Friday morning. Labour Day. Sunshine.
What a great opportunity to play Project: ELITE!
I phoned to Konstantinos and Tasos, and together with my son Spyros we drove to Artipia’s offices. Because of the holiday, only Konstantinos and Tasos were there to welcome us.
We placed the “Abandoned Lab” player board on the table and a computer screen nearby to monitor the KS campaign
Btw, I want to thank you all for your incredible support and the amazing kick-start of our KS campaign! Now that the campaign is live and you have probably seen the run-through videos, it is a good time to share with you some tips about Project: ELITE. But not all, just a few. I don’t want to spoil the joy of finding little secrets about the gameplay that will make you a fearsome fighter, an Earth protector, a true champion!
We decided to play the “Abandoned Lab” map and the “Extermination” objective in all three levels of difficulty. To successfully accomplish this objective, we had to send our characters, Lilla (Tasos), Momentum (Spyros) and Bus (me) to blow up a number of targets located on the other side of the map from where we started.
We managed to beat the aliens on the two first games, the easy level game and the medium level game, but I have to admit that it wasn’t a walk in the park and we had to perform very well in order to do it. After that, we started up again on hard and all hell broke loose!
After 10 minutes of yelling and shouting to each other, cursing the dice and trying to find who is to blame, we lost bad!
Tasos had to leave, but Konstantinos and Zois (who in the meantime had come) jumped right in. Zois took over Caress, a really cool character. We were determined to show these aliens what we were made of! But in the medium level now.
We lost again…
Project: ELITE is a simple and fun game, easy to learn but hard to master. There are a number of things you have to keep in mind all the time. Simple things. “Piece of cake”, you might say, “I have played a lot more complex boardgames”.
Try to keep track of everything when the clock is ticking, your friends are shouting and you just moved the wrong alien! Soon, you’ll find out that after a glorious two-minutes fight were you have slayed all the aliens in your side of the battlefield, you rise up your head proudly just to meet the despair look of your colleagues: That nasty little Runner had eluded you and now has three moves. You just lost.
So, here are some tips in a random order of significance:
1. Use your alien moves to the slowest aliens.
2. Never forget your character’s ability. Yes, don’t laugh, it happens more often than you expect.
3. Don’t grub the dice of your last roll after the buzzer has sounded. Every dice roll (provided that they were made during the 2 minutes time allotted) must be resolved and there may be an event that needs some symbols you have rolled.
4. Concentrate on the most dangerous targets. You don’t have to take out a huge and intimidating boss if he is slow and he’s not going to cross your retreat line for a couple of rounds. You may loose from a single poor soldier as well.
5. Don’t forget the events.
6. You have to know when to stop rolling the dice. The fewer the aliens, the faster they go because all the alien moves rolled are concentrated on a few enemies. It is completely legit to stop rolling to prevent them from crossing your retreat line and thus lose the game.
That's all for now!
A Biter alien soldier
Several individuals working with Artipia Games talk about boardgame publication, existing and upcoming projects.
Archive for Project: ELITE
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What an exciting day this is. Our KS campaign is going live in less than 11 hours That would be 29 | APR | 2015 - 2PM The campaign link is already available and you can check the KS out. We will be making adjustments and additions until the time comes.
VISIT THE CAMPAIGN
Rahdo has posted a Runthrough for the game. Check it out!
I hope you like what you see
Thank you very much
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We are getting closer to our KS launch on 29|4|2015 ! We have revealed one of the Boss Alien miniatures included in the game. Crushox!
Crushox is approx 6cm/2.4inches tall. It is one of the 8 Boss Alien miniatures included in the game.
I hope you like what you see
As always, feel free to post your comments and questions.
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Hello to all!
I've just uploaded a video explaining the basic rules and showing a quick round of play for Project: ELITE.
Feel free to post any questions below
Also, 2 weapon cards have been uploaded on BGG
Some of the icon symbols are still being done. If you like them, show them some love .
Last but not least we have announced the date for the launch of the Kickstarter campaign. It is April | 29 | 2015.
More video and game material coming!
Until next time,
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I'm glad to report that the project is progressing really well. We expect prototypes of the miniatures within the next week so I can finally start posting some videos of gameplay!
Today I would like to talk about the variety of weapons and equipment the base game will include.
Sample artwork from The Seeker gun
The game comes with 3 decks from which player may draw weapons, equipment and explosives. We suggest that you add the explosives deck only after you play the game a few times since they are slightly more complex to use. Finally, there is an Alien Technology deck.
