We've all seen games on Kickstarter, and sometimes they don't do so well — however, there's always an inspiring success story too. Sometimes, a game might manage to raise its goal of $40,000 in only six hours. Aether Tower did just that with their newest game Tricksters.
We'll look into the game that accomplished such a daunting task, and we'll get comments from the game's creators William Burgos and Juan Ramos. Welcome to Tricksters.
How the game is played
Tricksters is the card game that features the Annukuh, mischievous creatures that can grant players either light or dark energy tokens. As the player, you must collect seven of one in order to win the game; however, if you get one of each, the points cancel out.
Sounds easy enough — just don't collect the points you don't need, right? Well, it turns out that how you get points is not determined by you. Each round requires the players to put four cards into a deck, then the players each choose an Annukuh to be their avatar.
Most of the cards are removed from the deck, and the Annukuh that was featured the most becomes the perceiver, the Annukuh featured the least is the trickster, and the remaining Annukuh is the keeper.
The perceiver is forced to take whichever energy is featured most, so if the cards laid out have mostly dark energy, then the perceivers get dark energy. The keepers have no change in their score; however, the tricksters get to choose what energy they want.
Now, let's hear from the creators of this game!
1. Where did the idea for Tricksters come from?
We wanted to make an introductory game for people whose friends are recently discovering the world of boardgames.
Keeping in mind the idea of accidentally earning opposite points, but not necessarily negative points: we started with poker cards, adding and subtracting red ones from black ones. Of course, a lot happened between that and what Tricksters is now.
The creatures and the general appearance of the game were inspired by the board game Seasons; the card Demon of Argos displays a little imp with a great demonic aura. When we saw it, we loved the idea of mischievous cute creatures but also with a dark side.
2. What was your reaction when you saw how fast your game was funded?
The rush of excitement came in first. There are definitely no words that could describe our joy at that moment. And after it, we felt the great commitment with all the backers that made it possible, and all the people yet to come.
3. What is your favorite thing about Tricksters?
We have been board game players for a long time, and of course we enjoy almost any kind of game, but what we enjoy the most is to share all the great moments a game could give you and your friends.
So, our favorite part of Tricksters is that it can be played and enjoyed by strategic gamers and casual friends as well. Also, the art is one of the things we like the most, and thanks to all the stretch goals unlocked, the game includes a lot of new artwork. Backers voted among several sketches to decide the new art.
4. With the game so successful already, do you have plans for new games or expansions to Tricksters?
Of course! But there are some priorities before getting to that. First, we have to mass produce Tricksters, and fulfill all of our backers' rewards. Then we are going to be working on another board game.
The idea and mechanics are already in our heads, and if everything goes as planned, we might be able to Kickstart it during the second quarter of 2017.
An expansion for Tricksters is also planned with some ideas that we cut off during play tests. The goal of the expansion is to add replay value and make it a little more strategic, but we will make it depending on how well Tricksters is received by the board game community during 2017.
5. Is there a particular moment during the testing of this game that stood out, and if so can you tell us what happened?
Originally, the game was more casual than strategic because it had more random factors. Then we removed some of those factors, and the game rested on a very thin line between strategic and casual.
We received some interesting comments from the playtesters after that. Some players mentioned the game was easy and fun, while other players said that it was complex — even more complex than our previous game Hero, a cooperative game that we intend to re-launch in the future.
6. With your game garnering so much attention so quickly, what advice would you give to someone trying to fund their games via Kickstarter?
Analyze other projects and make a list of the things that you like and dislike from them. When you launch your game, implement or avoid those things in your campaign. Learn from your own mistakes.
Running a crowdfunding campaign for a board game is a lot of work, and requires a lot of preparation. But there are many people willing to help out there. Jamey Stegmaier, is one of them and his blog has very useful advice. Your backers might help you along the way too.
I would like to add that I will launch a Kickstarter campaign on January 5th to publish an e-book about all tips, strategies and common mistakes that I have learnt so far about crowdfunding. The digital file will be available beginning in the pledge of $1 in case you wish to add that info. I leave it under your consideration.
As you can see, it's clear that Tricksters was made with a lot of love, and has a chance at being a hit. The game can either be played purely by luck, or by developing a strategy. It does a great job at allowing the players to choose how they want to play the game, and it's a great game for both seasoned board game players and those new to board game mechanics.
So with Tricksters making such a big impact, is it a game you would want to pick up when it's released? If so, and if you missed the Kickstarter, you can subscribe to the email list for updates, and to see when the game is added to Backerbit.
The plan is to release the game in March but with the game so well funded, the add ons might delay the release to later this year.
Platform: Tabletop, Mobile
Release date: March 2017
Developer: Aether Tower