Sunday, June 17, 2012

Update - Still Alive, Triumph, Portal References, Etc.

Hello, Everyone!

I know it's been a while since my last update here. I've been hard at work on, well, way too many things. I have been putting three games together, and while none of them are anywhere near done, I wanted to tell you about them partly just so you all knew I was alive.


I've spoken about this one before. Run N Gun is a fast-paced action RPG that is designed to be tactical and encourage system mastery without putting ivory tower design or dead ends into the game. I'm hoping to get a playtest together for this soon. I just need to get up to actually doing it.

Basic Game Fluff:

"Hear the fame of that one!
Alone he rushed into his enemies
and saved his country.

Hear the fame of that one!
He ran, destroying everything he touched."

    RNG is a game of running, jumping, and shooting, in the classic fast-paced style of old-school platformer games like Mega Man and Metroid. It's designed to be fast and tactical, owing more to split-second decisions and maintaining speed and momentum than positioning. Not just what to do, but when to do it.
    In the world of RNG you're a person in a suit of Armor. That's with a capital 'A'. Armor is the most advanced weapons systems on the face of the planet. Or any planet. It's a combination of alien technology and human know-how, every suit unique and made to the specifications of its user.
    Armor is the only efficient way to defeat Armor. Elite teams are sent to take down rogue armor wearers and hyperpowerful cyborgs and aliens. Bounty hunting, assassination, these are the things Armor does best. Someone wearing Armor can fight through an army to reach their target.

A brief history of Armor

    It wasn't that long ago that humans were confined to a single solar system. It was only a hundred years ago that the first permanent extrasolar colonies were founded, a short time ago on the large scale of things, but more than long enough for the human scale. Generations have grown up, lived, and died away from Earth.
    Space travel has become a normal thing, thanks to a little gift from the vastness of space. A certain long-period comet, long noted and then ignored, became a focus of the scientific community when it was determined it would strike Jupiter in the space of only a decade. Telescopes were turned to study it, and what they found with that closer look was impossible. It was no comet, but a wrecked starship. An alien starship.
    It was the most amazing find in human history, and it was going to crash right into Jupiter. An international effort was scrambled to find a way to correct its course, to study it in what time was left. A small craft latched onto the ship and gently corrected its course, slowing it and bringing it past the orbit of Jupiter to rest between Mars and the asteroid belt.
    Human science was advanced centuries in mere decades. The energy crisis was solved in short order and even the lightspeed barrier was cracked after a few unsuccessful tries. The future looked bright.
    The first few alien races humans encountered were older races. This was very lucky for us. They helped humanity correct some very major flaws in their starship designs and gave much-needed help in terraforming and colonizing worlds. While they remained somewhat distant and aloof, they worked with humanity and are by and large our allies.
    That's when everything started to go wrong. Some had wondered just why the powerful and peaceful elder races only controlled a few planets each. It started with space pirates. They raided colonies, razing everything just for fuel and valuables. This was humanity's first encounter with Armor. Armies were smashed by small, elite teams. Fotresses fell to single men.
    The first human Armor users appeared during this time. Gifted by our alien allies, prototypes developed from captured pirate samples, relics found in ruins. And that's where you all come in...

Hen Ogledd

    Hen Ogledd was settled about seventy years ago. It was, according to the myths of the other races, once used as a prison planet and dumping ground by the Tizona, a species that is little more than legend now. And that was more than enough to get the Galatine Corporation to fund a colonization effort based around promoting and supporting archaeological digs.
    Little or nothing was actually found, though rumors spread about the anticipated cache of technology and artifacts that the locals becan to dub the Thirteen Treasures. Rumors soon circulated, triggering a second wave of fortune hunters and worse, attention from space pirates and the dark empires at the fringes of known space.
    Despite the massive influx of people, Hen Ogledd was largely unexplored when things started to change for the worse. Space pirates ravaged the colony, looking for relics that simply didn't exist. Most of the population was forced to retreat, defend themselves, or die.
    After the pirates left after failing to turn any kind of profit, and things had more or less returned to normal, Arondight arrived on the planet under a pretext of exploiting the planet's abundant mineral resources. This was a boon to the locals, providing an influx of supplies, products, and materials for expansion. Trained, educated specialists were sent to the planet and huge mining equipment was deployed. Of course, covert archeological activities were the real reason Arondight is on Hen Ogledd. They were looking for the Thirteen Treasures.
    New outposts were founded around mining resources. Refineries and large industrial facilities were brought in prefabricated and became the cornerstone of communities. Slave labor in the form of off-world conscripts were brought in as a cheaper option to more expensive mechanical laborers.
    Arondight's efforts paid off where the Galatine Corporation's hadn't, and they found traces of artifacts and information that ultimately led to open conflict between the two companies. Arondight was forced to withdraw, for the most part, and the convict slave labor broke free from their camps to terrorize locals, just another horror on the long list that Hen Ogledd has to offer.
    It's now ten years later, and rumors say that the first of the Thirteen Treasures of Hen Ogledd has been found and is in the hands of a powerful bandit leader. Teams of elite bounty hunters, armor users, and treasure seekers have come looking.

Outdated Files so you can see where it's going:


For over a year now I've been tinkering with ideas for making my own mecha RPG. I've seen games that abstracted them well as player characters writ large (AdEva, GGG), games where they felt like machines (Battletech), and games where the rules were so fucked that I don't even (Cthulhutech, Mekton Zeta). I've wanted something that plays with the pace of a normal RPG, but still feels like machines.

Warhawks is going to be my attempt at that. Just as an idea of where this one is going, I'm aiming to capture the feel of the Gundam series... as seen from Zeon. You have weak grunt units, and you're fighting against difficult odds. You have tactical advantage on your side that lets you deploy artillery strikes, sneak attacks, and so forth - but a lucky hit or two and you're rolling a new character.

The basic rules for this game are that every mecha has a damage grid - sort of like the grid in Warmachine, where as you take damage you lose boxes, and losing all the boxes of a system eliminates that system. However, unlike Warmachine, these damage grids will be able to take damage from any direction. I'm currently planning on using a WoD-style initiative, in that the lowest initiative declares his action first, working up, and then it's resolved from the fastest down.

As an amusing note, I'm finally getting to use some headcanon I came up with for my Lego mecha a decade or more ago.


Yes, this thing refuses to die. I'm still working on it. After watching a certain webseries about board game reviews, I got back into the mood to get on this thing. While its current state is prefectly acceptable and playable (and pretty fucking awesome), I think I can make it even better and more simple. I'm going to get my card/RPG game to work, damnit, even if it kills me.

Anyway, that's what I've been working on for the last few months. Life and work has been hectic. After my promotion, and the huge expansion my division has been under at work, I've had less time than I wanted to work on things. But I love my IT job, oddly, and I've never been more satisfied with my life.

Now I just need to get working on my hobby!