So, today, I’m presenting to you an interview I did with Leonardo Castanho who answered a few questions about Little Leo Games’ upcoming title, Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles!
I had my eyes on this title for quite a while now as it not only looks incredibly exciting in terms of the gameplay loop and aesthetic but it also appears to do something different from other games in the deckbuilding genre.
At this year’s Gamescom where this interview also took place, I even got to play the demo for a fair bit and I really enjoyed it. I had a run going on with a lot of corruption that did MASSIVE amounts of “damage” but it also killed me off before I could get far into the run. If you want to know what that is about, you’ll find more about that in the interview… but before that, I’d like to point towards the Steam Page where you can not only wishlist the game (it’s coming out soon!) but you can also give the demo a try yourself!
What’s Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles about?
Astrea is a dice-deckbuilding game. So, instead of building a deck of cards, you build a deck of dice. Dice have different actions and you build your deck around those.
A really cool thing we’re trying to do with our game is that we don’t really have “damage”.
[Instead], we have “pre-fight” and “corruption”. So, pre-fight means damaging the enemy and healing the player, so basically instead of just dealing damage, you trade damage for healing. Corruption is the opposite of that. Corruption heals the enemy and deals damage to the player.
Rolling corruption is not a good thing but if you roll it, you have to use it.
Oh, so, what made you design the game like that?
We have a tier system for the dice. You have to choose between safe, balanced and risky dice.
Riskier dice have stronger actions but they also have more corrupted faces. The safer dice have weaker actions but they have less corrupted faces.
So, the idea is that, if you build a deck with a lot of risky dice, you will end up with too much corruption that you can’t heal up but if you build a deck with many safe dice, your damage output will end up being so low that enemies may just rush you.
So, in theory, you can build high-risk-high-reward decks but finding the right balance is important.
What’s your biggest inspiration for the game?
Oh, there are a lot of places [we took inspiration from].
The biggest one was “Quarriors”, it’s a board game. It’s one of the few board games that has dice deckbuilding in it. Slay the Spire, of course, is also another inspiration. We also took a lot of inspiration from Magic. The game doesn’t really have anything to do with Magic The Gathering but we took inspiration from the many card interactions that change stuff, and the complexity of having many interactions.
What was your favourite part of developing this game?
In my opinion, [the] game design. Thinking up mechanics and figuring out the interactions that each dice has with others, testing and seeing if any of the mechanics or characters are broken or whether they feel good. The best part is the game design.
What was the hardest challenge you faced in Astrea’s development?
I think the hardest part was finding the team.
Because this is our first big game, finding people to enter the project was really hard. Development-wise, it’s funny how it went smooth then. Of course, we had a few delays but things started to get well after a while.
But at first, another big challenge was finding the core gameplay. It took us a good few months to find good gameplay [loop] that is fun. But then all went well.
As mentioned previously, Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles is coming soon to Steam and GOG. Make sure to check out the demo yourself and to wishlist the game. Wishlisting titles like this one is a great way to support the devs even before the game is out!
I had a blast talking to the devs of Little Leo Games at the event and I’m looking forward to playing the finished game once it’s out!
This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.