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$1,215
pledged of 3.000 $pledged of 3.000 $ goal
16
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 28 2019 5:59 AM UTC +00:00.

True Frenemies

A Christian, busy family, party board game of good friends, bad friends, and very bad friends

True Frenemies

A Christian, busy family, party board game of good friends, bad friends, and very bad friends

$1,215
pledged of 3.000 $pledged of 3.000 $ goal
16
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 28 2019 5:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About


In True Frenemies you will need to bring not only yourself but also another player, whom we will call your Secret Friend, to the Tree of Life.  The catch?  You will know your own Secret Friend, but you will have no idea who has you as a Secret Friend.  Get ready to enter a mixed-up world where your friends may suddenly turn on you and your worst enemy saves the day.  Success in this game requires deception, cooperation, as well as acts of assistance alongside betrayal.

Our digital artist worked exclusively on this massive 20" x 30" design for over 9 months. If you are a collector, the game board alone is worth the price of admission. 

For many, the 80 Face the Music cards are the highlight of the game.  Modeled on a Truth or Dare concept, these cards will force many players outside their comfort zone.  Not for the timid or faint of heart!

At crucial times, your draw on the 40  Say a Little Prayer cards may or may not work out exactly the way you intend.

These 40 SinTakes cards, packed with pop culture references, may seem fun at first, but later in the game they are anything but!  At some point, you will want and need to offload your stack.

True Frenemies is not a Bible trivia game!  But we do have 120 Bible Says detailing the life and message of Jesus.  In a typical game, each player will draw 3 to 5 of these cards.  It is quite possible to win, though, without knowing any of the answers.  So do not worry.  Just have fun!


We have 100 of these and - even though small - they pack a mighty punch.  Not only used to block unwanted actions against yourself, they are also necessary to proceed through various points in the game.  Huge strategic element as well with the Baptize token as once you get it you can no longer harm any other player.

It is magenta.  We do not have two pink gems in True Frenemies.  But the pink one is particularly popular.

The rules of True Frenemies are deceptively simple.  Within 10 minutes you can easily begin playing.  Your goal is to get both yourself as well as another player (your Secret Friend) to the Tree of Life.  The catch is that you will know your own Secret Friend but you will not know who has you as a Secret Friend.  So during the entire game the player you are trying to help may actively sabotage you.  Moreover, the penalty is severe for revealing the identity of your Secret Friend to other players (or even to your own Secret Friend).  To disguise your intentions, you may at times help players who are not your Secret Friend and undercut your own Secret Friend.

What happens when it is your turn?  First, you roll the dice.  Then you will have three choices:  move yourself forward the amount of your roll, any other player forward the amount of your roll, or any other player back the amount of your roll.  If you do not like where you would land on the board as a result of your roll, you can move any other player instead.

The strategy flows through the timing and deception with covertly navigating your Secret Friend to the Tree of Life as well as preventing others from manipulating your game gem for their benefit rather than your own.  You must not only monitor the progress of your own Secret Friend, but also attempt to discover who has you as a Secret Friend, who is your Secret Friend's Secret Friend, as well as all other combinations of players at the table.  The premise and the decisions within the game may appear straightforward, but deducing everyone's Secret Friend as well as choosing the best course of action is the Gordian knot which elevates True Frenemies to a much higher level.

True Frenemies will be played simultaneously at multiple levels and in multiple ways.  A very few may resort to mental math to crack the identity of everyone's Secret Friend.  Others will be more adept at identifying nonverbal cues such as eye movements or body language.  Still others will simply make educated guesses based on nothing more than gut instinct.

Because the actions of the game are straightforward, True Frenemies is never quiet.  True Frenemies is designed to encourage interaction.  Enjoyment and laughter flows through the cards that are drawn as well as actions that are taken during the course of the game.  While playing, you will assume an identity through your SinTakes cards and all players will get to know you much better through the Face the Music cards.  You may learn a bit through the Bible Says cards and the Say a Little Prayer cards may not always work out as you intend.

One byproduct with our game design is we rarely, if ever, find a situation where one player has locked up a victory well in advance or another player has no chance.  Nearly all games end in a photo finish. 

Many who have made it this far may wish to skip over this section, but we should say a little regarding the math construct underlying this game.  Just as Alice in Wonderland is far more than meets the eye, so is our game structure.  At its heart, True Frenemies is a board game simulator for blind, non-reciprocated relationships, and the math embedded throughout the game is within the Secret Friend design.  Even hard-core euro gamers should be intrigued by our game design.

To effectively analyze decision choice, we need to create a structure which strips away all superfluous decisions to isolate what really does matter.  In addition to the metaphor and beauty of following a path, we went retro with our decision set to focus on the core test:  how do players really behave when they must discreetly help someone who does not appreciate or reciprocate their effort?  To illustrate the depth within our game, we ask a few questions (some easy, some incredibly hard) without providing answers:

  • With 3 players, we can know everyone's Secret Friend before play even begins.  Why?
  • When you must guess any other player's Secret Friend, are you more or less likely to know your own Secret Friend's Secret Friend than with the other players?
  • If you know the Secret Friend of the lead player and you have the chance to move a player back, should you move back the lead player or her Secret Friend?
  • Assume there are n players and we know the identity of the Secret Friend of x players and there have been y incorrect guesses of other players' Secret Friends, derive a closed form solution for the probability of guessing any given player's Secret Friend.
  • Find a Nash equilibrium within this game construct.
  • Code an AI simulator to model our game.  (Note:  if you do so, please contact us!  We have a business proposition for you!)

If any Stretch Goal is met we will email all backers who have pledged $30 or more that the Stretch Goal has been achieved.  If the backer wishes to do so, they need only go back in and manually change the pledge amount by clicking the "Manage your pledge" button that appears next to your pledge amount and then select "Change your pledge" on the following page.  These backers need to increase their pledge by $3 to cover the shipping cost if they wish to receive the Stretch goal expansion Bible Says decks.

