Spelpappan presents the world’s first Archon Board Game

1 januari, 2014 av: Jimmy Wilhelmsson  

This autumn, I have been creating the world’s first physical board game version of Archon – a 1983 cult classic computer gamer from FreeFall Associates on Atari 400/800 and Commodore 64 (and more).

I am using a 3D printer from Makerbot, the Replicator 2x, and created all icons from their 2D originals when viewed sideways. Now I am finally finished with the whole thing. It will soon all end up in Thingiverse. Enjoy!

I’m very new to 3D printing. When I decided that my first assignment was going to be creating a board game of Archon I knew that it was going to be difficult and require lots of time. It sure did, but I’m still surprised that it didn’t take longer still.

Archon_board_complete_spelpappan_01

One square contains a screen dump of original Archon from 1983.

In November I was done with the actual icons and got started on the board itself. Several 3D- and retrosites wrote about it, including  3ders.org, 3D Printer PlansRetroSeek, N4G, and Top 4 3D Printing.

I also got Jon Freeman – one of Archon’s original makers – to endorse the project and give me permission to upload the 3D files as long as it isn’t a commercial project. Which I don’t plan it to be.

Even React Games – creators of Archon Classic in 2010 – contacted me and congratulated me for my work. It feels good to know that the creators of such a fine game as Archon likes what I’m doing here.

Since Archon is a computer game, I would have to make sure that all details necessary for the rules would follow the board. After all, I do want Archon: The Board Game to be playable – and even enjoyable in the end. Even though it’s all just a prototype.

Archon_board_complete_spelpappan_06

The red arrow keeps track of which phase it is – and the next.

If you know Archon you know the drill. Dark and Light team is built from mythological creatures and fight for the possession of the five Power Points on the board. Each icon type has unique features and instead of knocking each other out, like in chess, they have to battle each other when standing on the same square.

In Archon this is done like a shoot ‘em-up; whereas in Archon: The Board Game it’s done with dice and strategy. Dark is stronger on black squares and Light is stronger on white squares; the green squares change from black to white through six phases, which we keep track on with a phase tracker on the side (with the red arrow).

Archon_board_complete_spelpappan_08Each team has a leader, a Spellcaster capable of throwing seven different spells – these can be seen behind each team.

When a spell is cast, the small ”button” is removed from its place and put back upside down. This is because each spell can only be cast once. If you lose the Spellcaster you cannot throw any more spells.

Creating something physical from something digital requires massive amounts of planning; not everything (in fact, not even most things) work as intended and a project like this not only taught me about 3D printing; it also helped develop my problem solving skills.

Archon_board_complete_spelpappan_23

Archon: The Board Game

So…what happens now? Well, I have put together a set of rules for Archon: The Board Game that I will now test with different people for a couple of weeks.

Once these are adjusted and work fine, I will post them on a nice website for the whole project.

All files I have been working on will be uploaded to my space on Thingiverse; but it will most likely take about a week – I will work with some other things now.

I’m very happy that Archon: The Board Game actually worked out – hope you like it :)

 






Spelpappan ("gaming dad" in Swedish) is a Swedish retro blog run by Jimmy Wilhelmsson with experience in Commodore, computer games and role playing since the mid-eighties.
For other articles in English click here.


Did you know that I have written a book on how the Commodore 64 inspired a generation of Swedish gamers?

Order your copy of Generation 64 here


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