Hi everyone, my name is Maciek Jozefowicz. I am an artist, writer, and designer of various exploratory art-based project. These projects include art series, illustrated stories and graphic novels, visual puzzles, sculpture, conceptual art, illustration and architectural design (see video above).
I love books and I love visual puzzles, especially mazes. I loved solving them as a kid and I love creating them now. I have been exploring different ways of creating maze puzzles for over 10 years now (yes, this may qualify as an obsession). LABYRINTHÓS represents my exploration of using the book format to create the most challenging and rich maze puzzle experience I can create. And I hope that after you read my verbal meanderings about LABYRINTHÓS below, you will agree that this is a unique project worthy of your support.
(If you would like to skip reading this convoluted but passionate description of LABYRINTHÓS and just want to know the bare minimum about the project just check out the Project FAQs section at the bottom.
Or you can check out the short, concise video below that shows the three versions of the Labyrinthós puzzle game.
LABYRINTHÓS, A Book Length Maze Puzzle
LABYRINTHÓS is a continuous maze puzzle that extends over the entire 28-page, 8 x 6 1/2 inch book. THIS IS A 224" LONG MAZE PUZZLE. That is over 18 FEET of CONFUSION! (As you struggle through those 18 feet just hum the lines from that old Bob Dylan song: "'There must be some way out of here,' said the joker to the thief / There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.")
Its length is not the only thing that makes LABYRINTHÓS unique.The puzzle offers unique play potential. It can be played by a single player who begins the journey on the front cover and attempts to complete the journey on the back cover. And the journey consists not only of meandering PATHS that flow from page to page and spread to spread, crossing over one another and diverging within a tight, densely complex weave that leaves your head spinning.The journey also consists of JUMP PORTALS that allow the player to jump over multiple pages.
But BEWARE, jumping FORWARD may not get you closer to the end. It may force you to jump even further BACK and leave you more disoriented than before. By the end of this maze puzzle, you will be cussing the evil genius (Lex Luthor of Labyrinths?) who created such punishing play.
(Although I hope that this maze game leads you to MEDITATIVE MEANDERING rather than to SCHIZOPHRENIC CONVULSIONS (Nevertheless, I am contemplating on having each one of you sign a release form before beginning to play the game. The release form would relieve me from any responsibility of LABYRINTHÓS causing undue frustration and anger (can a maze puzzle game cause road rage?) leading to potentially debilitating mental disorders))
LABYRINTHÓS, A Board Game in a Form of a Book
The LABYRINTHÓS maze puzzle can also be played like a board game with multiple players using dice. The pages of the book are gridded to enable you and your friends to use dice to walk the paths.
You can play in two ways. The simple way: you can try to be the first one to get to the end. The more complex way: you have to find and collect various points and treasures scattered throughout LABYRINTHÓS. These points and treasures are the many graphic symbols you will notice on your journey.
But either way you and your friends decide to play the puzzle game, you should each have your own copy of the book to mark on. (Being able to mark the game physically is how this puzzle game differs from traditional board games. It offers the tactile pleasure of drawing, marking, doodling, note taking, scratching, scritching and scretching the book).
You can treat the game as a race or you can treat it as a journey of discovery, where you become an archeologist discovering the treasures in the land of LABYRINTHÓS.
Oh, and before I forget, THIS IS IMPORTANT! Some of you will be instantly turned-off by it while others will see a strange sense and maybe even brilliance in this:
THERE ARE NO "DEAD ENDS" in LABYRINTHÓS. I hate dead-ends in maze puzzles. I hate having only one correct path. It is simplistic and unimaginative. It is shallow and joyless. I love ambiguity. I love knowing that you CAN GET where you desire TO BE by taking different paths. I love the SCENIC DETOUR.
Of course, some paths are better, much better, than others, some are shorter, some longer, some lead to more points, some to less points. Some are beautiful in their (relative) simplicity, while others are beautiful in their convoluted complexity. And some paths are just plain ugly.
