Project Description

Hyper Light Drifter TTRPG

Lead Designer: Andreas Walters
Game Design: Kyle Carty, Banana Chan, Litza Bronwyn, Amr Ammourazz
Layout: Andreas Walters
Editors: Scott Vandervalk, Carol Darnell, Nina Sulcova
Artists: Alex, Ben L, Biovyx, Blaah, Julian, Maria, Rose, Eka Pramudita Muharram, Koit Paales

Size: 11.5×8 in | 300 pages
Published: 2021

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Our first major IP license which was the result of a cold-call email, which leveraged our prior successes in the TTRPG industry. In addition, our focus in evocative and inspirational content, I believe, made us a good fit for the project.

Project Challenges

  • Pixel Art, Indesign, and most design programs don’t do well with pixel art scaling (because they do bilinear scaling and you can’t change it). So to keep the art consistent, we developed a pixelart spread template, so that the artists could work on the same canvas, then we exported them out 1000% so that they could be placed in the layout and all be under the same aspect ratio.
  • Working within Lore, HLD has a lot of non-public lore in which it was a challenge to develop and maintain the creation of a game and setting that fits within the HLD universe without exposing too much lore.
  • COVID-19, extended the project timeline far longer than was hoped for.
  • Licensor Review, This was the first project where everything needed to be approved before continuing, creating that relationship and maintaining contact was something new for us on this project, including quarterly updates.

Content Contained

  • (10 pages) Narrative and setting exploration about what it means to be an assassin in the world, and how an assassin does their work.
  • (19 pages) New Character Options, featuring (10) backgrounds and (5) foci that exemplify the assassin’s power fantasy including.
  • (6 pages) Equipment Expansion including (12), artifacts (10), and oddities (34), that would be used by assassins.
  • (18 pages) Mechanical exploration of poisons, including mundane (20), Cypher (14), and random effects (33), as well as systems to create and improve poisons.
  • (12 pages) Mechanical expansion of traps, in the corebook there was little exploration of traps as a tool to be used by players or by the GM, so this section standardized and provided options to build and use traps in-game.
  • (5 pages) Mechanical Expansion of XP options (which is a usable resource to invoke in-game effects), and we expanded those options (14) to include, Joining a Guild, Establishing a Home Base, getting an informant, or allow a Player Intrusion (which was later added to the core game).
  • (9 pages) Mechanical Exploration of Guilds with a few examples (7).
  • (7 pages) New options for Characters and Creatures featuring (5) assassin-like beasts and assassin-based characters,
  • (3 pages) New Adventure Seeds featuring (14) hooks to start a new adventure in Numenera.