Interviews

Crazy Eights: Antonio Scaccino on Dreamwars

One of the benefits of Kickstarter has been the creativity that has come out of it.  While certain series have benefited from their previous jaunts on the site, a great number of new ideas have come out.  Dreamwars is a game currently on Kickstarter looks like it has many familiar concepts, but the way they are presented together presents a unique experience.  I sent Antonio Scaccino with Royal Art Games eight questions about the game.

Who are you and how did you come to design Dreamwars?

Each one of us is first and foremost a gamer. We all took different professional paths in our lives, marketing, foreign languages, art and design, but ultimately we are all gamers. And friends. You all know how it works: you love a game, you go to the local store to get some goodies, you meet other people you can share the same passion with, you play together and you become friends. This is exactly what happened to us a long time ago.

We’ve been thinking about coming up with something of our own for quite some time and finally, almost a year ago, we decided the time was right. So we put together a team for this brand new project. We wanted to create a game that could be fun without being overly complicated, with a mature but not oppressing feel, that people would be excited to play over and over again and, most of all, we wanted a game that every player could enjoy. So on a hot day of June 2015 we sat down and we started writing down the first ideas of what soon became Dreamwars.

What kind of game is Dreamwars?

The official definition recites: Dreamwars is a cooperative 1-to-8 players board game set in a brand new steampunk, horror setting. However, there’s much more than that!

First of all we wanted to give the players a compelling narrative background to everything which is in the game, so that everything would feel more personal and engaging. We also wanted to give the highest replay value we could think of, preparing a ton of alternative scenarios that could justify going back and trying the same campaign more than once, just for the fun to see what happens. Dreamwars is designed to be a gathering experience, that can be shared with your friends and family, regardless the fact that they are hard-core gamers or not.

Do you have a preference for cooperative games like this one?

We certainly do! In our experience cooperative games have a big advantage over the competitive ones: all players are equally protagonist, therefore fun is a shared experience. We love the games that gather a lot of people around a table and make everyone laugh and be passionate about what is happening. We also love those games that tend to welcome even the non-hardcore players, because we feel it is a lot more fun to share the games we love with the people we love, even when they are not too much into this kind of things.

Why set the game in a steampunk horror setting?

Short answer: because we love both the horror and steampunk genres!

The long answer is that we felt that a steampunk setting would have allowed us to go pretty much everywhere we wanted to go game-wise, while the horror setting would have provided the tangible, thrilling stakes we needed to make all the adventures in our game feel important and interesting. Besides, we thought that fighting an inhuman monstrosity with a steam-powered drill would have been extremely cool!

How do you make Dreamwars play differently each time?

One word: variety.

First of all, we have the Ordeals: multi-branched campaigns that the players must endure in order to defeat the Great Nemesis in play. These are the heart of the game. Each Ordeal is designed to tell a story that changes according to what happens to the players. Depending on whether you won or lost the previous scenario, the setting will be different, the goal will be different, the way you can interact with the world will be different and the way the monsters will interact with the players will be different. We created a game where both winning and losing simply generate more games. Then, of course, we have the cards: Adventure cards, Equipment cards and Events cards make every game unique, unpredictable and challenging. Add to that 8 unique playable characters (hopefully we will be able to add more if the Kickstarter campaign goes well) and you have an idea of how different each game of Dreamwars can be.

The miniatures look fantastic. What company is doing the molds for these?

The miniatures you saw are only our first 3D-printed custom prototypes. We are currently considering the proposals from several companies to cast the final miniatures. We haven’t decided yet, as we demand the quality you see in our prototypes to be respected as much as possible in the final product.

Do you think you will have expansions for Dreamwars in the future?

Definitely we still have several ideas we would like to explore in the world of Dreamwars. Should the response of the public be favourable, we would love to make them reality!

When do you expect to have Dreamwars published?

Since this is our first rodeo, we decided not to rush the publishing date, therefore we officially set the release to April 2017. We will keep you updated regularly via Facebook and through our official site.

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