games, interview, News

Pendragon Game Studio interview and new pictures – Last Aurora

We got the chance to ask Last Aurora author Mauro Chiabotto questions about the game, and he shared a lot of new information.

The art for this game looks fantastic, when will we be able to see more?

We fell in love with it when we saw the first character sample. The art design team requested tons of artwork by art direction and Skeleton Crew Team. We tried to do the best to represent each aspect of the game and wanted the focus to highlight as best as possible all the details of this frozen dystopian world. In particular, we tried to create every card (Survivors, Trucks, Enemies) so that the details would be completely coherent with the game mechanics. If you are interested in seeing more artwork, you can find more on our official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Last-Aurora-2274491579310101/

I love the concept and theme. I am especially interested in scavenging parts for player vehicles. Could you go into a little more detail about that?

At the beginning of the game the player has a very poor convoy represented by two cards: a small truck and a container towed by the truck. The journey trough the wasteland is represented by a deck of cards explored by the players during the game. There are different categories of cards found in the deck such as Survivors, Locations, Enemies, and Vehicle Parts.  The Vehicle Parts cards will offer the player many vehicle options and trailers, as well as devices such as armor and weapons that can be used to upgrade the convoy. Each of these cards gives the player’s truck special abilities and/or increases the number of cargo boxes where characters and resources are stored.

If several players make it to the ship in time, how will a winner be decided?

The victory condition is very specific. We try to explain it by setting up the backstory that the Aurora is searching for people who want to reach the South, but the ship cannot possibly pick up every survivor. So it has to make a choice. This choice is influenced by the fame points the players obtain during the game.  The fame/victory points can be earned by gaining reputation fighting enemies, objects collected along the way, the Survivor the player is able to get and keep sane (without contamination/radiation diseases), and the advantage on the road map which gives players victory points. The player who collects the most fame/victory points is allowed to jump over to the ship with his crew and is the winner.

The recruitment and management of resources in the game is intriguing. Can you trade with other players or will you be exclusively finding your own resources?

As you know, the ship cannot rescue more than one convoy. Even the most cooperative game player should not try to help other player’s convoys. To help remember this, a rule exists that forbids trading resources between players. You should know though, that exploring abandoned locations is not the only way to gather resources. On the exploration map you will find many Encounter cards which will offer different options such as finding a merchant with whom you can trade resources. You may also encounter a Slaver, who requires slave labor in return for fuel. There is always more than one way to resolve the Encounter card and the choices will not be easy. The player may have to decide between helping the poor and sacrificing his own resources but earning fame, or looting the poor to obtain useful things and then losing fame. This part of the game is meant to reflect exactly the moral dilemma a person in this world would have facing that difficult decision. We hope you enjoy it.

I imagine the harsh environment will have some impact on players resources and vehicles, can you tell us a little bit about that?

Of course. We have represented the “freezing” aspect on the game board as you see in these pictures:

Each label represents a slot in which the cards appear during the game. The number represents the exploration cost that player’s survivors must cover to explore this zone. They exactly express the distance between the convoy from the point of interest. So if you want to explore the rightmost card (whose slots are clearly covered with ice), it is the farthest card away from the convoy.

In addition, we have introduced two types of “negative conditions”.  These are Damages and Contaminations. The first one deals with all of the physical damage the player’s convoy suffers during the game, which can be caused by rough terrain or enemy attacks. When a player receives damage, several Damages counters are placed in the cargo boxes of his convoy. Since these boxes represent space to store goods and resources, this then reduces the players’s convoy space.

The second condition is Contaminations.  This is very similar to Damages but they affect characters. When a player explores a contaminated location without being equipped with a hazmat suit, the characters receive Contaminations counters.  These reduce the exploration capacity of the character, which restricts the character from exploring some cards revealed on the player board.

As you see, we are trying to reproduce the same adverse conditions you would find in a contaminated and frozen wasteland. Don’t be discouraged though, we also introduce many ways to repair Damages and heal Contaminations.

The game comes with a lot in the box, what can you tell us about the main board?

The main board represents two different places.  The largest space is dedicated to the land the player will have to cross. It is divided into three regions which will spawn powerful enemies ready to fight to the death. The rightmost region is where the ship can be found.  This is represented by a small ship token which moves at the end of each turn. And then after round six it leaves the continent forever.

The bottom part of the map is formed by the Exploration slots previously introduced. These house the Exploration cards that players will interact with during each exploration phase of the game. Each slot also has a minor useful action a player can use.

This is a game I would back on Kickstarter! Can you tell us about some rewards you are currently thinking of?

We have several rewards in mind, but we’re still finalizing the details. On one hand,we would like to introduce a new player board with more challenging actions, extra vehicles and characters, and a new special type of card. On the other hand, we also want to focus on improving  the quality of the game materials by replacing the wooden tokens with plastic miniatures.

And, last but not least, we have a big surprise planned! All I can say about it right now is..Have we ever talked about the destruction of the world? Who killed the planet? Why do we need a ship to reach the South? Why don’t people want to reach the South simply by land travel?If you want to stay up to date on Last Aurora, we suggest you to follow the FB page of the game, and also Pendragon Game Studio International.

Thanks so much for this opportunity!

All images ©Pendragon Game Studio pendragongamestudio.com

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