Tag Archives : Prismata


What’s in a name? The 5 steps that led to “Prismata” 20

Prismata is the gaming love of my life. My obsession with Prismata is so great that I literally dropped out of school to work on it. In this article, at long last, I’m going to address a question that I’ve received countless times, but have never spoken publicly about:

Why is the game called “Prismata?”

Honestly, there is no short answer. Naming Prismata was probably the hardest decision we ever had to make. I imagine that it might feel similar to naming a first child, except there are lawyers involved.

I’m pretty embarassed to post this; it was a doodle I made in MS Paint (mostly for comic relief purposes) during one of many stressful “name the game” meetings with other devs. I was really hoping something would just “feel right”. Nothing did. That red one in the middle was close, though.

It took us almost 4 years to name our game. The process had me adding the US Patent and Trademark Search to my browser bar, and murmuring awful name ideas like “Savant Horizon” in my sleep. I don’t know the optimal way to name a video game, or how to decide which of the million options suck the least, but these are the steps that led us to choose the name “Prismata”:

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The 10 questions most frequently received by Prismata’s design team 5

After releasing our how-to-play video two weeks ago, we’ve been getting more questions than ever about how Prismata was designed, what Prismata matches feel like, and why we made such unconventional decisions in crafting the game itself.

Prismata is unique in that it combines aspects of both card games and real-time strategy games, which led to many difficulties and challenges in its design. This article will attempt to shed some light on the design decisions that seem really bizarre to first time players, and answer other common questions.

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The Prismata Base Set

Prismata is different from many strategy games in that when challenging an opponent, you don’t build your army from a fixed tech tree, nor do you bring a deck of cards with you to battle. Instead, the units available for purchase are randomly chosen from a set of dozens of different units, meaning that new strategies must be planned every game.

However, there is one special set of units—the Prismata base set—that is available in every single game.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on the base set, which lies at the foundation of all of Prismata. The Prismata base set contains eleven core units, providing a flexible and reliable selection of technologies that you can use as a starting point whenever you begin planning your strategy. The base set units in Prismata allow you to ramp up your economy, invest in technologies, and obtain essential offensive and defensive capabilities that can supplement the rest of your forces. (more…)


An Exposition of the Exact Rules of Prismata 9

Prismata is a fast-paced, turn-based game that mixes together ideas from real-time strategy games and card games.  In Prismata, players take turns collecting resources, building up units, and eventually attacking each other.  The objective is to destroy all of your opponent’s units – before they do the same to you.

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Your forces are displayed on the bottom half of the screen, while your opponent’s forces are displayed on the top half.

Resources in Prismata

There are five resources in Prismata: gold, energy, green, blue, and red.  These are their symbols, in order:

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At the bottom of your screen, you see how many of each resource you currently have. Your opponent’s resources are displayed at the top of your screen.

Gold and green, once produced, are stored until they are spent.  Energy, blue, and red expire at the end of each turn, meaning they can only be used on the same turn they are produced.

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Prismata unit art and concepts 1

In designing the combat units for the game Prismata, there are a number of important considerations relating to gameplay, narrative, and artistic style. The look and feel of the game units affects how users feel when playing the game, how they perceive the story, and how well they intuit the actual game mechanics. We began by designing the most important and difficult units: those in our base set. These are the units that users can purchase in every single game of Prismata, and they are among the first units that users encounter in the single player campaign. We needed their look and feel to be perfect.

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