Dilly Green Bean Games Almanac


Cyberpunk vs. Cyberpunk

Posted in Design by Administrator on the July 13th, 2013

The Cyberpunk vs. The Cyberpunk

Some people have asked about Chronicle 00: Book 1 and how close is it to actual ‘cyberpunk’. I like to call R. Talsorian’s Cyberpunk and all the other ‘cyberpunk’ games: Cyberpunk Fantastic. These are games that take you past the realm of realistic and into a world that would exist if there were no restraints on technology. While Mike Pondsmith’s Cyberpunk is visionary and practically dead on when it comes to loads of current innovations, he also takes it to the next level, offering technology that ‘should’ be that isn’t.

So what do I mean by no technological restraints?

Look at all the laws in just the United States alone that hamper innovation. Politicians like to say they are supporting it, but they aren’t. President Obama preaches this every time he steps in front of a teleprompter, but he is the same man who instructed NASA to start reaching out to Muslim nations and scrapped the shuttle replacement program and future moon missions. Before that was President Bush, who did nothing to get us back on the moon and before that President Clinton….you get the idea. And when you throw in tons of regulations for business and so on, Mike Pondsmith’s brilliant vision gets delayed. So when you look at CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077, you see Cyberpunk ‘Fantastic’ (possibly). The timeline has been moved from 203X to about 40 years past the last version of Cyberpunk. So in theory, if the technology doesn’t exist by 2077, the game will become Cyberpunk ‘Fantastic’ and if it exists Cyberpunk 2077 will be ‘cyberpunk’.  

So where does Chronicle 00: Book 1 fit into the ‘cyberpunk’ genre?

Instead of going Cyberpunk ‘Fantastic’, I took the game into the ‘realistic’ Cyberpunk. I took into account the ridiculous progress of technology today, government failure, and corporate bailouts. I then applied that to the setting. So in C00B1′s history, governments demonized corporations, taxed their citizens and eventually the world governments went bankrupt from too much social spending and not enough GDP. And right as the world is on the brink of riots and chaos, those same demonized corporations swoop in and safe the day. The game setting in itself is a lesson about overreach of government. As for the corporations in the game, they aren’t really the enemy, although each have their own bad apples just like with any company.  And players represent the people ‘living’ in their world. They all have lives, friends, jobs and personal demons. It’s one of the reasons why C00B1 has been called ‘immersive’. Although, C00B1 has its own share of ‘fantastic’ with things like the Hyperions and MASKs.

So what do I want you to get from this?

Cyberpunk Fantastic: Flying cars, particle weapons, wars in the streets

Cyberpunk: Cyber-implants, hackers, media manipulation, covert intrigue

Designer’s Blog: C00B1 #1

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

C00B1

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…….

RING RING

“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.

Xandoria Galaxies

Posted in Design by Administrator on the June 10th, 2011

So it’s Summer time and I have begun working heavily on Xandoria Galaxies. This is my follow-up to the Phantasy Star Tribute RPG: Xandoria Saga Collection, which was Fuzion based.

So what’s new and different?

I am using a variant mechanic from G-Core and Basic V. The game will be compatible with the actual video games for the most part. If you have any of the guide books you will be able to pull monsters from it with very little tweeking. As someone who isn’t a math beast, converting a video game to a playable tabletop mechanic isn’t easy. Luckily, Basic V had all the things I needed. People just need to keep in mind that this ISN’T Phantasy Star, but you can play it using the game.

The setting has progressed. In Xandoria, players were on a world that was becoming overrun with evil. It was hard to tell who was on who’s side. There were tons of cool mysteries. The big one was who the heck was SHIVA? In Xandoria players could travel to an island where robots were running amok and their leader was a six-armed robot calling itself SHIVA. But the robot wasn’t the real issue, it was the SHIVA Agenda that was. The Oracle and just about anything amazing was connected to this sinister plot. But we didn’t tell anyone what the truth was. It was what made Xandoria so cool. There was always mystery and the Game Master could run speculation games, but never have the truth.

