Trudvang Legends Design Diary (Part 1)

Legends: The Beginning

Since childhood, I’ve been enthralled by oral storytelling traditions. I’d go to sleep nightly being read folktales from diverse cultures, and I loved making up similar stories to tell my parents and friends. As an adult, some of my favourite times were telling bedtime stories to my nieces and nephews.

One of the highlights of the oral tradition, I found, is that the stories tended to involve audience participation. Instead of “t’was dark and stormy night…” it was “…and the Elves raised their shields to defend their tree fortress! What do you think happened next?” This became an even stronger tradition when the youngins began inserting themselves into the stories, either as characters or narrators, and our nighttime adventures became fully collaborative.

In my years of gaming and game design, I’ve always harboured the desire to make a game that took this oral tradition into other mediums. A game that fuses the narrative elements I loved about indie character-driven roleplaying games with the toyetic advantage of board games. Stories about toys, but with richness and depth of theme to satisfy adults. I was just looking for the right idea.

I encountered Trudvang as a game already in design concept stages (with my esteemed co-designers Fel Barros and Guilherme Goulart). An epic storytelling game in a living world (the board), with heroes and monsters (the toys) and stories inspired by the fantastic roleplaying game by Riotminds. Immediately I saw the potential to adapt this oral, mythic storytelling tradition to board game form and joined the team to embark on our most ambitious project to date.

And so was born Trudvang Legends.

The vision for this game was simple, if daunting: to create a storytelling board game experience unlike any others on the market, but still familiar enough to board gamers and fans of CMON big box games to be appealing. A game based on interconnected mythic stories, where player’s actions could permanently change the world, and come to life with the amazing plastic hero and monster minis that players expect from us. 

Finally, we were driven by the mandate to weave storytelling seamlessly into gameplay. To design a game with learning curve and scope that mirrors the folktales of old; deceptively simple and small at the beginning, only to unveil a rich, multi-threaded tapestry of heroism, impossible feats, and world-changing consequence.

Over two years the project proved so ambitious that we recruited Fabio Tola and Jordy Adan, to complete the biggest design team we’ve ever had, for the biggest game we’ve ever made. Over the course of two years we’ve crafted a storytelling experience that I hope will transport you, as it does me, to the days of traditional folktale wonder.

This is just the beginning. The story continues in a few days, when we dive deeper into the Legends system, and what exactly it means to change the world.

By Eric Lang

 

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Trudvang Legends Design Diary (Part 1)

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