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A mobile-enhanced board game about lying to your friends, stealing from your allies, and cheating your way to victory.

If you want to get updates about Collusion after the Kickstarter campaign has ended, sign up here!

Collusion couples German-style board game play with your mobile device in order to open new and interesting interaction opportunities in-game. The Collusion mobile app enhances board game play by pitting players against each other: sending secret messages and allowing players to scan tech cards to unlock additional game-changing advantages.

It’s the late 1940’s, WWII has ended ushering in a newer, coverter, colder war. Multiple countries now occupy Austria and no one has the intelligence they need. Government agents are using the city of Vienna as the quiet frontline battleground to carry out their various fact-finding missions...and assassinations, and whatnot.

You play as a Spy Master from one of several agencies. Your goal is to maximize your influence over the region at the expense of the other agencies. How you go about that is not important to your superiors - just don’t get exposed!

You’re aided by a super secret spy tech device not available to the general public - it’s like a telephone, a camera, an Enigma machine and the ENIAC all rolled into a tiny wallet-sized package (in real-life it’s your mobile device or tablet). Use this device to keep track of intel, accept missions, communicate with allies, hack into enemy agents’ devices, and a bunch of other stuff that can be unlocked by acquiring tech.

Collusion mandates lying, stealing, cheating, and murdering in order to win. Players must work together while simultaneously plotting against each other in order to gain influence over the region. Selling out an ally to an enemy, blackmailing an opponent, or paying another agent to carry out an assassination on your behalf is all in a day's work.

YOUR OBJECTIVE 
At the outset of the game, each player is given two possible ways to win. Any player can win by maximizing their own influence within the game. Alternatively, each player is given a secret opponent and is able to win by totally depleting their opponent's influence.

During the game, you are able to monitor what your agency believes to be the current influence of each player via your phone.

THE BOARD
The board is made up of triangular tiles defining the city for that game. Players place their agents throughout the city using tokens. The location and arrangement of your agents will determine their ability to carry out your orders. Whether making an exchange, placing an explosive, or extorting information.

MISSIONS
Throughout the game, your HQ assigns you missions via your phone. And completing those missions determines your influence. But it isn’t always black and white. HQ doesn’t always know best, and sometimes the outcome of a mission isn’t always desirable. You decide in the field how to handle what comes down the chain, who to help, and who to antagonize. Just be careful not to get burned

CHEAT, JUST DON’T GET CAUGHT
For spies, cheating is part of the job description. In fact, it’s basically the entire job. So we’ve embraced it. In Collusion, you’re encouraged to cheat. Illegally trade cards. Take turns while someone is in the bathroom. Do whatever it takes to win… Unless you get caught. If you’re noticed or called out, players use their in-game influence to democratically determine your guilt. And your punishment...

Need to secretly send a message to a “friend?” CHECK!

Need to anonymously reveal disparaging intelligence against that very same “friend” later on? CHECK!

Need to hack into another agent’s mobile device to monitor their communications? CHECK!

Scan a tech card to enable the functionality on your mobile device
Scan a tech card to enable the functionality on your mobile device

A SMART BOARD GAME
Having a phone in the mix let’s us bring some of the advantages of digital gaming to the table. The game uses an AI to manage parts of the game: because we know what cards all the players have, and how well they’re doing in the game, we can strategically assign objectives and rebalance the game on an ongoing basis. We think this is remarkably badass.

ONE BOX, FOUR PLAYERS
ONLY ONE PLAYER HAS TO BUY THE GAME!
This is a big one: when you buy a board game and sit down with your friends to play, they don’t have to buy the game too. We believe the same should be true for our mobile-enhanced game. Instead of each player buying the app, only the player who starts the game has to own a copy. Everyone else can download a free app and join any game they like.

MOBILE ONLY VERSION
We figure we’re already building a mobile game as part of the project, might as well make it work with just your phone as well! To start, we’ll offer a simpler version that you can play with your friends (same principle as above: only one player needs to own it). Initially, this will just be for local games, so you’ll all have to be in the same room. But one of our big stretch goals is to broaden the game play to have something playable over the ‘net.

GOING DARK
And if a player doesn’t have a phone, or yours runs out of batteries in the middle of the game, a set of “Going Dark” cards contain various rogue-agent missions for you to complete, even without a connection to your headquarters. We wouldn’t play if nobody had a phone, but the dark cards offer a fun way to join, or an interesting strategy if you find your phone getting hacked a bit too much...

Thanks to Kickstarter we can see if everyone is interested in this idea before we have to go make the final thing. Once the campaign ends, we have to finish the game design, produce art assets for the printed materials, send everything to be manufactured, and simultaneously build the mobile versions of the game. 

We'll use the money raised to cover the initial costs of production and app development, but more importantly be able to buy some inventory to distribute later—without this, we will be unable to sell more copies of the game than are ordered on Kickstarter, and Collusion will disappear as quickly as it came to exist. Setting the goal at $100,000 means we'll produce enough copies of the game to have a meaningful distribution. Even though we could produce the game for less. 

THE PRODUCT

  • A professionally produced 3-4 player tile-based board game with scannable intel and tech cards
  • An Android app
  • An iOS app
  • A print-and-play version of the board game
  • A simplified mobile-only version of the game - in case you want to play a quick round with your mates on the bus but didn’t bring your board...or just prefer a mobile-only version of the game. 

