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Subject: "In Tenebris Lux" WIP thread for my card game rss

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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Hello all! Two friends and I have been working this year on getting a card game through from conception to completion. Not an easy task! The game, called In Tenebris Lux, uses cards to build a set of catacombs under Rome's streets, during the late 19th century. The players select a character to represent them as the move through the darkness collecting ancient items, fighting abominations, and completing quests. The inspiration comes from the show Penny Dreadful, and all of the horror classics we grew up with, Stoker's Dracula in particular. The goal is to feel overwhelmed in a dark and terrible world. You are the light in the darkness.

My job is producing half of the art and doing the layout and graphic design- the latter has been a struggle I've been getting help with this week from the bad asses here at BGG. I usually spend my time freelancing miniature design, so this is all a new venture for me.

I have some cards to put up now, they each have a pair with a different border for comparison on where I am with Graphic design. I'd LOVE to have all of the gold info, borders, numbers and type get metallic inc or foil stamping, but that sounds like its going to be very, very expensive... I'm looking for options now.

The first set is a monster you encounter, Cave Dweller (Asylum Escapee)

The second set are and Item you can find and equip, Clarity Born of Madness

The third set is an ancient dagger you can find and equip, Dagger in the Darkness

The fourth and fifth sets are 4 versions of layout examples for one of the characters, the Papal Knight (this is in Rome! )


Thanks for taking a look, if you have any questions of thoughts please feel free! Thanks for your time!

Owen
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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After quite a bit of help from forum member Andrew Gaia I think I am getting close to the final iteration of this card, and more importantly, the lay out for the characters.

My group is split 2 to 3 on whether or not laying the text along the side of the cards is a good idea. I'll be honest, what felt like a an aesthetically pleasing choice is now making me loose sleep t night. I don't know if its worth the discord in the group. Not only has design proven to be not easy, its literally become the hardest part of the job.

Live and learn!
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James Myers
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Mandelbrot/Simurgh hybrid etc etc
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I made both of these fractals, hurray!
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It looks cool, but... people will be annoyed about having to turn the card sideways to read the rules text.
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Terwox wrote:
It looks cool, but... people will be annoyed about having to turn the card sideways to read the rules text.


Yeah, exactly what to one guy keeps saying... The other guy is not bothered, and I'm making the call, lol! Thanks for your help.
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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I just have time for a quick post. This is a Pirate that is being developed right now of this project. Its currently awaiting a critique in the art forum. If you have any thoughts please let me know! Have a great day!








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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Another day, another piece. I'm currently working on the revisions to the Pirate above, but while awaiting that critique I was able to get work done on this guy, who is nearing completion.

In other news, the battle for vertical vs horizontal text continues. I'm not sure if its aesthetically valuable to go vertical, anymore... I'm getting interested in seeing it in the plain old classic horizontal fashion... Time will tell. I'd certainly not lose any support for switching it up at this point, lol! Choices...
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Ive been out awhile, dealing with deadlines, but I have two new WIP's, and two finals to show...


Finals, completed with the critique, advice, and guidance of Andrew Gaia, from these forums. Thank you, Sir!





Two new ones in development, the Ragamuffin and the Sikh




Generally speaking, we are looking at Halloween for our attempt at releasing this card game on Kickstarter. The main art is all nearly complete, and set for layout in a week, then off to printers for mock ups. Our editor is hammering the rules and card text as I type... Stuff is happening very fast all of a sudden, lol!

 
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Small update... It turns out that releasing a kickstarter, and making a game from scratch, are NOT in fact simple tasks, lol! We pushed out a couple months to deal with all of the issues and take a less stressful pace. I am learning an amazing amount, and this is a very good experience. I am already eager to do this again, after this first game has made it, and apply all of the lessons I've learned.

So, here is a new design, she was made to take the place of another of the characters as they were too close in design. One of the ills of two different artists working on one project in a vacuum.

Currently we have received printed prototypes of the game and have been blind testing it, or running games, quite a bit. We have made a ton of revisions to streamline the experience, correct typos, and improve the look and feel of the game. Its coming along well. I'm still having the worst time with the decision to go vertical or horizontal with the text... There has been little to no feedback on that from testing... people playing the game seldom seem to care about the art, lol! That seems to be my number 1 decision with the whole experience, in terms of stress, lol!

Its funny what we obsess over, as creators, and what actually becomes issues when the unbiased gamers start actually playing the game...

LEARNING!

Have a great day, all!

 
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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For our Kickstarter campaign, we will be producing a selection of miniatures to use when you play In Tenebris Lux! Behold the Prince, Hakam Singh, as a bust-style miniature. His art can be seen above in this thread. Owen Aurelio did an outstanding job with this concept. His art was brought to life in three dimensions by the talented work of Jonathan Glabas.

Please note, this model is a test print. The model shown has been primed. It is fragile, and the detail will be sharper, but this is an excellent start!
 
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Garry Hoddinott
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The art work is very very good, but the design work detracts from it. Too many fatuous filigrees that look girlie or prissy. The art conveys boldness and vigour - the design is frilly and dainty. If you wanted that juxtaposition you have it, but it takes up card space, makes some stuff hard to see and in some places obscures the art. Sorry if I sound critical, I actually think the filigree stuff is terrific, but not meshed with art and theme as displayed.

