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Building Moonflight


Talking to a game design colleague it became clear that the idea behind Moonflight was a good solid one, there needed to be a good, interesting background. My first instinct was to lean towards a slightly dark, mysterious, fantasy theme. There are several backgrounds that would fit this mechanic of building and then dismantling. A good choice would have been a modern heist theme where the deck represents a planning stage, which must be cleaned up before the authorities raid the location. However, a heist planning theme that denied players the chance to execute the heist would just come over as frustrating. I pictured some form of gypsy settlement needing to create itself from scratch repeatedly and only valuing what each person could carry in their hands.

As I mentioned in the last blog in this series, the Moonflight cards have a duel state and decks that suggest certain characters. With a little re-writing and rules altering those initial decks became the Librarian/Archivist, which shifted to the Rememberer/Forgetter, the Builder/Demolitionist, the Thief/Charity, the Gravedigger/Resurrectionist and the Trader/Con-man. I wanted something that suggested a mysterious or magical reason for the village's residents suffering a huge personality change, the arc of the heavens and particularly the passing of a waxing and waning moon seemed a perfect fit, so Moonflight was born.

Moonflight then is some form of mystical settlement which is founded, built and dismantled over the course of a single night when the moon is full. The names of the characters leading each deck then were not sitting particularly well, they were too much of a mix of the abstract and the prosaic. Also the characters would suffer such a personality swing at the zenith of the moon, it seemed clear they were some sort of fay creatures. I had a fair