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DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6
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Author:  walrusjester [ Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

WORKING LANGUAGE

We're swearing at the game.

I'm swearing. Dieter's swearing. Based on some of the feedback, I'm pretty sure playtesters were swearing. Playtesters usually are.

At about this point in any project, designer fatigue sets in. You look at your baby, and all you see is warts and blemishes. So it's not a surprise that we're swearing. After living with DragonMech Battles for several months, we're taking the good stuff for granted, and just seeing the things that need revision.

Luckily for us, we're about to head into a fun part of the project. The core rules are close to done – like concrete that's starting to set – so it's time to build the world around the game. And world design is something Dieter and I both love to do.

We have one advantage already: DragonMech has a rich setting that we've both helped develop for a long time now. Our plan is to advance that setting 10-20 years into the future. People who know DragonMech will find interesting new material, and people who don't will discover a nice new war-torn world to fight in. So we need to detail that world. Our plan right now is to write a host of mini-essays that can be used as sidebars, interspersed with game rules where appropriate.

The list of topics so far covers everything from "The Lunar Rain Begins" to "Weird Races of Highpoint" and "The Legion's Giant Falls." Some of this material will add flavor, while some will generate new mechanical content. Content like the Death Spider, an arcane mech from the ruined forests that spits acid and disease at its foes. Or the massive Hellhammer, a mech that threatens to give the orcish warbands the advantage they need. And all of it should be fun to write. Which will hopefully clean up our language.
******
Speaking of playtesters, I'd like to thank them for their efforts. In particular, the following people helped make substantial improvements to the game: Ken Hart, David Miessler-Kubanek, Robyn Miessler-Kubanek, Chris Rhodes, Mateo Salazar, Deidre Shea, Kevin Shea, David Teagle, Ryan Wood. If combat is smoother now, and if character abilities make more sense, and if the rules are more friendly to new players, thank these folks.

Author:  Oaksoul Elite [ Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Designer Diary 6

The timeline is advancing?! Whoah! Stop the presses! I am so excited about this. The Legion's Giant Falls? I think you just pushed me from looking forward to DragonMech Battles to hardly able to wait. Is there any idea yet what's a reasonable time for it to possibly hit stores? (I know there can't be an official release date yet. But tentatively, how soon does it look like it'll happen?) Weird Races of Highpoint? Are there new ones being introduced? "Massive" Hellhammer? Did the orcs get their first city-mech? So many questions! I'm too excited! And am I right in thinking that beyond improved mech design and combat rules, there's going to be a few new character options interspersed in there? ("if character abilities make more sense")

Author:  mythfish [ Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Designer Diary 6

Oaksoul Elite wrote:
(I know there can't be an official release date yet. But tentatively, how soon does it look like it'll happen?)


As you say, there's no official release date yet, but I think we're looking at late this year or early next year. As for the rest...I'm not spilling the beans yet. :)

Author:  dulsi [ Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Designer Diary 6

10 years? I hope the Aboleths have something cool. Definitely going to have to design some mechs for them if they don't. (Since I'm stuck without the Eye Tyrants, the Aboleths are a reasonable substitute.)

Author:  Arek [ Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

Well, I have mixed feelings about the timeline being jumped forward so much. For one thing, the elf city mech is probably no more (although I'd have to check the number of weeks in a Dragonmech year to be sure), unless they made a big magic-item-burner and are currently working through their huge supply of magical items.

And, oh, I dunno. The adventurers on the Shardsfall Quest must be at a standstill.

(Heh, if I were a more consistent writer, I might be tempted to write that campaign. Maybe as a novel. Storyline that spans decades.)

There should be new power sources for technology--and I'm not just saying that because I did a thread on it.

But, hey, the DragonMech design crew has never disappointed me before with the rich world you created, so I don't think you're going to start now.

Author:  walrusjester [ Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

Arek wrote:
(although I'd have to check the number of weeks in a Dragonmech year to be sure)


The DragonMech year is 252 days, and the weeks are each 6 days long, which gives you 42 weeks. The things you learn as a line developer...

Quote:
But, hey, the DragonMech design crew has never disappointed me before with the rich world you created, so I don't think you're going to start now.


Thanks for the vote of confidence! We'll do our best to make a game that existing DragonMech fans will recognize, and that new players will enjoy.

Author:  mythfish [ Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

Arek wrote:
And, oh, I dunno. The adventurers on the Shardsfall Quest must be at a standstill.

They all got killed by the Spawn of Seroficitacit in the first encounter. 8)

Author:  Arek [ Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

252 days?

So do you count ages in their years or ours? I mean, that's just under 70% the length of our Earth year.

Author:  walrusjester [ Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

Arek wrote:
252 days?

So do you count ages in their years or ours? I mean, that's just under 70% the length of our Earth year.


It would make logical sense to count them in theirs (simulationism, for you GNS Theory fans). That's what I default to. You might find some references that use Earth years, especially in older books.

Author:  Arek [ Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

walrusjester wrote:
Arek wrote:
252 days?

So do you count ages in their years or ours? I mean, that's just under 70% the length of our Earth year.


It would make logical sense to count them in theirs (simulationism, for you GNS Theory fans). That's what I default to. You might find some references that use Earth years, especially in older books.


Heh, what I'm saying is that someone who's 30 in their years will be physically 20 (close to 21) in ours. That's a big difference. And I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it also means that a human pregnancy is about a year.

Author:  Raptor [ Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DragonMech Battles: Designer Diary #6

I don't suppose you still need any new mech Designs? :D

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