IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS BLOG POST WAS WRITTEN IN 2019. SINCE THEN, STRIKE! THE GAME OF WORKER REBELLION HAS BEEN RELEASED. YOU CAN PURCHASE IT HERE.
We at The TESA Collective are excited to announce that we have teamed up with the labor organization Jobs with Justice for our next board game: STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion. We are thrilled to be developing this game in such close partnership with a nationally renowned leader in the movement for workers’ rights.
Following in the footsteps of our previous releases, including Rise Up: The Game of People & Power as well as Space Cats Fight Fascism, we will continue our tradition of merging cause and play with the publication of this game about labor rights and worker empowerment. It is fun, strategic, humorous, and full of tense gameplay.
We will launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for STRIKE! in October. TESA has run several successful Kickstarter campaigns for our previous games, using the platform to grow our community and raise funds to manufacture our games. A portion of all funds from the game will go to directly support the incredible work of Jobs with Justice (more details below).
STORY AND GAMEPLAY PREVIEW
HappyCorp, the richest company in the world, has just unleashed its most evil plan yet: turning Mercury City into an entirely corporate-run city. From the schools to the sidewalks, everything will be owned and run by HappyCorp, and every resident will become a HappyCorp employee. There will be no more minimum wage, no more public services, and no more unions. HappyCorp has already begun unleashing its Smile Drones to convert the city’s infrastructure, crush protests, and ensure every resident watches its Commercial Breaks.
Players take on the role of the Strike Council to lead a city-wide strike of workers against HappyCorp’s take over, while also fighting for better livelihoods for all. Players will use energy tokens to grow their ranks, mobilize their workers, and complete strike cards. As the Strike Council scores victories for workers around the city, they will gain the support of more allies, from the dockworkers to the teachers, and build new bases of support from the manufacturing district to the university.
So do you have what it takes to lead the worker rebellion to defeat HappyCorp? Or will you soon be an employee of HappyCity?
- Player count: 2 – 5 players
- Game length: 45 minutes to an hour
- Special features: STRIKE! will come with three versions in the same box. The standard version is a strategic cooperative game, where everyone wins and loses together. STRIKE! also has a simplified rule set, for people who are less experienced with strategic games as well as for educational settings. Finally, the third version of the game allows one player to be the evil corporation and take on the role of HappyCorp!
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
Make sure you are on our mailing list to get updates about the game. We will be sharing behind-the-scenes content about the development process. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In the near future, we will also have a “print-and-play” version of the game you can try at home.
You can also donate directly to the development of the game. Like with all of our other games, we will donate copies of STRIKE! to community centers and social change organizations to support their important efforts. (Most recently, TESA donated copies of Rise Up to students leading the strikes for action on climate change.) Donating will help cover the expenses involved and allow us to share the game with more of these groups. Everyone who donates will also get a thank you shout out in the game’s final rulebook!
PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBS WITH JUSTICE
The initial concept for STRIKE! came out of conversations between TESA and the amazing labor rights organization Jobs with Justice. JWJ is one of the nation’s foremost leaders in strategic campaigns to shape public discourse around labor and build power for working people. They have a network of over 200,000 people as well as numerous chapters across the country. For roughly six months, TESA has been collaborating with JWJ on every step of the process for this game, from developing the storyline to creating the game mechanics and running a lengthy series of playtests. Our shared purpose is to engage in culture change by developing a fun game about worker empowerment that speaks to labor supporters and regular board game players alike.
Jobs with Justice and TESA will be sharing proceeds from the game’s profits. Therefore, when people purchase the game, they will be directly supporting JWJ’s vital work!
ART AND MANUFACTURING
The initial concept art at the top of this post is by T.L. Simons (Instagram), who will be developing the overall art and design for STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion. We are excited to be working with T.L. Simons on creating a unique look for the game as well as to flesh out the game’s world building.
Below is a behind the scenes look at how T.L. Simons came up with a concept sketch for HappyCorp’s nefarious Smile Drones, the game’s primary antagonists, and then brought the idea to life!
And of course, like all of our previous games, STRIKE! will be ethically, sustainably, and domestically manufactured in the United States. Over the past 10 years, TESA has been at the forefront of bringing ethical and sustainable manufacturing to the board game industry. We have developed new ways to print and package games to make this possible, and we have channeled more than $150,000 in funds to primarily worker-owned and unionized businesses through the manufacturing of our games. We will continue that to push this model forward with STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion.