Bookworm: The Book Lover’s Game of Hide and Seek!
For 2 or more players, ages 3 to 303.
* Race to the Finish! *
To celebrate the final days of our campaign, Dolly has offered to hand-sign a limited number of copies of Bookworm! Look for the $25 and $50 "AUTOGRAPHED" rewards on the right side of this page, and act now before they're gone! Remember, Bookworm is ideal for children you know - and those you don't! You can easily donate copies to local schools and charities like Cradles to Crayons, Toys for Tots, and Goodwill. When the campaign is over, we will send out information that will help make donating Bookworm easy for you...
Have you ever had a great idea? Well, although I admit I'm biased, I think this is a pretty great one - and we hope you'll agree!
Bookworm™ is the creation of my daughter Dolly, an 11-year old from Massachusetts. Dolly originally had the idea for this game back in 3rd grade, when her Grampy said there are no good games about books. This year, as part of her elementary school's mentor program, I helped Dolly develop her idea into a prototype. The feedback has been so positive that my company decided to partner with my young entrepreneur to launch this Kickstarter and bring her game to life!
*NEW* Press Coverage
Check this out: Dolly and this Kickstarter campaign were recently featured in a full-page article in the Winchester Star newspaper. Click the following title to read some of the media attention Bookworm is getting!
Bookworm Game Play
The objective of the game is to find the Bookworm hidden by the Librarian somewhere in a bookshelf of over 30 books. Players try to name the right title in the least number of guesses by asking Yes or No questions about which book is hiding the Bookworm. With each question and answer, books are removed from the shelves, narrowing the choices until the Bookworm is found!
With simple rules, three shelves, four Bookworms, over 60 titles to pick from, and player questions limited only by your imagination, no two games will ever be the same!
Young children will recognize favorite fairy tales and classic stories. We've got a lot of work to do on the design, but the plan is that bright colors, cute illustrated icons (BIG thanks to Nicole at AdMagic for our first two!), and possible story indicators on each spine will help pre-readers identify the books and play the game.
Dolly hopes Bookworm will inspire children and their guardians to read the full stories together, bringing them together as they get to know the characters and their adventures... which in turn will give the game and the players' questions even more depth!
Yes and No questions at this junior level could include things like:
- “Is it an orange book?”
- “Is the hero a girl?”
- “Does the story have magic in it?”
Older kids and adults will appreciate the next-level titles, printed on the flip side of the younger titles. These represent well-known stories that are an important part of our literary culture, covering more advanced plots and themes. As with the younger titles, Dolly says that the better the players know these stories, the more detailed their Yes and No questions can be! (Note that she has not read all of these - I helped her pick the proposed set of titles.)
Yes and No questions at this older level can be more challenging, for example:
- "Does the book take place in America?"
- "Is the author British?"
- Foreign language teachers could even spice up a class by using the the game for interactive vocabulary and comprehension lessons, e.g. "¿Es Bookworm en un libro de naranja?" or "Le livre at-un monstre?"
Watch this video play-through of a game of Bookworm. Remember, the game is different every time you play!
What's Been Done So Far?
Dolly has built a couple of prototypes of Bookworm, using items like old Amazon boxes and construction paper. These prototypes have been used to play-test the game with several people and refine the simple rules to be engaging and fun for all ages.
We are very happy to have AdMagic as a printing partner. They are the great folks behind popular games like Cards Against Humanity. They met with Dolly and me at PAX East in Boston this year, and they have provided great advice, support, and initial illustrations for Bookworm. (Thank you again, Shari!)
What Will Be in the Box?
