A Working Time Machine? This Boston Game Designer Will Build It -- If His Kickstarter Campaign Hits $1 Billion

Share Article

The TimeWatch roleplaying game met its funding goals within an astonishing 35 minutes of launching on Kickstarter, thanks to designer Kevin Kulp's savvy marketing.

TimeWatch cover

TimeWatch Roleplaying cover art by Rich Longmore

If we invent a time machine thanks to this campaign, one of the first things we’ll do is found an actual TimeWatch to keep the timeline from being damaged. Which means they’re already here among us.

Past News Releases


Game designer Kevin Kulp will personally give tours through time to everyone who pledges $25 or more to his upcoming game TimeWatch, as well as a free pet dinosaur—if his Kickstarter fundraising campaign hits the billion dollar mark.

That’s just one of several tactics that led to the game reaching its funding goal in just 35 minutes. The campaign’s rapid success (the total currently stands at more than $60,000 and climbing) is a testament to an idea that catches fire with project backers (a time-travel roleplaying game in which your future self can help you out, Bill-and-Ted style) and some savvy marketing:

  •     Backers vote with their dollars to determine who the game’s villains will be: the Ezeru, mutant radioactive cockroaches from the future, or the Sophosaurs, intelligent velociraptors from an alternate timeline where dinos never went extinct
  •     All backers at all levels immediately get a copy of the game-in-progress, even if they only pledge a dollar and then cancel
  •     If the campaign raises a billion dollars Kulp has pledged to “set about arranging for the invention of an actual time machine.” Once invented, he will give chronal tours to all pledgers at the $25 level and up. Pet dinosaur thrown in for free.

Promising to build a working time machine is risky—but even riskier from a business standpoint is giving your product away for free while you’re trying to raise money for it. But Kulp wouldn’t have it any other way. "The 'Jurassic Edition' draft of TimeWatch is about 260 pages long, 80% finished, immediately available and fully playable. If you're going to help support the game, I want you to know you'll love what you're getting."

So if Kulp succeeds in building his time machine, can customers who missed out on the offer use the machine to go back in time and pledge to the campaign, thus creating a paradox? The designer thinks not.

“If we invent a time machine thanks to this campaign, one of the first things we’ll do is found an actual TimeWatch to keep the timeline from being damaged,” Kulp says. “Which means they’re already here among us, stopping that from happening.”

About Kevin Kulp
Kevin W. Kulp is an ENnie award-nominated designer who has worked on a variety of video and tabletop roleplaying games. His game Owl Hoot Trail is available at PelgranePress.com, and his new game TimeWatch is currently crowdfunding via Kickstarter. Follow him on Twitter at @kevinkulp, or find his game design posts on G+ at google.com/+kevinkulp.

About Pelgrane Press
Pelgrane Press publishes award-winning tabletop roleplaying games, including Trail of Cthulhu and Night’s Black Agents by Kenneth Hite, The Dying Earth and Ashen Stars by Robin D. Laws, and 13th Age by Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet. Pelgrane Press is also the home of the webzine Page XX, the Stone Skin Press fiction imprint, The Birds comic and music for RPGs by James Semple and fellow composers. Learn more at http://pelgranepress.com

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Wade Rockett
Follow us on
Visit website