Our latest interview in a new series, Why You Should Kickstart Arcana Magica. Questions from the creators answered. Arcana Magica is a game with a unique system that brings together centuries-old ideas, launching on Kickstarter on September 9, 2020. The game is brought to you by a team of passionate game designers and world builders. Take a look at the sizzle promo they created:
Check out the link below to go directly to the Arcana Magica Board Game Kickstarter page or continue on to read the interview with the designers.
1. How would you describe your product in 2 sentences?
Arcana Magica is a fast-paced dueling card game using Tarot, poker cards, and dice. There’s math, there’s strategy, a bit of chance, and endless replayability with plenty of game modes. It’s a game that you usually want to play more than once as it lasts less than an hour.
2. Introduce the people bringing this to market? What is your background that brought you to launching this?
I am Mihail Ivanov the game’s designer and creator, project-runner and print guy, Viktoria Micheva is our graphic and web designer, a helping hand for any part of the project, and a great tutor on expos. Dilyana Bozhinova is our illustrator creating the art for the whole game. Personally I come from doing PhD in narrative, writing TV scripts, and working as a full-time web-developer. What I know and do I research myself, basically a seld-made Jack (card pun intended) of all trades. Viktoria is now entering the field of design, she’s a journalist an eye for the detail, which also makes her a good editor and is really passionate on European cinema. She’s my partner in board games and life. Last but not least – Dilyana is a Tarot expert and collector, she started the whole project with her Major Arcana cards, loves Nordic art, culture, religion (you can see her art as Halldora), and cats. I think we all share heavily the last. Besides us. there were plenty of friends and old colleagues that commissioned work for us and even more friends that helped and supported us along the way, many of which we met along the way. That is truly an amazing part.
Board games have been a hobby for some time, I’d say more than 7 years now, and bringing the wonderful world and art of Tarot is what inspired me to create a game. Learning more about the connection between the poker deck and the initial tarot deck was really motivating. We wanted to create a product with components that are good on their own and combined make for a great game. Personally I use a lot of dice for role-playing games online, we play card games using the Poker deck with friends and family, especially people that aren’t into board games (yet) and I find using the Tarot deck really intriguing. There’s a lot of psychology in my academic background and the Tarot is exciting on that point.
3. What existing games would you compare your game to?
I see the combination of mechanics really unique at the point. Overall I didn’t want to follow a pattern designing it and I can feel how there are a few minutes needed for board game players to click with it. I love deckbuilding so there’s some of that – having a marketplace at the center, creating an army from there, and using a changing hand could be seen a lot. Exploding dice is one of my favorite mechanics since Arcadia Quest.
The dueling part reminds me of Magic The Gathering. Actually a lot of the MtG players that we’ve played with got hooked on the game, mostly because I think they feel comfortable with such a level of competitiveness and planning. Gathered together I think Arcana Magica has this strong old card games vibe which I loved as a kid and the role-playing dice gathering and attacks which are not really that common with modern-day board games. I think I’d place it close to deck-builders meeting role-playing mechanics (dice gathering and actions based on dice result).
4. What sets your game apart?
In my opinion its modularity and the fact you can playtest it right now with components that are about the house. All of them are ancient really, you can trace dice and Tarot way back in history, so there’s this going back to roots. The next thing is the many options you can choose between before starting the game, Bigger games are rigid, whereas with Arcana Magica you can change things according to your whims, the players you play with, and the general mood. Then it’s the art, every Tarot fan dreams and wants to be able to create their own rendition of the tradition and I really believe our art sets us apart – it’s unique, it’s original, it’s mesmerizing. There were many times that I would stop working on preparing the cards and just sit there and watch them. The symbolics of the tarot is amazing really. The same goes for all the other art – doesn’t follow board game trends, it’s more of a painting than an illustration.
In the end, I want to mention to quality of products. We hired two separate companies to do production just for the Kickstarter edition. One is card manufacturer – board game cards are good, but I’ve bee working at a casino and I know the importance of good cards. Wanted to create a deck that can be used with or without sleeves, that won’t get damaged or lose shape in your hand, won’t get bad from the sweat, and would generally feel nice and sturdy. For Tarot I’ve actually selected a material outside their standard line to get hefty and well-printed art for it. On the other hand, other components are made from a company that’s one of the leaders on the market and I’m really happy with the quality even of the prototype, it also enables us to set stretch goals that would improve quality like using wood tokens for example.
5. How can everyone be assured that they are going to get quality components and you are going to deliver on all the promises you are making?
We’ve spent over a year on the project now and a solid part of the time was spent on speaking with manufacturers, getting samples, and first prints. Wanted to be sure of everything before we offer it on Kickstarter. So everything we sell it’s already printed and tested, quality assured to say so. An important part of this is the strong communication we have with manufacturers. Also, we’re ready with the art that’s needed, rules are being polished and overall the game has been tested with over 100 people, for more than 300 hours I’d say (probably more as Tabletopia has 150 already).
Stretch goals that will expand on the game are already in testing. I am a backer myself with a lot of friends that are both fans and producers. This is our first project so we’re really striving to create a name for ourselves and a good one at that. So everything that we could have planned, we did for several months now, fulfillment agencies have been selected, manufacturers are ready, the rulebook is getting last proofread, we’re all ready to ship out to backers.
6. Why should someone back your project?
To get a real work of art done by people who love what they do and so support a team that gave it all they have to create something special. A real magical kit to sit on your shelf with pride.
Well we are satisfied!
Great insight and enthusiasm from a passionate team. The game seems very unique and not exactly like anything out there. It has clearly been guided by professional hands and looks like it is going to be a top-notch product. It is always great to see an indie game product at this quality level. Take a look at their Kickstarter, website or social media pages for more info!