A Year On

Time does fly when you’re having fun.

It’s a year ago since I said that I’d be doing some of my own products, and so far I’ve not published any of them. I’ve also been very quiet about Eternal Battle and the design books, so what’s happening?

Well, mostly I’ve been working on cool new games for Mantic. DreadBall, Deadzone, and Mars Attacks have all taken up a great deal of my time, and the whole Kickstarter thing has grown the original plans for those games out of all expectation. Instead of a single box for each, I’ve written supplements for everything that would have taken years to release under a traditional approach. Kickstarter really can be a game changer, and I mean that in at least two senses.

All this extra work has unsurprisingly pushed my own projects back – in a sense a victim of my own success. So it’s not a terrible thing, it’s just a change of plan.

I have spent some time developing these projects, particularly Eternal Battle, which is shaping up rather nicely in a quiet way. It’s had a major overhaul and another iteration of simplification as the next step in the process of making it clean enough to work as I have in mind. And that’s another thing that has delayed it somewhat: my own demands on it as a system. It has, over the many years I’ve been tinkering with it, had a number of perfectly workable core mechanics. I must have at least half a dozen different skirmish systems kicking about in my notebooks that all work for some of the periods I want to cover. However, I don’t want them to work smoothly for some of them, I want it to work smoothly for all of them. As the whole intent is to make something that covers everything with a single set of rules, things need reworking when they start to fail in specific environments. Piling on the exceptions and special rules for every individual setting is defeating the purpose.

One of the reasons I’m setting such a high standard for EB is my innate perfectionism. Another is that I intend Eternal Battle to be around for a long time and it would be silly to put something out that I wasn’t happy with and which would need reworking. I’d rather take a bit longer to get it right first time and then be able to expand the range of backgrounds rather than have to repeatedly go back to fix the core rules. I am tired of flitting from rule set to rule set and having to relearn ways of playing a game when I should be able to focus on the scenario, what I want my men to do, and just having fun.

As a sign of where I’m up to, my recent decision to have another go at painting was mainly spurred on by the nearness of Eternal Battle. I wanted to show you guys some pictures of games, and for that I wanted painted models. I knew it would take some time to get them ready, so I thought I’d better make a start. So it’s not here yet, but it’s getting closer 🙂

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8 Responses to A Year On

  1. thedrellum says:

    In some ways, your struggle with Eternal Battle sounds like Einstein’s quest for the Unified Field Theory.

    Which is not an attempt to dissuade you at all, just an observation (along with a fellow observation that I’m really looking forward to the finalized EB rules).

  2. tornquistd says:

    I am always shocked how easy it is to keep busy. It never seems like there is time to get bored or to make progress on long term projects. The trick I use to increase satisfaction with what I got done is to have some friends and family over once a year so I have lots of completed projects to show them.

  3. Brad Guerre says:

    Awesome! Looking forward to Eternal Battle, whenever you decide to release it. Looking forward to it because I enjoy GoB. In fact, I think I might be checking out Dreadball because I like GoB,…and Deadzone because I like GoB, and Mars Attacks…you get the picture…


  4. Gareth says:

    I gather from what you’ve written before that Eternal Battle focuses on human behaviour in combat situations throughout the ages, based on what you’ve read on the subject. Could you give us an idea of what this means exactly, in a future blog post if it is too long for a subject for a response?

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