How OGM-A is born...
That’s a long and old story. To sum up, let’s say that’s an idea I had during my youth by playing tarot game in the family circle. Long time after I improved this idea by writting some tidy rules. 2 years ago, I definitively settled the post-apocalypting universe around the rules and designed all the characters of the game. But if you are really interested in listenning specifically the genesis of OGM-A - and of course you like reading novels - then you can eat what’s following.
Once upon a time...
The idea behind OGM-A is dating back eighties when I was a teenager. Initially it was a simple thingumabob, like often are the good ideas… That was even just a little question but to analyze all the impact of this question, it is necessary to go further into the technical universe of the cards’ games.
As you probably well know, the tarot is a famous strategical cards’ game. Its family game is called trick game. Players are placing in turns a card and the higher win the trick. Then a new turn is beginning. In this sort of cards’ games, the cards’ effect is short-lived. That’s especially the origin of my question. I was wondering if it was not possible to use some cards as an investment you could make during the game and keep it all along to improve your power during each trick, coupled with the short-lived cards. Of course, this investment should have a cost of points. But it was necessary to improve the idea. We meet these 2 systems of play in many games but never together in the same game. This is the innovation.
At this stage, I understood that my idea implied many problems in the process of the game. The most evident was the big loss of balance and probably the reason these 2 systems are not cohabiting until now. Then, it was a challenge to achieve this cohabitation in a functional game.
You know… All these ideas we have in a life, I see it like sparks. According to what we do with it, they can grow like a fire. Or no… Then, they disappear in oblivion, by waiting a new chance to grow into the mind of somebody else.
I really like this concept of spark. It has the effect on me that many treasures are buried in the mind of people. My spark of OGM-A, I never let it die. I have blown on the embers to keep a little fire which stayed awake during years.
As I said previously, this little question about cards’ game mechanism lead to many other questions and problems to get the good balance of play. Over time, I found some new parameters to improve the concept and the idea became more and more interesting. For instance, it was necessary to compensate the heaviest cards by some powers and some actions such as the possibility of the exchange or the discard, if no, the heaviest cards played the first would lead necessary his owner to the victory.
I was wondering all these years if any other cards’ games did explore this concept too. But I didn’t find in a such configuration I planned to build. If you know one, don’t hesitate to contact and inform me. I would be very curious to know the person who worked also on this challenge.
I recognize that a long time I stayed stuck on some points. Solution did not come to my mind. The idea needed firstly to improve step by step, sometimes enriched, sometimes by skimming the fat off.
Only 2 years ago, I got a good balance of ingredients. It was only remaining to find the practical difference between a permanent and a short-lived card. About 1 year ago, the solution came obviously : to distinguish friend cards and acquaintance cards. I decided with the help of my daughter to test all that stuff in a simple universe of a prehistorical tribe, with cards home-made on the printer (with the talented original artistic design of my daughter).
Result was very good! All it needed now was to find a universe, to polish the characters abilities and cards values, to improve the available actions and the specifications of the trick step.
After a long and appropriate consideration on a short list of possible universes, I decided to follow my taste in movies, not without having a lengthy hesitation between the circus and the firm universes. Fan of Mad Max, Walking Dead and other pearls, I chose the post-apocalypting universe. A new city after the Apocalypse, a Great Council constitute the trick of the game, some fascinating characters with good type, living in a futuristic universe in reconstruction (a little like our, isn’t it?).
The wheels quickly clicked into gears…
For the anecdote, the name of OGM-A came into a dream. I saw the ruins of an ancient genetically modified industrial complex (yes I know that’s a touchy subject, but for better or for worse, whether we are for or against, I think that nothing will avoid it, one time, to emerge and grow. Because it’s possible and nothing possible is impossible… But that’s another debate). The fact remains, however, that I saw the last part of this complex still standing on in a sandy landscape, with the letters OGM- A on the wall of the lasting A-building. This was the location where the first inhabitants of OGM-A built the City. Have I some divination abilities? Gvidos, medium extra-distant 😁...
In the post-apocalyptic future, all is possible: genetically modified organisms, mutants, robots, incredible biotech, cyber-modified humans, even to the state of vestige… The four classical families of cards: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs ware replaced by 3 colors: orange, green and purple, which have a good contrast of colorimetry. They represent the 3 political families of the game in which players try to be leader and win discussion points.
The card creation took a lot of time. I think I have passed my diploma of card creator. 😏 I also know how it is pleasant to have a beautiful game in hands so this step was very important for me. When the 43 characters were created, it has been necessary to develop a system of icons. I was completely opposed to the idea of long texts on the cards. I hate to need reading complicated texts on cards when I play so I did not want to let my players have the same inconvenience. I like the intuitive user interface and it is also an asset to edit the game in many different languages.
After that, different accessories of the game were created: tokens, coins, objectives, markers… Always in an idea of intuitive way: for instance big tokens instead of little ones that you have difficulty to take or to see…
I recognize that you can endless improve a game, but at any time, when all is working, that’s already no more improving but only variants of the game. And you must finish and keep this good receipt. Remember: the best is the enemy of the good. There comes a time to stop for a good mechanism of game-play.
To make a such game with the help of only the family and friend circle is a hard but great objective, and seeking to make as well as multimedia publishing houses with completely other resources and means (I have to say very very few), is a terrible challenge (in the good sense because it’s an incredible adventure and in a bad sense because you work like a damned with no gratitude for this work). And that’s not the least problem. When you are an unknown creator, especially where I live (East of France), a crowdfunding project is really uncertain. I just need to look at those who tried to see it’s a colossal task. So I really need twice your help. And that’s why I also chose the frankness to talk about OGM-A and to make you want to play it and to discover this universe.
Please come on very soon (hope still in 2018) on Kickstarter : be my success partner and bet on me. I need not only fund but communication and support. If you like OGM-A, talk about it around you, this will help me a lot!