Lacking in any better ideas, we drew inspiration from an important event in mammalian history: the Chicxulub asteroid strike. The threat of mass-extinction does tend to get the blood flowing, you know.
We had a novel idea: a skirmish-sized miniatures game with the highest-quality, customizable miniatures that hobbyists and players-alike would be proud to call their own. Unfortunately, we collectively realized three important things:
A) We had access to a standardized production facility that could produce the quality that we envisioned.
B) Our personal histories in the gaming and hobby industries meant that we had contacts for sculptors, artists, and writers all looking for work. We could have a team together in days if wanted.
C) We had a working conceit for a fantasy skirmish game that was unique compared to popular games of the same genre–and, more importantly, was fun and engaging to play.
Suddenly, we were stuck with no excuses (oh no) and started actually making this happen (oh no!) and I had to come up with an interesting and viable setting (oh no!–but actually this time).
Of course, the usual happened: multiple revisions of a few different fantastical settings, the original game concept was scrapped with extreme prejudice, and a long streak of that wonderfully callous thing called LIFE doing its thing.
Eventually, once all of the skeletons were safely removed (read: explosives) from their respective closets, we came back together with a new conceit.
Let’s Make A Science-Fantasy Game Instead! It’ll Be Great!
“So what if, and hear me out, alchemical-nonsense; but also, spaceships.”
My eloquence never ceases to astound me.
As with many bad ideas, it started with a shower-thought. We updated some of our existing characters and game mechanics to reflect a 1930’s Alternate-Earth setting, reskinning magical elements to be “alchemical” in nature–meaning: it’s science, but crazier! A few more changes to account for semi-modern weaponry, categorizing power and ability sets based on a single periodic-element’s traditional alchemical connotations, and a dream involving a meteor giving someone visions of the future and STARFALL™ was officially born.
I made the mistake of arguing for a Roleplaying Game draft of the new rules first; but, luckily I saw the insanity of my ways and focused on the skirmish rules for STARFALL: Age of Mercenaries™ instead.
The RPG will still happen. Eventually.
Anyway. We focused on a few key points in designing the skirmish game:
A) Faction/alchemy designs that are open enough to allow for multiple play-styles while still retaining the original story-concepts.
B) Customized build-outs for characters designed by the player balanced against existing unique characters that make up the core of the team.
C) Fantastic, dynamic sculpts for our unique characters, and variable and customizable options for our generic characters.
D) Narrative-style missions with asymmetrical objectives.
We’re trucking-along nicely on the artistic side of things, I’d say; and, we’ll have playtest reports for the current rule-set soon!
We’re busy gearing up for Gencon, so there won’t be a new story today. If you’re coming to the convention, let us know! We might have some surprises with us to show off.
Next week, we’ll start delving into the design concepts behind a few of the alchemical-alloys driving the game as well as a first look at some of our upcoming miniatures for a few unique characters.