However, I've got a bit of info that you folk may find interesting, and I'll run through and explain it. Long story short, I've decided that I want to limit the game very narrowly in its scope. Paper Empires will be about players who control vast colonial empires in the 16th-19th centuries.
It's kinda funny how the inspiration for this came about. It was a totally accidental choice. I made a parchment texture, and I grabbed an old-looking font, and I put the one on the other to mock up my PDF. And I realized something funny. It looked exactly like those old broadsides that you associate with the American Revolution. And I thought, "That doesn't seem to quite fit the idea of an age-spanning epic empire-building game."
Well, then I wondered..."Why not?" Here's the idea I had. Why couldn't I just release a base game with a much narrower setting than "The rise and fall of nations in history"? It would make things easier, it would make things more thematic, and it would allow for a lot of nice period touches as well.
It Makes More Sense
There was the logic thing too. It seemed kinda odd that you would be accepting the fact that there's a single immortal individual behind the workings of a millenia-old realm. The idea of a dynasty was a lot easier to swallow, but not even dynasties tend to last that long. On the other hand, from the 1500's to the 1800's there wasn't a whole lot of dynasty change. Not until the end, anyway.
It also made for a more interesting game in some respects when you started with an existing empire and then branched out to settle outlying lands. This removed the problem of adjacency, too. Colonies are by nature distant from the motherland. Any action against another country's main provinces is much more of a major action.
Plus, it means that it's a snap to run a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed game of Paper Empires. By the way, that is a setting that I will be telling you how to replicate in the core rulebook. I'll hold myself to that.
Somewhat like how White Wolf has all of its different lines (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, etc.), I'm planning to eventually do the same thing. Eventually. The same core rules will be at the base of each game, but they'll change according to "eras", somewhat taking a cue from Civilization. However, I'll make sure that there are distinctions between each era. I'm also figuring that each era should be compatible, stretching into a massive, epic campaign. Perhaps. We'll see. That's way in the future, though.
If this does well, I promise you that the core Paper Empires (including the Colonial setting) will remain free. Always. I may charge for expansions (say, a handful of dollars for an expansion...far less expensive than most out there), but that core book will always be free.
Don't take this as any concrete promising here, but here's some of the versions of Paper Empires that might eventually come into being, if it does well enough.
Enjoy the tidbits of information!