New World Alchemy Partners with VectoriaDesigns!

I have some wonderful news, and the subject of this post kind of spoils it a bit. New World Alchemy has just partnered with VectoriaDesigns, to create the art for our fast battling card game Addictive Alchemy. We are very excited about this partnership because everyone at New World Alchemy is in love with the beautiful art that VectoriaDesigns consistently creates, and VectoriaDesigns has expressed a huge interest in Addictive Alchemy as a project. I can’t imagine a better pairing between art and design, or in this case alchemy and designs.

VectoriaDesigns is a young graphic design studio focusing on steampunk, gothic and vintage design styles. They have a line of crafting materials, are working on a fashion brand, and do custom design work. Discover their designs in their online shop:

Additionally, check out one of the first rough drafts for Addictive Alchemy art:

This isn’t the final submission for art, but one of the proposed solutions. Personally, I love this art, and I hope they pick something very close to it for our game.

Secret Formula Contest

When I think of Alchemy I think of a lot of things. Mad potioneers, potent transmutations, and secret formulas. There’s another secret I think of when I think of gaming, and that is SecretsCon which is happening at the end of this month.

Currently SecretsCon is still holding their preregistration deal, and they’ve partnered with us to hold a contest. I’ll save the details for the SecretsCon page below, but the short story is you have a chance to appear in the next New World Alchemy card game, so check it out:

Where is the Pig?

Recently I decided to reboot a game I was play testing. It was actually a pretty well received game, but as I’ve said before you have to make a game you like. I decided this game was a bit too euro for my tastes, and the theme begged to be more lightweight than the mechanics allowed. A lot of my play testers were shocked when I dropped the old design, but I stand behind my conviction about the game you design having to really appeal to you.

I say this because the new game, with zero rules in common with the old, does share the same theme and story as the old one. It also uses some mechanics I’ve been dying to put into a game for some time now, so I’m really pleased with the design. The tricky thing is I purposely left the mechanics a bit on the spartan side. I’ll talk about this more in a future article, but generally speaking I prefer to design a game with fewer mechanics up front, and make it “deeper” as I play test. With this game I knew I’d likely need to add something to help push the story of the game along, but the mechanics were so unique I just wanted to confirm the game had potential before fleshing out the rest.

Meanwhile, I’m talking with a friend of mine who hasn’t done a design, yet, but he likes to muse about game designs that would appeal to him. In his game each player controlled a team of goblins piloting a steam powered mech, badly, trying to beat each other up. He spelled out a decent overview of the rules, and mechanics without going too deep for a pitch to me in an email. His final sentence in the pitch was “and if a goblin team can get the pig into the other player’s goal they win.” At no point previously did he even mention the pig. He didn’t have to. I instantly knew what he was going for, and I realized something. My game needs a pig.

As an homage to the idea I even named the mechanic in my new game “the pig.” Ultimately, I dropped that mechanic, but I was still worked to find the right pig. That is to say every game needs a pig, not just any pig, but the pig that will make it stand out, and move the story of the game forward, create that unique decision, or take the whole experience to a new level. It doesn’t have to be the most creative pig, but it’s nice when it is, but it does have to be elegant, and promote one of those core ideals of game design.

Just in case I’m not being clear about what “the pig” might be I’ll list a few well known recent games, and their pigs.

Mice and Mystics – The Cheese Wheel.
Finca – The windmill.
Forbidden Island – Water rises cards.
Dominion – Deck building.
Shogun – The dice tower. (It’s not a cube tower. It’s actually the battle tower.)
Prophecies: In the Shadow of the Titan – Tribute dice.

Of course not every game has an easily described pig. Look at Sentinels of the Multiverse. It’s an incredible game loved by gamers of all types, but I personally am at a lose to describe its pig.

Still, just because it may be tricky to describe a pig doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put one in your game. It’s critical to have a pig. So the next time you’re designing a game, playing a game, or play testing a game ask yourself “Where’s the pig?”

Our Amazing Druidess

I’ve showcased Bramasta’s art for our up and coming game Prophecies: In the Shadow of the Titan a fair amount on the site. I am a great fan of his work, and one of my favorite things is to wake up to see a work in progress (WIP) from him. Some days I’m lucky enough to get two or three WIPs, and that can turn any day, that would have been a bad day, into a wonderful day.

Today is one of those days, and I’ve been missing them, so I wanted to share it with you. Here is the first WIP for our lovely druidess:

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to play test the druidess she is one of my personal favorites to play. Her ability to wield nature in ways to both help herself, and hurt her opponents is always satisfying.