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The game of deep space adventure, for 1-4 players - coming spring/summer 2020. Join our mailing list to stay up to date at: www.themeborne.com. Got questions? contact@themeborne.com
The game of deep space adventure, for 1-4 players - coming spring/summer 2020. Join our mailing list to stay up to date at: www.themeborne.com. Got questions? contact@themeborne.com
2,947 backers pledged £157,861 to help bring this project to life.

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£157,861

2,947


Welcome to Themeborne’s third Kickstarter campaign. 

Whether you're a returning backer or just discovering the Escape the Dark series for the first time, this new campaign is for you.    

With great pleasure we introduce our latest game: Escape the Dark Sector™.

Fans of Escape the Dark Castlewill feel right at home with Sector’s core gameplay, and should check out the What’s New? section below to discover its exciting new features.

Newcomers, a warm welcome to the Escape the Darkcommunity. This is a great starting point for you, and if you’re curious about the journey so far you can view our previous campaign here.

Wherever you hail from, step aboard with us now as we launch the series into the farthest reaches of space…

Escape the Dark Sector  is a simple, sci-fi adventure game with a focus on atmosphere, storytelling, and player cooperation – perfect for newcomers to tabletop gaming. It takes about 2 minutes to set up, lasts around 45 minutes, and no two games are ever the same.

Playing as the beleaguered crew of an impounded starship, players find themselves confined to the detention block of a vast space station. Using a variety of advanced gear and weaponry, they will embark on a desperate mission to find their ship and blast their way home.

Over the course of three acts the crew will have to overcome a variety of dangers, from cyborg guards and faulty replicators to killer alien organisms - each of which is represented by a large, beautifully illustrated chapter card.

As these immersive chapter cards are revealed one by one, the game takes on the form of a shared storybook experience, with the players making decisions about what to do each chapter before using a combination of dice and item cards to complete the challenges before them.

The goal of the game is to complete every chapter in the mission deck, and then defeat the final boss. To win, you must keep each member of the crew alive. If any player is killed the game ends immediately!

Escape the Dark Sectoris inspired by classic sci-fi books, films, and TV programmes, including Alien, the original Star Wars trilogy, and Star Trek: The Next Generation to name a few – and of course, this being part of the Escape the Dark series, it also has its roots in the classic adventure experiences of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. 

Escape the Dark Sector™  has simple rules so it’s easy to learn. You’ll be able to get started within about 5 minutes. Below is a step-by-step overview, or scroll down for a gameplay video. If you’re interested in learning more you can read a very early draft of the rule book here

Keen to know what it's like to play Escape the Dark Sector

Sit back and enjoy this demo game with the team at On Tabletop

At its core, Escape the Dark Sectorutilities the same narrative game engine as Castle, but adds several new features that make it a different experience altogether: 

  •  A 3-Act Adventure: The chapter cards which make up the mission deck are divided into three acts, each getting progressively more challenging as the mission goes on and each also offering different item drop-rates and a different ratio of encounter types - allowing for a new layer of decision making and strategy. 
  •  Thrilling Ranged Combat: From lowly Slug-pistols to formidable Beam-emitters, a ranged combat system has been designed from the ground up to add thrilling firefights to the adventure. But even with an array of weaponry at your disposal, teamwork remains vital to mission success. 
  •  Tactical Combat Actions: As the game’s intense firefights play out, the highly-trained crew have a wide selection of tactical options at their disposal - including Shoot, Charge, Take Cover, Flank, Ambush, Treat Wounds, and Reload. Forming a robust plan of attack is essential to taking down tough enemies. 
  •  Cybernetic Implants: Each member of the crew is fitted with a interchangeable neural-augmentation chip, giving them a unique enhancement to call upon during the adventure - from pain inhibitors to advanced-reflexes. Players will have the option to switch these out, either to swap with another member of the crew or to replace them with upgrades found along the way  - but doing so incurs an HP penalty! 

You can find more information about these and other features of the game, in our early draft rulebook here

Here's an interview with co-designer Thomas Pike, talking in more detail about some of the game's features: 

Since the game is still in development, the exact contents may vary from that shown here.
Since the game is still in development, the exact contents may vary from that shown here.

 What makes the ESCAPE THE DARK series different?

• It’s approachable - The game is designed with non-gamers in mind, but is no less rich and rewarding for it. Now anyone can enjoy the atmosphere of a classic sci-fi mission. 

• It’s quick - It takes less than 5 mins to set up and around 45 mins to play. No downtime, no elimination, and full player engagement throughout. No-one will be bored.

• It’s social - Many chapters offer a the group a choice, stimulating regular player interaction and discussion. It's perfect for the pub or a games cafe, but can even be played solo!

