Excavate! The board game!
Excavate! The competitive archeology game for 2-4 players. Search fossils, diamonds, artifacts & more. Create the best museum to win!
Excavate! is a game for 2-4 players. Each player takes on the role of a unique archeologist assigned to a fossil-rich pit that was recently discovered. Players will use their tactics to manipulate the board and attempt to create the most highly Acclaimed museum. As players continue the game, the play area will be changing as the players dig through the cards and find the sets needed to benefit them the most. The gameplay is about 30-45 minutes, and because of the simple rules, children as young as 8 years old can play it and be a competitor. However, this game offers a deep strategy level so even adults can compete. Easy to play, and very little luck is provided.
Why use Kickstarter?
I believe that this game is ready for the market. The way the game works is familiar to many people, but the way that these mechanisms are used in this game give it a very unique and refreshing game unlike many on the market. I don’t want anyone to take my word for it and I also understand that being cryptic or vague will only discourage people from wanting to back this project. I’m confident that if you continue to look into this game, you’ll see that I’ve put much work in to this, and you will enjoy playing it as much as many others who have already! Below is the instructions, a full overview on how the game works and a full video playthrough so you can make a choice if Excavate is a game you will enjoy. If you have any questions about the game, I will be more than happy to answer. However, I can only get this game printed with help from the backers! I understand what it is like to be a backer, and I'll do my best to give all of my backers a great experience as well as a quality product.
*The video above is an ACTUAL moment from a local Board game convention while people were playing Excavate!
This game uses a combination set collection, negotiation, tactics, and a modular play area to let the players experience how cut-throat digging in a pit can be. The game is VERY easy to get in to. Many people, beginning gamer through advanced gamer can appreciate the depth this game will give each time. If you have read this far, and would like to know how the game works in greater detail, check out the portion below.
How does it work?
Excavate! uses many game mechanisms in a unique way. During the game, players will take up to 5 actions in any way they would like. The actions are simple: Move, Dig, Sell, Display. Players can use any of these actions, in any order, and as often as they like for the 5 total actions on their turn. Let me show you how these actions are different than most games.
Movement: The Pit is made of a 5x5 grid of stacks of cards. Unlike most games, players DO NOT put their game pieces on cards or designated spaces on a board. They instead place their pieces BETWEEN these stacks and move them along these areas. Of course if you were excavating a pit in real life, you would be only digging and only moving in assigned places to preserve the valuables. This game uses that to your advantage, giving you access to 2 different stacks of cards every time you move!
Dig: You can’t have an excavation themed game without getting your hands a little dirty. You dig in this game to uncover the pieces of fossils, artifacts, and more. Remember how I said your player piece is between 2 stacks? This makes digging an extremely interactive and essential job in the game. When you dig, you choose one of the 2 stacks you are between. Take the top card of that stack and place it face up on the OTHER stack. Now hold on! I know what you are thinking: Why would I put it face up on the other stack and not the original? The answer is simple! If you dig a hole with a shovel, you are going to take that dirt and fling it over your shoulder. You don’t put it back in the same hole….That’s just ridiculous! While this action is funny, it creates great tactics that players can use to their advantage. That card is now in the open for everyone to see, nothing is hidden to any of the players. When you take the dig action, there is plenty of choices. Should you dig in the same hole as another player and take the cards before they can? Or, should you fill in the hole to spite them? What happens if you reveal a card that the other player wants? Take it for yourself or bury it and watch them cringe? As you can see, this is one of the most simple, yet versatile actions you can take.
Sell: This is just like it sounds. You can sell face-up cards that you are near. Depending on the type of card, you might be able to get some good money for it! Even if you don’t make good money, you might sell it to prevent others from getting a hold of it later.
Display: This is the primary action in the game. You can take a display action to gain a card you want from the pit and put it in to your private museum. This is how you form your victory. All of the cards interact in different ways, and you want to maximize their efficiency to gain the lead on your opponents. However, displaying costs you money!
How do the cards work?
The actions and the gameplay is easy to use. The real victory is determined by who can use the different types of cards the best as they dig through the pits. There are fossils, artifacts, diamonds, oil, pyramids, dirt, and even GAS LINES! Below I will give you a brief description on how these cards work.
Fossils: These will likely score you the most points. As you build sets of fossils, the amount of points they are worth grows exponentially. The more pieces of a particular dinosaur, the more points each piece will be worth. The larger the dinosaur, the more points they can be worth is completed! This means that any particular fossil card could be more valuable to other players and less for you. Trading is allowed, and you can use this to your advantage.
Artifacts: These cards are worth more with the more that you have. However, some of them can be counted as others, so choose wisely to maximize points.
Diamonds: These cards can be used to score victory points OR sell for money depending on which would benefit you more.
Oil: Oil works similar to fossils (Let’s be honest, they come from the same place) except Oil is used for money. The more oil you have, the more money you get!
Pyramids: Pyramids give money to the player with majority. If you have more pyramids than other players, you will get a steady income.
Dirt: They are just like they sound. Dirt cards can be used to manipulate the pit to busy that sought after card from an opponent!
Gas Lines: These are the cards that give the end game condition. Dig up all three gas lines, the game is over immediately!
The card backs are unique as well. You won’t be walking around blindly in this pit. All of the backs of the cards have indicators which tell you the general likelihood of finding something good there. However, the gas lines are all in the higher valued set. Each turn you dig in these, you risk ending the game!
Finally, that’s not all! There are tool cards which players can purchase to give them advantages through the game. There will always be a market available, but the players will spend their hard earned money to get these.Each player will can also begin with a unique role card to allow for more strategy through the game.
If you like interactions in games, this is the game for you. Not only is trading allowed, it’s encouraged! All of the cards mean different things to different players and the trading used in this game gives players another strategist advantage that they can use.
Plans with the project:
This game is ready to go to print. I have already worked with a printing company which has years of experience printing tabletop games. With the price of $25.00 I can get the game printed and shipped to you with add-ons and stretch goals. As the project reaches funding, we will add more stretch goals and add-ons.
While I have not confirmed these yet, some of the stretch goal ideas which I have been considering are options for a deluxe copy of the game, playmats, custom meeples, card quality and box quality upgrades and even more tool and role cards. Finally, I am talking with a few people about getting real fossilized ammonites for turn markers.
How can this game be so awesome and not be printed already?
I am very particular in my games and I like to make sure that all levels of the game have fun. It has been in development for about 3 years now because I wanted to make sure it was far beyond solid before I release it in to the market. I have spoken to a few companies that were interested in printing this. They all really enjoyed it. I thought however, that the best chance that this game has to succeed is to bring it directly to the gamers. I’m here on Kickstarter to prove that excavation is an interesting theme and one that all players will be coming back to, time and time again. With your help, I can get this game in to your hands! Thanks again!
Illustrator: Jason Salas
Jason Salas is an author and illustrator. His work has a sense of gravity lightened by humor. He is the creator of two comic strips: Perk at Work and In The Way, as well as multiple writings which include humorous essays, lighthearted poetry, and prose. His new novel The Sugar Skull Ghost Thief is due for release in the fall of 2016. Jason currently resides in Las Cruces, NM with his dog Nugget.
Risks and challenges
This is my first Tabletop game which I am bringing to the large scale distribution. I have done plenty of research and collaborations with other creators, but this is the first for my own game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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