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A party game in which it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE to drop a boxcar full of rabid piranhas onto the King of France. LIKELY, even
A party game in which it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE to drop a boxcar full of rabid piranhas onto the King of France. LIKELY, even
10,666 backers pledged $556,596 to help bring this project to life.

TIHYD Preview Story #3 + Gameplay Video + Stretch Goals Suggestion Box!

Hello everyone! We're continuing to chug along toward some cool stretch goals, and because of the many guest artists that we've already unlocked, we're now looking at over 300 cards coming to everyone by default (some packed in with the base game, some alongside). Since a lot of people are also ordering the death card expansion sets, I spent a long time today talking with pals about different ways to package the various combinations of cards...it's gonna take some doing but it's gonna be rad. Good thing I played a lot of Tetris as a kid!

One of the main things that people have been asking for is a video of a round of gameplay. Finally I have one for you – it shows a full example round of play. This game has a lot of variability, so this is only one example, but it'll give you an idea of how the combat mechanic operates. We're working on more videos as well!

We're also burning through stretch goals like mad! In the first video above, I talk about some of the stretch goals we still have planned, but I'm also throwing open the Stretch Goal Suggestion Box. If there's something in particular that you'd like to see, this is the update to make your suggestions in, here in the comments! I got lots of ideas of my own still too, though, so don't worry.  

Speaking of stretch goals, HERE IN THIS UPDATE is the THIRD PREVIEW STORY from This Is How You Die. It's called "DROWNING BURNING FALLING FLYING" and it's by Grace Seybold. 

THIS IS HOW YOU DIE – Preview Story #3

The first two stories were posted in this update!

Guys, thank you so much for your continued excitement! Answering your questions and comments has really helped me clarify a lot of our planning around this game, and I hope to introduce some new reward tiers and more information in the coming week. Keep spreading the word, this whole thing is only gonna get cooler yet!!

Also if you're in LA and would like to see me perform improv tonight, my team will be performing at the Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica at 8pm. Free admission – and if you're a backer I'd love to meet you in person!

Comments

    1. Creator Chris Hopkins on March 14, 2013

      @Katharine, a MoD mechanical pencil made to look like a stabby, blood-sampling needle would be awesome.

    2. Creator Katharine on March 1, 2013

      Shall try to hold back from suggestions of other artists (though Noelle Stevenson, gah, look her up on tumblr! :D) and agreement with a nice wooden or metal timer. Though now I guess I have anyhow.
      I love Storm Bennett's ID idea :D
      Would love bookmarks (my strange collection habit) and small badge/s. A MoD printed pencil or pen? Preferably one that can be refilled somehow.

    3. Creator Kristen on February 27, 2013

      After a couple of hours of thorough reading, I have one more suggestion. (Which was alluded to in another comment thread.) A set, NOT of more death cards (fun as those are,) but rather of more Black Market gift cards and/ Specialist cards. There's humor in the execution of the plan, too! Plus, these helpful cards need some love; they're starting to feel unappreciated and neglected.

    4. Creator Kristen on February 27, 2013

      I also really like the idea of alternate game modes.
      And also support in favor of more random locations.

    5. Creator Jason Erbele on February 22, 2013

      About the timers - I'd be happy with any kind of analog timer (maybe a/some mp3(s) or an app as an alternate, but not primary means of keeping time). There are analog timers that have the time left marked, e.g. the timer used for Scategories. A wind-up timer would probably be bulkier than a sand timer, so I don't know if that would be a good option, from a packaging standpoint. It does give you a bit more flexibility on how much time you set for a round.

    6. Creator ArisTGD on February 22, 2013

      Stretch goal suggestion: can we focus on getting some more of the awesome ladies of webcomics up in here? Dylan Meconis seems like an obvious choice, though I'm sure that other people have listed a bunch of other awesome artists. Okay, here's my top five off the top of my head (six with Dylan): Jenn Manley Lee, Kate Beaton, Trudy of Oglaf infamy, Carla Speed McNeil, and Danielle Corsetto. Any of them would be brilliant.

