Thorgal: Update #9 – Confronting expectations

I participated in an experiment. My close friend, a big fan of Thorgal, decided not to read any updates related to the Thorgal board game, not to catch up on materials on social media, not to search, not to look for reports from games, and immediately dive into the deep end – come to Portalcon and play Thorgal.

After the game, he admitted that he was surprised. The game turned out to be different than he expected. What did you actually expect, I asked.

Stories and adventures, like Robinson Crusoe. Stories and adventures, like on the Nemesis ship. I expected a game that I could play with kids, showing them what extraordinary events and adventures of the Aegirsson family are.

Thorgal turned out to be too focused on gamer’s gameplay and too little on stories and adventure. There is too much to think about, plan moves, analyze the situation, the game puts too much emphasis on action strategy. He wanted it to be more on exploring the stories and having some cool random events. Thorgal is closer to Gloomhaven than Sleeping Gods, closer to Mageknight than Arkham Horror. Thorgal is closer to games that require focus and careful planning to win, than to games where story is the main course. Here, the plot is an addition to interesting gameplay, not gameplay is an addition to a great plot.

That’s why the idea for today’s article. It’s the discussion, the conversation, which we can never avoid. The conversation comes down to this brutal truth – among thousands of potential backers, each of you has different expectations. Each of you has a different vision of this game. Each of you would like Thorgal: the board game to be as you dreamed it, as you carry it in your heart.

Unfortunately, this game is different. It is different because we can’t enter your heads and hearts, extract your dreams from them, and build a prototype from them. Because each of you expects something different. Because we can’t design 10,000 different games.

Will Thorgal fulfill everyone’s dreams? It won’t. For many of you, the game will differ from what you expected. That’s why we’ve been showing you the mechanics of this game for a few months now. We want you to be a well-informed backer. We don’t want Thorgal to surprise you.

Today I encourage you to comment. Tell us what you expect. Tell us what your dream Thorgal: the board game looks like. And next week, I will respond to your statements, and we will discuss them step by step!

Find out more about Thorgal here:


We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.