The Weapons deck will feature about 20 weapons which offer much variety. Based on our playtest experience, you can enjoy lots of games before you feel the need of switching to a different weapon, so 20 weapons will offer you a large amount of replayability. Some weapons are simple but effective while others have more complex rules and abilities. Since this game is based on the principle "easy to learn, hard to master", the more time you spend on each weapon, the more effective it becomes.
The Items/Equipment deck contains several boosters for weapons as well as other gadgets that will help you stay alive and complete your mission.
The Explosives deck contains stuff that can do some serious mass damage if used right.
During the start of the game, each player gets to draw 3 cards in any combination from those decks. He/she then keeps 2 of them and places them in a common pool from which each player chooses the equipment they want to start the game with. You can always increase your inventory throughout the game by searching in the indicated areas. Each time you do that, you draw two more cards from any deck and keep one of them.
Finally players may exchange gear throughout the game as long as they are on adjacent squares.
The Alien Technology deck is includes some really fancy stuff the Aliens brought with them. You get to access them each time to fulfill an objective or kill an Alien Boss. The weapons you can find here allow for even more replayability.
I hope I can begin demonstrating these soon through some gameplay videos. In the meantime you can also check out our official Project: ELITE facebook page for more info about the project.
As always, I leave you with a little something
Until the next mission,
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today Rahdo runs throughehmm sorry
Today I'd like to talk about our upcoming Kickstarter campaign and get some feedback from those interested.
We plan on launching Project: ELITE on Kickstarter within April 2015. As we want to keep it as simple as possible, the campaign will have only two pledge levels. One with Spiel 2015 pickup and one with worldwide shipping. We want to offer a fixed price for the game+shipping this time regardless of destination.
These are the components of the game.
Square box (ticket 2 ride size) with a plastic tray
2-Sized game board (ticket 2 ride size)
180-200 cards (Aliens,weapons, explosives, items, events, scenarios etc)
16 custom engraved dice
16 regulars dice
1 custom D3 6-sided die
Lots of tokens (wound markers, acid tokens, spawn tokens, alien item tokens etc)
6 Character boards
1 rulebook (English)
1 digital timer (shown in Mission 5)
and last but not least approx 75-80 miniatures (almost all miniatures will be 3-6cm tall)
The game weighs approx 2.5KGs. In order to minimize shipping costs which will allow us to charge much less for shipping, we plan on shipping into 2 separate 2KG boxes. One will include the game without miniatures and the other will include the game's miniatures (on a separate box) plus all stretch rewards, add-ons etc.
For the game + worldwide shipping of 2x2KG packages we are doing the best we can to offer it at the cost of $80 (doing everything we can to avoid going higher). We've prepared lots of awesome stretch rewards (mostly super cool new miniatures with new abilities) so based on how well the campaign goes, those $80 will also include many more miniatures and other game material.
So here is the big questions. Provided you watch the reviews, read the rulebook and feel like you like the game, do you feel that $80 is a good price for what we offer?
Your thoughts are most welcome
As always I end this blog post with a nice sneak peek
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First of all as you may have noticed we've settled on a more search-engine-friendly title for the game which is now called Project: ELITE
Todays focus is on the time aspect on the game.
We plan on adding a digital timer into the box. A digital timer offers lots of capabilities that mp3, cd or an hour glass can't. We intend to offer downloadable mp3s to set the mood but since every second of every round counts in this game, a timer is exactly what's needed.
Below is a photo of the actual component we plan on including in each box.
So why is a timer so important? Here are the main reasons.
1) The Leader (person controlling the timer) is always able to inform all players of the exact time remaining in each round. During their planning, player often undertake small missions that need to be done during each round. By being informed by the leader of the time remaining at any given moment, they can act better and calculate when it is a good time to start doing what needs to be done.
2) You can easily pause. In intro games players may want to pause for clarifications. Also I believe players should be able to stop the time if one's die falls off the table. Its really harsh having to dive under the table to catch a fallen die knowing that you may be leading your team to its doom by wasting precious time
3) Several Event as well as alien abilities reduce the time of each round for as long as they remain in play. With a timer is it super easy to adjust the round's time.
4) Assuming there will be a campaign option for the game, players can invest in buying more time for future rounds/games. Having a timer makes it super easy to make such adjustments.
Time is what makes Project: ELITE a very intense game. You never have enough time to do all you need to do. Time is always against you. It is very rare that players find themselves completely out of harm's way before the round ends. Even in such cases, players should spend any remaining time to prepare for the next round getting in position for next round's tasks or searching for additional equipment.
Time is a precious resource in Project: ELITE and as you play, you often see it drift away while being pinned down by aliens blocking your objective or by having to move aliens after rolling Move Alien symbols (which happens alot!). This game really makes you feel that everything has a cost in time.
