The artfully-designed dice and wooden whale tokens are an important part of the allure of Moby Dick, the game. Photo: King Post.
When video game producer Tavit Geudelekian decided to make a card game based on his favorite novel, he started a Kickstarter campaign to finance development. He thought he could reach the project’s $25,000 funding goal, but he didn’t expect to exceed it.
‘Not only do the sort of concentric circles of nerdiness for like, super hard-core literature and card games and table-top board games seem to inhabit the same space, but there’s also been this really, really, really big resurgence in popularity for table-top games on Kickstarter.’
“All the Kickstarter notices come to my email inbox,” said the New York native as he ate an everything bagel with cream cheese at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters in lower Manhattan. “The first few hours it’s like, ‘Oh, my mom donated. Oh, my brother. These 30 friends from college. These 50 friends from high school.’ And then around the fifth hour, it was just a flood of people’s names I’ve never seen before. That’s when the unreality set in. Like, ‘This is really happening. How is this happening?’”
The game, titled Moby Dick
after Herman Melville’s whaling classic, met its goal in just a few days on Kickstarter, Geudelekian said, and by its end date on May 30, the campaign had raised over $102,000. Geudelekian’s company, King Post
, a venture he started with four fellow Moby Dick
enthusiasts, turned to Kickstarter because it didn’t have the startup funds to go it alone, and Geudelekian knew he was connecting with a dedicated community.
“We noticed that there were thousands and thousands of people who would get on Kickstarter once a month to spend between $25 to $50 dollars on a game, and usually a table-top card game or board game,” he said. “There’s this very articulated and well-loved table-top card game and board game section.”
Moby Dick is one of the more than 250 table-top games that were successfully funded on Kickstarter over the past three months.
Lauren Bilanko, co-owner of game shop Twenty Sided Store in Williamsburg, said the outpouring of online support for new table-top games speaks to the size and commitment of the grown-up gaming community.
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