Is it true that “everyone has their price?” It’s a familiar saying and has a somewhat cynical connotation. Truthfully, though, haven’t most of us wondered what we or our friends might do if offered a sufficient reward?
Dan Killian took this question and turned it into an entertaining, fun and enlightening card game called “Pricetitution.” Killian was working in the business and accounting section of a Chicago ad agency, but needed an outlet for his creative side. He had done improv while in college and was the editor for the humor/satire section of the newspaper. In a June 2017 article in Chicagoist, Killian explained how he constantly threw out ideas to his friends for products and businesses, but never committed himself to the process of bringing those ideas to fruition.
One day sitting on his front stoop with a friend he threw out the idea of a game that would identify the outrageous things his friends might do if offered a high enough price. Although Killian wasn’t much of a board or card game player, asking that question was something that he and his friends often did while hanging out over drinks or sharing a meal.
Killian spent 18 months creating a prototype of the game, testing it on his family and close friends to work out the initial kinks and then he took Pricetitution “on the road.” He went into numerous local board-game bars, particularly his favorite–Guthries in Lakeview–and “blindly went up to people,” asking them if they would like to try a new game and taking notes about which questions worked and which subjects to avoid. Killian admits that at first he was quite afraid of rejection, but when people started asking if they could buy the game, he realized he had a winning idea. Pricetitution was still being created by hand, which was a tedious, costly and time-consuming process.
Realizing that getting to the next level with his creation would require a professional manufacturing process, on May 22, 2017, Killian set up a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $10,000. Response to the campaign was almost unbelievable. The goal was met within the first day, and Pricetitution was listed as #1 under “popular projects” on Kickstarter. By the end of the first week, $18,000 had been pledged by 500 backers from around the world. The campaign ended after 30 days, having raised $23,500 from almost 700 backers.
With money raised from Kickstarter, Killian teamed up with Panda Manufacturing, which he describes as one of the best game manufacturers in the world, producing beautifully crafted products and appearing at game conventions such as Spiel (Essen), Origins, Gencon, and GAMA.
On December 6, 2017, a Release Party was held at Begyle Brewery, with tacos, skee-ball, cornhole games and plenty of beer!
A Pricetitution set consists of 130 cards (fittingly shaped as price tags) that contain questions such as “How much would it take for you to delete all your social media accounts with no explanation?” or “…to lick all the cards in this game?” During the development phase, about 1,000 questions were posed and considered and eventually whittled down to 130. Many of the questions are meant only for adults, but the game can be used with children after removal of some of the more adult cards. The game is played with three or more people, with players taking turns being the one asked the question. (Fitting with the slightly racy nature of the game, this person is referred to in the instructions as the “Pricetitute!”) Everyone writes down the amount they think the Pricetitute would want and whoever comes closest to that person’s answer wins the round. Sounds like a good way to find out some interesting things about your friends and share some laughs on a Saturday night!