The White Box: A Game Design Workshop-in-a-Box

Created by Gameplaywright

The White Box: A Game Design Workshop-in-a-Box
Backerkit white box cover image
2,950 backers pledged $119,088.00 on Kickstarter

The White Box is a book of essays about game design and a collection of generic prototyping components — cubes, dice, tokens, and more — to help you get the game idea out of your head and onto the table.

Raised in Kickstarter
$119,088.00 / 2,950 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$11,569.65 / 2,956 backers

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Shipping and Related Updates
1 day ago – Sat, Dec 09, 2017 at 07:32:36 PM

Digital Rewards

All digital rewards are available, and have been for some time. If you haven’t gotten yours, you can visit BackerKit and download them now! See “Getting Downloads from BackerKit,” below.

US Physical Rewards

All US physical rewards have been shipped, and should have arrived at their destinations. If you haven’t received yours, please contact us (see below).

Australia & New Zealand Physical Rewards

All shipped, and should have arrived. If you haven’t received yours, please contact us (see below).

Europe Physical Rewards

Rewards to European backers are being fulfilled from the UK. Our shipment to the UK had the longest transit time and was briefly held up in customs. It’s now through customs and en route to its fulfillment center. It should arrive at the fulfillment center on Monday (12/11). Our shipping partner says that they can get all of the rewards posted by Thursday (12/14).

Other Destinations in the Eastern Hemisphere

All shipped, and should have arrived. If you haven’t received yours, please contact us (see below).

Other Destinations in the Western Hemisphere

All shipped, and may have arrived, depending your location. If you haven’t received yours, sit tight for another few days. If they haven’t arrived by mid-week, feel free to contact us (see below).

My Copy is Awesome and My Friend Wants One

The White Box is available in retail stores that backed the campaign right now. It will be available in regular distribution starting on December 20.

The White Box Essays is available now in digital formats on DriveThruRPG (all formats), Warehouse 23 (all formats), and Amazon (Kindle only).

Damaged Shipment?

If you received physical rewards that were unacceptably damaged in transit, please contact us (see below) and include photos of the damage in your email. We will replace all damaged shipments.

Getting Downloads from BackerKit

If you need to download digital rewards from BackerKit, it’s easy:

(1) Go to

(2) Enter your email address in the “Lost your survey?” box and click the “Get My Survey” button.

(3) Follow the link in the email you’ll receive in response.

(4) Navigate to the Order Confirmation page and click the blue “Get Your Digital Downloads” button.

Contacting Us

To get in touch, send an email to jeff at jefftidball dot com. We are trying to respond to all emails by the next day.

If You Haven’t Filled Out Your BackerKit Survey…

…now’s a good time. Go to

Thank You!

We're extremely grateful that you backed our campaign for The White Box, and we're looking forward to hearing about your awesome new projects! 

You Can Almost Hear the Inspiration
25 days ago – Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 11:15:05 PM

Audiobooks are Available Now

We’ve just distributed The White Box Essays audiobook via BackerKit. If you’re a backer (or pre-order customer) entitled to the audiobook, you probably already have an email notification.

If you didn’t get an email notification, you can still download the audiobook by going to, entering the email address you used to back the Kickstarter in the “Lost your survey?” form field, then following the link in the email that process generates.

May we brag? This audiobook is a phenomenal production. Audiobook producer Renee Knipe and reader Derek Botton knocked it out of the park. Have a listen; we think you’ll agree.

As always, if you have any problems, don’t hesitate to send us a Kickstarter message, or an email to jeff at jefftidball dot com.

U.S. Shipping Update

At some point while it was on the ocean, our port date slipped from Nov. 8 to Nov. 14. We’ve received word that the shipment is in Vancouver now, but has not yet been discharged. Our current plan is to begin packing shipments on Black Friday.

U.K. Shipping Update

We’ve received word that the European shipment will arrive at port in the U.K. on Nov. 29. This is later than we want.

What We’ve Been Doing

In addition to preparing the audiobook, we’ve been doing everything we can to make sure our fulfillment partners have everything they need to start shipping as soon as possible upon receiving their copies of The White Box.

Each partner has in hand address spreadsheets formatted to their individual specifications, as well as other details in hand (e.g., exact weights and dimensions of each item) that will eliminate potential delays.

Thanks again for backing!

All the Shipments, All the Time
about 1 month ago – Tue, Nov 07, 2017 at 11:49:37 PM

Where Are All the Things?

Every single copy of The White Box has left our factory in China, destined for fulfillment centers in China, Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada.

