Apochalyptica: A game of Humanity, Survival, & the Atom Bomb
Apochalyptica: A game of Humanity, Survival, & the Atom Bomb
A 4-8 player game about individuals on the cusp of nuclear annihilation. Where will YOU be when the bombs begin to fall?
A 4-8 player game about individuals on the cusp of nuclear annihilation. Where will YOU be when the bombs begin to fall? Read more
About this project
Apochalyptica is an advanced board game for 4-8 players based in post-WWII America on the cusp of nuclear warfare. A group of twelve survivors must gather as many supplies as possible; fighting for a spot in the eight-person bunker where they will spend the next twelve months waiting out the radiation. Once inside they'll have to work together to survive; monitoring the levels of food, water, oxygen, and their own sanity as they wait for the door to open and free them.
But no bunker is perfect, and as the threat of radiation leaks looms ever closer the group will find that when supplies are low and tensions are high, some hard decisions may need to be made...
-- Where will YOU be when the bombs begin to fall? --
Apochalyptica is a board game/rpg hybrid. The game is board-and-card based but plays like your average tabletop rpg, using tables and dice rolls to determine certain events and actions. Players have the chance to roleplay as their characters, creating alliances and rivalries with your fellow bunker-mates as you attempt to survive your time locked within the bunker. Due to the nature of the game being board-and-card based, less experienced and first-time tabletop players can also join in on the fun even if they're uncomfortable with the demands of roleplaying.
The game increases in difficulty the longer you survive in the bunker; increasing chances of survivors going insane, sickness spreading, or even radiation leaks which wipe out entire sections of the bunker for the rest of the game. To add increased replay value Apochalyptica also comes with three levels of difficulty - Easy, Normal, and Hard - which change how the game is played and add new challenges for players that may have become comfortable with a lower difficulty level.
Characters come from all walks of life, and are randomly assigned at the beginning of the game. Each have their own specific skills and attributes that change how the game is played.
Each character is also randomly assigned a trait card at the beginning of the game. These cards can drastically change how a survivor interacts with their environment and their fellow bunker-mates. Some trait cards are positive, while other traits are negative. These cards are usually played face down and remain a secret until they would come into effect.
If a trait has a civil defense symbol (pictured above) in the lower right-hand corner, it is considered common knowledge and must be played face-up.
The game is played in two sections. The first is the gathering section. Based on the chosen level of difficulty (Easy or Normal. Hard starts directly in the bunker with a set amount of supplies) players have three rounds to travel around the board and search for supplies.
Characters begin in the center of the board and move from space to space to search. Starting from the center and moving outward, each tier of the map increases both in the level of difficulty in finding supplies, and the quality of supplies you will find. Be careful, however. The farther from the center a survivor moves, the more dangerous their search becomes.
At the end of the third round players enter a "voting" phase to choose which characters enter the bunker with their supplies, and who must be left outside to die. Any supplies gathered by characters left outside are lost alongside them.
Section two, the "main game", is twelve rounds in the bunker where surviving characters must monitor the levels of food, water, electricity, and oxygen while working together to slow the drop of supplies through various actions. All while trying to keep their sanity levels intact so they don't end up killing each other, or themselves.
The bunker’s six different sections each have a different use and a different capacity of survivors that can reside within at one time. If a section exceeds capacity, survivors within will suffer an extra sanity penalty due to the cramped conditions.
Also found within the bunker is The Survivalist’s Guide; the quintessential how-to guide for surviving a nuclear apocalypse in post-war America. The book is filled with notes on the upkeep and maintenance of the bunker, as well as some extra notes left behind by the less-than-sane original owner.
Turn order in Apochalyptica follows the following pattern:
Insanity Effect (if any) → Draw Event Card (roll 1d6) → Event Effect → Movement → Basic/Nonbasic Action → End Turn
If a survivor's sanity drops below 40 they become insane and must roll to determine their Insanity Effect.
If a character's sanity drops to zero they become feral and spend the rest of the game traveling from section to section attacking all other survivors. A feral character's condition is permanent and cannot be reversed by raising their sanity. A feral character cannot exit the bunker at the end of the twelfth round, making it impossible for a game to be won with only feral characters left alive.
At the beginning of each turn, players must draw an Event Card and roll 1d6 to determine which of the possible events occurs. Some events are positive, such as “Free Time” which gives a character an extra movement or basic action this round; while others are negative, such as “Bad Day” which impacts a survivor’s sanity negatively. Event cards get increasingly negative as the game progresses, raising the difficulty of the game the longer you survive.
- Green cards are put into play at the beginning of the Main Game (when survivors enter the bunker) and are mostly positive events with a few negative events appearing from card to card.
