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Machina Arcana is a cooperative steampunk horror board game for 1-4 players. An immersive and dark, turn-based tactical game.
Machina Arcana is a cooperative steampunk horror board game for 1-4 players. An immersive and dark, turn-based tactical game.
1,710 backers pledged $142,790 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$142,790

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Players take on the role of explorers that are thrown into dreadful halls, scratching for survival and progressing through the chapters of one from many horror stories. Even if they manage to stay alive till the end of the story, they will face a special mini game at the finale of each scenario.

A novel way of interacting with environment, inventory, combat mechanics, tactical and storytelling experience all connected in order to give you a complete immersion and replay value. But beware! A horde of unique and terrifying monsters are bent only to destroying your party. If that isn’t enough, Horror itself disrupts and hinders any remaining hope in these comfortless chambers.

Enjoy the stunning art and dark visuals of the game, let yourself be entranced in the gripping story and peculiar events. There is no need for game master, no special conditions based on player count, a modifiable duration and difficulty setting. But one thing is always certain - every session is different, huge content and a game that is easy to learn but hard to master.

 

Machina Arcana provides a real cooperative experience where fellowship truly matters. Sacrifice and acts of heroism are sometimes the only way for a party to survive just one more round. But there is no need for additional players - the game plays by itself, governed by simple deterministic rules, and that’s the reason why solo play is also completely immersive and fulfilling.

The game is easy to learn, but quite hard to win - there is no prancing around with a designated alpha gamer protecting the confused party. With metagaming, different variants and strategies, every game session is a new experience on its own.

Players are represented by explorers - each with its own background story, illustration and a set of abilities that distinguish them from the others.

Explorers have their starting weapon, but it’s of utter importance to utilize the surroundings and try to salvage whatever one can find. Besides items, explorers can initiate peculiar events, solve side quests, activate special locations and interact with each other. Explorers may even contribute and help each other make that final, desperate push toward their goal.

Monsters hit hard. Even the starting ones can easily force the party to re-evaluate their strategy or be eviscerated, mercilessly. There are 26 unique monsters, divided over 4 levels. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos may have spawned the initial representations, but the strange and dark world of Machina Arcana has warped them into something even more sinister and tangible, fully bent on destroying the bewildered party.

Any player can control the movement and action of the monsters. They always sense the weakest one in their vicinity, but beware, there are many types of monsters, even those that stay in place and spread their effects across the whole area!

There are a huge number of items available, but truly interesting are their combinations and alterations. We have incorporated many steampunk flavors and they excel when it comes to our treasure mechanics.  

You can upgrade your brass umbrella with a pistol crossbow that has augmented cogs to increase its attack. Of course this is not only limited to weapons; now even your attire can be upgraded and augmented to serve any of your crafting needs.  

Additionally, items can be traded with adjacent explorers or even dropped for someone to pick them up later.

Units are moving and playing their abilities within map tiles. Every map tile is a 10x10 grid with 4 possible exits on each side. While additional map tiles are explored, they can represent a playing area of maximum 2x2 map tiles. It is possible to explore even further, with the concept of scrolling map tiles and by banishing monsters from the removed areas.   

Map tiles not only provide the space through which units move, but more importantly they offer many different means of escaping, slowing monsters and destroying them - even without items.

Along with monsters and items there is another type of card that can greatly influence the game. These are event cards, and they enable explorers, and the forces of Horror also, to invoke peculiar things to happen. There are two types of events: explorer and horror; and each of them, besides having some effect on the game, serve as a narrative element for an even greater immersive gaming experience.

Some events can be ongoing, which means their effect continues to influence the game for some time. Additionally, some events are quests and they give explorers a chance to complete the card’s condition in order to resolve its reward effect.

When players start the game, they first choose the scenario they would like to play. Every scenario is composed of a set of chapters and progress is directly linked with the development of the story and its chapters. A scenario may have its own event cards that are shuffled with core cards and give additional flavor while playing the game. Each chapter has its own illustration, gripping story, effects and intricacies that will determine the game dynamics.

At the end of each scenario a party will play an endgame - a conclusive battle that defines whether or not doom will prevail.  

It is a special type of mini game, with its own map tile and special rules that you as a party need to defeat (or be defeated by). 






Behind Machina Arcana stands an independent team consisting of professionals in the fields of illustration, graphic design and system design. The artwork and content for the core box is already done. Machina Arcana is a finished, polished and tested game, played by the hundreds during the last few conventions (including Essen Spiel 2013). We are presenting the game through Kickstarter because it is the best way to share one's ideas and work - it enables many awesome projects to come true. 

We hope that our project resonates with you, artistically and gamer-wise. This wish guided us through the thrilling adventure and commitment of creation, and finally led us to this decisive moment. To reach out to the community and share our work with you, confident that the game will provide you and your friends the best entertainment and immersion you could ask for.

