It is a new blog, with a new face, under a new username, for a new game project. The previous blog had a good run for its two years, back when I thought that I'd make maybe one or two system updates to GGG and call it a day - a simpler time, to be sure. The game was a love letter to Super Robot Wars, one that worked around the limitations of a tabletop RPG and took a few artistic licenses to deliver a similar experience, but very much tried to be like the videogame series otherwise.
In many ways it was a big experiment, and I had no idea how well it would be received. You have to understand, if GGG 1.81 is a pretty unique RPG now, then GGG 1.0 was just plain weird. And I like that. I like experimenting and finding new veins of game design to mine. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I get carried away doing different things for the sake of being different, or I just do weird things to see if I can make them work. I admit I could do a better job reining those impulses in, though I'm getting better at that.
Part of it comes from me having read a lot about game design, but not having enough experience to know better about what works in practice and what doesn't. I've learned a lot in these two years, and one of these things I've learned is that communication is key. I want to get better at communicating, so I'm getting used to making one post per week, and I want it to be interesting to read even when there isn't an update on the way.
But why a new blog and username? Well, they were making things more complicated. You see, I'm a huge fan of the Megaman franchise of games, and I've been adopting Megaman-themed usernames for at least a decade now. TK-31 is this guy from the Zero series, who also goes by the name Elpizo.
I was silently giggling to myself when I put a picture of him in the section about GMPCs.
The problem with keeping that name throughout the years is that the internet is a big place. Usernames derived from media lend themselves to misunderstandings when someone is trying to reach you only to find the source of your terribly unoriginal handle. And that is before someone else also has the brilliant idea to also be inspired by the same source, at that point you better just stay out of each other's way or things will get confusing fast. Lastly, TK could be interpreted to be an abbreviation of my name... Which it very much isn't.
It worked well enough as my username when I was just writing a goofy super robot rpg, but I'm trying to take things more seriously now. And it wasn't working too well as a serious username.
Neo Arcadia was also the name of a fictional city from the games that TK-31/Elpizo originated from, so that also needed to go. I am still a nerd for Robot Masters, Reploids, NetNavis and their ilk though. So I figured I might as well crack a joke at their naming scheme (for those who don't know, they tend to have names like Elec Man or Splash Woman, there's more variations but that's the gist of it) and at my own game design tendencies while at it. Also the picture is of Amuro Ray because I think he is an alright chap, not much more to it than that.
Bringing this introduction to a close, I welcome you to my new laboratory, where I experiment with fun. I'm dead serious about game design now, so let's get on with the Battle Century G stuff already and I'll show you what I mean.
From Alpha to Beta
I know myself, and that I know that I could spend an eternity tweaking a +1 here and a +2 there, and I'm taking precautions against my obsessive perfectionism. I'm not officially releasing Battle Century G until every single ability has been satisfactorily tested and approved, the text has been thoroughly edited to be easy to understand and as mistake-free as it could be, and I have enough art to illustrate the manual with stuff I legally own.
I built GGG in a cave with a box of scraps, but I want BCG to be a truly professional work. What I can do by myself, I'll do it to keep costs down. What I can't (or shouldn't) do myself, I'll be hiring people to do it for me. I am spending money because I am committing to giving you all one true version of the game, maybe with some errata if it comes down to that, but the days of fervently rewriting things are long past.
And yes, the game will continue to be free. I might put up a paypal button for donations, or offer the fancy-looking version as pay-what-you-want, or something along those lines. But at the very least I guarantee you that the rules, which I'm pretty sure is what most of you reading this are here for, will be available for free.
GGG, now with 200% less G's and 100% more original material.
Unfortunately I don't have a download link to the beta manual for you yet. These two weeks have made it impossible to put the finishing touches on it, so it'll have to be next time. I wanted to get this stuff out of the way now rather than later, so next time will entirely be about the cool stuff you'll get to read.