Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
An accessible tabletop RPG in zine form, exploring the intersection of teen angst and crushing capitalism. #zinequest
An accessible tabletop RPG in zine form, exploring the intersection of teen angst and crushing capitalism. #zinequest
224 backers pledged $2,006 to help bring this project to life.

About

Mall Kids - RPG about teens and malls

$2,006

224

Mall Kids is a simple tabletop RPG about teens who work at a mall and the events that make up their daily lives. You won't be fighting monsters (probably) or saving captured royalty (most likely) but you will be interacting with your friends to collaboratively tell a story about how rebellious teens deal with the brute force of consumer-based capitalism. 

About the Game

Mall Kids borrows mechanics from the very popular Honey Heist by Grant Howitt that allow for broad and subjective usage. All action in the game is resolved with just a few dice and only two stats: corporate and cred. During the game, characters will be pulled between these two themes, teetering dangerously between becoming a corporate drone or an anarchist punk. Either way, going to extreme has consequences that affect more than just yourself.

The game includes suggestions for creating engaging scenarios as wells as interesting characters, so you can jump right in without any prep. If you want to create your own perfect darling teen mall kid, that's good too. 

Players will navigate a single day at the mall and take turns framing scenes for the characters to play out. Will there be a secret meeting out by the dumpsters? Will you start a riot in the food court? Will a series of complicated and precisely timed diversions lead to you finally asking your crush out without your boss finding out you're not at your register? 

For more, check out the unformatted rules here.

About the Book

I am planning to print a standard A5 (5.5' x 8.5") booklet with approximately 8-12 pages (depending on final edits and layout). The booklet will be printed on 70 lb. uncoated paper and will feature cover art by Kaitlin Bruder as well as interior art by Kaitlin Bruder, Che' Gravelyn, and myself. 

Cover designed by artist Kaitlin Bruder
Cover designed by artist Kaitlin Bruder

About the Rewards

I'm keeping things simple here by only offering four rewards:

  • Backer credit in the book
  • A PDF copy of the book
  • A physical copy of the book
  • Custom art commission

The PDF is a full version of the game and will look nearly identical to the printed version, but if you'd like to get a physical copy for taking on the go, to conventions, or to look nice on your zine shelf, check out the $8 reward level.

For shipping, I'm confident I can ship the zines very cheaply within the US. I want to allow backers in other countries to back, but shipping will be considerably higher. I'm going to be shipping everything by hand without any fancy 3rd party service or bulk discount, so there will be costs involved. If the shipping makes this cost prohibitive, check out the PDF. 

If you want to take your Mall Kids game to another level, you can claim one of 5 commission slots to have artist Kaitlin Bruder render your teen mall employee persona into visual art. This tier comes with a custom digital art piece of a waist-up pose of a character based on your input. The style will be greyscale and look similar to the cover art. 

Stretch Goals - The New Hotness!

After funding so quickly, and the continued support I have received from so many amazing backers, I want to do more for you. To do this, and to make the game even easier to get into, especially for new-to-RPG gamers, I'm adding premade malls, scenarios, and characters to the book. Now all you need to do is pick a few premade sections and you're off and gaming! Not only am am I contributing to this, but I've enlisted the help of some of my favorite writers, RPG gamers, and friends to create malls and teens for you to use in your game. 

So, here's what will be in the book:

  •  UNLOCKED - 1 premade mall by Matthew Gravelyn
  •  $1,200 - 2 premade malls by Aabria Iyengar (Happy Jacks RPG) & Travis Hill (Press Pot Games)
  •  $1,400 - 2 premade malls by Lauren McManamon (Girl Underground, Gauntlet Codex Editor) & Jesse Ross (Girl Underground, Trophy)

These additions will be available in every PDF and print copy of the book for all backers. Here is a sample of my mall, based on the Westlake Mall in Seattle, WA, where I used to work at a video game store for a number of years. 

Preview of the Westlake Mall premade scenario (not final)
Preview of the Westlake Mall premade scenario (not final)

About the Designer

Hi, I'm Matthew! I'm a hobby game designer and writer/editor from the Pacific Northwest. I love storytelling games and RPGs that shed light on the average, the mundane, the everyday, and shows us how those can be just as interesting and compelling to talk about as fighting a dragon or piloting a space mech. 

I want this game to be one of many game experiences that I can bring to the space. With your help, I'd love to make this book a reality. 

About the Artist

The cover art and design was done by the wildly talented Kaitlin Bruder, someone I consider a good friend and lover of tabletop RPGs. You can find more of her work at bruderkaitlin.com

Risks and challenges

I have run two successful Kickstarter campaigns and am familiar with the time frames associated with funds transfers. I am also familiar with utilizing USPS for bulk mailing, which I intend to do again for this project.

This will be my first time printing a physical booklet, however I have researched and worked with the printer, Mixam, on several projects and feel confident I will deliver a quality product in the estimated time.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Thanks

    Your support is greatly appreciated! You will receive a credit in the booklet and PDF.

    Includes:
    • Backer Credit
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 3 or more About US$ 3

    Digital

    You will receive a PDF copy of the game in addition to your backer credit.

    Includes:
    • Backer Credit
    • Game PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    98 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 8 or more About US$ 8

    Physical

    If you want a collection of paper to hold in your hand, this is the tier for you. You'll also receive a copy of the PDF and a backer credit.

    Includes:
    • Backer Credit
    • Game PDF
    • Game Booklet
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    120 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Custom Art

    A sweet game not enough for you? Then snag this custom art commission from artist Kaitlin Bruder reflecting your teenage mall employee persona. You will receive a digital waist-up greyscale piece based on your input.

    Includes:
    • Backer Credit
    • Game PDF
    • Game Booklet
    • Custom Art
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (14 days)