For fans of the monstrous and arcane, there’s a new board game underway which is showing a great deal of promise. Machina Arcana is a game which allows players to build a flexible game as they go, using tile board pieces and a variety of story cards. They’re currently running a Kickstarter which has already doubled its goal funding in a couple of days.
The world of Machina Arcana appears to be steampunk meets Lovecraftian cult. Monsters rise and someone must fight them. This blend of horror and the unknown seemed rather up the Illuminerdy’s alley (ok, and the word ‘arcana’ is kind of a draw), so we asked Juraj Bilich, the project lead and game designer, a few questions about the game.
1) You have a fascinating background in three chapters, but if you could could summarize your world in just a few sentences, what would you say?
An ever-growing world, filled with many questions and puzzles that enable the players to explore for themselves and slowly build their perception of what is really happening. [Ruth’s note: the full 3 chapters]
2) Are your monsters exclusively Lovecraftian mythos or do you plan to draw in from other types of folklore?
Currently, the plot of the main story dictates the involvement of Lovecraftian monsters. As the story progresses and players are presented with some interesting insights – new questions will appear that will take them on another journey where things will be quite different. I will give you a little hint: what makes you think the story takes place on Earth?
3) How quickly do people generally pick up the game?
We held numerous presentations for people that had never seen the game before. Conventions are a great way to test how quickly new players can get into a game. After spending around 10 minutes on a introduction chat they are ready for their first turn. Of course, we offered non-invasive guidance while they played, but thanks to the intuitive ruling, players quickly caught on.
4) On a scale of 1 to Arkham Horror, how complicated would you say the game is to run?
That’s one of the interesting things about this game. There is a beginner mode; where playing is much simpler and is intended to introduce you slowly to the game. After you conquer the basics, you can delve more deeply into the mechanics and tactical possibilities. The more you learn, the more your perception of the game will improve.
5) Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Illuminerdy audience?
We invite you to our world of secrets and mysteries and, just as with the real world around us, caution you to always stay vigilant when it comes to your vision of what you may perceive as reality.
As the premise is interesting and the artwork impressive, we’re planning to keep an eye on this project, although none of your secret masters have backed it yet.