A journey of discovery…

Game Design

There are many games that use the Rise of the Occulites setting being developed as we speak.

Together, these games form a series called the Rise of the Occulites Saga, which follows the Occulites throughout the evolution of their species and their society. They are set at different times of the Occulite’s civilisation and all use clever, but simple to use mechanics to produce engaging gameplay.

Rise of the Occulites Saga Games

Dawn – Rise of the Occulites I

Being published in 2014 by Darwin Games and Eagle Games following a successful Kickstarter campaign mid 2013.

The first game in the series “Dawn – Rise of the Occulites” is a miniatures boardgame. It is set in a time when the Occulite civilisation is just forming. Occulites travel from cave to cave in small tribes. Daily life is tough, with Sungems and territory being vital to a tribe’s ability to survive. The game features objective based skirmish gameplay and sees you steer your tribe through a fully customisable campaign, but pick up and play scenarios are also on offer. Dawn uses an innovative card based action resolution system called ‘The Natural Selection Deck’ that is easy to use but forces relevant and important decisions to be made.

This game is complete and due to be released in 2014.

Dawn Box Lid Chosen with extra Luftle 50%

Dice of the Occulites

Completed and in advanced playtest (as of beginning of 2013). Some art still required.

Dice of the Occulites is a fast, fun and tactically challenging new game set in the Occulite universe. It is a separate game to Dawn – Rise of the Occulites, but takes place at the same time. Whereas Dawn allows you to take control of a Tribe of Occulites, Dice of the Occulites allows you to take control of the role of someone that has found a ‘window in space’ and begins to research the world of Crepusculum. Each player starts the game with a particular Tribe they are interested in researching (represented by 6 dice in that Tribe’s colour), but as the game goes on, players can share knowledge with others to broaden their interests and put them in the best place to make discoveries each round. Roll your dice, allocate them to the six cards that appear each round and then resolve each one by one. But victory isn’t assured as each card has a game changing effect that will need to be taken into account to make the best discoveries and win the game.


Sungem Run! – A Rise of the Occulites game

Completed with limited first edition released December 2013. Second edition bound for Kickstarter mid 2014, published by Darwin Games.

Sungem Run! is a 2-8 player hidden role game that utilises dice, your natural sneakiness and skills of misdirection. It takes place directly after Dawn – Rise of the Occulites and has you representing an Occulite Tribe that didn’t quite collect enough Sungems for the Long Dark. Your Tribe is forced to find a nearby Podmothine and harvest Sungems from it without being caught by the other Tribes in the area that are doing the same thing. If they are caught away from their Home Cave by another Tribe though, their existing supply of Sungems will be put at risk of theft, so they must do so undiscovered in the dark. Each Tribe’s Chief guards their Home Cave as the rest of the Tribe goes out to harvest Sungems from a local Podmothine, their way lit by a single Sungem each. Harvesting Sungems isn’t that easy when the Podmothine defends itself though and if at any time they find themselves without the light of a Sungem, the Tribe becomes lost and will have to find their own way back home. Which Tribe will be the most sneaky and skillful? This, is Sungem Run!

On average games/rounds take 10-30 minutes depending on the number of players. Games of Sungem Run! are tense and exciting as you try and find out who the other player’s Tribe is and then how to expose them without exposing yourself. A game of sneakiness, misdirection and deduction, Sungem Run! is a blast to play!

Sungem Run Front Cover

Dusk – Rise of the Occulites II

Completed and in advanced playtest (as of beginning of 2013). Some art still required.

Dusk – Rise of the Occulites II is the second game in the Rise of the Occulites Saga. The Occulite Tribes have expanded from their small groups of five, to much larger numbers. Over time individuals in these groups have evolved into specialist roles within their Tribe. Each Tribe pushes towards different objectives.

The game uses a Stratego-like fog of war to place your characters on a modular map. Each character has an ability which can only be utilised when it is revealed. The game also features the ‘Natural Selection Deck’ which first appeared in original game in the Saga: Dawn – Rise of the Occulites. You draw your hand of cards from the Natural Selection Deck during the game which you use to activate characters, move, fight, resolve events and activate special Tribal abilities.

Revealing your characters at the right time and using the ‘Natural Selection Deck’, your Tribe’s abilities and the features of the map effectively will help you complete your objectives and win.

The composition of each Tribe is different and plays differently. The game offers a number of different Objectives of which between 1 and 3 are selected secretly before the game. The winner is the player who completes all his or her objectives first.

Palaudis Warrior

The Tribes of Crepusculum – Rise of the Occulites III

Still in concept with no projected release date yet. Internal playtesting underway.

The third game in the series formally known as “Time of the Occulites” is also a boardgame. It is set in a time when the Occulites civilisation has advanced to where Tribes are no longer scattered, but agreed boundaries for the lands have been developed. Unfortunately, not all Tribes are happy with what they have and greed takes over. Different tribes are now factions who are all vying for their own lands, each having their own agendas and visions of grandeur. This is a boardgame on a much larger scale. Whole armies march across the lands. Can your faction achieve its goals without forcing itself to extinction?

