Die of the Dead Designer Diary 10: The Ofrenda (2)

Last post we talked about two of the tokens players can use to help guide their souls to the land of the living. Today I want to show the other two.

Candles adorn the ofrenda, with the light used to help guide the souls on their way back to the land of the living. In Die of the Dead candles are used to help move souls towards the steps. Side A of the candle will allow players to move all caskets forward one space (with the unfortunate casket in position 4 returning to position 1). Side B allows players to swap the locations of 2 adjacent caskets.

The vivid orange and yellow marigold, the cempasuchil, is the predominant flower of the Day of the Dead. It has been associated with the festivals for the dead since pre-Hispanic times. Both the colour and the aromatic scent are thought to attract souls. These flowers don’t just adorn the ofrenda, but paths from the petals are sometimes laid out to help guide the souls to the house and back to the cemetery. In Die of the Dead the cempasuchil adorn the 9 steps, going form the world of the dead to the land of the living. However, players can also trick souls using a cempasuchil flower into leaving the path. Both uses of this token will cause a player to remove a soul from the caskets. Side A allows a player to also peek into a casket to see what souls are in there, but then remove one. Side B allows a player to add a souls to casket 1, but then remove another player’s soul from there. All removed souls go back to their owner to be placed again- so they can still make it to their relatives for the festivities.

And that’s how we’ve used the items found on an ofrenda, to try an bring the theme in more, keep it looking lovely, and from a gameplay persepctive, offer more choices and decisions. Next, in the final blog, we look at our custom dice.

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