The fact that you need to stop your thoughts flow to move your enemy or even the time you have to waste moving your rolled symbols onto a weapon/item to activate it will make you see time through a different perspective. Adrenaline goes up as you expect the timer to beep at any moment signaling the end of the round and perhaps the end of your futile attempt to fight off those aliens...
Moments ago we released our first teaser video for the game.
I hope you like it.
Thank you very much
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- I need help here! They keep coming!
- Medic! Medic!
- They are pushing us back! We are trapped inside Base corridors. Someone pull them out!
- Get back! Get back! I’m going to use the sonic blaster!
- OK, OK, we have cleared the corridor…
- We’re running out of time. Someone has to activate the explosives.
- I’m getting out. Cover me. How much time do we have?
- Less than 1 minute…
- Keep them away from the reactor!
- Get back John! Get back now!
- I can’t reach the check point! There’s not enough time! I can’t…
Hard to believe, but this is not an action movie script. It’s an actual dialogue while playing Project: ELITE. If anything else there’s a lot of yelling and shouting in this game! It’s very hard for all Atripia’s personnel to work when we’re playtesting ELITE. Well, I’m just joking about this last one. Anyway, it’s bosses new design, so no one can make a complain. Ha!
Unfortunately, my home is on the other side of Athens, so it’s a small trip for me when I’m visiting Atripia’s offices for a playtest session. Cooperative game design is a hard task, but I’m the person to consult if you want to try it. I could actually write a book about it! Together with Konstantinos Kokkinis we recently designed New Dawn. Three years ago with Nikolas Sakaloglou we created Briefcase and after that Archon: Glory & Machination. I have also two more projects, Crisis and Replicators with Pantelis Bouboulis. So, someone would ask why am I always working with a co-designer. The answer is simple: do you like solitaire games? Sure, they are OK, but isn’t much better when you have a gaming group to share the fun? The same holds for game design. I quickly realized that game designing could be fun on its own. Especially ELITE…
Each time we have a meeting with Konstantinos for ELITE, we end up playing countless rounds. The fun factor of this game is very high. If you think that game design is all hard work and no fun, you have to participate in an ELITE session. Although I could work on the project on my own, adding characters or weapons, doing some balancing or fine tuning the mechanics, I always find an excuse to go for a good old fashioned play test session at Artipia’s! After 5-6 hours of shouting and slaying aliens, I return home full of happiness!
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I'm happy to announce that the project is moving in a very fast pace and pre-production has started!
I would like to dedicate today's Mission to the movement of Alien
An alien's movement and position on the board at any given moment is really important in this game.
As mentioned in Mission 2, players must also move the aliens during their Round when rolling Move Alien symbols which can create opportunities or lead to disaster based on how well it is handled. Co-operation is key at this point so players with more experience will be able to shift this to their advantage.
While an Alien moves as many steps as their profile indicates during their own turn, the chosen Alien only moves one step when a Move Alien symbol is rolled.
While the arrows on the board dictate the direction an Alien can move towards, most times a player has more than one direction to choose from giving him/her a strategic advantage. This is done perfectly during the Alien turn where player not only get to choose the path each Alien will follow, but also the order in which they will move.
In the real-time phase however it is a different story. The pressure of killing your enemy and completing objectives gets players so focused that when they roll a Move Alien symbol (and they do that every few seconds) their choice on which Alien to move and where to send them is often not the best one. This is one of the most fun parts of this game. Having to make instant choice that second after you realize were not the best ones
I think that player will appreciate the amount of cooperation this game has to offer. Players need to be aware of what their teammates are doing. Sometimes you just need to keep some Aliens alive to offer your teammates an option for their Move Alien rolls. Sometimes you need to wait for them to kill the last Alien on the board so that you may ignore the Move Alien symbols you just rolled. You often need to stop playing for some time in order to give your opponents a better chance of success.
Imagine a teammate trying to kill an Alien and you being far away trying to reach them and help. While you do that you also roll Move Alien symbols which force you to also move that Alien away from your teammate. A balance must be kept and communication is the key for success. Of course this will not be easy in your first plays but after a few missions, you will begin paying attention to more details discovering the game's depth.
As I said above, we have began pre-production of the game so I will close this blog post with a couple of teasers on the game's miniatures
I hope you like them
These are preview of the miniatures. Changes will be done such as enlargement of their bases.
See you on the next mission!
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Disclaimer: Some of the visual elements presented below are temp artwork found on the internet used for play-testing and rules explanation reasons.
