Every two years, a moon covered by blue runes appears above a grim looking castle. This rare event signifies something very special. A magical tournament is upon us. Young adepts of magical arts will face each other in this fascinating contest and summon creatures out of this world.
Alakazoo is the latest work by Marcin Podsiadlo and will debut on Kickstarter in the next few weeks. The game merges elements known from board games, card games and makes use of special runic dice. Magical beasts are summoned by spell cards and put together on the colorful mat. Beautiful, fairytale stylized illustrations cover every element of the game. Today we’ve prepared an interview with the Alakazoo’s creator just for you.
Kick.Agency: What inspired you to create a game about a magical tournament? Was it the “Harry Potter” franchise or maybe something else?
Marcin Podsiadlo: There were a few inspiration pieces but Harry Potter’s world, including the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, was the strongest one. Obviously, the world of Alakazoo has nothing to do with that one, but most Harry Potter fans will feel at home. From the board game point of view: I wanted to create something along the lines of Kazaam, the first game where I worked as a producer and publisher, made with Gosia and Tomek Majkowski.
KA: When was the idea for Alakazoo born?
MP: It was around November 2016. I needed a rest from “heavier” board game projects and wanted to create something bit more lighthearted. And that’s when the idea for a family game called Alakazoo was conceived.
KA: How did you begin your work on the game?
MP: Just like with every game we create, we began by picking key mechanics, that would later become the basics of Alakazoo gameplay. It was important to make them fit the theme as well as the player characters.
KA: How long did the work on Alakazoo take so far?
MP: More than a year. That’s when we kept testing the mechanics and worked on the visual side.
KA: We love how you decided to include your fans and backers in naming monsters. Have you received any interesting or funny suggestions already?
MP: This is being handled by Tomek Siwek. I know that we received some really golden ideas, but I can’t share them yet :).
KA: How did you pick the artist responsible for visuals?
MP: I had already worked with Mateusz on other projects, so I asked him if he’d like to design magical beasts for Alakazoo. Mateusz has tons of experience. He worked with many RPG related projects like the recent board game Star Scrappers. He created an early draft of Alakazoo’s visuals and it was so good, that we simply couldn’t think of anyone else :).
KA: Where did your passion for making games come from?
MP: It’s a bit hard to answer, as I’ve been doing this for so long :). I think that my game making passion comes from fascination with pop culture. And board games are without doubt a part of it. I really like the entire process of making games: from choosing a theme to mechanics which make it complete. I value games where themes and mechanics complement each other and that’s what I’m always trying to achieve.
KA: Do you play board games a lot? Or maybe you prefer to create them?
MP: I think the answer is: fifty fifty. Sadly, my work on designing games consumes much more time nowadays, so I spend more of it on creating new projects, rather than playing.
KA: Any favourite titles?
MP: There are many :). In general: I like games by Days of Wonder and that’s what I usually play with my friends. I play others of course, as our table hosts stuff like Munchkin or Blood Rage. The title we’ve been enjoying at home recently (not made by DoW though) is Bunny Kingdom.
KA: What are your future plans for games? Any ideas for new projects?
MP: Currently I’m working on three projects and one of them should debut next year. All three are almost finished and await acceptation, so they could join the final stage: the visual design. Of course, until they’re 100% finished, they’re still going to be tested, so that we could perfect the gameplay and eliminate any possible errors.
Have a look at Alakazoo’s campaign draft. The launch is planned for on April 10th.
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