About this project
We made it!!!!! Keep up with the project through the updates or at http://www.playzenion.com/theshadowoverwestminster
A dark shadow is creeping over the city of London. Whispers speak of demonic rituals, rats the size of dogs, living shadows and bodies returning to life.
Terrifying as they are, these disturbances are merely harbingers of the oncoming Cataclysm - an event that will mean the end of the world as we know it. Only the Agency, a clandestine organization composed of the best the world’s secret societies have to offer, has a chance to uncover the dark power behind the Cataclysm and stop it in time. Are you up to the challenge?
In The Shadow Over Westminster, each player assumes the role of one of the Agents: the secretive Illuminati Shadow, the noble Knight Templar, the perceptive Watcher or the mysterious Outsider. As a team, you must build up your skills by acquiring advanced investigative techniques and powerful artifacts in order to deal with the strange disturbances that are appearing around the city.
The core gameplay element of The Shadow Over Westminster is deck building. Your character doesn't have any attributes or statistics to have to remember - everything they can do is represented by their individual deck of cards. As you acquire more clues, artifacts, and unique investigative abilities into your deck, your power and options increase. But be careful not to attract too much attention to yourself! Exposure cards clog your deck and slow you down, because if the world finds out about the Cataclysm, the ensuing panic will become uncontrollable chaos.
However, there is a lot more going on than just deck building.
Gameboard - Agents can move across the city, and the actions they take on their turn depend not only on where they are, but on who is there with them.
Unique Characters - Each Agent has their own set of unique investigation cards, as well as an ability they can use every turn. Their strong affinity to one of the core gameplay elements means tactics need to be adapted depending on which Agents are in each play through.
Deeper Strategy - Different types of cards have different backs, giving you an idea of what you have coming up next. Coupled with abilities that let you play cards from the top of your deck and a reserve space to save one card to carry over between turns, you are not only playing your hand for your current turn, but planning out what you hope to do on your next turn as well.
Building Darkness - Every turn, darkness creeps into one area of the city. It seems to build slowly at first, but if it isn't taken care of it can end investigations, set back progress, and force Agents to retreat. If the darkness engulfs the city too often, the Cataclysm will occur and all hope is lost.
15 Different Cataclysms - Each Cataclysm brings about the end of the world in a different way, and the way you play must adapt to accommodate it. One Cataclysm is randomly selected at the start of the game, and isn't revealed until the Agents have raised their knowledge level high enough. It might even be revealed that one of the Agents is working against the rest of the team, and suddenly, the game takes an entirely different turn. Want to ensure a cooperative game, or want to avoid replaying a certain scenario? You can simply limit the pool of Cataclysms you draw from before you begin the game. The possibilities are vast.
A Deeper Story - In addition to the incredible artwork, every Cataclysm has a handcrafted story behind it. Every artifact is drawn from real world objects, myths and folklore, carefully tied together and worked into the theme. Every disturbance includes a passage that brings it to terrifying life inside your mind. Every Agent has a back story that draws you into their world.
All of us at Zenion Games are putting 110% into this project, but here are the two guys who really brought The Shadow Over Westminster to life:
Robert Huss - Game Designer. Robert began The Shadow Over Westminster as a solo project, with an early prototype winning over fans at game conventions and design competitions. He has poured hundreds of hours into the research, mechanics design, and play-testing that makes TSOW such a thrilling game every time you play. He has joined Team Zenion as Lead Game Developer.
Phillip Jenne - Art Director. Phillip is one of the co-founders of Zenion Games and functions as Lead Art Director. He is responsible for the art direction of and visual design of TSOW, as well as NOVUS: Awakening and it's upcoming expansion, Unification. Every visual element of our product lineup is infused with passion for detail.
We appreciate each and every backer, no matter how much or how little you can put toward bringing The Shadow Over Westminster to life!
Every pledge level $45 and up - Get The Game
- Beautiful 18"x18" Wrapped Quad-Fold Board
- 4 Individual Agents cards with original character illustrations.
- 15 unique, fully-illustrated Cataclysm cards.
- 125 Playable Cards that build up each Agent's deck (Bridge size, 3.5" x 2.25")
- 4 Original 32mm Miniatures - 1 for each Agent. They will be hand sculpted by Chad Hoverter, best known for his beautiful miniatures in Mice and Mystics.
- 15 Wooden Darkness Markers and 1 Knowledge Marker
- A full color instruction booklet
- KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE - Each copy of the game, at any pledge level, comes with an 8 x 10 art print of one of the Agents (You will choose which you want after the campaign ends.) You can add $10 each to your pledge for additional art prints.
$66 - Your Name in the Game
Leave your mark on London with your name on a card. Each of the Exposure cards will have a unique news blurb along with the story author's name. At this tier, it will be your name that appears in every single copy of the game produced. There a limited number of Exposure cards, so we can only offer this to the first 30 to pledge at this level.
