David Goh
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Endogenesis

This is the official work-in-progress thread — subscribe to get updates of the game's progress!



Synopsis

You and your companions are cosmic spirits in an alien, infant universe. Seeking more, you opened breaches to other realms, setting loose a pandora's box of chaos, knowledge and wonder across your reality. These new experiences confer upon each of you new emotions and varying abilities, blessing you with individualism… while cursing you with differences. Before long, you all turn on each other, descending into a battle royale that will not stop until one finally ascends to godhood.

Endogenesis is a competitive card game that features strategic free-for-all combat with highly customizable gameplay. Collect Skills from the Realm of Knowledge to customize your character with different powers, and upgrade them with Shards that you can earn by defeating your enemies. Also joining the fray are vicious Monsters from the Realm of Chaos. The most powerful of these are called Legendaries; killing them will reward its slayer with a Prism. Be the first to collect 3 Prisms and you win!

Players: 3-5
Aged: 13+
Duration: 15 - 30 minutes per player.

Try the game for free at Tabletopia: https://tabletopia.com/games/endogenesis

BGG Entry: Click here
Website: http://endogenesis.cards
Visit our website to subscribe to our newsletter!



Components

• 113 Poker-sized cards
- 12 Realm of Wonder cards
- 58 Realm of Knowledge cards
- 36 Realm of Chaos cards
- 5 Class cards
- 5 Health cards
• 1 Game board
• 100 Shards
• 6 Health markers
• 6 Max Health markers
• 16 Prisms

Rules (Version: 0.5, Last updated: Oct 30, 2017)

For a detailed look at how the game works, check out the rulebook here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_YzfgPMDj6xajZ6SWtTUHBkdz...
(Still a work in progress!)

Gameplay Summary
• Before the fighting starts, you (and all other players) receive Skills from the Realm of Knowledge deck and Shards to customize your characters with. Everyone starts with 3 base Health.
• Equip the skills you plan on using and spend Shards to upgrade those skills, or to increase your maximum health.
• Once all players have completed customization, the game begins. A monster is revealed from the Realm of Chaos deck.
• Each round will consist of each player taking their turns in a clockwise fashion. The Monster then takes its turn when all players have concluded theirs, ending the round and starting a new one.
• During your turn, you can use Active Skills to attack and destroy your enemies. Skills require Energy to use, which you gain by discarding unwanted Skill cards from your hand.
• Other things you can do during your turn include equipping new Skills, spending Shards to upgrade your characters, or ascending your characters to a new Class when you meet its prerequisites.
• During your opponent's turns, you may use hidden Reaction Skills to defend yourself. Apart from preventing damage, Reaction Skills can be used to set up traps & bluffs to turn the tide of battle.
• Slaying players and Monsters alike gains you Shards and card draw that you can use to further build your character with. Legendary Monsters present a greater threat, but they reward their killer with a Prism when slain — the very thing players need to collect in order to win the game.
• With over 40 Skills and 5 Classes to choose from, customization is immense. Collect skills of the same type to gain its class, or mix and match to find unusual strategies. No one game is ever the same!

Deck Types & Cards

Realm of Knowledge

Skills are the lifeblood of Endogenesis; they are used to destroy your foes and defend yourself against threats. After being equipped, Skills require Energy to use, which is gained by discarding unwanted Skills. Skills fall under 5 categories; Cosmic, Mythic, Entropic, Organic and Mechanic.
Artifacts are cards designed to provide Energy, and also usually have a secondary effect attached to them.

Realm of Chaos

Monsters are dangerous participants in an already chaotic free-for-all battle. Monsters generally act only when all players have concluded their turns in a round, but some have abilities that activate in reaction to incoming skills, or when the Monster perishes. When killed, Monsters reward their slayer with Shards and cards from the Realm of Knowledge.
Legendary Monsters are much more powerful, but also offer greater rewards when slain. Most importantly, players that kill them gain a Prism, which are needed for victory.
Events present an unknown variable when drawn, producing an immediate effect can help or hurt players.
Distortions alter the state of the battlefield when drawn, producing effects that persist until their conditions are resolved.

Realm of Wonder

Wonders are special one-use cards that are played directly from hand. Their effects are often powerful and game-changing, but are rare and not easy to obtain. Players draw a Wonder card when they their health totals reaches, 5, 10, and 15.

Please stay tuned for more updates! To read about my inspiration & progress of the game, please check out the post below.

Visit http://endogenesis.cards to subscribe for updates!
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David Goh
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Background

As an enthusiast of both board gaming and video gaming, I'm constantly doing thought exercises where I try to translate game mechanics or concepts from one medium to the other. For Endogenesis, I was heavily inspired by a game mode in the very popular Defence of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2) called "Ability draft." In the normal game mode of Dota 2, two teams of five players compete against each other to destroy the other team's base. Players choose from over 100 playable characters, each with 4 set abilities (that are usually synergistic in nature) and their own specific strengths, weaknesses and playstyles.

