|Not much of a choice when one of them just isn't available, is it?|
Let's have a quick FAQ.
Is the game going to continue being free?
Yes. Well, mostly. I spent a lot of time debating how exactly to go about this. I like to say "Games are meant to be played." which, in this case, means that I think people deserve to play a good game first and I deserve recognition for a job well done after the fact. Also piracy exists and that's not a battle I can win by conventional means. The current System Reference Document is a good example of what I will give to everyone who wants to give BCG a try.
Why should I pay money for a free game?
Because you want it to look good and art is not cheap. Because you want the game to be better and if we overfund I can spend more hours on it. Because you want a limited edition hardcover that won't be accessible otherwise. Because you want to have one of your own ideas in the expansion. Because you want to show the industry they should be making more games with a focus on good rules. Because you just want to help me pretty please with a cherry on top?
What is this about an expansion?
BCG is cool and all but I want to use it as a base from which I can build other, more flavorful and genre-specific stuff on top. Battle Century Z, the innovatively named sequel, is going to feature around a hundred pages of supplementary material, of which the most prominent are a series of 'hacks' or alternative rules to, for example, set your BCG games on fantasy worlds with magic-powered robots. Of course, it will also feature an expanded armory of powers, weapons and other goodies to spice up your non-hack games.
What kind of rewards will you be offering?
There won't be any T-shirts, custom dice or other paraphernalia that doesn't really add anything to the game. Instead I'm going to offer, in addition to getting things at a discount of their retail value, limited edition hardcover versions of the manual and a few limited slots to let you commission abilities for the expansion. You think of a Miracle, an Upgrade, or any other cool thing you want in that doesn't exist yet, I handle the rules, and you get your name in the description to show everyone what a totally radical person you are.
How much is it going to cost?
Exact prices are subject to change but I want to keep them around the following tiers (all prices in US dollars): 10 for both digital pdfs, 30 for both softcover manuals, 40 for both hardcovers and 60 for two hardcovers and two softcovers. These costs don't include shipping, but I'll be delivering via the awesome folks at Drivethru who have experience in sending stuff all over the world at decent prices so there shouldn't be any surprises there. Because printing won't happen immediately, anyone who gets physical product pays half when the campaign ends and the other half when it is time to start printing things out (next year). I'll go more into detail on this later, but it is a pretty cool thing and it is all thanks to Drivethru.
What will be the format of the books?
BCG will hover around the 200 page range, BCZ will be around 100. Both books will have softcovers with black & white interiors to keep things cheap for me and accessible for you. Games are meant to be played, after all. This is not going to be a book you keep in your library to show off, but the one you want to actually play with. The limited edition hardcovers exclusive for backers will also offer to have a softcover companion copy so you don't have to damage your collector's piece. Overfunding means more art and me adding things to the books, so they could go for up to 20 or 30 pages more each.
How is the money going to be spent?
Carefully. I'll post a full breakdown later, but a quality color cover or splash page (the kind you see in works with a real budget) is going to be around 200-300 dollars. Smaller illustrations range from 50 to 200, and surprise surprise, anything involving giant robots requires a skillset that is more expensive than anything that doesn't! BCG has about 75% of the art it would need (40 individual pieces), but that's still only about half of what a 200 page book would need in a best case scenario to space out the walls of text better. BCZ obviously has none yet.
Do you have an expected delivery date?
If things go well: You'd be receiving a finalized BCG pdf around the start of next year and the physical versions would deliver one or two weeks after that. BCZ would be a year from then. These are my estimations based on the assumption that no plan survives contact with the enemy. I'd like to finish things before the new year but there's no way I won't run into unexpected inconveniences. If things don't go well BCG would deliver around the same time and BCZ... Well, let's just say it'll have to wait.
How we got Here
Roleplaying is special because any GM is part-time game designer, and the more effort they place in crafting an experience for their group, the more likely they are to end writing up their own custom rules and whatnot. I like games. Or at least, I like games in the broad sense, because I tend to find most games lacking. After enough goofing around homebrewing various systems to make a Super Robot Wars-esque experience, I realized I might as well write the game I always wanted to play myself. Clearly no one else was going to do it for me. That was Giant Guardian Generation.
|I admit I miss the overwhelmingly ridiculous name. Dearly.|
Quick aside for those not in the know: Super Robot Wars is a turn-based tactics RPG, often featuring pilots and mecha from various anime, manga and videogames. It combines all these wildly different series together by not even pretending to care about realism and carrying its pretty basic gameplay with a lot of style. End aside.
GGG was as much of a fangame as it could be without outright calling itself a fangame, because I really wasn't aiming any higher than 'fangame' at the time.The concept of maybe publishing my own thing was there from the start, to be honest, but as the kind of thing that would be cool if it happened. Like world peace, a solution to global warming, and getting to see Rebuild of Evangelion 4.0 in my lifetime.
|The movie is just going to be two hours of Anno laughing in a pit of money and figurines.|
That was around three years ago. Time may not fly but it sure rides the shinkansen. I've been doing this long enough in my spare time that I figure I have a shot at this as a second job. Still, my priority is to make a good game, and get more people to play it. As I stated earlier in the year, the part of the process that is not just my own work has been going well but not fantastic. I mentioned before that you can do things cheap, fast or well and you can only have two options of the three, and I ended up choosing well and cheap (in that order).
This entire year so far I've basically not even tried to get the word out, because I've invested all my effort on the design side of the game and going back and forth with artists, editors, and of course you, my intelligent readers of refined taste. More eyes on the game is obviously a good thing, so that's what I'll be doing next. And if I can trade 'cheap' for 'fast', that would also be really, really nice. Over the course of the year I've been debating exactly whether crowdfunding from Argentina is a remotely viable idea for something like BCG. There are many hurdles in the way, but ultimately I lose nothing by trying.
If we don't go next week then I might actually treat this like a normal blog and discuss some other stuff related to the game that has been going on. I eagerly anticipate good news rather than shaking my fist angrily at the sky, but I'm prepared for you, sky. Give me your worst.*
*Please don't give me your worst.