Game designer Rob Daviau has quite a few game design credits to his name. Rob spent the last 14 years working for the toy and game industry titan: Hasbro, where his work on games like Heroscape, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Star Wars Epic Duels and Risk Legacy have made him one of my personal game design idols. Epic Duels and Heroscape are the games that brought me into the board game hobby, but more recently fans of board games and board game design have come to know Rob for his expectation-shattering work on Risk Legacy. If you haven't heard about Risk Legacy I suggest checking out Robert Florence's review on Rock Paper Shotgun (warning: the review contains adult language).
The short version is: Risk Legacy is Risk, but the game evolves, there are narrative twists and turns that don't all unfold until you've played through around a dozen game sessions, and it remembers what has happened in past game sessions. It does this by asking players to apply stickers, write on the game board, and tear up cards. All of these are a board game collector's nightmare, and that is part of why doing it is so compelling. The other way it achieves this evolution is that certain game states will cause a mini-expansion, that is included sealed away in the game, to be unsealed and its contents added to the game, changing the game state and the narrative.
On our latest podcast, Rob joined us to make a big announcement. Over the last year Rob has left his job at Hasbro to strike out on his own and form a game company by the name of IronWall Games and he has teamed up with Plaid Hat Games to bring you his next legacy style game. He calls it: SeaFall.
SeaFall is a 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) set in an age of sail world that is reminiscent of our world. In SeaFall the world is just starting to claw its way out of a dark age and has just begun to rediscover seafaring technology. Players take on the role of a main land empire who each consult with a consortium of advisors to discover new islands, explore those islands, develop trade, send out raiding parties, take part in ship to ship combat, and more. In fact that 'and more' may be the biggest understatement I've ever made. Just as in Risk Legacy, SeaFall will evolve as player play it. Players will become personally invested and the game will remember their grudges. The narrative will swing as players open up the world. Unlike Risk Legacy it does all of this without being tied to the Risk license and gameplay engine. SeaFall will be a medium-heavy weight gamer's hobby game with original game play systems. Expect the epic. The game is slated for release in 2014. More news will be unveiled here as the game's release moves closer. You can also sign up for our newsletter for updates on all important Plaid Hat Games news.