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This article was published 29/2/2016 (535 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A pair of game makers are putting their hope in the Pope.
Will O’Donnell and Bart Rucinski are the duo behind Surplus of Popes, a new card game that launched a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo on March 2, with a goal of raising $5,000 in 60 days.
In the game, every player is a Pope and the goal is to create the "coolest life story" by playing various cards, each with their own humourous rules to follow. There are Pride cards and Shame cards, as well as Flip cards, where a coin determines if you get Pride or Shame points. The person with the highest amount of Pride points at the end of the game wins.
"It’s very simple gameplay," said O’Donnell, 31. "You have four cards in your hand and every turn you draw a card, play a card. It’s very easy to pick up and play.
"We purposely designed it that way. We wanted it to have a party game aspect. We examined a lot of other games to see what worked, what was fun, what wasn’t, but at the same time the origins didn’t come from us researching, it actually just came out of pure randomness."
"Most of our stuff comes from randomness," added Rucinksi, 31.
Longtime collaborators, O’Donnell and Rucinski attended West Kildonan Collegiate together, becoming good friends while sharing a spare at the University of Manitoba. It was then the two started working together on an online comic called Yak and Shadow.
Through the comic, O’Donnell and Rucinski realized they had a penchant for Pope material.
"We did a Pope versus series, which was random characters in conflict with the Pope or the Pope just redrawn as a manic character," said O’Donnell, who grew up in West St. Paul.
"There’s no rhyme or reason to it," added Rucinski, who grew up in West Kildonan and currently lives in The Maples.
Despite its name and plot, Surplus of Popes’ creators say the game has very little to do with the actual papacy.
"There’s no inside winks to Catholicism," O’Donnell said.
"I’m Polish, so I was raised Roman Catholic and I have a lot of friends who are still really in it, they go to church every Sunday, they’re part of the service and they find the idea hilarious," Rucinski said.
"I think we’re riding that line of absurdity; it’s so absurd that people can’t take it as a criticism."
O’Donnell and Rucinski have play-tested the game at conventions such as JimCon and Central Canada Comic Con and say the game was a hit with all ages, especially preteens and teenagers.
Also, Surplus of Popes’ creators say the game retains its playability even after jokes run their course.
"We knew people would get sick of our jokes, so that’s why we really focused on point values and doing things with the points. Anybody who has played it more than twice, the initial laugh may be gone, but they’re still engaged with it," Rucinski said.
"They appreciate the humor but they’re into the functional aspect of the game," O’Donnell added.
To learn more about Surplus of Popes and how to contribute to the game's Indiegogo campaign, go to www.surplusofpopes.com