Among the many many game projects currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, one that got my attention is Wrong Chemistry. Wrong Chemistry is a pattern-matching game, where the players manipulate hex tiles and black and white discs to match the chemical recipes for such elements as “manga-niece”, “kobold”, and “beerlilium”.
A team of scientists that don’t have a clue about chemistry, try to transmute a molecule and create new elements… and they get it all wrong.
Each turn, a player can make four energy manipulations to the element on the table: either taking a disc off the board, putting a disc on the board, moving a disc from one hex to another, moving an empty hex, or using “restartium” to start over. At any point during the player’s turn, if the element on the table matches an element on a card in his hand, the player can put the card down and claim its points for the end of the game.
I asked the project’s creator, Michael of Mage Company in Bulgaria, about the game’s origin.
The idea of the game was started by a card called Carbon. Which is an element. If we add an e at the end of this word, then we have car + bone. We play with words. So, we discovered that all the elements of the periodic table can accept this kind of modification, creating the funniest idea. The mechanic was already existed, we just combined both ideas and at the same time we wanted a game to be very easy and at the same time hard to master it. And here we are.. i think Tony (the designer) achieved it!!!
In terms of the project, Mage Company is seeking $8,500 for printing and distribution costs. In return for support, rewards include desktop wallpapers, sponsor credits in the rulebook, a Wrong Chemistry jigsaw puzzle, Mad Scientists promo cards (which allow special energy-free manipulations), a 10 card future expansion, and of-course, a copy of the game.
One small warning, though. At the $10 level, backers will get a copy of the expansion but not the actual game. Michael explained this unusual situation as due to the relative cost of printing 10 cards versus 54 plus other components. I get that. But still, what’s the point of an expansion without the game?
Anyway, that shouldn’t stop you from supporting this game, as long as you know what you’re getting. In fact, if you’d like to try it before putting up the money, Mage offers a free print-and-play version right there at the top of the project web site.
As of tonight, Wrong Chemistry is 69 percent of the way to its goal with 29 days to go. Michael is very hopeful for successfully funding the project but in any case has very positive things to say about his experience with Kickstarter:
With Kickstarter you expose yourself and the games to a large number of people and is the best way to check if your game will be fine in the market and if people will love it. Another thing is that we can have the absolute control on everything we want to do, and we know that if we fail or succeed, it will just us and none else. Kickstarter is the means we look for. Is like we search for a sponsor, only here we can find thousands of tiny sponsors and together we can build something really great.
As a Bulgarian company, launching Wrong Chemistry on Kickstarter was not a straightforward arrangement for Mage Company.
Yes, it is hard really hard and i know a lot of people who want a piece from that pie. I was searching for help over a year now but i was working over 15 hours daily without any brakes and there was always something missing in my head. Finally i realized that i didn’t ask for help from people we already work together, from partners. So, just turned to my partners in US and the door opened at once and that’s great. My advice is that you must not quit at any case, don’t quit even if you see that you will fail. Ask for help from anyone you think that will help you, anyone, a friend, a company, anyone. It is not shame or something, to the contrary it shows that you really want it, you believe in your work.
The point of expansion without the core game is to allow people who want to support their FLGS by buying the core game there, but want to support the KS project too.
That’s a nice idea and I like to see Kickstarter projects find ways to support local retailers. However, it’s not what the company said in response to my question and I didn’t notice any indication that the expansion is exclusive to Kickstarter. Again though, I don’t see it as a problem. I’m not surprised that $10 doesn’t earn a copy of the game. I did, though, want to point it out so others shouldn’t be confused about what they’re getting.