This week has been dedicated to playtesting a bunch of new games for Chimeric Games with the development team. While I enjoy inventing and playing tabletop games immensely, my role in our company is mainly asset development (i.e. illustration). The games we are currently testing are all in the alpha stage, without game art on most of the assets, but playing through them is one of the best ways to get inspired about the art!
Our recent playtests have run through three primarily untried games, Xenophobia, RimWar, and Crowns.
Xenophobia is a exploration and problem solving game set on a long-lost military space ship. The derelict has been offline for a while and some of the systems need repair before you can pull the data off the mainframe and determine what occurred… but this silently drifting ship may not be as abandoned as we assumed! This cooperative game has a unique twist. If you choose, a traitor mechanic can be put in play to increase the competitive aspects of the game.
RimWar is a 4x game (“4x” stands for “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate”). Set on the very edges of known space, this tile placement exploration game provides fiercely competitive game play with diverse and nuanced strategies for achieving victory. Players explore planets, battle for resources, develop new technology, and defend their colonies as they gain victory points to earn prestige in the eyes of the Core Planetary Alliance.
Crowns, a political intrigue game of medieval lords and ladies, is in an earlier stage of development so we are still working out the details of the rules and mechanics. Always on the brink of costly and potentially devastating war, the players build their houses of cards, expanding their royal bloodline, court, army, and holdings until their opponents have no option but to pledge fealty. Houses rise and fall as fickle alliances form and fail. This card game has some real promise as an easy-to-learn political strategy game with multiple roads to victory.
As we play I make notes about the illustrations that will be needed. I note where icons can take the place of wordy explanations on cards, which assets will require unique backings or physical identifiers (e.g. multiple card or tile decks), and where expressive illustrations can take a front seat in making the game visually attractive.
I’ll post updates as we develop these (and other) Chimeric Games.