Now for something completely different: “The Soundtrack of my Life”

Well, dear reader expecting games and nerddom galore,

this is not a post you were expecting to see here, as it has to nothing to do with either games or nerddom. In a sudden notion of nostalgia when hearing an old favorite song of mine on youtube, I suddenly realized that about every stage, every major part of my still quite young life (It is now the year  2014 A.D. and I am 26 now, turning 27 on 31st of May this year) had its kind of music, either one whole music genre, one band, one album, or even just a song which I will forever link with that time in my life and which, when I hear it today, invokes the feeling of what life meant and felt like back then in my mind. I call this, the “Soundtrack of my Life” and would like to share my fond, very personal, musical memories with you, dear reader. Oddly the musical “tour de force” pretty much starts with the Lords Prayer of the Christian faith (well the techno verison at least, as a redeeming factor) and leads to anti-theist punk band Bad Religion’s “Shattered Faith”, which could not have been a better fit for that particularly exciting and important time in my life. I have to note that I still listen to many of the songs I have loved years and decades ago, and, as you will see, my taste for music can well be called diverse…

1) EAV: Nie wieder Kunst – My earliest years:

My first contact with the fascinating and to me mysterious world of music was when a fellow pupil back in elementary school showed a song to me to tease me. Back then I was already widely known as a talented junior artist and the titel of the track was “Nie Wieder Kunst” which translates to “No more art”. The music is horrible but I had to get that tape and my career as a passive musician (one that only listens and cannot create music himself that is) began:

2) E-Nomine: Vater Unser – Early teen years as a Christian… cause I liked the music

When I was about 10 or 11 years of age I was a christian. A cultural christian, because I knew nothing else and cause I loved that music!

3) Basil Poledouris – Riddle Of Steel / Riders Of Doom – Choral as a novelty in my musical universe

This one fascinated me when I was around 12 years old and my godfather gave me a CD called “Cinema Choral Classics” as a present and still fascinates me today.

4) Jamie McKenny, Kornog: Jesuitmont – A long-term relationship after discovering celtic folk music

Man this was a revelation to me, the instruments, the overall sound, the energy. This should mark the beginning of a long-term love relationship with music with celtic roots (irish folk etc.).

5) Vangelis: Conquest of Paradiese – A time of mystery and magic begins

This still makes shivers run down my spine, always has and always will! It marked a time of spiritual exploration and magical thinking, distancing myself from my former, indeed childish, catholic belief system. A long journey which would culminate in postreligionism would begin.

6) Ambra: Walking in the Air – Fully immersed in the world of magic, wicca and spiritualism

In the midst of my spiritualistic / esoteric phase, I thought I could actually walk in the air if I just meditated hard enough.

7) The Beatles: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – Discovering musical diamonds in the past

I first came across the music of the Beatles when I gave a CD of them to my mom as christmas present. I ended up listening to that one all the time and the Album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” inspired me to my first great period of artistic activity.

8) Scott McKenzie: San Francisco – “Man why wasn’t I born earlier?”

I think I always was a hippie, and I will always be I guess. I just wished I could have been at Woodstock…

9) Hammerfall: Follow the Signs of the Crimson Thunder – Heavy Metal, first contact

A friend let me listen to this and I was enthralled. First contact with one of my all-time favorite music genres was established. The song itself is kinda cheesy and is still a running gag with me and some friends.

10) Placebo: Every you, every me – Unrequited teenage love condensed in a song

I must have been around 16 or 17 when I was madly in love with a girl. It was unrequited love alas and the title song of that awful film I don’t know the english title of was just in the cinemas. A perfect fit at that time…

11) Anti-Flag: 911 for Peace – My Anti-Bush-Regime views in a world that had changed

In 2001 the world changed all of a sudden. The results, apparent craving for global domination, undescribable injustice and “war for oil”, awakened the politically thinking person in me. Back then I digged that kind of music as it expressed my anger and powerlessness. The part of Martin Luther King’s famours speach still sends the shivers down my spine.

12) Queens of the Stone Age: Little Sister – Driving myself through my final exams

The Album Lullabies  to Paralyze and this song in particular powered me through studying for months on end for my final exam.

