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A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
4,904 backers pledged $386,104 to help bring this project to life.

Writing and Drawing: Post-Kickstarter week 5

Posted by Isaac Childres (Creator)

Beautiful backers of Gloomhaven!

Another week has passed, another update must be written! Let's get to it!


First of all, I want to say that my experience with National Novel Writing Month has been a pretty good success so far. I wrote about it in detail in my latest blog post. To put it succinctly, though, I'm consistently getting about 3 scenarios written each evening, which is a pace I'm happy with. The writing isn't perfect, but it's getting done, which is the first and most important step.

I'll have to get all the events written, as well, after I'm finished with the scenarios, but that should take less time.

During the days, I've continued to polish everything up to start advanced scenario play testing - preparing all the monster cards and character ability cards, and fixing up the rule book, using all the input and questions I received about it during the Kickstarter campaign.

I believe last week I made a claim that I would start advanced scenario play testing this week, but I think it will be best to hold off another week on that. I could start it now, but I've had trouble in the past with starting play testing before everything was fully prepared, diminishing play testers' interest as I work to fix and update stuff. I'd like to avoid that, so I'm going to give it another week and make sure everything is ready.

Which means next week will be further polishing and developing those last few monster and character cards that aren't quite done. And a lot more writing, of course.

For now, though, because we need some color in this update, I'm going to show you some advanced ability cards I'm excited about. These are from advanced classes, but the content of the individual cards shouldn't spoil you on anything. Still, avert your eyes if you are afraid of having even the very slightest thing spoiled.

Graphic Design

If you look closely at that last image (sorry the resolution's not great), you'll notice Josh has the Bless icon redesigned. Here it is up close.

Other than that, Josh has been continuing to help me with card templates and also working with our new artist on the map tiles.


That's right, we have a new artistÁlvaro Nebot has joined the team to help us create all the map tiles in a timely manner. It took a while to find someone we were happy with and was available (and within budget), but luckily everything worked out. Álvaro is confident that he can get all the art done in the time frame we need.

Here's some samples of what he's done so far.

Keep in mind this is a first pass on the work. We'll still be tweaking some stuff, but we're also interested in your feedback on it.

Alexandr has sent me sketches for all the monsters added through stretch goals. They look, awesome, of course. I can't wait for you to see all this amazing stuff.

Also, here is your requisite item art for the week:

And there are no updates on the miniatures yet, but I'm expecting some news on that front by next week.

Okay, as always, it has been a pleasure showing you all what has been going on. See you in the comments and have a good week!


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    1. ionas on

      Btw how does LOS work with hex in your game?

    2. ionas on

      Great tiles and artwork.
      Hope the gameplay does exceed that oft the mediocre D2E by tons!

    3. Missing avatar

      Michael J on

      Wow! Those tiles look great. I wasn't sure how much the tiles would be improved beyond the original (all grey) prototypes, but these samples look good. Great job!

    4. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Jan, that cave reminds me a lot of Devil's Postpile, which I visited quite a few times as a kid:

    5. Missing avatar

      Alex Florin on

      I really like the art style. However, I am in the camp that would prefer not to have the walls be perfect hexes. The stone tile has a few partial hexes and to me that looks better than the walls for the wood tile. I think not aligning the walls to the hexes would look better in both tiles.

      Incorporating the hex lines internally is very cool. Much better than an overlay.

    6. Missing avatar

      Sean S. on

      Wow, the lighting on the tiles looks amazing!

    7. Tony Cotterill on

      Edit. The=to. (I'm sure there's more than one Alvaro somewhere)

    8. Tony Cotterill on

      Very nice job on the tiles.I'd be quite happy if these were finished pieces, to be honest. Kudos the Alvaro.

    9. James Charlick on

      Isaac are there any problems sharing images from these updates on boardgaming related Facebook groups?

    10. Missing avatar

      Jan Schröder on

      " think they will look kind of out of place on earth tiles and the natural stone doesn't look so natural anymore."

      that was my thought also, but then i remembered this:'s_Cave

      who knows what strange hexagonal shapes appear in Gloomhaven´s nature...

    11. Missing avatar

      Johannes Bartosch on

      These tiles look very good for early iterations. I really like how all the mechanical limitations are incorporated into the artwork, especially the borders of the tiles and how the details give the tiles a personal feel.
      While I think that representing the grid by the artwork works really well in some places (man made stone and wooden rooms) , I think they will look kind of out of place on earth tiles and the natural stone doesn't look so natural anymore.if it consists of a hexagonal shaped floor throughout.
      The thing is I guess it would look kind of strange if the only tiles without a hex grid floor artwork are the earth ones, so imo the natural stone grids would be the other logical candidate.

