Storytags was a project initiated during a grad school workshop. The workshop focused on gerontoludic studies (games for older people) and making a game for them. The problem was simple, but the approach was rocky. Originally started with an idea to tell stories by being prompted about an event in someone's life, the first couple of prototypes had really wonky rules and cards.
We iterated on the design and came up with a set of pretty decent rules to go by. The game wasn't 100%, but it was playable - and fun.
Scoring was a bit tedious, and because we just used tallies on paper, it was also very difficult to subtract points from players—so that was never an option. One day the idea came to us to use tokens instead of a scorekeeper, and the biggest obstacle to finishing the game was resolved.
After a few months of dust-collection we picked the project back up and decided to refine it. We playtested for days with our friends, families, and anyone else we could attract at the local coffee shop.
Eventually we found our groove and decided that we wanted to fund this game. We loved it but didn't have a spare $15k tucked under our mattress. We Kickstarted it but failed on our first attempt. However, we did get around $9000 pledged to us with only a month or so of marketing. Because of our failure and the potential we saw, we did a few more months of hands-on promotion and decided to pitch the idea to some game manufacturers. At Origins 2016, we sold Storytags to R&R Games and soon hope to see it in stores (probably under a new name).