Thursday, 9 June 2016

So what does a "Living Game" mean?

Blast Pistol and its coming sister Last Era are intended to be "Living" games.
So what exactly does that mean?

Let me explain a little bit more.
It has three important consequences:

I've always tried to provide ongoing support for my games, including updates, corrections (often within a few hours of getting an email) and even new editions.

However, with a conventional, long ruleset there is a limit to the extent this can be done quickly, because formatting and complexity can make it harder to grapple with.

The goal for these two systems is to have an extremely quick turn-around for tweaks and changes, so that any corrections or clarifications will be in the rules as quick as possible.
This means as a player, you won't have to hunt for Q&A's or find old forum posts.
Just download the file again every now and again and you're up to date.

Both systems will see a series of expansions, quite a few in fact.

The goal of these is to be snack-size, at 1-2 dollars (so candy bar and a soda).
The exact contents will vary but a good template is 3-5 new units, vehicles or characters, 1-2 new battle conditions to play with, a new mission objective, a bit of background info and a new rule, option or other mechanical element.

Essentially each such pack will add a few new cool things to the game but be compact enough that they can be a spur-of-the-moment purchase.

The aim of making them small and frequent is to make the game constantly evolving. You can check in every month and see what is new, if you follow the game regularly you have something constant to look forward to.

To be frank, this is also a way to entice people who may have pirated the PDF. Down the road, if they like the game, odds are they'll consider springing for an expansion pack or two.

Won't that get sprawling?
It would, which is why there's a graduation process.
When an expansion hits a certain number of sales, it'll eventually graduate into the core-rules and be retired.

This allows the core rules set to be perpetually expanded and updated.
When this happens, any tweaks needed to the expansion can also be applied.

And lastly.. with each expansion, the core rules will also get a small addition, typically a new unit or similar.
This way, even if you want to just stick with the base game, you will still have new things added over time.

As we go along, this also means that if we need art, tables or any other elements added, they can be slotted in along the way.

I already foresee that the unit profiles will be:
A: Simplified visually. I rather like the current look but it takes up far too much space.
B: Be split off into a separate file (but included in the same download).

I hope this clarifies a little bit what the plans are for this dual-system. Let me know if you have any questions.
I am hoping this sounds as exciting as it sounds in my head. It's something that's really only possible with a PDF style of delivery and a new media.