      Another thing that I guess should be planned at very early stages of the artwork is how the transitions should be done from one tile-theme to another. Of course this could be done exclusivly on the connectors, but it would require alot of them to make it look well. Imo the best and most efficient way is to incorporate a kind of general transition on the tile artwork itself like FFG have done it with Descent and Imperial Assault.

      Thx for this great update, I'm really pleasently surprised by how these tiles turned out so far.

    12. Jack R Wynn

      the tiles are looking good. But i would still shoot for darker and grittier.

    13. Missing avatar

      Jan Schröder on

      great tiles!
      very nice how the hex grid is incorporated into the architecture - that was something i really liked about "the old ones" already!
      and count me as +1 for Aron´s idea to make those tiles part of Gloomhaven´s world - would be great if you could recognize the world from looking at the map - any special plants that grow around Gloomhaven...?

    14. Missing avatar

      Anthony on

      Beautiful tiles

    15. Josh McDowell on

      @Ukko: You're correct. About 80% of the scenarios are dungeon dusting quests. Wait until you see the art for the Dragon Feather Duster of that Alexandr created. Amazing.

    16. Missing avatar

      Frdderik Beeckx on

      Tiles look great! Gj!

    17. Ukko Kaarto on

      Great looking tiles. That said I do echo the idea that if done in all tiles the Bex shaped floorboards, stone cuts etc. will look funny in aa non cool way. Some should also have more soot and grime and dust and sand. Or are there weekly cleaning visits at the dungeons?

    18. Gary Kressner on

      amazing art and advanced abilities that amaze as well - thanks so much for these updates!

    19. Martin Vetter on

      The tiles are AMAZING! Keep it up. This game is going to be soooo cool. :)

    20. Scott "KillaMini's" Myers

      the room boards look ACE.

    21. Daniel Nicolich

      Good work guys!!! It`s a really great art, can`t wait for crawling through those room boards. Congrats!

    22. aron aka jello on

      @Leonce - If they're advanced enough to be cutting cord-wood, making glass bottles and (presumably) making wine that would go in those bottles, I can buy that they have a potted plant. =D

    23. Missing avatar

      Mike Daneman on

      I'm also not crazy about the walls and all floor stones being hexes. While, it's an interesting idea to incorporate the hex pattern naturally into the maps, it does become quite odd to have every structure in the world to be built in hex patterns. The walls on the wooden room look especially strange. While it's ok to do it on some maps, for most maps I would go with a more natural floor plan and a hex grid overlayed on top of that.

    24. Shane (CoffeeGnerd)

      I like the not-straight walls. It implies the non-Earth alien architecture and aesthetic that others are lauding below. For a heartbeat I was thrown, too, but after a scone glance I felt it just looked somehow natural to the intent of the art.

    25. RavenMad on

      +1 on the new tile art - looks absolutely brilliant. Really evocative and helps to keep you immersed in the overall world-theme. Liking the new bless icon too. Great update, Isaac!

    26. aron aka jello on

      @Rodney - I can see your point.. it might look odd if *every* wall in the game was zig-zagged like that. I could live with it either way though.. partial hexes that we have to know are not play zones, or live with a bit of visual oddity for gameplay clarity. Or a mix.. that one I'd leave to Isaac and which he thinks best presents his world.

      @Isaac - Great, thanks! I just love that feeling when you actually take a moment here and there to really pay attention to those kinds of background bits and have that "Hey! That's the thing from... oh neat!"

      It really ties to room together..

    27. Bryan Kulczycki on

      I really like the art on the tiles, feels very immersive. Very lively, like their is a history here. How many different themes of tiles do you think there will be? Just curious.

    28. Missing avatar

      Eric Schubert on

      Loving all of the artwork presented so far! I really like the card designs, and the new tiles look fantastic. I'm trying not to read too much of text on the cards, because I want some surprises when we open the game. Man, this is gonna be awesome!

    29. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Aron, this is a nice idea. I'll give Álvaro all of the art assets and see if he can incorporate it into some of the tiles.

    30. Rodney Leary

      I'm torn actually, while I LOVE how the hexes work into the cavern and give it a natural look. I'm not as keen on the angled walls of the wooden room. I would rather have seen straight walls and partial hexes. Just note that a figure cannot occupy a partial hex. However, I can see I am apparently the only one, so its no biggie really. The art itself is top notch and I'm sure it will grow on me. This is still the one project that I have backed out of dozens that I'm most excited about.

    31. Ravendas on

      The tiles do look really nice. How the hexes are worked into the pieces instead of just an overlay'd grid is fantastic.

      I like the new Bless icon too.

    32. Missing avatar

      Charlotte on

      I agree that the tiles look great. I already really liked the ones published during the Kickstarter, but incorporating the hexes into the art is a very nice touch!
      I hope we also get to see some outside tile art at some point? I guess there it is harder to make the hexes part of the natural floor, but I'm sure they'll still look great.

