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Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

This is our future. Starting today, everything changes.

 SpaceX unveils its Interplanetary Transport System:

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The Future Revealed at Elbowfish

Dear supporters, backers, customers & friends,

Back in 2013 my daughter, Leana, and I founded Elbowfish in Portland, Oregon, to make high quality, engaging games that made a difference.

To establish our new brand without relying on outside funding, we bootstrapped a pair of original tabletop games:

  • In 2014, our generous Kickstarter backers helped us fund Antimatter Matters: A Quantum Physics Board Game (Really!). Antimatter Matters shipped in early 2015, and was honored as an IndieCade Award Finalist and IndieCade Festival Selection. (Now just $39 on Amazon)
  • In 2015, we Kickstarted and shipped JUX, the collaborative storytelling game for creative thinkers. JUX includes an introduction to critical thinking authored by Prof. Peter Boghossian. (On Amazon for just $9)

We had no budget for marketing or promotion. The quality of our products, the enthusiasm of our backers, and word-of-mouth allowed us to successfully bring our first two products to market.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way—some more painful (and costly) than others. I will share more details in another update. (yes, that includes the super-scientist card for certain Antimatter Matter backers!)

Leana left Elbowfish to pursue other adventures at the end of 2015. I continued to manage the company, offering both of our existing games on Amazon and in game stores, while working through various scenarios and determining next steps. Last year, I spent months consulting with an experienced pioneer in both traditional and interactive entertainment down in Burbank, CA. That exploration helped me recommit to building Elbowfish, and focused my thinking on essential next steps.

Earlier this year, I developed a funding proposal for an innovative, multiplayer eSports game – the first in a series of related games, spanning multiple media and multiple platforms, all set in the near-future, at the dawn of a new human civilization on Mars. I began to assemble a talented team of senior game developers, collaborators and production partners to design, develop and produce the first game.

As I crunched the numbers and wrote our proposal, it became clear that the budget for staffing, design & development, testing, community management and support would require an investment of a million US dollars a year for two years. That doesn’t include several million more needed for launch, promotion, and marketing of a unique title in a crowded field.

I am exploring some leads, but I don’t have the luxury of spending the time required to pursue funding at this scale. (If you are interested in this funding opportunity, or know someone who may be, please contact me directly.)

Meanwhile, Elbowfish can’t afford to rest on our laurels. So, we have begun development of a cool new series of smaller, crowdfunded games (analog and digital) around a new theme: Civic life.

Assuming that we in the US survive the November election, that the UK survives Brexit, and that other free nations face down their own, homegrown nationalistic, authoritarian threats, we will all need to clean up our act and do better.

No society can remain free without active citizens, who are equipped with both the civic knowledge and the critical thinking tools required to make smart, informed choices with their voices and their votes.

If we do not understand how the systems that affect us really work, we can’t make informed decisions. And, if we do not learn how to think for ourselves, we will be in continual danger of being told what to think by others.

Each game in this new series will model a specific, vital civic skill in a fun, entertaining way. As always, great game design and high production values are at the core of our vision.

More to come in future updates soon.

P.S. I have lowered the price of Antimatter Matters to $39 and JUX to just $9. September is the month when Amazon determines which products can be sold during its Holiday Store season, so it would be a great time to stock up on games for your friends and loved ones. Complete your holiday shopping early!

P.P.S. I have received many inquiries about renewing international orders (at the moment, online orders are availably only via in the US). One of the challenges of a small business is the cost of international shipping, particularly of a heavy game like Antimatter Matters. Elbowfish will be expanding availability of all of our games to more countries in the coming months, and we will return to shipping anywhere in the world as soon as practical.

Peace, love and science,

David, your Elbowfish in Chief