Sway is a hilarious, positive party game in which players go head-to-head in "debates" about totally different topics - the catch is they can only discuss the POSITIVES of those topics. To add to the fun, sometimes a challenge is thrown into the mix; things like "speak in a Southern accent" or "do yoga poses during your argument." Depending on how many people are playing, the game takes 30-60 minutes and is finished when a debater reaches the number of cards needed to win.
Sway features beautiful, original artwork by our collaborator and artist extraordinaire, Sam Birchman. Sam's hand-drawn, whimsical yet modern images are featured on every piece of the game, totaling 58 unique drawings throughout. Each Challenge card features a drawing depicting the action. The game is beautiful enough to keep on your coffee table if you like.
Sway is a simple game that helps you to see the good in all things and brings people together. It shows sides of your friends and family you've never seen. Imagine hearing your grandma discuss the positive aspects of a getting fired in her best (or worst) Scottish accent - that's what Sway is like. It’s fun and funny, but not at anyone's expense (except maybe your own).
Sway is simple to play - here are the TL;DR rules. Full rules with more detail can be found on our website.
- On your turn, spin to determine your debate opponent.
- Flip over a Challenge card. Both debaters have the same Challenge for the round.
- Flip over a Topic card. The timer is flipped as soon as you turn the card over. You have 30 seconds to explain the pros of your Topic, incorporating the Challenge.
- Now your opponent flips over another Topic card and debates its merits for 30 seconds, also completing the same challenge.
- At any time during either debate, another player can throw down their Alternate Case card to signal that they want a shot at one of the topics.
- Spin again to determine the judge.
- The judge awards both cards based on whatever criteria they want and can choose to split the cards up, award them together, or not award them at all.
- The game ends when a debater is awarded the number of cards needed to win.
The game consists of 465 Topic cards, 75 Challenge cards, and 10 Alternate Case Cards, a spinner and a 30-second timer. The box is sturdy and has a plastic vacuum-formed insert to keep your cards all neat and pretty-like. All game elements feature original drawings by Sam Birchman, the game's artist (except the timer).
Not a lot of Kickstarter projects specify why they're asking for the amount they've specified as their funding goal - that always surprised us, and we’d like to be transparent. We’ve been working long nights and weekends for the last 5 months to take this project quickly from an idea to a real game because we saw the joy it brought to everyone who played it and wanted to put something positive into the world.
Of course, we would love game making to be our full time job someday, but that would take a heck of a lot more than $15K. We are asking for $15K to cover a minimum production run from our printer plus enough to cover shipping anywhere in the US. The idea is that this will get people playing and talking about Sway. We hope that leads to enough of your friends and family demanding the game that we can turn this into a real business. We can dream :)
Just as any other Kickstarter, we hope it funds even higher than our goal. The more we fund, the more units we can buy and the lower our cost per unit goes. When we have lower cost per unit, we can afford to start making expansions packs and other cool stuff and putting even more happiness and positivity into the world. See Stretch Goals below for more info.
- Pledge $1 or more: Thanks for your support! We’ll email you a digital copy of one of the sweet drawings from the game. Estimated delivery: Nov 2015
- Pledge $5 or more: Print-Your-Own Copy Thanks for your support! You'll get early access to the print-and-play PDF of the game. The PDF includes the entire game plus templates to make your own Topic and Challenge cards and a spinner. Estimated delivery: Nov 2015
- Pledge $25 or more: The Game! MSRP $30 Get the game (550 cards) before anyone else and save $5 at the same time. PDF plus free shipping in the US included. BOOSH! Estimated delivery: Feb 2016
- Pledge $40 or more: The Art Lover Pack The PDF, the game, plus an exclusive signed and numbered original Sam Birchman drawing available only to our Kickstarter supporters. We don't want to put a limit on this level, but to maximize the value of the art you're purchasing each different print will be a limited run of 500. If we have more than 500 backers we will produce a new print. Free shipping in the US included. Estimated delivery: Feb 2016
- Pledge $60 or more: The Promoter Pack - BEST DEAL! TWO copies of the game so you can spread the Sway love plus the exclusive one of the limited edition art prints included at the $40 level. Free shipping in the US included. Estimated delivery: Feb 2016
- Pledge $150 or more: The Kickstarter Exclusive Pack Everything in the $60 reward plus an exclusive deck only available on Kickstarter. The exclusive deck will include 80 new Topic cards and 20 new Challenge cards.. Free shipping in the US included. Estimated delivery: Feb 2016. Limited quantity of 500.
- Pledge $500 or more: The Silver Linings Pack For you fancy-pants supporters we've got the ultimate in Sway luxury - a silver tone box with silver tone cards! Plus everything in the $150 reward. Free shipping in the US included. Estimated delivery: Feb 2016. Limited quantity of 100.
