MtG: Two Synergetic Decks: One more, one less competitive…

Howdy friends and fans, not of Elemental Clash, but of Magic: the Gathering!

Being quite busy with my own projects for quite a while I was unable to post on an EXISTING, non-homemade game like M:tG in quite a long time. This long overdue post which I had wanted to write up long ago actually is about, surprise, surprise, some decks. These decks have little in common, just the fact that there are a lot of interactions, some more sublte, some outright brutal, going on between the indivudual cards in the respective decks: I am talking about synergies. This will be the red thread that connects the two decks which I am going to showcase in the following. One of the decks is a blast from my (personal) past, as I had played that mostly casually in the first Mirrodin block, and the second one is something brand new, something I did not see somewhere else or outright “net-decked”, but something original I have come up with. And the result is so pleasant that I would consider it at least semi-competitive…

So let’s get started with the first, less competitive decks which I’d like to call

Bits & Pieces (V.1.0 – Casual Format)

I will provide the decklist first and then discuss the cards and their interactions:

Creatures…20

4 x Myr Servitor (1)

4 x Etherium Sculptor (1U)

4 x Leonin Squire (1R)

4 x Trinket Mage (2U)

4 x Auriok Salvagers (3W)

Instants…2

2 x Thirst for Knowledge (2U)

Enchantments…4

4 x Artificer’s Intuition  (1U)

Artifacts…10

4 x Aether Spellbomb (1)

2 x Pyrite Spellbomb (1)

1 x Sunbeam Spellbomb (1)

1 x Wayfarer’s Bauble (1)

1 x Executioner’s Capsule (B)

1 x Dispeller’s Capsule (W)

Lands…24

4 x Mirrodin’s Core

4 x Seat of the Synod

4 x Ancient Den

2 x Great Furnace

2 x Vault of Whispers

2 x Darksteel Citadel

2 x Island

2 x Plains

1 x Mountain

1 x Swamp

About the Deck:

This deck revolves around “Cogs” as they were called back then in the first Mirrodin Era, when I still played on tournaments, and was inspired by a deck article about said “Cogs” that I read on Wizards.com, the official MtG platform on the internet: Now the fudge are Cogs anyways you may ask? Well a Cog is a small artifact with cost 1 or less and there were some cards that supported playing those back then in Mirrodin, most of which are included in the above deck list. This deck, whilst being slow and probably not fit for a competitive environment, works like a well-oiled engines of gears, bits and pieces and these ominous “Cogs”. The two central parts of that engine are no doubt

and

The former, Auriok Salvagers lets you retrieve your destroyed or sacrificed Cogs from your graveyard inexpensively and conveniently, which is especially crippling for your opponent if used with Aether Spellbomb, the number 1 way to deal with any creature this deck features, and the latter lets you search your deck for any small artifact, or Cog, you may want or need at any given point in the game. Actually back then when the deck was still Block Format legal, I drew out a diagram of all the interactions this deck features in conjunction with Cogs, and man what a diagram I had there! Only things missing in this deck are to a lesser extent Engineered Explosives and, far more important, Skullclamp, which is a Cog and can be searched or retrieved easily, and turns your small Creatures into very cheap and reliable card draw. Well it is banned pretty much anywhere for good reasons! And how do you win with this you may ask futhermore. The answer is pretty amusing: Either by pinging away at the opponent with reusable Pyrite Spellbombs, or by just attacking away with your small Creatures like Trinket Mage or Leonin Squire. And amusingly, it does work. You will be bouncing the opponent’s blockers constantly with Aether Spellbombs or downright destroying them with your lone Executioner’s Capsule so the field will be clear of any defenses in most cases. Speaking of Spellbombs, they are the heart and soul of the deck, with the most important one being Aether Spellbomb. Hence I included a full playset of four of those. There is one newer card I added besides the Capsules: Etherium Sculptor works really well with you Spellbombs as they will all come at 0 cost, thus making it easier and cheaper to recycle and reuse them.

But please let me go a bit more into details now as I go through the indivudual cards and comment on their purpose in the deck:

Myr Servitor: Those guys are amazing blockers if you got them in multiples. To get access to more than one or at best to all four Servitors in the deck I recommend to discard one from your hand via Artificer’s Intuition and search for another copy. Repeat this until the last Servitor from your deck is in your hand. Then play him for just (1) and if nothing goes wrong he will bring back all his brethren from the scrapheap, err…graveyard to play at the beginning of your next turn.

Etherium Sculptor: A cheap artifact creature that conveniently reduces the cost of your artifacts by (1). Who would say no to free Spellbombs??

Leonin Squire: A one-shot Auriok Salvagers effect (lets you retrieve a cost (1) or lower artifact from your graveyard when it comes into play) attached to a 2/2 body for just 2 Mana. Very nice and a good beater in this deck.

