Monday, 14 December 2020

Understanding the "5 X from Y" series. Part 2.

 Continued from yesterday, now that we are all on the same page and have answered the various questions, let us talk about the assumptions of the games then.

Not all of these are equally important, but hopefully they will help you understand where the design comes from. Of course, that does not imply they are the BEST way of doing a game (or even doing a war band game) but if you are looking to play the game I wrote, it's probably useful to know why I wrote it the way I did. 

That way, you can hack it up and add your own house rules :)

1 - Miniatures game - Not role playing game

I've spoken before about how I don't think miniatures games and RPG's are as distinct as we make them out to be, however there are fundamental differences.

One of these is that the game assumes we are here to have a miniatures battle. There are usually ways around this. Not all turns in Five Leagues has a battle and there's often ways to avoid it if it does come up, but ultimately, we assume that we are sitting down to move little figures around and go pew pew (or chop chop). 

This may seem obvious to the reader of course, so I apologize :)

2 - Emergent narrative

This probably cannot be stated strongly enough. The goal of the game more than anything else is to create an emergent narrative. In other words, a story that is created from the events on the gaming table, rather than a pre-determined outcome.

This means that the game generally avoids over-arching stories and predetermined scenarios (though I have done them on occasion). Instead, it relies on linking together the randomly generated outcomes as and when they line up just so. 

This ties into:

3 - Player driven narrative

This is something I should probably have made much more explicit, but it was always intended that the player helps drive the narrative that is created. Sometimes this just means adding a bit of story to link the pieces together ("Oh, this must be why we were having a hard time in town this turn"). 

Other times it means changing an encounter to fit the story or even adding a custom scenario to finish out a story arc that has happened. The Story Point mechanic is here to help with this, though it can of course simply be done on the fly as you want.

An example is that you meet a character on the road, then fight an odd combination of bad guys and personality leading them. You decide that ought to be something significant and create a custom scenario where you fight the same personality again but with a boost, leading a different type of enemies (maybe something more nefarious). 

Once this "side story" has concluded, you return to the normal campaign because:

4 - The game is meant to be episodic

This is especially clear in Five Parsecs with inspirations drawn from shows like Trigun and Cowboy Bebop but the games are meant to function less like a 100 part epic story, and more like a tv show where you tune in to watch familiar heroes deal with the "problem of the week". Occasionally a story arc bridges a few episodes in a row, but eventually we go back to something new.

This is why the encounter tables, other than broad themes, don't try to generate "consistent" enemy types, because that's not how a Star Trek episode (f.x.) works. 

Since a lot of people find time to game about once or twice a week, this works particularly well in my opinion.

5 - Varied encounters are desirable

As a result of the episodic nature, as well as the origin in miniatures games, the rules prioritize encounter variation over story consistency. From a miniatures battle perspective, having more variety in the types of encounters is a plus, since it means more types of challenge, a chance to paint up new bad guys etc.

However, sometimes that can lead to a chaotic feel, where you are fighting skeletons one battle and bank robbers the next. Some players enjoy the variety (or embrace the episodic feel in point 4), others prefer a more consistent feel to the story (as suggested in point 3). 

6 - Simpler mechanics

The turn, combat and morale mechanics are simpler than what you might find in other miniatures games, since they are aimed at the solo player. While almost any game CAN be solo'ed (I occasionally play ASL solo, after all) as a writer, I propose that a solo-oriented game should be a little simpler than a two player game, since a single person has to keep track of all of it. Few things discourage me as much as playing a few turns of a game and then realizing I completely screwed it up.

Of course simple vs boring is always a conflict. If the game is too simplistic, it is easy to lose interest. 

7 - Solo front and center

As suggested above, this is first and foremost a solo game series. While there are ways to play with a friend, the assumption of the rules is that you are sitting at your table and playing out your adventure.

This means that every game mechanic is written with this in mind, and the solo functions are built into the game. Additionally, the games try to avoid die rolls to determine enemy actions and activities, preferring to rely on guidelines for the "AI", to prevent long series of dice rolls (we're rolling enough dice in the campaign sequence as it is!)

8 - do, fight, find out

While the campaigns are structured differently between each game, they all follow a general gameplay loop that I'd call "Do, fight, find out". You prepare for the battle ahead by carrying out actions, then you fight a table top encounter and finally you determine the outcomes of that, whether it means new items, experience improvements or dead comrades.

This loop is a big part of what sets a war band game apart, but I think the addition of the "Do" step is a big part of what makes this series stand out from others of its kind. 

9 - Campaign length

While Five Klicks and Five Leagues do have "victory" points that can be reached, in the end the campaign length is always assumed to be up to you. A campaign of 4 turns is short, sure, but if you had fun and felt you got what you came for, it's a good campaign. Others will prefer to keep going for 20, 30 or a hundred battles. 

As the designer, my assumption is that you will eventually reach a point where your war band cannot be meaningfully challenged by the encounters you are facing. At that stage, you have effectively won the game and it's time to think about retiring the crew and starting over.