But LABYRINTHÓS is not all paths. It also has patches of space where you can "breathe" and "bathe". These patches offer sequestered freedom from the thick, dense forest of pathways.
What you do with these patches of space and how you treat them in your game is up to you. They can serve you in your race to the end by simplifying your path or they can serve you as picturesque acquisitions and goals in themselves.
I kept many of the elements in LABYRINTHÓS intentionally ambiguous and abstract. This is one more characteristic about this maze puzzle that will turn many of you off (some people like to be told the rules and the regulations while others like to make the rules and the regulations). To me, a maze puzzle is NOT A PRISON OF DEAD ENDS. To me, a maze puzzle is FREEDOM OF CHOICE! And I wanted to leave elements in the game where you have the FREEDOM TO CREATE THEIR MEANING.
LABYRINTHÓS, Conceptual Art
LABYRINTHÓS is also a work of conceptual art (yes, I know that that sound really pretentious. You're probably saying, "A maze puzzle as work of art? YOU LOST YOUR HEAD!"). It is a collaboration between ME, the creator of what I see as being the "structural skeleton of lines", and YOU, the player who fleshes out that skeleton. BY PLAYING THE GAME, YOU COMPLETE THE ART.
The simple way of looking at LABYRINTHÓS as art is to see it as an abstract coloring book. You can enjoy coloring the black&white graphics without playing the maze puzzle.
(In the future, I hope that some of you will send me a scan or a photo of what you've done with this "skeleton" and I hope to have a kind of group gallery show entitled The Art of LABYRINTHÓS. This may be an online only show that will (would?) take place on my website (in the process of being built www.konokopia.com) or maybe an actual gallery show. Who knows. That depends on YOU GUYS!
But the collaborative effort is not the only aspect of LABYRINTHÓS as conceptual art. The concept behind no dead-end paths is a philosophical expression. It expresses my belief that there are no dead-ends in life. YOU CAN GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE NO MATTER ON WHAT PATH YOU ARE CURRENTLY STANDING ON. Some paths are easier and more "enjoyable" than others and some are more effective and efficient than others but even the worst of paths can diverge into something else.
But as you play the puzzle, there is also another message buried within the paths: WHILE YOU MAY HAVE A SPECIFIC DESTINATION IN SIGHT, DON'T FORGET TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY ITSELF. This may be a cliché but many of us, including me, suffer from the opposite of myopia. We focus so intensely on that dream in the far distance that we forget to enjoy what is under our feet and within our touch.
Finally, the third "artistic" aspect of LABYRINTHÓS is the visual style of the puzzle game. It is a combination of the old, Celtic ornament, and of the new, the computer chip and the computer screen. Mazes/labyrinths are about space as much as they are about passages. Labyrinthós expresses modern space, digital space, the virtual space of the computer screen.
"A LOVE STORY", Two Players, One Book
I don't know whether any of you liked to remake your own rules for games when you were children, but I did. And here is a remake suggestion for a maze puzzle using the LABYRINTHÓS book. This game play is especially aimed at lovers or romantic friends. It uses a pair of dice.
The first person begins play at the front of the book (front cover) while the other person begins play at the back of the book (back cover). The goal is simple: you have to find each other. While seemingly simple, the actual task of finding the other player is not easy because it is not enough for your paths to cross, you have to "meet head on" (or connect your paths).
(The purists will complain that this "doesn't work" because the front and back covers are not symmetrical: there is only one entry portal on the front cover and there are two entry portals on the back. I say sc*@# symmetry. Symmetry is a bore. And nothing living conforms to pure geometric symmetry anyway.(How often have you stared at a face of a beautiful woman (or man) and found that the right side of their face is not quite the same as the left side? The sides are not mirror images of each other. (Symmetrical faces are monstrosities not found in nature. Maybe in the future they will be manufactured medically.)))
I think doing a maze puzzle together is a unique Valentine's Day (or any other day) activity for lovers. Maybe a little silly, but it can be made romantic. And you can decorate THE meeting page together to glorify the moment.