Trinket Mage: A one-shot Artificer’s Intuition type of effect (lets you search your deck for a cost (1) or lower artifact and puts it into your hand right away when it comes into play) attached to a 2/2 body at the cost of (2U). Very useful for “tutoring” for the “Cog” you need most at any point in the game. I often find myself looking for an Artifact land to get together all 4 colors this deck is using.

Auriok Salvagers: The main man in the deck. While his stats could be better at 2/4 for (3W), his effect is what makes this engine roar! At the mere cost of (1W) you can return any artifact with cost (1) or lower from your graveyard to your hand. And you don’t even have to tap the Salvagers so you can use this amazing ability mutliple times to recycle and reuse your Spellbombs and other “Trinkets” over and over again. As long as you don’t run out of mana that is…

Thirst for Knowledge: Nice instant-speed card draw. Draw 3, discard any artifact and maybe retrieve it later.

Artificer’s Intuition: Another key component in the deck that turns a bunch of random gears, bits and pieces into one well-running engine. Pay (U) to discard any artifact from your hand in order to search your deck for one artifact of cost (1) or less. As described above, you can amass a respawning army of Myr Servitors, fetch the Spellbomb you need the most or just ensure you got all the colors of mana you need by looking for appropriate artifact lands.

Aether Spellbomb: This is you main weapon for stalling and getting rid of opponent blockers. As all Spellbombs, this one draws you a card alternatively to its bounce-effect by paying (1) and sacrificing it. As all Spellbombs, this will be free if you have an Etherium Sculptor out.

Pyrite Spellbomb: A game winner in the long run. Can be sacrificed by paying (R) to deal 2 damage to any creature or player. Use it to get rid of small, pesky Creatures or ping away to your hearts content at your opponent.

Sunbeam Spellbomb: Keeps you alive a little longer until all the parts of your engine are in place by gaining you 5 life for paying (W) and sacking it.

Wayfarer’s Bauble: Searches for a basic land and puts it into play. Hence the inclusion of some basic lands in the deck.

Executioner’s Capsule: Destroys any non-black creature. A silver bullet which can be fetched via Trinket Mage or Artificer’s Intuition.

Dispeller’s Capsule: Another silver bullet which gets rid of any target artifact or enchantment.

Mirrodin’s Core and Artifact Lands: Mirrodin’s core is a bit slow but provides mana of any color after having been “charged up” which is useful in a 4-color deck. Colored artifact lands can conveniently fetched with Trinket Mage and Artificer’s Intuition and Darkesteel Forges are good against land destruction for instance.

(D)Raw-Power (V.1.0 – Legacy Format):

Again I will provide the decklist and then share some thougts on the deck in general and the individual card choices in particular:

Creatures…20

4 x Birds of Paradies (G)

4 x River Boa (1G)

4 x Wild Mongrel (1G)

4 x Lorescale Coatl (1UG)

3 x Cold-Eyed Selkie (1 U/G U/G)

1 x Wonder (3U)

Enchantments…12

4 x Rancor (G)

4 x Spreading Seas (1U)

4 x Snake Umbra (2G)

Instants…4

4 x Brainstorm (U)

Lands…24

13 x Forest

11 x Island

About the Deck:

This deck is pretty original, as in I nicked the idea nowhere (of course I cannot be absolutely sure there hasn’t been such a deck  before in the history of M:tG) and as so many of my decks, all started with one card that caught my attention.

This time it was an overlooked and underrated uncommon from Alara Reborn:

When I saw this I thought there should be a deck built around that guy! And my second thought was this:

Yeah that’s right, Lorescale Coatl, which would be a 3/3 the turn it attacked the first time due to your regular draw at the beginning of your next turn, would get a permanent +3/+3 attack boost by you spending just (U) on Brainstorm, instant speed. And yeah, you’d get the awesome effect of Brainstorm anyways. The rest of the deck is blue-green beatdown at its best and all cards have great synergy with the combo or center card (Lorescale Coatl) that got me started on this deck. In fact the deck works so well that I would at least try my luck with this in a competitive Legacy-Format environment. This deck is totally rogue, and I am happy about the fact that I came up with the concept myself, whithout having seen something similar before somewhere else.

But let me highlight part of the great synergies going on in my Draw Power / Raw Power deck buy going through the cards one by one:

Birds of Paradise: Well besides that they are great mana accelerators, enabling a second turn Coatl, they have flying. And oh boy is that awesome in this deck. Enchant with Rancor to get two almost unblockable damage through each turn, or enchant with Snake Umbra in order to get through a little damage and draw a card which would boost Coatl if he is out already. I considered adding two Noble Hierarchs to have 6 one mana mana makers that make blue and green mana in total but found that 4 BoP are sufficient after all.

River Boa: A very efficient two mana Creature: 2/1, regenerates, has Islandwalk. Use Spreading Seas to make it unblockable and then add Rancor and/or Snake Umbra for additional beats and card draw!

Wild Mongrel: This one was a power house and must have in any green beatdown-ish deck while ago but is rarely seen today. As you’ll be having a lot of spare cards in your hand when playing this deck, you can feed it to this dog to make him grow huge. The color-changing ability can be useful some times as well against cards like Doom Blade for instance.

