Interview – Eric Bittermann of Sky Kingdom Games

Over the past few days I’ve shot some questions back and forth with Eric Bittermann of Sky Kingdom Games about Land of Zion, and Expandable Card Game currently up on Kickstarter. I’d seen some buzz about it online and was immediately drawn to the game’s style. Below you’ll find the full interview, with link to the Kickstarter project at the bottom.

Land of Zion

Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. Tell me a bit about Sky Kingdom Games and how Land of Zion came to be.

Hey Rob! LOZ started around 15 years ago when a group of friends got together and created a miniature based game that used various mechanics from games we enjoyed. Influences included Final Fantasy Tactics and Secret of Mana (both old school rpg video games).

Over the years the game evolved into a card based game, and we created our own tactical style combat system with a mix of unit positioning and resource management. The game was extensively play tested for years as we continued to add content to it. About 2 years ago we felt it was time to share the project with the world. We loved playing LOZ, and knew others would enjoy it as well. At that time I created Sky Kingdom Games, and began the process of bringing the project to Kickstarter to seek funding and get LOZ published and manufactured.

Can you tell me more about the game? What were your inspirations? What can players expect?

The game is a dynamic expandable card and boardgame that blends a variety of play elements including resource management, dice rolling, card positioning, and tactical gameplay. 2-8 players compete on a large grid-based game board and matches take 45-60 minutes to complete.

Each player begins the game with a group of adventurers who have made their way to the valley of Lux to train and prepare for the upcoming battle against Tenebris. Throughout the game players will use speaking stone cards drawn from a community resource deck in order to perform various abilities in battle.

The biggest inspiration for the game came from Final Fantasy Tactics. A game by Squaresoft (now Square-Enix). The game had tactical turned based gameplay, and the player crafted a team to suit their play style. We used ideas from that title as inspiration to create our own gameplay and transition that style of play to a tabletop game. We know players will love the unique style gameplay, and we are looking forward to the future expansions that will add additional content over the years.

The game features some amazing artwork. In fact it’s one of the things that first caught my eye about Land of Zion. What were some of the inspirations there?

We wanted to use a high fantasy theme for our characters, but give them a non-standard look. We use a ‘painterly’ style that has its own feel from typical fantasy artwork.

We spent many months searching the web for artists that had a style that fit our vision for the game, and we are excited about working with the team at Caravan studios to achieve that vision.

Land of Zion Artwork

The game is currently up on Kickstarter and moving quite along. Can you explain a bit about your experience with Kickstarter? How much planning went into the campaign and how much support do you put in on a daily basis to help meet your goal?

KS has been a great platform for sharing Land of Zion with the community and definitely the best site for crowdfunding for boardgames. We’ve been preparing for our campaign for over a year reaching out to various project creators and project advisors. There’s a ton that goes into the planning and making sure all of the pieces are in place before you launch. Luckily the gaming community is a very supportive group that loves to help new project creators. Running the KS is a daily task full of social media promotion, talking with backers, creating content, making calls and sending emails. Too much to cover! Overall it’s a great experience and seeing others get excited about your project is very rewarding.

Sounds like you’ve been busy! That’s about all the questions I have. Is there anything else you like to mention before we wrap this up?

Nope – appreciate your interest in the project and the interview. Thanks Rob

Land of Zion Layout

Make sure you check out the Land of Zion Kickstarter and help the project become a reality!

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