Arkeis – Meet Antoine Bauza

Arkeis – Meet Antoine Bauza


Hello! It’s another interview
with the Arkeis team. And for this one, I’m happy
to welcome Antoine. – Hello, Antoine!
– Hey there! – Doing well?
– Doing very well. We’ve talked gameplay,
so let’s discuss something new. Here’s an odd question. There’s an esoteric symbol
you see a lot in Arkeis. – Only one? A circle, linked to a cult? Can you talk about this cult? There’s a secret in Arkeis,
guarded by an ancient cult around during the campaign,
between the two world wars. The cult and the symbol
are the main theme of the game. You see characters, items
linked to the cult in the game. So, we have humanoid
figurines, but also monsters. We have cultists, basically. In the game, you see
symbols on figurines, etc. Is it true this is
your first dungeon crawler? Yes, exactly! But you’ve made a few games. What did you like about dungeon
crawlers? Do you play them? Yes, when I was young and now. My son’s getting to the age,
he likes this kind of game. It was my and the team’s first,
so that was a motivator. It’s a classic kind of board game,
it was a great opportunity. Wouldn’t have made it on my own, it’s massive. It was a dream project for us. A total first for us,
we made it together. A cool experience! How did you create
the four main characters? We gave it a lot of thought,
but it came naturally. Tried to respect the history,
but with fun, colorful types! I don’t think
we struggled much with it. That went fine. We didn’t struggle
with the writing. The idea was: There’s so many dungeon crawlers,
let’s make this one different. How can you stand out? That drove the design phase. One focal point of yours
was scalability, having a game in 3D. Was this from working
on Monster Slaughter? What’d you enjoy about that? I’ve always liked workingNon 3D board games! Ludo and I made games
where 3D was crucial, like Rampage, for this we wanted
a narrative, immersive game, so having it pop was important. Not standard for crawlers. A lot of them have flat tiles. It isn’t crucial for gameplay,
but really nice for immersion. Always nice in the living room. The eye-catching aspect is big. We’re in Egypt, but beyond the pyramids. Talk about your choices,
maybe reveal a few things? Everyone knows Egypt. Archaeology appeals
to everyone, it’s familiar. At the start, we wanted the world
to be different somehow, we quickly fell on steampunk,
a literary genre we really like, lesser-used in board games. In brainstorming, we thought about
all the theories of how the pyramids were built, no one’s sure how they moved
all those blocks. But then, we do know. The steam engine
makes it simpler. Our narrative entry point was:
Egyptians mastered steam, it was lost over the years,
then rediscovered by Europe in the 1800s. That was our line of attack. Making a dungeon crawler, we need
the story, the gameplay to be specific, and the world itself;
thus, ancient Egypt plus 1800s steam tech. Then you could add a zeppelin,
mentioned in the travelogue, for the explorers to get around. It accounts for the sequence
of scenarios, for the story to make sense. It facilitated the story. So it was a win-win! It made the world more specific,
but also explained the story flow, which could’ve been farfetched
without that technology. – Plus, getting out of those dungeons.
– We can talk about that! You also play outdoors. You move around a lot.
There’s the pyramids, of course, but 90% of the campaign
is not pyramids. It’s more key moments,
and at times you’re outside. We sometimes transition
between scenarios using the zeppelin. – And you keep it after each mission?
– Yes. We talked about interstitials
and tents in previous videos. Tell us something about tents? What do you do at camp? In terms of gameplay,
you’ll access new tents, which are stickers. You have a spread
with your zeppelin and camp, and through the campaign,
you add tents in the form of stickers. You pay to unlock them. Each has an effect, for example an herbalist tent to brew potions,
to heal or get a reroll, etc. Some effects will help
during the scenario, some will help between them. You might sell equipmentNto recycle your gear. Your character advances in the game.
Each character has an experience deck. First you’ll get
small experience bonuses, then there’s a tent toNunlock a new card level and better experience cards. It all happens gradually,
it isn’t automatic. You have to make choices. Based on how well you do,
you may earn a tent. You won’t always have the money
or space to fit everything in the camp. It’s a management minigameNdone as a group. A little management phaseNbetween scenarios. You can customize the experience,
make different choices next time. You try to view other tents. I’d do that to try things out. Zooming out, we have this
system of saving, leveling up, etc. Théo mentioned traumas: negative
actions lasting through scenarios, but we didn’t discussNpsychological traumas. There’s two categories: one interacts with the four basic actions:
move, search, fight, etc. Say more about the psychological.
How does that work? There are cards for it. It’s a special kind of trauma
after the first two episodes. They create limitations,
so they won’t be positive. Also a little hard to heal.
Easier to heal the body! This type of trauma occurs
in-game, and works differently. People will look forward
to being emotionally traumatized! Thanks for your answers. Before I let you go,NI have surprise questions. Careful, there’s either a snake…
Wait, it was a scorpion! Go ahead and select one.
We’ll finish them. Your favorite artwork? That’s totally subjective! I love the view of the
pyramids, with the golden tip. So classy! There’s others,Nbut that came to mind first. If you have others, don’t be shy. That one does
make you want to explore. And that golem too… I love the mechanical golem. You love them all. Go ahead withNthe last two questions. What’s your favorite monster?
I sort of expected that one. The golem, of course. It’s classic steampunk.
I’m big into steampunk. So I got a fave. The way it is in the gameNis different from the norm. Yeah, a special bit ofNgameplay, it’s very nice. We tried to make special monsters
unique, not just straight combat, so you don’t have to hack away
at monsters. Especially the golem, there’s a twist on the
mechanics. Still my favorite! Last question. Best item in the game? Hard one! We made so many,NI mix them up. For the items I call artifacts,
which you unlock in the journal, there’s two or three
we went wild with. I won’t name themNto avoid spoilers, but there’s a very steampunkNweapon, a real brawler item! I love it, but
not gonna give it away! We’ll put it up and blur it out! That way, no spoilers. Thanks again. It was great
to see your vision, your work on Arkeis. Watch for the next video,
and the Arkeis game itself! Thanks, everyone!

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