Lorescale Coatl: The main man in this show! As discussed before he will be attacking at least as a 3/3 and his growth will seem exponential once you get your bountiful draw effects into place. I have to mention it again: A 1 mana instant-speed Brainstorm will give Coatl +3/+3 in the form of +1/+1 coutners, so permanently.

Cold-Eyed Selkie: Islandwalk! Combine with Spreading Seas and this will hit your opponent turn after turn after turn. Draw 1 card for each damage this deals to your opponent. Slam Rancor on Selkie to deal 3 damage and draw 3 cards, which will give your Coatl(s) a permanent +3/+3 boost. Play Snake Umbra on Selkie and you will draw 2 cards from Selkie’s effect and 1 card from Umbra’s effect to give your Coatl(s) 3 +1/+1 counters as well. Either way, you can only benefit from these synergies… 🙂

Wonder: I threw in one odd copy of Wonder in case the islandwalking thing is not working out for you. Just discard to Mongrel and hey presto, all your creatures are hard-to-block flyers all of a sudden.

Rancor: A permanent +2/+0 boost for any Creature that returns to your hand if the Creature is destroyed is amazing, especially when combined with cards like Cold-Eyed Selkie. The Trample ability it grants is the icing on the cake and makes sure you 20/20 Lorescale Coatl gets his damage past a pesky 1/1 blocker for instance. Works also really well with a powered-up Wild Mongrel or pretty much any of the creatures in this deck, even a lowly Bird (of Paradies).

Spreading Seas:

7 of your 20 Creatures have Islandwalk. So Spreading Seas will not only turn an opponent land into an Island, making it hard to use in any non-blue deck, draw you a card while you are at it but also make your River Boas and Cold-Eyed Selkies unblockable. A card that is thrice useful is a good card in my humble opinion!

Snake Umbra: Another card in this deck which has more than one purpose. Snake Umbra does so much: It gives the creature it enchants a permanent +1/+1 boost, lets you draw a card when that creature deals damage to an opponent AND protects the creature as well via Totem Armor. Prime targets are your hard-to-block Creatures like Cold-Eyed Selkie or even Birds of Paradise, or, for protective purposes, Lorescale Coatl itself.

Brainstorm: For the third time in this article: A permanent +3/+3 boost for Lorescale Coatl at the cost of (U) plus you get an amazing and useful deck manipulation effect on top of it. The only reason why this deck is Legacy Format! 😀

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AWE-some News: Announcing the AWE Tactical Card Game!

Dear readers!

I am very proud and pleased to announce here and now my new collaboration game project

AW logo

which I am going to realize over the course of the year with my good friend and highly talented artist

Widodo Pangarso

from Indonesia, who has already shown his skills to great extent as illustrator contributing to my games Elemental Clash and Space Clash.

Widodo recently approached me with a proposition which came unexpected and is something like every game designer’s dream come-true: Widodo offered to do a game together with me, me coming up with a game and he kindly providing the artwork for the game I would develop. Of course I accepted the unique offer and thus “Antediluvian Wars – Extermination”, or “AWE” for short, was born.

(I had to promise Widodo to work on a “ghost hunter” themed game in the future and I hereby solemnly swear to do keep my word regarding that matter!)

So the logo is already AWE-some so to say, but what will make this game stand out from the crowd and make it really an AWE-some gaming experience? I won’t say too much in this first, really brief announcment, but these things you will be able to look forward to in AWE, the Tactical Card Game:

  • AWE-some Theme:

It is the end of the last Great Ice Age, roughly 12.000 years before our time and the world is at war. Four highly-advanced but nowadays almost forgotten, prehistoric civilizations dwelling on the four lost continents of legend and myth – Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean, Lemuria in the Indian Ocean, Hyperborea in the arctic regions of the high north and Mu in the Pacific – wage war against each other, vying for world domination. In this historically not really accurate prehistory, where magic and technology co-exist, you will be the god of one of those grand, nowadays lost civilizations, their highest political and spiritual leader and authority, and will be marshalling a fantastic array of military units in order to dethrone the opponent god(s) before they can overcome you. With the unique and exciting theme and setting of Antediluvian Wars – Extermination, pretty much anything goes. Expect truly AWE-some units such as Muan Raptor Riders (see below), Zombie T-Rexes brought back to life through black magic, steampunky Hyperborean Steamgunners and War Mammoths, Atlantean Stargazers and Lemurian Vimana Flying Machines and much, much more. So don’t be surprised what fantastic things we are going to present you with over the course of the next few months as more and more visual previews and insights on AWE – The Tactical Card Game will be revealed gradually!

  • AWE-some Art:

My project partner Widodo is, as mentioned before, a highly gifted artist and illustrator and while I will be providing artistic guidance in the form of concept sketches and other instructions and input, he will bring the game to life!

And here for your visual pleasure, the first art & card preview for AWE:

Muan Raptor Rider Sample

What the actual keywords mean and how the card “works” will be detailed in a later post! Don’t want to tell you too much just now!

