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Designer Diary – Adam Wyse & Masque of the Red Death

How does it feel knowing that the game you worked on so hard, has now come to life and people are able to play the game? Any fun moments from that so far, either online or at a show?

It’s an amazing feeling.  To have something you created be out there in the world – being the centre of an experience for a group of friends around a table – it’s wonderful.

The coolest moment at a show so far was at Gen Con this year, being recognized by the name on my badge by a fan of Masque of the Red Death!  Online, it’s seeing little mentions and reviews popping up here and there, and of course seeing pictures of people’s painted minis!

Do you have any designer tips now that people have been playing? What would you suggest to them to they can survive The Red Death?

Never allow yourself to fall too far behind in popularity; you don’t want to lose the pack or it will be very hard to get back on level ground.  If you have fallen back, remember that you will act first in the round and use that to your advantage.  Take a few rounds to bump that popularity back up!

Start with an initial plan based around your Personality card.  You’ll want to play it with one of your 12 actions, so go in with a plan on when you think that should be.

Most important to survival is using your cards at the right times.  Any action card that lets you take rumour cards from your opponents allows you to specify a time you want to see, so use them a little later in the game when you know exactly where the gaps in your information are.  Especially important is to use Swindle late in the game, as one of your last 2 actions.  Seeing 2 rumour cards and having to remember them can be hard if you do it too early, but is very strong right before midnight.

Lastly, pay attention to what other players are asking of each other!  If I need a 12:50 card, and Duke Desire just stole a 12:50 card from Duchess Vanity, I know who to come after for one.

Any other fun behind-the-scenes stories from when you were making the game that you wanted to share?

I am not a good artist.  At all.  When I was first designing Masque of the Red Death I needed a game board that looked like the Abbey of Prince Prospero that I could envision in my head.  Drawing a top-down view of an abbey proved to be far beyond my abilities.  After a lot of frustrating attempts, I finally decided to 3D model the whole thing, put in lighting and textures, and then just take a screenshot of the top-down view.  Suddenly I had something that looked decent and had walls at angles that actually made sense.  It wasn’t quite as good as Gris Grimly’s final version though!

Anything else you want to say?

I’ve seen the occasional mention of people wanting to take notes when playing Masque of the Red Death.  I understand the desire – my memory is horrible too.  But the memory element does a few very important things here.

First and most importantly, it makes the game more tense.  Masque of the Red Death is all about the feeling of dread and tension as midnight approaches. Having your information be an iron-clad sure thing reduces this tension. If you’re 80% sure that you remember Green was safe at 12:10 but… maybe it was 12:20? That adds to the experience.

Second, as mentioned above, the relative value of the action cards change throughout the night and that’s lost if you could write things down.  Cards like Flirt and Swindle (where you only look at another players’ cards but don’t get to keep them) are weak if played early in the game, but become nearly as valuable as cards like Threaten or Menace when played right before midnight.

And third, drawing an Evidence Card and getting to look at a Red Death Card is, again, very good when it’s close to midnight. But it’s not nearly as good on turn 1 because you have to hold that information in your head for longer. If you got to write the information down, the timing of when you get the information is less relevant and I feel that detracts from the game.

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Masque of the Red Death Pledge Manger Now Open!

The Pledge Manager for Masque of the Red Death is now open! Did you miss your chance to back this social deduction game on Kickstarter or need to finish out your pledge? Well now is the time!

Join the Masque of the Red Death BackerKit here! 

The BackerKit is going to be open until February 23rd, but don’t delay.

This is your last chance to be a part of this campaign and receive the deluxe edition! Based on Edgar Allen Poe’s sinister story, Masque of the Red Death pits you and up to six of your friends against each other as you hobnob with the Prince. But disaster strikes at midnight. You must balance your actions carefully between currying the Prince’s favor and discovering which rooms the Red Death will visit. After all, having the highest social standing matters only if you survive.

Fully Illustrated by Gris Grimly and game design from Adam Wyse, this game is as much art piece as tabletop game. You still have a chance to be a part of this campaign and can join the BackerKit until February 23rd.

