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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Designer Diary: Space Lion: Divide and Conquer

by Chris Solis

The story of Space Lion: Divide and Conquer begins in 2019 at a design retreat hosted by John Brieger where I came up with a game called “3 Bases”, a light lane dueler that uses a poker deck.

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What really drove me to make Space Lion was pairing it with the correct art style. I loved the colored pencil look of the promotional art from Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, and I wanted to make a game that looked like that! I combined that imspiration with my love for sci-fi, and eventually found that “3 Bases” would be a great fit for a sci-fi theme.

The art style of MvC2 next to Space Lion: Divide and Conquer

Most of Space Lion’s development happened in deep pandemic lockdown. I was in a household with two of my best friends, and we played it regularly. We also played it on TTS with friends and fans. It was positively received, and I became very excited to push it forward!

Playthrough of Space Lion at Game Kastle before game art

I ran a crowdfunding campaign on Gamefound in 2021 for Space Lion, and it did not fund. The game did fund later on Kickstarter, and upon reflection, I am glad it didn’t fund the first time because it forced me to ask myself how I could make this game better. I truly believe Space Lion is greater because of the extra time.

Character Design by the Family

The character design in Space Lion is very personal to me because it was done by my sister Jessica Solis. She has always loved creating unique and interesting characters. I’m very happy with the characters in the game, and I think everyone will find a character they look forward to playing as!

Early sketches from Jessica on the left; final character on the right

The Art Team

Space Lion was drawn by two artists. The first artist is Andres Blanco, who is now the art lead for Team Fight Tactics. I’m thankful for him helping Space Lion out in the early phases!

The second artist is Alex Ockyno from Cat and Sashimi, who is incredible at matching styles. I hope to see his artwork in many board games to come. I’m truly honored to have their arwork in the game.

Why “Space Lion”?

Space Lion is influenced by colorful sci-fi media like Trigun, Starcraft, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cowboy Bebop. “Space Lion” is a famous song from the Bebop soundtrack, and I love that song, so I named it after that! Later, I added the lion motif throughout the game to bring it all together.

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Space Lion is a sum of things the Solis family loves. We hope you will love it, too!

Chris Solis

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