On Sunday 3rd July the Alkemy final was held in Sartrouville (78). This was my fourth participation and every time, the Alchemist Miniatures team has surprises. This year, before the announcement of the results, they explained that a second Kickstarter was going to be launched at the beginning of the school year, and each participant was given an envelope with a future game profile, as well as an announcement for the 10 years of the game, which will be held in March / April 2018, with a special day proposing 3 new projects … The craziest speculation fed the way back with the 2 people I traveled with. I thought that the best way to find out more about all this was to ask Nicoleblond…
Mellal: We were used to surprises in the finals, but there were several at the last… Announcement of a second Kickstarter, announcement of the anniversary of the 10 years in 2018 with presentation of 3 projects. Concerning the Kickstarter, we started to know more through the site and the forums, can you explain?
Nicoleblond: This second Kickstarter is a continuation of what we have been doing since we took over the game. From the beginning of the license renewal, one of the projects was to bring back Alkemy to the store and this project goes in this direction. More than 3 years ago, we started from scratch, with little or no experience in some areas concerning everything that revolves around a game of miniatures, and it was not conceivable to carry this project all after. We are now at this stage, that is to say the return in store.
Mellal: And what will the Kickstarter wear then?
Nicoleblond: This project will help us to fund first of all a starter box for 2 players, with all it takes to play directly, ie the miniatures of course (plastic, very easy to assembled), all the material (rulebook, dice, tape measure, erasable felt, profile cards, combat cards, markers and components for alchemists) but also a printed battlemat, 6 printed scenery sets to be mounted and the scenario book. This starter box will be enough to start playing Alkemy.
Mellal: And for those who already have all the equipment, this Kickstarter will not address them?
NNicoleblond: On the contrary, because we do not forget the “Alkemyesque” community on which we count, and the first Kickstarter had been successful thanks to them, and more widely thanks to the community of miniatures. As with any project, we need everybody, and put every chance on our side. Therefore, in addition to the starter box, we will be offering new miniatures that will appeal to players who already possess the material and who will not be interested in the starter box. We have already begun to unveil concepts, there should be the collector of knowledge for the cobra guard, the 3 crow wind-warriors for Aurlok Nation, the Jailor and the hallowed alchemist for the Sanctified (Avalon sub-faction), Litam Bint Sorhna and his 3 ondins for the Sorority and Fadela (Khalimane sub-faction), Nas~ Far’k for the Naashtis, the Slume Apprentice for Utopia, Toh Rok for Auroch clan, Hakan Red-one eye (New sculpture) for the Escapees and a second emissary for the scenario book. There will be possibility to take also the scenario book apart, or else the battlemat, or scenery sets…
Mellal: On the forums, we could read that a sculptor of the original team will make a sculpture, can we have a name?
Nicoleblond: If I tell you that his first name begins with the first letter of the alphabet, and that his name, by the third letter of the alphabet, should give you indications :-). It seemed important to us to appeal to him for the 10 years of the game, it is symbolic, we also know that it will please the community. I asked for it and he responded favorably despite a busy schedule apparently. As his favorite miniatures were the Aurochs, it seemed logical to entrust him the hero Toh Rok of Auroch Clan.
Mellal: And do you think that the financing of a starter box launched on Kickstarter will echo then in store?
Nicoleblond: Yes, because we really think the game needs a starter box for a return in store. We have had discussions with various store managers and their return confirms this choice. Then, one might think that Kickstarter and store are incompatible, it is true that one can read and see different things on the subject, but we think that one does not prevent the other, or rather that one Does not necessarily harm the other. With this project, our financing needs will be “modest” in relation to other large-scale projects (Zombicide, Conan, etc.). Our scale of communication is proportional and we are not going to realize the incredible amounts of contribution that we sometimes see, and not touch as many people as these large-scale projects. Thus, it will leave ample room for buyers who will go to their local shop, who frequent little or not Kickstarter. They will be able to discover the starter box at that time as well. And to go back on the big projects, some have worked very well on Kickstarter and that did not stop them from experiencing success in store too. The stores are important, they are often the local anchor, the meeting place of the players, and the people who work there know the products, know adviser. It is true that it may seem paradoxical for the project we are launching, that is to say launch a project on Kickstarter to bring the game back into the store, but we are convinced that bringing the game back into the store is essential. For us, proximity is important, we are close to our community, and we remain convinced that the players are attached to their local shop. I recently read on Facebook that a store in Meaux (City in France) was stopped and the comments of the people who used to visit or who had visited the shop several years ago were full of emotion. Many said they had discovered plenty of games through the shop, and they also talked about the circle of players.
Mellal: Have you planned add-ons, stretch goals?
