My New Project – Active Memory

information sign on shelfI am starting a new project.  I don’t know how far I will be able to take it (explained later) but I thought I would document the process I am going through for both my own reference and for anyone else that may need to pointers or encouragement.

So, what am I creating?  It’s a game.  Not a video game but a regular game with physical objects.  I do not want to get into the description of the game too much here for a couple of reasons but I think it may be called a board game though it is not a traditional board-based game.  The name of the game right now is Active MemoryTM.

My plan is to prepare some prototypes to test out the concept and run through some real gameplay.  Hopefully, I will be able to find some suckers volunteers to give it a shot.

After I work out any kinks, I want to put together a Kickstarter campaign.  The campaign will have two purposes: 1) Fund the final development of the game including graphic design, packaging, and marketing and, 2) help market the game to get a sense of the level of interest that may exist.  The first purpose is obvious.  It takes money to hire someone to design pieces that look better than my prototypes and the look of the packaging as well as to purchase material in quantities that bring the cost down to something reasonable.  Fortunately, this cost of materials for this project seems fairly low.

The second goal of using Kickstarter to market the game may seem a little backward since I would not have a product yet.  Unfortunately, I do not have a platform by which I can show the game to a large number of people.  Kickstarter will not necessarily fix that problem but there are people going to Kickstarter just to find the newest thing.  So, the idea will be to get a good start on Kickstarter by getting family and friends to donate a little to the project to maybe get it noticed by people browsing Kickstarter or by the staff of Kickstarter.  It seems like a long shot but it is probably my best shot.  Let me know if you have a better idea.  If it doesn’t get funded by Kickstarter, I will need to consider my options again and may decide not to pursue it further.  Worst case, I will get experience running a Kickstarter campaign.

Success for this project is to make this game profitable for me, even if it is only profitable by the narrowest of margins.  And the profit will have to be beyond ALL costs such as the cost of prototypes, artwork, materials, marketing, order fulfillment, etc.

In addition to not having a base of supporters to whom I could market the game, there are a couple of other obstacles to success.  One is that the game does not neatly fit into a category.  It uses playing-style cards extensively but it is not a card game.  There is no board so, not a board game.  If anything, I would say it is closer to Pictionary in terms of gameplay.  I see that Amazon classifies that as a board game.  Another obstacle, maybe, is that it is a “casual” game instead of the campaign/quest style of game that seems so popular on Kickstarter and elsewhere.  But, those two obstacles are due to the design of the game and I can change them but I will be mindful of those.

So, that is an introduction to my Active Memory project.  In my next post, I will give an update on where I am on the project and discuss my rudimentary (game)plan.

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