Monsterhearts is a story game about the messy lives of teenage monsters.
Monsterhearts lets you and your friends create stories about sexy monsters, creeping horror, messy love triangles, and teenage angst. When you play, you explore the terror and confusion that comes both with growing up and, say, being a undead flesh-eater. Or bartering with demonic forces. Or being an unstable werewolf.
The game runs on the Apocalypse World engine, designed by Vincent Baker. As a result, the two games share similarities in play style: emergent story, messy relationship webs, mechanics that give players hard choices to make, and a structured MC role.
It's designed to evoke stories like True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ginger Snaps or The Twilight Saga. If you like supernatural romances, or stories of monstrosity and personal horror, or if you just like watching sexy people ruin their lives, then you'll love this game.
Want a teaser? See this example of play, taken from the book.
Pre-order the game!
This is a pre-order campaign. At all contribution levels beyond PAWN OF DARK FORCES, you're pre-ordering a copy of the finished game in PDF or print format.
All contributors receive an IndieGoGo exclusive: The Hollow (see below).
The book is half-letter sized, and is 30,000 words long. It features about 15 pieces of art throughout the book & printable materials. The interior art is all b&w art like that seen above, created by myself from stock photography.
All reward levels have North American shipping costs factored in. If you live outside North America, I humbly ask that you add $5 to your contribution to help offset international shipping costs.
(For additional notes on some perk levels, see the first update.)
The Skins & The Hollow
There are 10 Skins that provide the starting-point for your characters: The Vampire, The Werewolf, The Mortal, The Witch, The Fae, The Chosen, The Ghoul, The Ghost, The Infernal, The Queen. Each player (other than the MC) starts the game by choosing the booklet for one of these Skins. Their art and snippets of their flavour text are included in the video.
If you contribute to the IndieGoGo campaign, at any level, you'll also receive The Hollow. This Skin is being given out exclusively to contributors. The Hollow is an artificial creation - something alive but not real. It's inspired by Dawn (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Frankenstein, and it's got a touch of Carrie in it too. The Hollow is one of my favourite Skins, playing on themes of trans body identity and existential doubt.
Additional Goal Levels!
Success! Monsterhearts reached $5000, so Jackson Tegu will release an awesome Skin that he's been working on: The Selkie. The Selkie is a creature caught between kingdoms. When she removes her pelt she appears human and can walk the land as humans do. When she dons her pelt she resembles a seal and can return to the ocean kingdom. Except, if she returns to that ocean kingdom, she can't leave again. The Selkie explores what it means to be a stranger in a strange land (much like The Hollow explores what it means to be a stranger in a strange body). Her moves evoke homesickness and draw elemental power from bodies of water.
Success! Monsterhearts reached $8000, so 5% of everything raised (after credit card processing deductions) will be donated to Egale Canada (or more accurately, their Human Rights Trust), an organization that provides advocacy and outreach for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) youth. The ECHRT's projects include a "End Homophobic Violence, Period" campaign, as well as MyGSA. Monsterhearts tells stories about teen sexuality and isolation, and this milestone makes sure that it does something to help support real teenagers who are struggling with these issues.
Success! Monsterhearts reached $10,000, so I'll send two additional PDF games to all backers. The first is Gun Thief, a little game about hyperviolence and what masculinity demands of men. It's a scrappy little game, suitable for an hour of high-octane fun. The second is Perfect Unrevised, a story game about crime in a steampunk dystopia. Perfect Unrevised is 160 pages (roughly the same as Monsterhearts), and it's a product I'm really really proud of.
Success! Monsterhearts reached $11,000, so I'll develop and release another Skin: The Angel. The Angel is about dealing with the fact that you've been cast out of
heaven. Do you work to redeem yourself, or to punish the folly and
impurity of those around you? Is it better to do the lord's work or
follow the lord's rules? Mechanically, the Angel will introduce new
thinking about: the significance of highlighted stats, access to moves,
alternatives to sex moves. Also, everyone who's getting stuff shipped to
them will get a dope-ass sticker.
If Monsterhearts reaches $12,000, I'll get a tattoo of some Monsterhearts art.
Where Does the Money Go?
The money is going to be spent on the following:
- IndieGoGo & credit card companies take up to 7% of whatever we raise.
- 5% of what remains after that is being donated to Egale Canada's Human Rights Trust.
- Editing costs (estimated at $250-350) and art costs (estimated at $200-250).
- Printing and shipping the books.
- Printing and shipping the postcards, posters, folders & print-outs, etc.
- Crafting supplies for making the zines & CDs (and shipping costs).
It is important to note that this is a for-profit venture, in which it is my goal to sell a product and make some money doing so.
The TimelineNo plan ever works out perfectly, but here's my projected timeline for completion:
- Receive the finalized text from the editor by mid-February.
- Finish laying out the game by early March.
- Send the PDF version to customers by early March.
- Receive proofs and order the print run by late March.
- Ship books to TEENAGE MONSTER contributors by early-to-mid April.
- Ship packages to contributors above TEENAGE MONSTER starting in mid April.
The layout stage of this timeline is quite short, because the layout has already been templated and tested out in recent playtest editions of the game. The big creative decisions are already made and tested.