One of our favorite things is meeting the fine folks behind the games we love, and hearing the story of how a game made its way into our FLGS or onto Kickstarter.
Today we’re joined by Alex Argyropoulos, one of the founders of MAGE Company, the folks behind 12 Realms, and the current Kickstarter 12 Realms: Ancestor’s Legacy.
Alex, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m the co-founder at MAGE Company. My job in MAGE has to do with the public relationships mostly and the financial stuff around the games. My partner Mike and I started developing board games back at the end of 2001, if I remember correctly. We started with a card game and for the next years we developed more, and we were planning to open MAGE Company at some point. However, it took us a lot of time since we had our normal jobs, families--in other words, we had to deal with many things, so our progress on games was moving slowly. About at the end of 2010 we opened MAGE Company, and now here we are.
For those who may have missed it the first time around, what is 12 Realms?
12 Realms is a co-op, fairy tale, family miniature game for 1-6 players but also there is a variant for a 7th. The game was designed by Ignazio Corrao, a fellow from Italy, back in 2007. The game is simple, at least when someone plays the easy mode. You choose a character, and during the game you must upgrade him with several talents against the Invaders that attack against the Realms. The basic purpose of the game is to defeat the Dark Lords in each Realm. There is an invasion marker and for the Invaders you leave alive in each turn you move that Marker on the Invasion track. If it reaches the number 20, even in one of the Active Realms, then you all lose the game.
And what does Ancestor’s Legacy bring to the table?
Four exciting new realms lie hidden in the Fairy World and you must prepare yourself to explore them so as to defeat all of their enemies. Kievan Empire, Golden Caliphate, Olympia, and Nile Valley are the new lands you will get to explore to learn their secrets. Ruslan, Sinbad, along with the rest of the heroes, will unite to fight against Marid, Sobek, and the rest of the Dark Lords! Ancestors Legacy provides a much different game through its plots. There are now three different plots for both editions, which include a background story and significantly increase the difficulty level and excitement of the game – increasing the amount of decisions that players will have to make. A plot may have you playing with six realms (combining old and new lands), facing all of the Dark Lords, or creating a really fast game with a unique set-up. Now, more than ever, team camaraderie will be necessary in order to reach victory! The expansion includes three different Plots and several new are unlocked through our stretch goals on Kickstarter.
Your last campaign was a little over a year ago. What are some of the things you’ve learned since that first one that you’re implementing here?
Listen to the people, constant communication, and fix things where is necessary and fast. This is something we already knew but it was something we understood much better after the first campaign and that is why now we make a reprint kit of cards and rules and offer it to those who will support the expansion now, but also we offer it as add-on item for those who simply want to take the kit alone.
You’re also coming out with a second edition of 12 Realms. Will there be anything different with the new edition?
The plots. We talk for different winning conditions, more mechanics, new minis and realms. Now we make a suggested guide where you know how to play each plot, the number of players, what you use, how much time it takes for each plot. Some plots are easy; others are hard, but it definitely takes the game to a whole new level. The new minis have also custom bases in order to be more thematic.
Is there any other exciting news from MAGE Company that you can share with us?
For the moment, no. We have many games in the pipeline but for the moment no announcements regarding these games. This year, as every year, we will be in Essen Spiel. Now I’m thinking about it… well some really cool news have to do with the current campaign on Kickstarter and we are really excited about that. We suggest you join us since we offer some exclusive items on Kickstarter, including hand-painted minis and an exclusive plot, too. I think this is the chance to get all this cool stuff.
How did you come to the board gaming hobby?
I play games since I was a kid, so it was something I was looking for. I have played too many games and I was always dreaming of making games someday. So year after year I was learning things, watching the industry, finding more people to play, and step by step I found myself in this hobby. So simple, but it's something I really love and it completes me.
What are some of your favorite board games?
Pandemic, Battlestar Galactica, 12 Realms, Hive, Hoyuk, Dungeon Lords, Chaos in the Old World. There are more but I will never end...
Here’s the rapid-fire section. We ask the questions, and you answer them with one word (or
short phrase). GO!
● Favorite Fairy Tale? Pinocchio
● Favorite Board Game Genre? Fantasy
● What does the fox say? Aoooo!
● The first Euro board game you ever played? I don’t remember really.
● Coolest place you’ve ever traveled to? Rhodos
We'd like to thank Alex for joining us today, and wish him and MAGE Company luck with the expansion of 12 Realms! You can back the campaign until June 13, 2014, and you can find out more about it by clicking here!
Thanks for reading! We'd love to know if there's anyone in the gaming industry you're dying to hear from, let us know in the comments!