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A strategic tabletop game where circus performers fight off an invading horde of zombies.
A strategic tabletop game where circus performers fight off an invading horde of zombies.
53 backers pledged $9,300 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$9,300

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Fundead: The Gravest Show on Earth is a strategy game for two players, or two teams of two. One player will represent a group of circus performers while the other represents an army of invading zombies. Cards are placed alternately by the players on a 5x5 grid until the grid is full, and the army with a greater number of points at the end is victorious; each newly-placed card has the ability to flip opposing cards to one’s own side, and some can even permanently lock newly-gained cards into their army. Although there are many strategies in card placement, the game can usually be played in under 30 minutes.

 Full Rules Available on this Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1avVFjhp8hdyNiWOHQUMKagatnFM9toZmWeLomEtEOXI/edit?usp=sharing

Operations/Game designer wrangler Cathy Wells as Snake Charmer card; points/lock/targets subject to change on all pictured cards
Operations/Game designer wrangler Cathy Wells as Snake Charmer card; points/lock/targets subject to change on all pictured cards

A couple comments from players:

"With every new turn, I found myself adjusting my strategy more and more. I needed to figure out what my opponent was planning, and his cards were laying right in front of me. Playing Fundead was a unique, enjoyable three-ring circus of wit that did something I haven't experienced in a 2-player board game for quite some time; it made me hunger for more." -Daniel Caouette

"Fundead has a casual start as you juggle each decision with ease. However, you quickly find yourself caught in a balancing act that keeps you teetering between victory or an ill-fated plummet into defeat—safety nets not included! It is perfect for all types of gamers with an excellent balance of strategy and pacing. Quick to learn—difficult to master. Every game is a fantastic new performance!" -Steve Russett

"You kicked my ass of course but it was super fun." -Stacy Snell

I conceived Fundead in April and started game-testing in earnest almost immediately; reception was positive from the beginning, although many tweaks have happened based on feedback and new additional ideas since that have added layers of strategy to the game. The two-player game is in its final state and just needs the art to box it up and ship it out.  

Game designer Kelly Wells as the Zombie Block Card
Game designer Kelly Wells as the Zombie Block Card

At one point the zombie cards were much gorier, but without any other reason for the game to skew older, blood became green “zombie sludge.” The attitude of the game will be whimsical rather than scary.

All backers of $40 will receive the game, while $55 will get you a copy signed by both the game designer and artist. 

There are forty opportunities, priced at $140 each, to have your likeness drawn into the game - twenty spots for zombies, and twenty for circus performers. At this level, backers for the circus side will be given a list of performers, and will state their top preferences; deference will go to those who backed earliest, so you cannot be guaranteed your top choices. There are more characters on the list than spots available, though, so even the final backer would have a choice.

Backers may be directed to do specific poses, or if backers have an idea they think would be cool or funny, we’re all ears. A pledge of $250 will get you one of six spots on the cover of the box, in addition to a spot on a card. Backers at this level will choose which character on the cover they’d like to be at the time of backing. All backers of both these levels will received a copy of the game signed by the game designer and artist. Upon successful completion of the Kickstarter campaign, we will go to each backer through the email they provide and pass on all relevant information. 

Characters on box cover are all available to be likenesses of backers: Trapeze Zombie, two shambling zombies, Ringmaster, Clown and Trapeze Artist
Characters on box cover are all available to be likenesses of backers: Trapeze Zombie, two shambling zombies, Ringmaster, Clown and Trapeze Artist

Note that all circus performers are gender non-specific, regardless of any wording below. We’re glad to make anyone look like the bearded lady, for instance. We’re open to suggestions here too. Also note that art style is subject to change, though at this stage we think it's unlikely.

List of possible characters to portray: Human skeleton, lion tamer, mime, sword swallower, unicyclist, lobster man/woman, knife thrower, fire eater, acrobat, wolfman/woman, ventriloquist, lizard man/woman, plate spinner, bearded lady, bumblebee beard, human cannonball, tightrope walker, strongman/woman, magician, escape artist, hair hanger, juggler, tattoo covered man/woman, rubber man.

If multiple people in the household want to be drawn in, be sure to back multiple times at the desired level to get those spots: do two separate pledges of $140 rather than one of $280 to get two spots reserved. Children under 18 can be drawn in if the backer is a parent or legal guardian. 

Conjoined twins on the Circus Block Card
Conjoined twins on the Circus Block Card

The game designer is Kelly Wells, who has been running games for friends online since 2006. Cathy Wells handles the logistics of production, and does an admirable job handling the game designer's idiosyncrasies. 

Tim Schutz is an art designer for a company that creates e-learnings. 

Artist Tim Schutz as a zombie
Artist Tim Schutz as a zombie

As you can see, the game has been fully funded so we've added a few stretch goals.  If this campaign reaches:  

-  $9300, we‘ll be able to upgrade the cards and board to a linen finish.

-  $10300, we will give all backers who will be receiving the game a Fundead-branded game bag. 

Other extra funds from this campaign will go to Spookymilk Games’ next intended release, as of now slated to be a game called “Marco Polo Sasquatch,” wherein bored northerners taunt a sasquatch to see who can live the longest. 

Risks and challenges

After considering a number of techniques for art creation, Tim has found a method that he believes will keep production at a brisk pace. The biggest mitigating factor for us will be the need to get photos with proper lighting from backers to keep card art moving forward. Many of the artistic elements are already complete and the game design isn’t expected to be tweaked further. If funded to completion, I will update on Kickstarter with any relevant information.

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    Zombie + Signed Copy

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    Circus Performer + Signed Copy

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    Clown on Box + Signed Copy

    You will be drawn into the game, and will also be on the cover of the box, as a clown. You will be asked upon successful funding of the game to provide photos for Tim to use to create the art.

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    You will be drawn into the game, as well as on the box, as the ringmaster. You will be asked upon successful funding of the game to provide photos for Tim to use to create the art.

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    You will be drawn into the game, as well as on the box, as the trapeze artist. You will be asked upon successful funding of the game to provide photos for Tim to use to create the art.

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    You will be drawn into the game as a zombie, and will be featured as the far left zombie on the box. You will be asked upon successful funding of the game to provide photos for Tim to use to create the art.

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    Trapeze Zombie on Box + Signed Copy

    You will be drawn into the game as a zombie, and will be featured as the trapeze zombie on the box, with your arms tearing off. You will be asked upon successful funding of the game to provide photos for Tim to use to create the art.

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    Foreground Zombie on Box + Signed Copy

    You will be drawn into the game as a zombie, and will be featured as the foreground zombie on the box, next to the ringleader. You will be asked upon successful funding of the game to provide photos for Tim to use to create the art.

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Funding period

- (30 days)