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An RPG storytelling #zinequest about a war-torn family and their journey towards reunification.
An RPG storytelling #zinequest about a war-torn family and their journey towards reunification.
228 backers pledged $2,651 to help bring this project to life.
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Reunification: a letter-writing game about reconciliation

$2,651

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Your country has been deeply embedded in a tumultuous civil war for many years. Homes were destroyed; lives torn apart; and families separated—including yours. Your family has been separated since the beginning of the war, and making contact has been impossible over the subsequent years. After what has seemed like an eternity, the opposing factions have begun talks, and reconciliation is finally happening.

In one year, the walls—both literal and figurative—will be torn down; the country and its citizens will begin the arduous process of coming together. This finally gives you the opportunity to reunite with your long-lost family. The government has encouraged you to write letters to your family during the coming months, so you may begin the path of reconnecting with each other.

But do you even know them anymore?

Reunification is a game for 3-5 players where each player takes on the role of one member of a family that has been split apart due to a civil war. Throughout the game, you will ask questions of the other family members in order to get to know them and build up familiarity, empathy, and compassion. It is a game of questions and answers—in hopes of gaining insight and perspective, understanding and trust.

Reunification is played over four seasons with each season divided into several months, which all make up a year of play. However, before the year begins:

  • Players name their country and decide what happened to it.
  • Players choose a name, age, and descriptor for the family member they portray.

During each month, all players write letters in the form of questions, pass them to another player, and then answer them. Upon receiving the answers to the questions you wrote, you will ascribe a word to that response, as a deeper insight as to who your family members are. At the end of the season, an event occurs that players must respond to in some way. After the four seasons are over, the year ends and the reunification process has begun. Players will discuss what insights they have learned about each other.

Questions can be in one of three forms: Personal, Controversial, or Abstract

Personal:

  • What have you always wanted, but never gotten?
  • What are you most thankful for? 
  • Who is your hero?

Controversial:

  • Is censorship necessary?
  • Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
  • What is the largest waste of human potential? 

Abstract:

  • What risks are worth taking?
  • If you could teach the world one concept, what would it be?
  • What is something you take for granted?

But why not just share aloud? Your family has not yet reunited. You play in silence.

Click here for a no-art, non-final preview of a few pages, including a short example of play.  

ALSO INCLUDED:

  • Print, Audio, & Music resources that inspired Reunification.
  • Rules to change the storyline to a fantasy, sci-fi, or even real world setting.
  • A list of families, names, and conflicts so you can dive right in.
  • More than 60 questions to aid new players.
  • An extended example of play.

I knew the art had to be different for a variety of reasons. This is a zine. It's supposed to be lo-fi, but that doesn't mean it needed to be bad. So I wanted someone who understood zines, could draw wonderfully distinct illustrations, and empathized with the weight of this game.

Enter: Annette 'Netters' Villa 

I am incredibly excited to share the creation of this game with her. Her illustrations are equally stark and hopeful, stripped-back and expressive. I could not think of a better person with a similar outlook to co-create. 

THE PDF ZINE - $5

  • You receive a PDF version of Reunification delivered directly to your inbox!

THE ZINE - $10

  • You receive not only the PDF version of Reunification delivered directly to your inbox, but you also receive the 28-page analog version of Reunification shipped to your mailbox.
  • Shipping in the U.S. is covered.
  • Add $5 to your pledge for international shipping.

THE ZINE, GIFTED - $18

  • You will receive your digital and analog copies of Reunification. However, we will also send a copy of the game to a school, library, community center, or any other place you feel needs or deserves it.
  • Shipping in the U.S. is covered.
  • Add $5 to your pledge for international shipping.
  • Shipping on the gifted copy is free of charge, even internationally.

WANT MORE COPIES?

  • You may add one additional copy of Reunification to your pledge for $8 more. This includes The Zine, Gifted level as well.

We understand the beauty and joy of playing games, and we also understand that not every person or organization has the immediate funds or resources available to obtain games. So we want to give away copies of Reunification to places who might need it.

After the campaign closes, we will send a survey to those who pledged to The Zine, Gifted level to discover where they would like copies to be sent. These places could be a school, library, community center, or many other places. We do ask that it's a nonprofit or an organization who directly feeds into voiceless, marginalized communities.

[Reunification] got me thinking about the process of reconciliation. Both when it's desirable, and when it isn't. I suspect everybody has something they'd like to reconcile with somebody. Words they spoke, tough necessities, actions that were misplaced or misinterpreted. And a game like this might be a way to connect with that, at least a little bit.   -  Dan Thurot, Space-Biff!!

We’re reaching a critical point in game design where everything is blending into everything else. Travis is looking beyond standard models and exploring deep personal questions, that will undoubtedly leave us with a new understanding of who we are. There are very few games that allow for the same level of creative freedom and impactful narrative as Reunification.  -  Jordan Draper

...hot damn this is great!  -  Nicole Hoye

As this is strictly a passion project, there are no official stretch goals. I can think of random ancillary bits I could  add in, but really, I just want to get the game to you. If I add in any stretch goals, they will be minimal, but might also extend the production time. What are your thoughts? I'm thinking stickers, pins, etc...

My hope is that some funding above the goal—dependent on the economy of scale—will go to Netters. She has been paid, but I would love to pay her even more for creating such evocative art for this project.

If there’s enough interest, I would love to bring more of these to the world. This success would enable me to do so. 

Finally, if the project gets big enough, some of those extra funds will go into shipping, providing a better solution than the Travis-packs-them-all-in-his-house method.

We recently created a quick game based on the same system as Reunification. It's meant to be played with people you are closest to—be them friends or family. It's for 2-5 players and asks you to dig in deep with each other. 

You can download it from the Press Pot Games Gumroad for free.

Risks and challenges

Despite being a part of the industry for a while, this is my first campaign to run. It's a bit intimidating; I won't lie. Fortunately for me (and you), this is a zine! All artwork and layout are finished. Sample copies have been previewed and chosen, and all is looking good. After production ends and I receive the zines, they will be lovingly, carefully, and manually packaged and shipped to you by me! Obviously things might happen, but I'll be transparent about any and all issues that arise.

Thanks for taking a risk on this project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    The PDF Zine

    One copy of Reunification—PDF only.

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    The PDF Zine - INTERNATIONAL only

    One copy of Reunification—PDF only. Only choose this for International.

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    27 backers
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    The Zine

    One copy of Reunification—analog and PDF.
    Free shipping within the United States.
    Add $5 to ship worldwide.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    107 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 18 or more About US$ 18

    The Zine, Gifted

    One copy of Reunification—analog and PDF. One copy will also be given to a library or community center. Free shipping within the United States. Add $5 to ship worldwide.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    50 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (20 days)