March 6, 2015 by brennon
The Edge is on Kickstarter now, the first skirmish game and sculpting adventure from a painting studio known as Awaken Realms. We got a sit down with Marcin Świerkot to talk about the game, their background and where they see the game going in the future…
BoW: First off tell us a little bit about Awaken Realms and where you got started as a painting company!
Marcin: Awaken Realms is right now one of the biggest miniature painting studio worldwide, but starting this company was a huge leap of faith. It was all started by me and Adrian. We are both “small” geeks and always loved amazing fantasy worlds and gaming experienced on many levels. Adrian and I have been great friends since we meet at international business university and one day we decided to join forces and create Awaken Realms, even though we both had a few other things at our plate.
I had a pretty promising corporate career in the financial sector ahead of me (I had my own cabinet by that time, haha!) and Adrian was one of the best solo painters out there. We both decided to take a big risk and fueled with passion for this awesome hobby try to create something bigger than both of us. This is how Awaken Realms was born and to be honest from the very start we wanted to dive into a universe of our own and now we are finally ready to show the effects of our work. It’s a very exciting time for us that’s for sure!
Can you tell us a little bit about the two factions that we’re seeing in The Edge to begin with; The Chapter & The Demons?
So happy you have asked this question! First of all I want to set something straight – this story is not some naive “Angels vs Demons” story you may have seen from time to time. We have a rather deep thought process underlying the building of the world and while not spoiling too much I want to say that we have a rather complex plot regarding those two races and many twists coming for the world of The Edge. I can say that we are working on the book featuring three races (Chapter, Demons and Faceless) and a comic book – if we will get enough funding we will be adding it to a kickstarter as a free bonus!
Coming back to races perhaps we should start with The Chapter as this is the faction I am very connected to. Creating this race we wanted to use the medieval age society but with a single change – God is actually a personification of technology, rather than being something that opposes it. This ends up with a very complex situation. The remnants of human society are living in seven Refuges, huge automatic metropolises. They are connected to each other with vast railroads and they are constantly exchanging goods. Chapter have created a perfect organization system with the use of the free market, technology, and deep Refuge specialisation.
Once Demons came and started destroying crystal mines and outposts humanity was very desperate. Year after year humanity was losing ground and people starting to ask “Where is The One? Does he even exists?”, especially since Demons seemed to know this “God” from their other conquered worlds and laugh at the whole idea. Things have changed since the siege of Eld-Hain, the first human Refuge that was about to fall, but then the Angel of Death came from the skies and saved the human race even though it was the beginning of the end. Actually, the book I mentioned earlier will be focused on the events that took place at Eld-Hain so I am not going to spoil any more of that story!
I always loved the steampunk setting but found it sometimes a little too silly and frivolous. We created Chapter to fit in with our really serious setting. We also wanted people from this faction to be humans, a faction people can identify with.
When it comes to Demons; these are the conquerors of worlds who are very patient and very intelligent when it comes to their plans. They can wait centuries and adapt before they will make a move. Most of the time they observe and find all the weak spots that their enemies have and then use everything against them. They are divided into three Castes. First of all we have the Intelligence Caste who lead the whole Demon army (an example of them would be Ish or the Master of Elements). These Demons are using magic fuelled by crystals and in some cases human blood or their vital energy (Ish).
Then we have the Terror Caste that hunts the enemy behind the front lines and cause them to lose their mind by stalking and haunting them for months (Terror Cultist). These Demons are adapting their appearance to what their prey fear and use all the senses to exploit that fear. Lastly we have the Brute Caste that is composed of true warriors (Brue and Hounds) These Demons are very honorable in their fighting and concentrate on self-mastery and the art of physical warfare. The Brute are in constant internal conflict with the other two Castes but they understand that they need to work together in order to win and survive as a race.
Overall the Demons motivation is to conquer new worlds driven by their population growth and insufficiency of resources.
Finally we have the Faceless but we would need really huge funding to reveal that race on the Kickstarter campaign. With that in mind right now I will not focus on them. Watch this space…
With that background in mind how do they fit into the overall world of The Edge?
Well, the world of The Edge is a rather destroyed and harsh environment. We wanted to keep a very strong post-apocalyptic feel to everything. One of the most important factors that reflects story as well as gameplay are the crystals. These are an infinite source of power and every faction will have a reason to seek them.
As we stated on the Kickstarter – while developing our miniatures, story and gameplay we are putting a heavy focus on consistency. We are building our miniatures with a deep thought process on how it would fit into the whole world concerning technology levels and so on. We are aiming to create a compelling universe and to do that we know we need to make everything work together, not just put a bunch of ideas into the bag and see what happens.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the gameplay of The Edge?
What we are offering on the Kickstarter is a Skirmish type game. We want to create rules that will be really easy to learn at first, so that you can sit down with your friend, explain everything in 15 minutes or less and start playing. The level of complexity will be introduced with special abilities and cards.
You will start your game with a deck of chosen global spells and a few crystals. Then, each player will be able to gather additional crystals on the battlefield which will provide a lot of replay value, as each game will look different. Crystals work as a mana pool refreshing after every turn with the more crystals you have the more things you will be able to do with your units as well as your cards. We want to put a lot of “turn the tide” abilities in for both sides so that you will never be sure if you have won or not and the battle will last until the very end.
Units will have really powerful abilities but thanks to mana-pool limitation there should be a really tough call as which one you should use at a given moment especially when your opponent may react with another ability or spell. The rules are still in the development as we want to perfect the game-flow experience and balance the sides well, which is very hard to achieve!
Where do you see The Edge going in the future?
Our vision of The Edge is a full on miniature wargame. We want to do a lot of things in that regard including build fluff around it, create and support a community of people that will enjoy this world as much as we do and create great gameplay experiences. We are fully aware that there is a long journey to go on before we get there and that is why we are asking for support on the Kickstarter. We are certainly not focused on short term profits for this project but rather on creating something special that many people around the world can enjoy.
I am really happy with the team we were able to gather and we are working with one of the most talented artists I have seen and the fact that they are very passionate about The Edge makes me really proud. I am very confident that their work combined with a great community will result in an awesome universe that can inspire people around the world.
Our core values at Awaken Realms now are the same as they were when we set up our company. Passion, inspiration and community. As cheesy as it may sound, we really do believe in that.
A big thank you to Marcin for sitting down with us for this Q&A and we wish them all the best for the Kickstarter and the future of the game! It’s looking pretty awesome I think you’ll agree!
Have you checked out The Edge yet?
"This story is not some naive “Angels vs Demons” story you may have seen from time to time..."
"Our core values at Awaken Realms now are the same as they were when we set up our company. Passion, inspiration and community. As cheesy as it may sound, we really do believe in that."