Dawn of Madness

Created by Diemension Games

A mind-shattering story-driven cooperative board game for 1-4 players that is a true horror experience.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Today's Unlocks and Exciting Gameplay Updates
6 months ago – Tue, Dec 10, 2019 at 09:53:16 PM

Hail, Wanderers! It's another glorious day for madness. 

First let's start with our daily unlocks! Today we unlocked 3 Traumatized Condition cards at the Core level, and 60 Coda cards for Anita at the Otherworld level. 

Today we unlocked 3 Traumatized Condition cards for the Core level, and 60 Coda cards for Anita at the Otherworld level!

Some Really Cool Gameplay Developments!

Since we announced that we were going to make some major changes to the game based on your feedback, we've been hard at work on that very thing. And we have made some changes that are extremely exciting to me - and I think they will be exciting to you, as well. 

First of all, we are currently considering majorly enlarging the World Shards, from 57x88mm to 80x120mm. To do this, we will have to make some changes to the game board, essentially removing the spaces for the card decks along the right-hand side. But that won't be as big of a problem as it sounds like, based on the other changes we're working on. =) 

Here is a very early WIP of the new bigger World Shard. The art has been maximized, and other stuff has been significantly minimized.

Next, the Malformations will no longer be present at the start of the game. (Nor will they necessarily run on their same three-card system, but could instead be controlled with a card similar to those in the Terror deck.) Instead, they will appear in the events during the Event Phase as well as in the encounters themselves. They will no longer be arbitrarily placed on the board, but will instead be spawned through immersive story sequences. Which will make dealing with the Abomination even more interesting - though not as much as the next change.

Resistance cards will no longer be available at the start of the game. Instead, you'll have to find them inside the encounters. What's more, the Malformations will now attack the Abomination through these Resistance cards in addition to the Wanderers. And, yes, we just said Wanderers. When a Wanderer finds a Resistance card in an encounter, that card will belong to him, regardless of if he is the Central Wanderer or not. (Though you will be able to trade it with a Fusion action if needed.) These Resistance cards may be used to trigger one of the Malformations (should they currently be on the board), or they may be used to concentrate and weaponize the conscious energy in the Central Wanderer's realm at the Abomination. This means that any Wanderer will be able to attack the Abomination now - provided they have a Resistance card to hit it. Which reveals what is, to me, the glorious downside of this upside: at the start of the game, you won't have any Resistance cards, so you will not be able to hurt the Abomination at all. Until you find Resistance cards to attack it, it will be unstoppable. (For some twisted reason, this almost makes me giddy. Perhaps I'm just that messed up. =D )

Because the Resistance cards now have to be found, we will likely remove the requirement that you must use three Memory Fragments to activate them. (There will also now be more of them in the game.) Instead, when you find them in the stories, you will be given a choice: you can take the Resistance card, or you can gain three Memory Fragments. (So, in this way, perhaps you are still paying three Memory Fragments to activate them.) Memory Fragments will still be a vital resource in the game despite them not being used to activate Resistance cards, by the way: you will still use them to upgrade your Coda limit, enter your Memories, and to activate a variety of other tasks and abilities. 

Now, of course, all of this is still very much in development. Having said that, I hope you will agree with me that these changes are going to make the game waaay more cinematic, tense, and immersive.

So you know what I think of these changes, but what do you think about them? Let us know in the comments! (We're still collecting your input on gameplay terms, by the way, so if you haven't checked out that update you can find it here.)

I'm going to keep this update shorter and more focused today, but maybe I'll be back with a second update if I can get it written in time. (Don't hold me to that, though, just in case. LOL!) Until next time, have a fantastic day!

Social Goals Update, Voting on Boxes, and DoM Becomes (Mostly) KS Exclusive
6 months ago – Mon, Dec 09, 2019 at 11:12:31 PM

Hey friends! I hope you had a great weekend. We've got a pretty packed update for you today, so let's get into it!

