Following the previous update we became aware of a glitch in the Town Timer. Users of non Adobe PDF Readers probably won't have noticed it, but for those using any version of Adobe PDF software their Town Timer may have looked something like this...
The text in the box should read "Town Timer" and look like this...
Just a short post to remind everyone we're still here and to keep the blog breathing. If you've been tracking progress at all then you'll have seen some of the modifications/improvements to the game over the past two years. Development on Heroes of Feonora goes as far back as 2007 with the initial public release (version 1.0) in May of 2010. While there have been some exciting improvements in the visual department, thanks in large part to Ian and Reggie and the others, most of the tweaks and improvements have centered on tightening up the core gameplay experience.
That being said, we'd like to emphasize that despite its light-hearted (almost simplistic) veneer, Heroes of Feonora is, from a rules and mechanics standpoint, at the completion point of development. Having the game as a Print-and-Play PDF Pack affords us the opportunity to make small adjustments here and there that otherwise wouldn't be possible in a fully "published" scenario. But that is more a luxury than a necessity at this point. Most of any future changes will likely take the form of aesthetic enhancements (and even those may be a long while coming). Maybe. To put it another way, we're satisfied with the way the game has come together and if no other changes were to be implemented past Ruleset 1.0.5 we would feel quite comfortable declaring the game "finished."
So, if you've been holding off on downloading the PDF Pack for a time when the game is finally, fully, totally finished, consider waiting no more. The game is ready to be assembled and enjoyed now - as it is.
As soon as real life eases up on our time a bit we'll have more energy for ongoing art acquisition and integration; but do be aware that is still a long-term goal. The main thing is the game itself and Heroes of Feonora is ready to go.
Download today, and be sure to invite your friends and loved ones to the table.
Hello everyone. Just a quick note to say that I'm thinking about you, and hoping that your Christmas season is staying pleasant (and stress free). Seems many of you have wandered over from YouTube, which is nice. Welcome. Are you new to board games? RPGs? Craft projects? Heroes of Feonora is somewhat like an introduction to all three. You spend some time putting the game together, and then the first time you play it the game will teach you how to play as you go along. Just take it nice and slow, realize that the first play-through is more about getting familiar with things, and enjoy learning each of the various mini-games that comprise the greater whole. Most of all, don't forget to roleplay those characters and really bring them to life for the other players. For that is the secret ingredient that makes a game like this special...and memorable.
Who knows, maybe one day we'll get a chance to meet some of you.
When we started work on Heroes of Feonora back in 2007 the most immediate goal was putting something together that was functional and playable...a working prototype. This meant that luxury ingredients such as eye-catching artwork was not a high priority (nor should it be at this stage as most game designers will tell you). There eventually came a point where some degree of artwork became a necessity, such as with the main game board and the Story Maps. At this point we turned to our own (less than spectacular) abilities and the open source artwork community. With more essential elements of gameplay and mechanics ironed out this 'placeholder artwork' gave the game just enough polish to justify a public release. If no further updates/improvements were ever implemented the game would still be fully playable, functional and (we hope) lots of fun.
But a project like this never seems quite satisfied with staying in one place and there is a desire to eventually expand the visual feature set, particularly in areas such as card art and character portraits. Whether this plays out fully is another story, but in the meantime we've taken at least one small step toward that goal, a step that would not have been possible without the help of two people who I'd like to introduce today.
Some time ago I tapped a segment of the online art community...mostly to see what level of interest the project might generate. The initial response wasn't overwhelming, but turned out to be more encouraging than first anticipated. Eventually two artists emerged with a willingness to lend some of their time and talent to the project, a project mind you not backed by a big name or studio-sized budget. Suffice it to say the resulting production drawings couldn't have been more pleasing to watch, as they slowly took shape - bringing a wonderful mixture of characters to life. After several months of collaboration Heroes of Feonora now proudly features its debut collection of polished artwork in the form of Character Portraits, highlighting the outstanding talents of Ian Garnett and Reggie Cuvelier.
Both artists came through with a visual style that compliments the whimsical nature of Feonora, an imaginary world filled with creatures and characters ranging from serious to comical (and everything in-between). Much of Feonora pays tongue-in-cheek homage to traditional roleplaying conventions, while the rest strives to achieve a unique sense of identity and inter-character cohesion within the overall genre. Reggie and Ian's works go a long way in conveying both elements of the game world and the credit is deservedly theirs. From a designer standpoint there's only so much you can convey to the artist...afterwards, it's up to them to take hold of your vision and then bring it to life.
Development of art assets for a game of this scale is no small matter. This initial [test] phase of production proved a conceptual approach for making it happen and gave us an opportunity to work with two artists who were professional, accommodating and a pleasure to work with. To learn more about each artist visit the Credits page; both their names link through to an online portfolio, along with a broader selection of works (including contact info).
P.S. I know it's been a while since the last character background posted, but we haven't forgotten about the others. The goal was never to push these out at regular intervals, although admittedly it would have been nice to produce these at a clip of about one per month. But things don't seem to work that way when the project is still more a hobby than a living. Rather than setting expectations on which character will be featured next and when, let me just say that so far we've explored four of them, which leaves eight more to go.
