The Art and Components of Fossilis
Updated: Feb 11
FOSSILIS IS COMING TO KICKSTARTER ON OCTOBER 15.
Note: Prototype components are depicted in these images. The final version may differ.
Board games are a combination of a number of different elements coming together to create a complete experience. They aren’t solely the mechanics, or the objectives, or the theme. The art and components go a long way towards supporting both the gameplay and the story of the game.
In Fossilis, players take on the role of palaeontologists exploring a dig site and discovering dinosaur fossils. The idea began with a strong focus on the gameplay tied to the components. Designer David Diaz had envisioned a game with thick, chunky tiles representing different types of terrain that players had to dig through. As a prototype, the main board was constructed with Lego (is there anything it can’t do?). The Terrain tiles were stolen from a square domino set. With those simple elements the proof of concept of the components was made.
Over the course of its design, the Terrain tiles took on more definition, with their colour denoting the type of terrain they were. The dig site has become a beautiful, 3D board the looks like a piece of the badlands where you might actually find a treasure trove of fossils. The dinosaur fossils are represented by very cool 3D printed bones, including ribs, limbs, and tiny T-rex skulls.
The majority of the gameplay in Fossilis takes place on the dig site board, with Terrain tiles being shifted and fossils extracted. The game has an eye-catching table presence that not only looks cool, but actually supports the gameplay and theme. It was critical for Diaz and the KTBG development team that the components were not a cliche or shoehorned into the game. They wanted each element to play a logical role in the gameplay.
For the art in Fossilis, the KTBG team turned to a trusted name. Apolline Etienne has previously worked on Haunt the House and Wreck Raiders for Kids Table Board Gaming. For Fossilis, she got to focus on creating images of some of the great creatures that lived millions of years ago. Each of the dinosaur cards in the game features an illustration by Apolline.
The dinosaur images all burst with life and colour. On the larger cards, Apolline was able to bring some personality to each one. Aside from the dinosaurs, another challenge was the Event cards. Each one had to convey a situation that could occur on a dig site in a single image. Her execution has been really amazing, and players will be able to see at a glance what the event is. Apolline also illustrated the images for all of the Tool and Supply cards. These represent different items that can be bought and include plaster, tools that can be used on the dig site, and even fossils.
The box cover of a game is super important. You need something that immediately catches the eye and also conveys what the game is about. For the cover of Fossils, Apolline focused on a recognizable skull, the T-Rex, just peeking up from the sand in a barren desert setting. It’s a beautiful image and it perfectly communicates what the game is all about.
Great care was taken in selecting the components and art for Fossilis. We’re already looking forward to sharing it with you during the campaign.
Read about the Design and Development of Fossilis here.
Read about the Mechanics of Fossilis here.
Read about the Eras of Fossilis here.