About this project
A Parody of the Political Process
"Democracy is like those movies you go see and then talk about for hours after. When Mark was writing role-playing games, he succeeded in reaching out to new audiences by thinking out of the box. With Democracy, he confirms his reputation as a visionary - his design doesn't stop at marrying innovative mechanics to an engaging theme, but provokes you into thinking about what politicians do and why they do it, and what would you do in their place... Be prepared for long, heated debates after every game!"
— Francesco Nepitello, Designer of War of the Ring.
STRETCH GOAL: SECRET AGENDA CARDS! ACHIEVED! $43,000!
These Secret Agenda cards add a whole new dimension to game play in Democracy. Each player is randomly given one card at the beginning of the game, which they keep a secret until the End Game. You can order the 13 Secret Agenda cards as an extra for $5 (just add it onto your total) and we will have them printed out using Print-On-Demand technology (the quality of the cards is pretty great).
We will also design and create a online system for players to design their own sets of Law Cards and Secret Agenda cards. This would invovle either templates and graphics we will provide, or a web page widget that does all the work for you (if we can cut the right deal). Just type in the text you can and choose an image to go on top.
The Secret Agenda cards represent the true loyalties of the “character” each player is playing and describe a secret mission the player should accomplish. If the player manages to do so at the end of the game you get a bonus. Other players will try to guess what your cards is in order to stop you, but that isn’t easy.
In the future we will be including a few new Secret Agenda cards with each Scenario Decks. Our goals is to keep this game fresh and stimulating via new content. We expect that most of these decks will be Print on Demand mail order, or print your own PDF's, but if we get the chance we will include some of them in UPRISING, our first supplement..
STRETCH GOAL: NAME TENT CARDS! ACHIEVED! $38,000!
We are proud to present our first Kickstarter Stretch Goal... it's something that many playtesters have asked for, but that we were not sure we could provide. However we have finally figured out a way to include a high quality product that has a multitude of purposes in the game: Name Tent Cards.
Name tent? What the heck does that mean? Well you can see from the picture below that it is one of those self important things you see at conferences for the VIP's sitting at the main table. In terms of Democracy the game it makes it really easy to tell who is who when you are trying to figure out who the Law Card affects. In the PARTY GAME version this is the flag under which the team gathers.
Making it even more valuable each name tent card has a slot on both sides, at the fold, where you can tuck in a Power Card, thus making all of a players "attributes" immediately visible to other players. We are making this goal easy to reach because Mark wants so badly to include them in the game, so get motivated and spread to word and let's achieved this new goal.
Democracy is a game of deal making, debate, and diplomacy. You play a power broker and leader of a new national movement, a political mastermind who organizes campaigns and wins elections. Your job is to form alliances, yet always stand by your principles – make compromises, yet still achieve your agenda. To succeed you must herd cats, spin facts into a web of illusion, and speak POWER TO TRUTH.
You are battling to take over a country in crisis. The old-line political parties are weak and divided, primed for being taken over or pushed out of the way. Your movement has captured the imagination of a small but loyal few and now it’s your job to grow it into a national force. The goal is to put your handpicked candidate into high office, take control of the country, and put your MARK ON HISTORY
Minutes to learn but years to master, Democracy is fast paced, there is no downtime and you’re always in the middle of the action. Modular in format, no two games are alike – ever shifting alliances lead to bombshells and blindsides. Play out any political scenario, from revolution in the streets to the crafting of a constitution. Enter the world of mudslinging, dirty tricks, and power politics: IT'S ALL IN THE GAME.
"I take great pleasure in games that explore complex subjects by designers who are talented and have a sense of humor - both qualities of Mark Rein-Hagen. I am certain Democracy will come to be known as a fun & entertaining game that teaches us something along the way."
— Richard Garfield, designer of Magic: The Gathering
Change - Regulate - Tradition - Liberty
These are the four horsemen of conventional wisdom: You have Change: the progressives (hope) vs. Tradition: the conservatives (caution), then you have Liberty: free market (don't tread on me) vs. Regulate: Canada (laugh it up, they didn't have a housing crash.)
Special Offer: Political Animal Tokens!
We have had some backers ask us about getting some custom components in the game: so now for only $6 you can get a set of 28, 2 cm long Laser-cut meeples, or $25 for all 5 sets (140 meeples total) plus a cloth bag. Just add the cost to your basic pledge and we will ship these to you with your game. They can be used to represent 1, 3 or 5 Supporters, the White Buffalo is the centrist token.
These tokens are not required for gameplay, but can give the game a little extra personalization. To request one of these additional levels simply add the dollar amount of the add-on to your pledge, but leave your reward level the same. At the end of the campaign we will send out a survey and ask you what extra goodies you wanted for your pledge.
Enter the hidden world of rainmakers, dark horse candidates and back room deals. This is a game about the unseen gears and machinery of democracy: the absolute worst form of government… except for all the others. Negotiation is as important as strategy, players with a gift of persuasion can easily defeat those who know games and rules.
You cannot win solo, you need allies, but who can you trust? Form an alliance in order to wrest control from a single majority, make promises you may not be able to keep, block a coalition by forming your own. In this game, as in life, you get to play power as you see fit, FAIR OR FOUL.
“When the creator of Vampire: The Masquerade says, ‘Hey Peter, check out my new game’, you can bet I pay attention. Mark’s game, Democracy, is a competitive and engaging game that mixes roleplaying and board gaming elements while shedding light on the political process.”
