"Heifer Heist" board game designers look to take game global

By Matt Metcalf | mmetcalf@wcia.com

Published 07/27 2014 07:47PM

Updated 07/27 2014 07:55PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Designers of a locally-produced board game hope an online fundraising campaign will help them take their game global.

This week, the creators of "Heifer Heist" launched a Kickstarter campaign (www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855392870/heifer-heist), asking for $35,000 to manufacture a first-run of their board game. Designed by Katie Khau and Jessica Chu, the game allows competitors to play as aliens from another world, looking to collect cows from the fields of Central Illinois (and the organic waste they produce) to power their mother-ship. The game is aimed at players ages 8 and up.

The inspiration for "Heifer Heist" began in a game design class at the University of Illinois. Khau and Chu submitted their original version to the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization's "CUDO Plays Design Competition" (www.cudoplays.com); volunteers played the game and made suggestions for improving the flow of play and graphic appeal.

"Heifer Heist" was voted one of the favorite games from this year's competition. One of the prizes associated with the recognition was marketing assistance from CUDO, including the launch of a Kickstarter project. The online fundraising site allows contributors from anywhere in the world to support projects through donations; in turn, the game's creators offer special incentives, such as a copy of the game, an original design by the game's artist, or other souvenirs.

Khau and Chu are hopeful about their chances for success, but add that every dollar is important to bringing the game to the masses.

CUDO organizers say at least one other game creator hopes to take their board game to production as well.

To see the game in action on ciLiving, click the video above.

To learn check the progress on the "Heifer Heist" Kickstarter project, check out the site here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855392870/heifer-heist

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