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Crystal Clans Developer Interview

An Interview with Colby himself on Crystal Clans!

Crystal Clans

Welcome back, Crystal Clan fans! We've got another treat for you this week following our interview with designer Andrea Mezzotero. This week we'll be interviewing the Plaid Hat Boss himself, Colby Dauch! Colby has worked closely with Andrea to develop and refine not only the mechanics and units in Crystal Clans but the world itself! We sat down with Colby to discuss his contribution to the project and what he hopes the game will accomplish. 

Callin: Thanks for taking some time to discuss Crystal Clans with me, Colby! I cannot wait for this game to come out! So tell me, what was it that stood out about Crystal Clans when you first played it? How did you know it was right for Plaid Hat Games?

Colby: I was immediately impressed by the gameplay and potential the first time I played.  It really felt like something special and unique.  With our roots in Summoner Wars as our first ever release and our success with Ashes it felt like this game was something we could do well and, in doing so, really cement part of our identity as a developer of 2-player expandable card games.

Callin: It's awesome to hear this game mentioned among those, which are two dueling card games that have really resonated with fans. Part of the reason for that is the rich and exciting world in which those games are placed, be it Itharia for Summoner Wars or Argaia for Ashes. Andrea mentioned last week that the game was originally presented with a Sci-fi theme. Now, the game is set in a very rich and exciting fantasy world that you developed. What motivated you to create the world of Crystal Clans? What would you like to see develop in this new world as the game continues? 

Colby: Yes, the game was presented as a sci-fi game.  However, I knew the game would have appeal for Summoner Wars players and I'm a lifelong fan of fantasy.  So with the retirement of Summoner Wars I was feeling the itch to develop a new fantasy world full of colorful factions of characters.  As far as developing the world, I've actually got some solid plans that could probably be its own article.  Maybe closer to when we introduce deck building...

Callin: Awesome! I can't wait to see how deck construction factors into this system! I know that was certainly something that fans enjoyed exploring in Summoner Wars. Speaking of which, a lot of fans have drawn comparisons to Summoner Wars and Crystal Clans, and it sounds like this was a little intentional on the studio's behalf. What would you like fans of Summoner Wars to know about Crystal Clans going into this new game?

Colby: Andrea is an Italian designer and the game came to me through someone at Asmodee Italy who had played the prototype, and was reminded of Summoner Wars. After playing, we though Plaid Hat might be a good fit for the project.  So the comparisons have been there since the beginning for us.  Just as with Summoner Wars you choose a wildly varying faction/clan full of units.  These units are contained within a deck of cards and are played onto a grid board, where they are strategically moved about and sent to do battle with your opponent's units.  Like Summoner Wars it is quite easy to learn, but there is a lot of depth to the tactical and strategic game play.  However, this is not a Summoner Wars clone.  It brings so many things that are unique to the table that make it a radically different experience despite that familiar DNA.  It also benefits from us having developed Summoner Wars over a long period of time.  We've encountered a lot of fan feedback over the years that we've been able to learn from and implement in the design and plans for Crystal Clans.

Callin: It sounds like that experience in developing Summoner Wars is going to pay off in a big way for Crystal Clans as it continues! Colby, thanks again for giving fans a little sneak peak into the world of Crystal Clans. I know you've got to get back to it, so we'll end this last question: What's your favorite clan in the base game?

ColbyFlower Clan, for sure.  It's the most unconventional mechanically and I think it is quite unique thematically.  My idea in designing them was that they would be this group of pacifists who is forced into the fight.  They try to win with the least amount of direct combat possible, which leads to some fun shenanigans.  Martin Abel - the artist - really made the clan shine too.  Just look at those bumble bee riders! Thanks for the interview! I hope fans got to see a bit more about the game and are excited for its release!

Well, that's all for now! We're so close to the release of Crystal Clans that I can smell the Flower Clan from here! (Which, out of the six I think is probably the best option!) Be sure to check out our interview with Andrea if you haven't already, and keep an eye out for more Crystal Clans content as the release date approaches! You can preorder Crystal Clans here. Also, you can check out all of our Crystal Clans previews below for even more Crystal goodness! 

Crystal Clans Previews
Game PageAnnouncement Article
Game Basics: The Battlefield, Initiative and ScoringSquads, Summoning and ActivatingReplenishing, Invading, and ReshufflingFinal Crystal
Skull Clan: Part 1Part 2
Meteor Clan: Part 1Part 2
Flower Clan: Part 1Part 2
Blood Clan: Part 1Part 2
Stone Clan: Part 1Part 2
Water Clan: Part 1Part 2
Art Previews: Blood ClanFlower ClanMeteor ClanSkull ClanStone ClanWater Clan