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DEOS boardgame

Author // DEDENYS Caplice Siobhan
Posted in // Creativity, drawing, game development, Management, Teamwork




Cover_WIP-04-13



DEOS

This article is part of a 3 fold series on the DEOS game project : early stages, production and final line.

Part 1, early stages

Hello I’m Mathieu Girard, a first year student and one of the two artists currently working on the card game DEOS. In this article I’m going to discuss mostly the early development of the game from my perspective.

 

DEOS is one of the 12 first year projects of Supinfogame promo 2019. The objective is to create a fully working boardgame or cardgame prototype in the course of the year. The project is supervised by Pascal Bernard, especially for the game designers, while graphists are mostly on their own, apart from the unfortunately rare interventions of François Cormier. The project subjects were chosen by throwing random ideas on a board. We then grouped complementary ideas into theme groups. Teams of 2 graphists and 2 game designers were then randomly assembled and randomly assigned to a theme. We luckily got Mythology, Creatures and Heroes.

Our guidelines from there on were to wait for the intensive week which would be fully dedicated to working on the game. We disobeyed of course and started talking about the general ideas of what we wanted to do. At the time we were going for something rather complicated with a lot of depth. We had a huge interactive board in mind with cards and figurines, players would build cities and temples or go on quests. It was a mess.

Thankfully came the intensive week. We decided to completely scratch our previous vision and go for something very simple and casual with cards only. Our pitch then was that each player would play as a mythological god or a pantheon of gods who battle against each other for glory. They would destroy entire planets with cataclysms to prove their might. The player with the most planets destroyed would win the game. The word that often came to mind when describing our game was “epic” (we realized later that it was attributed to heroes and not gods, but whatever). At the time we wanted to create our own world and mythology, drawing inspiration from Magic, Dota 2, Warcraft,…etc while still being original. The following images were some quick concept art that I personally had in mind previously.

Lord of Darkness LDChar_design

However, popular opinions were against a brand new world and favored known mythology, so we asked what people wanted to be able to play as in our game. We came up with a list of classical gods such as Zeus, Loki, Anubis and so on as well as Buddha as a warlord and Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. Hence our first real concept art :

Cthulhu_WIP-02-02

I spent most of the latter part of the intensive week working on this. We ended up sticking with classical mythologies so this illustration was later discarded.

At the beginning of the week when we initially pitched the game concept to the class, people were quite psyched. However by the middle of the week things started to get rough. Our problem was that we had not found a way to translate the sensation of mass destruction and thirst for power into an enjoyable game. Our prototype looked like a bad ripoff of UNO. Seeing our troubles Pascal Bernard told us to put aside what we had previously done and think it over from another perspective, which we (kind of) did and still we could not come up with a fun game that looked even remotely like what we had pitched. However the game designers had put a lot of effort into this prototype and were reluctant to discard it, so we stuck with it and tried to improve it instead of starting over.

During this time we also had to decide our roles in the team, namely the Project Manager and the Artistic Director. We didn’t really feel like we needed titles, we had gotten along well this far without any chain of command. Benjamin Leblanc filled the position of Project Manager out of necessity because he was the better fit. As for the Artistic Director, in a group with two graphists, it’s hardly useful but as it is a job I’m interested in for my career and I’m more experienced and skilled than my fellow graphist Camille Gangneux I imagined I would fill the position. However he was eager to take it on so I “let” him. This has worked rather well so far since most of the artistic decisions were made together anyway and the boring writing stuff is his problem.

By Friday we hit a big wall. The intensive week was over and we had a crappy, boring prototype. Our instructions then : send a week’s worth of intensive work to oblivion. Start again,with one week to catch up with the rest of the class with something new and exciting.

During this week the game designers tried many times to improve the game. On the graphists’ side we had to decide what each one of us would do. In order to do this we each drew in an hour a composition of an oracle/prophet which the other would colorize.

compo_prophete_CGCompo_Prophete_MG

Camille’s oracle composition on the left and mine on the right.

Below is my shading of Camille’s composition and attempt at colorization. He didn’t finish his as it was pretty obvious I would be doing that part. This is the workflow we have adopted since then, he does the composition and I take care of the rest.
Illu_prophete_MG_WIP-01Illu_prophete_MG_Color_balance_reworked_v2

The evening before the dreaded day we did a last playtest to see how the game held up. It was terrible. We were preparing to get shredded the next day. However in the morning Benjamin made last minute changes before presenting it to Pascal Bernard and it worked. I had no knowledge of this so when I crossed his path at lunch and he was encouraging and positive I thought he was being sadistically sarcastic. This prototype is the one we would work on for the rest of the project.

 

This concludes the first part of this article series. Coming next is the production and the detailed artistic direction (with prettier illustrations).

 

Mathieu GIRARD

 

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DEDENYS Caplice Siobhan

English Teacher in Rubika. Started the blog with students hope they keep it alive !

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Recent comments

  • DigZon technology

    18 août 2015 |

    Keep up the great work ethic.

  • insurancewhisper.com

    10 août 2015 |

    This article has inspired me. It’s profound, interesting and worthy of a positive comment. I try to give good content its due and this deserves a top rating. Thank you.

  • Mathieu

    22 mai 2015 |

    Very interesting article. Could be usefull to me in 2nd year, that is if LePivain makes us study this one.

  • Mitzi

    15 mai 2015 |

    This article and many other on your page are very interesting.
    There is a big chance to go viral.

  • admin

    10 avril 2015 |

    Beautifully written