• It's different every time - You never know what the next chapter will be, so there is plenty of tension and suspense as your unique adventure unfolds each game.

• It has a unique look - Many games look alike these days. Here is something truly distinct for your collection. We've worked hard to create a stylish look evocative of retro classics.

• There are no heroes - The playable characters are refreshingly ordinary. No musclebound heroes or buxom heroines here, and there is an equal mix of male and female characters.  

• You'll be part of something big – With a wide range of Escape the Dark products already released, a wealth of adventure awaits you. Join our ever-growing community of players! 

We have organised our pledge levels and add-ons to allow every possible combination of rewards.

At each pledge level, on top of the pledge itself, a shipping charge will apply based on your location. We've done our best to keep those costs to a minimum. See the Shipping section for details.

 LEVEL 1: £30.00

(RRP £34.99) 

Includes: 

  • One copy of Escape the Dark Sector
  • Any digital stretch goals unlocked during the campaign
  • An invitation to our pledge manager after the campaign, where you can purchase items from our add-ons section.

 LEVEL 2: £35.00

(RRP £41.97) 

Includes: 

  • One copy of Escape the Dark Sector
  • One pack of A6 Clear Matte Sleeves
  • One pack of A8 Clear Matte Sleeves
  • Any digital stretch goals unlocked during the campaign
  • An invitation to our pledge manager after the campaign, where you can purchase items from our add-ons section. 

 LEVEL 3: £55.00

(RRP £61.94)

Includes: 

  • One copy of Escape the Dark Sector
  • Four Crew Terminal Playmats
  • One Mission Playmat 
  • Any digital stretch goals unlocked during the campaign
  • An invitation to our pledge manager after the campaign, where you can purchase items from our add-ons section. 

 LEVEL 4: £60.00

(RRP £68.92)

Our top level pledge, the complete package with a large discount for the ultimate Escape the Dark Sector experience! 

Includes: 

  • One copy of Escape the Dark Sector
  • One pack of A6 Clear Matte Sleeves
  • One pack of A8 Clear Matte Sleeves
  • Four Crew Terminal Playmats
  • One Mission Playmat 
  • Any digital stretch goals unlocked during the campaign
  • An invitation to our pledge manager after the campaign, where you can purchase items from our add-ons section. 

Our £16k funding goal will cover the manufacturing and associated logistical costs of this campaign. But, if we are fortunate enough to exceed that goal we'd like to offer our backers the following freebies and upgrades: 

Please note: All stretch goal targets are in £ GBP.

UNLOCKED! 

At this level of funding, we'll commission an Original Soundtrack to perfectly accompany gameplay -  composed and performed by Alex Crispin.

 All backers will get the MP3 files delivered to them free of charge via Backerkit when the campaign delivers, and physical copies of the soundtrack on vinyl will be unlocked as an optional add-on.

UNLOCKED!   

At this level of funding, we'll commission two books by Thomas Paul Pike: 

  • Mission Log - a collection of interconnected short fiction, delving into the background stories of the crew and their ill-fated mission, and of course offering what little is known about the game's vile adversaries.
  • Death in Deep Space - adds contextual death scenes to gameplay.  No matter which chapter, item or boss brings about your untimely death, simply flip to the corresponding page for full immersion into the final events of the mission.  

All backers will get a free PDF of each of these books delivered to them via Backerkit, and physical copies of the books will be unlocked as an optional add-on. 

 UNLOCKED!    

At this level of funding, we'll produce a range of T-shirts for Escape the Dark Sector, available to all backers as a optional add-on. 

 At this level of funding, we'll produce a companion app for Escape the Dark Sector. Free to download when it launches, and compatible with both iOS and Android devices. 

Simple, elegant and atmospheric, it will be designed to be used on the tabletop alongside the physical game to do things like: 

Track Crew HP, play the soundtrack, display pages from Death in Deep Space, and offer searchable rules and FAQ. 

This will be free to all backers if we reach this level of funding, but may not deliver at the same time as the other items in this campaign. 

We can dream. 

While the best way to experience Escape the Dark Sector will always be on the tabletop, we can't deny making a digital version does sound fun. If we raise a million pounds, we'll take the plunge into computer games. 

This will be free to all backers, but may not deliver at the same time as the other items in this campaign. 

How does it work? 

To include add-ons in your pledge, simply increase your pledge amount by the total value of all the add-ons you want. 

At the end of the campaign you'll be given access to our pledge manager, Backerkit, which allows you to select exactly which items you want to put your pledged amount towards. 

