Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prototype Pictures and Screen Shots

All the parts of Prototype-Zero, laid out for display.
Token art is intentionally blurred.

I confess.  It's all about the bits.

As you probably noticed from the pictures from the playtest session, we've been using home-made kits for our games.  This is actually one of the cool things about ARS VICTOR -- it's designed to be easy to make at home.  You can use off-the-shelf parts -- miniatures, playing cards, dice, and poker chips -- for most of the game, and you can Print-and-Play the rest.

While this has worked fine so far, we're also going to be selling custom components, for the ARS VICTOR connoisseur.  You'll be able to buy parts individually, or get them as complete ready-to-play kits.

This is how we play ARS VICTOR... livin' in the ghetto.
Not Pictured: a forty and some chronic.
Last week, I got my first manufactured prototype in the mail!  I'm using a great Print-on-Demand service called The Game Crafter.  It's sort of like a Cafe Press for board games -- you upload your art assets, pick pieces for your kit, and they produce and ship it for you.  You can even sell your product in their store, and let them handle it all.

Here's a breakdown of all the parts from "Prototype-Zero", as I've been calling it:
The Map Tiles
That is not a misprint or miscut;
Those edges actually match up when offset slightly.

Instead of printing these suckers out, you can order professionally-printed game boards.  Even if you decide to use off-the-shelf poker chips, playing cards, and dice, these map tiles are still going to be useful.

They're supposed to be double sided; unfortunately I mirrored the front and back art the wrong way (left-to-right, not top-to-bottom).  This has been fixed for Prototype One.

The Banners

The banners, used for identifying unit suit.
Foreground: order tokens and blank step tokens.
This is the other part that requires printing: the unit banners.  Each unit gets a banner that aligns them with a particular suit.  I'm experimenting with some other interfaces to express the same idea, but I haven't found anything I like.

The P-zero banners are definitely too big, and fall over too easily.  A strong breeze -- such as would be generated by an enraged opponent -- easily knocks them over.  P-one has significantly smaller banners.

Yarrr, skulls are SCARY.
The Dice

This was a last minute addition that I'm particularly pleased with -- custom dice!  For the DIY crowd, you can just use regular old red, white, and blue dice.  Each one causes "hits" on different numbers.  I discovered that TGC is now offering dice stickers, so I ordered me up a bunch of these!

They definitely need some new art, but they make combat resolution significantly faster.  You don't have to remember which numbers matter, you just count the skulls!

The stickered dice are also giving me a chance to experiment with some different ways for attack dice to interact with targets.  You can see in the picture, a skull-on-shield, and a half skull-on-shield.  These are both used in conjunction with Tough targets.

New Token Stickers

I just placed the order for Prototype-One earlier this week.  Here's a teaser of some of the new unit art, along with a description of the unit from the Terran force list:

It's not supposed to be pronounced "sucky",
but I suspect it will be.

Socii (Foederati)

The word literally translates to “Allies”; in reality, it seems to translate to “bunch of extremely disposable cannon fodder.”  Socii are local troops with low-tech small arms -- only vaguely effective, even in large numbers.  They’re under the command of a Legion officer who is there to “bolster unit morale” -- primarily by eliminating members of the unit who are hurting it by running for their lives.

Socii are a cheap, disposable Tier 1 unit.  With five steps, there’s no chance that they’ll get one-shotted, except by the most ferocious attacks.  They don’t have a lot of killing power, but they have the Standfast ability, which makes them a good choice for holding ground or delaying the enemy’s heavy units.  With their bodies.

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