13) Wolfmother: Colossal – A new band of a classic kind

During my days of civil service (instead of serving in the army) this band playing a strange kind of rather old fashioned music awakened my interest in the roots of heavy metal and hard rock.

14) Flogging Molly: What’s left of the Flag – Another kind of irish folk

This music was the perfect mix between modern, (punk)rock elements and classic cletic/irish music. So powerful. It captured me immediately.

15) Led Zeppelin: Achilles Last Stand – Discovering the grandfathers of heavy metal

After Wolfmother and during my beginning studies of Social Work, Led Zeppelin was my loyal companion with this song and others.

16) Bad Religion: Shattered Faith – Letting go of god for good

Finally, time was at hand to make a clean cut to the religion I was born and raised in. This kind of music gave vital moral support during this exciting and important albeit also difficult step in my life.

17) Hubert von Goisern: Iawaramoi & Schleiniger – Far from home, back to the roots

A practical placement in India brought me farther away from home than I had ever dreamt off and the music of Hubert von Goisern, magnificently blending classic Austrian folk music, which I had abhorred up until then, with modern elemenets helped cure the homesickness.

18) Corvus Corax: Ballade de Mercy – Going waaay back in time to discover an exotic kind of music

Got hooked on the exotic and beautiful tunes of bands emulating and drawing from medieval music, first and foremost Corvus Corax.

19) Black Sabbath: Paranoid – Going insane over a distant woman

I had been listening to Black Sabbath before but there was a brief time in my life when a very distant woman was driving me insane like it goes in their song “Evil Woman”. Listened to Black Sabbath a lot during this time and this is my favorite song.

20) Amon Amarth: Twilight of the Thundergod -Discovering pagan/viking metal

A combination I had never thought possible: Pagan/Germanic/Viking lore and elements mixed with heavy metal. Kickass for a neo-heathen like myself.

21) Omnia: Lughnasadh – Holding up the legacy and traditions of the ancestors

This is simply beautiful and meditative for me. Hail to Sun and Hail to Life! This really made me realize that even though you are an atheist you can still find beauty in natural objects and phenomena and, whilst not worshipping or praising them, at least appreciating them.

22) Corvus Corax: Ragnarök – The present

The Album Sverker by Corvus Corax is what is running non-stop since like 2 weeks in my humble “nerd-cave”.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Well I hope you enjoyed this little but very personal tour through the music of my life. Who knows what will come next? I for one am curious to find out!!

Being back soon with more games and nerdness – promise.

Yours humanly,

Andi

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TGC PROTOTYPE LOOT – PHOTOSTORY PART 2: EC HEX

Dear readers!

As announced and promised, here the second part of my two part article about the game protos I just today got in the mail from The Game Crafter LLC, my trusted partner for producing high quality prototypes (yeah I am a lazy bum who rather has someone else assemble his protos!!) and selling finished games – indie style.

If you missed part one of this two part article, which dealt with my game-in-the-workings Antediluvian Wars – Extermination, AWE for short, (official website link) then be sure to read up on that as well here. It’s worth it I guess! 😀

In part two, I will be introducing you, more visually than when it comes to explaining rules and mechanics, which will be covered in a future post quite likely, to what my friend and fellow game designer Rob Seater, who is held in high esteem by myself, called sheer “madness”, to some stroke of genius ephiphany type game idea / pure folly that came to me just like two weeks ago. I am talking about

Elemental Clash HEX

Now pretty much anyone in the gaming scene must be sick and tired to hear about Elemental Clash, which is, for me personally, my magnum opus so to say, not because it is so congenial and/or revolutionary, but because it was the first game idea I pursued with fervor and dedication from first crude proto cards made in MS word with stolen art from RPG Maker to something that is highly praised by distinguished experts in the gaming scene, such as Cyrus “Father Geek” Kirby and others, and which I have been working on and growing up with as a game designer since no less than 7 years. Even three failed attempts on Kickstarter didn’t cause me to “Trash the Clash” and, thanks to the support – moral and monetary – of a dedicated core group of EC “veterans” with open minds, hearts and also wallets at times,  the game lives on and grows and flourishes, in an idealistic sense rather than in pure, hard sales figures and income. Hell it has even its own Android and iOS (soon) App that gets terrific comments and ratings!!

