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Flatpack: Fix the Future! Optimistic Apocalyptic RPG's video poster

Have you heard anyone say that the future's not so bright, and thought, "But I have lightbulbs?" If so, Flatpack is the game for you! Read more

Anaheim, CA Games
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This project was successfully funded on February 13, 2012.

Have you heard anyone say that the future's not so bright, and thought, "But I have lightbulbs?" If so, Flatpack is the game for you!

Anaheim, CA Games
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About this project

Are you hearing this? Kids? I know you’re out there. I know you might be scared. If you were older, more experienced, you might have already marched in, guns blazing, but no one wants or expects that from you. We want you to think. Last report said there were six robots and that Idora hacked into the system controls. Keep thinking, keep moving, and when you find that Flatpack, get home safe. We’re counting on you.

Product Description

Flatpack: Fix the Future! is a roleplaying game for four-ish players and one person acting as Troublemaker, the person charged with giving the players opportunities to show off how awesome their characters are. WRENCHs (characters) adventure through the wilds of a Postapocolyptic world trying to find Flatpack Instant Buildings. They’ll face puzzles, challenges, and all manner of unique creature and person in their travels all the while getting advice and help from their friends and family back home when things get tough.

After a successful adventure, the brave WRENCHs return home with their Flatpack Instant Buildings, their community builds them, and the players engage in a society building mini-game.

Want more? Check out a free demo of the game here! It’s free, really, and has everything you need to run a demo game except dice and players.

User Guide

I wrote Flatpack for all sorts of gamers, and kids from 10 to 110 will get a kick out of adventuring and rebuilding. Players are encouraged to solve problems creatively, work together and with their community, and seek out non-violent solutions to their problems. I wrote this game thinking about my two daughters, and the kinds of stories I want to tell them. I wrote this game because I think there’s room for all sorts of problem solving around a table with dice. I wrote this game because I’ve never met a grim, dark setting I didn’t want to ‘fix.’ If you’re anything like me, or want to see what I mean, take a closer look at Flatpack.

If you like Fallout, Act Raiser, Sim City, Civilization, Ikea and fixing things that are broken; this might just be the tabletop roleplaying game for you!

Construction Instructions

Character Creation: The sheet couldn’t be more simple. You’ve got six traits that reflect how you approach the obstacles in your life. Two of those are traits you’re great at, two or those are not much to worry about, and two you’re pretty lousy at. Get an idea of who you and your friends were before the game started by playing a round of Two Truths and a Lie, and you’re ready to start playing.

Rules and Systems: You’re using either four sided die, a six sided die or an eight sided die. If you roll a seven or better, usually you win. If you have built some Flatpack Instant Buildings is the society building mini map game, you can sometimes add a six sided die to the roll. That’s the bare bones of the system. From there, it’s all about hacking the system! Messing with the rules is encouraged and reflected in character advancement, and it’s a way of adding sophistication to game play without excluding younger players who might enjoy something more simple.  

The Troublemaker never has to pick up a die. With a hand full of Conflict Cards, a puzzle or two, and a little inspiration, she has everything she needs to run an adventure. There’s only need for as much set up as you want and it can be run just fine by the seat of your pants. In fact, it may blow those pants right off when you see how simple the game really is to run.

The book covers how to pace your story, how to run the mini map game, and how to use puzzles, mind teasers, and simple games in your Flatpack adventures.

Character Advancement: Instead of counting coins and experience points, Flatpack uses an Achievement reward system. When your players do something really very awesome with their characters in game, they unlock an achievement, just like in a video game! These Achievements change the character by tweaking and hacking the rules in their favor. For example, a character who excels at exploring the labyrinthine underground mall-complexes left from Before might earn the Mall-Walker Achievement. From then on, the Troublemaker can never raise their difficulty higher than seven. Each character, over time, becomes their own collection of hacked rules and what they can do is a reflection of what they’ve done in the game. Likewise, each Flatpack comes with its own rules tweaks that change the way the map game is played for the each player. The buildings also reflect on the character sheet by unlocking special Achievements as your city grows. The things that are awesome make the characters more awesome, because we think that is, well, awesome!

Parts List

The Core Book: Flatpack: Fix the Future! is a complete game book in just about 56 pages. In printed form, it will be full color and perfect bound. In PDF form, it’s bookmarked and makes use of hyperlinks to make referencing easier on everyone. Plus, the PDF will come in full fancy color and an easier on your printer black and white less background noise version. But that just doesn’t feel like enough, so we’re also going to include…

The Catalog: Each Flatpack Instant Building is a game piece, meant to be played on the players home map, a little bit like Tetris or Sim City. We got a fantastic 3d artist to build us full buildings in Google SketchUp! The Catalog gives you top-down versions of each of those buildings in an easy to print format in PDF so that you don’t have to make the pieces themselves. Added value! Buzzwords! This comes with any $10 or above backing, because we want you to have all the tools you need to play.

