Agemonia does not happen without the talented individuals who create it, and we now introduce some of the key people in the Agemonia team. Lead designer Max Wikström, art director and designer Jere Kasanen and producer Toni Niittymäki of Lautapelit.fi.
Agemonia is a long project in the making, and the world has been “floating around in many different forms for two decades, I think,” Max says when asked about it. “We did our first joint project, Dokmus, with Max back in the day. I think we discussed Agemonia as a concept already back then”, Toni remembers. “
Max divides his time between theater visual design and game design. His tasks in Agemonia include world building, core mechanics, scenario creation and campaign design. He has a lot on his plate, but he is excited and happy to work with enthusiastic co-creators.
“What I really love about how lautapelit.fi and the people there are so passionate about games. They do this with their hearts and minds, which is very important.” He says. “Especially people like Jere, who are key players in a project like this. His work and value have been invaluable, and he is constantly sparring me to fine-tune the mechanics more and more to get an even better result.”
Max is clearly proud of all the work that has been done to get the mechanics “up to our standards”, and understandably so. “The mechanics are key. They need to be fluid, easy to grasp but have depth enough to create enough variation and options. I especially like the dice and the mana chips; how no die side is empty and that the mana sides of the dice create options for the players to act through.” He continues: “Like how I can now crush this attack, but I might not have enough juice to run out of the collapsing building the next turn if I really crank up the heat. It’s all about choices.”
“It’s like designing any machine. The machine is only as efficient as the engine that runs it. A sports car with a small engine might look sleek but it doesn’t pack any punch.”
Jere Kasanen, art director and producer, agrees. “I love how Agemonia is a game which is light and fun but also has deeper story topics and themes. I especially like the card deck. It’s like a deck of surprises; you never know what will happen to the map before you turn the card to see the object you are interacting with.”
Jere is the man with the self-appointed title of “man with the largest collection of different hats in the project”, being the person with the most diverse palette of tasks and responsibilities. He handles insights to the mechanics, playtesting, art director tasks, productization… the list is tremendous.
“I’ve played immersive RPG-style adventure games with a long story line, but what I love in Agemonia is how this is achieved without having a rule system where you spend half of the first ten gaming sessions delving into the intricacies of the rule system. ”Jere also likes the balance that Agemonia has between hard-core mechanics and ease of play. “Agemonia is a game that is easy to grasp and just start playing but has a wonderful plethora of depth and options for the players. In that sense it’s kind of a point-and-click adventure with added options and co-op.”
Toni Niittymäki is one of the projects producers and represents lautapelit.fi, the publisher. An avid gamesman himself as well, he got drawn to Agemonia through working with Max in many different projects. “I am intrigued and interested in the puzzle solving parts Agemonia has. It’s kind of a nice dazzle of eurogamer into the mix of story-driven adventure, which I am sure will intrigue gamers of both worlds. I really believe that Agemonia can be the project to unite players from several fields of interest.”
Toni describes himself as an “enabler of the practical side” in Agemonia, working also in playtesting. “I’m kind of the producer of the movie, with an avid interest” he continues with his own interests in board games. “I’m the one from the bunch who is not head-over-heels into story-driven adventure games, being more of an analytical puzzle games person. That being said, I think Agemonia might be the project which draws players like me into these kinds of games.”
The project goes on, and with the Kickstarter campaign coming up there’s a lot of work to do in addition to the heaps of stuff that has already been done. There are oodles of scenarios ready to go, but the story work and campaign creation is still underway. “We now have the best and most efficient engine, core, and chassis”, Max says. “Now we shall strive to create Agemonia into the best machine possible, to create something truly enjoyable, immersive and fun.”