Project Update

As the smarties probably guessed, I’m busy with my insane convention schedule. The two games I’m preparing for Gencon just might kill me, unless I kill them first. Now’s a convenient moment to write about progress, though, considering that I just managed to finally send a complete draft of the Solar System to my stable of critics.

Solar System

It’s done, content-wise. It’ll be a 88 page saddle-stitched, black-and-white booklet with two-column layout and lots of text. Comparing it to the Clinton’s 2005 edition of the game:

  • My version has lots more text. This is just the rules system, which takes ten pages or so in The Shadow of Yesterday. I manage to babble about it for 88 letter-sized pages mainly by adding considerably more storyguiding advice and explaining some tricky parts of the rules in a clearer manner.
  • The rules-changes are minor to my mind, but that’s just because I think that they are all mandated by the original rules, just never explicitly explained. There are all sorts of minor differences, such as Advance debt, character creation variants, re-built multiparticipant BDtP, one-character BDtP and so on.
  • The fluff/crunch part is really slim, this is all rules and technique. I added rules for werewolves, martial arts, gadgetry and drugs just to demonstrate how the game is applied. No idea what sort of campaign would use all of those.
  • The system being universal, unlike TSoY, lots of space is dedicated to how a group might adapt it to a specific campaign. Probably half of that text mass could be cut if the system was just used for sword & sorcery adventure, like it used to be.

Hopefully this new edition will prove attractive as a generic rules system explained a bit more comprehensively than it used to be. My target price point for the booklet is 5 dollars, so I certainly hope that folks will check it out even if they already own TSoY. I’m going to CC-licence the whole deal in respect of Clinton’s ideals, though, so it’ll be in the internets before long for the stingy people to see as well.

Zombie Cinema

Yes, that’s the name of my zombie game in English, now. “Zombie Cinema” is a bit generic, but it’s also very, very exact on both the feel and content of the game, so I’m happy with it. If anybody has better suggestions, either let me know this week or keep your silence.

At this point it seems that the game will have boardgame-quality pieces and dice, CCG-type character creation cards, full color rules and a full color game board. The latter’s still a bit of a mystery, as it’ll either be postcard-sized and glued onto a backing, or literally made of 3-4 postcards that the players need to arrange on the table to play. Everything will be fitted into a VHS cassette case, though, just like the Finnish edition.

The most troublesome part of this project (for me; Jari, my artist, would probably differ) is the fact that we need to box all those components during Tuesday, 12th of August, in Chicago. It’ll be many hours of work to sort the whole print run.

Furthersome

I might have some time for blogging this coming week. If I do, I’ll be writing about some games I’ve played lately: D&D, Railroad Tycoon (the boardgame), ICO, Shadow of the Colossus and Hannibal. We’ll see which ones make the cut. Or, alternatively, I’ll just spend the week recuperating from writing; I still need to edit the Solar System booklet into shape and finish the production arrangements for the zombie game.

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7 Responses to “Project Update”

  1. Kaj Sotala Says:

    Solar System sounds great. The start of my TSoY Planescape campaign got delayed until around September or so – I trust it that SS will be available before that? In Ropecon, perchance, or are you saving the first release ’till Gencon?

    Also, 88 pages for only 5 dollars – whoa! How are you going to manage to make it that cheap?

  2. The Tweaker Says:

    I concur. I am sure yours will be a great version of the rules. Do you intend to publish them through lulu.com?

  3. Eero Tuovinen Says:

    We’ll be printing the Solar System booklets somewhere in the USA, it seems. Some sort of offset printer, probably. I’m not sure about the pricing yet, but $5 is doable by not having a separate color cover and doing a pretty large print run; it’s probably too much, but I’m planning on a 1000 copy run. Part of that is the fact that I’m pretty happy to distribute some of those as marketing material later down the road, while part is that I’m planning to bundle the rules with the TSoY book we’ll be doing later – so I need enough copies of the booklet for that as well.

    The booklet will certainly be done before Ropecon, so I’ve been thinking of doing a limited print run for that as well. I’m not sure that it’d be worth the effort, though, as Finns in general haven’t been that interested in TSoY. (Or they prefer the free web versions, which amounts to same thing as far as publishing is concerned.) The few interested people can probably wait a week for us to bring some of the US printing back with us from Gencon.

  4. The Tweaker Says:

    Thanks for the reply, Eero.

    I am from Spain and I will get a printed copy of the new Tsoy as soon as it is available. Please give us a shout! 🙂

  5. Christoph Says:

    Good luck for the sprint Eero!
    Zombie Cinema sounds weird to someone who’s been calling it “Zombeja! Ovella!” or at least an appropriate translation. However, it is a very good title once I think past my habits. “Zombies in town” would have been my suggestion, but it’s very cheesy and doesn’t capture the fact that the game feels a lot like making a film.

  6. Eero Tuovinen Says:

    In case any of you folks want to participate in my Solar System vignette writing challenge, by the way, the deadline is soon approaching. I could use a couple more vignettes, yet.

  7. The Tweaker Says:

    I’d really love to, Eero. Unfortunately, I have no actual play experience with the system, even though that’s something I intend to change with your version.


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