In Consentacle, you and a partner squirm your way to a mutually satisfying Human x Alien romance... with or without the benefit of verbal communication! You'll need to divine the other's desires in order to build trust, play your cards right, and transform mutual trust into starry satisfaction. How tingly will your interplanetary liaison feel in the end? Will your encounter leave one party sweaty and exhausted, the other hungering for more? It's up to the two of you to find out... together!
UPDATE: Check out the replay of our latest livestream of Consentacle play, featuring Frank Lantz and Eric Zimmerman. Can two "senior statesmen" of game design find intimacy by tangling through cards? What do they even think of this game... at the formal or narrative level?
We've blown past our first two stretch goals, described below... and much faster than anticipated! So we've been making plans and measuring feasibility for further goals that won't compromise the quality of gameplay just for an overstuffed box. (OK, we know some of you like overstuffed boxes and excess libidinal energy, but we tried to pack a lot into Consentacle in the first place!) Here's the deal:
If we reach $135,000 in pledges (it can be done!) then every backer will get a free download of a 12-page Consentacle comic book. On top of that, every box of Consentacle will come with the first two pages as a preview in the back of the manual--that way, you'll get some nicely printed comic art as well. This comic will tell a brief story of how Kit and Dup met, and what stood in the way. Most of all, it'll be full of more great artwork by James Harvey! Here's a collage of multiple comic-book pages by James from Batgirl and We Are Robin (for DC Comics... yep, that Robin -- but also very different Robins than the shopworn ones):
If you'd like to see more of James's range, check out stopjamesharvey.com or heck, check out them search results! I'm likely to help some with plotting and dialogue, but I'm keen on visual storytelling first without over-prescribing. (If you're really curious, you can check out my speech-bubbly writing work in games like Egg vs Chicken and Miss Management.
Consentacle was originally produced as a showcase prototype for the No Quarter exhibition of games, with only a few sets in existence. We're bringing it to Kickstarter to fund mass production because so many people have asked if they can have a copy. To get it out to as many people as possible, Consentacle is priced to fund a single run, not additional printings! But what about a publisher? Well, given how unusual and suggestive Consentacle is, we've heard from more than one experienced source that it's unlikely to be widely published without some significant changes that we wouldn't want to make. There's always a possibility, but this may be the only time you can purchase a copy of Consentacle, ever. We're not guaranteeing that any stock will be left over!
IMPORTANT: if you've played Consentacle at an event, or stared closely at photos and videos, that's the prototype version! We're making some changes in order to be able to mass-produce the game, and because we've found some problems with our pretty "made for a gallery opening, but not for long use" prototype materials.
First of all, the cards will be smaller, but easier to shuffle, deal, and hold. If we raise a little more than our base funding level, we'll be able to upgrade the quality to an even nicer ivorycore cardstock! UPDATE: Done! Ivorycore is in.
The tokens in the box will either be chipboard (the kind you punch out from a sheet) or—if this campaign gathers enough backers for it to be feasible—injection-molded acrylic (more similar to the tokens you see in photos and videos of Consentacle, although slightly different as those are laser-cut). UPDATE: Done! We're definitely going with acrylic tokens!
We know many of you who've played or seen Consentacle are big fans of the colorful acrylic tokens, so we're hoping we can make them available for everyone! To make the game accessible to the maximum number of potential players, we didn't want to jack up the price to include acrylic tokens unless there's enough interest to make it less expensive for everyone! (Plastic pieces get a lot more affordable once you're making thousands of copies.)
For manufacturing and shipping, we're working with a number of experienced partners including Panda Game Manufacturing, who've helped produce and create many Kickstarted board and card games. Check out their showcase of successfully shipped games! We're also pleased to be able to offer "shipping included" prices worldwide.
OK, settle down! We have even more ways that you can enthusiastically stuff more Consentacle into your life!
Love the artwork on Consentacle's cards? If you back at the $58 level, you'll receive a print of the artwork from Consentacle's box cover (without labels) in full color on A3 photo-quality paper. Right now that's the piece below (Lick), but if we exceed our base funding goal we'll commission a new original piece of artwork. Prints are limited to 100 backers!
We're also offering very limited amounts for two higher reward levels where you can commission artwork by James Harvey. Want to envision yourself in the world of Consentacle, whether as a tentacled alien or a curious human? Backers at the $235 level can specify how they want to be portrayed in a limited-color portrait, while one backer at the $750 level can request details for a full-color commission of a scene that can potentially have multiple characters! Check out James Harvey's website for more examples of what he can do. Backers at these two levels will also get a copy of James' latest book, Mouth Baby, from Black Hook press, and the $750 backer will receive a copy of James' out-of-print comic Masterplasty, Image comics edition.
Consentacle comes with what Naomi's decided are the most essential cards for a balanced mix. If we reach the quality-improving stretch goals described above, we may consider adding some optional extra cards! Stay tuned for more.
You're in luck! We have some of those left from Consentacle's debut exhibition, where players were provided with rubber tentacles to wear on their fingers. If you back at the $200 level, you'll not only get a signed copy of Consentacle, but two tentacles from the exhibition set.
For an overview, watch the video at the top of this page! You can also download a PDF of the rules or read on for a detailed breakdown.
1. To begin, you'll need a partner who consents to playing with you, of course! Decide who'll play the Alien and who'll play the Human; you each get a deck, tokens in your color (red for the Human, blue for the Alien) and five cards for your starting hand.
Some cards are more useful than others at the start of the game! If you don't like your hand, you have one chance to re-draw at the start of the game (a "mulligan.")
