Die of the Dead Designer Diary 1: Colour

A celebration. Dia de Muertos is a colourful celebration of those who have gone, and we wanted our game to reflect that in kind. Before lockdown, aka 1000 years ago (4 months), a friend asked if it was wise to release a game called “Die of the Dead” given the global pandemic. “It is” I replied “because it’s themed around a celebration, not a mourning”. And the best way to represent that, it with colour.

“The Skeleton at the Feast” (top left) is a really interesting book which helped a lot with the theming of the game.

Everything is colourful, the dice, caskets, tokens, boards and steps. We really wanted a sense of vibrancy and we hope you find the result looks different to many other boardgames. I’m going to post about theme and culture next update, but for now I want to draw the attention to the Papel Picado inspired boards. These beautiful decorations are commonly displayed during all sorts of occasions, and thousands can be seen during Dia de Muertos celebrations. Using these were suggested to us by our cultural consultant when we were discussing casket tiles, and it was a perfect suggestion. Thematically rich, and so colourful, and below you can see some of the art we went for, from a more traditional look, to one which stands out more (necessary from a gameplay perspective).

Papel Picado in Mexico

You might be wondering if everything is so colourful, then why are two of the dice sets black and white. And that’s simply because we’ve chosen the dice colours to be as accessible as possible.

So hopefully you’ll agree we’ve made a uniquely colourful game, with colourful gameplay to match.

About mark

Small games designer into small games publisher.
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