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WHAT IS CONTACT?
Contact is a cosmic tabletop storytelling game where players communicate with aliens through song and tarot.
First, players create a playlist together, using prompts from the Major Arcana. Once the playlist is complete, players draw question prompts related to their characters and the aliens, and answer these questions using songs from the shuffled playlist.
Themes vary from impending apocalypse, to hopeful first contact, to unavoidable tragedy, based mostly on which songs the group chooses. Most prompts are celestially spooky and aim to determine why the aliens have contacted the group, and what they want from the world.
In the final act, the players respond to the alien communication. By the end of the game, the players are left with a story, and a playlist to listen to anytime, now with new meaning.
WHO IS CONTACT FOR?
Contact is for people who love listening to music with friends and building playlists. It's for anyone who has ever become enamoured with a song, listening to it every day for months and trying to get all their friends to listen, too.
Contact is also for people who become lost in the grandiosity of the universe, and wonder what lies beyond our reach. It's for anyone who loves to imagine what first contact with extraterrestrials might look like
Finally, Contact is for gamers of any level. The rules are simple and straightforward, no one needs to read them in advance. With a relatively short 1-2 hour playtime, Contact is the perfect warm up or wind-down to a long game night.
HOW DO I PLAY?
The game starts with playlist creation.
Using Major Arcana, your group will pull cards that prompt you to add songs to a communal playlist.
Perhaps you draw The Fool, and are prompted to put in a "fast song." You add your favourite punk song to the playlist.
Perhaps you draw The Hermit, and are prompted to put in a "song without lyrics." You add Holst's Mars, the Bringer of War to the playlist. Buckle up.
Once your playlist is complete, draw Minor Arcana to prompt questions about the characters and the Messengers. Shuffle your playlist, and use its songs to inspire your answers to these questions.
In "Act 1 - Pentacles", perhaps you draw the 5 of Pentacles, and are presented with the following prompt:
What was a significant loss experienced by the group? How does this event still affect you?
The playlist is shuffled, and the first song that comes up is bury a friend by Billie Eilish. Everyone at the table chuckles because, well, it's on the nose. But, you've now got the makings of who your characters are, and you continue pulling prompts to discover just how much the Messengers know about you.
Do this over four acts (one for each Minor Arcana suit). Prompts reveal information about your characters, who the Messengers are, what the Messengers want, and finally, why you're being contacted.
And then, you respond.
In the final act of the game, your group will choose between sending songs back to the Messengers, or writing one yourself.
Contact is my debut game! Progressing through the development of game design from conception to fulfillment has taught me a lot about the art and the industry. The most important thing I've learned is that I'm deeply excited to make more games. This campaign will help me establish my footing, and is the first step on the road to completing my goal of being the first human to write one million games.
I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to make physical copies! Since this is my first game and first crowdfunding venture, I'm keeping pledges simple to ensure I can deliver. From the fulfillment side, I'm very pleased to receive aid from the fantastic ratti incantati (Canada & the US) & Peregrine Coast Press (UK & EU) - once the campaign concludes, shipping will be handled through their websites.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?
"... The premise is a mix of some of my favorite “alien” stories— Close Encounters, Arrival, and 2001: Space Odyssey all have their DNA in a game like this, as well as the kind of surrealist stories where it’s not clear whether the aliens are even real. I don’t think there’s a single TTRPG that is doing this sort of story.
... This is the sort of game that defines elegance to me— in just a few pages, the vast worlds of music and tarot are harnessed and put to work as storytelling mechanics, and the ratio of possibilities vs complexity skyrockets as a result.
. .. I don’t say this lightly, but this is the sort of game where I expect to learn something new about the people who I am already closest to in the world, and that may be the most sacred thing a TTRPG can offer."
- Timm Woods, Professional Game Master & Lead Game Designer at A24
"...It’s an intimate portrayal of the unknown. Sensitive and quiet at times; romantic and bombastic in others. It’s a fantastic blend of creative imagination and sharing the things you love with your friends. It is all the things a fantastic RPG can and should be. Contact is what you put into it; from the darkest most terrible dreams to the brightest possible future, contact is a blank page of possibility for the question we all want to know the answer to: are we alone?"
- Harlan Guthrie, Creator of Malevolent & Host of The INVICTUS Stream
WHAT'S THE FULFILLMENT TIMELINE?
Contact needs a few final tweaks before physical production, but the game is approximately 90% complete, playtested, and formatted.
I expect to initiate physical printing by mid- to late March, and then send received prints to ratti incantati and Peregrine Coast Press by mid-April, who will then ship them out. I'll keep backers regularly updated on the timeline, especially once I have an idea of how many copies must be shipped. I estimate that physical backers will receive their copies by June or July of 2023.
Digital copies will be distributed earlier, around April 2023.
WHO'S THE AUTHOR?
Hi that's me! My name is J, I'm a nonbinary musician and more recently, game designer. I'm a professional touring bass player, and I spend a lot of time in vans thinking about fun games to pass the time.
Contact could be played in a van on a road trip! If you make a playlist, please tweet it at me.
I also make an actual play called Planet Arcana, set in a retrofuturistic, tarot-based world of Androids and Humans.
To follow my future game endeavours, sign up for my mailing list!
Pick up a copy of the Contact playlist generator here, for free!
HighlightsSee all activity133
A physical copy of the game! Ships to Canada, US, EU, & UK. Shipping will be handled after the campaign through the ratti incantati and Peregrine Coast Press websites. This reward includes a digital copy of Contact.
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