Adventures in Boardgame Creation


Adventures in Boardgame Creation

When we started writing the story of I C E with Bragou in January 2019, we had in mind to intertwine the central mechanics of the game with the thematic as much as possible. The goal was therefore to marry the 3-dimensional board containing the hexagonal tiles (stacked and staggered) and the notion of an archaeological dig during an Ice Age.

From the beginning, we also had the idea of having a small number of Guilds representing certain professions with specific skills. Inspired by the notion of Guilds present during the Italian renaissance, we thought of the following guilds:

  • Terraformers Guild (geo-engineer)
  • Guild of Scribes
  • Guild of Geomasters
  • Guild of Cryoingeners
  • Guild of Messengers
  • Guild of Navigators / Nomads
  • Guild of Energeticists / Geothermists
  • Guild of Telepaths
  • Guild of Paleoclimatologists

As you can see there have been some changes since then! Some Guilds have changed their name, others have simply disappeared…


The world in which I C E evolves can be described as post-apocalyptic, since a great cataclysm took place some 3000 years ago. The civilization that existed at that time was much more developed, especially technologically, than the current inhabitants of I C E.

The extinction of the Ancients is therefore mysterious and caused the transition to a glacial type of climate. We wanted the environment to appear particularly difficult and challenging for the population. With the cold and wind came naturally the idea of sailing ships on the ice.


The ÉDIFICES can thus appear as architectural and technical feats for the inhabitants. They will be discovered for the first time by Johaan during a great Expedition that led him to the “Valley of the Ancients” and where he was narrowly rescued by a rescue team sent by the City (see The Story of Which You are the Hero, published on social networks just before the launch of the I C E Kickstarter campaign in May 2021).

In the Great Valley, and during the Expeditions that followed, the Guilds discovered powerful artifacts belonging to 5 major categories:

  • Harmony Artifacts
  • Achievement Artifacts
  • Obliteration Artifacts
  • Exalted Artifacts
  • Philosophical Artifacts

We obviously wanted the gameplay associated with the artifacts’ abilities to be inspired by their typology.

Harmony Artifacts allow you to act on the balance of different elements. They can restore or counterbalance states of matter and spirit. Their forms are soft and fluid. 

The Artifacts of Achievement are intimately linked to the work of man, transforming raw materials into works that touch upon perfection. They are often found in the form of interlocking cubes. 

Obliteration artifacts cause annihilation and destruction, acting as entropy gas pedals and generating new spaces. The presence of scales is often associated with this type of artifact. 

Exalted Artifacts work on a psychic level and are intrinsically linked to the spirituality of the Ancient civilization. The star or more symbolically the flake, are the native forms of these artifacts. 

Philosophical artifacts act on the field of knowledge. Scholars use them and study them in the hope of advancing their knowledge of the world. They always have a spherical shape. 

Within these 5 main types, artifacts come in 3 main forms that are emblematic of the type of artifact. Finally, the power of each Artifact is characterized by what is called the Anima. 

Obviously the world of I C E is still under construction and in perpetual development, under the pencil stroke of Léonard Dupond and the pen of Bragou and myself.