  • AWE-some Mechanics:

In AWE, some truly amazing new concepts and mechanics for your gaming pleasures, will be introduced. While the rules stand pretty much right now, I will not give away everything right now, but would instead like to showcase two of the core mechanics / concepts which are going to be featured in the game:

Firstly, THE core mechanic in AWE, which actually arose from a problem we were facing. Since Widodo is just one guy and has to work on paid jobs as well, the number of artworks he can produce in a limited time is… well… limited. So I remembered a concept my good friend, fellow game designer and vendor of fine wines, Tobias Strunz from Germany (Please do check out his own epic game project at http://www.godsandminions.com) , mentioned.

So in AWE, you will be able to use each card in three different ways, in three modes so to say. Please have a look at the graphics below, which will explain this AWE-some concept, which not only saves us a ton of art but also offers a ton of interesting in-game decisions that actually matter (which i regard as one of the key factors which all “good” games have in common):

How to play a card

The second concept makes a differentiation between “Wounded” and “Un-Wounded” Units. It basically goes like this:

A Unit comes into play Un-Wounded, or healty you may say, and is placed upright. When it would receive what would in similar card games be “lethal damage” it is not destroyed but instead turned sideways, rotated 90° to the left and now counts as wounded. If the Unit would receive “lethal damage” again, it is “slain”, defeated and sent to the discard pile.

The cool thing is that a Wounded Unit’s Combat Value (“Power”) can be changed when in Wounded state and the Unit may gain special abilities and/or other bonuses when Wounded. Just imagine a Warrior who is heavily injured going berserk in battle.

Also have a look at the graphics below to get a better idea how the “Wounded-Unwounded Concept” works:

Wounded - Unwounded

Alright I think I have given away more than enough info already for this very first announcement of the AWE TCG (Tactical Card Game). So I hope I was able to demonstrate that this game will be thrice AWE-some, featuring amazing art from a talented illustrator, an epic and rarely seen theme in which anything, from War Mammoths over Steamgunners and Vimana aircraft to reanimated Zombie T-Rexes, is possible as well as an innovative and exciting mix of mechanics!

I will post more previews and additional information on the rules and mechanics as well as about pretty much anything related to this game in the making on a regular basis on this here blog. So if you are interested after having read this first announcement, please subscribe to this blog so as not to miss anything AWE-some!

We will also have a facebook page where regular updates, news and previews will be posted. As soon as I have the link, you might as well join us there!

Well thank you for your time and attention, hopefully you liked what you saw and read, and please check back regularly for the latest news on Antediluvian Wars – Extermination!

So stay tuned and game on!

Sincerely yours,

Andi and Widodo

 

Update: Here is the official facebook page for AWE: www.facebook.com/awetacticalcardgame

Introducing “EC Lite”: Elemental Clash for Everyone!

Recently I have been thinking a bit about my projects in the past few years.

One thing that always kinda bothered or puzzled me was about the success of the “Encyclopedia of Austrian Folk Tale Characters”, which I wrote and illustrated back in autumn of 2012, compared to that the failure of the game which I released along with the book.

While I sold a couple of hundreds of copies of the book, the game which I designed to go along with the book, an Austrian-themed Elemental Clash Set going by the (English) name of “Elemental Clash – Austrian Tales”, flopped. I sold maybe 3 or 4 copies of that over here in Austria and the people who bought it still don’t know how to play it as far as I know.

So this really left me puzzled. I couldn’t believe that Austrian people interested in the book are simply all “anti-gamers” so to say and so I actually sat down and did the mental exercise of doing a proper problem-analysis which produced tangible results and a plan how to make the “Austrian Elemental Clash” a success in a second attempt, which I have been starting to do initial preparations for the last week or so.

In the following I want to present to you to the findings of my problem analysis, the consequences I drew from this process and the solutions I have come up with to make the second attempt of bringing the world of Austrain folk tales to the gaming table here in my homecountry, Austria.

Identifying the Problems:

Over the course of my extenisve pondering and hard thinking I have identified several issues which in my opinion are to blame for the lack of interest from Austrians who bought the Folk Tale Book but passed on the game of the same theme.

  • The Format – Overwhelmed by Cards:

While the original EC: Austrian Tales might be a feast for any Trading / Customizable Card Game veterans, coming with about 100 different cards to customize and build a huge variety of decks with until kingdom come, the sheer number of different cards and the endless possibilities were just overwhelming and confusing to the average guy who bought the book. CCG veterans are a rare commodity over here an my potential customers or target audience for the game where people generally interested in Austrian folk tales. Now this general group consists more or les out of non-gamers. Not even just casual gamers let alone CCG-savvy people. So in hindsight, offering the game as a fully-customizable beast of a game of 100 different cards with partly complicated ruling and text (more on that soon) was probably the biggest (marketing) mistake and most certainly THE main reason why most of those hundreds who purchased the Folk Tale book shyed away from the card game.