— Peter Adkison, founder of Wizards of the Coast
This game is about building a network, forging alliances and blindsiding rivals. PLAY a power broker, the master-mind behind a new political movement. EXPLORE the complex machinery of Democracy and see for yourself how all the moving parts fit together. ENTER the hidden world of rainmakers, dark horse candidates and BACK ROOM DEALS.
You are a power broker and spin doctor in control of a movement battling to take control of the nation. On your better days you believe in the wisdom of the people, the clarifying truth of elections, and the ideal of Democracy as the greatest triumph of civilization. On your worse days you think voters are fools to be manipulated, supporters are suckers to be exploited, and elections are game shows to be hacked. Your goal is to dominate the political world, transform the country according to your ideology, and put your handpicked candidate into the OFFICE OF PRESIDENT.
"I grinned like a delighted idiot through the entire 'How to Play' video. I must have this game, and must play it, stiff drink in hand, with all my friends who are deeply troubled by the political process. Knowledge is Power! Knowledge through Games!"
Ken Rolston, designer of The Elder Scrolls
We intend for this to be the definitive, authoritative version of Democracy: Majority Rules, using the highest quality components available. It's been years in the making, Mark actually began this project when he was a teenager and involved in Youth in Government and Model UN. He wanted rules to match the process so that it wasn't just a bunch of kids making speeches, but he didn't actually solve the problem until a decade or two and a dozen prototypes later. Needless to say we are all completely dedicated to this process and have put in some serious time bringing it to fruition.
3-5 Players, Age 12+, 60-120 Minutes
So where is Make Believe Games in this process? We’ve:
- Formed an international team located in the Republic of Georgia, Germany and Louisville KY (UPS hub)
- Designed, built and played generations of prototypes
- Playtested all over the world
- Pre-arranged printing and shipping of the product
- Got two more games coming, Victoria & Auction House, in development.
We are fully ready to get your Democracy game printed and delivered to you within a couple of months. We take this rather vital step seriously, but we need your financial support to do the job right. Please help us make this game a reality.
VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN!
The PARTY GAME package
6-15 Players, 2-7 Hours
With this exclusive package you get enough tokens and cards for
15 players. That is three times the regular amount of Influence (180),
Political Capital (180), Ballot Cards (90), and Supporters (420, in 15 different
colors) than the standard game. You also get 45 Super Supporters, 3 in each color (has a value of 5 Supporters). Last but not least you get a limited edition
“Roberts Rules of Order” art poster.
Democracy was designed from the beginning to be played with large numbers of people as new concept in gaming. We call it a MMBG: a Massively Multiplayer Board Game. Because players in this game do not take turns but all move at the same time, you can add players without adding much time, but still get all the sociability, complexity and surprises of a larger group of people. Player’s play in teams and in order to win the game your team must first win collectively. We recommend you have a Gamemaster for the larger games but it’s not required. To use in the classroom you can put students together into partnerships, have other students act as reporters and lobbyists and use a simplified version of the rules.
"Democracy is a game in which negotiation matters more than any game I've seen since Cosmic Encounter. It manages to lampoon government while at the same time educationally showing how it works. It mocks bureaucracy while steering clear of mocking specific political views. In a word, it's absolute fun."
Tom Vassel, founder of The Dice Tower
Democracy: Majority Rules was inspired by a wide variety of sources, but we need to mention the following in particular: The Wire, Junta, Diplomacy, Survivor, Dictator's Handbook, & Guns Germs and Steel.
What has become clear to me is that the political media has gotten so good at making the horse race exciting that most voters have almost completely forgotten what issues they believe in, and are simply rooting for their particular horse. The media complex has gotten so gosh darn good at turning front runners into losers based on a misstatement or a debate performance, they can make ANY race a close race. And of course a close race is an exciting race... and an exciting race sells a lot of ads. No wonder there aren't any centrists anymore: its no fun to go to the track and not have any skin in the race. We have become almost as bad as the Romans, Bread and Circuses indeed.
Combating this is the real purpose of this game, it's to focus attention away from the race and towards the stables and the clubhouse where all the real decisions are being made.
We will ship your complete package for free to anywhere in the Continental United States (not included Alaska and Hawaii) and to anywhere else in the US or Canada or in the 27 European Union Nations for a $5 surcharge per game. Inside the Republic of Georgia Mark will hand deliver your game at the product release Supra. Anywhere else in the world, the cost is $25 per box, whether it is the standard game or the PARTY GAME package (which is far heavier).
Risks and challenges
While we have a factory already selected and a price agreed upon and the graphics file are done and waiting, there could possibly be a snag or two in distribution. We are new to that side of the business and don't have our own warehouse in the US yet. We intend to outsource this however and have committed a significant percentage of our budget to ensure packages are shipped accurately and promptly.
Smooth execution is absolutely essential to overcoming any potential risks. We have been intently studying other projects on Kickstarter and have been working for months negotiating with suppliers, testing components, and building a US based and global team that can execute on our promises. Our plans are nearly in place, and we now require only the resources to execute them and the means to get to the end.
We intend to be a regular fixture on Kickstarter. All of our games will be released here first, so we want to prove ourselves and earn our dues with the fans.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
If I get the PARTY GAME package, does that mean I get one or two copies of the game, how much shipping would I have to pay?
The PARTY GAME package means you get one copy of the game, however it is chock full of 3 times as many Supporters, Ballot Cards, Influence and Political Capital as the regular set. We are expecting that this will all fit in the same box however, and you only need to pay for one box shipping. $5 to Canada and the EU $25.everywhere else.
Everyone who is at reward level $25 or higher will get access to a PDF copy of the game soon after the Kickstarter campaign is over.
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