Memories of Stories Past

Today in our daily unlocks we have unlocked 3 Traumatized Condition cards at the Core level, as well as 20 Memory cards for Anita at the Otherworld level! What will those memories contain? I guess you'll just have to wait to find out! 

Today we unlock 3 Traumatized Condition Cards at the Core level, and 20 Memory cards for Anita at the Otherworld level!

Social Stretch Goal Update

I GOT A MASHED POTATO MONSTER! YESSSSS! I'm not sure what your KS name is, SoSadForYou, but thanks for making my dreams a reality. 

Is it a Masquerade? I don't know, but I don't even care right now!

We've also gotten some great haikus (and limericks, which, yes, I will count):

  • Across the dimensions we race, 
  • Fleeing the Beast with no face, 
  • Suffice it to say, 
  • We didn't get away, 
  • A bloody end to the chase.

  • Hook handed horror
  • Bloody stained steel point teases
  • Frosted Window pane

(Thanks, Anthony!)

  • My mind unravels.
  • As the Sphere beckons closer,
  • I get lost within.

(Thanks, NEETocris!)

  • No place worse than hell
  • I thought the same thing as well
  • F---ing doll just moved

  • Gripping at my chest.
  • Snarled Cold emotionless Black Death.
  • Was it all for this?

(Thanks, SoSadForYou!)

  • The spider watches
  • As you crawl into its lair
  • It's time for feeding

(Thanks, Sage Smith!)

Also, I don't think Faizal Kadir intended this as a story entry (and it's not two paragraphs), but I'm counting it as such anyway, because... dang. 

Spiders fluttering. Cobwebs mashed. Murmurs from under the operating table as what i thought was a human baby figure eating rotting placenta. The stench was horrendous but I persevered as i slowly opened the Dawn of Madness artbook given to me in this contest. My name is Emily and I made it to page 2.

I also got our first man eating plant from Nick:

Sucks to be the detective with that giant plant about to devour him.

We got more great stuff, too, (including at least one more story from Hayabusa), but I'm kind of out of space right now, so we'll have to do that in a later update. Here's where we are currently:

Five Social Goals Down!

So, do you realize what this means? It means we just unlocked those high quality player aids! Woohoo! 

Want to help us unlock that intro chapter? Be sure to check out all of the remaining social goals and help us get there! (We're getting close on haikus!) You can also still enter the art book contest, which you can find on the same page as the social goals.

Dawn of Madness Becomes (Mostly) KS-Exclusive 

Switching gears pretty radically from up above, we wanted to discuss the future of Dawn of Madness, and where we're at right now. After long discussions back and forth, talks with a variety of potential partners, and no shortage of calculations, we have come to realize that, just like with Deep Madness, we are going to have to call Dawn of Madness mostly KS-exclusive. It honestly galls me to write that, but the situation is what it is right now. In the end it seems that even the standee version wouldn't be enough to solve the retail cost problem like we had hoped, as the books have pushed the costs up past the point where retail distribution is truly viable for now.

Having said that, let me quantify what "mostly" means. Basically, it means that at some point down the road we might sell any remaining stock of the games (if any exists) on our own website (when we have one) or potentially at conventions. Also, we would like to leave the door open for non-English, localized versions of the game - especially for those countries that don't really use Kickstarter. While we don't have any of these partners yet, we also don't want to close off this avenue if we don't have to. Last of all, if there was ever a (pretty successful) reprint somewhere in the unseen eons ahead (which, we'll grant you, is a pretty big "if" when looking that far in the future), then we might reassess if retail looked like a feasible option at that point. But, apart from those few caveats, Kickstarter will now be the only place to get this game.

Why are we telling you this now? Because we have a policy of being open with our community and our backers, and we wanted to be up-front about this. We also wanted to set expectations for the future: at this point retail ambitions look grim at best. As someone who fought to not have any KS-exclusive stuff in this campaign, this is certainly something that pains me to write. But it is what it is, and you have a right to know. 