    33. Leonce on

      What a great update! Thanks for sharing all this awesome stuff with us. It gets more and more clear that you form a great design team which creates something special here.
      The advanced cards are a cool spoiler and I really like the colour design and how it stands out. Also finally a cool looking bless icon (yeah, it mus be finally known that I am a fan of Josh's work ;) ).
      The new tiles are gorgeous. Álvaro seems the perfect addition to the creative team. The only thing that bugs me a little is the potted plant in the first tile, looks a little too modern and out of place.
      The armour looks awesome. Alexandr puts such a high level of detail in every item and brings it to life.
      Finally you, Isaac, as the head of the team always keeping us updated and let us be part of the design process. Oh man, I would love to sneak peek into the writing your doing.
      Friday is Gloomhaven-Day :). Thank you!

    34. J. Gillespie on

      Tiles and Bless look great! Very atmospheric coloring in the cavern!

      DOT abilities and health for damage seem very cool. Really looking forward to how some of these combo.

      Take breaks when you need to and read something good to inspire your 'voice'!

    35. William on

      I'm kidding! I just wanted to start a ruckus. :P Josh got things going, and Álvaro will finish them off with the icing on the Gloomhaven pie. The new tile style is looking sharp, love the feeling of depth, the dimensional look enriched the sense of location. Looking forward to more samples and final shots. Great choice in artist Isaac!

    36. William on

      I dunno, I think I like the prototype designs better.

    37. Jonas Vanschooren

      Wow what an update.
      Great card examples, love the new bless icon.
      And man I love those new map tiles. These really gave me a wow moment when I scrolled down this update. Great work.

    38. Peter "Dia Fir" Andersson

      Looks fantastic!
      If these were the final tiles I'd be very happy!
      Now finish the game and start working on Gloomhaven 2!

    39. aron aka jello on

      Wowza! Awesome, awesome stuff. Josh's 1st passes already looked good, not gonna knock him any.. but these.. damn. I'll echo some of the others saying having the hexes in the art works very well. To throw some praise at Josh, the new bless icon is also great! Definitely feels mystical/magical while being it's own thing. There was a whole thread about it over at BGG... I think Josh just mic dropped it.

      I do want to echo a suggestion I and others have made (and to be very up-front - this is an additive thing, ain't nothing wrong with whats going on up there) - do try and incorporate some of the visual and design elements that make the Gloomhaven world unique into the tiles themselves. Ideally they can not only look awesome, but will immediately put you into this place and nowhere else. We've seen a few weapon designs in the items that are fairly distinctive as well, those could show up discarded in the caves, mounted on walls, left bloodied and rusted pinning a skeleton to a wall. Assuming some of the iconography associated with the classes and such is supposed to be significant in-fiction (as opposed to just being a player aid) incorporating those in little bits and corners could also work well. The best example I've got off-hand, though, is to utilize some of the potion designs you've got. They are completely different than any other game I've seen around.. having one of those tipped over on a table leaking it's goo, or a broken & depleted in the corner can both draw us in a bit more and give a sense of history & life to the environments.

      The wine bottles do some of that and are certainly not *out* of place, but they don't help it be Gloomhaven as opposed to Descent/DnD/Warhammer/etc.

      Awesome stuff Isaac, thanks again for making me quite happy I backed the project!

    40. Missing avatar

      Alex K on

      wow those tiles look amazing....
      I was too very worried during the kickstarter about the artwork of the tiles...not anymore.
      Great job!!!!!! And true that the hexes are merged in the tiles so natural.

    41. stevelabny

      New tile art is a huge improvement already. Now I feel much better about jumping in on this one.

    42. Dennis HeroBiX Thisner on

      thanks for a great update, again =)
      often I skip reading the updates I get from Kickstarter, usually boring and a lot of text. You keep it simple and right to the point with some humor, love it =)

      The tiles looks amazing! :D

    43. Gauthier D.

      new tile art is awesome!

    44. infinityoverpi on

      @James Charlick I couldn't have said it better. I 100% agree.

    45. James Charlick on

      Oh and creating the hexes as part of the artwork instead of as an overlay works really well, it helps keep the theme instead of making it feel like a sports field or something. That probably didn't make sense. Eh.

    46. James Charlick on

      The tiles are beautiful, I love the lighting and the temperature implied by the colours to create warm and cold atmospheres. I think there's enough content to get the imagination running while leaving space to actually role play. Fantastic.

    47. Dimitar on

      I love all the art!

      This is really minor, but on the advanced ability cards, the title text on the last two cards seems to pop out much better than the title text on the first two.

    48. Jardanes

      The tiles are just gorgeous. Amazing artwork. The armor art is also amazing!!!

    49. Tim De Smet on

      I really like the new tile art !!