    7. Creator Shannon Der Aldinger on February 21, 2013

      Well I have two stretch goal ideas, not sure how feasible either are (sorry for emailing #1)
      1. Expansion set by Tatsuya Ishida of http://sinfest.net/
      2. "Dead Like Me" death card expansion set (every death shown during the Two seasons of the show and during the movie) For Example: self-trepanning, shoot out in a crack den, cliff diving, electrocution by fat burning belt, kitchen guillotine.

    8. Creator Ahdok on February 21, 2013

      On the subject of dry erase boards and pens, you can actually get dry erase pens pretty cheap and easy from lots of places - amazon for example. There's a vast range available, although I think the best one for writing small is the Artline 541T. Failing that, Berol have a decent range.

      The /problem/ with dry erase boards is that they actually wear out pretty fast. You can only get a few hundred wipes out of them before they start getting grubby, unless you buy really expensive ones. A big whiteboard seems to last forever, because you write big on it, so you don't repeat areas that much, but a little one does die really fast.

      I'd really recommend a notebad instead. Then you can also tear off the really funny sheets and keep them.

      (I spent a while drawing awful comments on whiteboards, (e.g. http://comicpress.socksandpuppets.com/199-star-wars/ ) - so I have some experience with them.)

    9. Creator Rob Jennings on February 20, 2013

      Hi guys.
      As someone below suggested, somehow using the unpublished Machine of Death submissions would be great, perhaps released as an ebook, or just on the site. You don't want to give too much of the published book away (as you said, you want it to be a best seller!), and I'm sure many of other submitters (myself included) would love to see something come of their work.

    10. Creator Tom Quinn on February 20, 2013

      Tweet Me Harder themed cards, please!

    11. Creator John Casteele on February 20, 2013

      I'm not a big fan of the idea of using mp3s/apps/other stuff as a timer or other game component that relies on the purchaser owning specific pieces of equipment. With an mp3 timer, that's making the assumption that the player owns an mp3 player or phone that plays mp3s (which while common, doesn't include everyone.) Same with apps... if you do an iPhone app, what happens with the people who don't own an iPhone? If you do iPhone and Android, what about the people with Windows Phone or who don't own a smartphone at all?

      Things like that could be interesting add-ons for those who want them, but shouldn't be part of the core game itself. Being able to play out-of-the-box is a great strength.

    12. Creator Stopgap on February 20, 2013

      I would like to see some game components (or an app) that randomly determines the Name, Intel, and Coordinates for the target, or constrains the choice of these traits in a random way. From the gameplay video the trait constraints seemed to be chosen by the players arbitrarily, although maybe I missed something; where did "This Person Has an Illness or Condition" come from?

    13. Creator Patrick Neal on February 20, 2013

      I would really love to get a proper container to hold all of the cards. It doesn't have to be the super-sweet deluxe box if price is an issue, but something that can hold all of the base cards + the add-on reward cards + the existing expansion cards and not look like your average cardboard sleeve.

    14. Creator David Malki ! on February 20, 2013

      @Andy – "Seeing as you're already releasing preview stories from TIHYD, possibly add the ebook version for everyone at Piled On or above when we hit a certain goal?" – This is tricky because unlike the first MOD book, Grand Central holds the ebook rights to TIHYD. So unfortunately, we don't have the ability to give it away or bundle it.

      @Ahdok – "One thing I want to ask, I saw that you were including some "make your own" cards into the game. Are these going to be shiny glossy cards? (because those are hard to write or draw pictures on.)" – We'll try and make those cards matte. I'm sure there's a smart way to do that.

      @Stephen – "Also, if you can, PLEASE make a copy of TIHYD add-on a stretch goal. I don't care how big it needs to be. I will personally force all of my friends to participate in this Kickstarter to get to it!" – This seems like a logical choice! BUT: when this book comes out we want it to be a BEST SELLER. We want everyone to BUY it from a STORE. If we give away copies in this Kickstarter, we might make a few extra bucks I guess, but we would rather you take those exact same twelve dollars or whatever and BUY IT from a STORE the INSTANT it is released! You'll probably even get that BEFORE you get the game from us. (Or around the same time.)

