On May 18th, an unusual crowdfunding project will start on Kickstarter. Unusual because the card game in question - "Battle of the Influencers" - is dedicated to one of the most controversial topics of modern times: influencers. From Greta to Ninja to Elon Musk, many more or less popular scene sizes are represented as card motifs. The gameplay itself is a classic, albeit a little spiced up.  

The project by Patrick Ackmann and Patrick Rometsch is at least courageous: Influencers are popular, but by no means popular everywhere. Especially in the critical board game scene, it is sometimes difficult for the "Faces" to gain a foothold. After all: the Patricks are familiar with the topic. As fathers with a total of four daughters, the "Battle of the Influencers" is probably part of everyday family business. So there are good prerequisites for successfully crowdfunding a card game despite its classic mechanics.

Playing cards in smartphone format

Ironically, the two makers chose Quartet and Trumpf for their card game "Battle of the Influencers". This brings tears to the eyes of frequent players and experts, and families with children influenced by influencers will probably celebrate the idea. The hand-painted illustrations are by Romanian artist Pitica "Piggysart" Isabela, herself a micro-influencer and a kind of expert on fan art about famous people.

The card game relies on playing cards in smartphone format. No coincidence, because Patrick Ackmann and Patrick Rometsch are pursuing the idea of ​​reducing the "screen time" of young people. And: They want to promote the dialogue between young and old, but also the young people's point of view: So you use the influencers to be able to bring the older generations (yes, dear parents, you are meant too) closer to what children and young people are nowadays in occupy their free time. And so that mom, dad, grandma and grandpa can also learn, marginal information on the scene personalities has been listed on the cards.

TV, newspaper, internet and now also card games: You can't escape the Kardashians. Image: Authors

TV, newspaper, internet and now also card games: You can't escape the Kardashians. Image: Authors

The idea came about – no longer surprisingly – in the midst of the pandemic situation. You have time to think up game ideas - this also applies to the Patrick duo. The two mix the stars for the card deck from different genres, political activists and influencers with "real messages" are also there. Then it comes to the "battle" - and that is based on the classics trump and quartet: Influencers compete against each other and it is important to win all the stars of the opponent on his side. There are various comparison categories, such as followers or craziness. The two bring a breath of fresh air into the game with additional cards, which should then ensure more interaction - the smartphone and real-life data are also used. A very entertaining trick that should go down particularly well with children.

The Battle of the Influencers crowdfunding campaign, for which Patrick Ackmann and Patrick Rometsch have set a target of around 1.700 euros. Printing accounts for 90 percent of the total. The Early Bird Pledge costs around eight euros. At the same time, supporters can also do something good and choose a support model that costs a total of ten euros: eight euros for the game and two euros as a donation to the media addiction department, which helps young people. The decks of cards should then be sent comparatively quickly. It should only take almost a quarter for "Battle of the Influencers" to go on the road after a successful campaign.

One goal: to break away from social media consumption with social media content

Anyone who regularly hangs around in the crowdfunding segment as a player, especially on Kickstarter, will always come across classics – but rarely. One reason: Many die-hard fans see no incentive to support the "back then games" financially. The nostalgia factor works tolerably well on the Kickstarter platform. Patrick Ackmann and Patrick Rometsch try it anyway with "Battle of the Influencers".

Are convinced that the campaign can work. On the one hand there is the retro charm of the game principle: "Everyone knows it, understands it quickly, often associates positive childhood memories with it, keyword car quartet", says Patrick Ackmann. The creators have set a goal behind the goal. They want to try to "release people from social media consumption with social media content" - that is an exciting contrast with a wink, which should also bring the topic up for discussion.

Added to this is the loving design. "These things make the game, where you thought all variants might have already existed, an insider tip," predicts Patrick Ackmann. In addition, the special cards would add an exciting expansion to the trump genre.

"We see the involvement of the target group, being able to determine the last cards themselves, as a great inclusion and opportunity," explains the maker. And: "In addition, some of our influencers can hardly wait...". Incidentally, the two Patricks do not hide the fact that their game is more of an in-between title: "We see it more as fun for the back seat in the car, during the school break, at a party or together with the family, without being too profound or intense And then there's the not-so-obvious goal again: But "Battle of the Influencers" can also be used as an "exciting, media-critical debate, for example in school lessons". The duo sees a strength of the card game title in the cross-generational game principle: you can bring young and old to one table and “learn something new from each other”.

"It's the world's first influencer trump card."
Patrick Ackmann, author

What you don't see at first glance, Patrick Ackmann points out: "It's the world's first influencer trump card, which arouses interest from sympathizers of the topic 'social media' - right through to the real fans of the influencers presented. In addition, there is a large target group of 'casual' quartet/trump players: from children, gamers to older people, quartet still draws or now again . Overall, according to the two authors, the credo applies: less is sometimes more.

The duo Ackmann and Rometsch are sure that the game will find its way. On and after crowdfunding: "We can learn a lot from Kickstarter and reach new and interesting target groups right from the start," says Patrick Ackmann.

Leaving aside the mechanics, there is another kind of “hurdle” that could also prove to be a stepping stone: the influencer issue. The nice thing, explains Patrick Ackmann, is that only influencers are represented in the game who “for one reason or another we think are relevant, positive or worth mentioning”. There was a lot of discussion about the stars of the scene in order to create a meaningful and exciting mix.

"They should also be as interesting and unusual as possible," says Ackmann. "You won't find the millionth make-up or food influencer that Bifi presents in the bathtub here". The player will also not find any influencers in the game who advertise unnecessary products to their target group in a continuous loop, represent unsympathetic values ​​or the like.

There are also influencers with "Sinn" - they are then also called "Sinnfluencers" in this country. Image: Authors

There are also influencers with a “sense” – they are also called “sense influencers” in this country. Image: authors

"We attached particular importance to having activists or so-called "sense influencers" with "lower" follower numbers, in order to bring them closer to people," says Ackmann again about a goal behind the goal. However, he admits: "Nevertheless, we can hardly ignore the Kardashians, for example, as they are probably the most successful female entrepreneurs in the world at the moment." The two authors are at least familiar with the basic topic - from their own experience. As fathers.

"The topics of "screen time" or "digital detox" are on the minds of every family these days," says Patrick Ackmann. "Some are rigorous and ban televisions and the like, while others unfortunately allow too much screen time so that everyone can have their peace," is the devastating conclusion of a modern family man. "For us, it's about finding the best balance: to allow children/young people not to grow up isolated/technically left behind, but also to offer them a direct opportunity to deal with the topic together and exchange ideas". The "best case scenario" is when kids have an entertaining time with their parents or grandparents and have an interesting exchange on the topic, where everyone learns something.

Ultimately, the two not only came up with the card game “Battle of the Influencers” as an entry-level title, but are also playfully active in a similar segment. Both are interested in board and card games - trump cards connect the authors and the illustrator. Patrick Ackmann relies on "Berliner Spätis" or "a round of Sagaland with the girls". And: Ackmann and Rometsch also find e-sports exciting – influencers are of course also a big topic there.

The Battle of the Influencers crowdfunding campaign starts on May 18th on Kickstarter.

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