Roleplaying, for many of us, is something near and dear to our hearts. It’s why Weave is such an intriguing RPG system to us. It is blending technology with beautiful components to create immersive story-driven experiences. The innovative format is also extremely accessible to players and storytellers no matter how experienced (or not) they are. Instead of being bogged down by rulebooks, handbooks, and supplements while trying to navigate an overwhelming character sheet, Weave promises that players can create a character in seven minutes and get playing in fifteen minutes. That is something that opens the world of RPGs up to anyone who wants to play them, and that’s exciting.
Weave is the latest game from Monocle Society. Early on, the game’s graphic designer Brianna Johnson was brought in after her time working with software designer Kyle Kinkade. He met Brianna when they worked together on Goldieblox and the Movie Machine, which earned Best of 2014 for the App Store for Kid’s apps. Brianna has been a designer and creative director in the tech industry for the past 10 years. She helped with physical design at Apple, then moved over to Goldieblox, which focuses on STEM engineering toys for girls. As she put it: “Weave has been a passion project for me, really. This was my first time, as a professional, to have been trusted with such complete and unprecedented creative control over a project, freedom that allowed me to produce exactly the type of role-playing game I myself would buy. And, that’s exactly what I did.”
Brianna didn’t have a background in RPGs, and in designing the tarot-inspired cards for Weave, she created the look of Weave without previous expectations of how an RPG should look. Her modern sensibilities have given Weave a unique style onto its own.
She described the style to be fresh and different from all other existing tabletop RPGs. “It had to be fantastical, fun, and sophisticated in order to fit the broad target user-base for Weave. I drew inspiration from the boldness of late 70’s and early 80’s-era graphics and gave them the refined angularity of Art Deco. A sort of Milton Glaser meets Apple, if you will.”
Kyle Kinkade, is an experienced mobile game designer and developer since the launch of the app store, worked closely with Brianna to make the app work seamlessly with the physical cards. In bringing his technology experience to the table, and blending storytelling through the components with the free Weave app, he and his team at Monocle Society were able to architect a way to drive the gameplay in a way that was mechanically minimal while still being compelling and challenging for players. As he told us, “The core ruleset is designed to be as accessible as possible to introduce as many people as possible to the concept of RPGs.”
What does character creation look like? Players select 4 story cards and scan the cards with the Weave app. The app then generates a character to fit within the ethos of the playset. It ensures every character is unique and fits nicely into the world of the game playsets. The app also stores games, characters, and progress online.
Weave will have four story settings (playsets) upon release, all of which look really exciting and accessible:
- Xorte/IO: A cyberpunk adventure from the distant future
- DRGN: A modern take on classic fantasy RPG settings
- Solar Age: A space adventure in the style of 1950s pulp science fiction
- Gloomies: Every 80s kids movie trope shoved into a small town
The physical box will never go stale, because the rules and playsets live in the app. Monocle Society, publishers of Weave, is already planning more releases to ensure that the game stays fresh. For example, in December they plan on releasing another playset: Clique, a high school drama in the style of John Hughes’ movies or Mean Girls. They look at the game as a living system meaning that they’ll continue to evolve features and gameplay consistently with quarterly releases. Future plans for the game include a playset creator for players and writers to create playsets to share with their friends, and even submit them to Weave‘s storefront for sale for others to enjoy.
If you’re looking for an accessible, immersive, and innovative roleplaying experience, this is the game for you.
Pre-order the physical components on the Monocle Society’s website. If you’re attending PAX Unplugged, be sure to try the game out for yourself at booth #548.
Image Credits: Monocle Society
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