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What is Fluster?
FLUSTER is the game that makes friends out of strangers and reveals things you never knew about your closest friends!
A truly memorable conversation is a beautiful thing. The hours can fly by when you’re really engaging with the people around you, laughing, sharing thoughts, and telling stories. Unfortunately, it’s rare for those conversations to happen organically. It seems to take the perfect alchemy of the right group of people in the right situation (with the right amount of wine). But what if it didn’t? What if you could foster truly memorable conversations whenever you wanted? That’s the promise of FLUSTER.
FLUSTER is based around a deck of 100 unusual questions that inspire thought-provoking conversations and hilarious stories. It’s amazing what happens when people get off conversational autopilot and really start talking. Friends who have been close for decades hear things they never knew about each other. People who just met can start to feel like they've known each other forever. Sometimes people will start discussing a question, and then two hours later remember that they were playing a game at all. That's exactly how we want FLUSTER to be played: however you like.
Created By: Devon de Balasi Brown & Walker Banerd
Graphic Design By: Michael Lipsett
Kickstarter Campaign: November-December 2017, raised ~$20,000
Released for Sale: Spring, 2018
First Prototype Produced: 2012
Products Available: FLUSTER — the base game with 100 questions; The FLUSTER SEXpansion Pack — 27 sex- and relationship-themed questions.
Based In: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Number of Players: 2+
Time to Play: As long or as short as you like.
Age Appropriate for: Probably 17+. Some questions (as Ira Glass likes to say) acknowledge the existence of sex. But also the questions will be more interesting to adults.
HOW TO PLAY FLUSTER
There are infinite ways to FLUSTER! A lot of people like to just pick up some cards and start asking questions, and that’s totally cool with us. But if you want to some more structure, there’s a few ways to do it. Here’s one of our favourites, which we call “FLUSTER Classic”:
Everyone picks up 5 question cards and a reaction card (those are the ones with the big exclamation marks)
One person starts by asking someone else a question (start with one that has a single ! on it. Those are the least intense.)
That person gives their answer, and everyone else holds up a reaction card to signal how strongly the answer resonated with them (!, !!, or !!!), based on things like honesty and humour.
The answerer then gets to ask someone a question with the same number of !’s (or fewer) as the average reaction they received (or somewhere in the ballpark - no need to get out a calculator)
Pick up a new card after you ask a question, so you always have 5 to choose from.
If you have a FLUSTER card in your hand, you can play it to turn a question back on the asker!
That’s it! No score, no winners and losers. Play as long as you want!
FLUSTER was created by Devon and Walker based on a crazy experience Devon had a few years back. We’ll let Devon tell the story:
One night in 2012, during a trip to Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, I wound up in a gorgeous natural hot springs with a couple of close friends and some other people we'd met earlier that day.
One man in the group was a travel junkie, the kind of person who wants to travel to every country by the age of something or other - you know the kind of person I'm talking about - and he had already made a good dent in his goal. He told us about a handful of questions he had been asking at dinner tables and in living rooms all around the world, and asked if we were up to hear the questions. We agreed, and he began to ask these deep, tough, thought-provoking questions. We went around the group answering them and musing on what was coming up. I realized I was feeling and witnessing something unique, and the group was bonding like I'd never seen happen before during a normal conversation (or even a great one) across such a diverse group of friends and strangers. The next day we continued hanging out together, and an old friend exclaimed that he was "so flustered!" when he was asked a tough question about the relationship he was in.
In the days and weeks after this experience I couldn't shake the feeling of how much fun that experience was, how much I learned and bonded with this group of people, and how I was still chewing on some of my own answers to those questions. I wondered how I could create something that would consistently spark that kind of experience, where friends can be made out of strangers, and things can be revealed about your friends - and yourself - that never would have come up during normal interactions. If those 5 questions could turn a chance encounter into a singular experience, what would 100 questions look like?
I told Walker about the idea over a beer, and that night we began developing the initial concept for FLUSTER. Since then, we’ve spent several years testing and improving FLUSTER, starting with one deck, then 10, then 100.
"It's especially good when you already appreciate the people you're with, and then they reveal all these surprising things you never knew, and it's like, oh my gawd I love you even MORE!" - Hanna (North Vancouver, BC)
“On a family vacation, our usually demure family became the most rowdy table in the restaurant as we aired our unspoken thoughts, admitted to teenage misdeeds, showed our true political stripes, and... genuinely bonded. Even with a few racy questions removed from the deck (for Mom’s sake), FLUSTER brought out the juiciest of family lore!” - Alex (Toronto, ON)
"I laughed, I learned, and we all left the party knowing so many funny and interesting things about each other. I also learned a whole lot about myself!" - Jarrett (Vancouver, BC)
Devon and Walker have been best buds since the age of five. They've always loved creating stuff together, like music, movies, and elaborate secret handshakes. They've been pouring their creative energies into FLUSTER for several years now, and could not be more excited to share it with the world.