In Xandoria Galaxies, players are on a ship that fled Xandoria when the Darkness escaped. With no home-world, players are stuck traveling through space looking for a home. Of course there is the mysterious Santha Prime colony ship that is causing problems for everyone. A family’s sin is coming back to haunt players. Fans of Xandoria are going to get all excited about the connections. We also reveal the truth behind SHIVA and it’s BIG. And with all that the Darkness is reaching out to touch someone.

Game play is VERY videogame-like. Great for maps and minis! When we were play-testing my kids used Legos and Mega Bloks. Monsters were pretty much any toy my eight year old could find and she even statted them out correctly. The game is very friendly towards kids (boys and girls). As someone who has played lots of Warhammer 40K and other mini based games, I think the Japanese mini collector is going to want this game to make use of figs.

We did get rid of the Dogpas (although you can find CharGen rules for them in a free PDF on the Xandoria Galaxies page). There is severe tension between humans and androids (dolls). We have added the Hy-Men, a race of clones that are very magical in every sense. They have replaced the brutish Dogpas. That’s not to say that there aren’t any in the game. They just don’t have major influence and control.

I also made sure to give players the ability to travel around the ship and hang out. I loved this about Phantasy Star Universe. So I created a bunch of non-combat NPCs for players to interact with. Each one has a special personality.

Of course the big thing is the comic that I have integrated into the core book. It is there to help players and Game Masters get a feel for the setting and people. Koshi, the elf-looking girl from Xandoria has been replaced with Ko*C*Nee, an obnoxious doll. But the story itself is about Nene, a Hy-Men hunter, who is sent on a mission by the president of Olympus (the ship everyone lives on).

Hopefully this will peak some interest.

DEAD G-Core

Posted in Design by Administrator on the May 19th, 2011

The dead. Growing up I always had a fear of zombies. Every night it was nightmare after nightmare about the zombie apocalypse. Of course now I love zombie films and stories. But I am picky. I hate campy. Films like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland had camp, but it also had the reality of the horror.

And of course there is Marvel Zombies. When I first saw these comics I was all excited. But last year after the investment in the trade paperbacks I wish I hadn’t. Just silly zombie stories. That all they were. Fantastic horror art with a story a kid could have improved upon. I threw the books on the shelf and refused to dig into them EVER again.

Never say never…

DEAD G-Core. I was bored this week, having just finished the last of 20 new Guardians for an upcoming G-Core product, I needed something fun and fast. My night reading had been giving me strange ideas. Marvel Comic’s Chaos War was this week’s bedtime reading. Again, another BAD Marvel pick. But one of the side stories, Chaos Wars: Avengers was really cool. Dead Avengers back from the dead doing classic stuff. No camp, just a good read. So I sat down the next night after a brain explosion on the way home from work and typed up 5 lines of rules. Those rules were for playing dead heroes. Now these weren’t totally original. WAY back in my high school days my friends and I pounded out some concepts for zombie gaming, but never did anything with them. So the following day I went to work typing up all the rules. When I finished I realized that I had done character creation rules for Marvel Zombies, totally by accident. It was cool, but not complete. I pulled those darn Marvel Zombies books off the shelf and looked to see what else I could use for zombie rules. I tweeked some material and threw it together.

The Guardian Universe III Connection

In the upcoming Omega and Guardians, players and game masters will meet a Guardian named Brood. He is a parasitic hero who can teleport and also break his body down into a cloud. Of course when he teleports he leaves a cloud behind….made up of microscopic parasites…him. Over the years lots of people have breathed in the parasites and they have remained dormant. My idea for DEAD G-Core came from a ‘what if’ scenario. What if Brood was killed and his parasites started consuming everyone they had infected? Zombies! It would create zombies! So you will see a quick plug for GUIII in the DEAD G-Core PDF too.  

In other news….the Centers for Disease Control have released a pamphlet on ‘How to Survive a Zombie Outbreak’. Personally I would suggest just watching The Walking Dead.