Now, we know that some people have been on the fence as to if this game is right for them. What we would encourage you to do is to back for $1. Then you would be able to gauge the game's progress as we move forward over the next year developing, playtesting, and refining it. You would have plenty of time to evaluate if this game is right for you - and, if it ends up not being something you're interested in, even $1 will help us create the best game we can and would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for being with us, my friend.

Once More to the Crossover

There have been some questions about the Deep Madness crossover, so we thought we would clarify our previous update here. (In case you missed the previous update, we will be offering one free Deep Madness crossover pack to people at the Otherworld level, and two free Deep Madness crossover packs at the Gameplay Mostly All-In level.)  We'll do this as a short Q&A.

Q: I was a late backer on Deep Madness, or I bought it from someone else. Can I still get the cards? A: Yes. In the pledge manager we will have a question asking if you need the cards, so you'll just tell us that you do and we'll include them in your order.

Q: What if I plan to get Deep Madness in the next reprint? Can I still get the cards? A: Yes. See question one above. =)

Q: Will you offer these as an add-on for those who are at the Core level or who just want a couple of expansions rather than the Gameplay Mostly All-In? A: Yes. We will make these available as an add-on. They will be $10 per pack. You can add them to your pledge now if you want. 

Q: Will more monsters or Wanderers be added to the packs? At this point it isn't too likely, as the reason they weren't put in to begin with was because of complications in importing them into Deep Madness. Having said that, I suppose nothing is completely outside the realm of possibility, no matter how slim the chances.

For more info on the crossover pack, check out the original update right here.

What Do You Think About Storage Boxes?

To finish off this update I wanted to ask you a question.

We have had a number of requests for a storage solution similar to the one we offered in the Deep Madness reprint campaign. As you have likely seen, we want to help our backers to have the best game experience possible, and we are always listening. But the thing is, we got soured a bit on Monstrum in the reprint (it was a logistical nightmare, in essence), so we are a little wary of jumping on it right out of the gate here. Next of all, in the reprint we offered Profundum as a stretch goal, but in this campaign we wouldn't be able to do that - which means that a similar two-box storage solution would be more expensive in this campaign than in the last one. (For reference, the printed component box would likely be around $30, and the miniature box would be around $45. Shipping would also be pretty high on these, as these boxes would be huge: probably around $10 for the printed component box and $15 for the miniatures box to most countries.)

All of that to say, before we offered this storage solution we would need to know how many people are interested in it. So, our question is: if this storage solution was offered, would you buy it? 

Would you buy the storage box? The miniature box? Or both? Let us know in the comments for this update, and if we get enough interest to meet the minimum order requirements then we will make one or both parts of the storage solution a reality. 

Also, be sure to let us know if you're an Italian backer who would like Dawn of Madness translated into Italian! We need quite a few more of you to say you want it before we could make that a reality. So, if you want DoM in Italian, be sure to click here to let us know.

Okay, that's it for this update! Talk to you again soon, and have a great day!

Through the Blocked Door, Live Stream Recap, and the Antagonist
6 months ago – Sun, Dec 08, 2019 at 10:54:30 PM

Hi, friend! I hope you had a great Saturday. 

For everyone who came to hang out with me on the live stream today, thanks so much! We had a blast, and covered a ton of ground. If you missed it, you can watch the recording below. I will say, it is two hours long, so you may want to jump around in it rather than try to watch the whole thing. Because... dang.  

 I will do another live stream next Wednesday. I have thus far done them around 3pm PST, but if there is a better time for folks let me know. (I want the largest part of the world to be able to see it as possible.)

Now, let's see what decision was arrived at in the last story update! This one was pretty close, but in the end the blocked door pulled slightly ahead. So, let's see what's behind door number 2!  (And if you missed the first part, check it out here first!)

Through the Blocked Door

With great effort you cast aside the pile of refuse collected in front of the door and are at last able to open it. Swinging the door wide, you flick on the light switch and enter.

