Hello, Trailblazers of the Unknown,
in today’s update we interview Luca Ricci, developer of SHEOL.
Q: Hello Luca! First question – how did you get involved in the SHEOL project?
Luca: It all began when Gabriele brought one of the first prototypes to a gaming night of our local gaming club, asking us to try it. That evening, together with three other “veteran” players, we played and “demolished” it – not surprisingly, almost no game comes out intact from the first playtest phase! Still, there were many elements of the game we considered innovative in the genre, that were not “only” interesting, but also very fun to play!
When Gabriele returned, a month later, always on one of our gaming nights, the game was completely revamped, but he kept the same innovative ideas that initially caught my attention. I knew it could still be improved, but this version was already impressive! When Gabriele later asked me to work on further playtesting and development of the game, I accepted almost immediately enthusiastically, driven by what the project had to offer (and, but I don’t say it around too loud – by the setting, that I really fell in love with).
Q: Which parts of the SHEOL mechanics are you particularly proud of?
Luca: I think the most important breakthrough was the creation of the patterns of weapons and lanterns: This mechanic creates a game which does not depend on the classic “range” and “line of sight” mechanics commonly found in dungeon crawlers, and allowed us to develop – using lantern patterns – the idea of exploring an unknown and impervious territory. One thing that has always bothered me a little is that many dungeon crawlers rely on fixed maps where the setting is completely, or almost completely, visible to the players, removing the importance of exploration. In our case, we have this feeling that the Scouts are tracing their way through an impervious and difficult path, and I’m very happy how these mechanics were developed.
Q: Which parts of the development have been particularly difficult?
Luca: We had no shortage of ideas, and the most difficult thing has been balancing the effects of all these “cogs and wheels” in SHEOL. We wanted to preserve the original simplicity of the core design, which was a key feature of the game – you never have to go and check a myriad of modifiers or powers before rolling the dice, for example. But the number of “moving parts” interacting in the game is very high, and balancing them requires a considerable fine-tuning work.
Q: Do you think there are still parts of the design to be refined before releasing the finished product?
Luca: The work never ends, until we hit the deadlines! I believe a game is never finished until you have time to work on it, and I am sure most authors or developers always remain with some doubts about the way they developed certain mechanics, at least until you get the feedback from people putting the game on their table. Yet I feel confident about the work done so far, and I think what is left is mostly refining the balance and difficulty level of the game.
Daily Unlock: War Resources!
We know you love custom dice – who does not 🙂 ? The Core Box of SHEOL includes enough dice to play, but with more dice, you will not need as much to pass them around from player to player. So, our daily unlock is one additional custom die for your scouts!
Next Social Stretch Goal: The New Herald!
Congratulations! Item Pack #2 is unlocked: we surpassed our goal and we now have more than 300 new subscribers to the newsletter! Now, it’s time to find out how to unlock the new Herald! To do so we have to reach a total of 150 shares of our BGG page (can we finally get SHEOL in the hot list?). You can share the link https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/292099/sheol on any social media – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #preservethelight .
You can choose where to share the link, and what to tell your friends about us (nice things we hope!) – just remember to use the hashtag #preservethelight (so we can count the shares).
And of course you can STILL subscribe to our newsletter, and receive exclusive SHEOL content directly in your mailbox!
Thank you so much explorers of the night! Stay with us for the next updates.
Preserve the light!