Cosmic! I want your Soul Gem, heck I want the whole damn Infinity Gauntlet!

Posted in Design by Administrator on the March 23rd, 2011

The very first comic book I had as a kid was a Marvel collection that featured Silver Surfer vs. Spider-Man and the Death of Adam Warlock story. Of course as a little kid I didn’t know Thanos was a villain. You figure, here is Thanos helping save the universe from the Magus. So of course I think he’s a hero. So what if in one frame he is standing on a mountain of dead aliens. So before I even got exposed to Captain Marvel, I was a devote Thanos fan.

Speed ahead to the Rebirth of Thanos (featured in Silver Surfer vol.2). Now I find out Thanos is a bad-guy of the worst kind. I quickly go out and buy EVERYTHING Thanos I can find. As a teenager it’s hard to buy old comics, luckily my parents owned an antique shop so I ended up with older titles easily. I started with the Adam Warlock comics, starting with Strange Tales and working my way up. Then one day while I was at a flea market in Freedom, NH I found a box of Captain Marvel comics….with Thanos on the cover! Needless to say I had to mow a lot of lawns that Summer to pay back my Grammy Pat, who bought them all for me. After that I had my parents keep hunting for more Thanos related titles, while I immersed myself in the Silver Surfer/Thanos material. The Infinity Quest brought Thanos up against the likes of the Elders of the Universe. Classic scenes included the Grandmaster’s VR battle with Thanos and The Champion destroying a whole planet trying to beat Thanos and getting towed to a world where Thanos ‘drops him’ from orbit. The more Thanos I got the heavier it got. Then Adam Warlock returned. Here is a hero who just has dumb luck. No matter how hard he tries, he knows that if he isn’t careful, the Magus will return. And of course his dark side does, but not before we get the Infinity Gauntlet min-series. Nebula getting burned alive and kept alive by Thanos, brutal stuff. And of course Adam Warlock gets the Infinity Gauntlet. But we aren’t done yet, because in the Infinity War the Magus comes back and raises hell. I always liked the old Magus. The purple Afro and classic Warlock costume. Good stuff. And then to make it worse, the Infinity Crusade with Her, Adam’s female essence.

What I liked about those stories were the epic tales, the dire consequences and the loss, no matter what any hero did. Thanos always seemed to be at the center and Adam Warlock was forever damned to face off with him.

So how do I translate that into game? Well when I did Black Galaxy War for GU2, I introduced Prime, my Adam Warlock character. I toyed with him for a bit but didn’t like the direction. As I reinvisioned him for G-Core, I took him closer to Warlock in many ways, yet made him even more persecuted and emotional. With Prime, he was designed to fight Omega, but never got the chance. He wakes up and ends up accidentally killing Galactic Legionnaires instead. This makes him a wanted man. But Prime isn’t evil. He feels guilt over what he did and even surrenders. Of course we can’t have Prime going to jail, so I give him an escape and a chance to redeem himself. His conflict with Mondo and his confrontation with Fatalle prove that Prime is not a killer. Of course he surrounds himself with the worst kind of people. Marvel referred to this as the Adam Warlock Jesus Christ comparison. Adam Warlock had Pip and Gamora. Pip was a thief and Gamora the deadliest woman in the galaxy. Later he would pick up the mindless Drax the Destroyer and even Thanos himself. I wanted the same feel, but not as blatantly obvious. We have Imp, the Pip character. Not into alcohol, but loves gold. Fatalle is the Gamora, but she sticks with Prime for different reasons. Instead of a vengeful Drax character, I took a DEAD Demi-God whom I never statted but have referred to in different GU products and made him real, hence Mondo, Son of Thor. But instead of being brought back to life by Chronos, Mondo gets his life from the Death Godstone that Prime wears. So in a sense I have created my own Infinity Watch in some ways. Of course the Infinity Watch is based on Monster Island with Mole Man while Over Watch is mobile across the universe. Their true purpose is unknown, although Prime works to do good for the universe, he is wanted by both good and evil. Eventually I will bring out some villains that will cause Prime a lot of grief. But for now I’m keeping it simple.