But on to what this article should actually be: A photo-story presenting to you the Elemental Clash HEX prototype I just today received in the mail.

One explanatory sentence on “Why the hex EC HEX?!?”: Ever since I discovered the hexagonal cardboard tile as a “game designer’s working medium” I came up with quite a few hex-based games, and, made possible through the introduction of double sided hexes (hexes with custom print on both sides that is) on TGC (thumbs up for that TGC!!!), is just the latest of these ideas, which is quite obvious if you think about it, considering the fact that I have a ton of kickass artwork to re-use in a new and unique way.

So here is it as I found it inside the package, all covered in nice shrinkwrap

EC HEX box shrinkwrapped

(Note: this is the insanely expensive 2 players non-customizable “Tribal Wars” Edition… not so cool…)

And this is what the unboxed game looks like, coming with 2 prebuilt “decks” of 30 hexes each plus 4 Spellcaster hexes as well as two high quality satin bags each one big enough to hold one of the “hex dex”. The bags emulate the randomizing qualities of a regular deck of cards by the way.

EC HEX box content

(Sorry, blurry picture)

Here four stacks of the cards of each of the four Elements contained in the “Theme Decks” this incarnation of EC HEX comes with, along with the gold-bordered Spellcasters:

EC HEX all cards

This is what the two 30 hex strong decks look like next to each other. As this version of the game is called “Tribal Wars”, the two decks each combine the forces of two Elements and their typical “tribe” or creature type. One is an Air/Water deck featuring mostly Spirits and Merfolk while the other is an Earth/Fire Deck where you’d be playing with a foul alliance of Goblins and Trolls.

EC HEX decks

And here a closer look at hexes of the four different Elements – magmatic/fiery bordered Fire, blue bordered Water, purpleish bordered Air and moss-textured/green Earth – with their respective card backs. Yes that is right, each hex has an Element-Stone on its back, and as a central part of the game’s core mechanics, you can choose any card in your hand which might be less useless at any given point and just use it backside-up as an Element-Stone! Neat, innit?

EC HEX cards back and front

 

This is what a card hand would look like. I LOVE how the outstanding artwork (a Troll by genius-artist Evgeni Maloshenkov is the foremost) comes out on the huge hexes, although I wished them to be about a third smaller or so, just because assembling your “army” takes up so much space that we actually had to play the first test game on the floor (Well in theory I have a big enough table in my “nerd-cave” but that was covered up in art supplies at that time and I was to lazy to clear it of the latter…).

EC HEX hand

 

Here’s a close-up of one of the colorful and mangificently looking hexes, with my thumb next to it for size comparison:

EC HEX hex closeup

The backsides howerver disappointed me a bit. As you see the edges were rough and torn right as they came out of the box (thumbs down on that one TGC 😦 ) but in my opinion double sided hexes with rough edges on one side are better than no double sided hexes at all!! So keep up the good work TGC and try to improve your cutting tools/process and the quality of the double-sided hexes! 🙂

EC HEX closeup cutting problems

 

Here’s one of the ominous “magical bags” (well it is a bag filled with magical spells and other arcane stuff so the name is quite befitting I guess) the game comes with:

EC HEX bag of magic

 

That’s a funny one: The process of the initial shuffling of one of the decks. You have to do this only once before or after a game  if you do it thoroughly so it is half as bad as it might look. I felt like a kid playing memory though! 😀

EC HEX shuffling

And that’s what the mid-game playing field of one player might look like. Love the bright and vivid colors. I will save the explanations on the meanings of all this for a future post dedicated to the EC HEX rules and mechanics, which by the way seemed to work out just brilliantly in our first test game. Not too bad for a spontaneously conceived and hastily realized idea of pure “madness” (I am looking at you, Mr. Seater! 😉 ).

EC Hex testing 1

And to close this article, I just wanted to share with you some visual impressions, snapshots we took in our first test game of EC HEX in the form of a little slide-show (the girl is my younger sister Nora btw). The game looks good and plays well. That is about all I can report to you so far!

Thanks for being a reader and GAME ON!

Yours,

Andi

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TGC Prototype Loot – Photostory Part 1: AWE

Dear readers of this here my blog on games and general geekness! Fellow gamers and game designers!