The room is filled with derelict hospital beds and stretchers. They are stacked on top of each other, and dumped in piles in the corners. There is other equipment, too: discarded medical apparatuses, harnesses, straightjackets, and more.

Stepping amidst the graveyard of beds, you feel your heart beating faster in your chest. Why? Why would this room do that to you –

Reality shimmers, and then cracks. The beds are all full of people. They squirm and writhe and moan, blood pulsing from wounds and hacking out of their mouths. The light is throbbing in the room. It is red. It is electric. You scream.

The patients in the beds all swivel to look at you. Most of them are tied down with leather straps, but some are not. Sitting up, they turn toward you, extend their arms to embrace you. Their mouths open: inside those gaping maws you see utter oblivion.

“No,” you say. “No! Get out of my head! Get away from me!” You grab a scalpel that is lying on a nearby tray and close your eyes. Then you begin stabbing at the apparitions. You stab over and over and over. You feel the knife enter flesh. You feel blood splatter up onto your face and shirt. Letting out a primal yell, you whirl around, cutting anything that gets too close to you, feeling the life splash from their wraith-like bodies. Something grabs you, and you thrust the knife downward –

You open your eyes again. You’re alone. There are no groping patients in beds, no dead bodies from your cuts and thrusts and stabs. Even so, your shirt and face are soaked in blood.

Looking down at the knife, you discover that it is embedded into a dirty straightjacket. A shiver slithers down your body. Why does that bring back memories? Why does that straightjacket call to you?

Casting aside the knife, you pick up the straightjacket. A strange power seems to emanate from it. Quickly, you scramble to put the straightjacket on. It covers your chest, and you sigh. Perhaps now you’re safe.

You give the room one more cursory glance. Then, turning, you stumble out of the room for the elevator.


Well would you look at that! We just got ourselves a fancy straight jacket! Awesome! Who couldn't use a gently used straight jacket in near mint condition? (In-game this would be a Coda card with useful effects and resources that we just earned and could now equip.)

You just gained a straight jacket!

In addition, we just gained more story points toward Emily's Red Door ending (which is the worst one, by the way.) 

A red ending plot token

So what would we have met if we had gone the other way? Here's a hint: 

(This entry was simplified somewhat, too, as there are a couple tests in the actual game to get in here as well as to successfully fight against the patients.)

In the coming days we're going to start alternating between doing closer looks at the Wanderers who make up Dawn of Madness, as well as more story content. Stay tuned!

Persona Antagonist

Every good story needs a villain. You've always known that. But you were never very good at fleshing out those characters, and the villain always seemed slightly one-note. This most recent antagonist is taking on a life of its own, though. It's developing quicker than you ever could have expected. In fact, it's almost like it's about to pull itself free of the printed page. 

Today we unlocked 3 Traumatized Condition cards at the Core level, and Persona Antagonist at the Otherworld level!

Today we unlock 3 Traumatized Condition cards at the Core level, and Persona Antagonist at the Otherworld level! All three of Anita's Terrors are now unlocked, and next we'll move onto some story content for her! And looming on the horizon is something big. Something horrific. There's only a few more days until it hits! 

Social Goals

We've unlocked our first social stretch goal! How cool is that?! This means that we will now add 5 extra dice to every core game!

We've had a number of haikus (and a limerick or two, also) come through already. I've been pleasantly surprised by this, actually. I'll collect some of them to share with you all in the next update. We've had some other fun stuff, too, which I'll collect and show you guys soon. (My dreams for mashed potato Masquerades haven't been met yet, but I still have hope.) Here's where we are on some of the goals:

  • DM FB page likes: 103 of 150
  • DMU FB Group Joins: 108 of 100 - UNLOCKED! 
  • DG FB page likes: 124 of 150
  • DG Instagram follows: 88 of 100
  • DG Twitter follows: 112 of 50 - UNLOCKED! 

Help us unlock more social stretch goals! Check out the full list right here, and get to posting! Let's see if we can unlock those player aids and tutorial chapter! Also, don't forget to weigh in on some of the gameplay tweaks we've been talking about recently! 

