Trumped Tweets (2018) Out Of Context Games LLC
Company Owner - Roles and Responsibilities
- Competing to earn funding
- Game Prototyping
- Gameplay testing
- Systems design
- Graphic design
- IP management
Trumped Tweets is the first party game to use real tweets as playing cards. Players must use real tweets to answer fake journalist questions. The game was made to be light-hearted about politics to help people get past all the political nastiness.
Trumped Tweets has 500 cards to the base game with a 110 card expansion. The game launched on Kickstarter in August of 2018. The game raised over $3,000 from 45 backers in the matter of a few days, but lost traction afterwards. Check below for the postmortem to learn about why the project didn't succeed in the past, but how it may come back in the future.
I created the company Out of Context Games LLC to be the backbone of my passion. In additional to digital game design, I love the rapid prototyping and iterative process of creating party games. The party games I make always bring people together for social occasions and reveal so much about each other.
When I started the project Trumped Tweets, I didn't think the game would make it past my first play test. To my surprise, the game was an enormous hit due to people uniting against a common enemy, the stressful scene of politics.
I began to develop the game further with the intent of bringing people together despite all the stress. I prototypes thousands of cards and tested the game for over a hundred hours in total. At the end of the process, I created a game I was proud to share and give people a good laugh.
Champlain College Elevator Pitch, 1st place
Although the project was not successful on Kickstarter, the game amounted to an enormous success in my sophomore year!!!
- I won 1st Place of 36 in my category in the Champlain College Elevator Pitch ($500)
- I won $400 in the Vermont LaunchVT qualifiers
- I gave presentations to professionals in business and design
- I was on Live TV twice! (NBC5 and WCAX)
- I created my own press kit and press release
- I have represented Champlain College BYOBiz at career fairs and open houses
- I was hosted several times by local businesses for a game night
- I worked with professionals to create my own business
Looking Back - the Kickstarter Campaign
I loved working on Trumped Tweets. It inspired me to work on other party games in my free time and further develop public speaking and entrepreneurial skills.
If you are reading this far, I would suppose you have interest in what happened to my Kickstarter! A couple things went wrong, but here are the main points I will discuss...
First off, the brand "Trumped Tweets" did not work. I tried to make use of the already known name "Trump", but that ended up backfiring in the end. People were disinterested in the title due to my demographic location (Vermont, the land of Bernie) and issues that were happening at the time. I found that towards the end of the project, people did not want to try the game due to the brand, not the concept.
The issue with timing was a two parts. I rushed the game and the Kavanaugh scandal erupted as I launched the game. I tried releasing the game too early and ended up adding in a feature last minute which didn't work out and I didn't develop strong enough graphics. I found that pushing too quickly resulted in a somewhat sloppy Kickstarter page which leads me to my final point.
Kickstarter is so much more political than meets the eye (I find this ironic). The flow of patrons to your campaign will stop unless Kickstarter likes you or you pay extraordinary amounts of money in purchasing 3rd party campaign boosters and ads. I had a relatively small budget as a sophmore in college, so a lot of my funding came from friends, family, and connections I've made with the game. I launched the campaign before school, so my friends didn't know about it until mid way through the process. My interview with NBC 5 didn't launch until the middle of my campaign either. If you're not funded in the first week on Kickstarter, there is little hope for you it seems like.
Despite the outcome of my Kickstarter campaign, I was very happy with the product I made. I am considering reworking the project with a different brand, but that will come later in time.
Feel free to check out the Kickstarter --->