A journey of discovery…

Update on Dawn and info on Dusk – Rise of the Occulites II

Welcome to the first post here of 2012. I hope that the new year is a fun and successful year for all of you!

As you have noticed (and some have emailed me about – and rightly so) the December release for Dawn – Rise of the Occulites did not happen. While this may look like bad news, it is in fact quite the opposite. Exciting things are in motion for Dawn, which will be announced when we have more information to share. Just know that it is a positive delay. We are also taking this time to refine the rules, add in examples and more scenarios to the game (which is always a good thing!). Look for more information on the release of Dawn soon.

Besides working on Dawn over the holidays, I’ve taken up the opportunity to work a bit on Dusk (the second game in the Rise of the Occulites series). The gameplay is really smooth now, but I decided to upgrade my prototype a bit with some artwork. So I have been sketching and colouring on the PC to print out some 19mm x 19mm stickers to affix onto 20mm x 20mm coloured blocks.Here is a sample of some of the artwork I’m using for my prototype…

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Dusk – Rise of the Occulites II is a fast and fun boardgame for two players which takes place further into the Occulites timeline. The Occulite Tribes are now much more advanced. The simple family of five members has been forced out of existence as Occulite numbers swell. With this swelling of numbers, comes the need to expand their territories. Dusk sees you take control of an Occulite Tribe and tactically manoeuvre its members to achieve a series of secret objectives before your opponent does.

The Luftles Tribes appear to have been suppressed by this quick expansion of Occulite numbers and they now only appear as auxiliaries available to all Tribes.

This currently leaves 5 Tribes competing for dominance:

The Palaudis, Floris, Hydris, Ignis and Nimbus. Each of these Tribes have 31 blocks available to them for each game.

These 31 blocks consist of: 1x Tribal Chief (this is a mandatory selection, but you have two different Chiefs to choose from depending on your strategy – represented by the same block)
7x Creature blocks, which are available to all Tribes. (1 of which is selected for each game – unless you are playing the Clash of the Creatures scenario)

5x Band 3 Characters (3 of which are selected for each game)

9x Band 2 Characters (5 of which are selected for each game)

9x Band 1 Characters (5 of which are selected for each game)

Stickers are applied to only one side of the block, so there is a strong fog of war element. Some of the Character’s abilities require you to ‘reveal’ your Character to activate their ability and so positioning and careful strategy is very important.

Palaudis Youngling Block

The blocks available to each Tribe are different depending on their Tribe’s focus, but are all taken from a pool of 6 different Band 3 Characters, 5 different Band 2 Characters and 4 different Band 1 Characters. So for example, the Palaudis Tribe have 3 Luftle Rangers, 3 Luftles, 1 Youngling and 2 Tribe Members available to them in Band 1, of which 5 blocks will be chosen. This reflects the strong bond the Palaudis have formed with the Luftles.

Whereas the Floris Tribe has only 2 Luftles, 1 Luftle Ranger, 1 Youngling and 5 Tribe Members available to them in Band 1.You can quickly see how the different numbers of blocks available to each Tribe changes the overall feel of the Tribe.In addition to this, each Tribe has its own Innate Ability that further defines them.

Luftle Chief Creature Block

The board is also modular and is created at the start of the game, with the players having some choice over which terrain appears, so that it can be exploited. You can also purchase “Natural Selection cards” (that are represented differently from Dawn) by spending Tribal Tokens to gain benefits or instil disadvantages on your rival Tribe.

Games are played until between 1 and 3 (chosen at the start of the game) secret objectives have been completed by one Tribe, in which case that Tribe is victorious.

Palaudis Rebornling Block

Games of Dusk – Rise of the Occulites are played out in 20-40 minutes depending on the number of objectives and are very easy to pick up. With all Band Characters being drawn from the same pool of Characters, it is easy to regularly swap Tribes, without having to learn a whole Tribes worth of new special actions. It is a very accessible game, which I hope everyone will enjoy when its released.

Dusk has been extensively tested within Darwin Games, but external Playtesting will begin early this year. Dawn is of course still the focus for the moment. I just wanted to give you all a little insight into what Dusk is about. If you have any questions or may be interested in playtesting further down the track, please don’t hesitate to email me on benATdarwin-games.com.au or reply to this post.

Cheers,
Ben.

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