Nicoleblond: It’s still under reflection but yes, there will be stretch goals. In the scenario book, there are several scenarios that use pawns objective, such as jin , chests, spores, streetlights, so it is easy to imagine replacing the tokens that are in the starter box by For example, objective pawns. We can easily imagine free additional miniatures also, unlocked from certain bearings. Also, our wish would be to go beyond the starter box, and to propose next to it blitz starters and blitz lists. The starter box will be with the 2 Khaliman and Triade de Jade factions, and we would like to propose starters (box with miniatures and game material) for Avalon, Aurlok, Escapees, Naashti and Utopia, and blitz lists (without game material) for khaliman, cobra guard, walosi clan, auroch clan, etc. I’m not sure we can do anything, but that’s the idea …
Mellal: Can we talk about what was announced on the flyer given in the final, ie the 10 years of the game to be held in March, with presentation of the 3 projects?
Nicoleblond: So we put the date in March, but maybe it will be April, it’s not stopped yet. What we want to do is make the delivery of the kickstarter coincide with that day as well. So, people who come to this event will be able to pick up what they have pledged, and take advantage of it to discover 3 projects around the Alkemy universe. Alkemy will have 10 years of existence in 2018, the first release in store dates from February 2008 and so it seemed important to celebrate the 10 years of the game by organizing a special day. Concerning the 3 projects, 10 years, it is also a good starting date to project itself in the future. Alkemy has a real universe and it is possible to decline a lot of things around this one.
Mellal: Can you tell us more about the 3 projects?
Nicoleblond: The first of these projects is an idea that came to us three years ago, I believe, when we were at the convention of the Dragons de Vaires in Vaires Sur Marne (94). We were on the finalization of the resumption of the license. There was a large gaming table with about 6 players, as we can often see in conventions, and we thought it would be interesting to have something in this spirit for Alkemy. That is to say have a gambling table with several players around the table, but rather in a cooperative sense, which seemed to be the case with the table we were seeing from a distance. We kept that idea in mind. Thus, this first project is titled for the moment “The discovery of the Shaal”, the name is not definitive. The idea is to have between four and eight players who can play together around a table in a cooperative way, in a campaign system with a narrative frame. Each player will play 1 miniature, one takes up the whole system of the miniatures game, dice, profile cards. We already have the “frame”, each player will play a character of the Lodge with an intrigue around the Shaal. To explain a little what the Lodge and Shaal is, we must return to the base of the Universe. In order to try to make “short”, we have “She” who is the creator of the planet Mornea, “She” creates the 4 architektes (Khalim for the Khalimans, Aurlokan for the Aurloks, Naash for the Naashtis and Orhom for the Triadics). These 4 “children” will create the seasons, the reliefs of the planet Mornea, as well as their “descent”. As the cycles progress, Mornea is a people, tensions appear between the nations, the alchemical war comes and peace then arrives, but always with latent tensions, events that do not seem “natural”. Some people realize that an “entity” (the Shaal) is behind it and they form the Lodge to “fight” this entity and its representatives. For those who want to know more about the genesis of the universe, it is possible to consult and download egenesis: http://alkemy-the-game.com/en/genesis-the-book-of-the-universe/.
Mellal: 4 to 8 players, will there be one who will play the game master somehow?
Nicoleblond: No, what we have planned is to have an automated system, so the players will play together against a system. Afterwards, we will make sure to have a system “intelligent” and not predictable. What we are also considering is the fact that the system is played by a player who loses his character during the game. The idea of this project is to bring a different experience to the miniatures game, while retaining the simplicity of the mechanisms, in a campaign system with a narrative framework. All this is still under development but obviously there is a system of experience for the characters, we are thinking about a modular tray system that would vary the layout of the scenarios. In the end, this project would result in a campaign book with several scenarios, perhaps fifteen or twenty, and of course the whole story that is an important aspect in Alkemy. It is also possible that the project will culminate in a “box” that would include all the elements needed to play this campaign. In parallel to the development of a project, we must think about the commercial aspect and its realization and it is necessary to succeed in combining the “game” side and the “production” side. For now, we are in the development phase, and the first step is to present this project during the 10 years.
Mellal: Second project, a game of cards “the awakening of the lodge”, we deviate from the miniatures game.
