Ray: "It says I have to take off my pants and play the rest of the game without them, or pay a $500 fine."

Jake: "I'll give you $1000 to keep your pants ON."

How to "play the game."

The mechanics of Oneupmanship are simple: each player starts out with $5,000, and the first one to reach $100,000 by either investing in the stock market, buying real estate, purchasing "trophies" or betting against the other players wins.

But wait: we added another dimension that takes the game off the board and into the realm of meta-game: "$ Cards" are personal, physical and mental challenges that are really about proving what you are made of as a human being. And they're meant to hurt.

Seriously, we hope you have as much fun playing Oneupmanship as we did making it.

And it's only twenny-nine bucks – invest NOW in a ludic and cool family good time... 

Once a hippie, always a...

"Hello, I'm Michael Martelli here in Salisbury, North Carolina. I'm just here to talk to you a bit about ONEUPMANSHIP, a game I had the pleasure of playing with my friends in the prototype stage. I like to call it a family board game for a grown-up family. It reminds me of Monopoly with a lot more depth, a lot more challenges, and a lot more nuance. If you like a fun, cutthroat game with an economic theme, then this is definitely a game you would enjoy. I highly recommend it!"


 In the end, a beginning. 

I've been called recalcitrant, incorrigible, fatuous, and sophomoronic (as well as other unprintable adjectives) – with good reason. If you don't know what recalcitrant means, I wouldn't bother reading any further. Seriously, my buddy JP and I were at a cocktail party one night talking about the callow, clueless "Occupy Wall Street" movement with a know-it-all from New York when the noodge blurted out something like "Don't you understand that money is bad?" We burst out laughing. "Money is bad?" Ha! You have no idea how good it is. No. Idea.

We believe that capitalism, despite its numerous flaws, is still the best system ever invented to unleash human potential and bring the greatest good to the greatest number. Don't just take our word for it — read a few pages of de Tocqueville, or listen to Bono* if you don't believe us. Any Cuban on any street corner in Havana will sadly agree, too.

 Our goal at Oneupmanship is not to preach the joys of making money — because we know that free markets, unlike free love, music, art, or good intentions, really can change the world. For the better, of course. Rather our goal is to unshackle the gaming world from the twin tyrannies of political correctness on the one hand, and the geektards, with their addictive and soul (and candy) crushing crack that's designed implicitly to lobotomize impressionable young minds on the other. When was the last time you invested in some quality time with frenemies, without cell phones or computers, while having a ton of good old-fashioned laugh-out-loud fun? What other board games are there that "bring out the blood-sucking worst in everyone?"

So, we invite you to come "play our game" and test your wits against ours: Buy low, sell high. Visit Vegas and bet big. Payoff's huge. Fight a Thumb War. Knuckles? Bloody hell! Knock out 25 pushups. Boom, boom, boom. Fork over fees and pay fines. Wait, you have a TRUMP Card? My buildings are taller. Way taller. Lose your shorts, literally. Snatch trophies up. Liar's Poker anyone? Indian Arm Wrestle Grandma. Bankruptcy happens. Yes, please.

 *Rock star preaches capitalism at Georgetown University: "Commerce (and) entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid."

Here's the rest of our naive and quixotic adventure:

October 6, 2011

Ideas are 99% Execution.

This is the innocent-seeming text JP sent to me the day after the party that set the wheels in motion:




My first thought was this is the perfect way to stick it to all the politically-correct pansies out there. My contribution to society, which up to now has been minimal, is going to be a heterodoxical, real-world board game that'll be the strong-tasting antidote to the mindless mush that passes for entertainment these days — ONEUPMANSHIP, like life should, takes verve and vision to win. A sense of style, and a sense of humor, too. Of course good looks don't hurt either, do they?

My second thought was: Looking, and mostly behaving like Keith Richards, on a really good day, and being an "artist" (read: lazy and dissolute) at heart, I'm probably the last person in the world who should be making anything other than lame excuses, but hey.


January 3, 2012

Oneupmanship — Mine's Bigger.

Just remember one thing, right off the bat — entrepreneur rhymes with manure. Forewarned is forearmed. Worked real hard on the first prototype over Christmas, and finally got the game board somewhat mocked-up yesterday. Started play-testing with friends last night. I never thought it would be so much mental effort to design and prototype a simple board game — I think it's been a casebook study in The Peter Principle, validated in the real world by me. Seriously, we rolled the dice and saw it played pretty well since there was some chest-pounding, and a lot of groans and gnashing of teeth!



October 13, 2012

Masters of the (Wall Street) Universe.

J.P. brought his buddy Ken over this morning and we had a first-go at the game. My son Neuman (Mr. Pennybags) joined us, and I've always wanted to say this: he literally beat me at my own game. Even when I change the rules slightly every time to try to offset my total incompetence, he still manages to come out on top... The Wall Street guys played it hard and fast, in it to win it, but came up just short. I bought the Trophy Wife and then basically went bankrupt, with a whimper. Story of my life...




May 29, 2013

Getting Kickstarted.

We are finally ready to push the button on the initial manufacturing run, and we thought we'd turn to the Kickstarter community to see whether there are enough closet capitalists out there who want to join us as partners in crime. We set the bar low (our M.O.) and are asking for only $5,000 — so if you haven't gotten on board yet, hurree y'up!


UPDATE: Yay! We made our goal, and then some. Thanks so much to everyone who chipped money in, helped us play-test, offered some encouragement (or discouragement), criticism/advice/suggestions or wished us, with tongue-in-cheek, a bon voyage. 


August 4, 2013

Tooling along.

We just received the "tooling" sample, which is essentially the first printed prototype, with the gold foil leaf on the box and everything. We decided to partner with Grand Prix International to manufacture the games, and we couldn't be happier. Looks classy and like we actually know what we're doing!


November 11, 2013

Let's do launch.

We had the official debut celebration on Saturday night for all the friends and family who have helped to make this quixotic idea a reality, and to let the world know that ONEUPMANSHIP HAS ARRIVED. A bunch of people stopped by and had a drink, got a picture or two taken, and left with a complimentary first-edition of the "game-changer", as well as the smug satisfaction that they got in on the ground floor of something that is actually going to shift a paradigm. Somewhere. We hope!