In Chain Mail, you and your group are joining forces to create the best genre story possible. Remember those wonderful story-telling experiences where you go around the circle contributing a few sentences to an ever-growing, changing, and evolving story? That’s Chain Mail. But it's happening the old fashioned way: via old fashioned, on paper, stamped and everything mail. However, there are a few things to help guide you on the path.
Super Important Note: Since Chain Mail focuses on story-telling through physically mailing letters to one another, we have decided to keep this campaign limited to the domestic United States. However, international backers can back at the READ ONLY level to read the stories once they are complete, or pledge to the DO IT YOURSELF level to make this happen on your own.
- Pick a Genre. There are 5 genres to choose from. Pledge $2 to the genre of your choice. At the end of the campaign, you are locked into the genre you chose, and will contribute to the story with all others who backed in your tier.
- Await the Story. After the campaign ends, we will physically mail the rules, prompts, and paper to the first person of each genre group.
- Begin Writing. The first person to receive the letter begins the story (based on some light rules). Each person will write between 5-10 sentences, all continuing the story that has been told previously.
- Mail the Story. When finished with your part, contact me (Travis) and I will send you the mailing address of the next person in your genre group.
- Rinse and Repeat. Do this until the final person has received and finished the story, and then mail it back to me. I will share the finished stories with everyone who has participated.
Since each person is only writing about 1/10th of the story, these tales will change and evolve from person to person. But to help guide, you will get a choice between two prompts. These might be in the form of a question (What happens next?), a choice (Does the good guy win or not?), a phrase (Dragons arrive…), or a directive (Introduce a new character). The idea is to create a singular, unified story that is written by 10 people.
If you can't write, you can type out your part of the story and send it along. After all of the stories are complete, they will be typed and/or copied so that all people interested can read all of the stories.
We have chosen five different genres for people to dig into. Unfortunately, you can only choose one genre. The five genres are:
- Science Fiction
On top of only 5 genres, there are only 10 spaces per genre tier. If the demand is high enough, we might open a second tier for each genre, but that's it.
Don't want to write, but interested in the finished stories?
- Pledge $2 for READ ONLY and you will get a copy of the finished stories as a PDF to read once they are all finished.
Want to do this on your own? Or with your own group?
- Pledge $6 for DO IT YOURSELF to receive the PDF rules, prompts, and downloads for all 5 genres. You will also get an additional set with no genre, so you can choose it on your own.
- Add $6 to any pledge to receive the downloadable PDFs above.
This experiment hinges on a few extremely crucial things:
- You must mail the letter after completing your entry.
- You must pay the postage for a letter-sized envelope (possibly 2 stamps' worth).
- You must maintain the confidentiality of the recipient's address.
- You must only send the letter and nothing else.
Any violation of these four tenets and the game breaks down. Do you not want one other person (excluding me) to have your physical address? Respond to the address survey with a PO BOX or your work address. Send it to your parents, even! That’s fine. Part of this experiment is feeling comfortable with this aspect.
If you do not feel comfortable with someone else having your mailing address, do not participate.
Press Pot Games is an indie design studio that makes weird stuff. It successfully funded Reunification: a letter-writing game about reconciliation on Kickstarter in February 2019, and has since released multiple small-form games, RPGs, LARPs, and experiences.
Risks and challenges
It's possible that someone will not mail the letter, or that the mail system will fail us during the story writing. Part of the rules involve actually taking a picture or scanning the story just in case. If this happens, we will pick up where we left off.
It will also take some time to get your part of the story. It might take a couple of months before you receive your part of the story (especially if you are at the end of the story).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (10 days)