[There is, of course, the opposite of the "Love Story" game play. That is the "Duel" game play. I haven't yet imagined how the "Duel" play would go but would it not be ironic, and kind of cool for me as a creator of Labyrinthós, if some couple played the "Labyrinthós Love Story" in February, and then played the "Labyrinthós Duel" in November? Not impossible to imagine. Love is a journey, after all. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.]
LABYRINTHÓS, A Hero's Journey (and Subversive Literature?)
I love books ( I love the physical, tactile object that is the book) and I love reading and I love reading the classics of literature. I love stories. I love reading stories and I love reading about stories. LABYRINTHÓS is a story, a hero's journey in which you are the hero.
“All stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies," writes Christopher Vogler in The Writer’s Journey, Mythic Structure for Writers .
What Vogler essentially says is that all great stories, from Shakespeare's plays to J.K. Rowling's fantasies, contain these structural elements. More than that, what Vogler proposes (actually it is Joseph Campbell who proposed this in his book A Hero With a Thousand Faces) is that these elements are essential to a great story. We need them to be satisfied.
Interestingly, mazes contain most of these elements and using the format of the book for LABYRINTHOS offered me an opportunity to amplify them. Thus LABYRINTHÓS is an archetypal hero's journey expressed in the abstract form of a maze puzzle. And each player plays an integral part of the story. He, or she, becomes the hero of the journey.
The 12 structural elements that Vogler enumarates (the bold, capitalized elements are contained in LABYRINTHÓS) in his book are the following:
1 - ORDINARY WORLD (In the case of LABYRINTHÓS, the ordinary world is the world outside of the book.)
2 - CALL TO ADVENTURE (The call to adventure happens on the cover of the LABYRINTHÓS book. All books beckon the reader to open them. So does LABYRINTHÓS)
3 - REFUSAL OF THE CALL (The "call" can be refused in two ways: either by not supporting the project and getting the book, or by refusing to "enter" it, by refusing to play it.)
4 - MEETING WITH A MENTOR (I am the mentor.)
5 - CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHOLD (The book format and the "jump portal" on the front cover make this element special in LABYRINTHÓS by amplifying it. You have to physically open the book and enter inside by "jumping through a portal".)
6 - TESTS, ALLIES, ENEMIES (The test is to find your way to the end.)
7 - Approach to the Inmost Cave ( This would be the final stage, the climax of the story. I did not delineate an "inmost cave" in LABYRINTHÓS because I wanted to concentrate on creating multiple ways of reaching the end, not just one.)
8 - ORDEAL (The journey through the complex maze is the ordeal.)
9 - REWARD (The reward element is interesting because it can have double meaning: a reward for the character in the story and a reward for the reader of the story. In great literature (the kind that has withstood the test of time), the reward for the reader is multi-layered. There is a satisfaction in the story itself. And then there is something more. There is a message, a meaning, a wisdom, that a great story imparts onto the reader. LABYRINTHÓS has multi-layered rewards: one is the satisfaction of completing the game after a struggle (there has to be a struggle, of course. Otherwise there would not be a satisfaction). And, I believe, that this little puzzle book has also something more to offer. That secondary layer of reward: "enlightenment/wisdom".)
10 - The Road Back (There is no "road back" elements in LABYRINTHÓS. Not all stories have this element.)
11 - Resurrection (There is no "resurrection" in LABYRINTHÓS, unless it is a symbolic one: reaching the white cover.)
12 - RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR (The elixir is the reward that the hero brings back. It can be a reward of treasure or a reward of understanding. In LABYRINTHÓS ,the "elixir" are the various treasures and points that players can accumulate. In the "Love Story" game play version (see below), the elixir is the finding of the lover.)
