About Me

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Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.

Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Delay and Paper Empires

Hello, folks! Don't worry, Paper Empires is still on schedule, because I've finally finished with finals...so now comes Christmas break! I'm gonna be making it my project for that time span. I won't promise a Christmas release, but I'm hoping I can get at least an initial version out by the first week of January. Then I'll be taking a break.

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.

Wait, What?
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.

My Plan
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.

Possible Expansions
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.
  • Medieval
  • Feudal
  • Modern
  • Classical


Enjoy the tidbits of information!

2 comments:

  1. Good decision, as long as you pay attention to make historically consistent rules for all eras.

    Also, this confinement will put greater load on research, since now you need details. Sid Meier's Colonization?

    You have described a board strategy game so far - can you please elaborate a bit on its rpg element?

    What if each nation had a fixed pool of rulers, and players had to act according to the personality of their current ruler? There could be a random 'succession' event (becoming more probable with each passing year of one's reign).

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  2. I realized that Colonization will be a wonderful source of research. I played the original about 7 or 8 years ago, and I've since played the remake.

    A lot of the RPG portion will come about through the Dynasty. While I don't intend to force a player to roleplay a specific personality, there will be personality traits and the like, and the Diplomacy portion of the game will focus a lot on inter-empire interaction.

    You can almost think of these rules (the Empire rules) as being the engine which keeps the game ticking forward, giving you something to put the frame of character interaction (the Diplomacy rules) on.

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