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Exploding Kittens has raised a lot of money on Kickstarter’s crowdfunding platform over the years, and it’s still doing so with a campaign for a wacky new tabletop game called Melee Wombat.
The company’s latest campaign has raised $409,000 from 7,339 backers (at the time of this writing) over the past three days. And on top of that, the company sold a house for $1.
To boost campaign excitement, the Los Angeles company decided to sell a tiny home for $1, said Elan Lee, CEO of Explosive kittens, in an interview with GamesBeat. This is one of those luxury houses on wheels for one person.
“Giving the house away for $1 is the first step in the many insane and ridiculous items we’ll be selling on Kickstarter for $1,” Lee said. “We didn’t want to talk to people about the first one. In fact, we just wanted it to happen randomly. It was just the tip of the iceberg. There are a ton of other items of this caliber and level of insanity that we’ll just randomly put up on our page always for $1.
Lee’s company has been exceptionally good at generating excitement on Kickstarter, and that’s why the company’s titular game has sold 18 million games to date. A former Xbox game designer and creator of alternate reality games, Lee started the company with Matt Inman, comic book artist and creator of The Oatmeal. Their team has played 30 games so far.
Over the next 26 days, Exploding Kittens promises more Wombat-themed extravaganzas to celebrate the company’s new game, Hand-to-Hand Wombat. Each outrageous item will be sold for $1 during the campaign, but will usually appear without warning. The public will have to keep their eyes on the Hand-to-Hand Wombat Kickstarter page for more details, Lee said.
Hand-to-Hand Wombat is a game of trickery. Much like Werewolves or Among Us, the tabletop game can be played with a variety of players. In a four-player version, one is a secret traitor, a saboteur, whose goal is to prevent other players from accomplishing their goals.
In a four-player game, three players keep their eyes closed in a match that lasts 90 seconds. Each player must request rings of different sizes which they can touch and place on a pile to build a pyramid. They must put the rings to complete the structure and win. It looks like a pile of donuts on a peg. But the saboteur will give them objects of different sizes to spoil them.
After 90 seconds, the accusations fuse. Players can vote someone to be the saboteur. But if they choose the wrong person, the game continues. If there are only two players left, the saboteur wins. If the non-saboteurs complete their turns, they win.
“Your goal is just to stack the three towers in the correct order, very simple, except someone tries to trick you,” Lee said. “It’s a super simple game. This is one of those games that makes you laugh so hard your face starts to hurt. And you can’t complete these very simple tasks because of the hilarity interactions of the incredible chaos that is happening.
Lee added, “Our whole company mantra is, ‘We don’t make games that entertain, we make games that make the people you play with entertaining. And so this game really ticks that box.
It turns out that Inman had created his latest cute characters, the Wombats, and they needed to find a home. So Lee said the game that had been in the works for a few years was a good candidate.
“Hand-To-Hand Wombat is social, rowdy fun,” Carol Mertz, senior game designer at Exploding Kittens, said in a statement. “We aim for this kind of experience with all of our games, so we’re particularly proud of the design of this one. It’s the perfect game to pump up the energy of your game nights – players will be laughing and screaming all the way. time.
Lee said the company is announcing the game more widely today because it noticed it had no trouble garnering attention in the first three days of a 30-day Kickstarter campaign. But right now, many campaigns are stagnating and they become a struggle until they get closer to the end. So Lee wanted to start announcing gifts and bringing the crowd back from day four. This is an interesting lesson for other potential campaigns.
“We’ve long said that the only way to get back to Kickstarter is for the right reason. And that reason is that it’s never all about money. It’s always the word crowdfunding. It’s always the emphasis. put on the crowd rather than the funding,” Lee said. “We’re only going on Kickstarter for a crowd. This game was perfect because this game is selling very well. When you see other people playing it. It’s so much fun.
Lee said the exact game wasn’t quite finished and the company wanted to test prototypes of different types on players. The team will collect feedback from Kickstarter media and adjust the game accordingly. The game has already gone through many iterations.
Lee said the team almost called the new game Mortal Wombat. The company hasn’t been on Kickstarter since launching Throw Throw Burrito.
“We thought it was time to go back and talk to this community again,” he said.
To support the Kickstarter project, you can visit the project website. Exploding Kittens was Kickstarter’s biggest project of all time.
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