Chances are, you recognize the work of Delaware artist Gus Fink, whether from Art Loop exhibitions, The Oddball Art Hall at Oddity Bar, his collaboration with Spaceboy Clothing or his creepy toy brand Dr. Krinkles. His style is bizarre and unsettling, yet magnetically appealing, sometimes even cute. It seems he’s always creating something, so the genesis of the card game he co-created with designer Jeff Brown seems natural:
“Jeff asked me if I wanted to play a board game,” said Fink. “I said, ‘Could we make one instead?’ He was hesitant, but I said, ‘Give me 60 seconds,’ and I started coming up with a game idea. He kept asking me questions on how it would work. A few hours later we’d built a paper prototype and tested it out.”
Today, that prototype is a fully-realized game with a manufacturing and distribution plan, and a Kickstarter to help fund it.
Fink and Brown have successfully run a Kickstarter campaign before, in 2015, when they exceeded their $5,000 goal to launch “Frightshow Fighter,” a Mortal Kombat–style fighting game featuring Fink’s hand-drawn monster characters rendered in 3D (the game is currently available on Steam). Combine that with Fink’s experience as a toy designer and Brown’s experience designing board and card games, and the card game they came up with, Nerd Battles, became a viable project.
Gameplay involves character cards representing various “nerds,” like Steampunk Penny, Walt Wizard and Gothic Gary, each with numbers for attack, defense and IQ, plus stand-up “confidence tokens” that increase attack and defense values. Defeated nerds are sent to the winner’s basement, where a collection of four wins the game.
So, why launch the game through Kickstarter?
“Crowdfunding is a great way to test the market,” said Fink (more on that here). “As a PR launching platform, it lets the public know all about what you’re looking to do. It’s grown in success and become a normal social platform for others to hear about your latest project, and to help it get funded without going into debt.”
The Nerd Battles Kickstarter, which has a goal of $11,000, will run until July 10 at noon. A $22 “Early Nerd Special” includes a full copy of the Nerd Battles game and a signed special edition Nerd Battles print. At higher pledge levels, perks include custom-designed nerd cards and custom artwork by Fink.-30-
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