Lex Arcana Blew Past Its Kickstarter Goal: Here's Why
  • Lex Arcana Blew Past Its Kickstarter Goal: Here's Why

    In our continuing coverage of the Second Edition of Lex Arcana that is currently on Kickstarter, I spoke with Andrea Angiolino, the Creative Director at Quality Games. Andrea was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us at EN World!

    Sean Hillman (SH): Andrea, could you tell folks a little bit about yourself and your position at Quality Games?

    Andrea Angiolino (AA): I am an Italian game designer and game journalist. I started in the '80s: in 1982 I had the first RPG magazine column in Italy, in 1987 I wrote the first Italian choose-your-own-adventure gamebook. I also designed quite many games - the most famed abroad being Wings of War, now Wings of Glory, and Sails of Glory. My Battlestar Galactica - Starship Battles miniature game is being launched in these weeks. I also design games for TV and newspapers, write books about them, tell the story of games and toys at the national radio, teach in courses about game design and gamebook writing. Back in the '90s my friend Giovanni Caron involved me in the founding of Qualitygame, a game publisher that aimed to release high quality board games. We had great attention to games coming from contests for unpublished authors. I also edited a collection of small size booklets with role-playing games, game books and wargames that was initially launched as a promotional item and became a very successful range. Giovanni went back to me with the idea of founding a new company called Quality Games and with its roots in our past activity, and I accepted. I am the Creative Director.

    SH: How did Quality Games become involved with Lex Arcana and the design team?

    AA: The new founders of Quality Games decided to start the activity with a great RPG. Lex Arcana, the most successful Italian RPG ever and with four authors that are known all over the world for their designs, has been a well thought choice. Even if Lex Arcana's designers never published anything with our previous company Qualitygame, in mid '90s we cooperated with Leo Colovini and Dario De toffoli in the discovery of new talents and in the promotion of Italian games on the international market. Personally I also have have a long story of friendship and cooperation with Maggi & Nepitello: they were among the playtesters of my I Cavalieri del Tempio RPG, set in a Medieval Europe where magic really works. I asked them to contribute to a game magazine I was working with. When Lex Arcana was later released, I worked with archaeologist and writer Francesca Garello to several adventures for magazines and an official supplement about Italy. Recently, Maggi & Nepitello designed with me Tripods & Triplanes, a sci-fi spin-off for Wings of Glory set in Well's War of the Worlds. In the past De Toffoli & Colovini managed to publish a board game of mine, Ulysses, with Winning Moves. I am now working with De Toffoli at the Italian Game Archives, a great cultural deed... Overall, we are used to work together to a wide range of projects.

    SH: Are any of the original artists coming back on board or is it a whole new art crew?

    AA: The main artist of the previous edition was Sergio D'Innocenzo, who worked in black and white illustrating the basic set and all supplements, plus the adventures published by the main RPG Italian magazines of that time. We contacted him and we helped us with the new edition: not drawing himself but supporting us in the choice of one of his collaborators, Antonio De Luca, who has made the new drawing with his team. De Luca has a great reputation as an illustrator, cover artist and concept artist for books, games and videogames. I also involved Francesco Mattioli as our official cartographer. In the past he worked on games by Maggi & Nepitello as X-Bugs (now Micro Monsters), and on my Sails of Glory. Moreover, as a fan of Lone Wolf gamebooks he once sent a map of their world to John Dever, their author, asking help to complete it. Dever was so enthusiast of his precise and at the same time very artistic work that from that day onward Mattioli became the official cartographer of Lone Wolf. His experience in maps is great and appreciated by a large number of fans around the world. And since he treated fantasy worlds as if they were real, I think that he is the right person to map the real Roman Empire as if it was a fantasy world!

    SH: Is Lex Arcana, Quality Games first foray into the world of Kickstarter or have they used the platform before?

