While every crowdfunding campaign is a gamble, there is what I like to call a trifecta of success that most fully or over funded campaigns all seem to have. There is a well put together video that doesn’t look like it was shot on a cellphone, a novel or useful idea and an actual working prototype of whatever it is that the project creator is trying to sell. Sadly it’s harder than it should be to find successful campaigns with an entire trifecta. And if it does have the trifecta, then it’s even more rare to see a campaign that does all three of them well.
Father and daughter game designing team Dent-de-Lion du Midi and Soleil Zumbrunn du Midi have crafted a compelling Kickstarter campaign for their new premium table top game Leonardo – The Game of Art and Death – Plague Edition. This beautiful Leonardo da Vinci-themed board game walks players through 15th century Renaissance Italy as they earn their fortunes, invest in properties and try to buy up as many of Leonardo’s classic works of art as they can. And they do it all while running from the haunting spectre of the Black Death. The game sounds easy to learn to play, but looks like it will have plenty of opportunities for the layers of politics and intrigue that the best historical board games have to offer.
I myself happen to be a huge board game fan, and just the game description alone got me intrigued:
“Choose your figure, and with money in hand, enter the game at Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo. As you travel through 15th century Renaissance Italy, you are faced with strategic decisions: Do you buy the Mona Lisa or invest in one of Leonardo’s brilliant inventions? Do you acquire a Palazzo in Firenze, or aspire to be the Pope in Roma?
Suddenly, the tension mounts as Death appears! It’s the Black Plague, a fact of life in these dangerous times.
Continue your journey, collecting Art and Property, amassing a fortune to ruin your opponents! You must have both luck and skill to succeed, for your position in the game can switch in an instant!”
The prototype itself is practically a work of art all on its own. The game cards feature some of da Vinci’s most iconic works of art, and the entire game looks as if he could have contributed to the design himself. Because every game needs currency of some sort, and there was no official banknotes back in 15th century Italy, the du Midis went ahead and designed their own. Leonardo looks like it will be a stunningly beautiful game that could be a worthy addition to any board game player’s library.
In addition to the beautiful game board and game cards, the creators also designed some fantastic three-dimensional game pieces and brought them to life thanks to 3D prototyping and metal 3D printing. The du Midis had each figure 3D modelled and based all of them on the art, inventions and life of da Vinci himself.
After making sure that each game piece was just right they had prototypes 3D printed in a high-detail resin material for a final quality and scale check to make sure the pieces fit with the rest of the game. Once they had made sure the pieces were perfect they had them 3D printed again, only this time in a metal material so they would have actual weight and wouldn’t feel like cheap pieces of plastic.
The entire package looks so well designed that the Kickstarter board game community obviously couldn’t help but sit up and take notice. After only a little over a week the project has already secured about half of its $48,000 funding goal and they still have about a month to go. Additionally, after only six hours the Kickstarter staff selected Leonardo as a “Staff Pick” and it was the featured project in the Games section. The father/daughter design team has already successfully funded a Leonardo da Vinci card game, so it looks like at this point their board game is going to be a sure thing.
You can learn more about Leonardo – The Game of Art and Death – Plague Edition over on their Kickstarter page. If you want to get your own copy of the game, sadly all of the $129 earlybird copies are gone, but a high quality game like this is still worth the base price of $149. And they’re also offering a pretty great deal for two copies if you back the campaign at $249. It also looks like they have some great stretch goals in place, so it may be time to roll the dice.
Will you be backing this project? Let us know in the Da Vinci Board Game forum thread on 3DPBcom.Here is the Kickstarter campaign video: