Light Hunters: Battalion of Darkness is a fantasy card game currently on Kickstarter. The game first caught my attention because of its striking black and white aesthetic and fantastic art work, without even looking into gameplay I was intrigued by a game that clearly had a distinct vision. The DTDA team of Designer Sergio Matsumoto, Artist Manon Stripes, and media/writer Marine Vinais are offering a pretty unique product and I was quite excited when they reached out to us here at To Die For Games to talk about their project.
DTDA Games is a French company and much of my communication with Marine has been in French but we conducted the interview in English so please forgive some language peculiarities in her answers.
Is science (or science related terms) supposed to be a prevalent part of theme? (Discussion of Ethers etc…).
[let us] tell you more about Ether.
It’s inspired by an ancient/traditional magic (in French magie tellurique) that’s a mix of the energy of the Earth and the strength of the cosmos. It will act on the physical and mental state of a character to give it more mental and spiritual energy.
In Light Hunters, Ether is like “Energy/Mana/SP” of other games, depends on the level of Ether the hero can play one or multiple skills, the level of Ether depend of the round, 1st round = 1 level of Ether, 2 round = 2, until the maximum of 5.
Was diversity of characters an important factor? I notice a mix of humans (different races and gender) as well as different species.
Our game aesthetic plays with Light and Darkness, with opposition (this is a fighting game after all). We tried to keep the opposition symbolism in a lot of aspects of the game and so with the initial 8 characters.
For the tanks/defence, we have a human race character and an orc.
For the fighters, we have a woman and a man.
For the healers, we opposed youth and age.
And for the spellcaster, white magic Vs black magic.
The diversity of characters is a result of this opposition theme.
How long have you been developing/designing Light Hunters?
Initial graphical designs took 3 intensive months to develop. Dozens of prototypes to adjust the visual render of the game on a table.
Has DTDA been around long? How big is the team?
DTDA was created 6 months ago. We are 3 on the team, Serge the game designer, Manon the illustrator and Marine the communication part.
The artwork in Light Hunters is really interesting, what made you decide to go completely black & white? The iconography is subtle yet quite effective was that difficult to balance?
we were in a opposition/fighting theme, we reduced the illustration to only two colors, after different test and search, we opted for black and white. Reducing to two colours automatically augments the visual impact, the difficulty resided in balancing illustrations with the card layouts. We wanted to stay subtle, and still readable, without distorting the universe of the game or crushing the illustrations.
Was it difficult to balance all the heroes and all the player counts?
The skills of the heroes are inspired by many board games and video games. We played a lot to balance the powers, we also realized a small software that simulates games randomly, to make sure that a hero is not under represented.
Did you experience any major problems or issues getting the Kickstarter campaign going?
The most important point was the definition of pledges, we thought a lot, and exchanged with the French community before launching our campaign Kickstarter. The communication to make known its camapgne is also a point, that it is not to be underestimated.
What is the thing you feel offers gamers something a truly unique experience with Light Hunters?
We imagined the game around 3 main lines : in team, fast games, for everyone/fun.
The players often told us that the “team games” are under-represented (for the moment) so they like to find that type of game in Light Hunters with our principle to form 2 teams and to face them the one against the other one.
I haven’t played Light Hunters but after looking at the art and reading the rules I am very intrigued. I am interested in the way that the Heroes’ powers will grow from round to round allowing them to use more powerful skills each round. The use of teams of heroes will create some interesting dynamics and variability. During our communications Marine indicated that they are working on a game play video that I will keeping an eye on the Kickstarter page for. I think Light Hunters is an interesting project that is worth your consideration. Check out the Kickstarter page.