Certified ginger holding down the fort in Cincinnati, Ohio. The banker day job pays the bills, but the nerdy night job keeps the blood pumping. Lover of cats, baseball, anything Blizzard spits out and yellow question marks.
Mythic Games is no slouch when it comes to producing excellent gaming experiences and they’re ready to take everyone back in time with their latest game, Time of Legends: Joan of Arc. The manager of Mythic Games, Leonidas Vesperini, took a bit of time out of his incredibly busy Gen Con schedule to talk with me about the company’s great success with their first Kickstarter game and what is in store for the rapidly growing gaming family.
Fresh Mana: Hey there, how’s things going at the convention for you?!
Leonidas Vesperini: It’s great, it’s great! People are so excited about what we have and what is coming and get it gets me excited.
FM: Tell me a bit about what you have going on right now.
LV: We’ve got people so excited about both our games. We had Mythic Battles on Kickstarter last year, which was a tremendous success with 2.7 million raised, with an added another 1.5 million during another phase, making it one of the biggest Kickstarters ever.
FM: It was crazy, seeing it take off last year.
LV: (laughs) Yes, yes it was.
FM: And let’s be honest, it’s gorgeous, and it’s a really cool concept so it makes complete sense about why it was so successful.
LV: Yes, thank you! What we really like is that maybe we didn’t break the record of the highest grossing game [on Kickstarter] of all time, but we are still in the top tier. People said that we ran the best campaign, so that’s very, very good for us. We tried to stay very close to our people, our contributors, and even after the Kickstarter finished, we kept communicating with them, and we are going to do just that now with our new project. We’ve been developing this new one for two years, just like Mythic Battles. We work a long time on our games because we want to provide the best quality in all aspects… art, sculpt, and design.
FM: Now that Mythic Battles is under your belt and setting the standard, what can you tell me about Time of Legends: Joan of Arc?
LV: So this new game, and it’s different from Mythic Battles, as it’s more of a narrative/storytelling game. You can play two modes; historical and mythical. You play with a few minis, which allows you to play on a bigger scope. You can have lots of terrain and buildings, giving you the ability to enter the buildings to search for things. There are NPCs you can talk to, who can give you hints, but who you can also fight.
What we like about this way, is that it really tells a story. The universe of the game is set during the 100 Years War, the biggest war ever. It’s the high time of knights, when they were really powerful, because after the 100 Years War their power was in decline. What we’ve done is that we’ve added all the fantastical things that people believed in to a certain point in our world’s history. You won’t have goblins or elves or orcs, but instead, what people believed in. They believed in witches, so you’ll have real ones. They believed in the devil, demons, and angels. You’ll have dragons as well. There’s plenty of elements represented as what was a part of their culture and beliefs.
In Joan of Arc you can play purely historical battles using the historically accurate characters of that time. For example, one of the scenarios in the game is based on a medieval village in France, that still exists to this day, called The Hanged Wolf. Why is it called that? Well, one day there was something unusual that happened; 20 wolves entered a church.
FM: Oh, that doesn’t sound good at all! (laughs)
LV: (laughs) Definitely not. In their beliefs, this was definitely not good. Some the villagers also went missing, so they warned the knights, the lords and the church. They started investigating and once they found the werewolf, they hanged him. But in the game, he’s an actual, real werewolf, not just some poor guy caught in a bad place at a bad time.
Applying that to the game, you’ve got one of the players becomes the villagers, and they choose another player at random to become the werewolf, without telling anyone who it is. Everyone else at the table will have to investigate within a certain number of turns; if they can figure it out, they win the game, if not, he’ll turn into a super powerful werewolf and win the game himself.
For the people who don’t like this idea, they can play purely historical battles, and instead of having Myth cards, they will play with Tactics cards.
FM: So if you really think about it, this is basically two games in one. You’ve got the historical side and the fantasy side.
