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Ages of Aether: Dominions. The next page of the Diary

cover Game dev diary

Welcome back to our blog series on Ages of Aether: Dominions! For those who might be new here, Ages of Aether: Dominions is a new Sci-fi tabletop wargame with small-scale models. It allows players to command vast armies and engage in epic battles, blending intricate detail with streamlined, newbie-friendly rules.

Check out the previous post here - 

We’ve started this developer’s diary to share our journey, gather feedback, and hear your thoughts. We believe that engaging with our community is essential to creating a well-rounded and enjoyable gaming experience.

Progress update

Our project has made significant strides recently. All the concepts are now complete. We're currently refining the visual design of the Shinsei Empire. Its citizens devote their lives to asceticism and the pursuit of immortality, undergoing demonic possession rituals. Now we’re adding sci-fi aesthetics to their appearance.

We are also currently concentrating on developing the faction trailers.

Work on two models has been completed, they are now ready for action. It’s the Ravenous Battlesphinx, which we showed in our previous post, and the Sharpshooter

Based on these concepts, we created the model of the Sharpshooter from Oasis Zephyros fraction. 

Sharpshooters typically lack mounts of their own and stalk their targets, relying on ambush and hit-and-run tactics. Their heavy shoulder-mounted armaments rain inferno upon strategically important enemy units and fortifications.

The models went through numerous test-prints and got a lot of changes done.

Here’s how the Sharpshooter turned out:

Three more models - Amalgam, Berserker, Zephyros Shapeshifter - are in the support setup stage. This marks a major transition from concept development to full-scale model production. Soon you’ll see the result of our efforts.

Current focal point

Right now our primary focus is on optimizing the game mechanics to enhance the overall player experience. One of our key tasks has been identifying and removing mechanics that unnecessarily increase downtime, which can disrupt the flow and enjoyment of the game.

In addition to this, we are dedicating considerable effort to refining the unit point value calculation system. This system is crucial for maintaining balanced gameplay, ensuring that each faction and unit is fairly represented in terms of power and utility. 

Extensive testing is a vital part of this process. We are conducting numerous playtests to gather data and insights on how different units and mechanics interact in various scenarios. Balancing a game of this scale and complexity is a meticulous task, but we are committed to getting it right. 

How is our game different from lots of other similar games?

One of the standout features of Ages of Aether: Dominions is the ability for players to print their own miniatures and terrain. This feature makes the game more accessible, as players don’t have to pay for the physical miniatures and for the shipping. And we’re planning to make the new additional factions as affordable as possible.

The game also distinguishes itself through a unique combination of popular game mechanics. At its core, Ages of Aether: Dominions uses a D6 dice pool for unit checks, around which three interconnected layers of gameplay are built. The first layer involves unit movement and interaction on the table, focusing on controlling areas of interest and eliminating opponents.

The second layer is resource management, where players accumulate points by fulfilling faction-specific conditions and allocate tokens and objects on the table to replenish their resource pool.

The third layer is reactive gameplay, allowing players to issue commands from a pre-selected roster to enhance their units or counter enemy actions, using points to reduce downtime and maintain a dynamic game flow. 

Community question

Have you ever played wargame tabletop games on an epic scale? If yes, what did you enjoy the most? If not, why? Your feedback is invaluable to us, so please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments!

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for being a part of our journey in developing Ages of Aether: Dominions!

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