$300 - Nightmares Made Manifest
We're working with Aaron Lovejoy and Allan Pyle of Guild Painting to bring the miniatures to life with a gorgeous hand paint job. Each of the four Agent minis will get over 3 hours of attention by some of the finest hands to ever touch a brush. Multiple Golden Demons and Sophie Trophies stand as proof of their skill, and the successful completion of over 1200 painted miniatures for Kickstarter campaigns attests to their reliability. While a full competition level paint job requires days of work for each model, the magic these guys can work in 3 hours is breath-taking!
Due to the time and effort that goes into painting the miniatures, these games will begin to ship slightly later than the rest. They will be painted and shipped in the order in which the pledges are made. If you want yours right away, be sure to pledge right away. If you want the ultimate Shadow experience at an absolute steal, the first 5 sets are available at $25 off. We expect them to disappear quickly!
Add-On Companion Book
At this tier, legendary fantasy and horror artist RK Post joins the art team and will be contributing multiple pieces of artwork to the Cataclysm deck.
Most of you know RK Post from his work in the Magic: The Gathering universe, but his artwork has also brought characters and locations to life in Legends of Norrath, Planescape, Alternity, Deadlands, and Star Wars, just to name a few.
Mr. Post has been in the business for nearly 20 years, and has twice been nominated for the ASFA Chesley Award, most recently for the Magic card Lightning Angel. His style is a perfect fit for the world we're trying to craft in The Shadow Over Westminster. We're thrilled that he's agreed to dedicate some time to our project and hope you're just as excited as we are.
Each of the 12 Artifact cards will get their own unique artwork to bring them to life. The Tablet of Destinies, Eye of Odin, Book of Thoth, Antikythera Mechanism, Pandora's Box and more. Pulled from history and mythology around the globe, and beautifully illustrated to provide a glimmer of hope and beauty in a dark and dangerous world!
When you open up the game box, you don't want to have to spend time organizing all the cards. To make it easier to jump right into saving the world, we have designed a vacuum-formed plastic insert that keeps all the decks separate and all the pieces in place. You can open the box and start playing with a setup time of less than two minutes!
The insert will fit all of the playable cards in sleeves, so you can make sure everything stays in top condition.
An early prototype of The Shadow Over Westminster was a finalist in the Cards Against Humanity Tabletop Deathmatch.
"It immediately grabbed my imagination, there's so much good flavor in that world and there's so many good characters. I immediately thought if he had the budget, this thing could really be." - Max Temkin, Co-creator of Cards Against Humanity
"I love the flavor text... That's an element I thought that really made it stand out."- David Munk, Co-Creator of Cards Against Humanity
The Nerds' Table wrote up an excellent review for the game, along with the story of their attempt to stop the Cataclysm. You can check it out at their website www.nerdstable.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-shadow-over-westminster-by-robert.html
Kickstarter offers something that the traditional game development cycle doesn't, a direct channel to our fans. By going directly to our fans we can cut out several layers of the development process. This reduces our cost and helps us realistically gauge interest and demand. As a smaller company it's important that we properly size and launch our projects. Kickstarter allows us to bypass the middleman and bring The Shadow Over Westminster directly to you. It allows you to join us on the adventure of a lifetime and be among the first in the world to see our products.
Risks and challenges
At Zenion, we're comitted to quality and to offering the best products we possibly can. We learned a lot from our first Kickstarter last year, and we have a much better grasp on timelines and the realities of actually making a physical product and shipping it to our fans all over the world.
This is our first time dealing with miniatures, and that means we have sculpts and molds (and some incredible painting for those who choose). Lucky for us, we are working with people and companies who have a proven track record of producing quality miniatures, and we are confident in their ability to keep our project moving smoothly.
With The Shadow Over Westminster, we're taking everything to the next level, so there will be challenges. However, as a team of five now, rather than a single man operation, we've done our due diligence to ensure a smooth product development and launch. We're also working with legendary artists who have proven they can deliver the work you've come to expect from us in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Shipping to Canada has its own tier now!
If you wanted to choose a different reward level (such as the painted miniatures), just add $10 for shipping to Canada
The main reason why the game doesn't go beyond 4 players is because the strategic game play would really suffer. A big part of the game is being able to plan for what you will be doing on your next turn. With 6 players, you have such a long wait and so many things can happen before your turn comes around that your planning would almost always go to waste. Part of the tension in a 3 or 4 player game actually comes from hoping that the situation will hold long enough to put your plan into action, but it's a gamble you have reasonable odds on.
In addition, each of the Agents has a strong affinity to one of the game mechanics, and all of their abilities and special Investigation cards work together with that unique connection. Adding in more Agents would mean blending existing Agents into some hybrids, which would just water down the mechanics and unique feel of each Agent.
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