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Our Friend in the Sky by DoFresh

Representing Sea Level Rise on Game Maps

By | Dealers in Hope | No Comments

Dealers in Hope – Europe in 2215

This is my first post about APE’s upcoming game, Dealers in Hope, a deck-building war game set in Europe, 200 years in the future.

Dealers in Hope was submitted to APE (by veteran Kevin Nunn (Rolling Freight, duck! duck! GO!)) as a Napoleonic-era game, but we eventually settled on a futuristic theme – Europe at war after sea levels rose, resulting in reduced land mass and insufficient resources.

In this article I will show you the process I used to create the map.

First, I found several sites on the web that discussed scenarios for sea-level rise. allowed me to use pre-selected values, or enter my own.

I needed my future Europe to have appreciably less land mass and I want players to see the difference. So, the map will have three main regions – land, ocean, and the space between that I’m calling shallow water.

Europe After the Flood – Silhouette Prototype Art

The first thing I want to say about this is that it’s prototype! The artist I’ve hired to do the map is working on a spectacular piece in watercolor. She’ll use these layers that I’ve created as examples and masks. More on Irena in a future post, once the art is further along.

The final map image will be about 24×36″ at 600 dpi.

The turquoise background is the ocean – that was easy. I simply added a solid-color background layer.

The shallow water layer is shown here as light blue/green. To create this, I simply took a map of Europe today and blurred the edges somewhat, since this is underwater and will blend with the ocean over the years. I didn’t blur too much, though, as Europe needs to be recognizable.

The gray layer on top is what remains of the land mass. I started on Global Flood Map and cranked up the water level. I won’t lie – I went pretty high. But that’s part of the reason I set the game hundreds of years in the future.

Europe in 200 Years? – by

I moved this into Photoshop, and colored all of the land green. You see that some of the land here is gray. Those are the areas that I colored.

Then I created a mask using Select->Color Range on the color green. This gave me the silhouette of all the land on the map.

I copied this land mass silhouette into Illustrator and made a vector image using Live Trace. I copied this back into the Photoshop file and stretched it to the full 24″x36″ over the shallow water layer.

The result is what you see above!

I can’t wait to talk to you more about this game – the art by DoFresh, the map by Irena, the design by Nunn – there’s so much goodness here!

Watch for more over the coming months, and the Kickstarter later this summer!!


Stygian Society Product Page Live

By | Stygian Society | 2 Comments

At long last, we’re very happy to unveil The Stygian Society, a cooperative dungeon crawl adventure game for 1-4 players by Kevin Wilson (Descent, Arkham Horror.)

Players take the role of heroes, climbing the tower, and encountering new enemies at every level.

Instead of rolling dice to power skills, heroes drop colored cubes into the tower. Not all cubes will fall out the bottom, but those that do can be used to power skills that can defeat enemies.




Make it to the top floor of the tower and defeat the wizard to win!Facebooktwitterinstagram

The Rice Dice Dice

By | Rice Dice | No Comments

It’s time to start talking about Rice Dice, and what better place to start than the dice!

These six-sided 16mm resin beauties will have unique symbols etched into each side. Five identical dice come in each copy of Rice Dice.

3D-Printed Prototype Rice Dice

Players roll the dice at the start of their turn and decide on an action, which is influenced by the roll. Most actions provide the player resources equal to the number of that symbol rolled. For instance, rolling three water symbols allows you to add three water from the main reservoir to your paddies if you choose to take the water action.

There’ll be more details on the different actions in a future post, but if you’d like to skip ahead, the (unformatted) rules are right here.Facebooktwitterinstagram

Rice Dice – A Spirits of the Rice Paddy Game

By | Rice Dice | No Comments

We are super-happy to announce that APE Games will be publishing Philip duBarry’s Rice Dice – A Spirits of the Rice Paddy Dice Game. Spirits is still a favorite game to play around the office, and we were giddy when Philip sent us the rules for Rice Dice last year.

