.

    Includes:
    • 10× Collector's edition of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • 10× 24 card 'Survival Kit' expansion.
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    BETA + Handcrafted Buckskin Game

    (Collector's editions ship in November 2018)

    Artist Joshua Lisbon will handcraft a game case and accessories for the collector's edition of the game. To include a full brain-tanned buckskin leather case with frills, as well as pouches for tokens, and leather pace bead sets with stone beads. Sure to be a collector.

    An early copy of the BETA version will be delivered to you by Nov. 2017. The signed collector's edition copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Edition board game will be shipped to you no later than Nov. 2018. This will be the ONLY opportunity to obtain this version.

    May include additional expansions, special parts, artwork, and features. Sure to be valued at $80 MSRP, but may hold a higher market value due to limited quantities.

    Includes:
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
    • Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains T-shirt.
    • One BETA version copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • Collector's edition of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • Handcrafted buckskin game case and accessories
    • 24 card 'Survival Kit' expansion.
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
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    Pledge $2,300 or more About $2,300

    Join the Life Games design team.

    No kidding.

    Have you ever wanted to help design a game? Become a part of our team and get inside the design process with us as an intern. Recieve regular phone calls to troubleshoot game design, get assigned tasks, earn design/portfolio merit and be intimately involved in future game development.

    Includes one all expense-paid trip to visit the designers in Montana, play the game with them and discuss current and future games. We will coordinate the schedule together.

    Includes:
    • A postcard with game art that says: "Thank you!"
    • One BETA version copy of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • Collector's edition of Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains Boardgame
    • One digital copy of any game image for print, desktop or download
    • Survive Et Al! Rocky Mountains T-shirt.
    • Wall-mount steel print of any game art.
    • Online password access to the BETA designer's forum.
    • All expense paid trip to visit to the designers in Montana.
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Funding period

- (35 days)