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Subject: Galactic Map Prototype! Help us create the Gunship Universe! rss

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Steve Wood
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OK, guys as promised here is a BIG development - as big as an entire Galaxy! This is a long thread but there is a lot to cover.

I've been hinting about this Campaign Mode for some time. Back when we were doing a LOT of playtesting, we would play the game so much that it became tedious. No one likes to play the same game over and over again, day after day. And we needed something to keep things interesting. The Campaign Mode was born.

What if every battle became not just a meaningless victory or loss, but actually MEANT something in a larger war? Would you try harder to not lose, knowing that the loss of your Carrier would lead to your enemy advancing a step closer to your homeworld? NATURALLY! Would it feel sweeter to wipe out your opponent's entire Fighter Squadron knowing that he would have to secure reinforcements from Command or face going into combat next time without Fighter Support? OH YES!

With the Advanced Campaign Rules, you are promoted from Carrier Commander to Admiral, and you'll open up a HUGE new Gunship experience!

Campaign Mode (let's call it Galaxy Mode) can be used between you and a few friends OR can be tacked up in your FLGS where several small groups can participate. We're going to keep the story of the war going with weekly updates to the map on our website. Simply go to Escapepodgames.com and check out the Galactic News section (it's not up yet!) to see what has happened in the war. Maybe a system that you were going to invade this weekend is now under full control of one of the Factions and has new rules that must be followed. Maybe the Torpedo Factory on the industrial world of Detonia has been wiped out. Take 3 Torpedo cards from your deck until a new supplier can be found!

Maybe the world of Emerald has been hit with a bioweapon and can no longer support life. What? You are FROM Emerald? Guess you get a special revenge attack of some kind from here on out!

Galaxy Mode will let you create a mini-Faction with statistics. You will choose a homeworld and get a small fleet of 3 Assault Carriers. You'll earn more ships and weapons as you go along. Maybe if you prove yourself worthy, Command will send you a Fighter Ace. If you lose a Carrier, HQ will either send you another one or send you some other Upgrade, etc. to even the score. The decisions that you make and the battles that you fight will lead to new, ever-changing situations. Yes, there will be a deck of cards designed just for this!

Deploy Marines and Tanks to defend key planets!

Search the Asteroid Fields for vital ores to build new Weapons!

Launch a daring Gunship raid on the enemy Shipyard!

Galaxy Mode will not slow down gameplay. You and your opponent will make some basic moves and then resolve combat by playing the game just as you always did. Just want a quick game of Gunship today? Ignore your campaign and just have fun! It will be waiting when you get back.

Galaxy Mode will be fully supported as we release new expansions. When the Heavy Battle Cruiser comes out, it will come with rules on how to add it to a campaign. When we release the Planetary Assault Rules and you finally get to send your Gunships dirtside, you'll simply add the new rules to the existing ones.

I feel that I have talked enough for now, so I am going to show you a couple of proto pictures. Keep in mind that this is in its infancy as far as a few things go, and the final artwork is very subject to change.

Here is a map of the Galaxy as a whole. It is not a huge galaxy - 36 systems to wage war in, probably around 200 worlds. Keep in mind that we can always make the galaxy bigger as we go along and this could just be one QUADRANT, etc. This first pic is very raw and is just here to show you how it will all go together. Final artwork will be much better and more graphical, etc



Note that there are 36 systems (most are yet to be named) and that there is nothing in the center space (galactic core) I am no astronomist, but I think the core should be left as a space that is not entered.

Now note the highlighted systems. This is the Europa System and it's surrounding systems. We are going to focus on that system in the next pic



This is an example of how a campaign might start. Notice that each side has its initial 3 Carriers surrounding their base. Each side also gets a Shipyard/Mobile Repair Base. Even if you win a battle, your Carrier will take damage and will need to spend some time under repairs before fighting again. In between games, you will have a certain number of actions which will include moving your forces, conducting repairs and summoning reinforcements, fortifying your worlds and other tasks. I am not sure which will be done or aided by the play of cards and which will be automatic but we will get to that soon enough.