      @Christopher – "Are you guys going to PAX East next month to showcase the game?" – Kris will have a copy there! Seek him out!

      @Ahdok – "if you want to expand the game in directions other than more death/gift cards, how about a deck of 40-50 random...potential scenario setting information?" – I've thought about this for sure, though I'm worried at this point about trying to pack even MORE CARDS into this thing. Maybe that is an app though!

      @Matt – "Been thinking about other stretch goals for a bit. The first thing to jump to mind was to replace the paper dossier pad with something dry erase instead." – This has come up a few times, but I worry about the pens? With a paper pad you just need any old pen. Dry erase boards need special pens that dry out easily and not everybody has handy. (Really, though, you could just use any old paper.) But the suggestion is noted! We'll price it out!

      @Matt cont'd – "To put it directly, lets call suggestion two 'Alternate game modes.'" – We're WAY ahead of you, bud :)

      And finally, a general note about all the suggestions of artists (which are all great ones) – we're definitely reaching out to lots of people. Not everyone has the time to spare to participate, which we have to respect (I turn down commissions all the time, myself). But we are definitely making the invitations! And if we do later expansions down the line, someone who wasn't in this offering may become available later!

    15. Creator Jose De La Mora on February 20, 2013

      My Killer Suggestions For Stretch Goals:

      -Include a DVD or download link of "How To Pay" videos, featuring all the modes.

      -Upgrade everyone's box.

      -Mini Figures featuring the Kris Straub's characters from the Cards.

      -An App that includes the "How To Play" videos, MOD stories that can be submitted and ready by anyone with the app, a Game within the app, stuff like that.

    16. Creator Andrew Shiel Dods on February 20, 2013

      For stretch goals the reccomendations of Randall Monroe of xkcd & Penny Arcade are awesome and could bring some interesting though for something that hasn't been suggested Loading Ready Run who do Desert Bus For Hope would be good especially since Kris has met them a few times or Noelle Stevenson who runs the webcomic Nimona and has a quirky sense of humour that would fit in with vibe you've got going with Machine of Death.

    17. Creator Matt on February 19, 2013

      Been thinking about other stretch goals for a bit. The first thing to jump to mind was to replace the paper dossier pad with something dry erase instead. Nothing is worse than playing a game to find out the little paper-bits are all used up (insert PTSD flashbacks to childhood Clue/Yahtzee games).
      My second thought is a bit fuzzy, but pieced together from some of the comments in the videos about how open and flexible the game is (e.g. interoperability with Cards Against Humanity). To put it directly, lets call suggestion two "Alternate game modes." The logic I see here is the capacity to do more with this unexpected mass of expansion cards we're getting. We've seen co-op, and it's funny and cool. We've yet to see a competitive game, but I think that "competition between assassins to get the target," and "competition between the assassin(s) and the mark trying to survive" would be quite different and enjoyable. The multiple-assassin/single mark dynamic seems particularly fertile, as it inverts the role of the "person working against the group" seen in other co-op games from someone trying to make a mess of everything to someone just trying to get by. Assuming these are already in the game... well... you're the creative ones! More game modes!

    18. Creator R. Kris McNeely on February 19, 2013

      I *really* want the video rulebook BTW. Explaining how to play a game to new players is always painful - I'd rather have Kris and David do it in a polished and funny manner.

    19. Creator R. Kris McNeely on February 19, 2013

      Downloadable/streaming video "rulebook"
      Orneryboy expansion content by Michael Lalonde
      Perry Bible Fellowship expansion content by Nicholas Gurewitch

    20. Creator Ahdok on February 19, 2013

      To veer away from the torrent of excellent webcomic artists being suggested...

      I noticed in your gameplay video that at the start of each round you take some group suggestions for locations, compulsive behaviours and so on. I dig this, it's the staple opening of improv comedy games, and it's a good way of generating new random combinations of things to riff off of.