- Yellow cards are shuffled into the Event deck after the fourth round has passed, and contain a greater number of negative events.]
- Red cards are shuffled into the Event deck after the eighth round has passed. These cards are the most dangerous, and have almost no positive events.
The game is won when all twelve rounds within the bunker have been completed with at least one remaining survivor whose sanity is still above zero.
Apochalyptica comes with the following components (numbers with ranges indicate possible changes due to backer rewards):
- One 10x10" double sided Main Board with two 5x10" double sided Side-Boards (combine into a 20x10" playable surface for pre-game)
- x1 60 Page Rules of Play
- x1 28 Page Survivalist's Guide
- x1 Character Deck (21-26 cards)
- x1 Trait Deck (19-20 cards)
- x1 Event Deck (32 cards)
- x23-28 Standees (21-26 survivors, 2 dogs)
- x5 Tracking Chips (Food, Water, O2 Level, O2 Drop Rate, Generator Charge)
- x5 Radiation Leak Markers
- x4 Pre-Game Event Markers
- x12 Character Sheets
- x1 GM Sheet
- x2 D10
- x1 D6
- Air Raid ($1 or more): We thank you for your support!
- Kilroy Was Here ($20 or more): Your name is permanently featured on a special page of our website just for backers!
- Survivor ($50 or more): Get a copy of Apochalyptica before it hits the market! You’ll receive your game before non-KS buyers at a lower price than we’ll be asking once it hits stores (MSRP: $60 + shipping)! You’ll also have your name permanently featured on a special KS backer page of our website as a “Survivor”, marking you as one of the first to ever receive a copy of the game.
Ready for the Apocalypse ($150 or more): Get a copy of Apochalyptica before it hits the market! You’ll receive your game before non-KS buyers, as well as an exclusive download kit of the 3D files to print your own character and tracker pieces! We’ll also throw in some hi-res downloads of in-game art for you to use as desktop backgrounds or print as posters!
You’ll also have your name permanently featured on a special KS backer page of our website as a “Survivor”, marking you as one of the first to ever receive a copy of the game.
Playing God ($1000 or more): Become a member of our team and work side-by-side with us from concept to final card design to create a character to be included in the final game! Want a gun-slinging western movie star? You got it. A slick greaser with a motorcycle? Can do! Bring us your wildest ideas and we’ll work with you to fit them into the universe of Apochalyptica.
You’ll also receive all rewards from the “Ready for the Apocalypse” tier: The game, the 3D piece files, and the high-res art. Plus, your name will be permanently featured on a special KS backer page of our website AND in the rulebook as an “Official Collaborator”, marking you as one of the few individuals who had a hand in the creation of Apochalyptica.
A.R.D.I.S ($2500 or more): Become a member of our team and receive exclusive downloads of our production files for the next expansion of Apochalyptica including sketches, notes, and other goodies. You’ll also be given early access to the expansion’s production blog where you can give us feedback and suggestions to help shape the final product.
You’ll also receive all rewards from the “Ready for the Apocalypse” tier: The game, the 3D piece files, and the high-res art. Plus, your name will be permanently featured a special KS backer page of our website AND in the rulebook as an “Official Collaborator”, marking you as one of the few individuals who had a hand in the creation of Apochalyptica.
Show and Tell ($5000 or more): Have your brand, game, or product featured within the Survivalist’s Guide as a 1940's themed advertisement! You’ll work with our team to design an ad that fits the theme of your brand into the aesthetics of post-war Americana. The final product will be inserted into the in-game booklet permanently to be seen by all that play our game. The ultimate apocalyptic product-placement! We’ll even give you a high-res poster copy of the ad so you can print it out and display it proudly!
You’ll also receive a copy of Apochalyptica plus downloads of the 3d files for printing. Your name or company’s name will also be permanently featured on a special KS backer page of our website AND in the rulebook as an “Official Sponsor” as thanks for your contribution!
The Survivalist ($10000 or more): Become a key member in the final stages of Apochalyptica's production before we send to print. You’ll receive exclusive downloads of our production files for the next expansion of Apochalyptica including sketches, notes, and other goodies. You’ll also be given early access to the expansion’s production blog where you can give us feedback and suggestions to help shape the final product.
You’ll also work side-by-side with us from concept to final card design to create a character to be included in the final game! Want a gun-slinging western movie star? You got it. A slick greaser with a motorcycle? Can do! Bring us your wildest ideas and we’ll work with you to fit them into the universe of Apochalyptica. Also, as an exclusive bonus for “The Survivalist” tier you’ll also get to work with us to create an all-new Trait! Want a character to have served in the NSA as a spy during the war? Or maybe you’d like a character with insomnia? Whatever you’d like! We’ll work with you to design a trait that will fit seamlessly in gameplay.