To win a system, you will have to occupy a certain number of worlds. If you are fighting in a system and you already have control of one or more adjacent systems, there will be bonuses. If you are attacking a Desert World and your forces are FROM a desert world, there will be bonuses. Who you are, the cards you have, condition of your ships and galactic events will all have an effect on how it all turns out.

Now you may be thinking that this sounds complicated but it is not. I will make it a mission for this project to keep it as simple as possible. For the most part you will be playing as you always have and will be playing an extra card or two and making a couple of simple decisions between games. But the potential for strategy and depth is going to be amazing when we're done.

I think this is a good place to stop as far as a Sneak Peeks goes. But I would like to take this time to invite any and all of my Gunners to join me in the creation process. I always said that I wanted the gaming community to help build the Gunship Universe, so let's get started. Sign up here and I will create a discussion group on Google, etc. in the coming days. There will be need to be some kind of agreement that your contribution is voluntary and that EPG has the right to use it free of compensation (sorry but I have to start thinking of these things) but anyone who contributes (regularly) will get a free deck of Campaign Cards, etc. when this is ready to go this Fall/Winter. I already know a few of you that I definitely want on board so I hope that we will get a good turnout.

That's it for Galaxy Mode for now - hope to talk more about this soon with some of you!

Steve





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One Armed Bandit
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Escape Pod Games wrote:
We're going to keep the story of the war going with weekly updates to the map on our website.


Weekly is probably a bit much. Monthly is better, or even quarterly for BIG CHANGES.

Check out Legend of the 5 Rings and how they handle storyline progression.
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Steve Wood
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Noted

Jayson, I assume that you will be one of my Galaxy Mode Admirals?

C'mon - we have cool hats!
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Stuart Stockton
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
This looks like a great way to add an extra layer to the game & let people craft their own stories without adding a lot of extra complexity to the base game. I can see it as a great way to help keep the community connected as a whole as well.

I love world creation and brainstorming and would be happy to help out in any way possible.

Thanks for the preview.
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Brook Gentlestream
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Escape Pod Games wrote:
Maybe a system that you were going to invade this weekend is now under full control of one of the Factions and has new rules that must be followed. Maybe the Torpedo Factory on the industrial world of Detonia has been wiped out. Take 3 Torpedo cards from your deck until a new supplier can be found!

Maybe the world of Emerald has been hit with a bioweapon and can no longer support life. What? You are FROM Emerald? Guess you get a special revenge attack of some kind from here on out!


I'm not all that enthusiastic about an overall campaign mode amongst all of Gunship's players like a Massive Multiplayer Wargame, but I like the idea of me and my friends playing in our own private version of Gunship's war campaign much better.

What really excites me are these "campaign effects" you have going on in the quoted text above. They intrigue me far more than the strategic movement and replacement of ships between battles.

I think it would be really neat to have these "campaign effects" in a deck of cards and simply draw one or two at the beginning of each game. This way, even if we don't have a campaign, we can simulate being involved in a campaign rather simply and have the feel like we understand what this battle is about and why we are fighting. So, for example, in a quick game, we might draw a "Torpedo Factory destroyed" card. This would be a nice alternative to add "war flavor" to the game without having to keep track of logistics, a running log of campaign battles, and having to go online to see what other groups did.

If we do decide to keep track of a long campaign of gunship fights, keeping track of what event cards you had last game seems a lot easier than keeping track of what position you were both located in on a map.
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Bartosz Popow
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Sorry for a barely related comment, yet "Katyn" is not a good name; search for it if you have doubts.
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Sign me up. GM me with the details
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Sebastian Grawan
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Looks nice!!!