  • The Mechanics – Overwhelmed by Rules:

What I learnt from the feedback of the 3 or 4 people who actually bought the game was that they simply couldnt make any sense of all the stuff it said in the rulebook and what was written on the actual cards. While I can explain and teach the basic rules of the Elemental Clash card game to a non-gamer in about 10 minutes from my personal experience, without that kind of personal introduction and guidance by the designer, people where just plain frightened and thus confused by the 20 A5 pages rules booklet. Compared to my third major issue, this was probably less problematic. What MAY have confused people the most was probably…

  • The Wording – Overwhelmed by Gamer Lingo:

After some self-reflection excercises and trying to empathize with a casual gamer or a non-gamer or just someone without any prior experience with Trading or Customizable Card Games, I discovered that I actually have been and still am using what I’d like to call “gamer lingo” or even “CCG lingo” in all my Elemental Clash sets and variants, including the first release of “Austrian Clash”, unknowingly, without realizing it, because to me as someone who has been into various CCGs since over 15 years, everything is just obvious and self explanatory. To someone without prior knowledge and experience with CCGs in particular and card and board games in general, the wording of the actual rules text on the cards must have been a major reason for confusion, I concluded.

The Consequences I drew – The Solutions I found

  • A New Format / Sales Model:

As I explained above my average customer was intimidated, frightened and overwhelmed by the sheer number of different cards and the huge customizability the original game offered was a factor that spoke against the game as a matter of fact. So what I will do in my planned second release of “Austrian EC” is come up with four very unique, well-balanced theme decks. These will be pre-built /preconstructed and enable people to play the game right out of the box so to say, without having to earn an university degree in “Clash Sciences” first, without the need to familiarize with like 100 different cards and all their effects and possible interactions prior to actually playing the game. This should be appealing to a wider, general audience.

  • A Simplified Rules Set:

The second thing I will do to tackle the “overcomplicated rules” issue the original release seemed to be having is simplifying (one could say “dumbing-down even) the rules of the game just as far as to not compromise or damage the gameplay value a Clash Game has to offer. To achieve this I left the key mechanics that makes a Clash Game a Clash Game intact while cutting some of the less central elements in a clever manner, to create a version of Elemental Clash which is still enjoyable, strategic and challenging, while making the game much more understandable and accessible, maybe for a younger audience as well. So what I left untouched were the three central, defining mechanics in any Clash Game, namely the “damage causes you to discard from deck” mechanic, the division of the playing field into 3 zones and the resource stacking mechanic, while cutting out things like “instant-speed” effects and cards (which spares the average person learning and understanding how “stack rules” work) and replacing the ATK – DEF duality of values with one basic “POWER”-value which counts for both attacking and defending.

  • A Simplified “In-Game” Language:

This I think was a key-factor for the meager success or downright failure of the first Austrian EC release. I had to go out of my way to put me in the shoes of your average Joe with zero CCG-experience or even zero tabletop gaming experience to come up with proper, new wording which would be much easier to understand for said average Joe. So I tried to scrap all the TCG-Lingo anyone who has played for instance Magic: the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh! before understands perfectly and instantly and replace it with neutral wording, which turned out substantially longer than the CCG-Expert wording but should, in theory, be unerstandable for pretty much everyone. The new, “beginner friendly” wording may seem a bit stupid and redundant to CCG-veterans but again, those were not my target group back then when I did the first release of the book in conjunction with the game.

An example for “Gamer Lingo”-free wording would be this:

Instead of  a card saying “When this comes into play, draw 2 cards.” the new wording could be like this: “When this card is put from your card hand onto the playing field, you have to pick up the top 2 cards from your deck and add them to your hand.”

Yeah, thrice as long, stupid and redundant sounding – at least to me and you, fellow games enthusiast.

Of course the wording in the rulebook would have to be fixed accordingly, removing all the gamer talk with beginner friendly explanations which should be clear, or at least clearER to pretty much anyone.

“Sagenwelten” and EC Lite:

I will be dedicating one or more full articles to a proper introduction to my new project “Sagenwelten” (“World of Folk Tales”), which will consist of an Austrian-Folk-Tale-themed card game utilizing the EC Lite system I discussed above and a companion bookle with additional background information about the Folk Tale Characters appearing in the game. The product should be appealing to old and young, should be not only enjoyable but also educational and serve “higher” purposes such as futhering and upholding what is among other things our most valuable cultural heritage here in Austria, and passing on and raising interest in said heritage to a younger generation.

Lastly, before I end this article, some illustrations that give you an idea what “Austrian EC LITE” would look like:

Here you can see the differences in card layout between “regular” EC and EC LITE:

EC cards comparison

Besides the fact that all impotant values are aligned to the left-hand side of the card you will not that there is only one “Power” value instead of the regular ATK – DEF duality and furthermore, the game relevant rules text (black on light background) on the EC Lite cards is set apart visually from the non-game-relevant flavor text (white on dark background) of the card.

