AIGA Innovate Grant

Earlier this year I joined a team of designers who applied for an AIGA Innovate grant. We proposed creating a game to that would teach young adults and others the value of design thinking. Our proposal was selected and we're off and running on a project called "Parallel"!

 The  Parallel  team wrapping up a meeting at Lux.

The Parallel team wrapping up a meeting at Lux.

We'll have more info to come soon. We're capturing our design process and I can't wait to share what's in store for this project.


Phoenix Comicon 2016 Panel

Gavin and I had a chance to present "Making the Game" to a packed room of con-goers on Friday. Co-presenting is the way to go. It was fun riffing off each others comments and we kept each other on track too.

 Gavin and I presenting  Making the Game

Gavin and I presenting Making the Game

As a father, it's one of the most satisfying experiences to create something with your children. Gavin shows a lot of promise, not only in his ability to relate to others, but in his attention to details. Working on Iconica with him has been the highlight of my career. 


Phoenix Comicon 2016 Info

Man. It's here again already! And we're glad it is. Phoenix Comicon 2016 will be our 9th year exhibiting at the con. Should be a good one! Here's a quick list of three things we'll have going on.

"Making the Game" Comicon Panel

Gavin and I will be presenting "Making the Game" for the first time together. It's an interactive presentation about making Iconica, best practices in game design in general, and talking with you guys. Come see!

Phoenix Convention Center
Room 213A
Friday, June 3
1:30pm – 3:00pm

Iconica Series 3 – March of the Legion

Iconica is a tabletop card game we've been creating since 2007. It's a character driven game set within the World of Rynaga and so far, we're up to 106 unique characters. We'll have a brand new Iconica set (March of the Legion) to explore at this year's con. We've worked really hard on this release and we're very excited to share it. I'll post a profile of Iconica Series 3 here soon.

Map of Etherna

I've been working hard on some new cartography. We'll release a new 18 x 24 mapped survey of Etherna, complete with expedition notes, regional factoids, and lots of terrain to get lost in. This will make three separate continents on Rynaga that are visualized now. I'm kinda serious about this world-building thing. Yeah, maybe crazy too.

Follow me on Instagram (@ericimagines) or on my World of Rynaga Facebook page (World of Rynaga) for updates at the con. See ya there.


Making the Game – Phoenix Comicon 2016

Back at it again! This time, Making the Game lands at Phoenix Comicon 2016 (June 2-5) as both a presentation and panel discussion. We'll be fielding questions about game design, world-building, and the business of making "fun" happen.

Gavin – our young apprentice / son – has been interning with our studio (Specimen) for some time now. I'm stoked for him to join me on stage and provide his perspectives on our World of Rynaga project and the making of Iconica – Game of Strategy. He often has very different viewpoints on stuff than I do, which keeps things honest and interesting!

Calling all gamers, makers, and dreamers!

So help us spread the word and save the date. It'll be a fun time. Oh and entry to our panel is part of admission to the con. More info to come!


Iconica Update – Package Art Redesigns

Fig. 1 – New front cover art!

We have an Iconica update for you guys. This one’s about Iconica’s package design. (Contact me here or on Facebook with questions!)

First let me just say:

When I decided to create a tabletop game, I had no idea of the work, time, and energy needed to undertake such an effort. Yet, the rewards have been great. With Iconica, I have portfolio pieces that others can actually interact with as a game! Iconica has led to more work I love doing and brings continued opportunities for me to evolve as a creative.

Iconica is an ongoing project. Sustaining Iconica’s growth means making refinements to elements of its design from time to time. While we’re still focused on investing most of our resources into game content, we felt it was time to update the box art that goes with each Iconica release.

Fig. 2 – The story inspiring each set will be on the reverse side of each front cover.

Here’s what’s new:

Characters First (Fig. 1)

Iconica is a game about characters. Unique individuals that players command during a match. We’ve made the characters the heroes of the cover art. This will also help longtime Iconica players and newcomers to the game make sense of each collection.

More Story (Fig. 2)

Iconica is set within a science-fantasy setting on a planet called Rynaga. There’s a backstory to the game. We’re telling more of that story now. On the reverse side of the front covers, there’s a summary of the thematic story inspiring each individual Iconica release.

Functionality and Clarity (Fig. 3)

Fig. 3 – Back covers are more focused on providing key information about each individual set. (No barcodes!)

We’ve made lots of changes to the back covers of the packaging. We’ve added a character list and some images of the characters inside each set. We’re no longer using barcodes since we distribute online only. Updates have been made to all the descriptive text, which is tailored to each Iconica release.

Gameplay References (Fig. 4)

The reverse side of the back cover still serves as an Iconica Quick Reference card. Overall this information stayed the same. But it looks like a new status effect is coming to the game?

Release Date

Everything we produce is in small batches. So, we're planning a new round of print runs in May 2016. That's when all of the Iconica sets will receive their shiny redesigned covers.