However, the "Ability Draft" mode brings a twist to the normal gameplay. All players are given a random character, but their set abilities are instead put into a pool. Players will then take turns selecting abilities from the pool until everyone has 4 new ones. It's an extremely fun process because you're challenged to create your own synergies and combos, effectively crafting a new character. The result was that I found Ability Draft games to be a lot more fun and it introduced more memorable experiences, even though balance was an issue given that it wasn't the game's primary mode of play. This mechanic truly turned customization into a very, very fun process, so much so that the other shortcomings of the game paled in comparison to the fun it created.

Endogenesis is the result of my attempt at bringing those same mechanics into the board game medium. All Skills originate from a single Realm of Knowledge deck, and players have four slots with which they can equip the Skills they draw over the course of the game. The way skills are designed in Endogenesis also draws inspiration from Dota2: There are 40 skills, but they are grouped into 5 categories: Cosmic, Mythic, Entropic, Organic, Mechanic. Skills within the same class are designed to synergize well with each other, but one can find interesting combinations and strategies if they mix and match across different classes. In Endogenesis, I endeavoured to expand the customization even further. Instead of concluding the character building process at the start, players will continue to customize their characters as the game goes on, discarding and equipping new skills to build towards their final loadout, all the while still fighting monsters and players in order to acquire Shards to upgrade their Skills and health.

Finally, with Endogenesis I wanted to put a twist on the arena trope as well. While player killing is encouraged, players must pay attention to Legendary Monsters for their win condition, for slaying these creatures awards them with Prisms. This is to provide a bit of complexity over the game's objectives and to draw focus away on purely offensive strategies and make other builds viable, such as those themed around survivability, disruption or intrigue.

Ultimately, the goal was to create a competitive game revolving around customization with a relatively small amount of components, and to make that process of customization as fun as possible. Thanks for reading!

Progress

• The game is more or less complete! Copies have been sent to reviewers, pending more feedback.
• Work has begun on the Kickstarter campaign! The target release date is late 2018. Find out more on our website here: http://endogenesis.cards/

Photos

(NOTE: This prototype was made back when the game was still called Catalyst, which is why the box art & rulebook contains the older logo!)




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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Hello all!

Following the amazing advice I gained from another thread on BGG, I've just completed the latest draft of the rulebook for Catalyst. It would be amazing if you could take a look and let me know your thoughts on it!

Rulebook: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_YzfgPMDj6xajZ6SWtTUHBkdz...

It would be amazing if you could take a look and let me know what you think. Thanks for your time!
 
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Your game looks beautiful and very elegant. I'll keep an eye out for if or when it gets a Kickstarter. I seems fun.
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Shintotchi wrote:
Your game looks beautiful and very elegant. I'll keep an eye out for if or when it gets a Kickstarter. I seems fun.

Thank you!
 
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Interesting idea.
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Spenser Starke
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Just downloaded the rulebook, can't wait to check it out!
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Beautiful artwork, will download the rules and check out your game!
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Alfie Kwek
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Hey David,

Catalyst looks like a really cool game! The art direction and look is top-notch, and the theme is visually strong.

I love myself some sci-fi games and will be keeping an eye out for this one
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Thank you all so much for the kind words! I'm especially happy to hear that you guys like the art direction -- besides the game design, the visuals for Catalyst took up the majority of development time. It's awesome to know that my efforts are paying off.

While most of the art was created by me, the silhouettes for the Monster and Legendary Monsters were designed by the very talented & professional Yang Shao Xuan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/yang-shaoxuan-022a8090/)

Once again, thanks for checking out my project!
 
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Laura Creighton
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
I'd pre-order 3 copies now if I could. drop me a GM when the KS starts so I won't miss it.
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
How far along in the development process are you? Have you already done playtesting? Do you see yourself Kickstarting in 2017 or 2018?
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
lacreighton wrote:
I'd pre-order 3 copies now if I could. drop me a GM when the KS starts so I won't miss it.

I'll definitely do that!

Shintotchi wrote:
How far along in the development process are you? Have you already done playtesting? Do you see yourself Kickstarting in 2017 or 2018?

Good questions! The game will be exiting the playtesting stage very soon, having gone through extensive playtests over the last 2 years, with 5 major draft changes during that time. At this time, playtests are being used to catch minor issues or mistakes (E.g. card text that might seem confusing or ambiguous to new players, graphical mistakes, typos, and edge cases with the gameplay that the rules currently don't cover) I expect to start sending out copies to professional reviewers by December or January 2017 2018.

