Iconica Travels Update

Lots has been happening around the Specimen studio lately. Organizing ourselves, winding down from 2014, ramping up for Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest, and lots of other stuff. With all this going on, there's still tons of work, thought, and play being invested into future Iconica releases.

I recently announced the development of Iconica Travels (via Facebook). Iconica Travels is a new layer for the game which will add more RPG flavor, strategy elements, and lots of ways to customize your game experience. Iconica Travels will also dramatically expand the World of Rynaga by allowing players to discover more about the people, places, creatures, objects, and mysteries of this planet.

Progress continues on the structure and mechanic of play. Don't wanna bore you guys, but here are some things we're currently exploring, which might provide some hints as to what's to come:

  1. Pet functionality and usage.
  2. Armor sets and customizations.
  3. A resource element (currency, loot, or supply) and its use.
  4. Equipping weapons, objects, and other artifacts.
  5. World events and achievements.

As you can guess, this takes lots of time and experimentation. We're still early/midway through the development process and while a release date hasn’t been definitively set, our goal is to meet a 2015 release! We're really excited. 

The design of the Iconica Travels cards is something we’re giving lots of consideration to as well. We know we want the cards to be less substantial and have less table presence than the Iconica Character cards. Gavin, my 17 year old son and one of my most trusted advisors, and I have spent lots of time experimenting with different card sizes and we think we’ve identified our path forward.

But finding that right sizing balance is a challenging exercise. There are so many questions to answer. Will the cards be shuffled? Probably, at least hand shuffled. Will the cards be attached to characters once played? Yes, some will. Will the cards be played on the table and be static there for a time? Probably, yes. What will the size of the card deck be? 70, 90, 110? We're not so sure yet, but enough to feel like a substantial experience. 

So yeah. Dialing in the right size of these cards will be key so as not to increase the playing surface requirement too much.

There was some thought early on about adding game marker functionality to the Iconica Travels cards. While we’re not ruling this out, we’re cautious about adding too much to manage with these cards. The goal is for these cards to add a nice layer of fiction, function, and fun to the game. We do not want to bog Iconica down with unnecessary mechanical stuff. So, card functionality is were we’re spending most of our time.

From top down: Daggerhide Igwaza, Sabrewolf, Highland Zerka.

From top down: Daggerhide Igwaza, Sabrewolf, Highland Zerka.

Of course, artwork will be a big part of this project. I'm so tempted to dive into all of the art now, but I'm limiting myself to only exploring sketches at this point. Creating the art is a almost a reward for completing all of the technical, written, and balancing work involved in the project. There are still rules to finalize too. So, before I dive into all the art, gotta get the other stuff done first!

When we set out to create Iconica in 2005, we knew we wanted to achieve a measure of success. We had no idea how much success we'd find. The journey so far has been well worth the effort and has led us to all sorts of opportunities for growing the Iconica experience. We're excited to see where this new effort takes us.