If you have to hold cards in your hand for this game, be aware that only the left side is visible to most players ... right handed ones. If you needed to see some icons of other cards you hold, it makes sense to have those on the left side, with most important stuff high on the side.
 
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Very good points, and thank you for them. We printed an alpha set, tested it even more, and made a new deck based on the experience. All of the text has been moved to horizontal format, so that we could get better mileage out of the "dashboard" space each player manages. It made the aggressive partner temporarily happy, lol. It will be easier for lefties, and I hadn't even thought of that impact!

The border and design are meant to be evocative of design in the late 19th century, though not exact. You are meant to get a feeling from it. Great point about the juxtaposition... I hadn't thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense. I'm a big fan of contrast so I think it works as intended, and your description was spot on. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Trust me, I can take hard criticism if it's constructive. It's actually harder to come by than you think. More often than not people won't say what the issues are because they are afraid of hurting feelings.

Obscuring art is a tough one. I always err on the side of clarity for the game play. If art gets dinged it is less a concern for me, and I'm the artist,, lol. The ultra majority of blind testers never even looked at the art, they rotated the cards the easiest way for them to play and just got down to it... that made it an easier decision for me to lay the text horizontally and just lose some image on each card. The art should bring people in, but the game needs to keep them.

Happy new year, my man, this is much appreciated!
 
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Hello, all. Here are some new images I have been working on for stretch goals. We went live today. Honestly, the feeling is so insane I feel like I could puke. lol!




The Kickstarter for my game, IN TENEBRIS LUX went live today. I got a lot of feedback from members here, along the way, especially Andrew Gaia. Thank you BGG for all of the help!




https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2129541221/in-tenebris-...



Likes and shares of our Facebook page enters you in a chance for a drawing to be painted up as an Explorer in the game. https://www.facebook.com/INTENEBRISLUX/
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Well, we funded. Amazing. I just want to say THANK YOU again to all of the people here that helped out, especially Andrew Gaia. BGG, you are awesome.
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v b
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Why doesn't this have its own bgg entry??
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Skrell wrote:
Why doesn't this have its own bgg entry??


It is been in review for 4 weeks. I just got the review back today and it says my description was not complete enough, so I need to redo that and resubmit it. It will be there eventually. I just didn't understand it had to be done so far in advance. This has been an insane learning process.

Tomorrow is the last day, still time if you're interested!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2129541221/in-tenebris-...
 
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N S.
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So, I'm surprised this still isn't in the Bgg database. How's that process going? I skipped the KS but would like to buy this game when it is available.
 
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Thank you for your interest and following along! I submitted the write up 3 times but had it rejected every time as the reviewer did not like my description of the mechanics. I'll have to try again, but I've been working on the print side recently. We can only get so much done at once. I'll take another Crack at it very soon, the printing end looks to be under control at this point.
 
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Will there be any retail distribution or way to buy the game direct, for those of us who missed the KS?
 
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Yes!

Hoping up on our Facebook, send us a message over there. As soon as our backers are taken care of we will have extras for those that would like a copy. It will be direct, we don't have distribution set up.

https://www.facebook.com/INTENEBRISLUX/
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Hello all! I just wanted to post a quick update. Working on the game has taken up all my time and focus, but we are shipping now so I'll be free for new pursuits and spending more time here again.

This is our current Update, and soon we will make the game available for interested gamers, AFTER backers have received their copies, of course.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2129541221/in-tenebris-...

Next steps here are to continue trying to get my BGG submission approved, its failed a few times.

Here is the Witch illustration I did for one of the final cards. This was a special prize to make one of our backers, drawn at random, into a playable character in the game.

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Tommy Rayburn
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Really hoping you get the BGG page up soon.

Questions:

1. Your video and rules have a different range of numbers for receiving horrors vs nothing, which one is right 1-3 or 1-2 for nothing?
2. It is only one card per slot for a character? If I pull only hand items at the beginning, should I discard and pull again?
3. What does the number on the dice in the video have to do with the doom tracker? Would any tracker do?
4. Do I resolve all movement despite beating horrors or not?
 
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Todd Hughes
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and I'd like to add another question.. In the game you have a public as well as a personal narrative. If you complete the public narrative, does that satisfy the victory condition? or must you complete your own personal narrative to win?
 
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Owen Matthew Aurelio
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Tommy, Thank you for taking the time to ask questions here! I need to figure out how to make a page here for discussion, I just don’t know yet. I’ve spent all of my time here in the Designer Forums. Our rule designer, James, is the final word on these questions, but I think I have this.

1. I think you are referring to the Room roll that attracts a Horror and advances the Doom Counter on a roll of 1-2. The video was made before final tests and tweaks and may have some differences.

2. Yes, one card per slot. If you randomly draw 3 items for the same slot its tough luck. It has happened to me many times. You are, of course, welcome to make revisions as you see fit!

3. For a counter on the Doom Counter any counter would do. I use a glass bead. A die or penny fit well.

4. I am not exactly sure what you are referring to. I’ll give it a shot. In the Seek Phase you can move and make room rolls. If you encounter a Horror you must fight it. If you SHIFT you do not get to make room rolls, but you can elect to not fight the Horrors in the room.

Todd, thank you as well, Sir!

Yes, resolving the Public Narrative will end the game. It’s a race and ensures that you have options and must manage the other Explorers well. You may also win by resolving your own Narrative.

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