There's a phrase in writing that refers to the editing process and I believe it goes like this: "Kill your darlings". That is a quote from Stephan King and while I doubt that Mr King was thinking in rules terms I know a bit of what he means. You can look up the whole quote if you like but those three words have been a bit of mantra when building the rules.
Time and time again through discussion after discussion each part of the rules has been put through the wringer with the same question every time; "Does keeping (this) or removing it make the game better?".
It's a tricky question because better is subjective. Luckily I wear some different hats and so I have some competing lenses that I view the rules from.
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Fri, 07/04/2014 - 12:18pm
Within the next month we'll have the Beta rules ready for the next edition of Heavy Gear. We're pretty excited around the pod since this means a brand new start and a great opportunity for new players to join in playing Heavy Gear on the tabletop.
The hardest thing about talking to new players is communicating what the game is, how it plays, and what it feels like to experience it.
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Tue, 06/17/2014 - 5:56pm
There’s a lot of things that I thought I would be doing when I was a kid but writing and editing rules for a major game was not one of them. I thought I would do sculpting, casting maybe if I was lucky. Little did I know that learning to read tabletop game rules when I was twelve was one of the most relevant activities I could do for my future career.
This development blog has been quiet, too quiet. That is about to change. As of last Tuesday I have passed off the document for layout so that it will be ready in both PDF and printed forms for Gencon in August. I’ll be working on a series of videos to kick start players into the new rules allowing everyone to get caught up. The die hard survivors of the Alpha forum discussions can all give themselves a well deserved pat on the back, their comments and responses have helped to shape and define the rules to where they are today.
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 2:55pm
Part of the challenge with the redevelopment of Heavy Gear was to make army construction intuitive and fast. Developing sub-lists for the game adds an acceptable level of complexity to army construction because it fully serves the purpose of allowing a player to focus a vary wide list of models as an army.
When developing the lists I placed an absolute restriction of two pages per sub-list. The first page would include all the background and fluff that we want to use to flesh out each army. The sub-list cannot radically change how a faction plays but it can should the player to specialize in a play style with a faction that they already want without mandating a particular choice.
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Fri, 05/23/2014 - 1:50pm
While I methodically complete the summary from the alpha test of the new Heavy Gear rules and we move to a rules beta it's important to remember that the lists provided in the Alpha are never supposed to be the be all and end all of the lists. Equipment availability and the character of different military forces on Terra Nova goes beyond a list of equipment.
For that we will have the sub-lists (Force specific army lists). These force lists will be a chance for players to allow for a more defined character to their armies based on their preferred units and play styles.
These force lists will be in alpha form while the core rules are locked down in beta and will receive periodic updates according to a schedule. The release of these lists will be staggered by faction so that no one gets left behind. Here is the schedule:
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Fri, 05/16/2014 - 4:48pm
There’s lots of pictures and videos out there about casting using centrifugal spinning but I thought it would amuse my blog readers to take a break from announcements and updates for a peek under the hood of Dream Pod 9’s metal casting.
First off there is the rubber blank, I have cut the pre-punched center hole out, it will be replaced with a metal form to hold the space for pouring in the metal.
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Thu, 05/08/2014 - 10:36am
With the feedback from the bulk of the Alpha testing being put together for the Beta Rules release now is the time to survey our players and put together the schedule for Alpha development of the faction sub-lists.
Please visit the forums and vote for the sub-lists that you want to see under discussion first!
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Thu, 05/01/2014 - 11:51am
The recent announcement of the Dragonfly as an April Fools joke was an early tease and a good test for the Heavy Gear rules currently in Alpha development.
The Alpha rules have been a project that I have been involved with for over 2 years now and one of the hopes was always to show through the rules that a game of Heavy Gear is a part of a larger conflict with long range artillery and air support.
When building the rules we always assumed the aircraft models would be the same fleet scale counters that have always worked so ably for Heavy Gear Blitz. However, there was always the dream that we would do a larger aircraft model just to give the sense of scale the world has. For a fighter jet, or a bombe, this wouldn’t make a lot of sense since the model is effectively off-board and never sticks around doing only strafing runs. But for a model such as the Dragonfly and other hoppers the possibility has always been there that a 12mm scale model could be a part of the battlefield.
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:43am
This is the last Alpha rules and army lists update before we start putting together the initial Beta rules. This means that the rules are still slightly in flux and the unit stats are getting more and more locked down. There are still many things to playtest, many combinations of armies, many combinations of support and unit, and many things to look forward to.
There are some pretty big changes this time around, most notably are:
Submitted by Dave McLeod on Fri, 04/11/2014 - 8:06pm