- Pledge $1,000 or more: The Super Fancy Art Patron Pack You must really love us! We’ll send you one of Sam’s signed, original sketches from the game art work framed and matted for you to proudly display. You'll also get everything at the $500 level, the exclusive pack, plus all of the prints produced for the $40 level. Free shipping in the US included. Estimated delivery: Feb 2016. Limited quantity of 5.
Glad you asked! We have a lot we'd like to do with Sway if we surpass our funding goal. Here's what we'll do if you make this thing blow up, as the kids say (all of the goals below will go to all backers at the $20+ level and will be delivered to you after the base game - we’ll be sure to post frequent updates).
- $35,000 - 50 Extra Challenge Cards. In our play testing, most debaters loved the Challenge cards, so we'll give the people what they want and provide 50 additional challenges, bringing the number of challenge cards to 125. We'll also crowd source these cards from all of you!
- $75,000 - Sway's First Expansion Pack. We'll produce an expansion pack which will include 80 Topic cards and 20 Challenge cards (unique art for each Challenge just like in the full set). We'll have you all vote for which pack we should make. Some of our ideas: decade theme packs (80's, 90's, etc.), Movies/TV pack, Music pack, Holiday pack, Adults-only pack.
- $125,000 - Expansion Pack #2. Two crowd-sourced expansion packs!
- $200,000 - Expansion Pack #3 + Box Upgrade to Hold Expansions. Three sweet expansion packs chosen by you and a box upgrade that will hold all three plus the base game.
We are two co-workers (Margaret and Rachael) who became friends when we discovered a mutual love for joking with our officemates, eating great food and playing games. Our friendship grew over many game nights and running a women’s conference together at work. Brené Brown, a research professor at University of Houston Graduate College of Social work and author, was keynote speaker at that conference. After hearing Brené share her work on vulnerability and risk taking, we were inspired to take a big risk of our own. With more than 25 years of marketing and retail experience between us, we felt prepared to brave the world of entrepreneurship. Over brunch two days later, we agreed to form Silver Linings Games.
The mission of Silver Linings Games is to facilitate joy, connection and expression through the creation of original card and board games. Our games will be positive in tone and will make the people that play them feel good.
Sway is the first game from Silver Linings Games, but it won’t be the last. Your support will help to ensure that is the case.
In April 2015, we started brainstorming game ideas. We kicked around about a dozen or so different concepts, but Sway felt like the perfect blend of fun and positivity so we decided to prototype it first. The initial “prototype” came together way faster than we expected. We worked out the basic rules and a set of 100 Topic cards made from torn up index cards in an afternoon and play tested it that evening. It was really fun, but far from perfect. Like most good ideas, it was simple - but making it into a game people wanted to play over and over would prove to take much more time and effort than a single afternoon.
Over the coming months, we heavily play tested Sway to work out the kinks. Through that, the additions of Alternate Case and Challenge Cards were born. Alternate Case cards were an early addition because with the random assignment of opponents and judges there were times when players felt left out. They were also itching to get a crack at some of the cards and challenges that they had a strong argument for. Alternate Case keeps all players involved and adds a bit of extra spice to the competition. Challenge cards were invented to add more comic relief and to play to different debaters’ strengths. Challenge cards give players ways to earn points by being awesome debaters and hilarious goofballs, making it a fun game across personality types.
As we developed the game, we knew we were going to need help making it come to life. That's when we pulled in our two other partners who have created the amazing artwork (#SamIsAnArtGod), built our website, told hard business truths, and figured out how this crazy crowd-funding thing works (#JeffForPrez).
Four prototypes, countless play testing sessions, and a lot of long nights later we're ready to put Sway into the world.
Risks and challenges
Like most KS game projects, our risks and challenges lie primarily in manufacturing the game and getting it out to all of you on time. Luckily we do have a manufacturer lined up - but there's all sorts of things that can happen during the manufacturing process that could cause us problems.
It turns out that it's actually REALLY hard to find a card manufacturer who has printing facilities that will do all-custom work (including a custom sized box) here in the US. Most of the US based companies you'll find actually do much of their work overseas. This is great from a cost stand point, but it does mean that you can't just hop on over to the printer for a press check. Things like color matching, box stability, and equipment issues can all come up once you're "on press" and can cause delays. Since the printing is done overseas, any issues that arise will be communicated to us through our US-based account manager whom we would then have to go back and forth with until a solution is determined. All of that is always solvable but it can cause big delays depending on how many other customers are printing in that same time period. Once your game is all printed and packed, then it goes into one of those big metal containers and gets craned onto a barge (your game comes to you a seasoned sailor!).
And then there's customs. Customs can hold up shipping significantly. A card game shouldn't cause much concern, but you never know what a customs agent will decide to hold over for inspection.
Even if all the worst scenarios with manufacturing and shipping happened, we are confident we'll be able to print and fulfill this game. Even if you guys totally blow us away with your support, our manufacturer is ready to support us with as many units as we need!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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