Each turn, you and your partner will choose and simultaneously reveal a card. But first, you'll need to decide what difficulty mode you're playing on!
- In PRACTICE CONSENT mode, you're allowed to talk out loud about your cards and strategize with each other about what to play next.
- In CONSENT CHALLENGE mode, you can't discuss your cards at all, or make suggestions; you may only communicate non-verbally about the game. (Exception: you can remind your partner to draw a card, move tokens, etc.)
- SOUL WINDOWS mode is similar, but you may only express yourself with your eyes: no sounds or gestures, just a telepathic gaze.
- AGENTS OF CONSENT involves wearing sunglasses and staring impassively at your partner's blank visage.
Playing cards in Consentacle lets you perform various actions with your Trust Tokens. Some cards let you earn more Trust Tokens, while others let you move some of your Trust Tokens to a central pool:
Once you have some Tokens of each color in the central pool, you can effectively play cards that let you create purple Satisfaction Tokens by swapping out pairs of red and blue Trust Tokens:
Each matched pair of Trust Tokens (one red, one blue) has the possibility of becoming one Satisfaction Token.
Satisfaction Tokens determine the outcome of the game: was it good for you? Both of you? Play a Release card to boldly claim Satisfaction for yourself:
The secret to a more satisfying intimate encounter lies in playing combos. If the card you play creates a combo with your partner's card, the effect of your card may be boosted, taking you to new heights of mutual trust or satisfaction:
But be careful: you can't just try to match your partner's card, you've also got to think about what you're doing. Some combos are just awkward; when you both try to slyly wink at each other, you'll earn a little Trust, but not as much as you would have otherwise:
The last turn of the game happens after you draw the final card from your deck (you won't have a chance to play every single card, time being the enemy of every dalliance). So who won? Nobody—sex is only a competition if you want it to be! To find out how the encounter was, the Consentacle rules have a chart to consult for an evaluation of your intimate encounter (click the little image below to check out the chart on the last page of our rules PDF!)
The full game adds a number of advanced cards as well, giving you more ways to mix it up, enhance your passionate skills, coordinate complexly with each other, and boost yourself to new heights of satisfaction!
It depends on what you mean! Not safe for... weddings? Walmart? Wee little kids? Women's music festivals? Witch covens? Water? Work? The answer is yes, no, that's a parenting decision, probably not, yes, the cards are not waterproof, and depends. Consentacle and all the artwork in it are designed to be suggestive, not explicit; my goal was to create a game that could be played in public without undue embarrassment and furtiveness, but with due blushing and giggling. The most explicit thing in the game is probably the fact that one card is called "PENETRATE." If you're looking for more nudity and overt, sexually arousing material, we hear that "consentacle" as a genre has become an increasingly popular search term on some websites and forums that serve up explicit artwork!
Special Thanks and Credit to: Shuangshuang Huo (video shooting/editing), Melanie Bossert (prototype token fabrication), Sarah Elmaleh (video narration), Anna Anthropy, Lauren Naturale, and Zoe Harvey.
Thanks to many playtesters and video stars including Ben Norskov, Mohini Dutta, Robert Yang, Eddie Cameron, Eric Zimmerman, Nathalie Pozzi, Josh DeBonis, Amanda DeBonis, Colleen Macklin, Renee Zalles, Scott Price, Toni Pizza, Bennett Foddy, Doug Wilson, Jesse Fuchs, merritt k, and many more players.
Extra Special Thanks: Charles Pratt & the NYU Game Center, without whose support the original game wouldn't have been made.
Risks and challenges
Consentacle will be Naomi's second successful Kickstarter, following Sissyfight Returns in 2013: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1805029723/sissyfight-2000-returns
The team on that Kickstarter started the work of porting Sissyfight to a new platform and creating new artwork as soon as the Kickstarter finished; the team finished development and delivered all rewards to backers over the course of 2014.
This time around, Consentacle is a nearly complete project already; our team is seeking Kickstarter support to fund two things only: a completed set of illustrations for cards (80% done at time of writing, 20% to go) and the manufacturing and shipping of the actual games! New rules and cards have been tested over a period of months, and we've identified and started planning with some great, experienced manufacturing and fulfillment partners.
More details about what Kickstarter funds will be used for: James Harvey will be creating over 20 new illustrations for cards, and Naomi will do layout of a new card design with those illustrations. We'll be designing the box and laying out the rules again, with the new rules for the advanced game and cards in the mix. After that, it's off to manufacturing and finally shipping to our backers: if we reach our funding goal, those last stages will account for almost 90% of the funds we raise!
Things that could go wrong: James or Naomi could get sick or injured (cross your tentacles against that risk!) Delays in manufacturing, ocean freight, customs or shipping to backers could crop up -- they often do, and sometimes it's beyond a Kickstarter creator's control. To reduce that risk, we are working with a very experienced group of game manufacturing experts (Panda Game Manufacturing, pandagm.com) who've helped turn numerous successfully-funded Kickstarter campaigns into real games in backers' hands.
Because this is our team's first non-digital Kickstarter game project, we're also getting lots of advice from close friends and colleagues who've done it before, like the folks at Local No. 12 (the Metagame, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2093152267/the-metagame-discuss) and Resonym (Monarch, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/maryflanagan/monarch-board-game-vie-for-the-crown… and Visitor in Blackwood Grove, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/maryflanagan/visitor-in-blackwood-grove…).
Finally, we've already lined up a set of regional distributors who also have plenty of experience in shipping Kickstarter board and card games to backers, quickly and intact.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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