If you’ve been following us on Facebook, you might have noticed a certain announcement we’ve made recently: we are once again going back into the world of Aestemyr. Specifically, we’re working on a new game that takes place in Valskyrr.
Let’s start with December last year. We were just done with the last Kickstarter of the year: the first non-Mistfall (game system wise) game set in the Mistfall world Aestemyr, first prepared as a bonus for backers of Heart of the Mists, but then Kickstarted separately because of its rising popularity – and our knowledge that we would have to reprint the game immediately after concluding the fulfilment. The little game that could (surprise us so much) was Shadowscape.
Working on Shadowscape I had had a few non-design things in mind. Looking at my own gaming shelves I wanted to test the waters with a game that would easily fit even a crowded game storage space, one that would not cost a fortune, but also one that would explode on the table, proving that a big game can come in a small box. “It’s small, but it packs a lot of punch!” I wanted people to say, and… well, they did.
Fast forward to this year’s UK Games Expo, and my first chance to actually present and sell Shadowscape at a convention. The reactions to the game were almost identical every time: people would sit down, I’d explain the game, there’d be some nodding, and a few questions. Sometimes (especially after I got a hold of a bigger table), a couple of turns would be played. People were having a great time, which usually ended up with a pleasant surprise.
Let’s go back to December 2016. The little game known as Shadowscape which had sold once already as part of a bigger Kickstarter, went to beat our expectations when crowd-funded on its own. The campaign is over, a few days have gone since NSKN Games went on a Christmas and New Year break, and I’m looking at the handsome little box that contains Shadowscape.
I do not yet know, that six months later, I will end almost each demo of Shadowscape with having to answer one question: “So, this handy box has all that game inside?” Having to answer “yes” each and every time.
Yet, I am still the December version of myself, an I don’t know all of that yet, but I decide that making another game equally small, but also at least as meaty is something I want to do. As it starts snowing outside, I conclude that Aestemyr in general, and Valskyrr specifically is the place I want to return to – as do many of those, who fell in love with the lands of sand and snow.
So, after kissing my wife goodnight, I lean back on my chair, take a notepad and draw a shape of a card. An hour later, having already crumpled a few sheets, I come upon the heart of this new game.
Right above the card I’m preliminarily satisfied with, I write: “Aestemyr needs Heroes once again.” And then, at the top of the sheet, in much bigger letters: “Chronicles of Frost”.
And that is how another journey begins.