Today we’re doing an unusual “second take” Take Five interview—one of our contributors has just begun his second Kickstarter campaign to develop a game for word people and teachers. Ray calls it his “kick me again” project. Please read on to learn more about Wordzzle, and be sure to watch the fun video at the end of this post. Enjoy!
Q: What’s this new game about, and why might it appeal to writers in particular?
RR: Wordzzle is both a fun (and funny) “wordplay” game for the whole family and an educational tool for teaching parts of speech. You combine words crossword-style to create sentences. There are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, articles, and conjunctions. It’s for ages 8 to adult.
The fun comes in with the wacky combinations of words that come about—I call it “The Elvis Ate My Bus Game” because “Elvis ate my bus” was a sentence in a play-test game.
A middle-school language arts teacher has played Wordzzle, and she thinks it would be a terrific teaching tool—she says teachers are always looking for fun ways to teach “boring” grammar.
It may be the first “wordplay” game. I think writers will especially enjoy playing Wordzzle because it is literally playing with words, which is what we do, right? A part of the fun comes from reading the nutty sentences aloud. I haven’t played it with kids yet, but I’m pretty certain that there will be giggles galore.
Oh, and if this succeeds, I want to create a “Brit” version of the game that uses British terms that differ from the American terms—“lorry” instead of “truck,” for example. Pieces would have the American version on them as well, so it would be educational in two ways. A Wordzzle of a different colour, so to speak.
Q: Why kick you again?
RR: I learned a lot from the previous Kickstarter attempt. As I said then, it’s free market research, and it turned out that no one was interested in that product. Who needs another form of Scrabble if it doesn’t offer significant additional benefits? But Wordzzle is really a new game concept.
I think the puzzle format is pretty darned innovative, too. That came about because it was too easy to bump into a string of words that had been played and throw them out of line. What could be better than puzzle pieces that interlock and that you can build upon?
Q: How will you promote your Kickstarter project?
RR: I’ll send out tweets announcing it to my followers (@RayRhamey), and there’s a #kickstarter tag where people tweet about their projects. I think I’ll create a #Wordzzle hashtag, too. Why not? I’ll mention it a few times on my Facebook page, and I’m going to see if I can send a message to people I’m connected with on LinkedIn. And then there’s my blog, Flogging the Quill, that will have little ads running on it.
Q: When will you know if the Kickstarter worked? And if it does, when will the game be available?
RR: The project funding period ends on January 6th (ACT NOW!). The manufacturer figures 45 to 60 days for production and delivery, so I’m aiming at February. It could make a fun belated Christmas gift—I’m offering a printable gift card that people can give at Christmastime if funding develops soon enough.
Q: How can people help and/or learn more?
RR: Please visit the Wordzzle Kickstarter page. And, even if you don’t want to back the game, do me the HUGE favor of passing a link to the page along to friends and family. Here’s a shortened link, easy to tweet: http://kck.st/1gbhnrF
And play the video below—I’ll confess that I resisted making a video since the concept is so simple, but videos are de rigueur on Kickstarter. But then came an idea that made me smile. See if it does the same for you.
And thanks for listening.
Readers, you can learn more about Ray’s new game, Wordzzle, by following this link.
Good luck, Ray!