Here you can see what a difference a tiny change in card layout – here the repositioning of the card level (cost) – can have for the ease of gameplay. With costs aligned to the left just a quick glance at your card hand tells you what options you have when it comes to cards and the costs of playing them:

EC Lite Sample Hand

On a closing note, I would like to thank my friend and fellow artist Dennis Saputra from Indonesia

Dennis for Web

for providing such great, high-quality card artwork for my Austrian Elemental Clash at such affordable rates!

Pilwiz - Art by Dennis Saputra

Pilwiz – Art by Dennis Saputra

An Austrian Artist couldn’t have done a better Pilwiz! 😀

So thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings on how to make Elemental Clash accessible to a wider audience here in Austria. Wish me luck with the imminent crowdfunding campaign and with finding government and other  sponsorship.

Kind regards and KEEP CLASHING!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

P.S.: If any of you speak German, here the link to the “Sagenwelten” project platform: http://www.sagenwelten.org

 

Elemental Clash in 2014: What is coming…

Dear readers and friends of Elemental Clash!

The good news regarding the Elemental Clash customizable card game just doesn’t seem to stop coming!

In this brief overview I will tell you what exciting things await in the still young new year 2014 regarding Elemental Clash.

And more is bound to come as one might have expected, as you can see for yourself in the nice picture below:

EC in 2014 Promo small

Here a brief overview of the awesome things to come THIS VERY YEAR:

EC App in the App Store (iOS) soon!

After fixing some intital bugs we had a great start with the EC App in Google Play (Android-version) and received a majority of outstandingly positive reviews, with people calling the App the best of its kind for mobile devices so far, which I take pride in as I have done my fair share in making the App a success (by designing the actual game! 😀 ). Due credit and “mad props” to my coders in Indonesia as well of course!

Those who don’t have Android but prefer Apple devices, do not fear. The iOS-Version of the game will be released and available in the App Store worldwide soon. When I say soon I mean in a matter of weeks. I cannot tell you the exact launch date in your country at this point as there will be a few “soft launches” in some countries to check for problems prior to the international release. The time of waiting will be over soon, Acolytes of Apple, that I can promise! 😀

EC: Legendary Legacy Expansion to be released this spring!

As you have probably read many times before on here or on facebook, a spring release of the first, full 100+ cards Expansion to Elemental Clash: The Master Set, going by the name of “Legendary Legacy” is more than realistic, not least due to the fact that several financial windfalls occured for my benefit, or rather for the benefit of the EC project as a whole (thank you supporters and patrons – your rewards shall be bountiful!). So we are making great progress with the creation of the card art, which is the only reason why I cannot release the Legendary Legacy Set right now, as about 70% of the artwork needed is already completed an paid for. Just follow the news on EC on facebook (www.facebook.com/elementalclash) or on here and you will get to see a lot of awesome art and card previews in the next few weeks and months, as we are nearing the completion of the art needed (just today I posted some of said awesome previews on here and on facebook :D).

EC Special Edition “Slavic Tales” to be released this summer!

My good friend and long time supporter of Elemental Clash, Filip Bąk from Poland…

Filip

…who studied architecture but also happens to be an amazingly talented comic artist, is going through the trouble of creating nearly 100 artworks for an EC Special Edition going by the name of “EC: Slavic Tales” which, following that which I have begun with “EC: Austrian Tales”, will be a full Elemental Clash Set with a slavic/eastern european mythology theme. Filip has completed a substantial part of the needed artwork already and is soldiering on diligently and full of enthusiams – unpaid, mind you – and told me that he would estimate that all art will be done some time this summer, so a summer 2014 release of EC: Slavic Tales on http://www.thegamecrafter.com (where else?) is highly likely.

This set will be special for another reason to the quite exotic theme (well for most it will be! :D) as we attempted to design a whole set of EC with all Creatures and no Spells! How that is supposed to work you ask? Well you just wait and see as we will do our “magic” and release some first card previews in the coming weeks and months! I will show you some of the magnificent artwork Filip created already for EC: Slavic Tales. While it may look different from the regular sets, the look is unique and everything will look highly consistent in the end as all art in this EC Special Edition will come from one person: Filip Bąk!

Here the art previews for your visual pleasure:

Here a very exclusive first card preview for you, dear readers!

Dobrochoczy Promo

Quickplay and Quickdefender are new keywords that will be introduced in Slavic Tales.  I will talk about all that and much more in a post dedicated to the Special Slavic EC Edition soon!

EC Special Edition “Nusantara Tales” to be released this fall!

Lastly, I am happy to announce that the Elemental Clash: Nusantara Tales project was just a few days ago conceived. I cannot show you any visuals yet but all you have to know is that it will be an EC Special Edition similar to Austrian or Slavic Tales all about the rich, fascinating and exotic world of Indonesian mythology and legends. My trusted artist Dennis Saputra, his CCG-savvy brother Novaldi (Aldi for short 🙂 )and I are working together on this Indonesian-themed set of EC. So far all we got is a list of mythical creatures and legends, but that is exactly how Austrian Tales started! I will surely keep you updated on this as well but please know that Dennis is currently very busy with illustrating yet another project of mine and will start on the Nusantara Tales illustrations later this year. We could be looking at a fall 2014 release though as Dennis is not only highly talented but also fast as hell when it comes to illustrating.

