Die of the Dead Designer Diary 9: The Ofrenda (1)

For the tokens we wanted to keep the theme of the game and choose items which would be pertinent to the Day of the Dead festival. We chose to use some of the objects and decorations incorporated into the displays and offerings (ofrenda), that are created in family homes. In the game each of these can be used to provide a small bonus to players, 2 different bonuses depending upon setup.

Pan de Muerto, aka Bread of the Dead, is a lovely sweet bread, baked with a distinctive bone shape on top. It is believed the souls absorb the essence of the bread, and after they’ve had their fill it’s time for the family to eat them.

In the game bread is all about getting your souls further in their journey. Both the uses of the bread token gets your souls into the caskets. Side A allows you to add a soul to a casket that another player chooses. This is a great way to jump ahead, but you do need someone to choose a later casket. Side B allows a player to add souls to an empty casket. Being the only player with souls in caskets 2 & 4 is a fantastic plus and can be incredibly beneficial as you’re guaranteed the win on those caskets.

Copal incense is another of the tokens players can gain. The burning of this incense dates back to early Mesoamerica, and is used to draw the souls of the deceased to the home.

In Die of the Dead, incense is used to change results of rolls. When the smoke clears, maybe the results weren’t what they first seems? Side A allows players to adjust the result on one soul up or down by 1. This can prove the difference between ascension or losing souls, depending upon the casket. Side B simply shakes the casket again, helping mitigate any unlucky rolls.

Hopefully this gives some ideas of how we’ve enriched the mechanics by careful thought of the theme. In the next post we’ll talk about the other two tokens.

Quick reminder, our prelaunch page is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/radical8games/die-of-the-dead where you can sign up to get notified immediately upon launch!

About mark

Small games designer into small games publisher.
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