September 27th, 2005
Today’s the last day to back my new game, TBH, on Kickstarter!
We’ve just hit our 1000-backer stretch goal, which means every backer will now get a free pack of Kickstarter-exclusive bonus cards!
These are cards that won’t be in the post-Kickstarter edition of the game, and won’t be available to anyone after today.
The game itself will be widely available in (probably) August, but only Kickstarter backers will get these bonus cards.
The cards that will comprise the bonus pack were made as Mad Lib-style fill-in-the-blanks by our backers! They suggested terms, and we made them make sense (kind of). For example:
(click the images for a closer look)
AND…MORE LIKE THIS
In our final few hours, we’re now hoping to hit 1100 backers, which would mean increasing the bonus pack to include even more cards!
I recently posted a video on the ol’ (very ol’) Machine of Death Kickstarter campaign to explain why I felt TBH might appeal to folks who backed that project.
And I wrote a bit too:
I think you’ll like TBH if:
- You like the creative storytelling aspect to Machine of Death. TBH has that in spades.
- You thought the storytelling in Machine of Death got repetitive. The topics in TBH are about many different things – not just, you know, homicide.
- You thought the storytelling in Machine of Death was too unstructured. TBH gives you a prompt and then provides a specific framework for exploring it.
- You thought Machine of Death was witty and well-written. Not all the same people are working on TBH, but a few are, and it’s my same creative sensibility overseeing it all.
- You thought Machine of Death didn’t go hard enough. TBH has an optional NSFW expansion pack that’s full of butts and boobs and stuff. (If you want that.)
- You think this is a weird time to be thinking about death. TBH doesn’t skew as dark as MOD, in that it is not a game specifically about murders.
- You think Machine of Death could have used more gameplay structure. Unlike MOD, which relied heavily on subjective elements, TBH works like clockwork as a game, with a simple but elegant competition/scoring mechanic that involves all players at all times.
- You wish there could be more Machine of Death. The success of TBH (if it’s successful) may pave ways for more MOD, who knows!
- You are glad Machine of Death is gone. TBH is a totally different game.
…And I mentioned one other thing in that post too! I figured out how to do a personalized incentive for this campaign.
As a special incentive for Friends of Malki, if you add 50 cents to your pledge (at any tier), I’ll send you a handwritten thank-you card AND a special bonus game card.
Look for the “Bonus Support” field on Kickstarter when you pledge, and add the extra bit there.
*Note that I’ve learned some browsers don’t let you add anything but whole dollar amounts in the Kickstarter UI. Adding a single dollar also works.
Doing the above flags your pledge as, “I heard about this from Malki.” This also helps Cut see how many people I personally have been able to direct to check out the game!
This helps me in a variety of ways professionally, so, I’m happy to do the extra work of writing the thank-yous and mailing them out.
That’s it! This is the last day.
If you’ve already checked it out, thank you! If not, now’s your chance!!
BONUS LINK FOR MORE TBH:
The great LoadingReadyRun played a rousing round of TBH the other night on their Twitch show! So this will give you a great sense of the game, too.
We’ve also been playing TBH on Twitch ourselves lately! Here’s my channel. I want to do more of these soon!
We’re working on stretch goals now, to make the game even bigger and better. The campaign runs through the end of April, and I hope you’ll check it out!
If you visit the page, you’ll see my face halfway down, hosting a “How to Play TBH” video that I shot in my living room.
But otherwise, the campaign is run by a company called Cut. (I mean, truthfully it’s run by me behind the scenes, but I’m doing it for Cut.)
I’ve been working with Cut for a while now, advising on their development of a merchandise arm, and TBH the game actually came out of a pitch for a Lineup episode.
It was sparked by the idea of having not just one guesser, but rather, having all the participants guess on each other.
From there, we started playtesting a serious version of the game, all about moral dilemmas. One player would pose a dilemma, and there would be conversation as everyone tried to figure out how the others would answer.
But… There’s a mechanic where the player gets to draw two prompt cards (“Dilemmas”), and then chooses which one to ask the group.
What we noticed rapidly was that players reliably chose the weirder option.
So, we decided to make the game weird.
• One player draws the card and poses the dilemma to the group. They are the Dilemma Boss.
• The other players all ask clarifying questions about the dilemma. This is the fun part — where the Dilemma Boss gets to make up whatever answers they want.
• Once everyone’s satisfied that they know enough to answer the question, they secretly answer YES or NO for themselves.
• Everyone then guesses how the other players answered. You score points for guessing right!
(Here’s me saying all this in video form too.)
The scoring and guessing is fun, but the real joy is the questions, answers, and the group storytelling that results from it.
Every group takes the dilemmas in different directions. In-jokes are developed. Surprises occur.
In a time when we have been seeking new forms of connection — tired of the same old “how’s it going for you” conversations — it turns out we actually have lots to talk about, if we just start making stuff up.
And yet, somehow, by doing so, we find that the game uncovers real truth and honest conversations. It’s something of a magic trick.
And it’s really, really fun. We’ve been playing this game basically nonstop for months now, as we’ve been testing the prompts. It’s fun every single time.
I’ve been fortunate to assemble a crack team of creative superheroes to help with this game:
• Co-creator Nate Weisman, formerly of Funko games
• Graphic designer Alexandria Ferri Land
• Project manager & writer Sara McHenry
• Videographer & writer Zachary Sigelko
• Writers Maddie Downes, Lisa Wallen, Grace Freud, Daniel O’Connell, Billie Bullock, & Trin Garritano
You may or may not know those names, but rest assured they are a rogue’s gallery of greats. I couldn’t (wouldn’t!) do this by myself, and I sure haven’t this time.
Kickstarter copies of the game will be shipping out later this summer (just in time for party season to return, we hope), but also, we have an online version you can play via video chat right now! There’s a link to that on the Kickstarter page (look for “Play it Now”).
I’ll have even more on TBH soon. But here’s an account from Trin, one of the writers, which I loved to read:
I remember going to my first TBH writers meeting and thinking, “David Malki hand-picked the most interesting, talented weirdos from the internet to make a party game and somehow I am also here.”
And then after a while I realized on top of that, they’re also thoughtful and kind.
Thoughtfulness is uncommon in party games. I do not feel comfortable subjecting my friends to most of them.
We are making the game that we’d like to exist already. Quite frankly, it should exist already and I am offended that we have to do it ourselves.
Everybody on the team is fascinating.
Sara’s a kettlebell enthusiast who makes sweet comics about her cat, and has probably written your favorite Clickhole piece.
Grace is a powerful cryptid from an unknown realm.
I don’t know what Maddie’s deal is, but she should be in charge of all television.
Billie has an actual degree in computer science from a reputable institution, but decided to make jokes for a living instead.
So we have this crack team of Internet Goofs at your disposal. And our only goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to be hilarious.
We write a little seed of a story that, under your care, will one day grow into the most messed-up topiary. And I think that’s beautiful.
Essentially, your friends cast you in the starring role of a pocket universe, and then attempt to guess what exactly you would do next. That’s the beauty, and also the psychic horror, of the Reveal phase.
Truth or Drink [Cut’s last game] is a game about the embarrassing stuff you’ve done in your past.
But TBH is about who you are.
I’ve spent the past six months making a new party game.
I said a bit more about it on Twitter too, starting here.