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Puzzle Clubhouse: Crowd Designed Episodic Game Dev's video poster

Ready to be a Game Designer? At Puzzle Clubhouse, people who PLAY games help MAKE games! Design, Submit, Vote and Play! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on January 8, 2012.

Ready to be a Game Designer? At Puzzle Clubhouse, people who PLAY games help MAKE games! Design, Submit, Vote and Play!

About this project


That's right. We're trying for something a little crazy. The idea behind Puzzle Clubhouse is an online community for a new kind of game development process, one that is crowd designed, and crowd supported. It's a creative experiment and we need your help to get it started! 

Want to know more? Keep reading!

Each Puzzle Clubhouse episode is a combination of an animated story and a short, quirky game. You can play a prototype episode at Puzzle to get the idea. 

Why are we going episodic instead of one big game? Good question. Here are three of our reasons:

  • We want to involve as many people as possible as much as possible as often as possible.
  • Who wants to wait 12 months for their texture, dialogue, or concept to be released in a game? We're leaning towards short episodes with short turnaround. Our hope is that we can do at least one episode every month to start and more as we get the hang of things.
  • The Puzzle Clubhouse collaborative design process will require iteration. We'll try some things, learn from them, try some more. Having an episodic structure gives us a natural iterative loop.

We’ve found that any good project has a central vision and that well-placed constraints can strengthen the creative process. We’ve established a fictional backdrop world with initial characters that is meant to be a springboard to creativity. It's more than a blank slate, but still wide open to your new ideas. We've also created a basic episode structure and set a goal that episodes be completable over a lunchbreak. 

Consider it a starting point but we're more interested in where we'll end up together!

We expect to evolve our process so that we can get more and more of the game concepts and assets from the Puzzle Clubhouse community. But here's what we're thinking to start off:

When we begin developing a new episode, we turn to Puzzle Clubhouse members for character ideas, lines, audio, images, etc. For each episode, we have specific, approachable ways for members to participate. We provide the templates, examples, and connections to tools to help you be as successful as possible in expressing your creativity. 

The Puzzle Clubhouse community then votes on submissions to pick what makes it into the game. Members will also get early access to prototypes for feedback and playtesting. 

Every episode has an extensive credits list, giving  you recognition for your contributions. Members build up their status by not only playing episodes, but creating, voting, and otherwise contributing to episodes during their development.

 And, of course, our aim is that each episode be a fun experience in and of itself - so that we, you, & all our friends can enjoy playing what we create together!

We want Puzzle Clubhouse to be sustainable and community driven. That goes for both the episodes and the funding. We don't have anything set in stone yet but we are thinking that when the site launches, everyone will be able to play the completed episodes, make an account, vote on content, join public conversations etc. Members will have special abilities to submit content for an episode, access to behind the scenes content & development, expanded voting power and be part of the prototype playtesting group. Becoming a member will probably cost about $20/year with a $50 Lifetime membership option. This means that the people who support Puzzle Clubhouse will have the most influence on what we create. This is definitely something we're still trying to figure out so if you have feedback, we'd love to hear it!

Our $25 Kickstarter reward includes a year membership in Puzzle Clubhouse. while $75 includes a Lifetime Membership. At $75 and above, we're also including gift memberships for your friend(s)!

We already have the initial scaffolding in place for Puzzle Clubhouse but we know we really need community support. This isn't a project with a big client behind it. There are no brand tie-ins or contracts. It's just you and us. We're really excited about how far we can push Puzzle Clubhouse and the idea of crowd-design. We need your help to take this first step!

The money from this Kickstarter will help launch the Puzzle Clubhouse website and get the first set of episodes into production for Spring 2012. Our Kickstarter Backers will become our founding members and the first contributors to Puzzle Clubhouse episodes!

To show our appreciation for our backers, we've created some unique Puzzle Clubhouse items just for you including a Uncle Cornelius tshirt, postcards, desktop wallpaper, and the amazing, one-of-a-kind Puzzle Clubhouse bookmark!

We've made some other stuff at Schell Games. We're offering two of our games as part of pledge rewards:

We also got some cool autographed things from some folks we're calling "Friends of Puzzle Clubhouse" who wanted to help sweeten the pot for our Kickstarter supporters:

NEW! You can see closeups of some of these items here.

We also have a smattering of game design resources from Schell Games & beyond!

And then.. well, we have some outrageous things for anyone who is outrageously generous in supporting Puzzle Clubhouse. ----------------->

Remember- Kickstarter is All or Nothing. If we don't hit our goal, Puzzle Clubhouse gets $0 and the various reward wonders will sit sad and dusty in our studio office : (  So please tell your friends!

We are Schell Games. In our day job, we do a lot of game development for clients. Puzzle Clubhouse is something totally different- it's the brainchild of our fearless leader, Jesse Schell, and is driven internally by the Schell Games team of passionate artists, designers, & engineers. 

