The History of Tridek Part 1: The Years 2003 - 2004
Once upon a time a boy set out to make his game. The one game that would incorporate everything he liked about games. The one game that would define him as an artist and a designer. This is his story. It starts back in 2003 …
(this is Alex Widl talking, our lead artist and co-founder of the Bit Barons)
I always wanted to invent my own games. Back when I didn’t really know anything about what a game designer did I had huge plans: They should contain at least a thousand fierce creatures wrapped in cool looking cards, best combined with tons of features and a complexity far beyond anything imaginable.
Then some time in 2002 or 2003 on a trip to my relatives I incidentially came to play a little video game at a bar. It was nothing special (I don’t even remember its name now), but this laid the cornerstone for the invention of Tridek. The game featured a set of red and black creatures (or rather “blobs”) on a hex field with different heights. It must have been some kind of Halma-spin off - I can’t remember.
So when I came home after the trip I started to develop ideas for my game right away. At first, I wanted to create a HUGE table-top RPG. But after some time of considering the required time and effort I decided against doing it. My plans vanished into thin air quickly and I was about to give up, but then I had this striking idea:
As you can see, this is just a mere hex field. I came to think about what I could make out of it. So my thoughts went to a more strategic approach. You could control and fight with creatures in a 3 vs 3 battle against your opponent. This was the basic idea of the game. So I went to a glass and decoration shop nearby and bought some material for the game in order to make it look awesome. There were marbles which were cut in half that I used as tokens. A perfect fit for my needs! Secondly I bought a huge sack of little plastic crystals which served as currency for the game.
At this point the game was still all-analog. But then one day in school someone gave me a program called DoGA-L3. Actually I think he only gave me the trial for it. It’s a very basic 3D modeling tool and it finally enabled me to to shape my own fierce looking creatures. This was so much fun! Here’s some of the old stuff I created with it:
At that time there was only one kind of resource in the game. Each player had 20 crystals in the beginning and there was no possibility in regaining them but to play inactive creatures. They were placed face down and you could “activate” them at any time as long it was your turn.
By activating an inactive creature, you had to place them wisely behind stronger ones. If that was the case, you got the difference between their costs back into your resource pool. Otherwise, you had to pay the difference. This turned out easy, but not really effective in the same way. Here is a picture of the old creature placement map that I used:
The game was won by the player who first defeated three creatures of his opponent. But it turned out to last really long - sometimes nearly an hour. So the cornerstone for Tridek was set but it was far from finished. A lot of work had to and would be done in the future years.
So stay tuned for the next blog post when I’ll talb about what I did between 2007 and 2008.