LV: That’s exactly it, two games in one! For instance, you can pose your French army against the English army, and you can add in the Devil’s army if you like, too. If you want to play a game that isn’t really a scenario, you can flip into battle mode. You will have points to spend to assemble your army and you will fight with someone else. But again, if you want that more immersive scenario game, you can play the different pre-set up scenarios.
FM: It’s basically how real do you want to be, or how fantastical do you want to be. I have to briefly gush about the gorgeous dragon mini. I don’t even know if you can call that a mini, it’s so massive and so detailed. And not just the dragon, I was looking around your booth and all the minis here are so incredibly detailed. When is the game going to be ready for the masses?
LV: Yes, the plastic minis are on a very small scale but have very fine details to them. The quality matters to us.
The game will go live on Kickstarter on October 10th, 2017. The base pledge will be $120, but you will have probably… we still have to count… but probably around 215 miniatures in the base game.
FM: That’s a steal.
LV: This includes all the tiles and terrain plus many cards and the special dice. Plus, because it’s on Kickstarter, we’ll add new material every time we reach a new stretch goal.
FM: And I know with Mythic Battles, you guys kept hitting stretch goal after stretch goal, so I know there’s bound to be some amazing movement on this Kickstarter as well.
LV: You know what we did with Mythic Battles? We were very present, with doing live videos, surprising people… with Joan of Arc we are going to do just that. We have the same team, and the guy who writes the updates, he was called the Voice of Olympus for Mythic Battles, this time he’ll be the voice in her [Joan of Arc] head.
FM: Which, to discuss Joan of Arc… why did you choose her? Why that time period?
LV: Going back to what I said earlier, it was the time when the knights were at their peak. When you’re thinking of medieval times, there are no other areas that are as big as this one. We wanted to add the myth elements from that time. We wanted a different era from mythology like in our last game. The 100 Years War was what inspired George Martin for Game of Thrones, and if you look at the time period, it’s fascinating. It’s the same as in Game of Thrones, where many people wanted the throne of France; the English were supposed to be the closest to becoming the king of everything, and the French changed everything. The rules changed when the French king claimed that he was the legitimate ruler, and this is how the war started. Then you have another outsider trying to claim the throne of France. All these people are fighting for the rule. What we have over Game of Thrones is a bigger fantasy element.
FM: Yeah, while they have dragons, they don’t have werewolves or angels and demons, and that adds so much more to the game.
LV: We tried to do the best of two worlds. I think the people who like fantasy will like the game, and people who like history will like the game as well.
FM: Just to throw back to Mythic Battles real quick… have you thought about tackling different religions or different time periods? Like ancient Egypt?
LV: This is in our plans. We want to provide some new campaigns based on different mythologies. We started with Greek mythology, which is the largest mythology out there, and now we are considering doing both Norse mythology and Egyptian mythology. That will be a part of our future plans.
FM: I realize things are super busy right now with Joan of Arc coming out soon, but is there anything in the pipeline that you can perhaps tease about?
LV: The thing is, we try to only communicate and focus on the next one, but I can tell you that we are working on something incredible for the next game, with the most beautiful art you’ve ever seen.
Leonidas took a moment to show me some of the stunning artwork drawn up for Joan of Arc. Among some of the 20-some pieces of art he showed me, I saw the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, angels, demons, Joan of Arc herself, John Falstaff as well as John Talbot and his dog. Words really cannot do the pieces justice, but players are bound to see the hard work of the people at Mythic Games here soon in October. Eventually the photos turned to minis, and as you can see in the photos below, the detailing is not to be underestimated. We spent the rest of our brief Gen Con time together admiring the photos and gushing about minis and history.
As Leonidias stated in the interview, the Kickstarter is due out October 10th – until then, be sure to follow Mythic Games on Facebook, Twitter as well as their official site. We’ll be interested to see how quickly goals are met for Time of Legends: Joan of Arc, and just how many records Mythic Games can smash this time around. We want to thank Leonidas for his time and wish everyone at Mythic Games the best on their next big adventure!