Your name will be permanently featured a special KS backer page of our website AND in the rulebook as an “Official Collaborator”, marking you as one of the few individuals who had a hand in the creation of Apochalyptica. Your name will also be integrated into the notes found in the Survivalist’s Guide, making you a permanent fixture in Apochalyptica’s lore.
You’ll also receive all rewards from the “Ready for the Apocalypse” tier: The game, the 3D piece files, and the high-res art.
- $37,500 ($1,500 past goal): The D6 used in Apochalyptica will receive an upgrade. The "1" side will be replaced with a custom engraving of the game's mushroom cloud logo. This upgrade will effect all reward tiers that include a copy of the game.
- $40,000 ($4,000 past goal): The player sheets will receive an upgrade. Instead of a single loose-leaf paper GM sheet, and a paper pad with 12 character sheets (enough for 1 session), Apochalyptica will come with reusable laminated versions of each sheet (1 GM and 12 Character) that can be written on with dry-erase marker. This upgrade will effect all reward tiers that include a copy of the game. There will still be a link included to downloadable print-and-play character/GM sheets for those that prefer paper and pencil.
- ????: More stretch goals will be made if we surpass previous ones (or perhaps even beforehand if there's demand for a mid-tier goal). Let me know what you would like to see added to the game!
- $18,500 - Manufacturing: I've chosen to print with Panda Game Manufacturing due to their high quality products I've experienced in the past as well as their lower cost. They have a minimum order of 1,500 units and for Apochalyptica that ends up being just over 18k, roughly 51% of the final funds raised will be going towards this.
- $925 - Overbilling: Overbilling is a fancy term meaning the factory could print around 100 extra copies of the game to make up for any faulty copies, since manufacturing isn't a 100% error-free process no matter how hard you try. This amount will be used, to pay for those extra copies, which will be held onto as replacements for if one of you accidentally gets sent a defective copy of the game (I'll try my hardest to check them over before shipping them out to avoid this).
- $12,907 - Shipping: Shipping is always expensive. It's going to cost just about $5,300 to have the games shipped from Panda's factory in China to me. The other 7,600 or so will pay for the games to be shipped from me to each of you that back a reward tier including the game. I designed Apochalyptica to fit inside a medium-sized flat rate shipping box, which costs about $13.60 each at the post office (I'm only asking you guys to cover $10 with your pledges as extra thanks for backing), and I did the math to cover the cost of roughly 500 copies of the game being packed and shipped out to backers.
- $4,203 - Fees: Kickstarter takes 10% of your finalearnings once a successful campaign ends. I'm also going to be working with BackerKit to endure that the post-campaign process runs smoothly for both you and me. They'll be helping out with backer surveys and any customer service issues/questions so I can put the majority of my focus on working with the manufacturers to get the games printed in a timely manner. They take roughly 3% of your final earnings.
Psychotronic Studios was founded by Emile Boisvert in 2015 while he was still attending Hartwick College as a senior BA student. He began his work on Apochalyptica under the supervision of professor Joseph Von Stengel, who acted as his adviser and continues to give advice and assistance today. In the three years of Apochalyptica's production Nick Blair would act as lead tester, helping find any snags in gameplay; and Alex Lavergne would eventually join as event documentation expert, keeping the various social media sites up to date when Emile was busy showing the game off during conventions.
Garrus is Emile's cat, and by proxy the ̶m̶a̶s̶c̶o̶t̶ feline ambassador for Psychotronic Studios. Rest assured that the game has been tested and approved for naptime comfiness (especially in the middle of a session).
(Gameplay Trailer made for PAXEast 2017. This was before we switched out the 3d printed pieces for the cardboard chits and standees)
(Interview with Emile by The Dice Tower at PAXEast 2017 (4:41-6:40))
Risks and challenges
The game itself has been a project spanning over three years, so we're pretty confident that from a structural level we've worked out all the kinks. We've play-tested with a number of people, including the attendees at PAXEast 2017, to ensure that games will run smoothly once the rules have been learned.
That being said, I'm an artist, not an executive. Like any other project, there could be snags in the production process outside of my control that could put off the release date. I'll work hard to keep all of you updated if these things occur so you'll be in the loop of how your money is being spent and when you'll be receiving your product.
I've been working and reworking the numbers so I'm not too worried about lack of funds. If the worst did come to pass and I discovered I shorted myself with the goal, I would do everything in my power to make up the missing funds from my own account to ensure that the game is still able to be made and shipped to you. I've seen the horror stories of kickstarters ending in disaster where backers were left without their money and no item to show for it. I don't plan on being one of those stories. If the ability to pay for everything exceeds my power, I'll at least make sure you get your money back (we're staying positive though!).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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