The time of the humans has passed.
All that you were built for is no more.
But you and your kind endure.
Engine Heart is a game about little robots. When the humans were around nobody paid any attention to them, but now the humans are all gone, and they're on their own in a world that's falling apart.
The 2010 version of the rulebook has always been available for free online (and it still is). If you're not familiar with the game, download the book and read it for yourself! Check out what fans are saying:
Still want more? Listen to a podcast of actual gamers playing Engine Heart:
The game is also available in print, but in very limited quantities, and that's what this Kickstarter is all about.
Thirty-eight Friendly Local Gaming Stores (or "FLGSs") have agreed to take copies of the revised and expanded 2013 rulebook on consignment, along with the 80+ page Power and Light adventure module (also available free online). When this project is successful, these thirty-eight stores will all have copies of Engine Heart on their shelves. More stores have asked to get involved, so we've created special dealer-only backer tiers to provide your FLGS with its own robots!
- BOSCO'S (Anchorage, AK)
- Orbital Games (Sierra Vista, AZ)
- Brookhurst Hobbies (Garden Grove, CA)
- Game*Alot Hobby Games (Santa Cruz, CA)
- Get Your Fun On (West Melbourne, FL)
- Titan Games and Comics (Smyrna, GA)
- Beckmon's Gaming Paradise (Twin Falls, ID)
- Castle Perilous Games & Books (Carbondale, IL)
- Fair Game (Downers Grove, IL)
- Games Plus (Mount Prospect, IL)
- The Game Preserve (Indianapolis, IN)
- Modern Myths (Northampton, MA)
- Universe Games (Minneapolis, MN)
- Modern Myths (Mamaroneck, NY)
- CheckMate Games & Hobbies (Toledo, OH)
- Gaming Grounds (Kent, OH)
- Guardian Games (Portland, OR)
- Rainy Day Games (Aloha, OR)
- Big Robot Games (Greer, SC)
- The Nerdery Nashville (Nashville, TN)
- Collected (Ft. Worth, TX)
- Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy (Austin, TX)
- Tribe Comics & Games (Austin, TX)
- The Silver Unicorn (Hopewell, VA)
- Batcave Games (Vancouver, WA)
- The Dreaming Comics and Games (Seattle, WA)
- Games & Gizmos (Redmond, WA)
- Noble Knight Games (Janesville, WI)
- Pink Bunny Games (South Milwaukee, WI)
- Fandom II Adventure Games and Miniatures (Ottawa, ON)
- 401 Games, Toys and Sportscards (Toronto, ON)
- Craving For A Game (Surrey, BC)
- Iocus (Luleå, Sweden)
- Science Fiction Bokhandeln (Stockholm, Sweden)
- Rules of Play (Cardiff, UK)
- The Gamers' Emporium (Swansea, UK)
- Leisure Games (London, UK)
- Orcs Nest (London, UK)
BECAUSE YOU WANTED IT! We've managed to get enough backing that we want to blow it all on the fans! Because so many people have asked for it, backers who are scheduled to receive books (which includes every backer at the Automated Aerial Worm-Collecting Device tier and higher) now have the option of adding multiple GameScience™ custom dice by adding $10 per die!
These dice are expensive to produce, so we'll actually be losing money on them. That's OK, because we want to give as much back as we possibly can, so if you want some dice, grab 'em now!
All you have to do is add $10 to your pledge for every die you want. For example, if you're backing at the $20 level and you want 3 extra dice, increase your pledge to $50 but keep the reward selected at the $20 level. We'll send out a survey at the end of the Kickstarter to verify who wants extra dice and how many.
The very first stretch goal was the final third of In Transit - the complete minimodule was unlocked at $7,501. Since then, more minimods have been unlocked, and all the minimods can be immediately downloaded (by backers only) on the Updates page.
WHERE LOTS OF ROBOTS HAVE GONE BEFORE [UNLOCKED!] - At $9,000 our third minimod, The World Above, was unlocked - this one dealing with the vast cosmos beyond the grouchy bonds of Earth! New robots, new space-themed Features and Defects... what's not to love?
THE WIRELESS HAND OF THE FREE MARKET [UNLOCKED!] - At $11,000 our fourth minimod, Consumer Grade, was unlocked! Written by long-time Engine Heart contributor Kalad "CaesarSalad" Hovatter, it's a libertarian paradise where everything must go! Along with new Features and Defects, this minimod also includes new rules to randomly generate locations for your PCs to blunder into!
ADHESIVE ANDROIDS [UNLOCKED!] - At $14,000 every backer who receives a physical shipment also gets a set of professionally-printed Engine Heart stickers included with their shipment for free! Not only that, but all backers immediately receive a high-resolution pdf of all the sticker icons that's ready for print! These super-cute icons will illustrate the Features and Defects of the new edition, but why cut pages out of your book and tape them to the wall when you can have this instead? Just look at this sampling!
CHARITABLE CLATTER [=LOCKED=] - At $20,000 our final stretch goal unlocks - every backer who receives a physical shipment also receives one free custom d10, identical in every way to the other custom GameScience™ dice already available, except it's free!
Q: What is Viral Games?
A: Viral Games are games made by Viral! Since 2007, we've been creating offbeat, free-to-download RPGs for the Internet at large. Engine Heart, Joints & Jivers, Modempunk, Betty and Veronica meet The Punisher, WETSUIT... chances are you've never heard of any of them!
Q: What is this Kickstarter actually funding?
A: What we're doing is getting Engine Heart into the stores as requested by fans of the game. However, because we are the very definition of independent, we don't have the support of a traditional distribution model. The stores that have agreed to take in copies are doing so on a commission basis, meaning we have to pay for the cost of the print run up front.
When this is successful, the funds will be used for printing a run of 250 copies of the 48-page Engine Heart Economy Model Edition rulebook, 250 copies of the 84-page Power and Light module, and then shipping said books to said 38 stores. The new printing has a few minor fixes that have cropped up over the past few years, although it's totally compatible with the 2010 version. It will also include an all-new story to give a little more context to the world of Engine Heart.
Any excess funds will go to backer rewards and unlocking stretch goals.
As you can see, the core goal of this KS (getting copies of Engine Heart onto store shelves) is only a small part of the funding goal. If someone dropped a check for $2,500 this would already be over, but since that ain't happening, we have to use the backer rewards themselves to pay for (in a twist of financial irony) the backer rewards.
Q: What does Viral get out of this?
A:The stores get paperback copies of the game sent to them for free, and if any copies sell, are gently encouraged to send half of the cover price back to Viral Games. This won't be enough to pay for a second run as large as the first, but will take a dent out of restocking costs.
Q: What are the dice gonna look like?
A: Like this!
Risks and challenges
Assuming that the United States Postal Service doesn't burn up in a thermonuclear conflagration, there really aren't a lot of risks. The books have already been written, and stores have already agreed to take copies. All that's left is paying for the print job.
Once the KS is successful, Viral will be spending most of his time building and crudely depicting robots with his cheap Wacom Bamboo tablet and a ball-point pen. Even in the event of catastrophic computer failure, the files are all safely stored on an external drive. Even God Himself can't ruin things! Of course he (Viral, not God) will be staying in contact with the printer and GameScience to keep on top of any issues that do arise.
Logistically, Viral is just one (handsome) individual. If he gets hit by a car or breaks his good writing hand, things might slow down a little. Likewise, if his laptop goes kaput it might take a little longer to get everything out, although as stated above, pretty much all the pieces are in place.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)