Beyond the game

Brawlings: from idea to game

As almost every other game I designed, Brawlings comes from a personal desire to live a new specific game experience.

The idea of creating a modular strategy game in the guise of a fighting game, unexpectedly came to me during a normal working day.

I decided to write down key points of my inspiration straight away, in order to better develop them as soon as I was back home.

Brawlings original game mechanic was based on positioning. Cards were placed on the table and fights were possible only among the adjacent ones. Every card had attack values on its corners and defense values on its sides.

In my mind everything was working perfectly, but while testing it players got actually very confused. Their gaming experience was far away from what I expected!

The first combat system

So I decided to completely change the fights dynamic and remove most of the positioning rules. Cards layout was way easier to read and players could better focus on game strategies, as I really wanted in the first place.

By then Brawlings was really close to the current state. The game experience was smoother, with simpler rules and enough space for complexity. At that point it was time to create all the rest: grafics, illustrations and a good story.

The initial character design of Brawlings consisted of very simple and coloured creatures, just to make my playtesters’ life easier and give an overall idea of the theme.

Initial character design for Fuffolo, Darbulok and Bloomo

At the very beginning there were three different types of Brawlings: Beasts, Demons and Elementals. The third group was later replaced by Pixies first and by Magic Creatures eventually.

Game colours used to be Blue, Red and Green. This was changed as well after consulting another game designer, Ayden Lowther from Dranda Games, and after testing the game with other players. The final choice ended up being Blue, Red and Yellow, along with their specific shades, in order to make the game accessible to clour-blind people as well.

Happy with all my choices, I suddenly felt like there was another creature hiding right behind me, observing me from the darkest corner of my room: the Balancing Monster! It was time for me to translate the whole new concept into a mathematical structure. This complex and even fascinating passage allowed me to develop Brawlings main feature, the modular system, which dynamism will be extremely important in the creation of new future expansions.

In the basic version of the game it is already possible to create your deck by including/excluding cards modules as desired, making every match quite different from the previous one.

Exactly what I was looking for!

The last step was finalizing the visual design of each card, with detailed illustrations and a clear layout, all framed into a hierarchy of shapes and colours.

In addition to my love for game mechanics, I do have a genuine passion for drawing down my own creations as well, giving them shapes and personalities.

Drawing and colouring 54 Brawlings (without considering discarded ones!) turned out to be a pleasant challenge that helped me to improve the quality of my illustrations. Necessity is the mother of invention after all!

Final character design for Fuffolo, Darbulok and Bloomo

Brawlings as we know it, was finally ready!

Later on, thanks to Angelo Porazzi’s help and his fantastic Area Autoproduzione, I managed to create a game with the high standards of Cartamundi, the acclaimed Belgian company famous for its worldwide games production.

It is now possible for you to get a copy of Brawlings through my online shop or in all game fairs I’ll attend!

I do really want to thank all people who made this experience possible. Without your help I would never have had the opportunity to see my projects come true!

You can read Brawlings story here, or if you wish to take a look to the game mechanic in details or to download the rules click here.

What’s next? I will keep you updated about the new upcoming expansion, 54 new Brawlings and much more!

Stay tuned and have fun!