Anyways it is a great honor and pleasure to work with the  two Indonesian brothers on such an interesting and fascinating subject that may help to uphold and honor their home country’s cultural heritage!

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So that is what we are looking at (and some hopefully looking forward to) and what is bound to happen with Elemental Clash in 2014!

Looks like 2014 will be a “Clash-tastic” year for friends and fans of the game. Let’s make it happen!!

So as always, keep clashing!

Sincerely yours,

Andi

Welcome, Emmanuel Bou Roldán to the EC Art Team!!

Dear readers and friends of Elemental Clash!

I would like you all to give a warm welcome to our newest member in the ever-growing family of talented and dedicted artists working hard on bringing the Elemental Clash cards I come up with in such a bountiful manner to life:

Emmanuel Bou Roldán

from Argentina (is that even correct, Emmanuel? :P)!!

Usually I am the one to look for and write to artists whether or not they wanted to join the EC art team, but in this case it was the other way around actually. Emmanuel discovered me or rather the Elemental Clash project and contacted me requesting art commissions for the game from me. That was actually a long while ago and at that time I simply had no budget to hire any more artists, however inexpensively they would work and howerver talented they might have been.

Well Emmanuel and I kept in touch and we agreed to wait until I had saved some money. So the time has come finally, as several “financial windfalls” occured and I could finally tell Emmanuel to get started. So without much further ado, here’s what you all are most curious about: The actual art!

Emmanuel did 4 pieces in like 4 days so far. So he is not only a kind and gentle fella and great to work with overall as well as a highly gifted illustrator, but also works fast as hell! Emmanuel could probably do a kickass artwork faster than you could say “Elemental Clash” thrice! 😀

Have a look at the stunning first 4 artworks from Emmanuel, with the proper card previews included:

Carrion Maggot:

Carrion Maggot Art and Card small

Shrewd Magpie:

Shrewd Magpie Art and Card small

Algorn, Wizard Adept:

Algorn, Wizard Adept Art and Card small

Lord Zephiros:

Lord Zephiros Art and Card small

Well you guys, I hope you all enjoyed the (in my humble opinion) awesome Legendary Legacy card and art previews!

More to come soon!

(A secretive cycle of 8 additional cards I want to release in Legendary Legacy has already been assigned to my new artist Emmanuel and I will reveal the result of his work soon. Or maybe I keep these additional 8 cards a secret until releases, so people have to actually buy the expansion to discover what awesomeness awaits! :D)

And before I forget: If you would like to see more of Emmanuel’s fantastic work, please have a look at his portfolio here!

Thank you for reading and for your attention and stay tuned for more awesome, EC-related news!!

Keep clashing!!

Yours,

Andi

Announcing Biomechanic Dino Battles – Kickstarter through Game Salute soon!

Dear friends and fans of both robots and dinosaurs.

After a long time of designing, developing, refining and testing followed by even more refining and tinkering, I am very proud to announce that my game

BDBDB Logo Game Salute

which I (to the left with my pet dinosaur) designed in cooperation with game design newcomer Nathan Moore from the United States of America (the gentleman to the right).

jilocasin the madman 2nate

The game was picked up, as you may have already guessed from the logo picture above, by none less than well-known and prolific US-based games publisher GAME SALUTE in August 2012. Now, after much work and the usual ups and downs of game design, the time has come to announce the upcoming game and start to fire up the propaganda machine full power, starting with this very first announcement on this here blog.

I will not reveal much in this article, just that we are looking at a MARCH/APRIL KICKSTARTER (I just hope I am at liberty to tell you that already, but now it has been said and I shall bear the consequences!) and I will mainly show you some visual teasers / eye candy.

Only so much about the actual game:

Biomechanic Dino Battles takes you to a somewhat dystopic future where the Terran Emperor keeps the masses entertained in grand coliseums where not gladiators duel for their lives, but genetically re-engineered and biomechanically enhanced Dinosaurs are pitted against each other. In this world where flesh, steel and bone meet in the bloody dust of the coliseums, you are a Dino Master who sends his fighting team of Biomechanic Dinosaurs into battle as glory, fame and fortune are to be gained by those emerging victorious from the prehistoric pitfight.

Biomechanic Dino Battles is an action-packed, combat centered and very interactive Deckbuilding Game (this is what sets the game apart from the first and most widely-known Deckbuilding type of game – Dominion) for 2 – 4 Dino Masters, featuring an innovative three type resource system and and an intuitive rules-set which makes the game very easy to pick up yet offering tremendous strategic depth, enourmous replayabiltiy and engaging and fun gameplay in general. Also the game will feature a cast of biomechanically altered and enhanced versions of everyone’s favorite Dinos such as the terrible T-Rex, voracious Velociraptor or spiketailed Stegosaurus to name just a few…

More info such as the game rules will be revealed soon – be sure to “like” the game’s official facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/bdbtdg to stay up to date on news and previews – but for now I would like to show you some mouth-watering visual previews from the game:

IMPORTANT NOTE: All images are previews which do not represent the finished product, which may and most certainly will differ from the previews shown below!

