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Aether Captains being published

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Joined: 01/24/2016

I was asked to join the forums here to discuss my game Aether Captains which will be published this year.

For those who aren't familiar with the game here is a brief synopsis of the history.

Aether Captains, the PnP version from 2010 was one of the first games I designed. That original game used dice to form sections of steampunk zeppelin ships (rather than using miniatures). Other dice became attacking pirate ships and the solo player would fight battle scenarios against them. This first game led to a number of other in the Aether Captains world and I created a story tying the games together and, in fact, an entire world - Arkady - where the steampunk style Grand Compact battled the dread Domain of the Air Pirates for supremacy in the skies.

There are a few different sources I drew from while I was working on the game. Primarily a story by Benjamin Rosenbaum called ""Biographical Notes to 'A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-Planes', by Benjamin Rosenbaum”. I would recommend this story anyone who is interested in steampunk fantasy.

And the other primary visual source is the excellent anime series Last Exile which captures extremely well the kind of aerial battles I envisioned in the game.

When I say dice though, do not think this is a dice game as defined by such games as Yahtzee. The dice used in the game act as miniature ships for the players. As a ship takes on damage, the dice are rotated to show different faces and the players can see the damage to their ships mounting. So you get a nice realtime visual effect of the ship in trouble.

So that is the 2010 version in a nutshell.

A few years ago Alex from MAGE Company contacted me about publishing the game and over time we have built out the core mechanic - combat driven dice ships - into a multi-player game.

We created a ‘macro’ level to AC - the exploration of the world of Arkady. This allowed us to create new choices for the players in how the map of the world is set up when the game begins, and how the players work with their objectives during the game. The core of the game - the combat - is the heart of the print and play version and operates on the ‘micro’ scale of player vs. player battles.

Beyond this the changes mostly involved the Air Pirate players. The Aether Navy player has a very direct goal, that of wiping the scourge of the Domain of the Air Pirates from the skies over Arkady. The pirates though have a different play dynamic in that they are forced to be cooperative but they each have a hidden objective in the game which means they must be competitive as well. This game will not be a ‘take that’ backstabbing experience by any means. I don’t like or design those sorts of games but there are opportunities that will arise for a player to exploit for their own agenda.

It has been an interesting ride up to this point. i am going to get caught up as well on the forums here and how best to post so as to be a positive member of the community. Thank you for any time and consideration to my thread here.

Joined: 04/08/2012

Job well done. Keep up the great work.
Sounds like a fantastic game.


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