At this time, we believe that the retail game will consist of:
- An outer box that is turned on its side to be the bookshelf
- A set of instructions, printed on the inside cover of the box
- Two cardboard shelves that fit in the box to make three levels
- Four Bookworms, 2 girls and 2 boys (in case any get lost)
- 33 cardboard book sleeves in assorted colors, with the junior titles printed on one side and the advanced titles printed on the other
- Velcro stickers for the books and the Bookworms, to attach the Bookworm, when hiding it inside a book sleeve
Our goal is pretty simple: Raise enough money to bring Bookworm to life as a quality tabletop game that can be enjoyed by kids (and adults). Early estimates are that our large-sized game will likely cost the following for printing and safety certification:
- $20.50 each for a run of 250 games, a total of $5,125
- $15.50 each for a run of 500 games, a total of $7,750
- $11.50 each for a run of 1000 games, a total of $11,500
Note that these costs are for printing and delivery to us. Any costs for picking, packing, and shipping/distribution to our backers (and any future retail customers) would be extra. Also extra are the Kickstarter and Amazon fees of about 10%. By raising at least $6,500, we should be able to print and ship a run of at least the 250 game minimum. Of course, if we manage to get to the 500-games level, we'll be able to do even more (see below)!
With these costs in mind, we have set the following reward schedule. As you can see, we are not out to make a profit - We are simply trying to:
- finish the illustrations, icons, and box design
- pay for the Bookworm registered trademark
- print a durable, safe, quality version of the game
- and distribute the rewards to good people like you, your families, and friends
When you choose to back us, you can pick from several combinations of these rewards:
- Receive our behind-the-scenes backer updates, telling our tale of bringing Bookworm to life (assuming we reach 100%!)
- Own copies of Bookworm at a low backer price of $25 each!
- Have your name printed in the instructions as a big, special Thank You for all owners to see!
- (limited quantities) Collect one of the 33 paper prototype book sleeves from Dolly's original Mentor Night prototype of Bookworm, _hand-signed_ by Dolly herself! (Dolly is keeping one for herself, so there are only 32 of these available.)
Note: Any backer can receive any number of additional Bookworm games, simply by adding $25 each to their pledge.
Note: Non-US backers can also choose a copy of the game as a reward, provided they add $25 to cover shipping the large game box.
BACKERS: HELP US UNLOCK A NEW LEVEL!
$7750: If by chance we raise $1250 more than our goal, then we will explore an idea from Philip Tan at MIT's Game Lab: Including a set of customizable book sleeves that allow players to add their own book titles to the game! This could be done by including extra book sleeves made out of write-on/wipe-off material. This has been the most asked-for addition to Bookworm, so become a backer and help us unlock this goal!
If you are as excited about Bookworm as we are, please consider joining us and becoming a backer. Dolly and I thank you for your interest in her game, and hopefully together we can reach her goal, publish Bookworm, and inspire kids of all ages to share in the love of reading!
Risks and challenges
Every project has risks and challenges, but I believe the ones Dolly and I face are well understood and reasonably under control. Here are the big ones we have thought about:
In order to avoid legal trouble with the books on our shelf and to keep costs down, we have only chosen book titles that are no longer copyrighted. These books are in the public domain and can be used by anyone without licensing fees. This means we have classics that are known to most people, but we do not have any modern titles. Perhaps if we are very, very successful, we might be able to partner in the future with a major content owner (Disney? Scholastic? DC Comics?) to include popular modern characters and stories.
I have filed for a registered trademark for the name Bookworm in the class of board games. Our USPTO research shows that there are no competing registered trademarks, but other games with bookworms do exist in the world, so there is a chance we might need to tweak the name of the game before publishing.
The design for each book sleeve and the box has just begun and will take time to create, review, edit, and complete. We believe we have allocated plenty of time to do this work and still finish in time for holiday delivery.
The actual games will take several weeks to print and ship to us from the high-quality factory overseas. With experience printing and distributing Market Maker®, my company's card game that simulates the stock market, I am comfortable that we have allocated enough time to deliver as promised.
Attaching the Bookworm to the Book Sleeves
We've considered a number of ways to attach the hidden Bookworm inside the books. We currently think that hook-and-loop/Velcro is the best option, but magnets, Colorform-like removable vinyl stickers, and Post-It style removable adhesive are other ways to do it. We will let our backers know our final decision as soon as we know it!
As a backer of the Veronica Mars movie here on Kickstarter, it was eye-opening to hear what a challenge Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, and the cast had in fulfilling all the thousands of personalized rewards. We have set personalized rewards at higher levels, just in case we create a legion of Bookworms that is even a fraction of a percent of the size of the legion of Marshmallows. :)
- (28 days)