We'll talk to you again tomorrow! Have a great day!

Down into the Basement, a Certain Point of View, and the Next Livestream
6 months ago – Sat, Dec 07, 2019 at 10:35:19 PM

It's been an eventful couple of days. First we announced some major gameplay revisions (and asked for your help), then we revealed the free Deep Madness crossover, and then we unveiled a bunch of social stretch goals that will lead to some awesome gameplay additions. If you missed any of these updates, please be sure to check them out as they all contain vital information. =) 

Okay. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on to the daily unlocks!

A Certain Point of View

The creature before you shifts and quakes, its three eyes undulating at the ends of their long, slimy stalks. It speaks, and its words slip and spill between one point of view and another, its uncertainty driving it ever further into madness. Is it itself, or something else? It's impossible to know for sure.

Today's Unlocks: 3 Traumatized Condition Cards in the Core level, and Persona Point-of-View in the Otherworld level!

Today we unlocked 3 Traumatized Condition cards at the Core level, as well as Anita's Terror, Persona Point-of-View, at the Otherworld level. Sweet! (I think it's safe to say both the cards and the monster have their eye(s) on you!)

Now we're going to explore another story from Emily's story book. This time we're going to venture down into the asylum's basement. Now, one of this entry's options has been removed because it's a bit long, it would be hard to convey all of the action it contains in this format, and because it's LOADED with spoilers. As such, there's only two choices this time, but those two options should certainly prove to be interesting. =D So, without further ado, let's venture into the basement!

The Elevator Descends

The elevator groans and shivers around you as it descends slowly, tremulously, toward the asylum’s basement. The asylum’s main floor slides slowly from view, the building’s bones replacing the dusty tile and stained walls lingering overhead, and then at last the wooden and steel box settles with a sigh at the building’s lowest level. The cantankerous double doors slide open, and you step out into the basement.

You see a small, dirty lobby before you, followed by a long, dimly lit corridor. You give the room a cursory look, but you don’t see anything that immediately jumps out at you as being significant. Casting your gaze around, you advance down the hallway.

This place smells musty. A thick layer of dust is draped like a moldering blanket over every visible surface. Partway down the corridor you see two entrances: to the left are two decrepit double-doors, and to your right, just slightly farther down, is a single rickety entry. The one on the left has a plaque next to it which says “HASS STORAGE”. The one on the right says “JANITORIAL”.  Further on, there’s another door that is blocked by a pile of broken fixtures, splintered boards, dilapidated furniture, and other detritus.

A. Do you want to explore the Janitorial Storage?

B. Do you want to try to open the blocked door?

Let me know in the comments which path you would prefer we take!

Live Stream Today

What with all of the technical glitches and such this week, we have not been able to do a live stream this week. So what do you say we give it a try today? Join me at 3pm PST, and let's give it a go! I'm hopefully going to be on both Facebook and YouTube this time, should all things go according to plan. 

Well that's it for this update! We will talk with you again very shortly, and I hope to see you on the live stream!

Having Fun with Social Stretch Goals
6 months ago – Sat, Dec 07, 2019 at 08:24:34 PM

Who's up for some social stretch goals?

In recent days I was thinking, what could we do to have some more fun with this campaign? And then the answer hit me upside the head: we needed to make Masquerades out of mashed potatoes. 

If you've ever backed a game like Exploding Kittens or Trial by Trolley (as I have), you have a pretty good idea of where we're going with this. The big difference is, of course, that these are all going to be (more or less) horror-themed! So what are we going to be doing? Let's take a look.

The Social Stretch Goals!