"Adventures in Labyrinthós", An Experimental Illustrated Story Based on the Labyrinthós Concept
Adventures in Labyrinthós is an episodic, illustrated story based on the idea of the maze and the jump portals. In this story (keep in mind that so far, it is only a concept with some initial study illustrations), you, the reader, are in the land of Labyrinthós and just like in the puzzle book, you can choose where to go and what to read next by taking "paths" and "jump portals".
In essence, you are an explorer exploring Labyrinthós. You are also like a detective trying to put together the larger story line from different episodes that you encounter on your way through the story book. Different path choices lead to different characters and different stories.
This is still a work-in-progress but I wanted to introduce it here as it is related to the LABYRINTHÓS puzzle book. It also, I think, offers a new way of looking at the maze puzzle as a hero's journey. Finally, it enriches the entire concept of the LABYRINTHÓS project and shows that my obsession with the maze is not just an empty fetish but is potentially leading to something unique and special. I hope.
I've created five versions of the LABYRINTHÓS maze game. Each is an original, unique maze design. The five versions which make up the backer rewards are the book, the booklet, the folded card, the art print and the art print triptych. All rewards will be shipped in time for Christmas so that if you are planning to give LABYRINTHÓS as a present you will receive it in time to do that (by "in time" I mean that you will receive it no later than December 20. Considering that many people, especially men, do their Christmas shopping two or three days before, that is in plenty of time).
1. LABYRINTHÓS: This is the 28-page, hardback book and the original project. The book is 8 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches high. It has matte covers and thicker paper so as to eliminate see-through.
2. Little LABYRINTHÓS: This is an 8-page booklet (the six interior pages are the puzzle and the 2 exterior pages are the covers) printed on cardstock paper with matte finish. It accepts colored pencils, pencils, pens and markers. It is 8 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches high. It is a different maze form the other two formats.
3. Baby LABYRINTHÓS: This is a 4-page (the two interior pages are the puzzle and the 2 exterior pages are the covers) folded card printed on cardstock paper with matte finish. It accepts colored pencils, pencils, pens and markers. It is 8 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches high when folded. It is 17 inches wide when unfolded.This version of LABYRINTHÓS puzzle is the only version of the three that you can see the entire maze at once (well, almost, since there are short paths on the cover pages).
4. Collector's Edition Baby LABYRINTHÓS, limited, hand-colored, signed and numbered: This is a hand-colored, signed and numbered version of Baby Labyrinthós limited to 50 individually colored copies. I will hand color each one using either colored pencils or markers or both. Each one is different because I don't like doing the same thing over and over (although some of them may share similar color schemes). I will be coloring these throughout the campaign and as I finish I will post a photo of each one on an update.
5. LABYRINTHÓS Art Print: This is an original maze puzzle based on the Labyrinthós concept created specifically for the art print format. The giclee art print comes in two sizes: Small, 16x6" and Large,32x12". It is printed on high-quality watercolor paper and is ready for framing. Each print is signed and numbered. Limited to 25 of each size. I am currently working on this print. When I finish it, I will show it in an update.
6. LABYRINTHÓS Triptych Art Print Set: This is an original maze puzzle that has been specially designed to be a set of three art prints. The maze begins on art print #1, continues on art print #2 and ends on art print #3. The maze connects between the sets using Jump Portals. The set comes in two sizes: Small, 16x6" and Large, 32x12". All giclée art prints are printed on quality watercolor paper and are ready for framing. Each set is signed and numbered. Limited to 25 sets of each size. The Labyrinthós Triptych can be hung horizontally or vertically. And because the maze connects via Jump Portals, not paths, the "Finish" print can be hung in the middle or at the end. I am currently working on this set. When I finish, I will show it in an update.
EARLY-BIRD SPECIAL Limited to 30
"The early bird gets the worm."
"The early bird gets the worm, eats the worm, and goes back to sleep."
"The early bird gets the worm, bakes the worm, and serves the worm warm to the other birds."
"Yesterday, I swear I saw the early bird gorging on worms. It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon."
To the first 30 backers, I offer the Early-bird Special of The WORKS for $25.