Executive summary:

Rewards are on their way to the fulfillment centers. Depending on what country you're in, you’re likely to receive your individual package from one of those centers in the second half of November. If not in November then in the first half of December.

Non-executive, potentially boring specifics:

The China shipment has arrived in Shenzhen, and orders for backers in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and assorted other international destinations are in process. But! Be aware that add-ons other than The White Box proper for these backers will come in a separate shipment from Minnesota. So, if you get your copy of The White Box but not other add-ons you ordered, fear not. They’re coming, just separately.

The Australia shipment (fulfilling Australia and New Zealand) has arrived at port there, and should be bound for the Aetherworks warehouse soon, if it isn’t on its way already. Backers in Australia and New Zealand will get rewards from this batch.

The U.S. shipment is scheduled to land in Vancouver on Nov 8, and to arrive at the Atlas Games warehouse between Nov. 15 and 18. When in that window they land will determine whether they all leave the warehouse before Thanksgiving or not.

We’ve had no specific details on the UK shipment. There’s nothing alarming about this, it just means they’re still en route to port. All European backers will be fulfilled from this location.

The Canada shipment will be dispatched to Ontario (well, to Buffalo, NY, and from there to Ontario under the gentle supervision of Snakes & Lattes, if details are your thing) the very first thing when the U.S. shipment arrives in Minnesota. This made hugely more sense than making an additional direct shipment from China to Toronto.

Questions? Problems? Comments?

If you have a question, problem, or comment don’t hesitate to send a Kickstarter message, or an email to jeff at jefftidball dot com. If you’d like to talk to a human on the telephone, you can even call the Atlas Games office at +1 651-638-0077.

Retailers Who Sell to Educators

Forward-thinking retail backer John Stephens, of Total Eclipse Games in Denver, dropped us a line a couple of weeks ago to see if we could give him a hand writing some copy for a flyer he could customize and put in the hands of local teachers, extolling the educational benefits of making games. You know, so he could sell them The White Box.

If you’re interested in using that very same copy to promote your store, and The White Box, to your local teachers and schools, you’ll find it in this handy Google Doc.

It's All Coming Together
2 months ago – Mon, Oct 02, 2017 at 11:58:05 PM

The Production Sample

Today, we received our final sample. This is one of the off-the-assembly line copies, just as the main shipment will come. Check out the photo at the end of this update.

You’ve heard the story about the Van Halen performance contract’s prohibition on brown M&Ms? Our similar provision — that the shrinkwrap must not have a seam on the bottom of the box as it’s standing — was faithfully observed. (Why that provision? Retailers tell us that when there’s a seam on the bottom, it makes boxes on their shelves more prone to topple.)

Final BackerKit Cutoff

If you haven’t filled out your BackerKit survey (just 4% of you) or contacted us to opt out of BackerKit, your final cut-off to receive your rewards shipment on time is October 10. Visit and use the form to recover your survey.

If you fill out your survey later than October 10, you’ll still get your rewards eventually, just not with the main shipment.

New Fulfillment Center

You may recall that we’re fulfilling to Australia and New Zealand from inside Australia, to Europe from the UK, to Canada from Ontario, and to the U.S. from Minnesota.

Since the last update, we’ve added a new fulfillment center in Shenzhen, China. We’ll use it to fulfill all orders with destinations outside one of the aforementioned regions. That will save as much as a month of transit time for those backers.


If you’re a retail backer, you should have received an email from Atlas Games’s sales manger, Travis Winter, about finalizing your order. If you didn’t get that email, drop him a line at, or call the Atlas Games office at +1 651-638-077.

Thanks for Backing

We’re grateful for your support.


Progress Report; PAX West
3 months ago – Fri, Sep 01, 2017 at 12:09:34 AM

Production Progress

As the production of physical editions of The White Box goes, the only thing to report is continued progress on the timeline outlined in our last update. We've rarely seen a manufacturer work as quickly and diligently on a project's prep and prepress as our representatives as LongPack are working now.

BackerKit Reminder

Please fill out your BackerKit survey, if you're part of the 5% of backers who haven't had a chance yet. Knowing what country you're in, especially, will help us make sure we have enough stock shipped to each of our distribution points.

PAX West

Jeremy and Jeff will be at PAX West this weekend (9/1–9/4). If you'd like to catch up with them to give feedback, ask questions, talk design, or show off the prototype you're working on, you can find them at the main food court on Friday (tomorrow!) from 3:00p to 4:00p. They'll be the ones who look like this: