Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mantic Games: Creating DreadBall - The Futuristic Sports Game Reviewed!

I have recently downloaded the Creating DreadBall - The Futuristic Sports Game book primarily written by Jake Thornton, the author of the very popular science fiction football game called DreadBall published by Mantic Games. This book was downloaded through the Wargame Vault, the place for electronic wargame related books and rule sets. In this brief review we will take a closer look at the content of the book by giving you a short summary along with some sample pages.

The Creating DreadBall book

As you can guess this 57-page book is created to be a summary of the development of the DreadBall game from the early concepts and ideas to the creation of the actual playable game released by Mantic Games and succesfully funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. I'm always curious to see how this kind of rules are created by the design team so if you're also interested in this proces I can certainly recommend you this book.

The actual book exist out of 23 pages of interesting chapters written by the designers and other employees of Mantic Games sketching their experiences and more importantly explaining the design process behind Dreadball. While the rest of the book consist out of DreadBall artwork. As the book isn't supplied with a table of content I have added a list of the chapters together with their authors and a brief content description.

The Elephant in the room - a chapter written by Jake Thornton explaining the differences between DreadBall and the hugely popular fantasy football game called BloodBowl by Games Workshop. Next to this Jake also explains the similarities between both games. This chapter shows that DreadBall isn't a copy of BloodBowl but a very different game with its own interesting concepts and game mechanics.

Dreadball Design Notes - this chapter is also written by Jake Thornton and shows the steps behind creating the game mechanics including the important aspects as the statistics as the use of dices. This chapter can be very interesting for DreadBall players wanting to know why certain statistics were chosen or for game designers looking for ideas and inspiration.

Matt's Perspectives - is as you can guess written by playtester Matt Gilbert referred to as Mantic Games' chief rules guru. This interesting chapter is told by Matt and shows all the aspects of DreadBall for Matt being a gamer, painter, pathfinder and customer of Mantic Games

Managing your actions - this chapter is written by Jake Thornton and explains the importance of managing your teams actions along with the key features to do so. This chapter is useful for DreadBall players but if you don't play the game you can probably skip this entire chapter.

Leagues - this short chapter is also written by Jake Thornton and explains as you can guess on how you can organize competitions with your club or friends.

More than just a boxed game - this one page chapter written by Jake is dedicated to thanking the team behind the Dreadball game and the succesful Kickstarter.

Building Worlds - this interesting chapter is written by James M. Hewitt and explains in which setting Dreadball was created and why they choose for placing the game within the existing Warpath universe.

Dreadball an overview - this chronological chapter tells the development of the game in the steps or seasons as they were released by Mantic Games starting from season number one to the upcoming DreadBall Xtreme creation. This interesting piece of Dreadball history was written by Jake Thornton.

Concept gallery - this large chapter is around 34 pages long and shows all the concept art for the Dreadball divided in the playable teams, MVP's, cheerleaders and referees. These sketches are interesting especially if can you easily link them to the produced miniatures and see their early origins.

The conclusion

This Creating DreadBall book is a great reference for everybody interested in the Dreadball game as it gives you an idea of the game mechanics along with some useful ideas about organzing tournaments and managing your teams. It's also interesting for people eager to create their own wargames as designer Jake Thornton leads you through the early development and changes of the rules and breaks it down into individual aspects. 

If these previous points don't apply to you but you love artwork then this book is also suited for your interests as half of the book is filled with great sketches of the characters in the DreadBall universe. Interested in purchasing this informative electronic book primarily written by Jake Thornton and guiding you through the creation of DreadBall, please take a look at the Wargame Vault as this book can now be purchased for only €2.91!

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