Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Alright, so the next big thing

The "Living Games" idea is a bit of an experiment and I wanted to let things sit on their own for a few weeks while reviewing how it had been received.

The general impressions I have gotten, in no particular order, from feedback, comments, talk online and direct email:

*People like the idea of having a selection of ready-to-play units.

*People like the setting pretty well.

*The mechanics are generally well received, though a few people found them too simple.

*The "living" aspect ironically doesn't seem to have been that big a deal, though people DO appreciate a general trickle of content.

*The historical versions found a few fans but don't seem to have generate a lot of fuss.
Possibly, skirmishing in those era's just isn't that popular.
Ironically, the fantasy rules DID find some interest with historical gamers, which confirms my theory that gamers always want to do the opposite of what the designer intended :-)

*Virtually everybody wants unit-building stuff and a robust option too.

*Having subtle differences between the mechanics for scifi and fantasy makes sense but doesn't seem to be all that popular. The impression I've gotten is that people would prefer a single, consistent rule set for both.

Taking all that in, here's my thoughts:

Take a bit to revamp the rules a little (morale in particular isn't the smoothest thing in the world right now), write a comprehensive unit builder to cover everything from storm giants to tanks (on the same table no less), then rerelease the rules in one cohesive package.

The various existing units will be redone under the new rules and will be "compatible" with custom-made units allowing both to exist on the tabletop just fine.

This will be a generic system allowing you to fit anything from orcs with swords to space marines on the same gaming table, using the familiar and simple game mechanics you already know.

To make it a worthwhile upgrade, it'll also include a more fully featured campaign option, with a "warband/gang" mode of play available, which will be pretty cool I think.
Some rules have this, but it's rare for a generic system.

The intent then is to have this combined package replace the existing systems though the downloads won't be taken down for people who already own them.
I am going to make a much cheaper option for people who already bought the rules to get the new version, so you'll basically just pay the "upgrade" cost if you want all the new content, instead of paying for the core rules all over, if that makes sense.

Hope you're excited about this!
It's been really interesting to try and do something that is directly based on, and responding to, player feedback about the direction of a product, rather than the typical manner of "Designer writes thing, player plays thing" that we usually do.


  1. Hi, sounds good to me. I bought everything, really liked some ideas but didn't really end up playing because the existing units and unit sizes don't always fit what I own.

    1. Yeah, that was a concern, particularly striking a balance between the world you want to build and the figures that people have on the shelf.

      Appreciate the feedback!

    2. Cool. One thing I'd love to see more of in games is the inclusion of bigger "super heavy" type models. Forget making them game breaking-winning, just an option. Not just for people who own 40k knights, but people who want to convert up toy tanks, larger scale models and the more absurdly large reaper bones monsters.

  2. Really very good conclusions. Completely agree with them

    1. Awesome :) I get really bad nerves about this stuff, so nice to hear it was the right move.

  3. Sounds good to me too! And although the 'living' aspect may not seem like such a success, I think that it has worked really well as a game design process. And as you say, a lot of people like the steady stream of new stuff - I know I do.

    1. Cheers!
      Yeah, I think it was a worthwhile avenue to pursue and I'll modify the approach a bit down the road.