Back in 2013, John Wrot of Gate Keeper Gaming ran a campaign for a game called The King’s Armory… and it didn’t fund. But he didn’t give up. He lined up some artwork (funded through an Indiegogo campaign) and relaunched his campaign with a new tactic: he let backers make the decisions.
His motto was: “This is your game!” And backers loved it. Wrot asked for opinions on everything from colors to stretch goals to miniatures, and sent out frequent backers-only surveys after the campaign closed, while the game was in development and production. Well, now that The King’s Armory has been produced and delivered to backers, Wrot has a new project on Kickstarter: A.D.A.P.T., a card game about survival of the fittest–or maybe the fishiest. Each player starts as a guppy, and adds various parts (or even swaps out bodies) to attack opponents.
What’s especially fascinating to me is the way that Wrot chose to run this campaign: it’s not just your game this time around–it’s your campaign. He shared (and even advertised) the project page before it was even live, building the project page from the ground up in 7 days based on feedback from fans and potential backers. The graphics, the ordering of the pages, even what sections to include on the page, were all decided by votes. The current list of stretch goals are still up for re-ordering, based on how the polls shake out by the time the project reaches its funding goal.
Although the illustrations are mostly complete, there are various current polls about the colors of the card borders, arrangements of icons, and so on.
Although I haven’t gotten to play the game myself yet, I’m definitely following this campaign with interest. A.D.A.P.T. is a lighter game (literally!) than the 5-pound behemoth of The King’s Armory, but Wrot’s decision to let fans make decisions about everything is, well, game-changing, and earned him a lot of fans last time around. I’m betting many of them will return just to see what else he’s got in store.
To find out more about the game–and to cast your own vote–visit the A.D.A.P.T. Kickstarter page.