The creators of Dustbiters describe it as a fast and fun game about cars, a la Mad Max.
Dust is an upcoming new table card game from Team Dustbiters, which actually features three video game industry veterans in the form of Terri Vellmann, Jan Willem Nijman, and Robbie Fraser. Vellmann is an illustrator and game designer known for titles like Heavy balls and Record room, and also already worked on another card game called Pushing kings. Nijman worked on Disk Room as well, and also on other iconic indie games like Nuclear throne and Minit, and is the only member of the team to ironically ride a bicycle instead of a car. Finally, Fraser is known for Broforce, an epic action game that’s a love letter to classic 80s and 90s movies.
Speaking of movies, Dust has roots firmly anchored in the themes and visuals of the Mad Max franchise, and Nijman even goes on to say that the turns of the card game can be reminiscent of stills of Mad Max: Fury Road. After all, Dust is a game with post-apocalyptic tones and full of unique looking cars, where players must try to leave the opponent without cards to win the game and escape the approaching sandstorm. Game Rant is talking to the Dustbiters team about this and more, including the game’s Kickstarter campaign.
Dustbiters: a fast-paced card game with strategic depth
Dust was first designed on the occasions most appropriate for its theme, and it was on a road trip that Nijman and Fraser took in 2016. Being game designers, they spent their evenings playing games. to a few games, but that quickly turned into making their own game, and the first idea they had was to do something like Rummikub and adapt it to become a single player dungeon crawler. Dust came into being soon after, and it was clear from the start that it would be a table game; something the team could do with just a pen and paper, and a break from video games.
For us, to fix a bug, you pick a sharpie and add something new to the text above the ugly paper map to test, then play it back. Fixing bugs on the computer is a whole other hell you have to dive into, so it was all very inspiring. —Nijman
Vellmann was brought on board shortly after that, especially through a conversation he had with Nijman, where the two decided that if they were to make a card game, they could do it together. Because the three of them were busy with their own jobs at the time, there was a mutual agreement to work on Dust whenever they could do it without worrying about deadlines, and that stress-free mindset carried over into the game as well. Dust is an extremely fast table game that offers an average fifteen minute session, with great potential for replayability.
It’s not a game that you have to set up, read the whole rulebook and have a lecture on how to play the game. After that it’s just a really fun, very quick [experience]. Things are spinning all the time. —Vellmann
Dust has a very short and simple rulebook unlike many other table games where players have to learn the basics for an hour or two, and it’s a conscious design choice. What the team wanted to achieve was a quick game that could be learned and explained in a matter of minutes, so that it could be played on the fly without investing too much in the abilities of each card, as they can also be quite simple.
There is still a lot of strategic depth to the game, with cars like the Mind Manipulator, which allows players to use the ability of any enemy car in the field. At the end of each turn, the car that is furthest behind in the conversation is ultimately destroyed by the sandstorm, which means players have to decide what moves to take and whether to let one of their cars move forward or the let be destroyed. . Globally, Dust is a fun game designed to be a lighter alternative to other table games, and it’s all about cars, which means no dice or tiles.
Dust is slated for release in November 2021 for Kickstarter contributors.
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