Looking to spice up your board game night with something quirky and interesting? Then you might want to check out the Kickstarter for a game called Krackades. It’s “Charades on Crack,” as creators Cyrus Khajvandi and Jeffrey Pickhardt call it. We were lucky enough to be able to ask Cyrus a few questions about his game, which you should check out (and Kickstart!) when you’re done reading this. It’s finished this Friday, so hop in quickly and help it get funded!
Q. So, Krackades! Give me the pitch.
A. Krackades is an outrageous new party game in a nascent genre. It’s definitely not for the whole family…unless your family’s from Jersey Shore. It incorporates traditional elements of pictionary, charades and sculpting as teammates compete against the clock and one another to correctly guess irreverent phrases. Teammates can leverage each others strengths to sculpt, act or draw. Conversely, the opposing team doesn’t sit idly by because they can use Krack Attacks to trip up their opponents (e.g. force your opponent to sculpt “Chick Magnet” with one hand or with eyes closed).
Q. How much did you playtest it before bringing it to Kickstarter?
A. We playtested the game dozens of times with different groups of people.
Q. Why did you choose Kickstarter?
A. After our third playtest we knew we had something very viable, exciting and fun. We naturally gravitated to Kickstarter because it gave us a forum to reduce risk via crowd-funding and more importantly share our idea with a broader audience. Our primary bottleneck on Kickstarter right now is traffic to the page. In retrospect, maybe this isn’t the best medium for all games trying to generate a much larger user following de novo. In fact, we will provide a free version of our game on krackades.com. It will offer a reasonable sneak peak into our game because many have asked us for it. Obviously, we cannot provide clay, drawing materials and a timer but you can leave your email and request a professionally produced copy.
Q. Tell me a little about you and your partner, Jeff. You don’t make games full time, right? As people with full-time jobs, how much time did you spend on developing this game?
A. Jeff and I have known each other since undergrad at Stanford. We used to play a lot of games like Charades, Bananagrams and Pictionary in our spare time. It’s taken us over half a year to refine Krackades for quality into its current state. The game mechanics evolved with iterative rounds of playtesting. So we optimized the rules, Krack Attacks and quality of our cards. On a conceptual level, the core of the game is still the same since it inception. I’d record concepts for cards on my iphone whenever inspiration struck. Jeff and I developed a methodical system to rank batches of new cards to filter for quality. If something was really funny and reasonable to guess via sculpt, act or draw, then it passed our first threshold and became an entrant for playtest. If the card did well during playtesting, then it passed our final filter and made it into the game.
Q. Is this the first game you’ve made?
A. Yes, Krackades is my first real attempt as a game developer.
Q. What would you say was your main inspiration and driving force with Krackades?
A. We regularly play tabletop games with friends. And we just got tired of playing the same ones over and over again. So Jeff and I wanted to create a new game to play over the holidays with friends. We wanted to create an irreverent brand of charades and pictionary that really spoke to the sense of humor of our generation. Plus, we had some clay laying around so we threw that into the mix too. That’s where it all started.
Q. Do you have any other games you’re working on right now?
A. Right now, we’re focusing much of our efforts on Krackades. However, we do have other games in early development and still in the conceptual phase right now.
Q. You call Krackades “Charades on crack,” but I see it more as doing for Cranium what Cards Against Humanity did for Apples to Apples. Have you heard that before?
A. Yes, I think it’s an apt description. But it’s an incomplete one at best. It’s funny, after one playtest someone told me if George Carlin were asked to deconstruct and rebuild Cranium, then it would look like Krackades. In terms of game mechanics, what makes Krackades unique aside from it’s wild humor is that it allows rival teams to strategically employ physical challenges via Krack Attacks, which really boosts user engagement, variability in gameplay and overall fun.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring game designers?
A. I’ll keep it simple. Playtest. Know no fear; so don’t be afraid to fail because chances are it won’t work out the first time. And most importantly, have fun!