In terms of Kickstarter, I'm currently looking at a mid 2018 release. I have a manufacturer lined up, and most of the finances have been planned out, but there remains a massive amount of work to do with the campaign and other marketing efforts. My main focus right now is to get a website and a newsletter up and running as soon as possible!
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
davidgoh wrote:
lacreighton wrote:
I'd pre-order 3 copies now if I could. drop me a GM when the KS starts so I won't miss it.

I'll definitely do that!

Shintotchi wrote:
How far along in the development process are you? Have you already done playtesting? Do you see yourself Kickstarting in 2017 or 2018?

Good questions! The game will be exiting the playtesting stage very soon, having gone through extensive playtests over the last 2 years, with 5 major draft changes during that time. At this time, playtests are being used to catch minor issues or mistakes (E.g. card text that might seem confusing or ambiguous to new players, graphical mistakes, typos, and edge cases with the gameplay that the rules currently don't cover) I expect to start sending out copies to professional reviewers by December or January 2017.

In terms of Kickstarter, I'm currently looking at a mid 2018 release. I have a manufacturer lined up, and most of the finances have been planned out, but there remains a massive amount of work to do with the campaign and other marketing efforts. My main focus right now is to get a website and a newsletter up and running as soon as possible!

That's great! I'll keep my eyes peeled. Thanks for answering!
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Re: [WIP] Catalyst — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Hi all!

Just a small but very important update. After some research, I've decided to change the name of the project from "Catalyst" to "Endogenesis." This was deemed necessary as there currently exists a few other games with similar sounding names, even if our projects differ in terms of content and visuals. I felt that it was not only respectful to keep a safe distance, but also beneficial to have a name that's more unique and identifiable to my project.

Why "Endogenesis"?
The name is actually a reference to the game's lore, with regards to how the universe of Endogenesis came about. This part is still being worked on by me and another writer, so more to come in future!

Along with the name change, I took the opportunity to fine-tune the logo design as well! Here's how the new design looks like against the old one:



I've also updated the box art with the new name:



With the name set in stone, I've finally taken the step to register a website domain. I'll be working on the website next, where I hope to showcase more of the game's art and lore. Stay tuned!
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Smart change. I really like how the text sits inside of the logo now. And the more unique the name, the better. Great changes all around!
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Shintotchi wrote:
Smart change. I really like how the text sits inside of the logo now. And the more unique the name, the better. Great changes all around!

Thank you! After reading this very useful article on the legal quandaries to look out for when Kickstarting ( https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-136-what-to-d... ), I was motivated to rectify any potential issues that might arise with my game.

I'm glad to hear that you like the logo design. Compositions where the graphic and text are separate has always bugged me a little, so it was great to be able to find an elegant solution. I'm very happy with how it turned out!
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Hi all,
The website for Endogenesis is up: http://endogenesis.cards/



The website is somewhat basic for now — in terms of details related to game design and progress, this thread still has more information than the website. However, if you'd like to be notified via e-mail for when the Kickstarter is launched, please visit the website and sign up for the newsletter! You can expect more updates in future, such as a story section that details the lore behind the game, as well as more details on the gameplay and components.

While not related to game design, it was still a very fun and informative experience building the website. While I've made websites in the past, I've never built a responsive site from scratch (from design to deployment.) Web design has really come a long way in the last decade, and there are now so many tools that make the process so much easier and accessible.

Thanks for checking it out! In other news, I'm currently in the process of contacting reviewers. While that's underway, I'll be starting work on the Kickstarter video, which I think will take a considerable amount of time. Stay tuned!
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Jack Potter
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
I love the art work! And the game seems super cool, I'm downloading the rule book now!
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
cool great job. I like the idea behind it which is perfectly complemented by the graphics. Keeping an eye out for this one
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Game looks amazing!
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
The latest prototypes of Endogenesis have arrived! A total of 10 copies were ordered: the majority of them have been sent to reviewers, while the remaining will be kept for live game sessions and archival.






I can't wait to show the game to my playtesters! If you're in Singapore and would like to try the game too, do let me know and we'll set something up!
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Oh man the box looks gorgeous! i can't wait until I can buy my copy. I just got so excited!!!
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Hi I'm from SG and is quite interested in trying out the game
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Re: [WIP] Endogenesis (Previously "Catalyst") — Free-for-all competitive combat, character progression and ability customization, science fantasy theme
Bahzeal wrote:
Hi I'm from SG and is quite interested in trying out the game

Hey! Sorry for the late reply, been extremely busy with Chinese New Year.

I've just sent you a private message, please let me know if you've received it!
 
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