Nathan Hansen Games

So, I've started working on a new party game which I've tentatively titled Shrunken Heads. Essentially it's a psychological deduction game.

How it plays

Each round one player plays as the Doctor and all other players play as patients. The patients draw a card which tells them what kind of psychological disorder they have (not real disorders) or who they think they are. Each patient gets to make one statement. Then the Doctor asks each patient 2 questions. Then the Doctor tries to diagnose each patient. After each diagnosis, the patient reveals their card. If the Doctor is correct, they take the card and put it face-down in front of themselves. If they are wrong, it stays face-up in front of the patient. After each player has had a chance to play as the Doctor, everyone counts the face-down cards in front of them and subtracts the face-up cards in front of them. The total is their score. And that is basically it.

What's in the game?

As of right now, I have 209 cards in the test kit. The plan at the moment is to have the base game have 500 cards, and then maybe do expansions down the road with 250 cards each.

Testing so far

As of this writing, the game has only been played in two small groups a grand total of 6 times. In both groups very quickly understood the game, and seemed to really enjoy it.

What's next?

As I already mentioned earlier I need more cards. I don't think that will be a major concern. The current 209 were compiled in about an hour and a half session between myself and 4 others sharing a google sheet and just listing everything we could think of. I don't know how many of those cards will make it into the final game but I think the bulk will.

Beyond expanding the number of cards, I need to get the game on the table with as many people as possible. I need to do this for two reasons. One reason obviously is to get feedback. There is no such thing as enough feedback. The second reason is more related to potential marketing concerns. At some point, I'm going to want to publish the game, and I think the most likely path for this game is self-publishing. Which means either a crowd funding campaign or a service like The Game Crafter. Using The Game Crafter would mean a price point I couldn't justify. So crowdfunding it is. And crowdfunding means video. Specifically b roll footage I can have in the background while I talk about the game.

Going with crowdfunding also means I'll need to get manufacturing quotes. I've already started this process. I'm not sure I can publically discuss quote numbers so I won't at this time.

Also, given my previous lack of success at crowdfunding, I'm hesitant to launch a campaign without a fairly substantial amount of interest built up before the campaign. Which at a minimum means putting the game in front of people at conventions. And should also include some sort of email acquisition so people can be notified when the campaign launches. To that end, in the next few days, I'll probably set up a landing page for the purpose of building an email list.

Written by Nathan Hansen — March 24, 2017

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