With the news that This War of Mine is about to ship to its backers I reached out to awaken realms for a chat about how they got into this industry and where they see their future. With talk of the latest game really peaking my interests I think you will be as intrigued as me to see where this company can go in the future.
Marcin Swierkot was a guy with great ambition and sense when it comes to Kickstarter and games and I am sure you will enjoy our conversation below.
Who are Awaken Realms?
"We started as two young friends without nothing but passion. We were painting miniatures for customers in Adrian’s parents basement – this is how Awaken Realms came to be! First it was a miniature painting studio, currently employing 20 people.
"From there we started our first game, The Edge, made in resin (currently we have our own resin cast facility) and finally we got into Board Games combining all this experience."
Can you tell me a bit about how you got into designing games?
"Well, I was a sucker for games from a very small age. I spent countless hours playing computer games, board games and card games. It stayed with me my entire life – I think that board games are one of the most amazing hobbies one can have.
"Not only does it train your mind but it also enhances social skills and creates a lot of great friendships - unless you are playing Game of Thrones, where it also shatters those friendships!!
"I don’t think of myself as designer – rather a guy who keeps everything together heading in the right direction. We have great designers covering that field on my behalf: Michał Oracz and Adam Kwapiński."
The Edge: Dawnfall was a great success were you expecting that kind of response to your first KS?
"Actually this was our fourth Kickstarter (first two – small scale resin miniatures, then This War of Mine), but yeah, this was the “first” in a way, as we were starting with our game, not basing it off a known IP (like we did with This War of Mine).
"Were we surprised? Yes! It was amazing experience. I think we were mostly surprised with the amazing community that helped us with this project."
Do you have any information not yet released you can share with my audience?
"There might be additional Gods in the game…. Probably a few of them ? Also – maybe an ancient, lost city…? Who Knows?"
Well that was an awesome conversation that I thoroughly enjoyed and the fact my readers now have a bit more info on the upcoming game Awaken realms will be releasing is a bonus. I hope you guys have enjoyed this as much as I have.
Can you tell me more about this game and how it plays?
"This is a territory control game with a huge twist – it have some adventure aspects (killing ancient monsters and completing quests) and you have multiple paths to victory. This means, that you can choose whether you will follow in the classical territory control conquer or instead develop your asymmetric hero and hunt for monsters.
"There are also those huge monuments that you will be building in-game and gaining bonuses depending on the level of monument."
When will it be hitting KS?
"June 6! We are really excited about that. Check out the Kickstarter preview here and click notify me for a heads up when it launches."
Taking on a License could have been a poison chalice but the great work you did on your first Kickstarters seemed to help This War of Mine, what else do you think helped the success of this KS?
"Well, This War of Mine is one of the most unique board games I have seen. Yeah, I know, I am a bit biased, but I really believe this game will change the way people look at board games.
"It has some very bold ideas: People CAN play a board game that contains serious issues. We have shown board games CAN have a lot of great written story elements and you can make a complex game that will be easy to learn (step-by step). I think people rallied behind these ideas and showed the industry that games such as TWOM can exist and be very popular."
With This War of Mine about to hit backer’s hands what would you say is the greatest thing about this game and why should gamers buy it at retail?
"Easy one – story. I mean, gameplay is great and any co-op game fan will love it, but there are a lot of great co-op games out there. But none of them have SO MUCH detailed story inside. We had a whole team of professional writers working on the story, and the amount of adventures you will encounter is just mind blowing. There will not be a single play-through that will be the same.
"Also, all those stories are inspired by real events from modern wars – so not only you will immerse yourself into those adventures but you will also get a better understanding of what the war was and how it affected those involved."
What is the next project for Awaken Realms going to be?
"Lords of Hellas! Which is a funny when you think about it, as we are doing another game in different genre. First co-operation TWOM, then The Edge which is more of a collection war game and now Lords of Hellas – fresh territory control.
"But I think “jumping” like that gives us fresh ideas and makes it possible to constantly innovate."