In the world of Board Games and Roleplaying Games small, independently produced titles often get overshadowed by larger commercial releases. Independent game designers usually have to rely on word-of-mouth and small bits of press coverage (as it comes) to generate awareness of their humble works. One venue that tries to support indie game designers is the Indie RPG Awards, run by a small team who each year endeavors to draw a little more attention to games that might otherwise be overlooked.
Every year, around the month of August, a few select awards are handed out across a handful of categories. Voting is largely peer driven, with one award, "The People's Choice Award" determined by a larger audience of players.
The growing candidate list for the 2010 awards (to be handed out next August) is going to include an RPG Board Game called Heroes of Feonora. It will reside, quietly, among a broad field of largely 'pen & paper style' RPGs, from designers and artists who have all worked very hard to bring their creations to life. It's difficult for us to imagine a family-oriented board game, with no artwork, having much of a chance...but hopefully this will help us reach out to an audience who maybe grew up playing video games & RPGs, and find themselves in the mood for a little light adventuring now and then.
The mysterious "Old Ruins" are located just a half-day's journey from the town of Villageton. You may have noticed that this particular Story Map is different from the others. It has a winding overland path, through patches of thick undergrowth, leading to a small, underground dungeon. This adds variety to the journey with a wider range of encounters, but has another purpose as well...
The Story "Of Greed and Mischief" has been designed to provide players with a slightly shorter quest (compared to the others). You'll notice at the bottom of the Story Card that the only map used for this quest is "The Old Ruins." One of our design goals for Heroes of Feonora has been to ensure that no two games are ever the same, including the length of the Stories, some of which are longer and more epic, others being brief but challenging.
We've included a brief entry on the Support page talking about how a full game can be broken up into 'play sessions.' For a full game that can be played all the way through in a single evening, this one is a good candidate.
Although, trudging into any dungeon without at least one or two thieves, could slow things down considerably.
The Story? Ah, yes. We may learn more about this Persnickety Perrigrin creature, and his mysterious relationship to the King and Queen, some time in the future.
Today I just wanted to take a quick moment to say Thank You to the wonderful team over at Clean Reads. They have been kind enough to feature Heroes of Feonora in a few select places, so that readers (who may also enjoy fantasy themed board games) will have a chance to discover us. Those of you who have come over from Clean Reads - Welcome.
If you're a book reader, who hasn't yet heard about Clean Reads, this is one book centric site I can heartily recommend. Similar to the way Heroes of Feonora tries to promote good, clean fun, Clean Reads aims to do the same for book readers of all ages. Visitors can browse through their list of community approved "Squeaky Clean Reads," or login and help with book reviews and recommendations. They've already got a nice little community going and I'm just sure you'll find something there that's worth a read.
Edit (8/5/10): I'd just like to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to rate feonora.com over at Web Of Trust. We've gone "Green," and couldn't have done it without you. Thank You.
Hello everyone. As many of you know feonora.com only recently went live. It's important to us that the game, and the website, are the best we can make them; and part of that means ensuring the experience is safe and inviting for players of all ages. Along with building and maintaining a good website, another way to help convey the safety of a site is through rating indicators, such as those provided by Web Of Trust and McAfee's SiteAdvisor. We're in the process of trying to earn a green rating with both communities. If you're a member of either one, and would like to help us 'go green,' please take a moment to visit the links above and place a rating for this website. As you do, know that we take privacy and security very seriously. Contact information is kept strictly confidential and will NEVER be shared (for any reason...ever.). In addition, the downloadable PDF Packs are carefully prepared in a well maintained computing environment, and are thoroughly scanned - clean - for malware prior to each and every upload. No system can claim to be perfect, but we are committed to doing our part to provide a safe and friendly environment for everyone, along with a game that is friendly, challenging and (hopefully) lots of fun. Thanks.
Yesterday was a milestone. We've been plugging away since release day and now the main elements of the Make It page are well in place. This means that once people have downloaded the PDF Pack, they'll now have a place to go for some tips and ideas on how to put it all together. For those thinking about putting a set together, we suggest starting with the READ ME FIRST text file included in the PDF Pack. From there, pay a visit to the Make It page for some additional ideas and (perhaps) inspiration. Which brings us to the next phase of the website.
Some time in the next several days our goal is to get an initial FAQ in place, followed by a small Support page, where we can interact a little better and respond to questions or matters that haven't been covered elsewhere. Meanwhile, content for the Make It page will continue to expand and grow as needed based on feedback or other ideas that may come along.
A little further down the road we'll be posting another small addition to the website, that will offer a glimpse into the past...
It's been wonderful finally being able to share this project with others, and hopefully, as the website continues to grow, many more in the days & weeks to come.
It's been a long and arduous journey; but after sweeping out a few lingering Scribbles and contending with a wayward Band of Brigands, Lisa and I have managed to push out the first public release. We'd like to welcome those of you who are new to the game (which ought to be most people at this stage) and say that many adventures await.
The imaginary world of Feonora is a magical place that taps into the imagination, rewards creativity and reminds us all that working together can be fun too.
We'll be using this blog to talk about different characteristics of the game, make the occasional announcement and keep readers up-to-date on the latest progress.
Heroes of Feonora has been designed from day one as an 'RPG Adventure for the Whole Family.' But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of competitive strategy built in. Give it a try and let us know what you think. We'd especially like to know how some of the younger players are faring. Of course we also understand it will take a little time to get those first sets put together, so the focus in the coming weeks for all of us is going to be - Making the Game.
Welcome to Feonora.