It is very important that the amount you enter should be the total amount you intend to pledge.  For example, if your initial pledge is $30 and one Stretch Goal is met, you need to "Change your pledge" to be $33.  If both Stretch Goals are met, your total pledge will still be $33.  (If you had increased your pledge after the first Stretch Goal, you do not need to do anything else.)

Please be aware that the Stretch Goal expansion decks will be shipped out about 7 months after our games.  Barring unforeseen events, we will be able to ship all game orders before Christmas 2019.  The Stretch Goal expansion decks, however, will be shipped separately from the games with expected delivery in June 2020.

Also note that the Stretch Goals only apply to each backer (pledge).  If a backer purchases the three game or five game option, they will still be limited to only one Bible Says expansion deck per Stretch Goal in total.  That is, a pledge amount of $75 for three games will receive the same number of Bible Says expansion decks as with the $30 pledge.

Within the United States, the shipping cost is only $7 with the single game, $30 pledge, and even less per game with the higher pledge items!  How cool is that!  Of course, we are subsidizing a large part of the actual shipping cost, but it is very important to us that our backers receive a very fair price for showing their faith in us.  And this is not even taking into consideration the possibility of achieving the Stretch goals.

For those outside the United States who wish to purchase our game, we have to apologize that we do not yet have an international distribution network in place.  To set this up, we would have missed the Christmas season so we had to make the difficult decision to move forward.  But . . . if you really want our game, please reach out directly to us through a comment, through our website, or through email.  We want you to have our game as well!

We have assumed all the risk to get our game to where it is now.  We have not asked anyone to take a financial risk.  We have pushed hard since April 2018 to get our game to a place where it would be ready for this Christmas.  We have continuously play-tested:  blind, open, as well as with automated simulators to produce a rock-solid, balanced game.  We have been open and honest with everyone about our progress, and how little risk we ask from our backers.

But just getting a product ready to market in time for Christmas does not mean that our expense is about to end.  In fact, it is only getting started.  Marketing and distribution costs, setting up international hubs, logistics, producing the Bible Says expansion decks - all these are very costly.  We now need help!  We need external support.  If not financially, through positive word of mouth or just forwarding a link to someone you think might be interested.

We have produced a beautiful, great game and we have chosen to use Kickstarter as our introduction to the world.  We really do need all kinds of support.  We need you.

Our graphic designer, Dug Campbell, has over two decades experience in design, graphic design, and production art with various local and national publications as well as digital media.  Our project was his first game ever, and he was definitely the quarterback for our team.  Not only was Dug responsible for all cards, but he also designed the box layout as well as the game instructions.  When it came to crunch time, Dug carried this project through completion.  The overall look and layout of our game should be credited to Dug. 

Our digital artist, Chris Wells, is now a junior at Iowa State University studying advertising / design.  Chris Wells was brought on board on the basis of only two digital designs which we considered to be absolutely incredible.  He is a true undiscovered talent, whom we hope will be widely recognized based upon the work he has done with our game.  Chris worked over nine months on the game board alone, designed all Submission tokens in the game, and illustrated our de-facto symbol, the Tree of Life, which is on the cover of our box.

Lucy White has been our radar.  It was Lucy's idea for the current form of our Face the Music cards and she has made immensely valuable contributions every step of the way.  Lucy is the reason that we discovered Chris.  Lucy's behind the scenes input is the reason our game board pops like it does.  "It's too dark!  It's too dark!"  She has a tremendous eye for detail.  Lucy has done all design for our website as well as our Kickstarter page.  She also put together our promo video using nothing but her iPhone.  Finally, it was Lucy who had the network to arrange so many play-tests with so many different groups of people.

The author of this game, Derek White, has a PhD in finance and is currently with a large, global financial services firm.  His prior life was as an academic in Sydney, Australia.  His alter ego is closet game designer, from his childhood days as Dungeon Master to his wedding reception game, "Poetry in Pieces", to developing various financial trading simulators, to True Frenemies, his first professionally produced game.

"Because you talk too much."

In April 2018, Derek White, the author of True Frenemies, had been teaching both his kids in Sunday morning class when he asked his fateful question.  While pulling out of the church parking lot after Sunday service, he asked,  "did you like my class?"

In unison, "not really".

"Why?"

"Because you talk too much."

The topic for the series was "The Decisions We Make" and the subject for the following week was, "The Friends We Make".  Realizing he needed a fresh approach, Derek spent the week searching and thinking.  On Saturday morning, in the space between a dream and waking up, the idea for True Frenemies popped.

The mission of Mount 21 Productions is To Unify and Entertain.  Not very original, maybe a cliche, maybe a platitude, but that is fine with us.  We believe in the story of the good Samaritan.  We believe in forgiveness.  We believe in faith, hope, and love and especially the greatest of these.  We can fixate on what divides or we can focus on what brings us together. 

True Frenemies exists to bring people together and genuinely demonstrate what it really means to turn the other cheek seventy times seven.  We hope you enjoy our game.

Risks and challenges

We anticipate that we will receive the game early December, but nothing is certain. We are subject to the same risks as everyone else at this time of year and our shipment could be delayed. We have done everything possible, including assuming substantial financial risk ourselves, to get the game to you in time for Christmas. If anything does happen to delay shipment of our product, rest assured that we will reach out directly to all of our backers to let you know of our status.

As for the Bible Says expansion decks which will be shipped later in 2020 if our Stretch goals are met, we have very little concern since we have allowed ample time for design, production, and shipment. After producing an entire game with 4 decks, development of a single deck should be a piece of cake!

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