What The Heck’s Going On With That Salt Mystic Thingie You Talked About?

Salt Mystic

“Let’s build a tabletop wargame based on our intellectual property. It will be cool.” Umm…yes, it would be cool. Yes, it’s an incredible resource drain. Yes, life also has to happen. And wow, I’m tired.

So the art…that’s been a thing.

A trading card game needs fantastic art. Our manifesto for this game requires a unique personality or feel on every card…you’re supposed to be able to see quirks in these people, to be able to relate to them in some small way. When they die in the game, you should be like, “Crap. That sucks.” The whole point of all this is to establish machinery for telling stories in a new and interactive way. Can’t be blah.

When I see spastic Magic: The Gathering art with grinning planeswalkers whipping up glowing puffery, it doesn’t do much for me unless it’s got a great spin like this one:

grn-90-whispering-snitch

When I pore over gorgeous Warhammer 40k art, none of those huge, hulking dudes seem relatable or easy to connect with. Unless it’s pure high octane genius like this:

Lucius_the_Eternal_vs_Dark_Eldar

So that’s what’s been going on since we posted the original cards and rules for playtesting and went live on Steam’s Tabletop Simulator.

screenshot2

Heavy focus on keeping to the aesthetic outlined here that emphasizes big statues, old ruins, cobbled-together armies, salt flats or gargantuan mountains, and the unique weaponry and technology that appears in the original Salt Mystic book.  No spaceships, minimal airships, nothing overly sexy.

Here’s a small roundup on some pieces already in the bag:

Cards1cards2

 

 

 

 

 

cards3

cards4cards5

As the playtesting feedback comes in, rules aren’t tweaking so much as just text on the cards having to get punched up a bit to be a little more interesting or more clear. There are definitely some quirks showing up I hadn’t considered since there are literally thousands of combinations of possible interactions.

So that’s where we are. Timing? Who knows! There’s a dark fantasy thriller that’s at 65k of 80k planned words, I’d love to see that one finished. It’s amazing so far, and lots of creepy fun. There’s a short story collection at 41k of a planned 60k words. The last few stories wrap up a larger narrative, which is coming together much better than I’d intended.

Just life, man. Who’s got time for all this when you’re working a day job and raising teenagers?! Those guys that punch out 4 or 5 novels in a year, screw them! No way is that quality work. Or maybe I’m just doing everything wrong.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the update and the art showcase. I’m learning all this as I go, so Daz Studio, Blender, and Photoshop are big curves for me. Pixabay is a regular stop. Trying to learn how to digitally sculpt on Forger when I’m sitting on planes these days, to take everything up a notch. We’ll see where that goes.

Watching summer wind down sucks, so focus on cool things that make you happy.

Dreams are engines. Be fuel.

Salt Mystic battlefield

 

 

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