Hello, Trailblazers of the Unknown,
In today’s update, we are interviewing Gabriele Porro, Game Director and SHEOL’s writer.
Q:Hi Gabriele. How did you come up with the idea of creating a game such as SHEOL?
Gabriele: Hello! Before I created a board game, actually I wanted to create a universe where to set a board game. At that time, I had finished my latest novel and I was collecting material for the next one. I wanted to create a piece of interactive fiction, and from that to a board game it was a short step.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Gabriele: Writing the background story for a board game is not like writing a novel or short story. I found it difficult to create the right pace, and the story had to be “demolished” several times. But this is a normal process for bringing a product to maturity.
Q: We know that SHEOL is split into missions. How does the narrative part emerge?
Gabriele: The narrative part enters the game in two ways. The first is through the story that unfolds mission after mission; the second, through the events and discoveries of the lands that the players make during the game.
Q: Can you explain this concept better?
Gabriele: Missions, corresponding to the game sessions, are like chapters in a book. Players read the introduction in the mission manual, then follow the story during the game through the mission cards and face the “choose-your-path” options they offer; and finally they reach the end, which once again is narrated on the mission manual. But each mission is connected to the next, the story continues, and it is essential to play the previous missions to understand the next.
Q: Are there twists and turns in the story?
Gabriele: A rule for writing a good story is to start in the middle, then talk about the beginning, and then move to the end. This means that the characters will initially know a partial and minimal truth about the world of SHEOL, but they will find out what the Shadows are and what happened in the past as the story unfolds. There will be twists to crush the beliefs that the characters will have created by then, which will end up to be proven false. And that’s all I will say for now!
Q: All right! Returning to the world, I am a little worried about the light-shadow dichotomy, which has been done and redone in many works. Is it so even in SHEOL?
Gabriele: Absolutely not. In SHEOL, light and darkness are not two armies that clash like angels or demons. In our setting, the Shadows have already won. The war is over, and the Citadel is the last glimmer of hope for humanity. When the story begins, no man in the Citadel thinks that the Shadows can one day be defeated in some way. The story of the scouts is a desperate one that gains hope over time.
Q: So, will the scouts eventually destroy the Shadows?
Gabriele: (laughs) Do you really want to know?
Q: No, no. One last question: if SHEOL were a book and we had to give it a genre, what would it be?
Gabriele: I would say post-apocalyptic for the exploration part, with a hint of horror and Cyberpunk for the Citadel.
Daily goal: Augmented Skills #2
Today we add 2 more lightshield cards to use as upgrade during the Citadel Phase.
Thank you so much, Explorers of the Night! Follow us for the next updates.
Preserve the light!