Today I’m launching a crowd-funding campaign for a 3D board game I first conceived 15 years ago. Like any invention, there is a personal story behind its creation and a dream that extends well beyond its exposure to the world.
The game I am launching on Indiegogo.com is called Superpowerful Bonanza. It is a three-dimensional multilevel board game designed to resemble a cityscape. Playing areas include a highway (with cars); a city park (with actual trees) and three apartment buildings (complete with balconies) players must ascend to defeat the bad guys.
I designed the game to play like the ‘side-scrolling’ video games I enjoyed during my youth – along the lines of Double Dragon and Contra (two of my favorites). Up to four players must transverse five different levels to collect weapons, health, powers and superpowers in order to defeat enemies and the level bosses.
As a hard-core comic book fanatic, I populated Superpowerful Bonanza with an array of new superheroes and super villain characters – each with a unique back story and mission (explained in an accompanying one-shot comic book). The beautiful artwork was provided by the incredible comic book artist Daniel Wong.
My ambition is to provide gaming fans with a unique experience through Superpowerful Bonanza. I’m optimistic that donors to the campaign will appreciate the workmanship I put into hand-crafting each and every edition. There are NO plans for mass-production here…my two hands and specific tools are all I need to create a fun interactive game for years to come.
A colleague who previously heard of my impending campaign asked me, “…why in the world would you want to make a complex looking game by hand? If you raise the money why not just outsource, make the thing out of plastic and be done with it?”
The answer to the query was simple, “…because Superpowerful Bonanza was never meant to be a cheap board game to be sent overseas for factory mass-production. This game was (and still is) that singular moment of creation that saved my life and filled me with the direction and confidence needed to make me who I am today!” In essence, creating Superpowerful Bonanza saved me from self-destruction.
It was during the late 90s when I was suffering through a crippling depression. Issues stemming from family tensions, school and relationship woes were weighing heavily on my mind to the point I had a nervous breakdown by my early 20s. Those were truly rough years in which I felt lost, angry and without purpose.
Unexpectedly, a day after my 22nd birthday, my imagination went bonkers and I started making a board game out of cardboard – my first attempt at such a task. Without pre-planning or a clear direction, I spent 6 months dedicated to creating a three-dimensional game with just Bristol board, construction paper, cardboard, toy cars, glue, tape and pencil crayon. The end result was a handmade game called Demet Marks (now renamed Superpowerful Bonanza for the 2014 launch) based on a series of comic book characters I created along the way.
The sudden board game idea was a merger of three things that brought me joy during those dark times – board games, video games and comic books. With my mind dedicated to finishing the game painstakingly by hand, my depression took a backseat to my desire to innovate. Making that board game became my anti-depressant!
That same game also initiated my 15 year dedication to inventing, which eventually led to the creation of my You Tube channel. I owe so much to a game that saved my sanity and showed me the abilities I had all along. Yet, for 15 years Demet Marks/Superpowerful Bonanza sat collecting dust on my shelf or in storage. For too long I was intimidated to make a game that meant so much to me, but was also realistically too complicated to make on a mass scale using my original technique.
However, technology has changed since I first created my magnum opus and I feel the time has come to give this game a chance to spread its legs. Thus, 15 years to the day I started working on the design, Superpowerful Bonanza is ready to be unveiled to the public and Indiegogo.com is the canvas.
You are all invited to see what this game is all about. Even if you are not interested in donating in exchange for the amazing perks provided (the perks are amazing!!), any word-of-mouth or social networking shares (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…) are appreciated.
I also hope my open and frank declaration about my past depressive affliction will reach those who are quietly dealing with a similar dilemma. I would suggest considering ‘creativity’ as a form of treatment and positive escape. It is amazing what the mind can create when you fuel it with passion and set it free from the confines of despair!
More information is available at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/superpowerful-bonanza-3d-superhero-board-game/x/1146965. See what you think and I look forward to your support and feedback.