So it’s been a while since my last post, mostly on account of me wanting to make the most of the limited computer time I have these days. I’ve gotten a lot done! A summary of changes and developments these past 2 weeks:
- 1/3 of the digital card images complete. WOOT!
- 2/3 of the digital board tile images complete. DOUBLE WOOT!
- In the interests of component reduction (ie money), the playmat has been sacked in favour of modular tile construction. Rules have been tweaked to accommodate former board fixtures as manipulable tiles. This has led not only to component reduction, but simplification and increased depth of strategy (I hope).
- Also in the interests of component reduction, I’ve begun fiddling with a rarity scale for cards. Common cards, either more generally applicable, less powerful, or both, will have 5 copies. Rare cards, often specialized and slightly more powerful, will have 3. Unique cards will be quite powerful, and will make up about a sixth of the card total; rare enough to foster excitement on drawing a couple of good ones, common enough that the game isn’t thrown off balance just because Bob has 2 of them in play.
- I’ve also realized that there is a ton of restrictive niche-building in this game; like, “I’m gonna go for this faction, but that means this and that card is useless to me”. I won’t be sure if this is at problematic levels until some playtesting, but as a preemptive measure, I’ve been working on a series of factionless utility cards that can help players put some flow into their decks. The theme for these is a sort of divine intervention/cosmic warping thing.
Here is a sneak peek at the cards
This one’s picture is taken from the public domain, namely a still from an old Macbeth film. Love it! Heartworm Coven enables a strategy of mass-slaughtering lots of little minions, and bringing them back for multiple waves.
This Unique card allows you to hand-pick any creature in play and say “when he bites the dust, he’s mine”. Flexible, with a nice resource boost to top it off. The picture is from an old natural sciences journal.
This ugly mug works by ODing an enemy with Lunacy (a resource) and then sending it packing to oblivion and stealing its powers. I cobbled the pic together out of a microphotographic shot of some weird carbon I found on wikimedia commons; a bit of layering and texturing, then two eyes, and it looks… well, not human, but. Something.
The players can steal more from their enemies with this nasty little rare. The painting is Bastien LePage’s depiction of Diogenes, with a bit of uranium green, and a repetition of the signature Sanctum yellow and black stripes. Sanctum are a kind of post-apoc power cult society, the dominant group on the irradiated surface world I call the Glare.
This is the first “Horde” card I designed. Though Horde cards are common cards, there is only 1 of a Horde card available in the card pool, and 8 set aside. Each Horde card will have a different prerequisite for shuffling more of it into your deck. Should be fun! Artwork modified from some free stock stuff.
An Era card! Eras are very central to the game. There are only a few of them, and only one can be in play at a time. They produce drastic, universal effects on the gameplay, and the plan is to make player strategies revolve at least partly around manoeuvring these Eras into play at the right moment.. It’s difficult to put an Era into play, and a whole bunch of stuff happens when you do. A game will consist of 6 Eras (though I might cut that down to 5, I dunno). I’m also currently in the process of building a loopable, ambient soundscape for each Era, for players who have a penchant for dramatic mood. Artwork from a photograph taken during trials with the Manhattan project.
…and the tiles
(which will be 2x the length and width of the cards, about 16cm to a side)
A player’s deck goes here. I’ll be improving on this base as I decide where and how things like initiative and turn phases are tracked.
The Bleed. There will be multiple Bleeds, with different effects. Owning adjacent tiles will give a player the advantages denoted on each side. In the centre, a pile of cards that players can trade with and interact with in different ways.
Nirvana, where all good (and bad) cards go to die. Same drill, without the trading.
…and finally, the deck utility spells
(one of which my more perceptive readers might find familiar)
The base image with the red nebula cloud is from Hewholooks on wikimedia commons. On top of that I layered my own hand along with the card back and Æther token I designed. Basically, this card allows you to steal from beyond the graaaaave!
…and this one boosts your resources, and allows you to play a card and ignore its faction cost, making your deck more flexible the smaller it is (ie, the more times you can cycle the Quickening). The artwork is also featured in the banner. It’s just a shot taken at the technics museum in Oslo on my cell phone. I put my hand on one of those static-generating glass spheres. Fun stuff.
Welp, that’s it for now, kiddos! Please share the blog onwards if you know people who might enjoy what I’m doing. It’d be nice to have a hefty following when this thing eventually hits kickstarter. The profit is, after all, going to something that really matters. Until next time!