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League of Geeks launches Kickstarter campaign for digital board game Armello

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Melbourne-based indie game developer League of Geeks launched a Kickstarter campaign today to raise $AUD200,000 to allow its core team to work on its digital board game Armello full-time.

The game was first announced in late 2012 for iPad. The development team worked on Armello in its spare time, painstakingly bringing a board and card game hybrid to life on the tablet. More than two years in, it is now raising funds so its core members can afford to work on the ambitious digital board and card game full-time.

"[The difference of working full-time is] almost immeasurable," said League of Geeks co-founder Trent Kusters. "We road-tested it for six weeks at the start of the year and the results were phenomenal. We began to get the feeling early last year that the League of Geeks model (where everyone works out of hours for profit share) would function far better on a project of this scale with a core team on full-time, driving the game forward and, man, were we right."

Kusters told Polygon that during the test run, the game hit alpha a month earlier than expected, and the extended team's productivity tripled.

League of Geeks also decided to bring the game to Linux, Mac and Windows PC, and to prioritize those platforms over iPad so as to give them more freedom to beta test, offer supporters early access and respond quickly to player feedback.

"Being PC-focused doesn't change the core of the game or its design," Kusters said. "But we are almost definitely shifting things around within the game to ensure that the PC experience is as full and smooth as it should be.

"[We're] increasing visual fidelity, overhauling the way the player interfaces with the game and more. We will do whatever needs doing to make sure that the experience is as good as it can be on PC."

Armello is set in a fantasy world where the ruling king has fallen ill to a mysterious, dark force, and the Heroes of the land need to fight each other to claim the throne. Players take on the role of a Hero in either the single-player mode (where enemies are controlled by AI) or multiplayer mode, which can be played locally or online. The game has been designed specifically for digital platforms and features dynamic quest-lines, a day and night cycle as well as animated cards and a lively game world.

Singer/songwriter Lisa Gerrard (Black Hawk Down, Dead Can Dance) will also join composer Michael Allen and audio director Jacek Tuschewski as the second composer on the team.

Polygon's impressions of the pre-alpha build of the game can be read here.