Hi I’m Chi Wei from Shepherd Kit. For over two decades, I’ve been fascinated with ancient civilizations. When I look back, what ignited my passion were experiences from my childhood, such as looking at blurred images of artifacts, reading about world cultures, and learning ancient history. Now, as the head designer of a Parents' Choice Awards winning team, I want to turn my enthusiasm into reality.
Adventurer's Kit is a revolutionary Culture Exploration + Artifact Excavation Game that brings kids a true adventure experience. This game is by far the world's most comprehensive cultural learn & play game ever made. We present a 28” x 19” full-size world map with 22 selected historic sites, along with more than 100 game cards from over 30 ancient civilizations.
Learning through play is all about the impressions that we give our kids. With this in mind, we sought to create a high-quality game that kids deserve. What elevates the Adventurer's Kit from great to incredible are the 4 major artifacts from our Excavation Game. We chose 4 representative artifacts from 4 ancient continents and used actual materials (or the next best alternative) to reproduce them.
The story starts with two young adventurers, Jack and Julia, along with their beloved pals, the shepherd dog Bean and the leopard cat Fluffy. Together, they set out on a journey to explore the ancient worlds of the four continents: Africa, Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Kids will play these characters and go through 28,000 years of human civilization. To become a true adventurer, they will have to beat the odds as they face legendary creatures (such as Bigfoot, Kappa, Mummies, and the Loch Ness Monster) and natural disasters (tornadoes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, to name a few) on their journey to discover the legendary artifacts.
Our artifact cards include 32 prestigious artifacts from the collections of the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre and more. We also included a cultural balance between civilizations from different times and parts of the world.
We discovered something interesting as we chose our adventure encounters: civilizations from totally different origins around the world actually developed similarly. Different places had corresponding legends and stories. Fun fact to know!
From hundreds of possible ancient artifacts, we chose King Tut’s Mask, the Aztec Sun Stone, Venus de Milo, and the Terracotta Army to turn into genuine miniatures. Our selection was based on each artifact’s individual value and how the corresponding civilization represents an era of prosperity within a given continent.
Instead of making plastic miniatures, we wanted to give kids a better tactile experience of what real artifacts might feel like. We want to make these artifact miniatures into REAL treasures, by using the EXACT (or as similar as possible) materials.
- Tutankhamun's Burial Mask, a.k.a. King Tut's Mask, was originally made of gold and gems in memorial of the most legendary Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Our remake uses EN-71 certified aluminum/copper alloy, weighing up to 8oz., more than 10 times heavier than plastic miniatures of this size.
- The Aztec Sun Stone is a huge 24-ton stone-carved calendar from Aztec culture. In the center there is the face of Tonatiuh, god of sun, surrounded with gods of previous eras. Our version of the calendar is simplified and carved on a miniature wood plate.
- The Terracotta Army is the world’s most complete collection of ancient sculptures from the Qin Dynasty of China. The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang includes more than 8000 soldiers, horses and chariots, each with different apparels, postures and expressions. We chose a military attaché model to be our terracotta miniature, and we use 100% terracotta (a specific type of ceramic) to remake the textures and details of the real one.
- As one of the greatest classical artworks that have ever been made, Venus de Milo represents the apex of Greek art. To imitate the features of real marble and gypsum sculptures, we choose white porcelain to make this miniature for our game.
The gameplay of the Adventurer’s Kit can be simply divided into four steps.
1. Setup the Map
The world map from the game has more than 30 blank spots. Before the game starts, players can setup the map together by placing landscape boards onto each blank spot, creating a random distribution of artifacts and adventure events throughout each game.
In advance gameplay, parents can ask kids to place landscape boards to the correct locations on the map.
2. Adventure Begins
As the adventure begins, each player will draw a means of transportation, which corresponds to a special ability, different starting point, and a unique route. Roll the dice and journey through the continents.
3. Artifacts and Encounters
On each landscape board, there will be a chance to collect artifacts or to encounter adventure events from different parts of the world. Kids will be able to connect artifacts and encounters to different territories on earth. In advance gameplay, we created a rule for kids avoid encounters.
Kids just can't wait to excavate from the sand pit! The player that ends up with the highest total value of artifacts is the True Adventurer and will be rewarded with the first priority to excavate.
Made for culture enthusiasts! The Master Adventurer includes a Collector's Showcase made from wood with the name and year of each artifact carved on the bases.
Make yourself part of the miniature museum collection!
With the Legendary Adventurer pledge, turn yourself into a Terracotta Army and Greek Sculpture, and place yourself right next to the real ones. The process includes our artists illustrating your figure from your clear three-view photo, modeling the illustration into a 3D mold, and burning the mold into two real sculptures made of porcelain and terracotta. We will also offer unique cases for each of your sculptures with your name and year inscribed on them.
The Meet The Adventurer pledge includes all the rewards from above (full game, customized sculptures, etc.). In addition, sponsors of this pledge will meet with the design team members in person to have a talk about the ideas behind this project and anything we could create together in the future.
- Here's a list of what you get for each level of pledges:
To provide CLOSE-TO-REAL artifact miniatures, the creation process requires 5 steps, which took more than a year to complete. Let’s see how it’s done.
Step 1. Research
Thorough research was conducted for the artifacts we've chosen. Any features and background information are taken into consideration. For the Terracotta Army, we decided to use a military attaché that wears an armor and has a military hairstyle.
Step 2. Sketch
A rough handmade model is made to imitate the real one. From the handmade model, we then sketched the three-view drawing of the miniature with.
Step 3. Crafting
We provided our drawing to an award-winning sculpture artist for crafting. And boom! The clay sculpt is made.
Step 4. Polyester Models
After refining the clay sculptures, we re-molded them into polyester models. These models were used to make the ceramic and metal manufacture molds.
Step 5. Manufacture Process
The most challenging step was to manufacture genuine artifacts. The process for each materials was totally different: for example, the Terracotta Army used colored terracotta as its material, and required a mother-mold with multiple ceramic molds, which can only make a few dozens of miniatures before they broke.
For King Tut's Mask, we had to use an iron mold instead of a ceramic or rubber one. This required a polyester model twice as large because the final output shrinks back to the proper size.
The Adventurer's Kit is just the beginning of a changing the learn & play experience for kids. We are looking forward to extending the home version of this game to schools and museums all around the world. Feel free to contact us if you have any ideas to share: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Adventurer's Kit started two years ago, and right now, we're at the last and most crucial stage. We've got tons of thanks to give to all the supporters of Adventurer's Kit. Here's a brief list of friends who has contributed since the beginning: (in chronological order)
► Team Shepherd Kit for everything
► Andre for product design assistance
► Fenix for crowdfunding advice
► Tahan for crowdfunding advice
► Retina Studio for video shooting
Photo credits: C. Lin, A. Balet, Ham, Nomo, Camphora
Risks and challenges
So far, we have overcome the most challenging part for designing and manufacturing the Adventurer's Kit. The prototypes of four main models from this game are designed, made and examined. We've also signed the contract with the manufacturing factories that for mass production. Right now, we need your help to bring this incredible game into your hands.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)