Chọi Chữ - Vietnamese Slam's Kickstarter campaign

Hello and Xin chào,

We love the Vietnamese language. It is poetic yet easy to read and write thanks to a Latin alphabet of 29 letters. We also love board games, which allow us to bond with others and expand our imaginations. This project unites our two loves in one objective: have fun with the Vietnamese alphabet. Today, we are kick-starting a new board game: Chọi Chữ - Vietnamese Slam.  

In this game, every single card is a Vietnamese letter, crafted by the art of calligraphy and monogram by our game designer, Việt Anh. Inspired by his daughter, each letter tells a cute parent-and-child story. If you're not a parent but curious about the language, the shapes and these stories help you learn Vietnamese more effectively than just memorization alone. 

Little b: I want to be you one day. Big B: if you finish all your rice, your belly will look like mine.

Gameplay

Vietnamese Slam - Chọi Chữ is for all ages, 2-6 people, 15-45 minutes. The game rule is inspired by familiar family games like Scrabble, Quiddler, and all the Runny games with playing cards. Everyone takes turns, discards a card, picks up a card until they can form words using all the cards in their hands. Who scored the most wins that round. There are two features making this game special:

  •  Slam Bonus: after you slam - putting down all your words - you can add as many slam bonus as possible to your points. They are what make Vietnamese a beautiful language: accent marks, alliteration, and compound words. 
  •  Double Dice: at the beginning of the round, roll this special dice. You might get Place, Person name, Adjective, Food, etc. Whoever can form words fitting those categories will get double points for those words.

The team

Phương, Khánh, and Việt Anh founded the Na boardgames group in 2017. For 4 years, we have been creating games about Vietnam. The first game, Đồng Hành/Vietnam Quest, on Vietnamese geography, was featured in the Museum Store of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The second one, Địa Linh Nhân Kiệt/Legends of Vietnam, featured beautiful arts and tales of famous kings, queens, scholars, generals during the 11 dynasties of Vietnam. This latter project exceeded the funding goals on Kickstarter and we successfully delivered the games on time to our backers earlier this year.

 

Another reason why we believe this project worths your time because Việt Anh previously was the co-creator of the official Vietnamese keyboard running on millions of Android phones. He also helped launch the first typefaces made by Vietnamese designers on Google Fonts. All game cards will be designed to cover every possible Vietnamese word. Each letter's frequency will also be carefully adjusted based on modern literature to make this game both fun and fair.

Acknowledgment

  • Thank you, instructor Hope Meng, Carine, Ling, Shasha, Krystina, and other classmates at the Monogram class hosted by San Francisco's Letterform Archive for your teaching.
  • Thank you, Evan Derby, for your helpful introduction to calligraphy.
  • Thank you, Nguyễn Lữ Khoa for every beautiful melody in the video.
  • Thank you, Lê Thanh Tâm for your guidance in campaign writing.
  • Thank you, Jonas Naimark for your typographic motion critique.
  • Thank you, Johan Aakerlund and Google Fonts, for the Comfortaa typeface.
  • Thank you, Nguyễn Việt Hiếu Linh for your advice on colors.
  • Thank you, Phạm Khắc Hồng Hạnh and John Hawksley for your early playtest feedback.

Stretch goals

2 ✕ Funding Goal

Imagine being in your own cozy house, holding in your hand several letter cards, warm and freshly printed from an HP printer. Your ears picked up a playful melody echoing around the room. A beautiful word lighted up in your mind, you shouted "Slam! I got the longest Vietnamese words that no one can beat". 

3 ✕ Funding Goal

Walking into a souvenir shop in the sunny ocean town Đà Nẵng, your curious eyes stopped at a wall of colorful mini coconut keychains. This would make a perfect vacation gift for your siblings, unique yet affordable. Each little cutie is painted with a letter, a common tourist trick so that a Michael would want to buy an M and a Nancy can be happy with N. But you quickly got discouraged to find no true Vietnamese letters for brother Trực and sister Phương. If only, someone cares about the "Tr", "Ph", "Ch", "Ng", etc. initials. If only, you can do something about it:

4 ✕ Funding Goal

"Hey! I love that animation you did with ă and Ă." Jo said. "It is so smooth" Kammy agreed. Two of them are unfamiliar with the language, but their eyes still sparkled. What are languages and games any way? Ain't languages only a form of sharing what one thinks to another? Ain't games created so that two, three, or more people could dip their pieces of joy, anger, nervousness, hopes into a shared hotpot of fun?

 

From https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vietanh/boardgame-choi-chu-vietnamese-slam

Buy at: Chọi Chữ (Vietnamese Slam)

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