Ascension creators break the mold with SolForge

Crowdfunded burnination.

Crowdfunded burnination.

We sure do like our Ascension around here1, so the news that Ascension creators Gary Games are getting their collab on with Magic: The Gathering designer Richard Garfield to create an all-new property was received with much rejoicing at Castle Faraday.

I am such a wizened curmudgeon that it causes me actual physical pain to get enthused about new Kickstarters, but I am really excited about this one. (Ow ow ow ow ow.) SolForge is not a physical card game that’s been contorted onto digital devices – it’s being designed for PC and iOS from the ground up, freeing the collectible card game from the skeuomorphic restraints of cardboard and paper. That new freedom is evident in SolForge’s “transformation” mechanic, where cards level up into more powerful forms as you play them2.

Gary Games are hoping that you and I will collectively contribute an eye-watering quarter-million dollars to their Kickstarter. A lofty goal – but after one day they’re already a tenth of the way there. While a digital collectible card game with SolForge’s pedigree is surely a license to print money, the stated intent is to make the game entirely free-to-play – booster packs can be earned through gameplay, as well as purchased outright.

One thing to note from SolForge’s Kickstarter pitch is that there is nary a mention of Playdek, the developers who brought Ascension to life so successfully on iOS. As good as the underlying mechanics of Ascension are, the game wouldn’t be nearly as popular without the attention to detail that Playdek brought to the app itself. If Gary Games intend to go straight to digital on their own with SolForge, I hope they’ve brought in some talented developers to follow in Playdek’s footsteps.

(Thanks to Nick for the heads-up!)

 

1 The first Pocket Tactics Ascension Tournament just concluded, in fact – congrats to our winner Lexicon and second-place finisher robthomasson.

2 Hmm.