Join the BackerKit for Masque of the Red Death here!

 

 

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Masque of the Red Death Kickstarter Last 24 Hours!

Masque of the Red Death is in its final 24 hours! Your last chance to back this Kickstarter for the deluxe edition is here! With fully illustrated art from Gris Grimly and game design from Adam Wyse, be sure you don’t miss out!

Masque of the Red Death is a deduction and movement programming game for 4 -7 players set in the grim world of the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. Players are nobles attending an extravagant masked ball while a plague ravages the country. Players are trying to do what nobles do – feast, dance, celebrate –become as popular as they can. But rumors swirl as the night goes on, and everyone feels oddly nervous each time the clock chimes.

The nobles might be wise to spend some time listening to these rumors. It is becoming increasingly clear as midnight approaches that something sinister awaits. At midnight, a horrible figure in the guise of the Red Death appears at the masquerade! It stalks amongst the rooms of the abbey, killing the nobles it comes across. The most popular noble wins… but that only matters if you survive the night.

Original Gris Grimly Watercolor – Edgar Allan Poe

 

The Masque of the Red Death deluxe edition is only available during this Kickstarter. Featuring beautifully illustrated art from Gris Grimly and exciting gameplay from Adam Wyse, this game is as much of an art piece as it is a tabletop game. Accept your invitation to the ball and see what this game is all about!

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Masque of the Red Death Kickstarter has Funded! The First Guest has been Revealed!

Hello Nobles!

We’d like to take a minute to thank you for helping us get the Deluxe Edition of Masque of the Red Death funded! By backing this project you’re allowing us to really maximize the the ever so elusive “bling” factor of the game.

Already mentioned is the exclusive packaging that features spot uv “glossy” icons against a matte black box, and red foil on the filigree and the box features. It really is a spectacular looking box. Also, you’ll be getting Gris’s original art piece for the standard game box’s cover as a lithograph, and we’ve upgraded the player boards from card stock to punch board.

Beyond all of those upgrades, we also have a few surprises coming! Each day we’ll be revealing a new guest who has been upgraded from his or her standee to a miniature. Our miniatures are highly detailed and a little larger than average, coming in between 38mm and 48mm. Joining the minis are a special invitation card and a two tone wooden meeple to replace their punch popularity tracker. Our first guest has already arrived! The Archbishop Animus!

 

Note: color will change before production.
Note: color will change before production.

Check out the campaign page to see who next guest will be! Also continue to help us spread the word and share this campaign on your social media network!

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Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death Kickstarter is LIVE!

IDW Games is excited to present the social deduction board game, Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death on Kickstarter, featuring distinctive art fully illustrated by Gris Grimly. Game design by Adam Wyse and a Canadian Game Design Award Finalist, this game of deduction and movement programming places you as nobles at a party looking to gain popularity before the Red Death arrives.

The Deluxe Edition is only available through Kickstarter and includes exclusive art, packaging and miniatures. Each weekday will feature a reveal of a new guest and gameplay tips.

With art from Gris Grimly, this marks his first tabletop game, allowing his art to cover the cards, boards and game pieces all incorporating his unique style which captures the tone of this sinister story.

Masque of the Red Death is a deduction and movement programming game set in the grim world of the short story by the Edgar Allan Poe. Players are nobles attending an extravagant masked ball while a plague ravages the country. Players are trying to do what nobles do – feast, dance, celebrate –become as popular as they can. But rumors swirl as the night goes on, and everyone feels oddly nervous each time the clock chimes. The nobles might be wise to spend some time listening to these rumors. It is becoming increasingly clear as midnight approaches that something sinister awaits.

At midnight, a horrible figure in the guise of the Red Death appears at the masquerade! It stalks amongst the rooms of the abbey, killing the nobles it comes across. The most popular noble wins… but that only matters if you survive the night.

Your invitation is here! Follow along with this campaign as new guests are revealed, new art is displayed and live gameplay happens. Be a part of the beautiful and grim, Masque of the Red Death Kickstarter!

