Earlier this month, some two weeks ago Harebrained Schemes, the minds behind Shadowrun, are concocting a new recipe for tabletop gaming that is determined to be faster and earlier to learn than the current figurine-games on the market. Harebrained has successfully integrated figurines with smart devices via a bluetooth connection that will provide a truly unique game. Here is a brief interview with the game designer,Jordan Wiesman, a leading team member in the development of Glem Arcana. Anyone looking for more information on the this game can feel free jump to the official site here.
TECHZWN: How does Harebrained plan to distribute these figures? Will players be able to buy more playable characters in a store or online only?
Wiesman: The Golem Arcana base game and added plastic pre-painted miniatures will be available in hobby and game shops next summer as well as online from our website.
TECHZWN: If each playable golem is attached with an app to the user’s personal device, will players have difficulty trading golems they come across with other players?
Wiesman: Since the player “scans” in each Golem miniature by simply touching it with the stylus each game there is no problem with trading or selling the Golem figures to other players. Just to be clear there would be no online task associated with the trading or selling a Golem figure.
TECHZWN: The, “out-of-the-box” phrase indicates that there are more golems to collect separately. But are there any enhancements using the app that players can achieve when away from the tabletop?
Wiesman: Not currently – the only way to play Golem Arcana is on the tabletop with the figures and terrain tiles.
TECHZWN: The Stylus is a very cool way to communicate between the physical world and the digital. May I ask: Will each figurine need a source of power to send data to the stylus? And does the stylus need a battery charge to work?
Wiesman: We did a lot of research to select the lowest cost highest reliability technology for the game. One of the reasons we went with the microdot tech was that the figures and terrain tile did not need any chips, power, or tech at all- they are just printed with a special ink to allow them to be read by the stylus. The stylus does use 2 AAA batteries which are not rechargeable. In the prototype we are getting about 14 hours of continuous play from a pair of batteries.
TECHZWN. The trailer on the website shows the opinions of a lot of young adults at the conventions where they were able to try it out. Is Golem Arcana also intended for younger players too?
Wiesman: Golem Arcana features a deep tactical game system but is designed to be accessible to younger players because the tech handles all the of the rules adjudication and rules reference so the game becomes very “discoverable” as you play. One of our hopes is that Golem Arcana and the tabletop digital interface system it is built on opens up sophisticated tabletop games to a broader audience.
TECHZWN. How does Harebrained intend on expressing the deep story behind Golem Arcana?
Wiesman: This is one of the things we are most excited about with Golem Arcana – the unique way that we can tightly link gameplay and fiction. The game App itself is a wonderful way to distribute fiction and scenarios which are associated with the stories. We hope to eventually also do novels like Jordan did with BattleTech and Shadowrun.
TECHZWN. If Golem Arcana meets its all Kickstarter requirements, how quickly can we see an expansion on on the original gameplay pieces, such as battle mats and figurines?
Wiesman: Well the Kickstarter campaign already features 28 Golems – which is a lot for the initial launch of the game – so there might be a short breather before more Golems come out after the launch. That said the idea is for a regular release of new Golems, Knights, Ancient Ones, and Terrain Tiles.