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Design Notes/Sales Pitch

I just ran across Erick Wujcik's Resume online while searching for information on how I might go about acquiring a license for Amber: Throne War, my still-nascent board game. And since I feel like I have to justify posting it, I guess I'll share a little about where the game development stands.

I had a mini-breakthrough with the overall design with the help of the kind folks at The Board Game Designers' Forum (I post as Cedrick). I feel like I may have something playable within another month or so, but that depends on how stable the current model is.

Here's the high-level overview. I'm writing this partially to sell it to myself; after all, if I can't write something persuasive about how great my game is, how can I convince anyone else to buy it?

Amber: Throne War is a unique wargame based on the works of Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles, where the sons and daughters of Amber vie for control over the Eternal City. Using political cunning and strength of arms, the siblings attempt to secure control over Amber by becoming powerful enough to crown him or herself as King of Amber.

There is a 13 x 13 board with each space large enough to contain a normal-sized playing card. The center of the board is Amber, a 5 x 5 area with the Forest Arden, the Lighthouse at Cabra, the watery kingdom of Rebma, and the ghostly city of Tir-na Nog'th all there to be visited. The remainder of the board, surrounding Amber, is Shadow, the infinite worlds that are reflections of the One True World. Players move through Shadow by playing cards in the spaces as they can walk to magical groves, two-dimensional landscapes, and alien worlds filled with dangerous creatures and strange phenomena. The Princes of Amber can shape reality to fit their whim.

Play is simultaneously political and strategic. In order to become king, one needs to not only control Amber, but have political backing from allies both in the Royal family and amongst the Shadowfolk. To do so, the Amberites raise armies out of shadow who follow them as gods to enforce their rule while attempting to curry favor amongst the family. And the players are free to collude, trade resources, make deals and backstab one another as they seek the crown.

It's a wargame, where players raise armies and must take advantage of both terrain and position to emerge victorious. It's also a collectible card game, adding a level of depth, expandability, and customizability. And, like every good Amber game, there are no dice.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.