Dear readers and friends of indie card games!
Today I am not going to post about yet another Magic: the Gathering deck, which I have no opportunity to test and play anyways these days, when friends are rare and hard to get a hold of. No, today I am going to post about something completely different, and it is a great pleasure for me to do so.
So this very morning I got pulled out of my idle delirium by the ring of the doorbell and who was there but a friendly delivery man handing me over a small package from Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. Could it be what I hoped for? 😀 When I read that the parcel was boldly labeled “Greetz from Tobi” I was sure it was what I had expected!
So I am deeply honored and overjoyed to be one of the first elect few to hold in hands and lay my eyes on what is the (magnificent) result of a good friend’s and fellow game designer’s year-long (or maybe even age-long) game design efforts! What I was holding in hands and what I will be showing you in the form of photographical evidence below, was the first printed preview cards of my friend and fellow game designer Tobias Strunz‘s epic tactical card game “Gods & Minions”! And oh boy do these cards look awesome! Before I will tell you some more about the Tobi of 1ManStudios and his Gods & Minions project, I MUST show you the card previews in the form of some photos. Take a look and see for yourself how uniquely amazing these first few cards look:
Faylon (Wood Elves) Faction Cards + Awesome Card Back
Nighling (Night Goblins) Faction Cards
Khor (Dwarves) Faction Cards
Well you can clearly see this is a WORK of ART and I want to seize the opportunity to send a huge THANK YOU to my friend and fellow designer Tobi! I am very honored and happy to have received these first physical card previews so unexpectedly!
As you may have noticed, all the cards were illustrated by one (highly talented) artist. If you have been following the Elemental Clash related posts on this blog, the art style will appear familiar to you, as, in fact, none other than Evgeni Maloshenkov, at this point a regular contributor to the Elemental Clash artwork, illustrated all the cards for Gods&Minions and is still in the process of getting the last few artworks done. Gods & Minions is not your regular, run of the mill fantasy card game, as you can see only by taking a glance at the characters in the above card samples. It is set in a postapocalyptic, dystopian fantasy world and whose artwork would be a better fit than Evgeni’s for such a setting. The visuals of Gods & Minions, and so much I can safely say by looking at my precious preview cards, are one unit and highly consistent to make for a unique and recognizable product, as all the artworks have been and will be done by one man, Evgeni Maloshenkov (at least for the base set cards, new artists may be joining for the inevitable expansions).
My friend Tobias Strunz of 1ManStudios, who is also a vendor of fine wines, has been developing his Gods & Minions card game and the world is set in over many years and has put tremendous work, money and, not least of all, love into his main project. I pay him due respect for his commitment and dedication as well as his patience and dedication to this amazing project, which somewhat reminds me of my own work with my main project Elemental Clash.
Tobi and I share a few things and attitudes on our beloved “game children”, which many will deem unprofessional or downright moronic, but which I wholeheartedly applaud when I see them in Tobi’s approach for Gods & Minions.
The game will be non-collectible for once, just like my very own Elemental Clash, which I highly appreciate in card games and will come in a bare-bones form, just the cards in the cheapest box available. After all that is all you need to get started in Gods&Minions! all else is pretty much superfluous and will only unnecessarily increase the price for the consumer.
What I really appreciate is Tobias idealistic attitude/approach when it comes to making and selling Gods & Minions, as these are qualities that are rarely found, even among the indie games designer scene. Just like myself, Tobi is an idealist, who has, just like I have done myself, shed the false hopes for making the “big buck” with (his) game(s), as anyone who is honest to himself will realize sooner or later when pursuing the noble quest of designing games, and, as I have heard from himself, sees his Gods & Minions project as a work of art. And designing games is a form of art in and off itself, at least in my firmly held opinion. Thus Tobias and I pursue our projects for the love of art – “ars gratia artis” (art for art’s sake!) – and not for the love of money. Hence neither Mr Strunz nor I bother with trying to find “real” publishers for our beloved works of art (in my case that is Elemental Clash), even though a game like Gods & Minions would have a lot of potential to be “picked up” by a renowned publisher in my professional (??) opinion. And as far as I know Tobi will even pass on the oh so obvious Kickstarter campaign, which could be, again in my opinion, highly successful with an unique and brilliantly looking project such as Gods & Minions. For all I have mentioned, Tobi has my full respect and in fact I am happy to know that I am not the only one in the indie games design community who shares my idealistic ideals which many would deem pure folly.
So what does all this mean? Well, just like I did with Elemental Clash, Tobi will self-publish Gods & Minions later this year, as soon as the final artworks from Evgeni are in, and it will be available for anyone willing to appreciate it on The Game Crafter (www.thegamecrafter.com). Again it will come in a less flashy but all the more budget/customer friendly form and I for one must say that I haven’t been looking forward to a game that was NOT designed by myself that much in a long time.
I will surely keep you updated on Tobias Strunz’s Gods & Minions card game and hopefully I will be able to feature a full review worthy of this awesome project on this here blog hopefully sooner than later.
Meanwhile, if you want to feast your eyes on some awesome card and art previews as well as check out the game rules I refer you to the official Gods & Minions website at http://www.godsandminions.com! Tobi is quite an avid poster on the website so if this article caught your interest in the game, I recommend you subscribe, as news and previews are being posted there on a regular basis.
So in conclusion, once again, a huge thank you goes out to my friend and fellow indie designer Tobi Strunz! Your little surprise package made my day! I am glad not to be alone when I say:
“Ars gratia artis!”