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
(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.
(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:
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.
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?
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…).
Here’s a close-up of one of the colorful and mangificently looking hexes, with my thumb next to it for size comparison:
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! 🙂
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:
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! 😀
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! 😉 ).
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!