Friday, 30 January 2015

Three Years of Nonsense!

Greetings friends!

Can you really believe I've been writing this junk for three whole years?

What started as a small project to showcase a terrain project has grown and escalated to the current state.


The Year Gone
So what did we see over the past year?

Well if I was going to do this properly I would go over my previous posts. Instead I'll look over what really stuck out for me.

I guess there's really only four things for this:

1). In April following Salute 2014 I declared my involvement in the wargaming world as seriously diminished than before.

I had just returned from Salute where I had big plans of meeting up with friends and recording a Hobby Sofa episode about the wondrous new games and models on sale.

What had actually happened was I was confronted with the hard reality that the world was changing and with it was the face of wargaming. Long gone was the use of metal models sculpted made using traditional sculpting methods, and what remained was CAD work designed using video game techniques and output in either plastic or resin.

This was a hard pill to swallow and was the final nail in the coffin for my game CRYPTS which had sat pretty vacant for a while.

2). Following on from that we had the Summer of GamerGate.

Now I know that a lot of people still disagree with the support I gave for it against the vapid wastes of space who were claiming to be game critics, but I do not regret any of my involvement.

Sadly though the movement had a momentum and a purpose, and after a while when the morally corrupt started having their wallets hurting, we saw changes.

It was nothing ground breaking but it was change. It was also a line in the sand to show Third Wave Feminism that enough was enough and we were not going to take their (frankly corrupt and unethical) involvement in our hobby. Something that many believe has never happened before.

But the steam ran out, the point was made and so the attitude began to fester and those who had campaigned against bullies in many cases became bullies themselves - so I bailed, said my good byes and parted with the movement on good terms.

3). Project: Incubus was conceived.
This was the fledgling idea that would shortly be renamed to First Law: Override, a whole new IP set in a Sci-Fi future where man has been forced from Earth into the outer fringe all thanks to a rogue AI. In case anyone didn't get it, the AI's First Law of Robotics (not to harm or by omission of action allow to be harmed) any Human being, had been overridden.

Project: Incubus was a big thing for me. It allowed me to take a setting that had been brewing in my head for quite literally decades and start putting it onto paper.

You see; Sci-Fi has always been my favourite genre and it has allowed me to tie all my loves together, from the CyberPunk world of BladeRunner and SNATCHER, to the military might of ALIENS' USCM. If you have read the stories I've been putting out I'm sure you will have already seen the many influences coming out there. Plus unlike my work on CRYPTS, Project: Incubus and more importantly; First Law: Override was not built on the shoulders of another game, instead it took aspects from almost every game I enjoy (some may call it stealing, I like to think of it as scavenging) and was used to create a whole new ruleset, with one massive drawback; certain elements were just too adventurous.

4). Last but not least we had Gang War, the Sci-Fi Campaign Led Skirmish Game set in the First Law: Override universe.

So FL:O had spawned the races and the Agencies/Corporations, but it's original limitations were as follows:
- It was too big! It was designed with space travel where you, as a sponsored agent would travel across the Outer Fringe performing tasks to build up your character. This was unwieldy and it soon became obvious that asking people to have terrain for every sort of environment was not only unrealistic, it was idiotic, what would instead happen would be a mix match of terrain from say 40k and WFB, resulting in every game being set on 'The Ruined Shire' world.

So out went space travel and the view went from Macro, to Micro, focusing instead on a single world; Honos, the world colonised by Humans when they arrived in the Outer Fringe.

The story is still the same, the races still the same, but the focus is on a single world with named cities and actual countries and regions.

I realised that if people wanted an Ice Board they can have one set on Honos in the Frozen North. If they wanted a Jungle then New Brasil will fill that along with the Midlands for the traditional Hilly terrain. After a high tech city-scape? New Brasilia! A low tech frontier town? Free Port! Desert Wasteland? The Badlands! Industrial Cyberpunk City? The Block! Strange uninhabited alien landscape? The Un-terraformed region called the Deadzone!

Everything can be right there on Honos, and giving it all a name allows people to relate to it.

Of course changing the focus also gave me the perfect opportunity to change the game's focus too by removing the cooperative elements to create a competitive game, while it being a completely different game, allows for the base game mechanics to be thoroughly tested without being hindered by outside rule influences!

And do Gang War was born which instead of focusing on individual characters that the full FL:O will do (because it will still be made) it instead focuses on the ongoing conflicts between the Sponsors and the 'employees' they have in their pocket.

This then culminated in the release of the Pre-Alpha Rules Pack the first stage of the games' development.

Of course there are some extras let's not forget, some of them pretty major! I passed my Level 2 AAT course, and started LoxBotLive (part 2 of Corpse Party will be tonight for all my #FridayNightHorror fans!).


The Year Ahead
So where do I see this blog going for the next year?

In the short run; next week I hope to put out a Pre-Alpha Patch for Gang War, introducing rules I accidentally missed off like Difficult Terrain and Climbing/Jumping rules.

After that I hope to put out rules for Hackers, and giving certain characters skills (this is because the Hackers come with the Hacker skill) while adding a small number of additional weapons like Automatic Pistols and Shotguns.

Following on, there isn't much else. If I can get to this point next year celebrating 4 years of nonsense then I think that will be an achievement in itself!


Which leads me to my last point:

If there are any topics or columns you would like me to feature such as game reviews, or perhaps a designated day for a rant (who knows, maybe that will reduce the amount of unexpected rants that feature), or maybe a 'short story' day, what about different game weeks/months where for a [period of time] all the posts are covering a single game or franchise?Then please let me know and I'll see what I could do.

Until next time, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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