Board games that tell stories

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Day #5 - DUNE Game Designer's Journal #3 - Cinematic experience

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Dune: House Secrets is an adventure game that offers a fully immersive and interactive experience like none other. During the game, players draw Encounter cards to push the adventure forward, meet Non-Player Characters, and visit various locations in the city of Tel Gezer. In addition to cards, maps, and tokens, the game also comes with the website element. Today we’d like to discuss its role in the game.

The whole team here at Portal Games knows and loves the story of Dune. We know that many of you have read the novel and eagerly await the movie. We are also aware that for many players, Dune: House Secrets might be the first introduction to Arrakis and its story. We are using a dedicated website to help you understand the events in the game and enjoy the richness of the world. Here’s how it works.

Before each game, players log in to the website to watch a short introductory video, which presents the recent events in the city of Tel Gezer and shows the larger picture of what is happening on Arrakis. It’s a great way to start each mission with the right tone. The game builds the theme and rich narration within the first minute!

Later in the game, some of the Encounter cards give players access to additional videos. This part of the game is called History. It presents facts and events that player characters are aware of, but the players themselves may not be. These beautifully animated three-minute „cinematics” give additional background and help players understand the plot. Like many video games, such cut-scenes help explain the background of the story, present additional characters and their unique history. From these animated short videos, players learn about Giedi Prime, the conflict between the Atreides and the Harkonenns, and more.

The website is also used at the end of the Chapter, when players make an important choice and push the whole campaign in a particular direction. We will discuss this in the next update. Stay tuned!

Pre-order Dune: House Secrets to get a special limited edition of the game. ➡️

Check out the update on Monday and see what bonus we’ll be adding to your copy of the game!
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