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Cyanide & Happiness Kickstarter could be the next Exploding Kittens success story

Based on a free iOS app, the card game has earned more than $560k in less than two days

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.

The creators of Cyanide & Happiness launched a Kickstarter for a tabletop game based on their web comic on Tuesday, and slightly more than 48 hours later they've cracked $566,000 in total funding. At their current rate the project is trending towards $5.8 million, which would easily place it among the top ten most highly-funded Kickstarter campaigns ever.

The concept of the game is fairly simple. Players reveal a single cartoon panel from a deck in the middle of the table. One player, designated as the judge for that round, places a second panel. Players take turns playing panels from their own hand, with the judge selecting their favorite who is awarded a point. Given the non-sequitur nature of the comic series itself hilarity invariably ensues.

The game is based on the Cyanide & Happiness team's Random Comic Generator, which is available as a free iOS app. The creators claim the app has more than 20 million comic combinations. The card game itself, called Joking Hazard, appears to have plenty of replayability as well. With 250 cards in the deck, the designers say the game contains 15.4 million combinations.

The campaign page lists a delivery date of November of this year.

Joking Hazard seems to be following a successful formula laid out last year by the makers of Exploding Kittens, which paired another popular web comic with experienced game designers as well as a proven publishing and logistics partner. The Joking Hazard campaign also features stretch goals tied to social media stunts, just like Exploding Kittens. Instead of holding additional content back behind tiered dollar amounts that incentivize existing backers to put more money down, these social goals extend the product's reach laterally to add more potential backers.

By the end of their campaign, the team behind Exploding Kittens boasted of having created the largest community in Kickstarter history with more than 219,000 backers.

We've reached out to the team to learn more about their partners for publishing and distribution, and to get additional details about the campaign.

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