Chicago Wrap Up and How to Make a ‘Wow’ Origin for a character!

Posted in Design by Administrator on the March 18th, 2011

So the art and layout are done for Chicago: City of Fear.  Now to do the cover art.

I’m at a junction with G-Core. I have a sci-fi piece I want to do for G-Core GRIT, but I know there is the demand for superhero material. Especially if I am going to keep G-Core afloat. It died off a little when I ended up in the hospital. The flu didn’t help much either. But at least I am getting back into it.

I think next I will release the Cosmic Powers freebie and start working on the Guardian’s PDF. After that I can take it in two directions. I can release STRIKERs and OMEGA. From there I might do an Evolutionary PDF to go along with the last bits of the Guardian Universe III setting. Hopefully the the 3rd party crowd will release some more material so I can take a breather and work on other non-G-Core material. Right now I am using my weekends to get Xandoria Galaxies finished.

So how about some design notes?

While working on Chicago, I read through Danny Ketch Classics (Ghost Rider v. 2). Some great stories. I talked about them a little in previous blog posts. But I also read Moon Knight: God and Country. While I never cared for Moon Knight, I liked the basic concept. But after reading G&C I really took to not liking MK at all. They took the American Werewolf in London premise and applied it to MK. But instead of a friend, it’s Bushmaster, who MK killed in some previous story. It was weird all around. But the last story in the TPB was cool. Werewolf Fightclub. It was nice to get some classic Marvel story after that mess from the beginning. It made me want to play the G-Core scenario Monsters’ Twilight. I chose MK because I wanted a non-powered title to help break open locked sections of my brain. Sadly MK didn’t do the trick. Next up I started reading The Very Best of Spider-Man. It includes classics like the origin of Spidey and some Todd McFarlane material, which rocked. I remember reading Todd’s Marvel stuff as a teen. The art was great. Of course I wish it had inspired me on inside art more. But it worked for what I wanted it for. But what I really got from the Spidey TPB was the intensity of story. Peter with a hurt leg, pinned beneath a metal support beam, water rushing in, the canister with material that will save Aunt May’s life feet in front of him, teasing, taunting. And in his darkest moment, Peter lifts the beam and limps to the canister. And then the ceiling gives way, water rushes in and he is swept away. Right when Peter thinks he has escaped, Doc Ock’s goons show up. Peter has to fight his way out, injured, tired. He lets the thugs pummel him until his energy comes back. The kid lashes out and doesn’t even realize that he took them all out. But Peter gets the canister to Dr. Conners who makes a cure for Aunt May. Peter delivers it as Spideyto the hospital and Aunt May lives! The whole time you see the human side of Peter. His drive to save his Aunt because he didn’t save his Uncle. It’s there. It’s beautiful. It reminds me that in my origin stories for heroes and villains alike, that I MUST have realism. I MUST have emotion! They can’t be cookie cutter. I want you to just say ‘wow’ when you finish reading. But I’m not perfect. I have written some pretty bland backgrounds. But with Chicago, I worked to ‘wow’ the reader. Betrayal is an important step in the birth of a hero. Sometimes it’s the driving force or sometimes it’s unknown, leaving the player to never know WHY it happened, but only to know that crud just keeps happening. It’s not right, but that’s life. So as you design, you really need to hit the deep spot. Saying “He was a weakling as a kid, but his powers in adulthood made him great” is NOT deep. Saying “Bob was constantly tormented by the bigger kids in school. In second grade Flash used to pin Bob down and slap his face until it was as a red as a cherry. This bullying continued into high school, with daily beatings. But once Bob got his powers, he didn’t let anyone push him around anymore. And when Bob found himself pinned to the ground by anyone, he would lash out violently, reliving his childhood. On one such occasion, Bob broke the ribs of a would-be robber after the crook accidently fell on Bob, pinning him beneath. The police had to pull the hero off of the robber as Bob delivered blow after blow into the sides of his target. Bob’s eyes were bloodshot and teared up. No one had seen him like that before. No one except Flash.” While short, this example shows you that Bob has issues and WHY he has issues. It’s not as simple as it may seem.