 Informant ($5 limit 100)

  • The mobile game 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Early-bird price! 

Field Agent ($10)

  • The mobile game 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 

Double Agent ($50 limit 100)

  • The mobile game 
  • The board game 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Early-bird price! 

Special Agent ($65)

  • The mobile game 
  • The board game 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 

Spy Master ($75)

  • The mobile game 
  • The board game 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Access to the development blog Early beta access 
  • The ability to vote on future features 

High Roller – Tile Art ($500 limit 20)

  • The mobile game 
  • The board game 
  • Beautiful laser-cut wood board game tiles (instead of cardboard) 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Access to the development blog 
  • Early beta access 
  • The ability to vote on future features 
  • Producer credit 
  • A signed, original artist drawing of one of the board game tiles 

High Roller – Card Art ($500 limit 20)

  • The mobile game
  • The board game
  • Beautiful laser-cut wood board game tiles (instead of cardboard) 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Access to the development blog 
  • Early beta access 
  • The ability to vote on future features Producer credit 
  • A signed, original artist drawing of one of the playing cards 

Affluent Dignitary ($1000)

  • The mobile game 
  • The board game 
  • Beautiful laser-cut wood board game tiles (instead of cardboard) 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Access to the development blog 
  • Early beta access 
  • The ability to vote on future features 
  • Producer credit 
  • The exclusive affluent dignitary tech upgrade enabling you to use your social status to make in-game 'problems' disappear 

Minister of Intelligence ($5000 limit 5)

  • The mobile game 
  • The board game 
  • Beautiful laser-cut wood board game tiles (instead of cardboard) 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Access to the development blog 
  • Early beta access 
  • The ability to vote on future features 
  • Producer credit 
  • The exclusive affluent dignitary tech upgrade enabling you to use your social status to make in-game 'problems' disappear 
  • We will rent a room at Cafe Mox in Seattle and have game night with you and your pals. (You must provide your own transportation to/from Cafe Mox) 

Evil Villain ($10000 limit 1)

  • The mobile game 
  • The board game 
  • Beautiful laser-cut wood board game tiles (instead of cardboard) 
  • The print-and-play version of the board game 
  • Access to the development blog 
  • Early beta access 
  • The ability to vote on future features 
  • Executive Producer credit 
  • The exclusive affluent dignitary tech upgrade enabling you to use your social status to make in-game 'problems' disappear 
  • We will rent a room at Cafe Mox in Seattle and have game night with you and your pals. (You must provide your own transportation to/from Cafe Mox) 
  • We will create an exclusive feature just for you in the mobile game. This will be available to you, and you alone, forever. We'll work with you to decide on what that special power is and how it works.

With the exception of the multiplayer online goal, these are listed in no particular order. Order will be voted on by the backers.

  • Nice dice - We’ll create some nice custom dice 
  • Two-more-players expansion - Sometimes you want to play an epic game with more than the maximum four people. This expansion pack will add two more players and twelve more board tiles (for a total of six players per game) and mobile app updates to further the covert mayhem. 
  • Occult expansion - Covert agencies, shadowy deals, it just makes sense the occult will sneak in there somewhere. This expansion pack contains two more players, twenty four occult board tiles, occult tech, and mobile app updates. 
  • Carry-Over Stats - We'll add stats and bonuses that you can carry with you from game to game. Continue to build your agent over time to gain a competitive edge. Though remember: with more to gain, there is always more to lose... 
  • Sci-Fi expansion - Seems no matter where you go, spies are everywhere...even space! This expansion pack contains two more players, twenty four sci-fi board tiles, sci-fi tech, and mobile app updates. 
  • Windows Mobile - We definitely want to include everyone, but we won't be able to develop for WinMo out of the gate without a little extra help.
  • Multiplayer Online ($500,000) - Update the mobile app to enable full online play (over the internet instead of just a local network).

Nowadays, you can play Catan on your Xbox, or Scrabble on your iPad. But something is severely missing! The magic is lost on the screen when you push your “wood” scrabble tiles around with the tip of your finger. And following the rules to the letter in digital boardgames leaves out the fun of “house rules.” We want to make a digital board game, that is still a board game at heart.

We've been designing and building software for big and little companies for a while. But our hearts are in games. Luckily, the conversion is pretty straightforward! Our background in user experience, mobile development, and project management will be a huge help in taking on this project. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are definitely a number of risky bits associated with producing a product like this.

Bridging the analog/digital divide is challenging. Playing a board game where you stare at your phone the whole time is no fun. We're aware that there are challenges here and are actively designing the game to keep the focus on the other players. Rigorous design and play testing will help us keep the game exciting and socially enjoyable.

Manufacturing the board game on a schedule can be problematic as the actual manufacturing process of the board game is outside our immediate control. Delays in manufacturing, customs, or proofing can result in delays in shipping which would make every one of us sad pandas.

Software feature creep can also derail a release if left unchecked. We have a good development schedule and attainable app features given the timeframe, so we’re not too worried about shipping the mobile app on schedule. We've also been designing and building digital things for big companies for years. BUT, there are always unknowns and those unknowns can potentially delay release.

FAQ

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