I'll be happy to try this out once my backed copy arrives.
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Phil Davies
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
This sounds fantastic! Sadly I've no FLGS local to me where I live so will play a toned down version with some of my friends. I will look forward to reading weekly/monthly/quarterly frontline AARs and galactic updates. Just as long as
Spoiler (click to reveal)
It doesn't turn out that it is really just Earth from the past and some of us are angels. Yes I'm still bitter about THAT ending

Then I'll staying tuned.

Also thanks for the chance to name an area of map. Just think in a few years time we'll be able to say to grandkids:

'A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... your grandad had a star named after your grandma'

'Aww that's sweet gramps. What happened to it?'

'Well son, it got virus bombed and went supernova...Now show me this Call of Duty 241 that you're playing, of course in my day CoD only came with single figures...'
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Steve Wood
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
BartP wrote:
Sorry for a barely related comment, yet "Katyn" is not a good name; search for it if you have doubts.


Hi, Bart

It was meant more as a tribute and a way to help keep the name alive (figured some who had never heard of the tragedy may Google the name). I love to study the WWII era and I had just read about the Katyn Massacre one day years ago and named a planet after it.

But I am obviously not from Poland and this may be a sacred thing to you. Sometimes we see these things as happening long ago but maybe the scars are still fresh. I apologize if I insensitively trivialized it - that was never my intent.

Bart, please choose an appropriate new name for this world and I will make it so!

Steve
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Sign me up. I've always wanted to help design a game, a bit.
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Steve Wood
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
lordrahvin wrote:
Escape Pod Games wrote:
Maybe a system that you were going to invade this weekend is now under full control of one of the Factions and has new rules that must be followed. Maybe the Torpedo Factory on the industrial world of Detonia has been wiped out. Take 3 Torpedo cards from your deck until a new supplier can be found!

Maybe the world of Emerald has been hit with a bioweapon and can no longer support life. What? You are FROM Emerald? Guess you get a special revenge attack of some kind from here on out!


I'm not all that enthusiastic about an overall campaign mode amongst all of Gunship's players like a Massive Multiplayer Wargame, but I like the idea of me and my friends playing in our own private version of Gunship's war campaign much better.

What really excites me are these "campaign effects" you have going on in the quoted text above. They intrigue me far more than the strategic movement and replacement of ships between battles.

I think it would be really neat to have these "campaign effects" in a deck of cards and simply draw one or two at the beginning of each game. This way, even if we don't have a campaign, we can simulate being involved in a campaign rather simply and have the feel like we understand what this battle is about and why we are fighting. So, for example, in a quick game, we might draw a "Torpedo Factory destroyed" card. This would be a nice alternative to add "war flavor" to the game without having to keep track of logistics, a running log of campaign battles, and having to go online to see what other groups did.

If we do decide to keep track of a long campaign of gunship fights, keeping track of what event cards you had last game seems a lot easier than keeping track of what position you were both located in on a map.


Hi, Brook

We'll give it the flexibility to play a few different ways. We understand that every gaming session is different as far as how many people get together on a particular night and how much time is available to play everything that you want. Flexibility is going to be one of the foundations of our games. Gunship already delivers this in a few ways:

Flexibility to create the Gunship you want to play

2 player or 4 player (with FFA options coming soon!)

Campaign or No Campaign (Kickoff or AllNighter)

Advanced Rules On or Off

And now several ways to play Galaxy Mode.

Discussions to begin soon!

Steve

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Gabriel Marquez
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
I'm loving this metagame concept. It could easily be further developed to encompass 4X elements, like resource management for upgrades and exploration. It could be just like BSG.
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
This is what gets me really excited about Gunship - the campaign/galaxy mode.

Things I would like to see:

-The pace of my group is not restrained or altered by the Metagame ("We can't play a campaign game today because we're waiting for a big offensive to resolve in the neighboring system").

-Some way to have an effect on other groups in nearby systems (Taking out the Weapons factory in our system affects all neighboring systems).

-Some feint narrative to add special rules/situations/scenarios at a high level

-A healthy amount of time in between major updates so as not to overburden you and so that we can play that is a leisurely pace without getting overwhelmed by having to read 20 news stories/rule changes after not playing Gunship for a couple months.

