Ryan Sutherland, AKA HEXRysu, with you again for another sneak peek into Primal Dawn. This week, I I’ve got a brand new Primal Dawn spoiler to show you, but it also exemplifies one of the most important thing about designing for HEX. In order to design for the races of Entrath it is paramount that you truly understand the motivation and perspectives of each race. This week, I’ll be walking you through how we design for Entrath’s most cunning and wise race – The Coyotle.
Every person on the HEX team has a race that they identify with. Matt Dunn, the lead designer of the Armies of Myth, identifies with the Vennen. When asked to go deeper on why he identified so well with the Vennen, he explained, “there are few things in life more satisfying than seeing someone’s face light up with emotions that came through their experiences with the story you’re telling. For us, as storytellers via game designers, those emotions are usually joy or happiness. But, to tell a rich and full story, you must write it with the full spectrum of emotion. And they’re intertwined—how can heroism exist if the hero is never challenged? On the other side of joy and happiness are despair and fear, the two emotions best represented in Vennen.”
I won’t pretend that I can dissect the connection to a race as well as Matt Dunn, but I do feel a strong connection to the Coyotle.
For me, the Coyotle embody a peaceful and thoughtful alternative to the warmongering races of the world. It’s also important to remember that the Coyotle are much more patient than the other races, because of the view on time that they have. For the Coyotle time is a foreign concept, because everything is happening in one single moment to them. Just look at this quote as seen on Ozawa, Cosmic Elder:
“Today you are born, you live, and you die, as you did yesterday, and will tomorrow. Everything that has ever happened is happening in this moment.” – Sight of the Sun
When designing for Coyotle, it’s important to understand that they are a race that use every part of the buffalo. (No, I’m not spoiling a brand new buffalo for you today, but Primal Dawn does have one in store for you, and he’s pretty wild.) What I mean is that the Coyotle do not waste anything, priding themselves on finding value where other races couldn’t. This ties into the abilities on Winter Moon and Rhythmic Spiritualist, reusing things that they’ve already used once before.
It is important to keep in mind is that while Coyotle are able to make the most out of every troop and action, they are much slower to act than any of the other races of Entrath. Why would you ever be in a hurry, when the only time we have is right in this moment? This is perfectly reflected in the Prophecy mechanic and will be particularly important thing to keep in mind when looking at today’s preview card.
Introducing the Moonsong Oracle:
Originally named the Oracle of Oracles in the early days of Primal Dawn, I held this design close to my heart, partly because the basic recipe of this card was on my test to get an internship at HEX. Obviously that internship eventually lead to a full job here, so in a funny way, while this card exists in Primal Dawn, Primal Dawn could never have existed without Moonsong Oracle.
That’s one of those time bending paradoxes that I think the Coyotle could appreciate.
The first thing I love about this guy is that he has a huge game changing effect that we could never hope to print if HEX was a physical card game. Changing each of your cards into two cards in the future is so flavorful for the Coyotle, who are notorious for their tenuous grasp on time. It’s also fitting that the cards you get aren’t going to be able to immediately answer what your opponent is going to do, because the Coyotle are never ones to be in a hurry to react.
Oracle Song is the perfect card for this Coyotle, because it’s an obviously powerful card, however it does not immediately answer anything your opponent is threatening you with. From a gameplay perspective, it does not create repetitive gameplay, because you’ll be finding new cards in your deck as you start cashing in your Oracle Songs. Imagine if this card created Kills or Time Ripples. That would be the most awful experience to play against.
What other race would stop to sing songs in the middle a battle. Okay, maybe the Elves. I’m not sure how the Humans and Orcs are able to keep both the cheesesmythes of the Elves and the Dreamsmoke Mystics in line, now that I think about it, but I digress.
Luckily for you, while you’re busy singing songs about the moon, the Oracle is bringing the pressure, that your hand may not presently be able to provide. With a 4/5 body, the Moonsong Oracle isn’t afraid of any Angels or Vampire nobility, and is able to fly high above opposing Shin’hare and Vennen. What’s even better, if your opponent does find a way to deal with him, it’s not like those Oracle Songs disappear. The gift of the Moonsong will still be in your hand to continue to shape your future.
All in all, the Moonsong Oracle perfectly shows off what the Coyotle are all about. They may not win at this moment, but time is an illusion. Value is not, and no one gets more value out of a card than the Coyotle.