In our last two articles we introduced you to the two new leaders—the Mechanic and the Journalist—included in Lost Ruins of Arnak: The Missing Expedition.
Each leader brings a fresh, unique new play style to the table, but they’re also only a portion of the exciting content you’ll find in this upcoming expansion. Let’s take a look at the behind-the-scenes process of developing and broadening the story-driven campaign, shall we?
In essence, the campaign portion of The Missing Expedition expansion is a refreshed and expanded version of The Search for Professor Kutil, a free PNP-only story campaign that we released online in 2021 for solo players. It takes you on a return journey to the island of Arnak across multiple mission chapters to find out what happened to your friend, Professor Kutil, and his missing expedition. In it, you play against an automata rival while also striving to fulfill tricky goals across unique story scenarios that thematically change the board layout and some of the mechanics of the game from mission to mission.
While this is the first time it’ll be available in a physical format as part of the upcoming expansion, we’ve also added a lot of new twists to the experience that we think you’ll really enjoy, whether you’ve already played the PNP version or not.
Pushing beyond limitations
The original free version of the campaign was designed to be played using the core components available in the Arnak base game, with the addition of some PNP cards. It had only four chapters, which featured challenging scenarios to complete alongside snippets of story that revealed more about the adventure as it unfolded. From a logistical standpoint, a lot of the ideas that originally went into the previous version of the campaign had to be streamlined due to having to work within the limitation of using existing components from the base game, says Mín, one half of Arnak’s husband and wife design team.
“As the campaign was originally designed with all the components we had in the base game box already, we had to kind of improvise,” she says, noting revisiting the campaign as part of a physical edition unlocked a lot of potential to do much more with it. “Now we could just imagine and create anything we wanted, so it was a lot of fun to actually design the components to better tell the story and make it easier to set up and play the game.”
Time was also a constraint with completing the older version, since it was a smaller side-project developed alongside the first Expedition Leaders expansion. This updated and expanded version adds two additional chapter scenarios (for a total of six) that further change up the gameplay a bit and will tell more of the original story that Mín had in mind for the project from the beginning.
“Originally we had this story in mind, but we couldn’t make it because of time constraints and the fact we were working on the first expansion,” she says. “We had just finished the four chapters for the free PNP, but trying to find a way to be able to tell the full story was still in the back of my mind. I’m glad to be able to finish it.”
We don’t want to spoil anything, so let’s just say that the two new chapters will shine more light on the events that unfold in the four original chapters while providing a more satisfying resolution to the story.
Creating a physical version of the campaign also provided a welcome opportunity to add more art and visual flair into the experience, says Mín. “Now we can really go all in and ask for the art to be created exactly as we wanted to,” she adds. “We were able to plan and think about what we could show and what things could look like.”
So what else is different? We’ll cover more campaign additions and exciting changes in the next few articles. Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to the Lost Ruins of Arnak: The Missing Expedition BGG page so you don’t miss any important updates!