Honestly, I don't necessarily expect a whole ton of backers to come from your incredible mashed potato Masquerade sculptures or masterful horror haikus. ButI certainly want to see them! =D Having said that, this isn't just to get everyone having a good time. We have a few things that we want to give you guys, but we figured we might as well make you work for them just a little bit. Here's what you can unlock through these social stretch goals:

  •  Five more dice in every core game. If we unlock this one, we will add five more dice (one for every Sentience) to every core game!
  •  High quality player aids. These won't just be tiny cards, but generously sized aids that will outline core concepts, actions you can take, and more!
  •  A TUTORIAL CHAPTER! This is the one that has me REALLY excited! I started writing this tutorial as an unofficial side-project long before the campaign started, but one thing led to another and it got sidelined by stuff I was actually supposed to be doing. Having said that, this is something I have wanted to do for a very, very long time. You are going to learn how to play Dawn of Madness through this story-driven hybrid of a Chapter and an Encounter! We're going to cover everything from setup to actions, and by the end of it you'll not only know how to play DoM - you'll be completely immersed in the game world, and have a deeper understanding of the game's lore as well as its mechanics, starting at the very moment your mind shatters as you enter the Otherworld! 

So let's dive a bit further into what's going to happen here. I've included a few of the standard social goals that we can smash through super quick and unlock this stuff. Then I've thrown in others that I just think sound awesome, such as writing a two-paragraph Dawn of Madness-themed horror story or the previously mentioned haikus.  First of all, for every two of these goals completed we will unlock another social stretch goal. I'll break instructions into two sections.

Standard Social Goals: These are basically just here so we can unlock these stretch goals super quickly. To complete these, just go to our profile or page or group on your social network of choice and Like us, Follow us, or Join us.

Fun Social Goals: Now here's where we get creative! Choose your target (or two or three), then post your pictures on your social platform of choice (namely, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.) When writing your post use the hashtag #dawnofmadness, tag us in the post (@diemensiongames on Instagram, @DiemensionGames on Twitter, and @deepmadnessgame on Facebook), and include a link to the campaign: http://bit.ly/DawnofMadness. The rest of the post's contents are up to you. Now, here's what we're looking for in every category:

  •  8 Mashed Potato Masquerades - These lumpy beauties are the perfect candidate for mashed potato art! They don't have to be only mashed potatoes, but mashed potatoes do have to be involved. =D
  •  12 Man Eating Plants - We need 15 pictures of a plant eating a person. It doesn't have to be a real person. It can be a fake one. Use your imagination!
  •  8 Homemade Rages - Give us your best scorpion monsters! You can make your Rage out of whatever you'd like. There are no limits on this one.
  •  8 Scary Spider Ladies - We need pictures of 8 people getting scared by a spider lady. (How are you going to make a spider lady? I can think of some interesting combos involving a doll and a rubber tarantula, for one...) 
  •  20 Horrific Haikus - Write your most terrifying haiku - and feel free to tie it into Dawn of Madness if you'd like. =) 
  •  20 2-Paragraph Stories - We want your best 2-paragraph horror story - once again, preferably Dawn of Madness themed.
  •  15 Draw Your Best DoM Monster - The heart behind it is more important than the quality. =D

Once again, for every two goals beaten we will unlock a new social stretch goal, so let's get socializing! 

Art Book Contest

Want a free copy of the art book? Then we've got a contest for you! 

We have selected several images from Dawn of Madness that we want you to share on social media. They're formatted in two different sizes: 1920x1080 and square. Every post you do with one of these pieces of art will grant you one more entry in the contest. Once again, use the same info as above: When writing your post use the hashtag #dawnofmadness, tag us in the post (@diemensiongames on Instagram, @DiemensionGames on Twitter, and @deepmadnessgame on Facebook), and include a link to the campaign: http://bit.ly/DawnofMadness. We'll select four of you to win a copy of the art book!

Not on social media? No problem! We will also give one away to one person in the comments of this update who gives us the best reason why they need a copy of the book.

(Side note: I know some people were hoping for some wallpaper of the art from this campaign. That's not really what these are for, but they could very well do in a pinch... ;)

Click here to get the art!

And for those of you who want a sample of what's in there:

Numina Creation
The Squirming Altar

That's all for this update. We'll have another one in a few hours, though, with more coolness! Stay tuned!