After a long spell of silence on here, which resulted from a rush of endlessly flowing artistic mojo (I am an artist working in traditional media mostly as well in case that is news for you), from a productive week when it comes to doing artwork, the mailman tore me out of my artistic “trip” delivering an already very much anticipated package from the United States of America, from The Game Crafter LLC, my print-on-demand games provider of trust and choice, to be more precise.

The contents of the package was two prototypes of my two most recent designs/games, which I was dying to lay my greedy, game designer’s paws on ever since I came up with the games, did the prototyping and ordered a while ago.

Here you can see the overjoyed but in this picture, more than usually, somewhat hobotastic looking designer of both games:

Andi with AWE & EC HEX

 

The two games I am holding in hands are

Antediluvian Wars – Extermination

(Official Website at http://www.awetcg.com)

(just call it “AWE”, as in awe-some and awe-inspiring and also awe-ful for Thor’s sake! :D) which would be the remarkably small one on the left and

Elemental Clash HEX (TGC 2-Player “Tribal Wars” Edition)

which would be the significantly bigger, colorful box on the right side.

In this two part post I want to introduce you to both of those two, which I would consider my “hottest” games in the workings/prototypes currently, in the form of little photo-stories, without explaining much about how they actually work, just giving my initial thoughts on my  first impressions when unboxing (and trying to some extent in the case of EC HEX).

I will start it off with this one and follow up with a similar post on the other shortly (probably right after I finished the first):

Holding AWE box

If you have read about AWE before, you will know it is a 2-4 players game with tons of tactical/strategic options and potentially high replay value, so yeah, I too am amazed that THAT (see above) is basically it. Four entire antediluvian armies packed in one small, neat looking box. And I must say that I am quite  pleased with the look of what is the first protoype, both about my humble photoshop-job and about the quality of the box (thumbs up TGC!!). I almost like it so much that I consider to keep the design and release it with a box like that eventually. And on a side-note: Maybe you recognize the mysterious “Piri Reis Map” I used for the background (just google for it, you will be amazed).

After having seen it for myself and having laid my hands on it, I must say, without wanting to brag about my own genius and praise my own humble design work, I must say, overall this game feels like something compared to a good “Schnaps” (Austrian-style booze) where the essence of many good things is distilled into one very small amount of liquid – in one neat little box just like the one I was holding and looking at. I mean this game offers enough for endless hours of fun (well hopefully the finished product will) for up to four people, without the need of any further components besides the cards like dice, life counters or similar stuff.

I mean just look at this: It fits easily in one of my pockets (well unless said pocket contains a pack of cigs as usual):

AWE fits in pocket

(Apologies for the blurry picture)

The fact that the game is small, portable, literally fitting in your pocket has so many benefits and is cheap to manufacture, which would make a (invitable?) Kickstarter very  much attractive to many people as they’d get quite some value for the small buck!

And I can see the slogans right before me already: “The Epic Wars of Ancient Gods – in your Pocket!”. Same goes for the title. If I do my handywork right and well, people could get an “AWE-some gaming experience” from this and reviewers could call it “AWE-inspiring” but I am going a little over the top with my overly enthusiastic ramblings here now. There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, my hand-picked, crafty, elitist inner circle of playtesters (Thank you Rob, Michael, Brian, Jeff and Hank!!) and I, but I for one will do my very best to make this one deserve such honorations.

So pressing onwards, here the contents of the box: 4 decks of 30 cards each – one for each of the four factions:

AWE unboxed

 

The game’s official web url will mislead you maybe. “TCG” stands for “Tactical Card Game” and not for what it usually stands for – Trading Card Game. I would eat my own underpants if I ever was foolish enough to attempt to create “the next big thing” in Trading Card Games. There are a few established ones and their fans are too dedicated to buy into a new one. So this can simply be the delusion of an utter beginner (which I wouldnt blame them for) or of someone who had lost their mind. So tactical card game it is in the case of AWE. However, this  means not that AWE will never be customizable, as it is a very much EXPANDABLE game. While the initial set will contain only 4 pre-constructed decks without the option to customize, there is always the possibility of expansions adding new cards to each of the factions, turning the initially non-customizable (and many people see that as a quality not a shortcoming in a game) game into a fully customizable one. Note: Even in case of disinterest and failure on KS or whatever, I will probably work on and release expansions, “ars gratia artist” – art for the cause of art!