    AA: Quality Games is a brand new company so it's the first time that it is involved in a Kickstarter. The old Qualitygame close in late '90s so far before Kickstarter was born. But as individuals we have experience of several projects. A few years ago, my Sails of Glory has been the most successful Italian Kickstarter project ever according to newspapers. And just a few months ago we launched Tripods & Triplanes on Kickstarter, with a very good feedback from the players.

    SH: When did you know that doing a Kickstarter for the Second Edition of Lex Arcana would be the way to go?

    AA: From the very start. This is a new company with an ambitious project: to bring back a very successful game from the past in a revised, enhanced version. With new gorgeous artwork and many additions. So a crowdfunding is really the most appropriate way to seek all the support, energies, feedback and money needed for such a deed.

    SH: What kind of presentation is planned for the Kickstarter? Will there be a trailer or conversations with the developers and artists?

    AA: Yes there will be some clips, as it is usual for those projects. With all the limits of length that are appropriate for such videos. Professor Marco Arnaudo, famed game reviewer and appreciated scholar studying narrative in games, also allowed us to use his conversation with Francesco Nepitello about the game. But there is always so much more to say, so your interviews are a great occasion to go deeper into the details of the project.

    SH: Will the Kickstarter just be for the basic game or will stretch goals include expansions, adventures, or even miniatures?

    AA: Several adventures will be there for sure, with a project of an adventures book too. Additional parts of the manual can be a choice. Expansions are under development, but they are not part of this very campaign that will focus on the core game... Of course we are ready to put them forward at the best opportunity, depending on how the campaign will go. Miniatures are really out of scope at the moment: they would raise costs to subscriber and distract attention from the core of the game, that's the thing that people will really appreciate.

    SH: What kind of feedback have you gotten from the game’s community over the Kickstarter?

    AA: There is much excitement and much buzz about the game. People is eager to support our game and is spreading the new both to the old guard of RPG players, including the fond players of the first edition, and to new hobbyists that could be interested in it. And in all this, there is a general consensus with the use of Kickstarter to launch the game. Several fan say that they are really eager to pledge as soon as possible.

    SH: If there is a beta period will it be tied to participation in the Kickstarter?

    AA: No, not strictly. We are already testing the game and we will go on while further parts of the rules will be redesigned or added, and new adventures designed. The test is going on with several clubs where the game has been played in recent years, and even in public demos. At the same time we are circulating the Quickstarter that allows a wide range of people, backers and non-backers, to try the game and give opinions. Of course we will be especially sensitive to suggestions coming from supporters during the Kickstarter campaign, but we are not binding the test to that.

    SH: What languages will Lex Arcana be available in and will they be covered by the same or separate Kickstarters?

    AA: We are launching bot the English and the Italian edition at the same time. The Kickstarter will cover both. Then there are publisher from other countries showing interest in the rights for their languages, but their would-be editions will not be covered by this Kickstarter campaign.

    SH: How excited are you for the Kickstarter to begin and do you have any hopes or expectations you would like to share?

    AA: I am really looking forward to this campaign. I already feel the love of past and actual players for this still very actual title, and we are already getting proposals from the fan base for new adventures, new expansions, additional rules. The game is really alive again even before we start the funding campaign, no matter the 20 years gap from the last official releases for Lex Arcana. Now I am eager to see how this will push the Kickstarter, and how the new generation of players and the international audience will react to it. There is so much potential in the setting and rules. It will be great to refresh all the stuff that has been produced in the past for this game and to open the possibility for many further contributes by the new players base.

    This article was contributed by Sean Hillman (SMHWorlds) as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Blue's Avatar
      Blue -
      Decent interview, though I almost didn't read it because of the clickbait-sounding title.
    1. SMHWorlds's Avatar
      SMHWorlds -
      So a few updates for the Kickstarter:

      The Kickstarter has surpassed 500% funding

      We asked about supllements in the first interview and there are now some supplements available as add-ons. In particular the Aegyptus: Land of Mummies, Necromancers, and Mysteries has been unlocked. The Kickstarter has also surpassed the 100,000 euro stretch goal.
    Comments Leave Comment