Fig. 4 – The reference card stays pretty much the same, but with something new happening in the Major Status Effect category.

In addition to base Iconica character sets, our Iconica Travels set will have updated cover designs as well. Lots is cooking for new Iconica Travels creations as well. More about that soon.

This is our ninth year making Iconica! Time is flying. We’ve got some big stuff planned in 2016. Packaging updates are just the beginning.



Making the Game at The Art Institute of Phoenix

I've been invited to present Making the Game at The Art Institute of Phoenix! Date and time = Tuesday, March 1 at 6pm.

This presentation is for creatives of all kinds. Game design is a discipline related to lots of other creative endeavors, which I'll give some perspective on. Tips, tricks, laughing and other fun stuff'll be happening. I also hear rumors of refreshments. Get there early!

The Discovery of Rynaga

When Humans finally discover sentient alien life forms on another planet, we’re surprised at what we find. Our intergalactic neighbors look like us. They call themselves Sarion. Their homeworld Sarios lies in the Ceylon Star Cluster, a galaxy situated far from our Milky Way. 

For many years after our first contact, the Human-Sarion relationship is both peaceful and mutually beneficial. A United Planetary Council comprised of both races is formed to facilitate diplomacy and enrich interplanetary relations. As a result, Humans learn of spacefold technology, cell-sampling, and organ regeneration. From us, Sarions gain advanced knowledge of nanite, robotic, and laser-based technologies. The relationship between our two worlds ushers in a galactic-renaissance.

Generations come and go. Human and Sarion explorations into the universe reveal many dead planets, dying stars, and hollow solar systems. But no other sentient beings. Besides marked differences in eye colors, Human and Sarion anatomy is identical in every way. In time, our two races intermingle and hybrid babies are born. Our two planets are joined by spacelanes, commerce, and culture. As the Earth-Sarios friendship grows, it seems nothing will inhibit our union.

But secrets are the undoing of many relationships. Unbeknownst to their Human counterparts, Sarion space probes discover the location of a third planet with sentient life in a remote part of the Mistral Galaxy. Sarion scientists, explorers, and ambassadors ready their starships for a journey across the stars. They reason that by solidifying a relationship with the inhabitants of this new world first, they stand to gain a strategic advantage over Earth.

After weeks of traveling foldspace, Sarion starships emerge within Rynaga's star system. However, within minutes of their arrival, the fleet is plagued by a series of unexplainable disasters. Navigation and positioning instrumentation cease to function. Communication systems fail. Propulsion drives sustain critical malfunctions. Life support modules shut down. Only one ship manages to stay operational – the Sol Luminus.

After days spent rescuing all they can from the disabled starships, the crew of the Sol Luminus continue on a course towards Rynaga. But as the ship closes in on the giant exoplanet, it too begins to suffer from strange system errors, shut downs, and malfunctions. Rather than drift off into space aboard a dying starship, the crew decides to enter Rynaga's atmosphere. Here, the Sol Luminus crash lands in a remote part of Etherna, a country of dense flora and fauna, as well as intelligent native inhabitants.

Of the 1242 Sarion travelers on board the Sol Luminus, 812 emerge from the wreckage alive. On Rynaga, these proud aliens face a harrowing struggle for survival spanning many years. Many succumb to illness and shock. Some are devoured by wild beasts. With every passing season, the survivors abandon their hopes of ever being rescued by their kinsfolk back home. With much resourcefulness and determination these lost Sarion turn their attention to growing food, increasing their numbers, and learning all they can about Rynaga.

Using the fallen Sol Luminus as a base of operations, the Sarion build a small city. The colonists salvage all they can from their starship such as historical records, starcharts, schematics, tools, and other resources. Disrupted by an energy source called radia, advanced Sarion technologies cease to function. Object replicators, laser weaponry, and healing devices all become useless. On Rynaga, the Sarion colonists find themselves living in an age unlike anything they've known. Despite the challenges before them the Sarion adapt. And in time, thrive.

When news of Rynaga’s discovery and the subsequent failed Sarion expedition reaches Earth, a period of deep distrust between the two civilizations develops. While our worlds remain irreversibly connected, both races contend with ongoing issues involving transparency, cultural insecurity, and xenophobia.


Eric Imagines

Hey Earth folk. I've relaunched as! What does this mean? Here's a few quick details to start the new year. Other updates are coming.

World of Rynaga

World of Rynaga will receive updates on this blog. I also have a page under "Projects" which serves as an overview of the project. There are also some Iconica-related downloads on that page as well. 

Other updates will continue to pop-up on our Rynaga Facebook page and my Instagram profile too. Email with questions.

Written in Dust

Written in Dust is a new project for 2016! I'm really excited about the possibilities for this sci-fi tale set in a future Phoenix. I love the desert, so writing stories set here is only natural. I'll have lots more about this project in January to share. For now, here's a quick rundown of that project.

Thanks for all the support in 2105. (2016: here I come!)