And here is what one player needs to get the action started. A quite slim deck of exaclty 30 standard poker-size cards:

AWE 1 deck in hand

 

Next have a look at what all four decks look like next to each other, with the gods, each being associated with one of the faction decks and acting as your representation, your “avatar” in the game, whom you must protect from opponent attacks at all costs, in order to prevent him from being “dethroned” as the lose condition in the game is called. And yes I ripped the gods artworks straight out of Elemental Clash (save for Lord Krishna, whom I nicked from the internets) just for prototype purposes and as a matter of course the finished game will feature terrific original artworks for each of the god-cards.

The factions are the following from top left to bottom right: Lemurian, Atleantean, Hyperborean and Muan.

AWE 4 decks plus gods

The four civilizations are actually taken straight out of the legends and mythology of real human cultures and the game features many real-world mythological references, whilst being not exactly historically accurate, especially when it comes to the 10.000 B.C. dino riders and Vimana aircraft! But that is what is great about this particular theme: Everything goes in AWE! 😀

And lastly a close-up of one of the cards:

AWE card closeup

 

I solemnly swear to explain all the icons and meanings of the card layout in a seperate post dedicated to this aspect of the AWE Tactical Card Game, but only that much: AWE features a quite extraordinary concept which works so well on so many levels and which I call the “Three-Way-Play” mechanic. You see the upper name, icons and text box are the Unit (Creature, Monster, whatever) part of the card. You can play it upright and it will act as a Creature that will usually attack or defend and/or have certain special abilities. Then on the bottom of the card we have inverted name, icons and text. The meaning of this is that you can play the card upside-down as an Event (Spell, Effect, whatever) which will usually just have a one-time effect on the game. Thirdly, you can play the card rotated 90 degrees to the left or to the right into your Resource Row so that it will act as a resource of its type. Resources are needed to pay for Units and Events by the way. You see, as I said, the game is a tight, little package similar to a well distilled Schnaps, as I remarked initally.

Well this concludes part one of the TGC prototype loot photo-stories article. I will follow up with part two, which will deal with a “madness”, as my honored friend Rob Seater of Cambridge Games Factory quite aptly named it, I have come up with very recently:

ELEMENTAL CLASH HEX

So thanks for reading and see you soon with some visual teasers of the aforementioned!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

Andi’s Games Realm teaming up with THE COLLECTIONARY!

Dear readers!

I am always astonished and baffled, in a positive sense, about the mails I am receiving with awesome offers and opportunities or whatnot, and as it happened, I received such a pleasantly surprising mail just recently. A very kind person from a very interesting and ambitious project/website/web-community reached out to me, having read my old Yu-Gi-Oh blog, which I discontinued to dedicate myself to this here more diverse blog, and seemingly having liked what I wrote so much that they decided to contact me. I am not only honored but also humbled that somebody appreciated the countless articles I wrote back then that much!

The Collectionary is a web-platform with the ambitious plan, noble quest or worthy cause, whatever you prefer, of creating an extensive collection of images and info of anything collectible, which includes of course, among many other things, collectible card games such as Magic: the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh, the latter being the reason why they noticed me thanks to my extensive blogging on the game back then on my old, Yu-Gi-Oh exclusive blog.

The motives of the The Collectionary crew are pure, ambitious and bold and something, which I welcome and want to engcourage. As my contact person Pretty Hagad put it:

“We are working on building a Dictionary of all the amazing Collectibles ever created, and we’re hoping that your readers will learn about us.”

Well, dear readers, if you are into collectibles of ANY kind, not just cards but ANYTHING that is collectible, I would highly recommend you to take a look at their site at http://collectionary.com, have a look around and maybe even become a member of their active and dedicated community.

There are many differen sections on their main page. If you are most interested in board games you might want to check out

http://collectionary.com/club/Board-Games

Collectionary Board Games

For the Yu-Gi-Oh enthusiast there is a “club” found at

http://collectionary.com/club/yu-gi-oh

Collectionary Yu Gi Oh

There are countless more categories so I’d really recommend you explore this awesome site a bit, as I will surely do once I get some spare time again after all the work that occupies me fully these days is done.