Give it a try. Write a ‘Wow’ origin for a hero and post them here. I’ll workshop them with you.

Just a small disclosure: Several of my origin pieces have been used at DigiPen (school for game design) to show future game designers how to write a proper origin. I also teach writing for a local university. So this workshop is well worth your time and it’s free.

Chicago Part 2: How Dark?

Posted in Design by Administrator on the March 16th, 2011

So as I begin layout for Chicago: City of Fear I wanted to come on here and throw some stuff out there.

Chicago is a city of no powers. So the heroes and villains tend to be darker. Think about it, no one is going to take a dude in tights serious. Hell, if someone in tights ran up to me and asked for all my money I’d kick them in the balls and shank them with a pen. I guess that’s why I never got into the whole ‘capes’ style supers. Dress stylish. Be a bad mother. Show some real discipline. So when players go to Chicago, they are going to NOT want to stand out. And when they fight crime they will need a plan. There is no walking up to a villain and asking them to drop their weapon if you are armed with water balloons or a catus. Those bastards will blow your brains out and spit down what’s left of your neck. So yes, it’s darker than Bean Town. But there are reasons for that. Imagine the new Batman movies in game format set in a superhero universe, mixed with Ghost Rider and the Shadow. A place where the line between hero and villain is skewed because of who’s on the take and who’s not. You get some real Punisher style gaming too. For those real Marvel geeks, flash back to What If? Punisher’s Family Wasn’t Killed In Central Park. Frank Castle ended up being the biggest cop killer in history. Why? Because the cops were on the take so he took them out. So as you enter Chicago you will see it, sometimes right in your face. But what lines are your players willing to cross? That goodie codpiece hero is likely to get their head bashed in for even trying to cross the crime organizations. Or maybe they get pounded and snap (Similar to Rad Lad when his lashed out and ended up in Juvie).

So why go darker? In every Guardian Universe product I have done there is always something ultra dark. This is that place. A city where no powers are allowed and you can’t even sneak into the city with powers because they will depower thanks to power dampeners. It really just makes those players think.

I do want to give a shout out to Hard Luck Ink for breaking into the industry using G-Core. I know I heard some gripes about art, but did you guys see MY first art debut in Guardian Universe Core Fuzion? Trust me, I like Hard Luck’s art MUCH better! Not to mention their setting background is really there. And if I actually had an art budget I’d hire Chris to do art for me.

I also want to shout to Gerry ‘The’ Saracco. He’s been working on some G-Core stuff too. The guy has great ideas and has really pushed me to make G-Core what it is.

And there is the Pineappleleader from the G-Core fan club. He’s been doing GREAT support work, creating all sorts of erratas. At this rate he’s going to end up running the fan club.

Last I want to wrap up with a reminder. All G-Core proceeds from PDF sales from March 13-31 will go to Global Giving to help with the relief effort in Japan. Money goes towards supplies that are delivered to the country. I did a check to make sure they were legit. I’m not one to give to the National Red Cross. I will only do that on the local level so I know where the money goes.

G-Core Chicago

Posted in Design by Administrator on the March 10th, 2011

I never realized how big Chicago was until I actually started working on the Chicago PDF for G-Core.

The first thing I did was try and find a royalty free map. That didn’t go too well. Eventually I had to settle on a normal map, which I won’t be able to put in the PDF, but I can use it as a reference. My real hang-up came when I was looking for the location of Graceland Cemetery. It was located OFF the map I found…go figure.

Of course I prefer not to use real names of locations for may different reasons. SO Graceland was turned into The Hollows Cemetery.

