Shadowhand Dev Diary #7: Jewels and trinkets

August 27th, 2016

Our RPG card game Shadowhand is set in the late 18th century. Then as now, jewellery was often symbolic, although tastes have changed in the last 250 years.

A lock of hair

Jewellery including woven hair from a loved one was very popular in the 18th century. In some cases these were memorial jewels with hair from someone who had died, but hair was not used exclusively in this way. Hair from a couple might be woven together, or sometimes a gift of hair jewellery was given with the giver’s initials included in the design, and a token of their hair inside.

Due to it’s unique properties, human hair can last hundreds or even thousands of years, which goes some way to explaining it’s use in jewellery as a lasting, sentimental material. In Shadowhand, this Heirloom Brooch is part of a deck of passive abilities, from which the player selects a mini-deck to suit their own playing strategy. It adds two zero cards to the draw pile, which gives a greater chance of getting a perfect score.

Secret compartment
Rings with a secret compartment are also known as “poison rings”. Rings in Shadowhand each give the player an extra “undo,” which they can use either to put right a mistake, or to get a sneaky look at the next card in the stock pile.

A sign of affection
Lady Cornelia receives the gift of an affection ring from her dear companion Mariah, as Mariah attempts to flee from a scandal and leaves Lady Cornelia behind. Mariah’s ring is set with garnets, which are symbolic of a quick return and separated love: In Greek mythology, Hades tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds (the same colour as garnets) before she left him so that she would be compelled to return to him in the underworld for part of the year.

Eye see you
One of the most curious jewels of the Georgian era was the eye miniature. Admittedly this one is just a little ahead of it’s time since they became popular from the 1780s when the future George IV was known to own one. This part-portrait miniature was a secret gift for a lover, and was a private piece of jewellery.

In Shadowhand, the Eye Miniature power up confers a type of X-ray vision, which allows a player to plan ahead by seeing which card will be drawn next from the stock pile.

Shadowhand developer vlog #4

August 12th, 2016

We are really excited to share some cool active abilities and new sounds this week in Developer Vlog #4, on our unique RPG card game, Shadowhand.

This video gives further insight into how mini-deck building works in the inventory system, giving players the choice of ability cards to suit their own gameplay style. Whether you like to peek into the future to see what cards are coming up next, or just want to hit things with a gigantic hammer and see what shakes loose, there’s something for everyone.

Shadowhand Dev Diary #6: Refreshments at the Rover’s Arms

August 9th, 2016

What’s a rover?
The word “rover” originally described a pirate. A close relative of “reave,” there was no doubt that “roving” implied plunder in old England, rather than the gentler connotations of being a “wanderer” that the word suggests today.

Into the tavern
When our heroine, Shadowhand, seeks refuge, The Rover’s Arms extends its welcome; an inn packed with ruffians, serving hearty food and ales.

The British Pub today is an institution recognised by locals and visitors alike. Coaching inns were important pitstops in the 18th century, where travellers on long journeys could get fresh horses and grab a bite to eat. (A bit like a motorway service station).

On the menu
You could rely on an inn like The Rover’s Arms for a satisfying, traditional meal, like this seriously health-boosting steak and ale pie.

There are always a few drunks getting out of hand.

This chap has had one too many Tankards of Ale – which are great for the constitution but can slow your reflexes a bit in a brawl. And watch out, he has a hammer.

The refreshments are good but we can’t promise that the clientele are particularly desirable.

This rogue has a nasty brutal glove, and he’s been getting meaner by downing a dubious local beverage, Brute’s Brew, which is reputed to give a greater chance to stun.

It’s been fun, but Shadowhand should probably call it a night and move on…perhaps The Rover’s Arms is a bit of a sketchy venue, after all.