Ruins of Elysia: A Deck and Map Building Adventure Game

by Unbored Entertainment, LLC

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      Ryan Reischauer on

      *Play testing...

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      Ryan Reischauer on

      I have play tested his game a few times since it’s conception. This game shows great promise from its ability to be a different game each time played. I know this games’ creator and recognize his devotion and passion for tabletop gaming. Much thought and play texting has gone into this game and I fully expect to see it launched soon!

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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches it's goal by the campaign deadline.

Ruins of Elysia: A Deck and Map Building Adventure Game

Explore a true open world on your tabletop. Where you go and how you win is up to you!

Ruins of Elysia: A Deck and Map Building Adventure Game

Explore a true open world on your tabletop. Where you go and how you win is up to you!

$0
pledged of $45,000pledged of $45,000 goal
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backers
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches it's goal by the campaign deadline.

About

We are still play-testing.  Tell us what you think!  

You must be logged into kickstarter to leave feedback.

What I would like feedback on

  • How do you feel about having "Unbored Entertainment, LLC" in the name field instead of my personal name, knowing either way we will be collecting pledges as the LLC?
  • Any recommendations for art or video.
  • While our video is still a rough draft and only half-done, the current plan is a quick thematic introduction to the game followed by a high level overview of playing the game.
  • This campaign represents my vision for the game.  If you have questions or feedback about how the game lives up to its vision, especially if you have played it, please leave a comment.
  • Anything that is missing or unclear in the campaign body text, which begins now.

<All information inside these arrow brackets is art direction, as all art is currently place holder art.  Intended Main Campaign Image will be a full table set up.  This image has too much white space and not enough map.>


 <Note, the current plan for character figures is punch-outs and standees, similar to Near and Far>




Ruins of Elysia provides players with a vast, open world for their tabletop, to explore as they see fit by letting them work their way towards any of the displayed end game goals.  Where you go and how you win is up to you!

<This is the game's primary selling point.  Does the below image convey this?>

Explore a modular map using simply tile laying mechanics

Experience a different fantasy adventure every game, based solely on your own in-game actions without dice, reading scenarios or even flavor text!

 <i have no idea how to sell the above point with an image.  Perhaps with the primary selling point, this point is not needed and maybe even implied?>

You can go head to head, you can team up and beat monsters or the end boss, you even can go off and explore on your own because the game provides all play styles an equal chance of winning. 

<What we're really talking about in the above point is the quest cards, but since they are just text, I'm not sure this is the best spot to introduce them visually.>


<Eventually I hope to include a "what you get" image spread (see Runika for example), but for place-holder art here's the contents sections of the manual> 

 Every time you play a card, it can be used in only one of three ways, so choose wisely. 

The resources you gain from a card played depend on what you are doing when you played it.

  •  Exploration Phase resources are Walk, Coin, and Card Draw. 
  • It must be the attack turn of your Combat Phase to use Attack abilities.
  • It must be the defense turn of you Combat Phase to use Defense abilities.
Image from our manual.  The meat of a turn is "play cards and move" with combat and buy being optional and not always available.   The rest is simple housekeeping.
Image from our manual. The meat of a turn is "play cards and move" with combat and buy being optional and not always available. The rest is simple housekeeping.

Combat is considered its own phase because unlike the Exploration Phase, Combat repeats.  Also, players can engage in combat when it is not their turn, allowing players to attack in groups.

Image: combat basics.  First attackers play an attack card.  Second, defenders play a card for defense.  Roles reverse and combat continues.
Image: combat basics. First attackers play an attack card. Second, defenders play a card for defense. Roles reverse and combat continues.

Note: Discarding a card simply means that it is no longer in your hand.  You will get it back!

There are no dice in Ruins of Elysia.  Combat is a strategic back and forth as characters (players or enemies) choose which cards to play for attack and defense, and which cards to discard.

  • You can only play one card each time it is your turn to attack or defend, but you can buy or gain cards that let you break this rule.
  • If you run out of cards in your hand during combat, you are considered exhausted and your turn ends immediately (without drawing cards until the start of your next turn).
  •  Exhaustion lasts one turn, and while exhausted you cannot enter combat (even through an encounter) but you'll draw cards at the start of your turn and you are never eliminated from the game.

 Your deck is more than an abstract pile of cards.  It represents the items and abilities that allow your character to interact with the game world.

Strenghten your character using classic deck-building mechanics. There are no experience points!

  <Note, the current plan for character figures is punch-outs and standees, similar to Near and Far


The map system in Ruins of Elysia is comprised of two types of transparent hexagonal tiles: terrain tiles and overlays.  This makes for many different location types during the course of a game using fewer game components.

Movement involves a little bit of pushing your luck, since you can stop whenever you want until you run out of Walk.

<These supplemental images like the ruins need to be added to our manual or removed from the campaign to meet kickstarter guidelines>

Terrain type has an effect on villages and character abilities, and can be affected by weather. 

Weather usually lasts a round and has an effect that targets specific terrain

  • Blizzard: Mountains now cost 5 to cross and no character may initiate combat there.
  • Sand Storm:  Deserts now cost 3 to cross and no character may initiate combat there.
  • Cleansing Rain:  Any character that crosses forest or plains is no longer exhausted.
image from our manual
image from our manual

Players build the map by exploring on their turn.  Some terrain is difficult (more costly) or impossible to pass without special item cards, encouraging players to shape a unique world every game.

