Today, I wanted to share with you one of the things that inspired Endogenesis. It’s a fan-made project called Final Fantasy: Boss Battle, and it was the very first board game I ever made!
In virtually all Final Fantasy games (as well as many other RPGs), while their stories differ from one another, it always converges towards the same end: you reach the final boss of the game who’s bent on destroying all of reality. You then defeat the boss, save the world, then watch a lengthy ending cutscene and feel great about yourself. In this game however, upon reaching the final boss, you discover that other players are also seeking to slay it. As such, you must fight them as well, as only one can deal the killing blow to the boss and unlock their happily-ever-after ending! More info on the website, as well as a free download for the Print-and-play version.
The game was created nine years ago as a birthday present for my wife. While it was fun for a few sessions, there were many frustrating aspects due to clunky game design choices. It was my first ever board game after all! However, the one thing that people did enjoy was the combination of the PVP and PVE aspect. Instead of a battle where players are just fighting one another, an AI-controlled “boss” joins the battle. And because there were different bosses to choose from, their presence would change the dynamics of the fight, leading to different playstyles and therefore different experiences. Given that the ultimate goal was to land the killing blow on the boss, the mechanic also had the potential to offer different paths to victory.
Since then, I’ve always wanted to recreate that mechanic in a new project. Endogenesis sees a modified version of this battle system. Instead of a single AI-controlled boss, the Realm of Chaos spews forth multiple monsters over the course of the game with varying levels of strength. This also allowed a very important shift in victory condition. Instead of victory being centered on landing the killing blow on a single enemy, players need to slay Legendary monsters to collect a number of Prisms to win the game, allowing for a more fair and consistent gaming experience where a player will be no longer be able to win from a single moment of dumb luck.
However, Final Fantasy: Boss Battle wasn’t the only thing that inspired the making of Endogenesis. Check out this post on my BGG WIP thread to find out how the popular multiplayer arena battle Dota 2 served as an inspiration.