You are a Shadow, a creature of the night, or a Hunter, a human whose job is to destroy supernatural creatures, or a civilian, a normal human just caught in the middle of this ancient battle. But your identity remains secret until someone outs you through your actions and through Hermit cards or you reveal yourself to use your special ability. The key to victory is to identify your allies and enemies early.
Once your identity is revealed, your enemies will attack without impunity using their special abilities like Demolish, Teleport, and Suck Blood or equipment cards such as the Rusty Broad Ax or Fortune Brooch. This ancient battle comes to a head and only one group will stand victorious – or a civilian, in the right circumstances, might claim victory.
LINKS: Shadow Hunters
Catacombs is an action/dexterity based adventure board game. One player controls the Overseer, controlling the monsters of the catacombs. The other player(s) control the four heroes who cooperatively try to defeat the monsters and eventually the Catacomb Lord. Each of the heroes have special abilities that must also be used effectively if they are to prevail.
The main mechanic of Catacombs is for the players to flick wooden discs representing the monsters and the heroes. Contact with an opposing piece inflicts damage but missiles, spells, and other special abilities can cause other effects. When all of the monsters of a room have been cleared, the heroes can move further into the catacomb. Items and equipment upgrades can be purchased from the Merchant with gold taken from fallen monsters. The Catacomb Lord is the final danger that the heroes must defeat to win the game. Conversely, the Overseer wins if all of the heroes are defeated. The game is designed for quick setup and fast play.
Game design is an endeavor that becomes more fun and more effective with a team, yet good collaborative environments seem relatively rare. That’s unfortunate. I think approaching design as a team sport can have a big positive impact on design quality.
Our company has one of the largest dedicated game design/development departments in the business. A chunk of them sit in an open cube area called ‘The Pit.’ These cubes don’t have walls, and in the center of the area is an open gaming space. Designers move freely between their workstations and the center tables. Frequently someone will call out “Anyone available to help try out this new build?” Usually several people will step up. The company culture rewards open debate, argument, and brainstorming. People feel comfortable being open with their thoughts, and aren’t afraid of being pilloried for dumb ideas. I believe this culture of collaboration is extremely powerful and very rare in game design and other creative fields.