But what is going into the Chicago PDF when it comes to gaming material? I am introducing some new dark heroes. Characters like Justice Terror and Revenger should make Ghost Rider fans happy. I spent the last few weeks reading the Danny Ketch TPBs from Marvel. I needed a setting that didn’t go beyond stupid. (Although the Ghost Rider series ended really lame as you can read in the Danny Ketch: Addict TPB. The Ghost Rider series deserved to die after reading issues 93 and 94, which represented the end of the 1990′s Ghost Rider run). Chicago is supposed to be supers free. But no one said I couldn’t do supernatural. And that I did. Of course you need some fun villains, so I threw in Chuckles (famous in my GU2 Chicago Freebie) with a new background and The Surgeon (who had been haunting ALL of my Guardian Universe products). There are some other characters too. Enter Redeemer and Father Joseph, older heroes from the ORIGINAL GU days in 1990 who also got a make-over! No more of the killing child-molester priests. I made it a little more kid friendly.

That’s all for now. This was more of a little spurt of info I wanted to blab about.

Research and Design (The Ancient 8 Part 2)

Posted in Design by Administrator on the February 10th, 2011

So today I finished the text for the Ancient 8.

Wow.

So what did I find as I worked through the material?

For one you can’t have an Avatar. So instead we have the Omni-Prophet, a cosmic being that lives in one human per 100 years. But I still wanted something really original. So for you Bean Town fans, I called on the Balston Group to bring us something new. Instead of a simple child, we have a genetically engineered super being who has become the Omni-Prophet (or OP). I even gave it a little Firestarter action to really push the little bugger. Of course I have Chinese influence added. The OP calls himself ‘Wu’ after Wu Xing, the 5 elements.

What we are going to see more of is the Balston Group and their influence behind the scenes. We need it in a game setting where corporations have really worked behind the scenes to make things happen. I have used Freelance International and Kryton Enterprises for the last 20+ years. Time to introduce something new.

Researching and Design (The Ancient 8) Part 1

Posted in Design by Administrator on the February 4th, 2011

After I had my gall bladder out I ended up spending a lot of time on the couch. That is where I got my exposure to Jersey Shore, Teen Moms 2 and of course Avatar the Last Airbender. Now while I enjoy watching Jersey Shore, Avatar really sucked my wife and I in. I even started drinking Jasmine Dragon Tea (and I HATE TEA!). What a great show. My kids even asked about playing G-Core Avatar. Also during this time I was falling behind in my G-Core stuff. When I had mentioned the Future 5, Blix asked about the Ancient 8. I laughed at first. There were so many G-Core titles lined up it was never going to happen. But then I decided that because of schedule demands and my desire for Chicago to be really well thought out, I would instead release The Ancient 8 instead.

Inspired by Avatar, I went through and began thinking about ‘how would those heroes translate into the modern Guardian Universe?’.  

First I needed to look at the concept. We obviously can’t have an Avatar or those specific characters. But we can have characters with similar powers. I didn’t want photocopy characters either with the names filed off. I pride myself off of originality. The first thing I did was give them all Immortality: Reincarnation. So the characters in the Ancient 8 will actually be reincarnated heroes.

So we are starting with qi (Chinese for Earth) or KiKi. I wanted a name close to the Chinese equivalent. So if you put qi and qi together, it sounds like KiKi. In Avatar she is Toph, the blind tom-boy who can bend Earth and see through ground sonar. So we’ll give KiKi Earth Control and Super Touch. She will also be blind. This will give us all the same powers and abilities. But the history will have to be drastically different. I mentioned past lives, only giving a possible glimpse that KiKi could be played as Toph. And I STRESS could. Her background in the modern world is one of pain and loss. This drives her to become nomadic. The development also helps explain the attitude she can give off. A true character has a reason for everything. A poorly written background can leave the reader or gamer bored. So KiKi might have a cute name, but she feels truly alone. Of course to learn more you’ll need to buy The Ancient 8, to see where I went with it.

More to come.

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