Enter My Domain…

So about two months ago Beau (co-founder of AJC and partner-in-crime) came home from Copenhagen for a vacation during the winter holidays. Once he was done visiting with his family and kid, he got to the important stuff: hanging out with yours truly. There was much drinking of bad beer, eating of bad Mexican food, playing of Twisted Metal 2 and Super Mario Brothers 3 and Skyrim (he’s working on a shield bash build – hilarious), and general merriment for all.

And there was also this:

What in the world is this, you ask? Why, this is the lovely Beau deeply entrenched in a fierce game of “Domain: Lords of Ether”, the new card game being developed by A Jolly Corpse!

But doesn’t A Jolly Corpse brew fiendish concoctions for PC, Xbox, and mobile? Well yes, yes we do! But Beau and I are both huge players of tabletop games and collectible card games. As you may have seen from my Professor Figment posts, I’m a new fan of the D&D 3.5 mod Pathfinder. I’ve also played quite a bit of Magic: The Gathering with Wharf co-author Logan McHenry (black for life). Beau loves Tyrant and Munchkin and most board games. Resident AJC technomancer David’s also a big tabletop gamer, but he’s still hard at work recoding Wyv and Keep’s online mode and porting it to MonoGame! (Apparently Microsoft XNA wasn’t the ideal platform for us to start with…)

Domain is sort of a mix of MTG and Risk. It takes place in the dark, fantasy world of Abhaddon, a realm where the prosperity of humans and other industrious species is constantly undermined by the warring of the greedy and powerful “Ether Lords”. These mystical beings take the form of tyrannical wizards, ancient deities, giant creatures, and legendary spirits. They vary vastly, but what they share is that they wield control over a magical energy called “Ether”, which has the power not only to give life, but to take it away as well. You control one of these lords, and the objective in each game is to conquer the world of Abhaddon by taking over the various Soul Wells scattered about the map. The only problem? You’re not the only Ether Lord out there.

As you can probably tell by the not-so-great card stock (it’s paper), this is the 0.000001 alpha of the game. We concepted and developed it over the course of the couple weeks he was back in town, so if you zoom in on this picture you’ll see lots of stolen art from MTG and other card games. But we’ve been working overtime getting original art ready for our prototype. We’ve got a bunch to get ready (like, hundreds), so are only able to put in around 4 hours per card at this point. Despite that, we’re doing our best to make some very pretty cards!

The two cards above (top by myself, bottom by Beau) are examples of “Monster” cards – one of the three types of cards in the “Conjure” deck from which you draw and play every turn. Ether Lords exercise control over these weaker beings, and use them to combat other lords. They serve to guard your precious Soul Wells, or to attack and hopefully conquer those belonging to other players. Many of them have cool abilities to change up combat, and some, like Necromancer’s right there, can even be used out of combat, as long as they’re revealed.

So what does “revealed” mean? What are those symbols on the cards? What’re the other types of conjure? How’s the world built? Just what do the Ether Lords do?

These are all questions for future posts! I’ll feature news about the game here on my blog occasionally, but to stay up to date on the development of Domain, make sure to bookmark A Jolly Corpse’s homepage!

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