Rice Dice will be a streamlined Spirits game. Those who’ve played Spirits will fell right at home with the decisions that need to be made in Rice Dice. But don’t worry – even if you’ve never played Spirits of the Rice Paddy, you can get a feel for the game in a fraction of the time. A five-player game of Rice Dice can be completed in about 45 minutes!

Rice Dice contains five custom dice:

Hand-made 3D printed dice shown

Faces contain one or two laborers, paddy cards, water, weeds and wild.

Paddy cards are placed in front of players to represent the rice paddies they control.

Players can have up to four paddy cards.

On their turn, players roll the dice and select one of the actions to perform. Possible actions include:

Card: Active player can draw X paddy cards and add up to one of them to their field.

Laborer(s): Laborers can plant flooded paddies, or weed and harvest unflooded paddies.

Weeds: Add weeds to each player’s field equal to the number of weeds rolled.

Water: All player’s drain water from their paddies and the active player gains water from the reservoir equal to the number of water symbols rolled.

Wild: Can be any face (except two laborers).

The first player to gain 100 rice wins! Rice is normally gained by harvesting fields, but be careful – weeds reduce the rice yield!

We will also take pre-orders for a reprint of the base Spirits of the Rice Paddy game.

Watch for the Rice Dice Kickstarter in March!!Facebooktwitterinstagram

Request for Input – Moa Kickstarter Improvements!

By | Moa | 7 Comments

The Kickstarter for Moa is live now. While it’s likely to fund, it’s not getting the stellar numbers that we had hoped for given that this is a new Martin Wallace game.

We have some ideas for improvement – some which involve rebooting the campaign. But before we do that, we’d like to hear from you about what could be improved! Here are some of the items we’ve already heard:

  1. There are no gameplay videos! This is being addressed, and I think is the biggest problem we have now. My excuse is that everything is coming together as quickly as it possibly could in order to hit Essen. If we reboot the project it will not hit Essen, but I honestly think that’s a secondary concern. We are also going to BGG Con and PAX Unplugged in November and could introduce the game there.
  2. Shipping price to X is too high! We heard a lot of this early, and I think that we addressed this, for the most part. We’re not hearing much about shipping being too high in the last week.
  3. The game is for ages 10+! That means it’s a kids game! This is on the lighter side of Wallace games, so may turn away folks looking for an Age of Steam level of strategy game. Martin himself called it a Medium level game, so maybe we could get away with 12+ if people think that’s what is pushing people away from the game. Personally, I think that once people see the gameplay video they can make their own decision on the game’s weight.
  4. Localization. The game is language-independent except for the rulebook, box, and small reference cards. We will do the game in English, German and Polish for sure. We’re investigating Italian. I know that we also need to look at French and Spanish.
  5. It’s not being publicized! My own team gets on my a lot for this. I need to be more active on Twitter, Facebook and (most of all) BGG. I don’t use social media much in my own life, but that’s not an excuse for not using it for my company!

If you looked at the Kickstarter project but didn’t back it, then what should we fix that would make you jump on board?Facebooktwitterinstagram

Pictures from International Tabletop Day

By | Conventions, Petrichor, The Great Dinosaur Rush | No Comments

APE was at 8th Dimension for International Tabletop Day 2017 on Saturday.

I couldn’t believe the number of people there playing games! The folks that joined the APE table wanted to try The Great Dinosaur Rush.

These folks played a super-notorious first couple rounds and then spent the last round dumping bones and tokens with the Donate action.

As usual, I was amazed at some of the dino designs.

APE will be at Ettin Games on Tuesday night at 7 to show Petrichor, which is on Kickstarter now!


APE Games at 8th Dimension for Tabletop Day 2017

By | Conventions, Moa, Petrichor, The Great Dinosaur Rush | No Comments

8th Dimension has graciously offered to host APE Games for International Tabletop Day 2017.

We’ll have our newest favorite, The Great Dinosaur Rush by Scott Almes (Tiny Epic Galaxies):

Dig bones and build the wackiest dinosaur you can in order to score big points in the museums!

