A group of Seattle-area board game designers, who found success on Kickstarter with their first idea a year ago for a game called “Emergence,” are back on the crowd funding site with a new offering called “Emergence: Dark Ops.” And in no time they have exceeded their funding goal.
The group, who grew up in Bellevue, Wash., and later attended the University of Washington, maintained their love of board games while pursuing other careers after college. They would often hang out at Mox Boarding House, a game store and gathering space in Bellevue, where they got the idea to design “Emergence.” That game raised $93,000 on Kickstarter in April 2016.
The enthusiasm from the gaming community for the first game led to the design of “Dark Ops,” and a new campaign launched on Monday with a goal of $15,000. By Wednesday afternoon, they had attracted more than $22,000 from over 500 backers.
Adam Jacobson, a co-director in charge of marketing, spoke for the entire team when he said they were “very excited” about the success of “Dark Ops” so far. That team includes game designer and art lead Jordan Roberts and co-designer and director Billy Sheng, along with Ben Morgan, Diana Zhong, Jarrett Thorsted, Stephen Han, Saili Raje, George Tang, Chris Park and Andrew Wong.
“We designed ‘Emergence: Dark Ops’ to take our favorite parts of games we enjoy, and combine it into one completely new game,” Jacobson said. “We designed it as a game we can enjoy ourselves and share with the world.”
The game is set up for two to six players, and according to Jacobson, is great for both families and those who are into more in-depth strategy games. While it has its own unique style, he said it’s in the vein of such titles as “Codenames,” “Settlers of Catan,” or “Secret Hitler.”
Here’s the “Dark Ops” description:
In Dark Ops, players compete in a Battle Royale: free-for-all format against one another. Players are tasked to retrieve data to their home base to either upgrade abilities for future use, or immediately score points and win. Each player is given a secret “target player”. Limit your target to the least amount of points and score massive bonus points – enough to carry you to victory. But be aware that other players will be attempting to sabotage you as well. You won’t win Emergence by keeping to yourself. Forming soft alliances and timing your betrayal will allow you to gain an advantage and control the board.
The group sold 2,750 copies of “Emergence,” priced at $39, on Kickstarter to just over 2,000 backers last year. “Dark Ops” is priced the same for backers this time around and extras are tossed in at various pledge amount levels, including getting your name in the rule book for $94.
“Board games bring family and friends back to the table and allow us to interact more in person, versus playing video games online or always being connected to the internet,” Jacobson told GeekWire. “It’s quite ironic … ‘Emergence: Dark Ops’ is all about the future digital world. Yet, it’s a game we can enjoy together, ‘disconnected,’ with friends and family.”
Delivery to Kickstarter backers is expected in April 2018.