      However, if you want to expand the game in directions other than more death/gift cards, how about a deck of 40-50 random locations (a pub, a zoo, a spacestation etc) - or various other potential scenario setting information? - I'd find such an expansion pretty awesome for my improv groups and as a creative springboard for random projects like 24H comics etc.

      Maybe as an optional extra in a tin rather than as a part of the main game?

    21. Creator Snow Dogs on February 19, 2013

      New Tweet Me Harder episode : Machine of Death Edition
      Evil Inc. expansion by Brad Guigar
      Machine of unDeath expansion.
      Unique personalised "This Is How You Die" card for physical backers with their name and method of death.

    22. Creator Paul Ingram on February 19, 2013

      One concern I'd have about upgrading the timer to glass is what would happen if it was knocked off the table you were playing. My friends and I play games in a relatively small environment, and a couple of them are rather clumsy (it's not unusual for dice to go flying everywhere, and games of 'however many card pick up' are as regular as the games we're meaning to play). I'd be a bit dubious about introducing something that could shatter and break if dropped to that environment, so if the timer was upgraded to glass - Please make sure it's still durable.

    23. Creator Joshua Carmody on February 19, 2013

      I came here to suggest "upgrade to a digital timer", but I see that's been done. Please add my vote to the pile.

      I don't know if a digital timer is less durable, but I feel like those little hourglass timers are flimsy and make the game feel cheap. Also it's hard to know at a glance how much time you have left more specifically than "not much".

    24. Creator Chris on February 19, 2013

      I think I'm going to have to do the 6 pack of expansion cards. I can't wait to play this.

      Are you guys going to PAX East next month to showcase the game?

    25. Creator Jesse Williams on February 19, 2013

      XKCD cards would be great. Penny Arcade cards would be better!

      Something to carry the 500+ cards we'll all be getting would be stellar - something nicer than a cardboard box (but not as pricey as the high-roller box?)

      This may replace Munchkin as my favorite card-based game.

    26. Creator Chris Hopkins on February 19, 2013

      One other potentially good contributor: the folks behind the Echo Bazaar and Night Circus games.

    27. Creator Chris Hopkins on February 19, 2013

      Count me in on the upgraded timer, and add me to teams Beaton and John Allison for additional cards. I also think Randy Milholland would be awesome, especially if he did stuff along the lines of his "Last Trick or Treaters" watercolor series.

    28. Creator Terence "The Tigger" Chandler on February 19, 2013

      Please don't eliminate the hourglass for those of us who are stuck in the 90s where a phone was just a phone =) But definitely upgraded materials (wood/glass) would be appreciated!!

      Also - I'm a fan of anything that will differentiate the early product from the mass market. Numbered boxes?

      And I can not wait to get a copy of TIHYD. I would love to see a stretch goal that includes a copy. (And I'm still kicking myself for hesitating when a secret stash of limited edition hardcovers of the 1st MOD were discovered)

    29. Creator Joshua Board on February 19, 2013

      I really like the idea of an app. It could have videos of how to play, a timer with sound, can give you a how you die slip, profiles of all the contributing artists and links to their webcomics, etc. I also like upgrading the timer to wood or metal with a MoD logo on it.

    30. Creator R. Kris McNeely on February 19, 2013

      Scary Go Round themed cards by John Allison
      Candle Cove themed cards by Kris Straub
      PDF version of the Mission Log
      Upgraded hourglass (wood/glass instead of plastic)
      Randomly inserted embossed/signed card

    31. Creator Zach R Mckinney on February 19, 2013

      lacking the knowledge of all the cards in the base game, and the expanison cards which there are massive amount of. I would say a nice goal would be famous fictional or historical deaths. examples being: 40 wacks (lizze borden), sleeps with the fishes (godfather), lone gunman (jfk), huey lewis and news (american psycho), a dream (inception), etc etc just some basic ideas.

    32. Creator Christian Burd on February 19, 2013

      I know this came up in the update regarding the add on expansions. I'm sure it would have to be on the high end as a stretch goal but, Euro Sized tins for all the cards would just, well, be dandy.