We’ll also bring two upcoming games. Petrichor by David Chircop (Pursuit of Happiness, …and then we held hands). We’re co-publishing Petrichor with Mighty Boards and it will be ready for Essen Spiel in October. Petrichor is kicking it on Kickstarter now, and you still have over a week to get in on the 9+ stretch goals that have already been hit!

Finally, we’ll have Moa, a Martin Wallace design of birds vs. mammals in The Land of the Long White Cloud.

Our slot is from 3-5 but they’ll have games running all day long – we hope to see you there!


An Interview with Petrichor Artist Daniela Attard (Iella)

By | Petrichor | No Comments

When I saw that Mighty Boards had selected Iella (Daniela Attard) to do the art for Petrichor (on Kickstarter now), I looked her up immediately because I knew I’d seen that art style before. Sure enough, I remembered her from her Ugly Duckling book Kickstarter back in 2015. I loved the style back then, and I think I might have even talked to her about a future APE game project!

I had a chance to talk with Iella about Petrichor, technique and Cartoon Network.

Iella: Wow I can’t believe how many people remember The Ugly Duckling as that was one of my first crowdfunding/self-publishing adventures!

APE: How did you get connected with David to work on the game?
Iella: David and I have participated in a few game jams before! It also helped that we are both originally from a small place called Malta (population 400,000) – you do tend to know everyone especially within the same age group or interests.

APE: I think Malta is turning into quite a gaming hub! Game reviewer Richard Ham (Rahdo) is also from there. It seems like much of your work is character design, yet Petrichor is 100% nature. The work you did on this game will almost surely lead to other similar projects. How would you feel about becoming ‘the nature artist’?
I welcome the challenge to be completely honest. Drawing natural backgrounds really pushes me out of my comfort zone which is great for my own stylistic development.

APE: My favorite art in Petrichor is the game board. It’s genius to have the leaves blowing across the wind part of the board, the drops on the rain side of the board, etc. What’s your favorite piece?
Iella: My favorite piece was the painted logo. It has come a very long way since the first concept and I am really happy with it now.

APE: Is there anything you’d like people to know about your technique or the tools that you use to create art?
Im a relatively disciplined person when it come to art practice. I do lifedrawing twice a week and I regularly challenge myself to do studies or portraits. Most of my drawings are done while I commute to my day job (bus or tube). Process wise I always start with small sketches for larger/industry work which I then work up to a sketchy greyscale painting before I apply colour and polish off. I use Photoshop and a Wacom Cintiq. (I also have a cheap Wacom bamboo which I use when I need to travel outside my desk space.)

APE: Are there other artists or studios that inspire you?
I’d be lying if I said no – I’m quite influenced by animated movies, anime, and gaming. Some of my favourite artists include James Jean and Jamie Hewlett.

APE: Oh, Jamie Hewlett does Gorillaz and Tank Girl – great inspiration indeed! I see that you work at Cartoon Network Europe. Is that the dream job that it sounds like it is?
Iella: Pretty much! I work for the central creative team and my responsibilities include drawing character art and concept art. I also do quite a bit of product development so it is a very varied job.

APE: Are there any other projects you’re working on that you can share with us?
Iella: I’m working on a new short comic after I finish all the new art for petrichor.

Staying busy – that’s great! It’s been great talking with you; thanks for your time. We’ll leave readers with a couple of amazing non-Petrichor pieces.


Petrichor on Kickstarter Now!

By | Petrichor | One Comment

APE Games is proud to be co-publishing Petrichor with Mighty Boards. We got our first chance to play this last year with early prototype pieces. Even without real art or components, we knew that this game was very special!

Mighty Boards launched the Kickstarter last week, and the game funded in the first 24 hours! As I write this, Petrichor is closing in on the fifth stretch goal! I think the team needs to get busy thinking of new goals since this project still has a long way to go.Facebooktwitterinstagram