The game features asymmetrical Tribe decks and dice allocation to help resolve the actions your army takes on the map.

Also working on an expansion that allows the game to be played both competitively and cooperatively.

Crepusculum Proof of Concept Map Thumbnail

The Drums of War – Rise of the Occulites IV

Still in concept with no projected release date yet. Internal playtesting and mechanic development underway.

The fourth game in the Rise of the Occulites Saga looks at the battles in The Tribes of Crepusculum on a different level, zooming into each battlefield individually and placing you in control of the tactical decisions you need to make as Chief of your Tribe’s army. This game follows the battles that took place throughout this period of time in the Occulite’s history. With details on location, troops and leaders present, historical outcome and what each battle meant for the war on the whole, this game sheds more light on the Occulite story.

The development of this game is at a crossroad and can go one of two ways. The decision on which way to go is dependent on the popularity of any games released previously.

Palaudis Tribe Concepts low res

Arena – Rise of the Occulites V

Still in concept with no projected release date yet. Internal playtesting and mechanic development underway.

The fifth game in the Rise of the Occulites Saga takes place after the great wars have subsided and diplomacy rules.

Darwin is now an old man, his secret passed down to his son’s family, who are in the process of passing it onto a son of their own. As the generations go by on Earth, so too do they on Crepusculum, but much, much faster.

The Occulites’ ability to be reborn is dwindling as the massive wars that savaged their numbers cease to take place and a sense of relative peace falls upon the lands.

Politics and trade push forth as the dominant social features of the Occulite landscape, with most disputes being settled through diplomacy… but sometimes that is not enough and a Puscual-skin gauntlet is thrown harshly to the ground. Such things are not done lightly though and specially trained combatants are nominated to take to an arena to settle their Tribes’ disputes. All Tribes must bear witness to these events to maintain their legitimacy and ensure their fairness. The Arena is a spiritual place where the revered combatants are guaranteed a reborning, guaranteeing each fighter gives their very all for their Tribe’s cause.

There are some more unscrupulous members of Occulite society that believe they could make a living from such events and push the Quorum to introduce it as a form of entertainment. After all, it is apparently what the citizens ‘want’.

Arena – Rise of the Occulites V is the fifth game in the Rise of the Occulites Saga. It lets you take control of a single combatant taking to the Arena, whether it be for your Tribe’s cause, or for a purse full of Tokens, in the end to the crowd of citizens watching, it matters not…

Arena Board low res

Other games set in Crepusculum…

There are other games that have been developed or are in development but aren’t part of the Saga. These are stand alone games independent of the timeline the Saga uses.

The Great Battle of Crepusculum

Currently being redeveloped and has no projected release date. Internal playtesting and ongoing mechanic development underway.

Formally known as ‘Race to Dusk’, The Great Battle of Crepusculum is a cardgame that depicts the great wars Crepusculum has seen during its ages. This game sees you build your Tribe and its alliances over the course of the game, buying cards for your army with some deckbuilding ‘with a twist’ mechanics. This game is designed to have a core set of cards, which is then expanded by Story Packs, introducing new units and elements into the game. The game can then be played with a selection of these included, all of them or none of them.

The game has seen some radical changes over the years which has been to the great benefit of it. This particular game started its life as my first ever serious attempt at game design around 8 years ago as a game called “Muppets” where you had to collect a certain amount of ‘Entertainment Points’ to win the game. Due to the impossibility of using it in its original theme, it has received a complete overhaul and is a game that I am really excited about and continue to work on and develop.

Card Template Example Palaudis Younglings Super low res

Unnamed Prototype Dice Game.

Currently being redeveloped and has no projected release date. Internal playtesting and ongoing mechanic development underway.

This game is a dice rolling game in which you build your Tribe up and collect Sungems and Victory Points. It is currently being redeveloped to streamline it and speed up gameplay.

Dice of the Occulites EC002 sample

If you are interested in finding out more about these games, I would love to hear from you.

Please feel free to contact me via email at: ben.boersma@gmail.com


All concepts, narrative and images on this website are © Ben Boersma 2004-2014


4 responses

  1. caradoc

    Ok – these are the overviews I was looking for!

    Sounds great Ben! The last game in the series sounds like a game design I was tossin around for a while (not the theme of course!).

    Really cool stuff – looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.



    April 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  2. Canyon

    I better be able to play nimbus in all these games!

    Also I want to design board, card and video games any advice you could give?


    October 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

  3. boromirandkermit

    Fingers crossed Canyon. The plan is that you can play Nimbus in all of them. With Dawn, let’s just hope we hit that $45K stretch goal soon (and blast past it).

    In terms of advice. Go for something unique and make sure you’re passionate about it because there are lots of setbacks along the way. Without being passionate about what you are doing, there are many times when it would be easier to give up.
    I have been and am extremely passionate about the Occulites, without that passion and the belief I have in the game and the setting, I wouldn’t have gotten this far.


    October 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    • Canyon

      Thanks ben, those nymphlet and puscal figure are awsome, best of luck shooting past 75K Now I am going to learn how to paint occulites don’t paint themselves you know.

      October 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

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