-A way to play the campaign mode without relying on the Galaxy Mode online features. If a couple years from now Steve decides this is too much work and he wants to give up game design and stop printing Gunship I don't want to be stuck without a campaign mode. I'd like to be able to have a campaign even if its just my little group.
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
All great ideas Charles!

I am of like mind on this.

In my own weekly group I have a few players who love the big, integrated campaigns where everything is affected by everything else and I have a few players who like it casual with the option to dip into the bigger scene from time to time.

Options for all play styles would be great.

A self-contained home-played campaign system would be a nice option too.
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
I have a problem. No, really, I do.

I've never played a game with a good campaign mode! So...I honestly don't know what to expect, beyond the thing that every campaign mode says (makes future games matter, consequences, etc.)

Then again, that being said, I loved what I read in the sneak peak, I like the idea of consequences. I can see really getting into this.
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Steve Wood
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Lol - I just read one of my many marketing posts regarding this game and one of them begins..."Gunship has no galactic map, no political intigue, no resources,..."

Perhaps I should have added a big "YET" at the end.

SO

How do we begin the discussion group?

Yahoo? Google? Facebook?

Who has an idea? I am not sure if we should build the galaxy first and "name the systems"
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Stuart Stockton
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
No good advice on the discussion group, as I've only had experience with Yahoo groups.

I think we can begin discussing the mechanics of the Galaxy/Campaign mode prior to having everything named. This would also hopefully make it flexible enough to use the different mechanics in various ways to let the campaign scenarios to be varied without needing a lot of extra cards/components.

Once the base mechanics are set, then the system names & other themed elements would come into play when building out scenarios and such.
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David Kartzinel
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
My vote would be for facebook or Google. Yahoo is dead, long live Google!
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Escape Pod Games wrote:
Lol - I just read one of my many marketing posts regarding this game and one of them begins..."Gunship has no galactic map, no political intigue, no resources,..."

Perhaps I should have added a big "YET" at the end.

SO

How do we begin the discussion group?

Yahoo? Google? Facebook?

Who has an idea? I am not sure if we should build the galaxy first and "name the systems"


I vote for Facebook for the discussion group.
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
Escape Pod Games wrote:
SO

How do we begin the discussion group?

Yahoo? Google? Facebook?

Who has an idea? I am not sure if we should build the galaxy first and "name the systems"


I vote for a Google group
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Re: Galactic Map Prototype!
sanchezja wrote:
Escape Pod Games wrote:
SO

How do we begin the discussion group?

Yahoo? Google? Facebook?

Who has an idea? I am not sure if we should build the galaxy first and "name the systems"


I vote for a Google group


I second Google. Please no facebook.
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Steve Wood
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OK, I have a google+ account but no idea how to build a discussion page.

Any volunteers? I want to get started ASAP. Lots of cool stuff to cover.

All I ask is that I be made an Admin for any page that we use. I don't care who creates it.

And there must be a disclosure that all discussion on the page is given freely to Escape Pod Games, LLC and that no compensation is expected, etc.

Sorry but I am under advisement to do this - can't be too careful these days.

Topic of our first discussion: Items to include in a Campaign. We will create a list of stuff that should be there. Some of it will turn into cards, some into punchboard tokens, etc. Once we know how many things we will have, we can begin to decide how they will come into play and the rules for them will evolve.

Example:

Planets
Systems
Shipyards
Space Mines
Infantry Tokens
Carrier Tokens
Asteroid Fields
Suns
etc
etc

Thanks!

Steve

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Sebastian Grawan
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Sign me up!

(for creating names, not the discussion forum)
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Steve Wood
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rashktah wrote:
Sign me up!

(for creating names, not the discussion forum)


lol we will be creating names IN the discussion forum. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of guys yelling out random names...

Vandar VII!

Utopia!

Arakis!

Hey! That's Copyrighted!
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