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The pen is the sword in this casual tabletop experience for 3-5 players
The pen is the sword in this casual tabletop experience for 3-5 players
742 backers pledged $26,709 to help bring this project to life.

About

Roots: A Game of Inventing Words project video thumbnail
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$26,709

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Roots is a game of inventing words. Players combine Prefix and Suffix cards to create new words, competing for the best connection to a Subject card. Whoever delivers the best explanation for their word captures that Subject card, gaining a potential piece of their secret Win condition. But stay sharp: players can manipulate each other's progress with various Power cards, undermining opponents while advancing themselves. The result is narrative warfare in which the most creative, best spoken, and craftiest thrive.

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"Roots is a brilliantly fun game, with tons of replay....If you like words, you can't do much better than this." - Jonathan Bolding, The Escapist

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 Read the full instructions

A Prefix card
A Prefix card
A Suffix card
A Suffix card
A developing tree
A developing tree
Two trees growing
Two trees growing

Roots is fun for everyone, especially...

Social game enthusiasts: Roots is a casual tabletop experience like Apples to Apples/Cards Against Humanity, Last Word, Taboo, and Scrabble, so those seeking light-but-cerebral competition will feel right at home. The game's verbal component also makes a great ice-breaker, opening up groups with imaginative debate.

Creatives: Artists of all kinds discover inspiration in the content gameplay generates. Moving around word-bits yields unexpected ideas - emergent narrative that's fresh every session. Words like "vesper-naut" might become your next protagonist, "lun-ocracy" a whole setting. Play with a notebook near.

Teachers & students: Roots lets players manipulate English's anatomy, illuminating how words assemble meaning. This insight improves both reading comprehension and vocabulary for students of all levels. Likewise, the task of articulating a new word's definition and connection to a subject promotes critical thinking and rhetorical skill. The best part is that it's fun!

Common Core alignment

In terms of the Common Core State Standards, which outline "the knowledge and skills students should gain throughout their K-12 education," Roots most closely supports CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K-8.4.B, or the ability to "Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible)." This in turn supports CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4, or the ability to "Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies," as well as a variety of other standards in the English Language Arts (ELA) spectrum.

 The following images are digital mock-ups and subject to change (for the better).

The handmade linen box available for 'Grandmother Willow' backers
The handmade linen box available for 'Grandmother Willow' backers
The custom wooden box available for 'Kashyyyk' backers (placeholder portrait)
The custom wooden box available for 'Kashyyyk' backers (placeholder portrait)
The above with Subject expansion packs
The above with Subject expansion packs
The custom metal box available for 'Pandora' backers
The custom metal box available for 'Pandora' backers

Meeting higher levels of funding lets us upgrade all copies of Roots.

                                                       

Swap out the standard Subject deck for these special themed packs! Riff on Genghis Khan and Tupac's Hologram in Famous Figures, prepare for that standardized test - or just improve your vocabulary - in Big Words, and explore the history of human thought in Ideologies.

      

Predicate is a branding and product design studio in Los Angeles. Our team boasts alumni from the Rhode Island School of Design, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Art Center College of Design, covering a range of aesthetic disciplines.

Roots is the first of many products to come.

Lead Game Designer: James Pianka  

Game Designers: Joe Ko, Jeremy Muljana, Philip Glenn, Eric Wallace, Alix Schwartz  

Visual Design and Development: Eric Wallace, Joe Ko, Genah Kim  

Special Thanks: Christoffer Schunk, Jacob Friedheim, the Integrated Media faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, Family Service Agency of Burbank, Justin Cantrell, Ricky Armellino, Coral Kennedy, Tim Pickavance

Playtesters: Jessica Lo, Paul Rada, Jordan Chan, Mike Acuna, Jessica Chan, Susan Kao, Steve Yeum, Cynthia Yeum, Voh Flint Jr. High Group, Sara Cook, Ashley Kim, Rainier Apolonio, Sarah Liu, David Kim, Sean Liu, Kindra Leih, Ray Tsang, David Gantt, Abraham Kwan, Stephanie Tsang, Jonathan Tam, Trissie Lee, Mimi Wu, Kayla Nishida, Steven Gee, Marisa Lim, Echo Lu, Jesse Chow, Benson Chen, Thomas Wang, Josh Kao, Samuel Chan, James Lee, Albert Tsang, Chris Leung, Arthur Chen, Vincent Sun, 

Risks and challenges

Manufacturing might present unexpected delays, but we promise to resolve them as quickly as possible and deliver a tier-one product.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    ༒ Rain ༒

    You'll receive a backers credit on the Roots website, a Roots desktop wallpaper, and a thank you e-mail from the Predicate team.

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    ༒ Seedling ༒

    You'll receive a printable PDF of the full game, plus all rewards above.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    ༒ Sapling ༒

    You'll receive a printable PDF of the full game, including all three Subject card expansion packs, plus all rewards above.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ༒ Oak ༒

    THE GAME - You'll receive one physical copy of Roots, plus all rewards above. This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    ༒ Mighty Oak ༒

    You'll receive one physical copy of Roots, including physical copies of all three Subject card expansion packs, plus all rewards in levels three and below. This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    ༒ Cypress Twins ༒

    You'll receive two physical copies of Roots, plus all rewards in levels three and below. This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ༒ Telperion & Laurelin ༒

    You'll receive two physical copies of Roots, including physical copies of all three Subject card expansion packs, plus all rewards in levels three and below. This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ༒ Grandmother Willow ༒

    You'll receive one personalized physical copy of Roots, which includes a handmade linen box with your name laser-etched on the side, your name as a special Subject card on upgraded stock, and physical copies of all three Subject card expansion packs. This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    ༒ Deku Tree ༒

    You'll receive one personalized physical copy of Roots (see above), physical copies of all three Subject card expansion packs, plus one original Beta copy from play-testing - signed, of course, by the Predicate team. This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    ༒Mossflower Woods ༒

    Intended for schools and other institutions buying in bulk, this wholesale package lands you 10 physical copies of Roots - enough to equip every classroom in your English department or a fleet of tutors. This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    ༒ Kashyyyk ༒

    You'll receive a Tier Two Collectors Edition of Roots, which includes your name and portrait laser-engraved on a custom wooden box, wooden Voting Tokens, all cards on 17.5pt high-grade stock, and your name as a special Subject card (wild symbol). This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ༒ Pandora ༒

    You'll receive a Tier One Collectors Edition of Roots, which includes your name and portrait laser-engraved on a custom metal box, custom clay poker chips for Voting Tokens, all cards on 17.5pt high-grade stock, and your name as a special Subject card (wild symbol). This includes FREE SHIPPING.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ༒Yggdrasil ༒

    You'll receive the Sponsor Edition of Roots, which includes a handmade metal box laser-engraved with your name, portrait, and a personalized 'thank you'; custom clay poker chips for Voting Tokens; custom offset printed cards on 17.5pt high-grade stock; and your name as a special Subject card (wild symbol). Most importantly, you'll get to have lunch with the Predicate team (transportation to LA not included), at which we'll provide feedback on a creative project of your choice. You helped us with our work, so we'll help with yours!

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Funding period

- (30 days)