Thematic Design: I need a Hero!

Hello Everyone!

Van here again aftar a long hiatus of not writing posts, but now I am back and we will be talking about Heroes today.

Heroes in State of Wonder has been an awesome addition, they are pitched as big scary finishers, that you play to change the tides of war. Examples are the Master of Venom which kills 2 units of your choice when you play him. Or the Wandering plague, that deals 1 damage on each enemy unit when he enters play. These are cool, large effects in SoW and the more we played them the more awesome it become to play these guys.

The problem is though. That they stop feeling like heroes after you play them. Due to several issues, with how they work. The biggest one is that heroes has progression, meaning that you win if your hero is on the table for a specific number of turns (Generally between 6 and 10 turns). This makes heroes into things you have to protect and with many heroes being heroes of war (The Iron Champion and the Golden Terror as examples) this makes them feel thematically weird.

Play the hero and then don’t use the hero under any circumstance! This is what we are telling our players. It is weird seeing that our heroes, our strongest units and fighters, does not want to be in combat, as they generelly just get killed by 2 random units on the battlefield.

So do we have a solution? We believe so, but it requires testing as everything else in design. The solutions we have thought up are the following.

Giving Heroes protective Key Words if they are combat based, for example adding a keyword named brutality to a hero, which allows him to deal his damage to all other combatants in that combat. transforming that hero in to a massive sweeper or giving a hero a “Duel” keyword, allowing it to attack one specific unit and not allowing other to stack upon it, turning it into a removal of sorts.

The other solution is to give the Hero typing a new rule, that protects them in combat, for example giving all heroes the duel “keyword” inherently in their type.

Lastly we discussed removing progress from heroes, to just make them into superpowered units that you don’t really mind them dying if their doing their purpose. I personally do not enjoy this design, as it strays away from “Everyone can win in 2 ways”

This does though open up for each player having both a hero and a wonder which can be nice!

So now that we have talked a bit about heroes. An update on the rest of the project!

As we are looking at it right now, art is progressing as well as the design and setting of the game. Colours are being decided, factions are being fleshed out and everything is going in the right direction.

As you might have heard (and we have been talking about) we are making a digital prototype. The digital prototype has gotten a major revamp, as we shifted from 3d to 2d. (Easier to manage for our team, that is composed of primarily 2d artists)

So stay tuned on the digital prototype, heroes and the card game! To get into our playtesting community and try the game: Go to our play testing group on facebook!


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