Nicoleblond: Yes, it’s not incompatible :-). As said above, Alkemy has a rich and wide universe to allow quite a lot of declinations. In fact, the approach is quite simple. Before being “publisher” of a miniatures game, we are player. I am part of the game club and miniatures of Sartrouville (city in France), I go 2 to 3 times a month, many different games are played, whether it is miniature games, board games, card games, and It’s interesting to discover different aspects around the universe of games. It’s just as interesting to play the Alkemy miniature games on a good screenplay, achieve the goals and try to take the lead on your opponent, it’s interesting to play a card game with 4, 6 or 8 people. We like to play many people, there is a friendly side and often a funny side. If, in addition, there may be twisted shots, it can be all the more fun. This is a bit the idea of starting the second project, bringing together several people once again around a game but in a different form. Each player would play a character of the Lodge there too, but during the game, the players will be in 2 teams that will fight against each other. At the beginning, the characters will be hidden, only the player will know which player it embodies. The first phase will be to awaken his character, ie to become aware of the existence of the Shaal. To do this, we will have to collect a certain number of elements (air, water, earth, fire) and / or the symbols of the damage table (sword, ax and mass) that will be found on the different cards. There will be a draw and discard system, and the ability to take a discarded card with a “fight” aspect if two players want the card. The players will reveal themselves as and when they join one team or the other (the first player chooses the team of “good” or “bad” and the second player will be in the opposing team, etc.). Then comes the 2nd phase where it is necessary to take the lead on the opposing team, placing the cards of the elements on the board. The known circle of the universe Alkemy will be found with elements air, water, earth and fire. Again, this phase will allow the players of both teams to compete during the installation of the elements. The goal is to “win” the elements. What we foresee is that each character possesses a unique power and one also foresees “variants” of game.
Mellal: To finish, what is the steel arena?
Nicoleblond: So this is the 3rd project. When I proposed to the team members to create a special day for the 10 years, with presentation of 2 projects, the idea was welcomed but we also saw the amount of work to be devoted. And then I do not know how, but this 3rd idea came to me pretty quickly, it says never 2 without 3 :-). When I spoke that we had a 3rd project, I think we could hear: “Do not throw it anymore! “:-) but with the explanation I gave, it was finally welcomed with enthusiasm. In the city of Steel which is along the Canal de la Concorde, there is an arena which was built to distract the inhabitants. In this city as well as in the cities along the Canal, there are companies and cartels with an important rivalry, full of suspicious business, of trade, which also means being able to surround themselves with “big arms” that go Ability to do the dirty work. Thus, the arena is also a formidable scene of recruitment for the Carte of the Saber which is the “guild” of the city. This is for the context that is part of the Alkemy universe. This project will show 2 players, maybe even 3 or 4 players, maybe more, we will see as the progress advances. Each player will play a “gladiator”, you will start in the spirit of an Alkemy profile card with additions, you will use the dice and each player will have a card deck, combat cards, dodge cards, movement cards, Special combat cards depending on the weapon used. The goal is to have a fairly fast and brutal game system, but with a good dose of tactics. In what we will present, players will be able to test with established profiles, but the creation of a gladiator will be “calibrated”. There will be a point system to be distributed in the different characteristics (spirit, reflex, defense, combat), weapons to select, in short of what to create and personalize his gladiator. During the fights, it will be possible to choose where you want to hit the opponent, and according to the cards chosen by the 2 players, there will be a bonus / malus system.
Mellal: Have you already planned release dates for one of the projects, or even for the 3 projects?
Nicoleblond: No. It is still at the development stage for now, we will of course test, see the first returns and the anniversary day will be also important to collect opinions, feelings on these 3 projects, see what works and what which does not work. There is always a gap between what one can imagine of a game, elaborate something, then once confronted with the players, it can turn out, transform, put ideas aside, or improve one Aspect, or else completely fall flat. After all, the most important thing is to have something that is intended for the players, that is pleasant, that corresponds to an expectation, that the players who will test these 3 projects want to replay. The opinions on this day will be important and that is why I invite as many to come on the anniversary day. On the one hand it will be a celebration, 10 years of life for a miniature games, it is not necessarily obvious, there are quite a lot of miniature games that started at the same time as Alkemy, and they disappeared. Alkemy is always there, and it’s thanks to all the players who support the game every month, every tournament, every final, or when we launched the kickstarter in November 2015. We experienced the recovery of This game as a real chance and it is a chance to be able to continue development. Going back to the 3 projects, the goal is to have games that can be marketed, which is why we must also have this parameter in mind when developing. It necessarily brings with it material constraints that must be taken into account, or at least have to be borne in mind.
Mellal: Well, well all these answers allowed me to know more about what was stated on this damn flyer. Something to add ?
Nicoleblond: We will communicate well in advance on the anniversary day, March or April 2018. We invite you to come on this day, come to test the 3 projects, also discover the miniature games Alkemy Blitz for those who do not know, And take advantage to come and withdraw the pledge KS for those who will support us. We hope you will have many years for the anniversary and for the participation in the KS. Thank you to those who support Alkemy for many years, it is left for 10 years 🙂