Rev up those fryers, cause I am sure hungry for one custom expansion! Hello everybody and welcome to another Fan Community Spotlight.
This time, we've got custom Hearthstone veteran Frostivus to showcase a set made all the way back in 2018. The set in question is one by the name of Around the World in 80 Meals. The reason I'm choosing to showcase this older set is because it ties into a brand new custom set released earlier this month also released by Frostivus, and both sets have ties to each other. The second set, Aletta's Kitchen, will be the subject of next week's installment. The link in this paragraph allows you to access every card from both sets, but can be filtered to only show one set.
As the name of the set would suggest, the set is themed around foods and cooking. A central element of the culinary process is to bring multiple ingredients together and you've got an assortment of tools to achieve this. This set also contains some new tools, notably in the form of the Mix keyword. Mixing a card shuffles it back into its owner's deck and then that player will draw a card to replace it. It can be considered to be vaguely reminiscent of the Tradeable mechanic from United in Stormwind released 3 years after this set, although there are many aspects to differentiate the two mechanics.
Do remember to keep in mind that this set is 4 years old, and thus many card designs will differentiate from the normal design philosophies of the present day. But now we throw the spotlight over to Frostivus to talk about how this set was cooked up.
What exactly is this set about? What is the inspiration for the set theme?
Frostivus: "Around The World in 80 Meals, was made in 2018, as an ode to Ben Brode as he left to create his own video game company, Second Dinner. He was my inspiration that got me into prolifically making Hearthstone cards, and his departure signalled the beginning of the end for me.
My tribute card to Ben Brode
Around The World in 80 Meals isn’t a set about gods and undead kings ushering in the apocalypse. It’s a small story of self-discovery through a wide, open world. The locations we visit are thoroughly detailed and built, but they are not the focus of the set. Rather, it’s the food.
I made it a focus to ensure that the flavour text for each card in the set would have impeccable flavour, and for a food-themed set, that had to be doubly so. As I wrote short text snippets for the cards, however, I began to see a pattern. The descriptions of the cards came from the viewpoint of several characters, but there was one recurring character who simply always stuck out from the crowd with her strange fish-out-of-water commentaries. She was young, curious, lacking in knowledge of the world but very clearly not daft. As I continued to write more cards in her voice, I realized why I was so drawn to her: like me and the audience, she was just as new to this set’s world as we were, and we were following her journey to discover it all together. Thus, the story of Around The World in 80 Meals, as a coming-of-age story about aspiring chef Aletta Springcutter came to be."
What is your inspiration for Mix?
Frostivus: "When making Around The World, I stuck to the core concept that your cooking pot was your deck, and you were given several tools to alter the deck to your liking, as well as several ingredients that you could add into your deck. The important feeling I wanted to capture was that you were upgrading these cards as the game went on much like how you were cooking meals. Still think that shrimpscale sushi needs more Armour gain? Shuffle it back in, play more ingredients to buff it, and the next time you draw it, maybe it’ll suit your tastes better.
This fit in well with my personal preferences of Hearthstone’s gameplay, which was deckbuilding and manipulation. Cards like Prince Keleseth and Renounce Darkness that altered your draws were very exciting concepts to me.
Then it was a matter of tapping into a lot of the fun shuffle mechanics Hearthstone had, like Elise and The Darkness. That feeling of a delayed reward that was both game-changing and unpredictable, stewing in that black box that was our deck. That anticipation of drawing a card that has been buffed beyond compare thanks to the cards you played, that tempting greed to wait for the perfect moment and get maximum value, that rush of seeing your plans spiral out of control as the game’s emergent gameplay takes over.
I wanted players to believe in the dream where the stars could align and they could gain 40 Armour in a turn, or summon a minion that can never die, much like how Azari gave all of Twitch pause upon his reveal."
Are there any other cards you wish to point out for any reason?
Frostivus: "There's a lot of fun cards in here, and just to showcase some crazy ideas I had at the time"
How do you look back on this set all these years later?
Frostivus: "This set was made 4 years ago, so it's interesting to see how some cards eventually made their way into Hearthstone in some way, and to see how close (or rather, how far off) I was.
All in all, it's refreshing to just be hit by some nostalgia, to know when Hearthstone was still at its peak -- exciting and crazy."
Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us?
Frostivus: "A lot of the cards in this set were often individual recordbreakers that caused a furor in our subreddit (sarcastic wow). From basic cute ones Like Good Boy to the infamous Chomproot that sparked a new term called DiY design, that to this day, remains actively discussed."
Do you have anything else you want to share with us?
Frostivus: "Ben Brode saw the set and appreciated it. https://www.reddit.com/r/seconddinner/comments/9f1j7b/comment/e5z20tt/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
He's all around a pretty swell guy."
Hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past. He who controls the past controls the future, and that's why the next installment will focus on the next set that ties into this one released at the beginning of the month. Stay tuned for Aletta's Kitchen in the next installment. You can check out the entire project by clicking the banner down below.