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Pandemic designer’s next co-op game launched on Backerkit today

Environmental title to be made with zero plastic.

The next co-op board game from the creator behind Pandemic, Matt Leacock, will be crowdfunded via a Backerkit campaign that launched today.

Daybreak is an upcoming board game co-designed by Leacock and Matteo Menapace that is entirely themed around the danger of climate change and the need to protect the environment. A crowdfunding campaign for the tabletop title was launched today, with the publisher behind Daybreak – CMYK – stating that it and the designers chose Backerkit because of Kickstarter’s involvement in blockchain technology, which has been proven to have a negative impact on the environment.

Originally a support service and toolkit for creators for Kickstarter, Backerkit launched its own crowdfunding platform designed to host projects earlier this year. Currently in beta until sometime next year, Backerkit will not be investing in blockchain technology or currency, unlike its rival Kickstarter. Besides the crowdfunding campaign for Daybreak, Backerkit is set to host projects for companies such as Wehrlegig Games – the studio responsible for John Company 2E – Root publisher Leder Games and Restoration Games, the publisher behind Return to Dark Tower.

Matt Leacock explains how to play Daybreak.

Daybreak is a co-op board game for one to four players that has the group working together in an attempt to put a stop to the damage to the Earth caused by climate change. As a team, players will be collaborating to save the planet from overheating, deforestation, fracking and other extremely destructive practices that are pushing it towards peril. Using speculative technology, supportive organisations and real-world solutions, players will prevent the end of the world.

Inspired by the likes of Wingspan, Terraforming Mars and Race for the Galaxy, each player will take control of one of four different world powers: China, Europe, United States and the Majority World. As these world powers, players will be looking to reach zero emissions before the global temperature reaches two degrees or too much pressure is put on local communities.

As the game begins, players will be looking to manage the amount of carbon cubes they have to draw, which references how many carbon emissions humanity is releasing into the air. Whenever players cannot place carbon cubes next to oceans and forests on the board, they have to place them into the thermometre that represents the gradual increase in the Earth’s temperature. As the temperature increases, players will reveal crisis cards that they’ll have to respond to – presenting the devasting effect climate change has on the world.

Artwork for the Daybreak board game

Players must work together to remove “dirty energy and polluting industries” from their respective player boards, which will differ depending on the world power. For example, the US board has a lor more transportation emissions to cope with, whereas the Majority World will need to adapt as their respective economies develop. Players can perform actions by playing cards from their hand, with the combination of possible actions allowing them to find various solutions to their problems.

CMYK – the company responsible for party board games Wavelength and Monikers - will be manufacturing Daybreak from sustainable materials such as pulp fiber, avoiding the use of plastics and textiles.

The Backerkit crowdfunding campaign for Daybreak is live until sometime in October, with the estimated shipping date set for May 2023. Backers can get a copy of the core game for a pledge of $50 (£43).

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Alex Meehan

Staff Writer, Dicebreaker

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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