Additional Baby Labyrinthós Folded Cards:
$4 per add-on ($5 for International). For additional copies of Baby Labyrinthos simply add $4 ($5 for International) to the tier level for each additional card. There is no limit and the shipping is included in the cost. At the end of the funding period you'll be able to specify the number of Baby Labyrithós that you pledged for.
Additional Baby Labyrinthós Hand Colored Folded Cards:
$100 per add-on. For additional copies of the limited hand-colored, signed Baby Labyrinthós simply add $100 (same for international) to the tier level for each additional card. Currently, there is a 50 limit of these cards, so if we reach that number I will cut off this reward. At the end of the funding period you'll be able to specify the number of Baby Labyrinthós that you pledged for.
Additional Little Labyrinthós Booklets:
$9 per add-on ($11 for International). For additional copies of Little Labyrinthós simply add $9 ($11 for International) to the tier level for each additional booklet. There is no limit and the shipping is included in the cost. At the end of the funding period you'll be able to specify the number of Little Labyrithós booklets that you pledged for.
Additional Kickstarter Edition Little Labyrinthós Booklets:
$10 per add-on ($12 for International). For additional copies of Kickstarter Edition Little Labyrinthós simply add $10 ($12 for International) to the tier level for each additional booklet. There is no limit and the shipping is included in the cost. At the end of the funding period you'll be able to specify the number of Kickstarter Edition Little Labyrithós booklets that you pledged for.
"Name Add-on" for the Kickstarter Edition of Little Labyrinthós Booklet:
$20 per name. You can have additional names put into the Kickstarter Edition of Little Labyrinthós booklet for $20 per name. The $20 includes one copy of the booklet. So if you would like your sons or daughters or loved ones name inside this edition, you can do so with this Name Add-on.
Additional Labyrinthós Books:
$14 per add-on ($18 for international). For additional copies of Labyrinthós simply add $14 ($18 for International) to the tier level for each additional book. There is no limit and the shipping is included in the cost. At the end of the funding period you'll be able to specify the number of Labyrithós books that you pledged for.
Custom Color Addition to Labyrithós Art Prints:
$50 per print. I will work with you in adding, digitally, custom color into your Labyrinthós Art Print prior to sending it out to printers. The color addition can be, for example, something like a red fill added to certain symbols or certain spaces or a multi-color gradient in the background.
Labyrinthos Art Prints on Acrylic:
$50 ($75 International) added per SMALL Art Print, $100 ($125 International) added per LARGE Art Print. This is as cool as modern art gets. A Labyrinthós Art Print printed on ¼" acrylic which is float mounted (it protrudes from the wall).
A SPECIAL KICKSTARTER BONUS STRETCH GOAL REWARD for (Almost) ALL*
If we reach the funding goal of $7,500 every backer* will get a FREE special Kickstarter edition of Little LABYRINTHÓS. This edition will be an entirely new maze puzzle in the same graphic style.
What makes the Kickstarter edition special is that it will include the names of ALL BACKERS (no asterisk to this) within the puzzle. Each booklet will be signed by me and it will include a personalized "Thank You". Another special element in this version will be the addition of accent color. Treasures and points will have added color.
I want this version of the puzzle game to be extra special and I want you to have as much input in the design of it as you want. Thus if there are elements that you want me to incorporate into the puzzle, please let me know.
* Unfortunately I have to make an exception to this. The $1 backers do not qualify for this bonus. I simply can't afford it.
