Dilly Green Bean Games Almanac

Designer’s Blog: C00B1 #1

Posted in Design by Administrator on the January 12th, 2013


So the time has come to start talking about Chronicle 00: Book 1. It all started like anything does: with an idea. I had written the Xenomorph Invasion novel and of course it was a piece of fan-style crap. I hadn’t been to grad-school yet and I wasn’t even done with college.

Speed ahead.

I got a lucky break in the industry and met Mike Pondsmith. I started producing Fuzion games and before I knew it, Xenomorph Invasion was its own game. But I wanted to tie it in somewhere to Cyberpunk. In the timeline I just listed it as: Age of the Cyberpunk. And so it stayed…dead.

But was it?

Since meeting Mike Pondsmith, I have been very blessed with a good friend. I had gone from that art guy for Cyberpunk v3 to something more. It was a cool feeling. I didn’t know much about Mike (unlike all the fans) and I had no expectations. He was just the guy I worked for and talked to every now and then about teaching. While Mike was away at DigiPen, I was trying to hold the Fuzion ship afloat with yearly releases….and then came G-Core. Most people know this story (if you don’t there is something about it in an earlier blog post). But With Mike gone from the industry, I REALLY wanted to go back and do ALL the prequels to Xenomorph Invasion, including the Cyberpunk stuff. It seemed like a cool idea. I began to do extensive research on the genre. I spent a full year in college libraries and online digging. I immersed myself in cyberpunk anime and took lots of notes. I read about bio-punk, something Mike had touched base on with Cyberpunk v3 (which wasn’t received well). I wanted to know what made CPv3 so hated by the grogs. And as I researched I started to get the idea as to why (besides the fact it’s hard to accept change from someone as awesome as Cyberpunk). I decided to take different approaches, because Mike was right, bio-punk was next up in human technology. So as the text started to form and the setting cemented, I gave the project the title: Chronicle 00: Book 1 (inspired by Gundam 00′s title). And as the game swung into full production…….


“Hey Jay, I just wanted to let you know I’m back, man.”

I had a heart attack. Mike was a great friend and with him back it also meant the last year of research was about to get fragged. After the call I hung up and sat on my couch. With Mike back I didn’t want to even go back to Chronicle 00. That genre was his baby. I was crushed. I spent the following 24 hours thinking and I decided to call him and let him know what I was up to. After I stumbled over my words, Mike told me it was ok and said to avoid the following or I’d be in trouble: rock rebels, netrunners, (and some other bits I can’t remember off the top of my head). And that was the end of the conversation…so I thought. The months that followed were phone calls back and forth, bouncing ideas off of one another. It was crazy. I would have handed the entire project’s rights over to RTG in a second if Mike asked. I was that gitty over the brainstorms. When I got ready to lock down the final story, I felt as if Chronicle 00 was getting TOO much into the Cyberpunk 2020 range. So how did I deal with it? In the original Xenomorph Invasion there were a race of robots that had assisted in human technology against the alien threat. That had to go. Chronicle 00 went from being a prequel to a whole new universe, as I tore away dumb ideas and integrated better ones into the epic storyline. The H-Bots, now Hyperions, crash landed on Earth and their tech was gathered by different corporations. While it didn’t change anything from the bio/cyber-punk genre, it helped pave the way for even bigger stories. The rock rebel, would now be a rogue mannequin called N-Gage, who would fight for the weak in Europe while searching for her ship. Other characters would include a renegade Navy Admiral and his fleet now turned pirates. My chick heroes would be decked out cyber-gals with hardsuits, wrecking havoc on the Japanese mega-corporation. Each one a solo operative. I took the lethal and made it manageable. Why use live ammo for everything? It’s 2075. Now the cops use EMP and taser rounds as their primary. And as for upgrades? Bio-Punk and Cyber-Punk are all in style, but each compete for the #1 spot. Using bio-punk was great. It was going to help medically explain things in later books. I’ll go into more detail in later blog posts.

As for the art…..If you haven’t been over to House of Jay or the new Chronicle 00 Facebook page, you should. I have posted lots of samples. My objective with this game was to do full production art instead of crappy Poser statics. The book is filled with goodies. Every now and then I’d go online and look for specifics (like a boomer fighting or motorcycle) to help guide me a little. One thing I love to do with art is really catch the moment. The angles, the shades, the effects have to have a special look. I think people will be pleased with the direction.

So that’s it for now. Pardon any typos. I’m writing this on a Saturday and my family calls.

Leave a Reply