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Trollvelopment Diary #1

Introducing Trolltem Poles

I'm very excited to formally announce that development on my newest game Trolltem poles is now underway. Also, I'm happy to show off the current working logo for the game.

Just as I did with Kingdoms of Immacus, I think it is helpful to have an image that conveys the game you are developing, and for me, the game's logo is the most effective. I may tweak the logo over time, but this marks the first step in a long journey for the next project from Atomic Automaton.

What is Trolltem Poles?

Trolltem Poles is a card drafting game for 2-6 players where players empower ancestor totems with various offerings and accumulate prestige to win. Prestige, either negative or positive, is obtained through interactions with other players or empowering totems. Whether you are trading, flexing your muscles, or empowering totems, every action affects your standing with other players. The inability to avoid affecting your reputation with other players is what makes the game interesting as you plot your actions to have the greatest positive effect on your strategy while minimizing the negatives.

Why Trolls?

The idea originally came from an article I was reading about trolling, and tips on how to avoid getting trolled, which was pretty much not to feed them. Thus, I thought a game about not feeding trolls would be a fun play on the idea. So originally, the game was called Don't Feed the Trolls, and it was a cooking-themed game, and the reason you didn't want to feed them, is any food produced with the recipes would have an effect on the game state like the current iteration of the game.

The only problem with this theme is that I have been bouncing an idea around a cooking-themed game, and I didn't want two similar-themed games in the gamut. So I changed the theme slightly, and I kept the mechanics while adding one mechanic that made sense to the totem pole theme.

Why now?

I did mention this in a prior blog post, but with Kingdoms of Immacus on a new art contract freeze until my wedding, it allowed me some free time outside the art brief writing and research to take on another project. Work still continues on Kingdoms (I should probably get back to work on the rule book), but I am taking some time away from the gobs of digital painting I need to do. In its place, I am doing a lot of work on Illustrator in an effort to grind out the art for Trolltem Poles. Since Trolltem Poles is a much smaller game than Kingdoms, I feel comfortable in being able to finish the alpha of this game up by the end of the year to then open it up to public beta. I also want to beef up the website with content outside of Kingdoms of Immacus, which is difficult to do without having more than one game. With Trolltem Poles now in development, there is more going on in the website.

What to expect in the coming months

As this is being read, I am chipping away at the art for Trolltem Poles. This means there will be a lot more blog updates regarding the game, its mechanics, and the art behind it very soon. As I move to the more time-consuming art for the heroes of the game, updates will slow and get sprinkled in between other blog content. I'm excited to start this process (once again) and sharing what I learn along the way.

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