Outside the Box - The Hilarious Alphabetical Fast-Thinking Team and Party Game!
Here is the new version of the game which has not been released for sale to the public yet:
How it all started
“I love games. I grew up playing every board game you can imagine. Every time I get together with friends and family, I come prepared with a game. I do have my all-time favorites, but I make it a point to bring one of my own creations. One year, during the holidays, I unveiled "Outside the Box" to my family... I should tell you they are one tough crowd to please! They were hooked. Nobody wanted to stop playing.
That's when this amazing journey started. I became obsessed with creating categories and hilarious answers that would appeal to all ages.
My main goal was to make a game that was addictive, fast-moving, and most importantly, ever-changing... too many games are played once or twice and tossed in the back of a closet.
I asked myself, "What is the one universal thing that ties all people together...something we all know and is one of the first things we all learn?" The Alphabet!!
We all have fond childhood memories of family road trips playing some type of alphabet game. That is why I always say, "You've been playing this game your whole life... But not like this!!"
I share this journey in hopes you will enjoy the ride as much as I have!!”
~ Rick Sugarman
Over $50,000 in games have been sold during the playtesting phase of Outside the Box.
With little to no advertising budget, we had to exhibit at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair...and small festivals like this:
<<<<<<<VIDEO GOES HERE>>>>>>>
Below is Glenn Sugarman with Richard Gill, the man who made Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit household names. Richard had some kind words to say about Outside the Box! — at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.
We even created crazy YouTube videos with celebrities...well not the real ones anyway.
And, of course, we tried to make the outsidetheboxgame.com website fun with graphics like this:
"AND IN THE NEWS...OUTSIDE THE BOX IS GETTING RAVE REVIEWS...THIS JUST IN...HOUSE AND SENATE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS IN A SPECIAL MEETING AT THE WHITE HOUSE FINALLY AGREE ON SOMETHING: OUTSIDE THE BOX ROCKS!"
The weather lady was spot on with her forecast.
The website landing page pokes fun at the lack of exciting new games...
Then there was more playtesting at colleges, universities and even Disney's California Adventure Park!
Next came social media marketing on our Facebook page.
We have to ask: Which came first? The fun or the excitement!!?
Of course, every round of play is a race against time!
Along the way, we were certainly proud to receive recognition and awards...
The reviews were pretty good. Here's a few:
"I've been sharing the game with my coworkers, friends and roommates, and we can't get enough! Our team rivalries are starting to get a little more heated each time we play. Fast-paced and so much fun!" ~ Marie Stringer
"LOVE the game. Fun and easy!" ~ Tiffany Parks Branch
"My family loves this game! We played 4 v 4 and the competition was fun and challenging. My son at Oglethorpe College here in Atlanta took it to his school for their game night. They played Girls v Boys and had a blast, though he did admit the girls killed them." ~ Maureen Lovett
This game is bar-none THE MOST ENTERTAINING GAME that we've played in a long time! Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with plenty of time spent indoors over the long winters, Outside the Box is a game that we play with all of our 3 children and we never get bored with it! It is constantly changing and evolving with the group that is playing which makes it different and exciting every time you play! Outside the Box keeps everyone on their toes--not only building on the young one's vocabularies and quick wit, but keeping us parents sharp as well. It is truly a game for all ages...and that's hard to find these days! We just can't get enough!" ~ Suzanne Buchanan
"This game is so much fun! It's a great way to bring people together to get to know each other and I actually learned a lot from the answers. I gave it to my best friend as a birthday gift and she loves it too. It's perfect for a game night party." ~ Colleen C.
"Once you start playing you won't stop...we love it and keep introducing it to friends and family. Easy to play and then you get Hooked! We are planning our next game night with friends to play it, but it is also fun to play with my daughter over breakfast." ~ Wendy Menneg
Most reviews were from customers on Amazon (where many of the first 1,100 games were sold.) Here's one of our favorites:
"Outside the Box is, in a nutshell, the ultimate party game, one of those titles that brings a large group together for a night of laughter and merriment..." "...After playing Outside the Box, I came to a very unique realization - this is one of those games that you’ll play time and time again, not only because the game is fun, but because it’s something you’ll remember for a long time. Out of my library of board games, I can honestly say that there are only a handful of games that truly stick out when it comes down to remembering how I felt when I played them. Some, admittedly, I have incredibly fond memories of, while others I have simply forgotten. It’s the power of a game to truly bring a group together, to create a social atmosphere that encourages player interaction, that makes people think as a unit and not just on their own - it’s the ability of a game to make people enjoy their time together and want to spend more time together just to play a game with one another. That, my friends, is what truly makes a game great - and this is one great game." ~ Pete Sellers, CEO, Meeples Next Door - The Games Meeples Play
We wanted to give to charity too.
Denise Crowe and Liza Nordmark of the Georgia Chapter met with Rick Sugarman on July 12th at which time he presented them with a final check which was added to earlier contributions creating a total of $5,304 to be used for ALS patients in Georgia!
What did we learn?
- The game was too expensive to make, thus the price tag of $49.95
- There were too many instructions for the fast-paced world we live in
- The game took too long to play (1+ hours)
What did we change?
We simplified the instructions. Game play can begin in under two minutes. We streamlined the game and made it less of a board game and more of a party game. We kept the concept of playing on the outside of the box. In the original version, the top of the box became the board. In the new game the bottom of the outside of the box is a dry-erasable scoreboard.
Where are we now?
More playtesting? Of course, and video to learn quickly how the game works.
Here are a few Category Cards:
The new ACTion! card backs
Sample ACTion Category Card
The AlphaBattle round has often been described as the "verbal hot potato"...
The new AlphaBattle card backs:
Here some examples of the new AlphaBattle Category Cards:
The future of the game
Does the world know about Outside the Box? Hardly. It was never sold in any retail store. That is why we are looking to license the game to a well-known game manufacturer. Will it sell? We are confident that it will. The game retailed for $49.95 and people still bought it. With a price point of $24.95 or even $29.95, that will make it even more appealing. We have found a small printer who can make the game, all-in, for about $8. A large game manufacturer could get that price down even further.
We do not want to be in the game manufacturing/distribution business. That is clearly not our expertise. We are creators and inventors. Our ultimate goal or dream is to continue to share our creative passion with your team of experts in this field. We have expansion packs of category cards ready for mass production. Additionally, we have ideas for sequels to the game, and have begun working on them. For example, a kid's version, a sports version, music and movies. All with clever names and packaging ideas.
Please call us at 404.931.5263 to discuss your interest in bringing "Outside the Box" to the next level.