From Fiction to Reality: Tak Hits it Big on Kickstarter | Casual Game Revolution

From Fiction to Reality: Tak Hits it Big on Kickstarter


Have you ever tried to explain how a game works without any visual aids or a copy of the game itself? More often than not it was probably a pretty frustrating experience depending on the complexity of the game. Well the designers at Cheapass Games not only had to explain their newest game Tak in that way, but they had to explain it to its original creator, author Patrick Rothfuss.

Allow me to explain; back in 2011 the second title of a three part book series hit shelves titled A Wise Man’s Fear. Written by Rothfuss, the series follows the life, adventures, and exploits of the main protagonist, Kvothe (pronounced ‘Quothe’). In this second book Rothfuss introduced an abstract strategy game he named Tak. Apparently, Cheapass Games’ lead designer James Ernest was paying attention and eventually decided to make Tak a reality with the help of Rothfuss.

As stated earlier, Tak is an abstract strategy game in which luck and theme take a minimal role (eg. Chess, Checkers, Go, etc.) The game also seems to incorporate the kind of easy to learn, hard to master mentality that many similar games share. Tak is a two-player game where players utilize stackable pieces along with a uniquely shaped piece called a “Capstone”. The game is played on a board that can range in size from 3x3 to as large as 8x8, however Cheapass Games explains that a 5x5 or 6x6 seems to be the most popular. The goal of the game is to be the first player to build a string of your connected pieces from one end of the board to the other. A full video explaining how the game is played has also been provided online.

In a panel held at Emerald City Comic Con last month, Rothfuss and Ernest sat down to discuss the origins and development of Tak. Rothfuss admits he wasn’t overly excited about the idea at first, and recounts a previous conversation with Ernest where he stated, “No I don’t want to do Tak, because Tak is a raw strategy game,” and explained, “It’s unreasonable of me to say ‘make Chess — but for me.’  You can’t do it, and even if you did no one would care.” Spoiler alert: he did do it, and people cared very much.

Ernest took Tak to Kickstarter with an initial funding goal of $50,000. The project has already acquired almost $500,000 with weeks still remaining in the campaign. It seems fair to say that the game has certainly proved a popular concept among the backers of Kickstarter, with over 5,700 people having pledged to make the game a reality.

This isn’t even the first time Ernest and Cheapass Games have collaborated with Rothfuss on a project. The simple card game called Pairs was actually their first project, and while it had never appeared in his book series, Rothfuss liked it so much that he has stated it will be officially written into his world. Tak’s Kickstarter campaign also features an add-on that includes a copy of Pairs for all of those who consider themselves the ultimate Rothfuss fan.

For additional information on Tak the board game, make sure to stop by the official Kickstarter campaign or the Cheapass Games website. For those who are looking to step into the fantasy world written by Rothfuss, also visit the author’s homepage