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Travel back in time to play as a plucky group of kids helping Time Cellist save the world from The Maestro of Maliciousness!
Travel back in time to play as a plucky group of kids helping Time Cellist save the world from The Maestro of Maliciousness!
177 backers pledged $4,450 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Super fan artwork by Darcy Boyd
Super fan artwork by Darcy Boyd

Hi there!  We're the designers of Time Cellist, the new role-playing game from Wheel Tree Press, where you and your friends team up to stop an evil super villain from taking over the world.

Let your inner history buff run wild as you pick the setting where the forces of good and evil square off in their epic battle! Feudal Japan, Victorian England, Ancient Egypt, or America in the 1980s...whatever you like! Players take on the role of a plucky group of kids saving the world from the Maestro of Maliciousness, a time traveling super villain bent on taking over the time stream. But the kids don’t have to take on The Maestro by themselves. They’ll be aided in their quest by Time Cellist, a cello-wielding hero, traveling through time making sure The Maestro’s plans are foiled.

The game’s set-up and mechanics are designed to emulate the frenetic, ensemble cast feel of movies like the Goonies or E.T., or TV shows like Young Justice or Doctor Who. You and your friends are creating a heroic story about how saving the world just so happens to bring your gang closer together and helps you to overcome obstacles as a group. As a touch of nostalgia and a nod to the halcyon days of our youth, we've integrated a variety of kids games to build your setting and resolve conflicts. You’ll use Mad Libs, rock paper scissors, slapjack, and a cootie catcher to help create your story as you try and foil The Maestro’s plan without screwing up history too much. You should probably brace yourself for a few dinosaurs running around the French Revolution or an airplane landing in the Wild West... all part of a day’s work for Time Cellist.

Time Cellist is a game for all ages!  While it's great for adult gaming groups, it's also perfect for kids to play.  Parents and teachers can even sneak a little history lesson into the fun!

Most of the money we're raising will go towards working with some top notch people to make our finished product really sing.

Kyle Bice original artwork from the Monster Weekly
Kyle Bice original artwork from the Monster Weekly

Kyle Bice is a Chicago based freelance artist, specializing in illustration and fine art.  A 2002 graduate of the American Academy of Art with a BFA in painting, Kyle has done artwork for Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics and recently designed a series of original label artwork for New Holland Brewing.  He is the lead artist for The Monster Weekly, a blog that promotes childhood literacy, and is the author and illustrator of A Book of Dwarves, which he self-published via a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012.  Kyle will be creating original artwork for Time Cellist which includes a full color cover illustration for the book, along with several pen and ink illustrations for the interior.

Kyle Bice original artwork from the Monster Weekly
Kyle Bice original artwork from the Monster Weekly

Our layout expert is Nathan D. Paoletta, an independent graphic designer, game designer, small press publisher and narrative design consultant.  While many people are familiar with Nathan's original games, like Annalise, Vesna Thaw and the newly backed World Wide Wrestling, he has also worked behind the scenes on layout design for games like Ron Edwards' Circle of Hands and the Sorcerer Upgrade, Elizabeth Sampat's It's Complicated and Russell Collins' Tears of a Machine.  Nathan will be helping us create the overall look of our Time Cellist activity booklet and character sheets.

Finally, we’re also working with author PK Sullivan, known for his work with Margaret Weis Productions on the Firefly RPG, to create some unique historical primers for different time periods as a supplement to the book.

The physical game book will be 8.5"x11", similar to a child's activity booklet or coloring book, and will feature full color cover artwork and glossy, magazine-style pages.   Our physical books and materials will be printed by MagCloud.  In most cases, distribution of backer rewards will also take place through them.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our Time Cellist Kickstarter! We hope you'll consider investing in our project. 

-- Megan Pedersen & Todd Nicholas


UPDATE - STRETCH GOALS

We made it!  While our initial funding has been met, we still have extra time to make some stretch goals happen. 


$3000 - Time Anomaly Random Encounter Table
Everyone loves time anomalies.  We'll add a special random encounter table to the activity booklet chock full of time anomalies to use in your games of Time Cellist. 

$4000 - Historical Primer by PK Sullivan:  1960s London
This particular setting is a favorite of ours and PK.  If this goal is met, all backers will receive this historical primer.  Take a deep dive into groovy, Mod London.

$5000 - Full Color Cover Wrap Artwork by Kyle Bice
The front cover art will be extended to wrap around to the entire activity booklet, making it twice as nice as the original cover we had planned.

$6000 - Time Cellist Digital Music EP by Eric Ahlgren and Todd Nicholas
We love to include music during our game sessions.  That's actually how we got the inspiration to make the game.  If this goal is met, Eric and Todd will release an original music EP for all backers to use during your games of Time Cellist. 

Risks and challenges

This is our first published product and we realize that there may be unforeseen production delays that we can't anticipate. We will do our best to troubleshoot any issues that arise in a timely fashion.

The game has been fully playtested and the materials have been revised several times based off of the findings from our playtest sessions. The work on the actual game draft at this point is cosmetic in nature and a final draft for publication is almost completed. The risk that the game will not be finished on schedule is very minimal.

We are very lucky to be working with individuals that have been through the Kickstarter process before with successfully funded and distributed products. The experience that both Nathan and Kyle bring to the table will be invaluable to us as we compile the final draft for publication. Their input on many aspects of this project - including vendors to use for printing, shipping options and crowdfunding strategies - has been instrumental in how we will complete this project.

While our preference is to work with the collaborators set forth in the project description, we do have a number of other individuals that could step in should a replacement become necessary.

Almost all backer rewards are things that we can create and generate on our own. While this will be a time consuming process, it is definitely one that can successfully be done by both of the designers.

We are confident we can bring this in on time, but welcome any questions or concerns you may have!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU! Every little bit counts. We'll include you in our backer thank you on the Wheel Tree Press website.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    DIGITAL VERSION: You'll receive a PDF copy of the Time Cellist activity booklet, plus a thank you on our website.

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    45 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PRINT VERSION: You'll receive a physical copy of the Time Cellist activity booklet, plus the PDF copy and thank you on our website.

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    45 backers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    TIME ANOMALY: You'll receive everything from the print version tier, plus a custom "cootie catcher" with epilogue outcomes and a deck of cards for the Final Battle.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    LOST IN TIME AND SPACE: You'll receive everything from the Time Anomaly tier, plus three Kickstarter exclusive historical primers written by PK Sullivan.

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    8 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE MAESTRO'S EVIL PLAN: You'll receive everything from the Lost in Time and Space tier, plus a custom book of the Maestro's Evil Speech Mad Libs.

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    18 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE RETAILER PACKAGE: You'll receive five physical copies of the activity booklet. Perfect for gaming groups or brick and mortar stores!

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ARMY OF STEVES: You'll receive everything from the the Maestro's Evil Plan tier, plus your choice of a custom print of Time Cellist artwork by Kyle Bice.

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Funding period

- (30 days)