Game announcement

World map and tutorial
7 August 2018
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Welcome to our first development diary. The Descendants of Volos is a fantasy roleplaying adventure board game, focused on character progression and pvp. The game is developed by a couple of nerdy friends who decided to create the ultimate board game. Feel free to read more about us.

The game is still in the development stage. We’ve decided that it’s about time to tell the world about what we already have. We are still not sure about the exact release date. If you wish to be updated, feel free to subscribe to our channels on: Youtube, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

The Descendants of Volos, is a board game for everyone. It will satisfy the most demanding geeks, as well as people who never played any board games before. The game is complex but not complicated. We believe that our board game is unique, because we put insane amount of care to things which are poorly done in many other board games, for example to the manual, the background story, the game balance etc.

In our development diaries, we will explain what the game is about, what problems we’ve encountered, and what solutions we have found. We’ll reveal our unique technology, and explain how it helped creating such an ambitious project.

Today, we’ll show the box content. Please notice that character portraits, plastic figures and some art, is still in progress. Also be aware that whatever we show right now may be changed in the final product.

The game can be played by 1 to 4 players. Any character you play can be progressed in a different way. By spending level-up points to different attributes: strength, agility, intelect or vitality, you affect the style of your game. Should you become a strong warrior? Powerful mage? Or something in between? Which choices will be the best for your character?
This, and many other things like a modular map or huge content (~747 cards), gives this game an amazing replayability.
The DoV is a game with very deep immersion. The storyline and ingame details are inspired by slavic and nordic myths, however it’s very unique on it’s own. The game will include a story book, but reading it is not required to play. Here is a short movie revealing some details from the background story.

As we’ve mentioned, the game is focused on pvp (player versus player). However, it is possible to win the game without actually attacking or interrupting each other. Whoever defeats the main boss first is a winner. Surprisingly, many players who tested the game so far say that what they found most satisfying about it are the adventures and very hard decisions about your character progress. Another reason why we believe that all players will find this game satisfying regardless of their gameplay preferences is the fact that you can play this game alone. Single-player mode is a perfect way of mastering the game’s mechanics before you start playing with your friends.

The duration of each session is a variable thing. That’s because the players have control over the length of the session. You can shorten it by attacking other players, taking risky decisions, or trying to defeat the main boss while not being well prepared. Sometimes risky decisions pay off. For instance, travelling through dangerous regions. You can find some neat gear there, but you also run the risk of being attacked by powerful monsters. High-grade equipment will boost your powers, which is indirectly shortening the session. The session durations vary from 40min (succesful single-player) to 6h (4 players). One session, which we played with 3 players, lasted for over 12 hours split over 2 days. That’s because all players were nice to each other and nobody wanted to end the session yet. In theory, the session can be as long as you wish (except for the single-player mode, in which you must defeat the main boss in less than a defined number of turns). The only problem is that once you play the DoV, you simply don’t want the session to be over yet.

The Descendants of Volos will be released primarily in English and Polish. Right now we can’t promise more languages, but as soon as we know anything, we’ll announce it.

The box contains ~747 cards (the final number may change), full of gear, spells, talents, enemies, friends, events, situations and quests. There is also a custom stack for actions in special locations like an inn, a tavern, or a town. In addition, there are special instance locations, described on a separate dungeon sheet. Each instance is unique, but most of them have 2 stages. In each stage, you may encounter a situation or combat against a boss. The instances gives the ultimate prizes: either a random legendary item, or a specific rare weapon. If you wish to have a specific weapon, for example a rare sword, you’ll have to plan your adventure to reach a specific location and pass the instance.

In addition, the box contains 4 player panels, with a unique solution for tracking player attributes and weight.

Depending on which character you play, you start the game with specified initial attributes of agility, intellect, strength and vitality. Agility, intellect and strength have indicators which you can rotate with the tip of your finger.

When passing a level up, the player, has 2 points to spend on raising any of the attributes. Raising an attribute gives some bonuses which will be explained later in the development diaries. The most important benefit from raising the attributes is the ability to put on higher grade equipment. For example, to be able to use a heavy sword or blunt, you must be strong enough. To be able to use a bow or a dagger, you must be agile enough. And following that rule, using magical items requires sufficiently high intellect.

The biggest powers come from talents. A talent is a card with a skill related to one of 4 attributes. If you spend both level-up points on the same attribute, you gain a talent. Sometimes you are facing a hard choice: should you increase +1 agility and +1 strength, so that you can put on some amazing gear that just landed in your inventory? Or should you go with +2 agility and earn the talent? Notice that levelling up is not the only way to earn talents. We’ll reveal more details about the gameplay in the next post.

Current state of development

We are developing this game since 2014 as a hobby project. At some point we realized how amazing a game we have and decided to publish it. Over that time we’ve been reworking the key gameplay mechanics quite many times. We strive to achieve a perfect board game version of famous pc mmorpgs. It’s very hard to create something immersive that replicates the pc gameplay and yet is not over complicated and not hard to grasp. Of course there are many similar board games out there, but unfortunately each one of them is so hardcore that only few are capable to learn the rules. Currently, we are nearly done with all the game rules, and the only thing left is some tweaking and balancing. The biggest milestones ahead of us:

  • Graphics. Mainly hundrets of small images of items and portraits. We are roughly half way done with all the graphics.
  • Plastic figures. Once we finish the design and portraits of all characters, we’ll outsource the 3d models as a base for the plastic figures. (Figures used in the current illustrations are free placeholders).
  • Translations. The game has been created in Polish as a base language. We are continuously translating it to English, and it’s quite a bit left.
  • Story book and tutorial. Those are the biggest milestones so far. We have some drafts for the story book and once we finish translating the game into English, we’ll start writing a series of short stories (we expect it to be around 40 pages-long with illustrations). We’ve already begun writing the tutorial, but it’s going to take quite a bit of time, because of it’s very ambitious form. For now, I can only reveal that there is no other board game done so far with a manual like this. Notice that we call it a tutorial, not a manual.
  • Final balance pass. Because we wrote our own database software, we’ve extended it with an AI module that simulates the gameplay combats, and helps us balance the game. With such a huge content, every time we add or change something, the test takes 3 days to compute and it would be impossible to do it manually. We’ll get back to this subject in the future posts.

As we already mentioned, we still haven’t set the exact release date. We’ll announce it when we decide that the game is good enough to be released. The only sure thing is that it’s not going to be earlier than Q2 2019.

Currently we are looking for a publisher. When we find someone trustworthy that can sell our game world wide, we’ll announce it.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in this game, if you’d like to see it in the stores, please help us by spreading the word. The more people hear about our game, the higher the chance that we’ll run a successful kickstarter campaign. In contrast to all the other companies, the kickstarter campaign will be all or nothing for us. So please, go on and share the links to this web page, and subscribe on the social networks here.

We’ll try to post some updates once every 1-2 weeks. So, see you in the next post of The Descendants of Volos development diary.

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