<Help me, I can't see.  I squinted at this too, and my eyesight is pretty darn good.>
<Help me, I can't see. I squinted at this too, and my eyesight is pretty darn good.>

There are no victory points in Ruins of Elysia.  The game ends as soon as any player(s) meet the requirements on any one of the displayed Main Quest Cards with those players as the winners.  

Unlike games with objective cards that are private and/or belong to the player, Ruins of Elysia uses a modular system of Main and Side Quest cards that are set out so all players can see them.  

  • The game can be as easy or as challenging as you want based on which Main and Side Quest cards you choose when you set it up.
  • Choose the game's introductory set up and finish the game in about an hour.  Choose the "Hero's Quest" set up and leave no Elysian Field untrampled.
  • Players can race each other towards fulfilling a Main Quest, or they can work together. 
  • The Quest system encourages interesting player interaction and gives multiple play styles an equal chance of winning.
For more on setup, gameplay and any rules questions you still have, click to read our manual.
For more on setup, gameplay and any rules questions you still have, click to read our manual.

Elysia is the anglicization of the Greek word "Elysium," derived by nominalizing the adjective "Elysian," taken from the term "Elysian Fields," which is itself a synonym for Elysium.  In Greek mythology, Elysium is a specific part of the afterlife reserved for demigods (half-blood offspring of the gods) and heroes.  As Greek mythology evolved, the scope of Elysium continued to grow and shrink based on the needs of the author.  We took it to its ultimate conclusion.  Our Elysia is a parallel universe.

Origins

As I treaded into the deeper waters of the tabletop community, I have been amazed at how supportive everyone has been. Ruins of Elysia is a labor of love. I wanted a game that gave me a sense of adventure. I also wanted to combine my favorite tabletop mechanic, deck-building, with controlling a character, wandering a map and fighting monsters. Think Legend of Zelda (the first one) on your tabletop. But I also wanted it to be simple. While there are no expansions on the drawing board right now, if we do release an expansion I want to make it so you will never need new rules beyond the core 6.  That doesn't mean, however, that I only ever want 2 types of overlays: I would love to see a new overlay that affects the game in some new and interesting way, but for our base game simplicity is king.

While I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted the game to be, there were still a lot of areas for improvement, and I got that feedback in spades from boardgamegeek and protospiel. Dice and leveling were one of the first things I cut, which led me to revamping the entire game around the concept of a back and forth martial arts fight using cards. So, what is my reasoning for launching a kickstarter around a labor of love and forming a company to do so? I want to share my labor of love with the you, but I can’t afford to do so for free so I need your help.  And our manufacturer's minimum order is quantity is 500, so I need a lot of help!

The World of the Game

The name and background lore actually came  last.  From a story stand-point, why do you suddenly “poof” into village  one?  Why is there a bad guy, and what do they want?  Why can’t you  die?  I wanted to name the game “Legends of…” and name the land, but I  couldn’t decide on a name.  I had trouble coming up with one on my own,  but the ones I looked up just came with too much baggage.  “Legends of  Atlantis,” for example, just came with too many expectations that my  game was not designed to meet (no sunken city, you can't swim, etc), plus the name has pretty much been  overused.  Then I came across Elysia.  Elysia is basically heaven, but heaven reserved for Greek heroes.  Perfect.  It explained everything:  why you “poof” into town 1, why you can’t die and what the bad guy  wants.  Legends of Elysia was taken by an upcoming film, but no one had a  claim on “Ruins of Elysia.” 

used with permission from Protospiel Milwaukee
used with permission from Protospiel Milwaukee

We've tested the game at the Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison and Milwaukee Protospiel conventions, as well as blind, remote and collaborative play testing with friends, family, colleagues and more.

Risks and challenges

Cost is our greatest concern. Tabletop games tend to be pricey due to their high material costs. While our goal has always been to price the game away from its more complex competitors, we don't want to cut corners so much that we are delivering you an inferior product. As such, we believe that the map system is integral to what makes Ruins of Elysia an amazing game and will make compromises elsewhere. However, to the best of our knowledge no one has created a map system like ours that requires clear hexagonal cardstock. This means we will have to pay our manufacturers for tooling to create the die needed to make our cards and is our largest production cost factor.

While we will still be able to make some changes to the game based on your recommendations, we are launching this campaign with all design files ready to go to our manufacturer the moment we have our funds in hand (this takes two weeks after the end of a campaign at a minimum). We don't want our backers to have to wait forever for us to finish and deliver our product.

We have calculated our funding goal based on our estimated costs for meeting the minimum production run requirements of our manufacturer - the smallest being 500 units; 500 copies of the game.

While not funding is the greatest risk to not being able to produce our game, the biggest challenge upon reaching our goal will be shipping -- not the logistics, but simply the cost. This is why we are not offering free shipping. Kickstarter does not differentiate between funds applied to a reward (in our case, the game) and the funds needed for shipping.

If you are still reading, I hope that means we have earned your confidence. Back and share!

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    Pledge $74 or more About $74

    1 copy of Ruins of Elysia

    I'm saving a rough draft. Why the hell do the dates matter?

    COGS aprox 67.68, actual costs unknown. Does not include shipping costs, which kickstarter applies to our goal, but I calculate a 40K minimum to meet the production costs of a 500 unit run. Also, we need to work out which countries we can afford to ship to. I heard Brazil is terrible. How do we charge for shipping separately?

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