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Parks and Recreation's fake board game is now a really expensive Kickstarter reward

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Hobby games giant Mayfair Games, makers of Settlers of Catan, is bringing to life The Cones of Dunshire, the fictional game from NBC's Parks and Recreation with its first ever Kickstarter campaign.

The game may to be so large that it might actually need to be shipped in a wooden crate.

Cones was developed by accountant Ben Wyatt (actor Adam Scott) during a single, manic day between jobs in season six. It is, by its very nature, inscrutable. Take a look at the bit.

At GenCon 2014 Mayfair hosted a charity play session of Cones in the lobby of the Indianapolis Convention Center. Exactly 33 tickets were sold, with the non-player role of Ledgerman being auctioned off. The proceeds benefitted Gleaners Food Pantry, a charity in Indianapolis, Ind. that helps fight hunger.

As originally written, this Kickstarter seems to be an elaborate joke. But Mayfair's Charles Rice assures Polygon the game is real, and that the Kickstarter is all in good fun.

"Is the whole thing a joke? Yes and no, but mostly no," Rice told Polygon. "All along, this game has represented the ridiculousness of Ben Wyatt’s vision of a game. This Deluxe version of the game is as close to the on-screen version of the game that you see in season six of Parks and Recreation as we can manage (and for us to be comfortable about the playability of it)."

It's painfully unclear what the game actually is, but the Kickstarter video informs us that is has "all of the excitement of the IRS annual tax refresher program."

The total ask on the 60-day Kickstarter is $300,000.

Backers at the $150 level will receive an authentic game ... box

The campaign pokes fun at board game Kickstarters at every opportunity. It seems that only by pledging at the $150 level do you receive an actual The Cones of Dunshire game... box. Then, at the $300 level, backers receive a 4-day badge to GenCon 2015, along with a front row seat to this year's charity Cones event and dinner with the Mayfair team.

Only backers at the $500 level and higher will receive a game box with an actual game inside, along with an authentic Ledgerman Hat.

"This is meant to be the sprawling riot of pieces shown on the show," Rice said. "The price reflects what it’s going to take to make something like that. This is designed for a select group of people that want the large-scale souvenir of the show and the game, and is not aimed at casual game fans. Plus, we want this version of the game to feel like it’s a part of the Parks and Rec universe, so we want to have some fun with the folks from Tilton and Radomski and Cone Hill in order to connect with the source material."

The "one-time run of a giant, prestige edition of the game" will include the following:

  • 4 boards at 11" x 33" – making a 33" x 44" board (one board is raised)
  • 8 cones approx. 2" high to elevate the 4th board
  • 51 die-cut figures with bases
  • 52 character sheets
  • 12 building pieces
  • 50 7" plastic colored cones (48 in four colors for gameplay, one cone sheath, one start player)
  • 1 14" solid wood Cone of Decision
  • 143 tarot-card sized cards (making up 7 decks)
  • Over 200 large and small plastic gems
  • 85 metal coins
  • 60 custom 6-sided dice
  • 12 custom 8-sided dice
  • Front of Traganaro piece (tile sheet construct)
  • Rulebook and quick start rulesheet
  • Box or ... more than likely, a crate

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