At last year’s Gencon Mayfair Games made a big deal about making a big version of the Cones of Dunshire, an imaginary game from the television program Parks and Rec. The game in the show is a complete joke, made up by a character that has lost his grip on reality and so makes an unplayable board game with incomprehensible rules.
The Deluxe Edition of the Cones of Dunshire game, available on Kickstarter, is not a board game you can play at home on a standard table. Instead it’s a massive floor spanning game that takes up 10 square feet, uses 14” tall cones and can play up to 12 players. And it will set you back $400 (around £260).
It’s that crazy price point that is making the internet take up arms (but the internet takes up arms if they buy a doughnut that’s missing jam from its middle). The problem is I don’t think many people have actually looked at the Kickstarter and realised that this is a floor filling game for special events and conventions; there are plenty of lower level pledges for hats, t-shirts, posters and other cone related goods. The other reason why many think it’s an early April Fool is the funding goal of $150,000, a lofty goal for any board game, especially one that costs so much to secure a copy.
So is The Cones of Dunshire Kickstarter a joke, in my opinion, no it is not. Mayfair isn’t trying to bring this board game into your home; they’re trying to bring a spectacle to your local convention, something grander and outside the scope of Mayfair’s typical production line. It’s something that’s going to require different methods of manufacturing, packaging and shipping compared to Mayfair’s normal catalogue of games, something that requires new ways of working and investment to make an idea into reality. And that’s exactly what I thought Kickstarter was for.