Oh and lest I forget, there are huge facebook fan/community pages on facebook run by the Collectionary guys. You might want to join the fun at

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Board-Games-Block-on-Yardsellr/137491986276471

if you are into board games in general or at

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Yu-gi-oh-Block-on-Yardsellr/133635383354128.

if you happen to be into the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!

Well I hope you find this site which was totally new to me up until a few days ago as interesting as I do.

Next upcoming blog post on here: A news roundup about various (game) projects I am currently occupied with, including Elemental Clash and EC HEX, Biomechanic Dino Battles and among others.

Thank you for your attention and a very special thank you to Pretty of the Collectionary for getting in touch with me about this!

Game on!

Andi

A Spontaneous Game Idea: Elemental Clash HEX!!

Well at times I am intrigued about myself and the strange workings of my brain and mind and one thing is for sure: I can’t help but constantly think about designing games. Just yesterday such a “stroke of genius” if you can call it that occurred:

I was minding my own business working for hours on end to get the AWE prototype assembled and set up on The Game Crafter so that it could go out to my independent playtesters asap as I suddenly thought of an idea Tobi, my friend and fellow game designer from Bavaria had noted in a conversation while ago: Wouldn’t it be cool, Tobi pondered, if we put the great artwork we have for our card games on something like hex tiles. I kept that idea somewhere back in the murky depths of my mind, but yesterday, while working on those prototype cards, a big, bold “Why not!” hit me. I do indeed own a huge collection of fantastic artwork, predominately for Elemental Clash, which could well be put to good use in a game of an entirely different appearance and different mechanics as well. I was intrigued so I invested some more thought into the whole idea of recycling art in a totally fresh, new game, a hex-based game…

Thus “Elemental Clash – HEX” was conceived.

So I started brainstorming whilst doing the monotonous chore of assembling AWE prototype cards and made room for doing a first concept of such an Elemental Clash hex “card” in Photoshop, being a visual kind of person. Here is the result for you – the very first prototype card for Elemental Clash – HEX:

EC HEX Sample

Does not look half bad, or does it? The awesome art by Evgeni Maloshenkov surely makes it’s contribution to the overall visual appeal of the EC hex! Elemental Clash savvy readers will have noticed that I just used the resource, ATK and DEF icons from the regular EC cards and I think it looks decent this way. My only complaint with the design is that the writing doesn’t run seamlessly around the corners of the six-sided shape. I have no clue how to come up with a better solution using Photoshop so this will have to do…

So what I did the past 2 days was not only assemble 80 AWE prototype cards in Photoshop and upload them to TGC, but also do a ton of EC HEX hexes, which resulted in a weekend consisting of two 10-12 working hour days. Poor me. But enough of the self-pity and on with what we all want to read about: You guessed it – EC HEX.

You know, dear reader, I tend to try out and adopt unorthodox approaches in many things I do and pursue and game design is no exception here. Usually, and this is considered the “professional” way, a game designer toils for months or even years to come up with solid rules, well-working mechanics and balanced cards/components before even considering having professionally looking prototypes of their game done. I have discovered for myself that doing it the other way around can work pretty well, at least for some games and at least for me personally. So what I did after my brainstorming was that I made card lists for two “decks” for EC HEX, one Merfolk&Spirits (Water/Air) and one Trolls&Goblins (Earth/Fire) and then, taking direct inspiration from the existing EC cards, I made some pretty decent (or even kickass) looking prototype graphics for the hex-based derivate of the EC card game that more and more consolidated in my head and on my computer screen. The most exciting and interesting part in this process was finding ways how to emulate an established card game to work as a hex-based game. And I am pretty happy with the result, as the mechanics are still reminiscent of the original “cards EC”, with the central mechanics still in place, albeit adapted to a hex-based game, and some player’s favorites still being in place (talking about Boon here), but the game works, or rather has to work, totally different at the same time, with interesting mechanics I came up with on the background and in the context of the different nature of the components used in EC HEX (cardboard hex tiles instead of standard cards).