Important note:

Ordering add-ons may in some cases increase shipping costs beyond the base level shown on the charts in our Shipping section. We'll calculate your new shipping total in Backerkit at the end of the campaign (based on your location and the total weight of your order). 

 In case you want more than one, we're offering additional copies of the main game. 

Luxurious card sleeves specially designed to protect your Escape the Dark Sector collection. 

 There are sleeves for both sizes of cards: A6 (large) and A8 (small). One pack of each is enough to completely sleeve the game.

Take your game to the next level of desirability with our beautifully illustrated neoprene playmats - transforming your play area into a computer terminal. Each mat serves one member of the crew. 

There is a lot going on in the mission area during a game of Escape the Dark Sector. Add a bit of 'mission control' to your experience with this evocative playmat.  

A soundtrack specially composed by Escape the Dark Castle co-designer and illustrator Alex Crispin to perfectly accompany gameplay, housed in a luxurious sleeve. A must for collectors. 

Prepare to immerse yourself even further into the Dark Sector with Mission Log - a collection of short fiction penned by published game-writer and co-designer of Escape the Dark Castle, Thomas Pike. Delve into the background stories of the crew and their ill-fated mission, and learn what little is known about the game's vile adversaries.

Add a new narrative dimension to your games with Death in Deep Space, containing a contextual 'death scene' for every chapter card in the game capable of killing you, and of course for the bosses too.

No matter which chapter card finishes you off, you'll be able to flip to the corresponding page and read out all the gory details of your demise. What better way to end a game of Escape the Dark Sector?

If you choose to pledge for the Join the Crew add-on, our incredible game artist Alex Crispin will hand draw an exclusive crew portrait - of you! 

How it works: 

Pick the crew member you'd like to become, then take a photo of yourself which meets our guidelines (we'll send these out after the campaign).We do the rest. You'll get two copies of the card - one to use and one to keep pristine or frame as a rare collectors item. The cards will be produced to full game specification, and will be fully playable when paired with the die of your chosen character. 

Imagine the satisfaction when you Escape the Dark Sector personally!

Escape the Dark Castle Bundles

If you missed out on our first game, this is the perfect chance to catch up, and save money while you're at it. You have three bundles to choose from: 

Bundle A - £85.00

(RRP £99.94) 

The full monty - perfect for those just starting out who want to get up right up to date. Includes the main game and all expansions released so far: 

  • Escape the Dark Castle
  • Adventure Pack 1: Cult of the Death Knight
  • Adventure Pack 2: Scourge of the Undead Queen
  • Adventure Pack 3: Blight of the Plague Lord
  • The Collector's Box
  • The Kickstarter Upgrade Kit

 Bundle B - £60.00

(RRP £69.95)

Already got the main game and thirsty for more adventure? This bundle includes all expansions released so far: 

  • Adventure Pack 1: Cult of the Death Knight
  • Adventure Pack 2: Scourge of the Undead Queen
  • Adventure Pack 3: Blight of the Plague Lord
  • The Collector's Box
  • The Kickstarter Upgrade Kit

 Bundle C - £45.00

(RRP £55.90)

The complete accessories pack. Includes enough sleeves to cover all the cards released so far, playmats for a full compliment of 4 prisoners, and luxuriously embossed print editions of both of our books:

  • The Death Book
  • Tales from the Dark
  • A6 Clear Matte Sleeves x 2 packs
  • A8 Clear Matte Sleeves x 2 packs
  • Prisoner Playmats x 4 

How does it work? 

You can combine any number of these bundles if you wish. For example if you want to get everything from the ETDC range, you can add both Bundle A and Bundle C. 

And remember all of the items in these bundles are available separately as shown below, allowing you to tailor your own combinations if you prefer -  including the much sought-after Become a Prisoner!  

For details on each of these, check out the Add-ons section of our previous campaign here.

To make sure your game is delivered promptly and with expert care, we'll once again be working with our expert fulfillment partners around the world, all of whom have done us proud during previous campaigns. 

In the USA – Quartermaster Logistics; in Canada - Snakes & Lattes; in Australia & New Zealand - Aetherworks; and in the UK, Europe & the rest of the world*- Gamesquest.

*Please note: Unfortunately we do not ship to Brazil or Russia.

We are EU, USA, CA and AU friendly, ensuring backers in these locations will pay no extra customs charges beyond the shipping cost itself**.

**Please note: For deliveries outside of these locations, check the rules and regulations on importing goods to your region before you pledge.  

The following shipping costs will be charged based on your location and pledge level as shown: 

 Please note: Ordering add-ons may increase your shipping charge above the price shown here. You final shipping total will be calculated in BackerKit after the campaign.  