      In tandem with that, a metal hour glass would ascetically go well with said tins.

    33. Creator Stephen Walker Jr. on February 19, 2013

      Aw man, Will has a point. XKCD-styled cards would be very interesting. I'm for it.

      Also, if you can, PLEASE make a copy of TIHYD add-on a stretch goal. I don't care how big it needs to be. I will personally force all of my friends to participate in this Kickstarter to get to it!

    34. Creator Mike Malake on February 19, 2013

      An upgraded hourglass timer would be a good option. I don't like the idea of a digital timer because they just don't last.

      One new suggestion would be to toss in a copy of Expendable. After all, isn't it about death too?

    35. Creator Will Clark on February 19, 2013

      Am I the first person to suggest Randall Munroe, of XKCD? Seriously?!

    36. Creator Ahdok on February 19, 2013

      Yeah, when I said "upgrade the timer" earlier, I largely just meant to a nicer one, maybe a wooden one? - or perhaps you could find a way to put the MOD logo on the ends of it as it's a circular logo.

      One thing I want to ask, I saw that you were including some "make your own" cards into the game. Are these going to be shiny glossy cards? (because those are hard to write or draw pictures on.)

      You seem to have a billion webcomic artist suggestions already, so I'll refrain from adding more...

    37. Creator Darren Benford-Brown on February 19, 2013

      Definitely keep the analogue timer..just feels right!
      How about 'table is turned' type cards?
      Ie if the victim has got 1 of these they can play it & turn the tables on the assassin, killing him/her instead for a twist!
      Afterall who kills the killers??!!
      Just an idea....
      I'd like the components all top quality to let it last for years 8)

    38. Creator Jacqland on February 19, 2013

      re: Timers

      I think even something like this might be a bit nicer while still being affordable: http://www.officeplayground.com/Sand-Timer-2-Minute-Pink-P1317.aspx
      Or an upgrade to something in a wooden base or something might also be a nice addition to the deluxe addition (said the person getting one, haha), like this: http://www.officeplayground.com/Sand-Timer-1-Minute-Wood-Metal-P2309.aspx

      (I found that website on google, sorry if it's spammy)

    39. Creator Andy The Sane on February 19, 2013

      Hi David,

      I was walking to catch my train this morning and thought of using a soundtrack/MP3 file to replace/augment the timer and there you have just posted it! Do you have a machine of mind reading as well as a machine of death?

      The music could build up dramatically towards the end with some type of countdown for the last 5 seconds or so. That would be a nice stretch goal as it is digital, wouldn't add to the cost of shipping (USPS are making a lot out of international shipping for all these Kickstarters I keep backing!). It would be good to have more than one track for the soundtrack as the same theme would get boring after a while and people wouldn't use it.

      I like Jacqland's suggestion of a keychain, possibly with your own (random) prediction on - or for those at INFAMY or TYCOON levels to have the death prediction they supplied on the keychain.

      Seeing as you're already releasing preview stories from TIHYD, possibly add the ebook version for everyone at Piled On or above when we hit a certain goal?

      Finally, as everyone's suggesting their favourite webcomic artists, can I chime in with a suggestion of Obsidian from Commissioned Comics? I'd imagine this sort of macabre game would appeal to him and he'd come up with some fantastic designs.

    40. Creator David Malki ! on February 19, 2013

      Thanks for the suggestions, and keep 'em coming! One sort of survey question about timers: I see this coming up a lot. "Upgrading the timer."

      Any suggestions as to what that upgrade might be? I don't like the fragility of a digital timer; it seems to me like anything with circuits and batteries is going to be less durable over time than something like an hourglass. We could look at nicer hourglasses (glass instead of plastic), if that has value.

      My colleague Mike also suggested going digital/DIY with a 90-second MP3 that you can download and play on your phone instead of needing the hourglass at all. I think that's a killer idea, although I'd hesitate before ELIMINATING the hourglass entirely in favor of that. But are there other types of timers in the world? What are cool timekeeping methods that some other games have used that you've liked?