Long story short, even if I haven’t figured out all the details of the inner workings of this game to be (although I have a good overall idea how it should and will work in the end) I made a visually quite appealing prototype and uploaded to and ordered a copy from The Game Crafter right away. I know for a fact that this unusual, seemingly hasty and unprofessional approach has worked for me before and I am confident that everything will fall in place neatly once I have the actual EC hexes in hands and can figure out how everything should work out in the end. Again, I am a visual type of person, and having the actual, kickass looking hex tiles in hands will surely help figuring out the details and will be essential for some thorough testing.

But enough of my lengthy ramblings on prototyping marathons and unusual/moronic game design approaches of mine.

Let me tell you a bit about how EC HEX works (at least what I know of that so far):

As mentioned above I had to “translate” a pure card game into a hex-based game. So here some things I came up with in order to do so:

Each player will have 30 hex tiles, which represent Creatures, Spells and your typical EC resources, the Element Stones. Instead of stacking the hexes as you would do with cards, each 30 hexes set is kept in one big-enough cloth bag from where hexes are drawn etc. I simply call these “magical bags”, cause after all all kinds of magical Spells and fantastic Creatures are found inside them.

The first awesome thing in EC HEX is that each hex will have a Creature or a Spell on one side, and an Element-Stone of the corresponding type/element on the other side. At this point a big THANK YOU to the awesome people at The Game Crafter who made this possible in the first place by offering double sided hex tiles now!! Below a sample image explaining this central principle in EC HEX:

Double Sided Hexes

As I have tormented you enough with my lenghty written elaborations, I will now introduce you to some aspects and concepts of EC HEX in the form of nice illustrations just like the one above…

Firstly, have a look at the different card types featured in EC HEX:

Card Types

As space for text is terribly limited on hexes with a clear focus on the (totally awesome as I hope you’ll agree) artwork, I did not write the card type out on the hexes, but rather tried to distinguish them viusally. A Creature for instance can be easily identified by the red ATK and green DEF icons. A Spell does not have those, just the cost orb. Spellcasters and Element-Stones have no icons at all, just some text. Besides the border color (golden for Spellcasters and rocky gray for Stones) one can tell Spellcasters and Element-Stones apart by their illustrations as well as by the amount of text on each.

The distinguation of the four different elements I tried to achieve visually as well, as you can see in the example below, which displays one card sample for each of the four elements.

Element Types

Now after having seen these surely quite awesome visual previews of the actual hexes you may start to wonder how the game actually works and how I managed to transform a card game into a hex-based game without sacrificing the overall feel and identity of the former. As I noted before, the details are not all figured out just yet, so I cannot provide you with a full rules document at this point. One thing I would like to show you in the form of a brief succession of illustrations is how the resource system and playing cards will work in EC HEX (I am pretty sure this aspect will be kept the way I have it now!).

So here the schematic depiction of three sample turns of EC HEX explaining the resource system and casting of Spells / summoning of Creatures:

Gameplay Explanation 1 Gameplay Explanation 2 Gameplay Explanation 3 Gameplay Explanation 4 Gameplay Explanation 5 Gameplay Explanation 6 Gameplay Explanation 7 Gameplay Explanation 8

This is a very basic guide to how resources (Element-Stones) are placed and how summoning Creatures and casting Spells is handled. Of course things get trickier when you play with 2 Elements (I would seriously advise against trying to assemble 3 or let alone 4 element “decks”), as you would need to place your Stones really carefully/wisely to be able to summon/cast Creatures/Spells of both your Elements in the most efficinet way. However that makes me think of interesting and tough gameplay choices, which would add to the overall gameplay value and strategic element of the game.

Before I close this longer-than-necessary introduction to my instant-game idea EC HEX with a gallery of some (prototype mind you!) card previews, I have note and emphasize once again that all the above is still highly speculative and all the card previews you have seen and will see below are just prototype versions which may and will be subject to balancing and other changes. In the best case, my intuition won’t fail me on this and in the worst case, I’ll have to revise some of the cards and think over some of the mechanics I have in mind so far until everything falls in place nicely. After all, a good challenge is what I love most.

Final note, I am doing this neither for the sake of money (those who know me will have guessed that already) nor for becoming the next big name in the games biz, and nor do I think EC HEX will revolutionize the world of board gaming. Just for the fun of it is and always was my motto and motivation. OK I am dragging this on for far too long… here’s the (far from comprehensive) hex preview gallery for you:

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More on EC HEX to come soon! Promise!! 😀