My name is Bill Paterno and I am 36 years old. I currently reside in Pennsylvania with my wife, our two sons, and our two dogs. I work as a motion graphics designer for an advertising agency in Center City, Philadelphia.
Like most of you, I have a fondness for (some would say an addiction to) playing games. It really does not matter what kind; video games, puzzles, tabletop games, card games… I enjoy them all. When I stumbled across The Game Crafter website last year I realized that I could actually create my own professional looking game, inexpensively. Since then I have not looked back!
Overlords is a game which I designed for The Game Crafter’s Micro Game contest. It was originally going to be a dice-based dungeon crawl game that was inspired by my younger years playing Dungeons & Dragons. And one of my fondest memories of playing D&D was the Monster Manual. I was always thumbing through it and admiring the artwork. For this game, I really wanted to have a similar look and feel with my game.
So I broke out a pack of index cards and began to work on a design. I even had my good friend and coworker, Jorge, start the artwork. However, after a couple of weeks I realized that, although I was making progress, this game was not the right fit for the contest. I needed to find another game model that was simpler, streamlined, and I needed to keep the fantasy theme that we already started work on. I looked at all the pencil sketches Jorge had given me and laid them out while I thought of new direction to go. The sketches looked like a collection of portraits. I thought, perhaps a collection game would work. And that is how Overlords began.
I spent the next month working on sets and scoring, making each monster unique in it’s own way. And then I began to play the game. It was good fun but the game needed more flavor… more player interaction. So I created another set of cards called Hired Hands. These characters grant a player a special ability at the expense of generally scoring less points. Adding just a few Hired Hand cards to the game deck made the game more interactive and created numerous “take that” moments between players.
Since then, I have play tested the game over 75 times, including over 20 sessions of blind play testing, and made refinements to the rules and scoring. I have included a list of suggested variants for different players. There is even a 2 versus 2 team play option that has been a big hit with players.
Overlords ended up finishing third in the contest and has already received a very positive review from All Us Geeks with several other reviews scheduled to drop soon. I am really proud of the final product and honored that The Game Crafter would include Overlords in their Kickstarter campaign. Thanks for checking it out!
Overlords is part of the Village in a Box Kickstarter. Support Bill by backing Overlords today.