I’ve had to pause the development of LoLCG for a little while so I can work out any remaining niggles with Riot (don’t worry, things are going fine there), so I’ve had a few weeks between when I hit what I felt was the most I could do safely on that project and now. In the intervening time, I’ve had a shot a whole new game, this time entirely of my own design and style. I’m using a lot of what I learned doing the LoLCG project both in terms of gameplay mechanics and technical development skills.
The result is looking pretty swell for a first prototype. Not as swell as the LoLCG, but I’m drawing all my own art here (well, the non background stuff anyway)
I’ve loved and adored civilization and epic strategy type games, ‘4x’ especially, since I played civ 1 when I was very young. Risk was the only real boardgame of that kind of scope back then, and while fun it wasn’t that great. Since then there’s been a determined attempt to bring 4x to the tabletop, from the sprawling Twilight Imperium to the sleek 7 wonders. Unfortunately, the pendulum swings one way or the other too much. From intense complexity, endless rules and hundreds of pieces, to elegant simplicity that loses much of the depth an narrative that the 4x is so good at conveying.
Wild Abyss is a space-based 4x game with an emphasis on resource allocation and combat rather than territory control, negotiations and maneuver. It’s almost entirely card based, with no star map or persistent board, meaning it doesn’t need a lot of space. Turns are largely simultaneous, so games with loads of players don’t take much longer than ones with only a few. It has a combat system that’s not much more complex than games like eclipse or TI, but offers a lot more in terms of both tactical and cinematic depth.
I’m looking forward to talking about it more in the coming weeks. I’ve kept a kind of stream of consciousness diary of the process which I’ll put up once I can edit into something that makes vague sense.