The previous article provided the framework of the story mode for Colt Express and explained how it progresses. This new game mode also boasts new mechanics that are exclusive to this system, making for an even more unique digital experience.
In the comic, we discover that Belle comes from a wealthy family and that her husband is in jail. Because her mother isn’t willing to pay the bail, Belle is forced to find another way to raise the funds needed for the release of her husband.
It’s fair to say Belle has more than one trick up her sleeve! Besides her revolver, Belle’s charm is certainly her most deadly weapon. In the board game, she uses her charm to convince the other bandits to aim at a character other than herself. In the story mode, this mechanic changes a bit, granting her an even stronger skill. She will now be able to direct all the decisions of characters under her charm. In other words, Belle will fully take control of another bandit!
Don’t feel too bad for the bandits facing Belle in Story mode, though, because they’re anything but defenseless. In fact, one of them wields an exclusive weapon: the volleygun, which fires three bullets at once!
Own game mechanics to each character
The game mechanics in Belle’s story are based on her personality. The stories about Ghost, Cheyenne, Doc, Django and Tuco are completely different in this mode, creating a unique game for each character.
For example, Cheyenne’s story will provide rounds at night. It will be harder for her to determine who to shoot, steal from, or punch. Thankfully for her, Cheyenne can count on the spirits to guide her, and she gets cards back after using them!
Normally, all bandits who punch another character will push their opponent back one wagon. Django, more powerful than the others, pushes his enemies back with a shot from his gun. In the story mode, there are no restrictions on his ability, allowing him to shoot a bandit clean off the train! The poor character will be injured and will have to skip a turn as they get back on the train.
Doc is by far the smartest bandit in the group. Though he doesn’t use a lot of force, he knows how to divide and conquer. Doc pulls this off by detaching wagons from the train! If he uncouples the last wagon, it’s lost from the game. Any bandits who were on it will use their turn to reboard the train and take an injury for their troubles. However, if Doc decides to detach a wagon in the middle, it will split the train in two without losing the end of the train. Bandits are now stuck on their side and can’t move between the split wagons.
Ghost has to deal with flames when he tries to attack the train! Wagons on fire will only be accessible to characters willing to be injured. And if that wasn’t enough for poor Ghost to deal with, the Marshall calls his deputies to help him. Luckily for Ghost, he’s agile and can conceal himself under the wagons to avoid the dangers around him!
Finally, Tuco gets an exciting surprise! He finds a gatling gun on the roof of a wagon, allowing him to shoot all opponents on the roof. The only problem is that the machine gun is bolted down so anyone can use it. Whoever doesn’t get behind that gun better hide inside the cars or the special wagon without a roof.
Discover all these new game elements in Colt Express Story mode available October 2016!
We’re excited to interview Maxime DeBleu, the game designer of Colt Express, who is behind many of the game mechanics you’ll see in the digital version.
Can you tell us what you brought to the digital version of Colt Express?
I participated in determining what the digital version will be like and keeping the spirit of the original game. I developed new mechanics and game variants. I believe that my contributions were the most significant on the narrative aspect of the digital game.
What was the most important step for you on this project?
I think the most important step was at the beginning, at the pre-production phase. This is where we determined, from a high level perspective, all the features that would be found in the game. It’s the key step where everything is still possible, but it requires us to still keep our feet on the ground. We had to be innovative and rigorous, because the rest of the development rested on the decisions made at that point. The constraints, criteria, and objectives get all mixed together and it’s like a puzzle to solve!
What was the most challenging part of this project for you?
Determining the sound requirements was a challenge. The physical game obviously doesn’t have any sound for us to base it on. In addition, being more visual than auditory, it was not natural for me to hear where the sounds are required. Fortunately, Frima has a talented audio team who offered excellent support to outline what the game requirements were. Ultimately, I believe we have an ambiance track that immerses players and brings a lot to the game.
Why do you enjoy working on Colt Express?
First, I really enjoy the board game. Both phases of the game, the planning and then the execution of those plans, are so exciting! The unpredictable side of the game always brings surprising moments and, mixed with the different characters and wagons, the games are never the same. Moreover, working on the digital version let us revisit the rules and explore the possibilities even more. We were only able to incorporate a fraction of the good ideas we had, but the discussions and brainstorming sessions has always been interesting and enriching. Working on this has been a great opportunity to spend my days talking about one of my favorite games.
What part of Colt Express Digital do you think is the most innovative?
The digital version gives life to the characters. The train and environment animation helps immerse players, helping everyone enter further into the Colt Express universe.
Why is Colt Express different from the other games?
Of course, the programing places Colt Express in a category by itself. What I like, beyond the game mechanisms, is the narrative aspect: it’s easy to imagine a story when we play to Colt Express. A “Punch” card without a target at the end of the action phase is not a missed manoeuvre anymore. Instead it becomes “Tuco holds up his fist and challenges Doc to pick the loot before him!”
What mobile games are you playing these days?
I recently tried the digital version of Exploding Kittens, but the mobile game I’ve played consistently for 5 years is Zombies, Run! It’s a running app that adds a narrative aspect. Each time I go for a run, I go deeper into the story of this post-apocalyptic world. Sometimes zombie hordes come after me, and I have to speed up to escape. This game has no direct impact on my Colt Express digital work… except it helps by keeping me fit. And a fit game designer surely does a better work!
What are your inspirations for your work?
I’m not a fan of classic westerns, but I enjoy the mix between the Wild West and Fantastic, like the movie Wild Wild West. I always had a big interest in the Steampunk wave of these last few years. Even a tv show like Firefly, with its heroic outlaws, and the manga Trigun, inspired me and contributed to put me in a suitable state of mind to create a game experience faithful to the theme, and all the action.