First of all let me thank everyone who already offered their feedback on the project regarding the title. We will take everything into consideration and make proper adjustments to the title.
I'm really excited that we are already receiving comments and feedback on the project
So let's move on! Today I'm going to be explaining more about the dice and the mechanics behind them.
As mentioned in Mission 1, the game has dice. 6-sized custom dice with symbols allowing each player to perform action based on the symbol or combination of symbol they roll. Each player has 4 dice. Each die has the same 6 symbols on it. I should mention here that the game will feature a 2-sided Ticket 2 Ride-sized game board. Each side will have a different map that will come with its own set of scenarios. Each side consists of a grid of squares(steps) approx 5x5cm.
This is a map created by various elements found on the web to serve as a prototype. Once everything is final, a professional artist will illustrate each map.
Apart from the objectives players must complete depending on which map they are playing on, there is always the tower defense element in play. This means that if at any time during the number of round determined by the scenarion, an alien manages to reach the area the player are protecting, the aliens win the game. I will explain how this works below.
Now let's take a look at the dice.
1) MOVE - Whenever a player roll a MOVE symbol, that player may move his/her character on the board 1 step in any direction.
2) SEARCH - There are several spaces on each map depicting crates that the team has brought for the mission. Using the search symbol a player can search there for weapons/items/explosives. The search symbol can also be used as part of the activation cost for various weapons and/or items.
3) USE - The USE symbol appears on several objective tiles and is also part of the activation cost for various weapons and/or items. It is also the main symbol appearing on alien technology that player has the chance to get their hand on when killing advanced aliens (bosses) or when fulfilling objectives.
4) FIX - The FIX symbol often appear in the use of explosives and/or various items.
5) SHOOT - The SHOOT symbol is the main part of the activation cost of weapons. It is also needed in the fulfillment of some objectives.
Last but certainly not least...
6) MOVE ALIEN - This is what makes this game so different and cool . Each time a player rolls a MOVE ALIEN symbol, before doing any further actions, he/she must first choose any alien figure on the board and move it one step following the arrows. Some squares on the board only have one arrow on them forcing the alien to move on another specific square while others offer the player several options to choose from. This means that apart from the pre-determined movement each alien gets during the Alien Phase, they are also constantly moved forward by the players themselves which results in a very intense experience during real-time play. The end result is a live battlefield where everything is moving.
So... each map has a large grid of squares (there are narrow spot, obstacles, corridors, doorways etc based on the map). Each square has a number of arrows on it that are used for the Alien movement and the abilities of some Alien and/or Weapons. Player can move their characters in any direction ignoring those arrows.
Now lets see more details about the dice.
Doing anything in this game has a cost. A cost depicted in symbols a player needs to roll. There are 3 types of symbols. In our play-tests so far we have been using two of those types but there will be a 3rd one which I'll also explain that will be used less often. So let's focus on one symbol (search) and learn about the different types.
1) Unlimited Use - Most costs in the game depict the symbols I explained above in a white background. In such cases, the action that can be performed by rolling that/those symbol(s) can be performed unlimited times during each Round. You do however need to re-roll those symbols each time you want to do that action.
2) Limited Use
Remember the SEARCH symbol and how I said that there are several areas on the game board (crates) you can search for items? Well. Those areas as well as many other in the game (weapons,items,objectives,events etc) depict symbols on a red background. The difference here is that those actions may be performed only once each Round. To make this easier to do, when doing an action that has a red background on its symbols (for example searching a crate for weapons/items/explosives) the player must leave that dice on that action until the end of the Round (in most cases, 2 minutes).
This puts a player in a very exciting dilemma.
You can play your Round using only actions with white backgrounds on their cost and risk rolling the symbols needed on a red background at the very end of a Round,
You can use a red background action early in the Round (to ensure you will be able to do that action) but lose one (or more) of your dice for the remainder of the Round.
Note that there will be Round where all 4 of your dice will end up on red background actions. The question is how soon will you put them there
The third type that we expect to start adding into our game soon it a "blue?" background. To perform an action that has one (or more?) symbol with a blue background, you will need to permanently remove one of your dice from the game leaving you with fewer dice for the remainder of the game. We intend on adding such a cost on very powerful items or as cost to complete an objective and since objective can be completed by many players together, who will sacrifice their die for the team?
The first two type really give us lots of control over actions/weapons and allow us to control how powerful they will be. For example a really powerful weapon has a shoot symbol on a red background making its available to use only once per Round. Of course there are other items that allow you to bypass that or give you another use of any weapon in your possession etc.
I will present those in future missions
Thank you for reading. Your feedback and comments are always welcome!
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