October 26, 2016 by brennon
We were able to talk with Ait-mehdi Mohamed about the project and find out more.
BoW: Can you tell us about the background behind Gnomes & Associates and how it came to life?
Ait-mehdi Mohamed: As a lot of people know Happy Game Factory have developed EDEN, a miniatures game in a very adult universe. We decided to develop Gnomes & Associates after a convention becaused we were tired of having to refuse teaching EDEN to families because of its adult nature and background. So, I began to think about this universe alongside my team including Julie and Christophe.
The different kinds of guilds and the universe developed around different objectives that came to life during certain points of development.
We were hoping to develop a universe with no ‘Bad’ or ‘Good’ guy, only funny and strange creatures who all have different interests in the world of Marveland.
Could you run us through the basic gameplay mechanics of the game?
The mechanics for gameplay are very simple. Every player will manage their own Guild composed of two (or four for a long game) creatures. They will usually do up to two actions (Move, Steal Item, Craft Item, Fight). In their hand, they will also have five cards to play each turn which open up a number of additional possibilities.
For example, we have the ‘Sprint’ card which allows you to move once more. A lot of the cards are actually specific to your guild too giving it an asymmetrical nature.
Could you go into a bit more detail about each of the different factions and if they have any differences in playstyle?
Each of the Guilds will have a different objective they are trying to accomplish and this leads them to play entirely different from each other. You change your Guild you change your game.
For example, the Thieves need to steal to make money while the Craftsmen will be tinkering away to make gold and win the game. Each of them has a few more tweaks to giving them an added bit of character.
You’ve mentioned that the focus is to make the game family friendly – what makes it fit into that mold?
The focus was that our art would appeal to children and families as a whole. It was important for us to try and get miniatures into the hands of families so we could create a generation of gamers! The mechanics are also very easy to learn and the different levels of difficulty we’ve included mean it can scale.
You could start with only actions, no cards and then step-by-step add them into the game.
The game is also very easy to set up and understand. That’s an important point because there are plenty of board games which take a long time to get to the tabletop. Families have been happy to play over and over again.
What are backers going to get in the main game and the core pledge for the campaign?
The backers will get their hands on the core set and more as we start to unlock them. There is a new Guild, for example, allowing you to play with more people as well as cardboard chests and gold in plastic.
In fact, they could also get a multiplayer set with a wonderful cute dragon baby you need to capture to win the game. It basically creates a cooperative scenario. There’s also a special deck where you can turn it into a one vs three game where someone becomes an ‘Overlord’.
Who designed the artwork and the miniatures for the game?
There are lots of talented people involved in this project. The creatures were imagined by Faouzi Hamida and Mohand. The final versions were then drawn by Remy Torres and all of the graphical work was done by Romain Gaschet who is an extraordinary artist.
The miniatures were then turned into 3D sculpts by Faouzi Hamida, Yann Bethenneau and Mohand creating the wonderful range you see here.
Could you tell us a bit more about the different stretch goals you’ve got coming up for the game?
The stretch goals, as we mentioned before, are all experiments with new kinds of gamplay.
We need to develop this kind of thing because we’re not a big company. We compensate on our small quantity of miniatures with a large array of gameplay options.
Where would you like to take Gnomes & Associates in the future?
We’re going to be taking Gnomes & Associates to all manner of good shops and conventions and hope that it will go over well with them as they play through the expansions too.
As we nudge people to play with miniatures we’re hoping to not only get some hardcore gamers hooked but also families. Who knows from there!
Thanks for the chat and we wish you the best of luck with the campaign.
The game certainly looks very interesting and the aesthetic of it is hard to ignore. With some wonderful looking miniatures, a brilliant board packed with colour, and a game which can be tweaked to fit your needs at the tabletop – this one could be quite the hit.
What do you think?
"Every player will manage their own Guild composed of two (or four for a long game) creatures..."
"In fact, they could also get a multiplayer set with a wonderful cute dragon baby you need to capture to win the game. It basically creates a cooperative scenario..."