Ok- It's like Homestar Runner (animations) meets Kongregate (games) meets the Muppets (crazy characters) meets Quirky (crowd sourced) meets the Most Awesomest Thing Ever (voting)

We hope we've gotten you excited about Puzzle Clubhouse! If you're able to become one of our Kickstarter backers- AWESOME! You're the best!

Even if you can't back us on Kickstarter, we hope you'll still share Puzzle Clubhouse with your friends via the social networks and check out the site when it goes live in Spring 2012!


  • First off, we're happy to have people outside the U.S. interested in Puzzle Clubhouse! Thank you!
    As far as pledging, international shipping can cost significantly more depending on how much and to where we're shipping. Send us a message with your country location and what rewards you'll be pledging for. We'll get you an international shipping added cost that will cover your reward shipment.

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    70 backers

    ▂▃▅▇ FOUNDERS KEEPERS ▇▅▃▂
    Permanent “FOUNDER” status on your Puzzle Clubhouse profile + three cool limited edition desktop backgrounds: one featuring the Puzzle Clubhouse characters, one by Kyle Gabler, and one from the Extra Credits team. You'll also get our hearty thanks and a salute to you for your support.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    75 backers

    ___▂▃▅▇ PUZZLE PAL ▇▅▃▂___
    You get the above + a one year membership in Puzzle Clubhouse (est. value $20) + a set of limited edition Puzzle Clubhouse Postcards mailed to you + a free download of Triazzle Island by Schell Games for PC or Mac.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    40 backers

    _▂▃▅▇ SUPER PUZZLE PAL ▇▅▃▂_
    You get the above + Lifetime Membership in Puzzle Clubhouse (est. value $50) for you + a one year gift membership for a friend + the full unlocked version of InnerCube by Schell Games (for PC or Mac) + a Puzzle Clubhouse T-Shirt mailed to you. And we'll make a YouTube video with Puzzle Clubhouse characters talking about how cool you are!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    7 backers

    You get the above + permanent “OVERLORD” status on your Puzzle Clubhouse profile + a lifetime gift membership for a friend + we mail you a Deck of Lenses signed by Jesse Schell and inscribed to you.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers Limited (7 left of 7)

    Everything in the FOUNDING OVERLORD package + a signed book or print (first come, first served!) from Jim Rugg, FoPC (Friend of Puzzle Clubhouse) and comic artist extraordinaire!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)

    ▒██ KYLE GABLER SPECIAL ██▒ Everything in the FOUNDING OVERLORD package + a signed print from Kyle Gabler (Friend of Puzzle Clubhouse) game designer (World of Goo) and artist par excellence!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    Everything in the FOUNDING OVERLORD package + a signed print from the Extra Credits team (FoPC)!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers Limited (9 left of 12)

    Everything in the FOUNDING OVERLORD package + a special C-3PO minature, signed by Anthony Daniels! (Friend of Puzzle Clubhouse)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    5 backers

    OK- this is where it starts to get crazy! --- You get everything in the FOUNDING OVERLORD package + four more lifetime gift memberships for your friends + You become part of the game design team for the first six episodes! We’ll include you on phone conferences and emails, so you’ll get a backstage look at the magic of game development, and you can weigh in with your genius ideas + we mail you a copy of The Art of Game Design signed by Jesse Schell and dedicated to you!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    ▀█ SUPER SPONSOR PACKAGE █▀ Everything from the GAME DESIGNER PACKAGE + Sponsorship of one of the first six episodes, in which all players will see a “Brought to you by <your awesome name>”. You’ll be, like, famous!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    Everything from the GAME DESIGNER PACKAGE + The complete collection of 17 game design related books from ETC Press (several signed by authors!) + a signed and inscribed copy of Gender Inclusive Game Design by Sheri Graner Ray + a signed and inscribed copy of Interactive Storytelling for Videogames by Chris Klug + a signed copy of A Theory of Fun by Raph Koster + a signed copy of Reality Is Broken by Jane McGonigal. (For more about these authors, check out the reward section to the left.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    Ready for a makeover? You get everything from the LUDOLOGIST’S DELIGHT + We create a new character for Puzzle Clubhouse based on *you*! It’s the person you would be... if you were a famous cartoon character!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $9,999 or more

    0 backers

    ♦♠♥♣// EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR \\♣♥♠♦
    Believe it! You get everything in the SUPER SPONSOR PACKAGE + You get to direct an entire episode of Puzzle Clubhouse! Pick the theme! The story! Help write the script! Guide the artists and animators! Force the game designers to carry out your bizarre wishes! Get the community to contribute whatever it is you think would be coolest! Put your pets in it! Schell Games is your genie -- make a wish**! We’ll fly* you (and a friend) to Schell Games for a kick off meeting and grand tour of Schell Games. We’ll also take you to lunch and dinner, you’ll get personal juggling lessons from Jesse Schell, and afterwards, you’ll stay in close touch with the team to make the episode come out just how you want! (*U.S. domestic flights, **subject to reality, decency, legality, and common sense.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ♦♠♥♣// PCH BOOKMARK EXTREME \\♣♥♠♦
    Everything in the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PACKAGE + a Puzzle Clubhouse bookmark!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (31 days)