If you missed this Kickstarter event, you can still pre-order at our website: http://www.MinionGames.com
A power struggle at the beginning of an atomic age. A revolutionary new technology. Who will use it to build the deadliest arsenal and become the world's dominant superpower?
The Manhattan Project is a low-luck, mostly open information efficiency game in which players compete to build and operate the most effective atomic bomb program. Players do not "nuke" each other, but conventional air strikes are allowed against facilities.
The game features worker placement with a twist; There are no rounds and no end-of-round administration. Players retrieve their workers when they choose to or are forced to (by running out).
An espionage action allows a player to activate and block an opponent's building, representing technology theft and sabotage.
This game should retail for $54.99 but you'll be getting a discount by supporting us now! All games ordered from this Kickstarter event will come with the exclusive promotional card not found in the copies bought at stores. You will also receive your copies at least two weeks before anyone else will be shipping or have it in store. A PDF version will be emailed to you a month before the physical game.
The Manhatton Project game will actually cost us $20,000 to produce but we want this kickstarter to help us out so we set the bar at a low $5,000. Of course we could use more so please pledge even if we have met the goal.
We hope to have this game in hand for Essen '11 in Germany. You can pick up your copy up there and we'll even teach you how to play it.
You can playtest this game at GenCon 2011 if you don't mind using the prototype version!
If you support the kickstarter version of this game you'll receive some extra spice from promotional Country role/building cards.
Click HERE to checkout the un-edited designers rules book (it'll go through a lot of rework so view at your own risk).
WORDS FROM THE PUBLISHER: James Mathe
While at Protospiel 2010 I met Brandon and played his very interesting worker placement game. It had some unique design elements and mechanics and a great theme that isn't used much. I to this day still enjoy playing the prototype - so it must be a great game right? But alas wood bits are expensive, and we just recently sent 4 other games to the printer. So we could use some help with cash flow on this one. Thus, this Kickstarter event.
Again we took it to Protospiel in 2011 and it was very well received in it's near final version with the inclusion of the Country role promo cards.
WORDS FROM THE DESIGNER: Brandon Tibbetts
The idea to use The Manhattan Project as a theme for a board game came
to me while I was watching a number of documentary films on the subject.
The unprecedented industrial challenges of atomic bomb construction, to
me, said "engine building." The urgency of the goal said "race game".
The acquisition and allocation of human resources said "worker
The mechanical concepts of the game, taken straight from the theme, came together quickly and naturally. They also provided a perfect opportunity for me to explore a concept that may very well be a first in board game design: worker placement with a conventional (non-variable) turn order and without rounds. This design objective enhances the race aspect of the game, as each turn flows directly into the next without any interruptions.
I spent the first four months working on the game in total isolation using a digital prototype I created using ZunTzu, a virtual boardgaming platform. This allowed me to make very fast and frequent updates to the board and components. But even better, it had multiple levels of undo. It was amazingly useful to step through 20 turns from a certain pivotal event, then undo all the way back and take a different path in order to observe a different outcome. I'm positive that the early digital prototyping had a huge impact on the final product.
By the time I transitioned to a physical prototype and human players, I had invested so much work in the game already that - amazingly - nothing was truly "broken." Instead of fixing or overhauling the game, all playtesting could be applied to tweaking, refining, and balancing. This process continued for the next year and a half. It has resulted in what I feel is a truly satisfying multiplayer gaming experience, and a fresh departure from typical Eurogame offerings.
This game will be dressed up in a retro war propaganda poster style of artwork by Sergi Marcet - www.sergimarcet.com
WORDS FROM A DESIGN TESTER: Eric Jome @ Protospiel 2010
Right away, we could see that Brandon had some really great ideas - a fantastic, original theme and an innovative use of worker placement mechanics - but the game was still a little rough in action. His enthusiasm for the subject was deep and that's what I think helped craft such a great game out of the gate, but what really made the playtest experience at Protospiel best of all was the real time cycle of tweak and improve we got to go through; I must have played this one 4 or 5 times over the two day event. And I'd happily play it many more; this is easily the equal in terms of strategy for anything in the top 100 on the site.
Another thing that was elegant and intriguing about this one was the variation on worker placement. On your turn, you place your workers - there's a general board where players compete for spaces and a personal board representing your national assets in the race. Workers can make more workers, who in turn can work buildings - you just keep placing until you run out. Unlike most worker placement games, you often have more people than you know what to do with... right up until you run out! Then your whole turn is pulling back your workers, resetting for another round of growth. As your workers lock up actions for you or others while they are out, there's tension in deciding just the right moment to pull everyone in and get ready for another burst of development.
And develop you must! Because what's on the line here is creation of the most feared weapon ever produced by mankind - the atomic bomb. You could build quick and reliable uranium bombs, but technically trickier, unproven plutonium bombs have higher yields... of points! Because this is a race game. The first player to achieve a certain number of points will win and each bomb you make will be worth a chunk of points. You'll need to build 2 or 3 usually, maybe weaponizing them aboard bombers to get that little edge to be the first.
And if other's are threatening to pull ahead? Nothing like a good old fashioned military strike to set their progress back while they waste time rebuilding research facilities or economic infrastructure. Or, if you can't build a coalition of the willing to stop the leader, you can infiltrate his nation with spies, using the benefits of his buildings to augment your own research and testing efforts. These diverse strategic elements really make this game worthy of being considered in the pantheon of high ranking games on this site.
The Manhattan Project has the strategic chops to play with the best games, but it's also got a fantastic and original board game theme, a historic lesson in the abstract that's challenging and cool. This is a strategy game in the truest sense, but it's not kings and castles or shipping goods. This is the nuclear arms race. And you don't want to be the one who comes in last!
Minion Games has created several board and card games in the last 2 years, but since we've already paid for 4 more to be printed this year, we find the cash flow tight - yet we have some more great games we wish to publish! So we come to all you great gamers for assistance in publishing one more!
While the game costs way more than the $5,000 we're seeking here, we should be able to cover any remaining costs if we at least get that much. But we hope to see more from this effort. So please continue to donate even if we've reached the funding level. It's the only way to get the special cards.
- (33 days)