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Kickstarter Spotlight: Masque of the Red Death

Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death board game Kickstarter will be launching January 10th! We are excited for this campaign, featuring fully illustrated game art from renown artist Gris Grimly and award-winning game design from Adam Wyse. We took some photos with our early production copy, talked with Adam about some designer play tips, and wanted to share a sneak peek as we get closer to the campaign in January. The rulebook has also been uploaded on the Masque of the Red Death Page on BoardGameGeek, so be sure to check it!

Masque of the Red Death is a deduction and movement programming game set in the grim world of the short story by the Edgar Allan Poe. Players are nobles attending an extravagant masked ball while a plague ravages the country. Players are trying to do what nobles do – feast, dance, celebrate –become as popular as they can. But rumors swirl as the night goes on, and everyone feels oddly nervous each time the clock chimes. The nobles might be wise to spend some time listening to these rumors. It is becoming increasingly clear as midnight approaches that something sinister awaits.

At midnight, a horrible figure in the guise of the Red Death appears at the masquerade! It stalks amongst the rooms of the abbey, killing the nobles it comes across. The most popular noble wins… but that only matters if you survive the night.

Designer Play Tips

Masque of the Red Death is all about the balance between gaining popularity (to win) and gaining information (to survive). You can’t have one without the other. If all you do is Flirt and Laugh and Dance around all night, odds are you’re going to die after midnight. If all you do is Discuss (to take rumors), you should be able to survive but if anyone else survives they will likely be more popular than you.  You must strike a good balance of both. Not knowing for sure if you will survive is what makes the game so tense.

It is very important to not fall too far behind in popularity. Players who take advantage of the ability to jump over others on the popularity track will consistently get extra popularity each time they take a popularity action.

The unique personality card each player gets at the start of the game can be quite powerful, and no one knows which card other players will have. Time it right to benefit as much as possible from your personality card.

Movement over the course of the night can be very important. Prince Prospero will be flitting around the abbey from round to round, but players get to see which room he will be in at each time, from the very start of the game. Try to move in a way that gets you near the prince as much as possible. You may sometimes want to bunch up with other players so you can play cards on them, or you may want to get away from the pack so that others cannot play cards on you.

Some action cards allow you to lower or raise other players’ popularity or even steal or look at their rumor cards. But be careful about making enemies; they may be looking to get you back later.

Stealing rumor cards can often be very effective. If you know nothing about 12:30 for example, when you steal a rumor you are allowed to request a particular time. This is obviously more effective than simply playing a Discuss action to draw a random rumor from the deck.

Masque of the Red Death Kickstarter will be launching on January 10th! For any questions about Press and Media inquiries, contact Ross Thompson – ross@idwpublishing.com -. Stay tuned to our social media as we get closer to the campaign and join us for another exciting IDW Games Kickstarter.

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IDW Games Announces Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death

The first board game featuring captivating art from Gris Grimly

San Diego, CA (December 7th, 2017) IDW Games announces the social deduction board game, Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death. Coming to Kickstarter on January 10th 2018, Masque of the Red Death features distinctive art and is fully illustrated by Gris Grimly. Game design by Adam Wyse, this game of deduction places you as nobles at a party looking to gain popularity before the Red Death arrives.

With art from Gris Grimly, this marks his first tabletop game, allowing his art to cover the cards, boards and game pieces all incorporating his unique style which captures the tone of this sinister story.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s story and Canadian Game Design Award Finalist, Masque of the Red Death pits you and 4 to 7 players against each other as you hobnob with the Prince. But disaster strikes at midnight! Players have to balance their actions carefully between currying the Prince’s favor and discovering what rooms the Red Death will visit. After all, the highest social standing only matters if you survive.

Jerry Bennington, VP of New Product Development, said “Gris Grimly has done an incredible job of creating the tone with his fascinating art style and understanding of the story being told. Partnered with Adam Wyse’s thematic game design, this game is sure to give players a wonderful experience fitting right into Edgar Allan Poe’s world.”

Planned as a Kickstarter, this social deduction game of popularity and danger, Masque of the Red Death will be launching on January 10th 2018 and will be available in stores soon after fulfillment.