Juraj Bilich -Project leader / Game designer / Writer

Aleksandra Bilich - Creative director / Graphic designer    

Kristian Pavlin - Illustrator  

Hrvoje Silich - Illustrator  

Karin Bogdanich - Illustrator  

Damir Podhrashki - Illustrator  

Elwira Pawlikowska - Illustrator  

Mladen Konecky - Video and Sound  

Danko Bundalo - Narrator  

Sofia Pavlin - Editor

Map tiles -We are very proud to have Lord Zsezse Works in charge of our map tiles!

Additional writers:

Paul Barrett Sansperf - Bestiarium; Bonus scenario; Explorer stories

Mike Malley - Editor

Daniel Monan - Exclusive scenario

US backers

The boxes for US backers will come from China to Los Angeles port, they will be transferred to our distributor’s warehouse and from there shipped to our backers.

EU backers

We have made arrangements to provide distribution of your backer rewards from within the European Union. The additional $20 will stay (as indicated in the reward text), but Amazon's fulfillment service will be handling the distribution, which means there will be no hidden, additional charges for our dear European backers.

Rest of the world

Boxes will be shipped from US.

Check us on Kicktraq!

Risks and challenges

As Machina Arcana is already a finished game, the only delay from our side will be with producing stretch goals that have been unlocked.

Delays in production and/or shipping are of course a risk for any game publisher, and these can be caused, for example, by component shortage, manufacturer error, weather conditions and customs delays. However, we assure you we will do everything in our power to ensure that games are delivered promptly and on time. Nevertheless, please understand that there is always the chance of unexpected delays that are out of our hands.

We have put considerable time, effort and research into manufacturing and logistical issues, and can pledge our word that we will do our utmost to fulfill your expectations, retain your trust and use your funds with complete integrity.

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FAQ

  • No. Please make sure you manually increase your pledge by the amount listed in the pledge. We will not be able to send out non-domestic packages without collecting that fee.

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  • We are aware that miniatures are very popular, but we focused all of our energy and expertise to deliver the game with the best possible art, visuals and game mechanics. For having miniatures the delivery time would be increased for at least half a year, and not to talk about the price (project goal and per box). We promised only what we know that we can deliver; professionally and on-time.

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  • Through stretch goals we will create new, mostly exclusive content for backers that will be available only from this Kickstarter. Only Exclusive box will contain this content. And yes, from the start Exclusive box contains additional content.

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  • It's not about the expansion but about the crowded map tile and limited resources.
    I recommend 1-4, but nothing stops you with playing with 5-6 players.
    One more thing: If there are 5 of you, there is a game variant: Puppeteer. The 5th player controls the monsters and some other things: it's a VERY hard game for the explorers but it gives a totally different gaming experience.

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  • We have made arrangements to provide distribution of your backer rewards from within the European Union. The additional $20 will stay (as indicated in the reward text), but Amazon's fulfillment service will be handling the distribution, which means there will be no hidden, additional charges for our dear European backers.

    Last updated:
  • The game will never be played the same way. The combinations of events, map tiles, items and monsters makes every session unique. There is no predefined map layout for the chosen scenario and chapter effects can be used as an additional strategic component of the game.
    Game is really hard - the immersion is created with desperate situations, not only with chapters. Each scenario has its own events that are shuffled into core ones, so each time you will get a different flavor through resolving event cards.

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  • There are 3 card formats used in the game:

    - Explorer / Monster / Chapter: 59mm x 91mm

    - Event: 46mm x 69mm

    - Treasure: 79mm x 42mm

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  • You just need to manage your pledge and increase it with the sum of all add-ons that interests you. After the campaign there will be a survey where we will ask you to specify all the chosen add-ons.

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  • Because of the way we will prepare and ship the boxes - this is something that just can't be done. (Every variation would need to have another bar code, and the fees would be higher than the add-on itself)

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  • Ladies (available sizes: S-3XL) and men (available size: S-4XL).

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  • At this moment there are no new stretch goals. We are running on tight schedule so it's better to be reserved with our promises.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    CUSTODIAN: - Every donation helps, we offer you our humble thanks.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    INSCRIBED ONE: - May the halls forever echo your sign - Your name included as a supporter in our game manual and site.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    WATCHER: - You will receive HQ Digital content (manual, 8 wallpapers, 2 posters, and unlocked books).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CORE BACKER: - You will receive a Core box with all unlocked features. - Add $20 USD to ship outside the US.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    EXCLUSIVE BACKER: - You will receive a Kickstarter Exclusive box with all unlocked features. - Add $20 USD to ship outside the US.

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    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    CORE BUNDLE: - You will receive 3 Core boxes with all unlocked features. - Add $40 USD to ship outside the US

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    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    EXCLUSIVE BUNDLE: - You will receive 3 Kickstarter Exclusive boxes with all unlocked features. - Add $40 USD to ship outside the US

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    Pledge $575 or more About $575

    EXPLORER: - You will receive a Kickstarter Exclusive box with all unlocked features
    - Your name included as a special supporter in our game manual and site
    - Your picture and story will be used as additional explorer card
    - Worldwide shipping included.

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Funding period

- (35 days)