We are Keith Baker and Jenn Ellis, and together we are Twogether Studios, an independent game production company in Portland, Oregon. Keith designs games and Jenn makes them a reality!
Twogether Studios have made Phoenix: Dawn Command, and Illimat, a card game in collaboration with the Decemberists. You may also known Keith as the designer of the card game Gloom, the forthcoming Scott Pilgrim card game, and Eberron, his setting for Dungeons & Dragons!
We are obsessed with games and our animals. Action Cats was born when Keith was challenged by a friend to make a game about adventuresome cats. He developed it as a gift for friends, using their cat photos, and it was such a hit we decided to bring it to the world! We’re thankful to our friends who shared their feline pics, playtested, and encouraged us to make this game. We now turn to you, here on Kickstarter, and ask you to join in, share your cat, and make Action Cats a reality!
Action Cats is a game for 3-6 players made up of a deck of 160 cards. Each card has a photo of a cat, and on the reverse side, two halves of an outrageous story.
Players take turns being the "judge," while the rest are storytellers. The judge draws a cat card from the top of the deck and gives the cat a name. The rest of the players each build a story using the cards in their hand. They tell the story to the judge, embellishing all they want (that's the fun part!), and the judge picks their favorite story as the winner!
Still want more? Check out the rules (PDF) and watch this video!
Action Cats is a simple design. You’ve played games like this before. But here are the things that drove us to make this game.
- It’s compact. Each card in the deck includes two separate prompts and a cat on the back. While it’s only 160 cards, there’s over twenty-five thousand possible story combinations.
- It encourages and assists storytelling. Like Gloom, you can choose to play Action Cats with no elaboration. If you’re not feeling creative, you can simply read the text as it’s written on the cards. But Action Cats encourages you to use the prompts as a foundation and expand upon the story. The name of the cat may provide inspiration, and you can also build on the stories of the players who have gone before you. So even if you end up using the exact same combination of cards in two games, you may end up telling a different story with those cards. This cat was the first cat in space and it’s all your fault… but is that because you pushed the wrong button and launched the rocket while they were inside, or is it because you bought this cat their first telescope?
- It’s quick, easy and family friendly.
- It’s got cats. Our original round of donors provided an amazing selection of cats. Every time a new cat comes up, it brings smiles to our faces and ideas for stories. For the final game we’re asking every backer to share pictures of their own cats, and we have no doubt that we’ll end up with an inspiring and adorable selection. If your cat has a story to tell, you can send us your pictures… and maybe they’ll be the next Action Cat!
So yes—we think the game is great. But you don't have to take our word for it!
One of our favorite things about about Action Cats is that every card has a photo of a different, wonderful cat. And in the final version of the game, those cats will be from our Kickstarter Backers!
Once you've backed the game, click here to get the guidelines and submit your cat photos! You can submit up to 8 photos of cats by filling out the form multiple times.
We'll be choosing the best cat photo submissions to make the best version of this game we can. To maximize the chance of getting your cat in the game, read this Kickstarter update where Keith outlines how we'll be selecting the best Action Cats candidates!
When you back our project at $17 or more you can get our game, delivered in time for the holidays!
- The Action Cats Game: 160 double sided cards and instructions in a box designed by artist Natalie Metzger. The box is big enough to carry the core game, yet small enough to bring to a party!
- A chance to have your cat on a card! Each reward level backer can submit their cat pictures, and we'll use our Action Cat 9 Step Image Evaluation Process (AC9SIEP) to choose the final cats for the game!
- Back at the "Bonded Pair" or "Litter" level for multiple copies of the game and shipping savings!
- We have been testing the cards since January so that we can deliver finished files to our printer by August 12th. Delano Manufacturing is estimating a 6-8 week printing process once the proof is approved. We have been working with our wonderful fulfillment partners Blackbox on previous projects and they have reviewed the scope and timing of delivering action Action Cats to you.
During this campaign we will be playing Action Cats live on the Internet and on our social media, and we'd love for you to play along. Please join us!
We'll also be hosting live events during this campaign where you can watch Action Cats in, well, action. Tune in and join us!
- Live Play & Cat Photo Tips! Thursday, July 13, 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern (LIVESTREAM): Live Play of Action Cats with Keith Baker and special guests Lucia Fasano and host Angela M. Webber and cat photographing tips with Sarah Donner! Watch the archived video now!
- Live Play with New Cards & Your Cats! Wednesday, July 19, 4pm Pacific (LIVESTREAM): Live Play of Action Cats with Keith Baker, Richard Malena-Webber, Angela M. Webber and Lucia Fasano. Watch the archived video now!
- Game Demos in Portland! Thursday, July 20—Keith Baker will be at Guardian Games and Jenn Ellis will be at Tryst Bar playing Action Cats with you!
- This Kickstarter, if funded, will let us at Twogether Studios fund a first printing of Action Cats and get you Kickstarter backers the game by the holidays. Why should you join us at this point instead of waiting until it comes out? There’s a few good reasons to hop on our Kickstarter train…
- Get (your cat) in the game! We’re building this game with 100% crowdsourced cats, and anyone who backs the game can submit pictures of their cats for consideration. As there’s only 160 cards in the game, not everyone’s cat will be included… but this is the chance to get your cat in the running.
- Help us expand the game. We don’t know what the demand will be for this game. We’re starting with 160 cards. But if the campaign does well, we’ll add additional cards to the set. By backing now, you help us increase the size of the core set!
Thank you for checking out our game! Check out our FAQ if you have questions, and please send us a Kickstarter message if there's anything else we can answer for you!
Risks and challenges
As a micro-sized company currently printing our previous Kickstarter, we're keeping the Action Cats! campaign as simple as possible. We're printing it in the United States to reduce risk of delays in transit and importing, and we've partnered with Angela M. Webber from Doubleclicks Records to manage the heavy lifting of running our Kickstarter campaign so we can deliver on our promises to both Illimat & Action Cats! backers.
The biggest risk we run on this project is caving in and adding add ons, unplanned stretch goals or pushing our cat picture submission deadline for backers. We love the joy of saying "yes!" but in order for us to deliver on our promises to you we're going to have to say those darned words "Sorry, we can't" in order to deliver you Action Cats!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)