Firstly, the core, the heart of the game system: The three types of Combat Cards which will serve as currency for acquiring new cards to add to your deck and for powering different Dinosaur attacks or defending against attacks among other things.

Combat Cards

And here a sample Dinosaur card (left), one of the many different Strategy cards (middle) and one Tech card (right):

PrintPrintPrint

Well folks that is all that will be revealed today!! If you like what you saw and read please subscribe to this blog and also please do give Biomechanic Dino Battles a “Like” on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bdbtdg as we will be releasing a ton of new art and card previews as well as additional information about the game itself in the coming months prior to and during a hopefully powerful and successful fundraising campaign on Kickstarter around March/April this year!!

Please also take a look at or even subscribe to the Biomechanic Dino Battles game page on Boardgamegeek!

Thank you very much for your attention and interest! More to come soon as said before!

Sincerely yours,

Andi

Andi the Pokémon Rom Hac…errrr Alterer!

Well I am surely a man of many talents but a few days ago I would not have dreamt what I am doing right now (well before and after finishing this post…).

Realizing the Rom-Hac…errrr Altering Community was less than helpful with making my Pokemon Fan Game “Pokemon Prehistoric”  real I thought to myself “Heck, before they get anything done I had better look into this myself!!”

So always having been a self-made-man, I started reading some Rom Hac… errrr Altering tutorials which are to be found in great masses on the world-wide-web just the day before yesterday. I have always taught myself new stuff and am good at self-learning. This turned out true for Pokemon Rom Altering as well so I am really proud to present you what I achieved already, over the course of like two days.

Before I show you some actual images, I have to say that Pokemon Rom Altering is not as hard as I had imagined. There is a very active community and loads and loads of helpful advice and tutorials posted all over the internet. What makes it even more easy (you still need a brain cell or two to do all this mind you) is that there are seemingly countless utility programs which help you with a lot of things from changing Pokemon Sprites, the text in the games, the evolutions and attacks and much more. Matter of fact I have, on day 3 of my Pokemon Fan Game Creation adventure, about two dozen different tools (utility programs) in my Pokemon Prehistoric folder and most of the times one has to work in three or four of them at the same time, jumping back and forth so to say, to accomplish something.

All in all this has been a very rewarding experience for me. My sister loves me for doing that and the smile on her face when I present her some new results is simply worth the whole effort which doesn’t really server any purpose like making me money or whatever. I do it for my enjoyment and the enjoyment of others, be it only my sister (for now!).

So I have kept you waiting far too long…

Here’s some of the things I accomplished and taught myself over the course of the last few days, illustrated by nice screenshots!

screenshot

Yes that is right, the title screen says “Pokemon Prehistoric” and displays one of my custom-made Pokemon. Still very raw!

screenshot 2

 

Changing the intro text (yes it is in German) was one of the harder parts as I had to use a Hex Editor (using hexadezimal codes) to get the text displayed the right way…

screenshot pokemon prehistoric

 

And the Professor greets you with one of my own Prehistoric Pokemon!!

screenshot 3

Changing the overworld (the world in which you walk around) is a piece of cake with the right tools (programs). That is one of the more intuitive and fun parts. I replaced the houses with caves. Yeah! Just like in the Flintstones!! 😀

screenshot 4

 

I also managed to change the starter Pokemon to my “homemade” ones. And yes the text needs to be changed. It still says “Charmander”.

screenshot 5

 

And this is what my Flaraptor looks like in the battle screen!

screenshot 6

And lastly we see Unihorn battling an Aerodactyl. For my first testing purposes I made it so that you can catch those in your hometown (well with a little luck!).

There’s something interesting I tried but which just wouldn’t want to work out. The fat guy in your hometown (I called it “Alpha Base”) gives you a Water Stone, a Fire Stone and a Thunder Stone. I actually got the script for that right and it works. Next you are supposed to catch a wild Aerodactyl in the tall grass right before your house. Once you got it I made it so you can evolve it with the Stones you got earlier. There are currently three forms as seen below:

Aerodactly Evolution Sprites

In theory, I set up everything right in the editing programs and when you give a Stone to the Aerodactyl, the evolution animation  starts and the character even says “Huh?” as usual. After that nothing happens and you are back in the Pokemon Menu. Aerodactyl is still Aerodactyl. Something must be wrong and I can’t figure out what for Thor’s sake!! Well gotta turn to the community in search of answers.

Nevertheless I think I can be proud of what I achieved within a few days already and I am highly motivated to see what I will be able to do soon!

Gotta hack ’em all!

Yours,

Andi