Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 6, 2012.

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Manipulate the masses, juke the system, scam the true believers & make the world safe for Democracy & a better place to live!

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.) 

VOTE DEMOCRACY!

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.  

Click here for the game rules. 

"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.  

Check out our website.

"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

Inspiration

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.

Theme

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. 

*SHIPPING INFORMATION

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).

Georgia: Mt.Kazbegi. Come visit soon. Or come & stay: Teach and Learn
Georgia: Mt.Kazbegi. Come visit soon. Or come & stay: Teach and Learn

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

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    SUPPORTER: You dropped dollar in the donation bucket of a beleaguered campaign intern at a red light. You will be eligible to order some of the “extras” listed below, and you will of course be privy to the top-secret musings of Make-Believe’s top politicos via our pledger only updates on Kickstarter.

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    BACKER: Community organizers arranged for a fund-raising carwash, and your ride has never looked so patriotically clean. Stars and Stripes forever! This will earn you a personalized e-card of thanks from Mark Rein-Hagen and staff, as well as all previously listed rewards. Drive safely!

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    DONOR: A flier at your workplace suggested that you give up your morning latte for a week and donate the funds that you saved… you made it to Wednesday before you broke down. You will receive a print of the Democracy: Majority Rules cover art signed by the designer himself, MR•H (US residents only). You will also receive personalized e-card of thanks.

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    CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTOR: I know our interns don’t look excited about the jog-a-thon that you pledged to sponsor them in, but they are… that we promise. For your dedication you will receive a PDF copy of the Democracy: Playtesters Only set (some assembly/tokens required). Signed cover art will mailed to your address (US and EU residents only), and you will also receive a personalized e-card of thanks. Look at you, you’re practically an insider! We probably should have picked a less sunny day for this… those interns are lookin’ pasty.

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    CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: You believe in the cause and are donating your time early in the primaries. Special Limited Offer! 1 complete and final copy of Democracy: Majority Rules at a bargain price. Shipping is free to the continental US*, see shipping info on the main page for more details on other locations.

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    CAMPAIGN STAFFER: Your savvy, your acumen, your way with people… your willingness to work long hours for very little pay. You’re the total package, and that is exactly what you will get. You will receive one final and complete copy of Democracy: Majority Rules. Shipping might even be free.* But, and I hate to do this, we’re going to need you to come in on Sunday.

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    WARD BOSS: A real up and comer. You will get 1 complete published copy of the game, as well as special thanks as a Ward Boss on the 1st edition box. Plus you will get the PARTY GAME package (for up to 15 players): 15 total sets of Ballot cards and Supporters (420 total) – 45 Super Supporters – 3x regular amount of Political Capital & Influence – a limited edition “Robert’s Rules of Order” Art poster. You may be eligible for free shipping.*

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    SUPER DONOR: A true insider. You will get 1 complete published copy of the game, as well as special thanks as a Super Donor on the 1st edition box. Plus you will get the PARTY GAME package (for up to 15 players): 15 total sets of Ballot cards and Supporters (420 total) – 45 Super Supporters – 3x regular amount of Political Capital & Influence – a limited edition “Robert’s Rules of Order” Art poster. You may be eligible for free shipping.*

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    8 backers

    BUNDLER: We here at Make-Believe still love and believe in our Brick & Mortar gaming stores, and want to show our unmitigated support by offering this reward bundle exclusively to store owners. Your store will receive 6 copies of the 1st Edition of Democracy: Majority Rules, 3 of which will be the Party Game Package. We will place your logo on our website, recognizing you as a Bundler, and your store as a playtest site, and will provide you with our private contact information for your personal use. You may be eligible for free shipping.*

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    POLITICAL CONSULTANT: You’re the best, and most wily, operative that money can buy! You pick a Power Card from Democracy: Majority Rules and then send us a photograph of you striking your most imposing (safe for work) political pose. We will make you famous... okay, so we don’t make you famous, but we will Democratize your image and emblazon that sucker right smack in the middle of your aforementioned power card of choice. This card won’t go out in the game boxes, but to make it up to you, we will apply whatever special power you would like to the card, and you are legally entitled to brandish said card in any game of Democracy and try to use it. The best image (and coolest power) will be released in the first official expansion set. You will also receive 2 numbered copies of Democracy, 1 of which is the PARTY GAME package, complete with certificates of authenticity. You may be eligible for free shipping.*

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    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    BENEFACTOR: The charity luncheon you hosted was the talk of the town, and we can't thank you enough! You will immediately be sent a signed Playtest copy of the game (well give us a week or so though… this puppy is coming a long ways). You and 4 of your friends names will be emblazoned on the box as Playtesters (with the caveat that you must play at least one game and provide feedback). You will also have the opportunity to play in the first ever elite party game of Democracy at GenCon Indy 2013, officiated over by the designer himself, Mark Rein•Hagen. You will need to pay for your own travel expenses and GenCon badges. Last but not least, you will receive three signed and numbered copies of Democracy: Majority Rules complete with certificates of authenticity, with our guarantee that one copy will be #40 or lower (also one will be the PARTY GAME package). You may be eligible for free shipping.*

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    SUPER PAC: If anybody asks, we don’t know you. But off the record, that last attack commercial was spot on. You and a friend will meet Mark Rein-Hagen at GenCon 2013 in the Make-Believe Games hotel suite where you will enjoy an open bar, play an elite party game of Democracy: Majority Rules, and maybe even get in on a mini game session of one his other well-known games (all ran by the designer himself!) during this special, invitation only, meet and greet. You will need to pay for your own travel expenses and GenCon badges. You will also get 5 signed and numbered copies of Democracy: Majority Rules (one copy will be #20 or lower, one will be the PARTY GAME package) complete with certificates of authenticity. You will also get the playtest Kit and credit package mentioned in Benefactor. You may be eligible for free shipping.*

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    BELTWAY HEAVYWEIGHT: So honored to meet you sir. You will play host to your own mini-convention! Mark Rein-Hagen will fly to your town (US, Canada, and Europe only) and play a few games of Democracy: Majority Rules, as well as run a game session or two of some of his other games for you and your friends. You are also invited to the GenCon 2013 “Super PAC” event! You will also receive five signed and numbered copies of Democracy: Majority Rules (one copy will be #10 or lower, two will be the PARTY GAME package) complete with certificates of authenticity. You will also get the playtest Kit and credit package mentioned in Benefactor. This is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME OFFER! Mark Rein-Hagen will almost certainly never make an offer like this one again, he hates being away from his kids. You may be eligible for free shipping.*

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    PRESIDENT ELECT: You made it. An amazing 10 day vacation awaits both you and a companion in the breathtakingly beautiful and eminently historical Republic of Georgia... home of Mark Rein•Hagen and the birthplace of wine. You will explore castles & cave cities, go on horse treks & white water rafting, listen to polyphonic singing and maybe even have time for some gaming. You set the agenda with Mark, and he will be your guide on many of your excursions! You will need to cover your own travel expenses, but after that, everything will be on us. You are also invited to the GenCon 2013 events and will get the playtest package. Plus, you will get 10 signed and numbered copies of Democracy (Including Copy #1 … the others will be #100 or lower) with certificates of authenticity. 2 copies will be the PARTY GAME package. Free shipping.

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