For almost a year now we’ve been working on at least one of the three major game projects listed on this site. In that time I’ve shared stories about the design process, play testing, and the art behind the games. I haven’t taken much time to share the status of these various projects. From time to time I will update the project page, with those details, but I thought I’d quickly share with you where we stand with Prophecies: In the Shadow of the Titan, Addictive Alchemy, and Monsters Made to Order.
Starting with Prophecies, the oldest of these three games, I have to say I am blown away by the positive reviews it has received so far. The design for the game has not changed since the moment it first hit the table. This includes the first time I solo tested it, and the first time it was played with play testers. That said, the game has not remained static in the hundred plus play tests, and fifty plus play testers it has seen. The first of those changes is additional character classes. Prophecies initially started out with five to six epic heroes, and currently we are up to nearly a dozen heroes that may make it into the first printing of the game. Some of those early heroes haven’t changed a bit, while others have evolved to make the game even more interesting. Additionally, Prophecies has roughly doubled the number of cards that came with that first prototype. At one point in the play testing process these additional cards damaged the balance of the game, but I quickly, refined them, and the game now plays better than ever.
Most Notably with Prophecies we’ve seen a huge amount of finalized art, only a small portion has been shared with you on the site, but there will be more to come. We’ve also seen several tweaks to the layout of the character tableaux. Those changes have been purely cosmetic in nature. That is places in the early tableau design that slowed people down, or caused confusion got changed. I was really pleased with these tweaks because I found it reduced the time it took to explain the game by several minutes, and additionally left players asking fewer questions after having heard the rules.
Addictive Alchemy is the second oldest game we are currently working on, and the first we are looking to publish. The choice behind publishing Addictive Alchemy ahead of Prophecies is that Addictive Alchemy is a card game that requires no components other than cards to play. This means it will make a great launch project. Additionally, like with Prophecies, the feedback for Addictive Alchemy has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s still have a hard time believing that people love the game that much, but it’s still very nice to hear. The rules for the Addictive Alchemy, like Prophecies, has not changed since it first hit the table. Balancing of the unique cards has been something that has been in flux for some time. The early play tests showed the game to run for about 30 minutes, and there were a handful of useful, but complicated cards in the game that would confuse new players. Further play tests showed that people could turtle a bit more than I would have liked, and the run time took about an hour a game. This made for deep strategy, but it felt a bit long in the teeth after 45 minutes. The most recent tweaks to the cards are consistently showing 30 minute play times, deep strategy choices, easier to understand card effects, and a lot of fun. It’s most likely close to its final form. Additionally, there are a huge amount of expansion cards ready to test. Most importantly, as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, we have an incredible art team (VectoriaDesigns) working on the art for Addictive Alchemy. Just the other day they’ve given me the latest updates to the card art, and VectoriaDesigns and New World Alchemy have some incredible plans for the future of the game! We can’t wait to reveal them to you all.
Finally, Monsters Made to Order is our newest game. Some of our play testers may be surprised by that statement, so I should clarify. Previously, we were play testing a game of the same name, and it play tested pretty well. It took a few revisions, but eventually it became a solid game. The problem was the design intent was to make a fusion type game (i.e., a game that combines the best of American type games with Euro type games.), but instead we ended up with a game that had very Euro mechanics. This wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t meet the objective for the game. In the end the name, and story of the game, were kept, and a whole new game was designed from the ground up. We’re happy to say this new game, although still very early in testing, is doing incredibly well with play tester feedback, and balance. The mechanics are definitely more inline with a fusion type game as well. We are in talks with a new artist for this game, and we expect to see some submitted concept art shortly.
As for other games we’ve made and play tested? Lately, quite a few people have asked that Aggressive Alchemy (not to be confused with Addictive Alchemy) get published. The status of Aggressive Alchemy is currently on hold. Someday we will publish Aggressive Alchemy, but it will get released as a prequel to Addictive Alchemy.