The Book of Puzzles(Working Title): At the $50 level or above, we’re going to give you a printed copy of The Book of Puzzles. The core book talks about how you can use jigsaws and 20 questions in place of ‘roll to hack the computer’ or ‘roll to sneak through the rubble,’ or ‘roll to outsmart the super computer.’ This book goes a step further. Filled with a variety of games, from Go to Chess and maybe even a quick hand of Texas Hold’em you can keep the challenges interesting. By using logic puzzles, brainteasers, and word problems, you can keep the players feeling involved and challenged. The book will also talk about how to make those sorts of puzzles fit into the story narrative as well as thoughts for using these techniques and methods in all sorts of roleplaying games.

The Deluxe (Lunch)Box Edition: When you’re a big spender, you get big rewards. Up to ten lucky backers will get a wicked metal lunch box with charming Flatpack design on it. Additionally, I will hand make thirty game pieces of the top-down Flatpacks to make your game just that much more eye-catching when you’re breaking out Optimistic Apocalyptic gaming at home, the game shop, or at conventions. You’ll be envied by someone, we’re pretty sure.

We’ve also got a few mile stones in mind, but I’m going to keep them a big secret until next update. So keep your eyes peeled.

Where’s the Money Going

The thing about Crowdsourcing is that you get to see more what we’re doing with your money when you get involved. At Machine Age Productions, we believe in transparency. The raw materials and printing costs of a run of the game, including lunchboxes and paying artists and editor, will run us about $500. The other $500 covers the time I spent working on this project and the time I intend to spend working on the Book of Puzzles as well as the other items put up on this Kickstarter. That’s not a lot of money, really, when you look at the time investment, since I wrote this entirely myself. Any money we make above and beyond the goal will help cushion our company and allow us to keep making the sorts of games that you may like. We have a lot of ideas, a lot of games in progress, but you can’t make games on an entirely empty stomach, and every penny you kick our way is the fuel we spend on making new games for you! (Well, and it feeds into our Kickstarting habits. Buy my game so I can buy other people’s. It’s the circle of life, I think.)

Thank you so much for your attention as well as any support you can give us. Hear more from me in the coming weeks on various podcasts, blogs, as well as twitter and G+. Hit me up with questions and get excited. We love this game. We hope you do to.



  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    6 backers

    The Wily WRENCH

    You're just watching this, checking it out to see where it goes, and we can respect that! A list of all backers will go in the Flatpack Book of Puzzles, a companion book for the core rules. That includes you!

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    Pledge $10 or more

    57 backers

    The Resourceful WRENCH

    You mind, your physical footprint, and appreciate a great quality PDF. At this level you'll get a fully indexed, hyperlinked PDF of the Flatpack: Fix the Future core rules in both full fancy color, or printer/file size friendly version. But that's not enough for you! We'll also be giving you the Flatpack Catalog. That's a printer friendly PDF Catalog of all the Flatpack building game pieces in easy top-down format to print, cut out, and use in your game!

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    Pledge $20 or more

    68 backers

    The Egotistical WRENCH

    If you understand that you are awesome, and that knowing how awesome you are is a good thing, you might consider flaunting your pride and backing at this level. Not only will you get the PDFs described above for your convenience, you'll also get a print version of the core rules in full color, perfect bound glory. As glorious, in fact, as you are! And before anyone else can get the physical book too. Flaunt it!

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    Pledge $50 or more

    49 backers

    The Nostalgic WRENCH

    You remember the good old days, when game books were physical, and everything was better with supplements. No problem! At this level you get all that new fangled PDF stuff and the physical core book, but that's not all. For going the extra mile, we'll include a physical copy of the Flatpack Book of Puzzles (working title) which will be page after page of ways to use real world games and puzzles in your adventures in the Optimistic Apocalypse. Checkers, Chess, Go, Three Minute Mysteries and Word Games can all work in place of mechanics, and this book explains how! (With tips on using the same techniques in other roleplaying games)

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    Pledge $70 or more

    2 backers

    Retailer WRENCH: This is for stores wanting to carry Flatpack: Fix the Future. We'll provide six copies, shipping included within the USA. We'll be marking them for retail at $21.99 unless something unexpected happens and we can afford a super big print run. You could sell them for whatever you want, but we think $19.99 is a great, square number.

    Also, we back all our products with PDFs. So, you can work that out with us directly, or through the bricks and mortar initiative.

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    Pledge $100 or more

    15 backers All gone!

    The Curious WRENCH

    You're willing to see how far down the rabbit hole goes. You're curious enough to see where we go with this whole thing. You're our kind of backer! At this level, you get everything described above, physical and PDF of all the listed material. Additionally, you'll get a Flatpack branded metal lunchbox so the other people are work can be SO jealous. Plus, I'll hand make you game Flatpack building game pieces to bring an air of fancy to your game table. Who doesn't love fancy?

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    Pledge $150 or more

    11 backers

    The Hopeful WRENCH

    You don't know us well, you're maybe hearing about our games for the first time. Or maybe you're a game store and you're looking to pick up a sample of our quality. So you're not content with just grabbing up a copy of Flatpack, you want to see physical and PDF copies of all our games! No problem! At a steal, this level gives you physical copies of Flatpack, the Book of Puzzles, Amaranthine our game of immortals, swordfighting, and romance, Maschine Zeit, a game of ghost stories on space stations, and Guestbook, flash fiction gaming with a collectible edge. (More on all those games at our website .)

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Funding period

- (31 days)