Why "Exploding Kittens"?
"When we were playing the original version of the game, instead of a kitten there was a bomb card ... I thought it'd be funnier to make the bomb a kitten instead, that way you wind up with a room full of people all living in fear of a kitten." Inman said on Reddit. "Plus it's right in the nexus of funny and horrible, which is my favorite place to be."
Other games that have tread the line of funny and horrible include Playroom Entertainment's "Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot," Wizards of the Coast's "Guillotine" and fellow Kickstarter campaign "Cards Against Humanity."
Max Temkin, co-creator of "Cards Against Humanity," worked closely with the "Exploding Kittens" team to ensure that the project would be ready to print as soon as the campaign ended. The Kickstarter campaign for "Cards Against Humanity" was funded in 2011 by 758 backers, but as since become a party game cult classic.
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Temkin has experience with quick mass product distribution. In December, "Cards Against Humanity" shipped more than 5 million gifts across America as part of its "Ten Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa" holiday promotion. The company sent 250,000 people 10 gifts throughout the month after charging $15 a person.
"Retail for indie games is a disaster," Temkin said on Reddit. "It's very hard for designers to make a living with publishers, distributors and other bloodsucking middlemen in the mix."
The "Exploding Kittens" campaign offered backers rewards based on their donations. Backers who pledged $20 will receive an official "Exploding Kittens" deck, a $35 pledge will receive a not-suitable-for-work deck, a $100 pledge gets signed collector decks and playable decks, and a $500 pledge would result in all the previous rewards and a custom drawn card.
Decks are estimated to be delivered in July with custom cards arriving in August. However, a wide-release date has not been set for consumers who did not participate in the campaign.
"We don't have a retail plan yet." Lee said on Reddit. "We made a promise to more than 200,000 people to ship them this game. That's our highest priority right now."