Gaming projects have always been a very popular theme for crowdfunding in western countries. According to last year’s report from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, $500 million had been pledged to gaming projects, which is a lot more than other categories.
Out of them all, the physically interactive tabletop games are often seen as the best choice to play with your family and friends. Not only are these games fun by themselves, any crowdfunded product related to tabletop games, like a dedicated gaming table, or a game bag, will always get at least a few thousand backers.
What about Taiwan?
There are actually quite a lot of tabletop game enthusiasts in Taiwan, and unique tabletop game stores are hidden inside alleys all over Taiwan, awaiting the arrival of customers to enjoy themselves in the games with a relaxed mood. However, most tabletop games in the market are foreign imports, there aren’t enough Taiwanese tabletop games to make an impact in the market. It takes tremendous effort, time and money to design a good tabletop game, and as crowdfunding gets more accepted and widely used day by day, more design teams are eager to jump in, to make more tabletop games for the Taiwanese people with the power of the crowd.
The three crowdfunded tabletop games we are going to introduce are such cases. They observe and study the lives of Taiwanese people and use their imagination to make things happen, giving the players all the details of local features and fresh visual presentations in the games.
Summoning good local stories: Taiwan Monsters
Is Taiwan a treasure island or a ghost island to you? Actually , it could be both! This small island is young, but due to its complex climate and terrain, many species and supernatural phenomena are bred. In the stories told by the older generation, the demons and ghosts in the mountains, though their existence are not proven by science, still bear a lot of local customs in them, and thus are an indispensable part of Taiwan’s folk culture.
Let’s collect all of Taiwan’s exclusive monsters! Taiwan Monsters is a tabletop game for 2 to 4 people, in it players can play as all kinds of demons and cast abilities according to the “Demon Natal Chart” and challenge other players with spell cards.
The demons in the game are not completely made up by the team, they are all based on the imagination of the legends spread all over Taiwan. For example the “Yellow Flying Man” originated from Yushan, it was a hiker who claimed to have seen a mysterious man in yellow raincoat; the “Sun Moon Lake Merman” is a half man, half fish creature that the local Ita Thaw people believe to live in Sun Moon Lake.
“Demons are’t far, stories are right in hometown.” The project team wants Taiwan’s unique stories seen through tabletop games.
Everybody can make tea: Bubble Tea
Speaking of Taiwan’s dessert, bubble tea always comes to people’s minds. The drink we can easily purchase from any tea store originated here in Taiwan. In the tabletop game Bubble Tea, you play as the tea maker, your mission is to make the perfect drink for your customers, and become the Bubble Tea Expert!
The project team put up a picture of the characters on their crowdfunding page. They are common dessert ingredients like Tapioca, Tangyuan and Chinese mesona, and they can merge with many of Taiwan’s native animals to become adorable characters! The metal shaking cup that every tea store has is naturally an item in the game as well.
Besides drinking bubble tea, you might want to experience “playing” it as well.
The art of dessert: Serious Play Sweet Nose
Sweet Nose is a game that sits somewhere between Taiwan Monsters that’s based on demons in folk customs and Bubble Tea that’s based on people’s favorite drink, it has both the folk customs and dessert elements.
In folklore, Sweet Nose is punished by Lei Gong for gluttony over dessert. In this game of the same name, players have to control the amount of dessert he eats, or they lose the game.
The team also made a video tutorial to help you learn to play the game quickly.
Interestingly, the teams of these three Taiwanese tabletop games decided to work together on promoting Taiwanese culture, so they have linked all their crowdfunding goals together, and the Taiwan Monsters team is the first to announce the requirements for “special unlocks:”
Serious Play Taiwanese Folklore Tabletop Game, Sweet Nose:
If Sweet Nose reaches the goal of NT$150,000 before campaign ends, we’ll give everybody who preordered Taiwan Monsters a Thunder Beast spell card.
The Thunder Beast is here because the other Taiwanese legend Sweet Nose always tries to climb to the Heaven Palace, and this provokes Lei Gong so much that his anger transforms into a demon and lands on Taiwan, so other demons of Taiwan better watch out!
The Tabletop Game that Promotes Classic Taiwanese Delicacy, Bubble Tea:
If Bubble Tea reaches the goal of $NT100,000 before campaign ends, we’ll give everybody who preordered Taiwan Monsters a Cat Kaka spell card.
Cat Kaka is another form of Kaka Giant, and always tries to eat the best food in Taiwan. In a situation like this, a genuined Taiwanese bubble tea and a juicy chicken cutlet will have to be summoned, in order to tame the adorable demon.
In other words, if you have already sponsored Taiwan Monsters, and Sweet Nose or Bubble Tea, then once the campaign ends and each team has reached their requirements for the special unlock, you will get the team bonus spell cards! This strategy not only seeks more potential sponsors, but also helps the teams to encourage each other.
Whether you are curious about tabletop games, or just want to support these teams for their efforts in promoting Taiwanese culture, you can visit their crowdfunding pages for more information!
This article is a repost from crowdwatch