 Themeborne is an independent design studio based in Nottingham, England.  

Are you a journalist or content creator? We’ve got assets for you here. We'll be adding more as the campaign progresses, so check back regularly, and if you can't find what you need please get in touch and we'll see what we can do. 

If you have any questions you can reach us by email: 

contact@themeborne.com

Alternatively, we'd love to hear from you via the following online platforms: 

Themeborne website: https://www.themeborne.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themeborne

Twitter: https://twitter.com/themeborne

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themeborne

BoardGameGeek:  https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/280748/escape-dark-sector 

Risks and challenges

Is the game any good?

Our first game, Escape the Dark Castle, was highly praised, garnering dozens of positive reviews and selling well across the world. It currently holds a rating of 8/10 of board game geek. It has so far been released in three languages and more will follow.

Escape the Dark Sector is still in development, but we're building on the solid foundations of the same, tried and tested game engine, carefully adding tasteful new gameplay elements which embrace the new theme. Everything will be thoroughly tested before release to ensure this too is an immersive and fun experience for all. As we enter our third campaign, we're confident in what we create.

Will the materials be good quality?

Our manufacturing partner Dofine Games did an amazing job producing the Escape the Dark Castle range to our demanding standards. We're glad to say we will be working with Dofine again so we can be sure to maintain Themeborne's high standard of quality with Escape the Dark Sector.

Will it ever arrive?

We're known for our reliable shipping and great customer service. We take the logistical side of our projects very seriously. Both of our previous campaigns have been delivered within a month of the estimate.

We're ready for this, we've done it twice before and we're excited to do it again. All we need now is a cracking campaign to see it through.

We appreciate your support!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 1.25

    Distant Star

    This pledge level is great if you just want to support the project and follow its progress, or if you only want access to our digital files or add-ons.

    You won't get any of the pledge-level rewards, but you'll still have the satisfaction of knowing you helped this campaign to fund, and of course you'll have our heartfelt thanks no matter how large or small your contribution.

    We're glad to have you on board.

    You'll be invited to the pledge manager after the campaign, where you'll have one last opportunity to claim pledge-level rewards.

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    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 38

    Level 1

    One copy of Escape the Dark Sector, along with any digital rewards unlocked via our stretch goals.

    Shipping will be charged based on your pledge level, location, and any add-ons you include, but we've done our best to keep those costs to a minimum. See the Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
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    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 44

    Level 2

    One copy of Escape the Dark sector, plus one pack of each size sleeve - enough to sleeve the entire game. You'll also get any of the digital stretch goals we unlock during the campaign.

    Shipping will be charged based on your pledge level, location, and any add-ons you include, but we've done our best to keep those costs to a minimum. See the Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Escape the Dark Sector
    • A6 Clear Matte Sleeves
    • A8 Clear Matte Sleeves
    • Digital Stretch Goals
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    353 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £55 or more About US$ 69

    Level 3

    One copy of Escape the Dark Sector, plus a complete set of playmats. You'll also get any of the digital stretch goals we unlock during the campaign.

    Shipping will be charged based on your pledge level, location, and any add-ons you include, but we've done our best to keep those costs to a minimum. See the Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Escape the Dark Sector
    • Terminal Playmat
    • Mission Playmat
    • Digital Stretch Goals
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    160 backers
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    Pledge £57 or more About US$ 71

    EARLY BIRD Level 4

    The complete package, at a special price for early birds who back before June 3rd!

    One copy of Escape the Dark Sector, enough sleeves to cover it all, plus a full set of our luxurious playmats.

    Naturally, you'll also get any digital rewards we unlock during the campaign.

    Shipping will be charged based on your pledge level, location, and any add-ons you include, but we've done our best to keep those costs to a minimum. See the Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Escape the Dark Sector
    • Terminal Playmat
    • Mission Playmat
    • A6 Clear Matte Sleeves
    • A8 Clear Matte Sleeves
    • Digital Stretch Goals
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 775 backers
    £
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £60 or more About US$ 75

    Level 4

    The complete package:

    One copy of Escape the Dark Sector, enough sleeves to cover it all, plus a full set of our luxurious playmats.

    Naturally, you'll also get any digital rewards we unloack during the campaign.

    Shipping will be charged based on your pledge level, location, and any add-ons you include, but we've done our best to keep those costs to a minimum. See the Shipping section for details.

    Includes:
    • Escape the Dark Sector
    • Mission Playmat
    • A6 Clear Matte Sleeves
    • Terminal Playmat
    • A8 Clear Matte Sleeves
    • Digital Stretch Goals
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    506 backers
    £
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Funding period

- (31 days)