Thoughts of changing the landscape of Small World have been in my head for quite some time. A land filled with Mountains seems to require running water, and so now we have Underground rivers. There is a double impact of the river: being difficult to cross, it can protect your regions... but you can also navigate the river to cross the board quickly. Mountains also begat Volcano regions that can't be conquered, which of course leads us to a race (Flames) that can exploit them!
Another important idea I had in mind were legendary artifacts which can be transferred from generation to generation. While previously powers were specific to a race, now we have new strong powers but that can be claimed by different races. Some of those artifacts didn't need to move on the board so they became magical places which opened up my mind to even more ideas on how they could be used.
Even when a game is finished and published, it's not easy to stop working on the design. I'm really happy to have the opportunity to look back at some ideas and explore the Small World universe even more deeply with Small World Underground.
SWU is now available for preorder. You can check out the official website for photos and rules.