    41. Creator Thomas 'Chewie' Ladwig on February 19, 2013

      I have to say I'm really looking forward to the $100k stretch-goal level since I just added-on all of the expansions. August won't be able to come fast enough.

    42. Creator Nicholas Baker on February 18, 2013

      What about an iOS or Android app which handles the capture of the target ID info, timer, dice rolling, and coin flipping?

    43. Creator B. Maryott on February 18, 2013

      At the $1,000,000 mark, you will brand and market an actual Machine of Death!

      (Something like this: http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp…)

    44. Creator Lemon on February 18, 2013

      Now that there are so many cards coming in (awesome!), I'm starting to wonder about transporting these things. As a stretch goal, instead of or along with a box, how about a classy MOD messenger bag with lots and lots of card-sized pockets?

      Also, I'm seconding a Kate Beaton commission! Love her stuff, and you guys too! Thanks for your great ideas and hard work!

    45. Creator Jacqland on February 18, 2013

      Artist stretch goal suggestion: Kate Beaton!

      Other Stretch Goal suggestions:
      * Game cards signed by one (or more) webcomic celebs
      * MOD Keychain (or other small psychical rewards that don't kill people with shipping)
      * Reusable (dry-erase) target/intel/coordinate/etc card
      * Upgraded/nicer timer
      * Expanded book (seen in the video) of scenario-building. maybe even "mission scenarios" rules where you have to kill related people (like the 3 stooges, or 4 action heroes) using shared cards.
      * The six extra decks given their own box (or two) as legit expansions
      * MOD app that lets you put in your info (name, birthday, blood type, etc) that spits out a generated "how you die" slip
      * Choice of dice colour, even if just among 2-3 options.

    46. Creator Storm Bennett on February 18, 2013

      Stretch Goal Suggestion (albeit kind of a weird one):

      What if you had some fill-out-able cards included in the game set that you could carry on your person that would:

      1. Identify your blood type.
      2. List any allergies or medical ailments you have.
      3. Name, number, address and stuff.
      4. On the back, your most likely reason for death or injury (Falling piano/Rabies from a Chihuahua/Killer Nano-Robot Disease) (Almost like a card you would ACTUALLY get from a MOD)

      Kind of like an "In Case of Emergency" Card that was small enough to throw in your wallet or something. It's just that I've always liked the design and look that the book has, as well as the card set that I picked up from your guys at ECCC last year, so if there was a card like that, designed by you guys, I would totally carry it around. And it'd be super useful to have.

      Oh, and you should totally have a little square on the card so you can put a spot of your own blood on the card (For DNA modification/Clone replicating).

    47. Creator SgtYamm on February 18, 2013

      I tweeted this one at you earlier, but now that the field is officially open, I'd like to see some flavor text written by Jerry Holkins. I enjoy his work as well.

    48. Creator Anthony DePasquale on February 18, 2013

      Hey, so I would love to see Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagaria of Johnny Wander fame do a set of bonus cards. I saw then at their release party and they as far as they know have not been contacted to do it. bit they said they would love to. So, it would be SUPER RAD if you'd allow them to do bonus cards!

    49. Creator Brian Hamburg on February 18, 2013

      E-book copies is a great idea (even though I already own the first MoD book that way), but what about a stretch goal that makes the whole plan happen FASTER? Is that even possible? I see most of these estimated shipping dates are August 2013, if you had, I don't know, $30K more, could you increase your priority for manufacturing the various elements?

      couple other quick stretch ideas: better timer, Unique card in each box (different than game card) which would have printed on it what the backer would get if they used the MoD (your own unique death prediction), a DVD or quicktime quickly explaining how to play with examples included in the game, thus allowing newcomers to be able to jump in right away.

    50. Creator Nicole on February 18, 2013

      I'm a fan of the ebook idea too. Other stretch goal ideas: a mini-comic to go with the directions (featuring a wacky assassination job/attempt); tiny tote bags; keychains or buttons. Can't wait to see how much you guys earn in the next month!