Further Bonus Rewards for Reaching Stretch Goals
I hope that these are not out of the realm of possibility but here are all the stretch goals and rewards for reaching them:
$7,500 - Free Kickstarter Edition of Little LABYRINTHÓS
$10,000 - Free PDF of LABYRINTHÓS book
$13,000 - Free PDF of Baby LABYRINTHÓS folded card
$16,000 - Free PDF of Little LABYRINTHÓS booklet
$25,000 - Free PDF of LABYRINTHÓS Art Print (single)
$40,000 - Free PDF of LABYRINTHOS Triptych
$60,000 - Free 12 Short Colored Pencils in a Tube
How I Will Be Using Your Money
The money I am raising in this Kickstarter campaign is to help me make LABYRINTHÓS a reality. It is going to be used to publish the book and its offshoots. The funds will be used for the following (in order of importance and size):
- Printing costs for the book, booklet, folded postcard, and giclee prints
- Shipping costs
- Kickstarter and Amazon fees
Money Back Guarantee
If you receive LABYRINTHÓS and you don't like it on sight, you can return the book or any of the other rewards at any time for a full refund. But please remember to return the material unmarked. I cannot refund your money if you have played/marked the game and decided you don't like it*.
*UNLESS I REALLY LIKE YOUR ARTISTIC CONTRIBUTION TO THE BOOK. If you've created a visually stunning images while playing the game, I will keep your book and refund your money.
LABYRINTHÓS After Kickstarter
My plans as to what I will do next with this project after the Kickstarter campaign is over depends on whether the campaign is successful.
If it is, then I will set-up a gallery section on my website ( www.konokopia.com ) so that you can share images of your Labyrinthós pages publicly. Once there is enough images, I plan to run an art contest for the most beautiful "Labyrinthós spread". You'll be able to vote. The winner will win something. I don't know what yet.
In addition, I will run a contest for who can finish the puzzle in the fewest steps. I'll give more detailed rules and regulation before the contest begins. Again, the winner will win something but I don't know what yet (maybe one of the prints, or one of my sculptures or one of my models. Or maybe your choice of those).
...and I will run a contest for who can collect the most treasure and the most points and finish the maze without going over the same path twice.
[Of course, the more people are involved the more fun these contests will be]
....and there may be a Labyrinthós video game but that is still too far off from realization to mention. But I will mentioned it anyway.
...and there is the Labyrinthós illustrated "children's" story but that is also too far off from realization to mention.
So that's it,
THANK YOU, EVERYONE, FOR YOUR TIME AND I HOPE YOU WILL BE PART OF THE LABYRINTHÓS PROJECT!
Risks and challenges
I am generally an optimistic person and as such, I think there is nothing that will stand in the way of this project getting printed and being shipped and being in your hands ON TIME. "On time" means by the end of the second week of December. I laugh at risks and challenges. And then I begin thinking:
1. PRINTING CHALLENGES
The biggest challenge in printing LABYRINTHÓS is time related. How long will it take the printers to print it and how long before the copies of the book are in my hands and ready to be shipped to you.
Since I will be working with a printing company located in US, the shipping should not take too much time. It will take a lot less time than if I was getting the book printed in Asia.
How long it will take the printers to print it will largely depend on the number of copies that I will end-up having to print and how busy the printers are at the time the book is ready to print which will be around mid-October. This is largely out of my hands. The best I can do is get time estimates from various printers and use the company that offers the optimal combination of QUALITY and SPEED.
2. SHIPPING CHALLENGES
The shipping challenges are two: cost and time. The cost of shipping has been included within the reward prices so I will have money to pay for shipping. The time it will take me to ship each copy or copies to you will depend on how many backers there will be at the end.
With less than 250 backers, I expect to ship the rewards myself. This project, like all my projects, is a labor of love. And that love extends to the pleasure of shipping the items to you personally.
With 250-500 rewards, I will solicit help from friends and family with the shipping and packaging.
With more than 500 rewards, I may outsource the majority of the fulfillment duties to Amazon while I do the special signed editions and shipping outside of United States.
In addition, some rewards like Little LABYRINTHÓS and Baby LABYRINTHÓS may be shipped directly from the printers by the printers to speed up the process (unless they are part of a bundle, "The Works", package. This I will do myself).
I am ready to overcome all challenges including my goal to ship every reward in time for Christmas. If you are getting one of the LABYRINTHÓS projects as a Christmas gift, you can be assured that I will do everything I can so that you get your reward on or before December 20.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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