Who will rule hell? No longer Vic Davis and Cryptic Comet, creator of the RPS-beloved turned-based strategy game Solium Infernum. In a post over at his blog, Davis explains that he's leaving computer game development behind in order to take his boardgamey design skills off to the land of actual board games.
Why? "I’ve been selling computer games for over 7 years and it’s been a great ride," starts the post. "Selling games directly from this website has been an increasingly difficult task. My programming skills are so tied to an aging and abandoned development platform that making even a niche title like my previous games is a dubious proposition at best. So I’m leaving the digital space and moving over to the card board arena where I hope my design skills can shine."
Off to that damnable temptress world of card and plastic. Oh Vic.
Tech support and downloads of previously released games will continue, but otherwise it's all curtains for digital works. "I have a working prototype of a 2-4 player game that involves players trying to accumulate enough “influence” points to win the game," as the same post explains. "The theme is a fantasy setting set in a fictitious city of splendor named Vance. I’ll reveal a lot more about the theme and mechanics as things progress. In general it is played in rounds with each player choosing 2 of 7 possible actions. It involves a card and dice system, screw you cards played face down and an end of round secret bidding phase for important cards from a special deck."
Which sounds swell, and a similar sort of experience to those Davis made for PC. He's planning with fingers crossed to update his site once a week from now on with more information on the game's design.
Games is games are games am games and it's great that Davis is still going to be making them in whatever format they come - but, in some ways, I still feel the loss. I missed the boat on both Armageddon Empires and Solium Infernum, but I've had them in mind these past twelve months and have repeatedly visited Davis' site for signs of new work. That's largely because, despite never personally getting a completed match of them going, the aforementioned games consumed the 2009ish formation of the RPS Hivemind, prompting the production of a six-person, eight-part Solium Infernum diary, from which this post's header image is stolen; a Kieron hands-on and Quinns review of the same game; an interview with their creator; and a 2007 advent Game-o-Calendar pick for Armageddon Empires.
Now we can't write much about his future work. I guess I'll have to set up a board game site with an abrasive name and a malignant avocado.