In the end however, whatever makes you happy is what you ought to be doing :)

10 - Difficulty

A common question is whether there is a balancing mechanic for the power of your war band vs a given enemy. There is not, and it is intentional that there is not. My intent is that some encounters should always feel easy, while others should be quite scary for the player. Remember, you always have the option of making a fight of it and then retreating before you get over-run.

This is more purely a reflection of how I personally enjoy playing the game. It is not impossible that I will change my mind on this in the future. 

Of course, the games DO include difficulty toggles, whether it is the actual difficulty setting of the campaign, story points, the "stars of the story" options or similar choices. But at least currently, once you take the field, you are at the mercy of what the dice brought up.

* * * * *

And that is that. I hope these 10 points help you understand the game better or even entice you into getting started. Let me know if you have questions.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Understanding the "5X from Y" series - Part 1

 The past year has seen a big explosion of people coming into the "Nordic Weasel" fold, especially through the "Five X" series (Five Parsecs and Five Leagues especially). More importantly, it is people that don't just buy the book and move on. I see the games regularly recommended on forums, I see photos pop up, I see talk.

That's all good! What is more awe-inspiring to me is that I am beginning to hear from people who are taking their first steps into miniatures gaming, and have chosen my games as the place to start. We all remember our first game and the idea that something I wrote could be that for someone is truly humbling.

But more eyes also means people with a wider range of experiences, particularly for people entering either from other "war band" hobby games or from role playing games. Five Parsecs and Five Leagues are games of many influences and I have never fully believed in the hard separation between miniatures games and RPG's that people tend to enforce, however, it is unavoidable that some of the expectations vary some.

As such I thought I would take a moment to write a post that is well overdue, laying out a little bit of common philosophy, as well as answering some questions that come up semi-frequently. 

This part 1 will answer assorted common questions:

What is the link between FiveCore and Five Parsecs? The names are confusing!

It turns out I am bad at naming things. The story goes something like this:

First there was Five Men in Normandy, a game of solo-friendly skirmish actions in ww2. 

Then came FiveCore which started as just the core mechanics of Normany in a stand-alone package, but developed into its own full-fledged game over time.

The original Five Parsecs was an expansion for FiveCore. This is the one with the blue cover. 

When the time came to update it and turn it into a stand-alone game, I felt that a new game engine aimed specifically at solo players would be the best option. As such, Five Parsecs 2nd edition became a thing.

When I adapted the rules to fantasy, keeping the naming convention seemed to make the most sense, but in hindsight of course, I don't blame anyone for getting confused!

I've heard the original version of Five Parsecs was way better?

The mechanics were more in-depth but also had far more special cases and exceptions, as they were intended primarily for games with another player, where they can help remember all the stuff.

The original switch-over slimmed down the game a lot and as a result a lot of fluff-text and flavor was cut, which was a mistake in hindsight. As the game has developed, a ton of additional detail, new things to do and more involved "universe" aspects have been added to the game. If you checked it out when 2nd edition first came out, it's almost an entirely new beast now.

What happened to Bug Hunt, Salvage Crew and Gang Warfare?

These were spin-off games that used the same mechanics. I realized fairly quickly that trying to keep four versions of the same game up-to-date and compatible was basically impossible to do for one person, along with developing new games. As such they are "legacy": Fully playable games on their own, but not receiving future updates. Bug Hunt in particular remains rather popular and you can easily port in encounters from the main Five Parsecs rulebook. 

Salvage Crew has been reworked into a supplement for Five Parsecs.

Are Five Parsecs, Leagues and Klicks the same game?

No, they use similar concepts but the game engine and campaign structure is reworked for each. So it's easy enough to move from one to the next, but they are never just "ported over" without making sure it works. Five Leagues has much more involved hand to hand combat rules for example, while Five Klicks has base-building aspects.

Are the games stand-alone? 

Yes, all of them are stand-alone except the original blue-cover Five Parsecs book, which requires a copy of the FiveCore rulebook to play.

Are all the Nordic Weasel games like these?

Not at all. All NWG titles share my views on game design of course, but some are specifically "competitive" games, some are historical battle games, some are multi-purpose, some are even RPGs!

Are these games retro-clones?

No, the only retro-clone is Renegade Scout and I think it has developed so extensively that it barely qualifies as a clone any longer. 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

A bit about the immediate future

As a holiday recedes and another approaches, I thought I'd post a couple of updates on things:

FiveCore news

I've kicked around the tons of feedback and ideas over the years, piles of emails, my own thoughts and play tests etc.

In addition to general polish and excitement, the big goal for me to allow the game to scale easier, allowing you to play games ranging from a couple of troops on each side up to about a platoon or more. My initial testing has been pretty positive but of course there's plenty that can go wrong.

One of the things I think may hurt people taking the leap and picking up the game is that the rulebook is a big beast. If you already play it, you know that you need very little in the book during play, but of course that's not something a prospective new player will know.

As such I am considering breaking the book up into two books: An "Engine" book which will have the combat mechanics and weapons, basically everything needed to sit down and play a battle, and then a "Battlefield" book which will contain all the campaign rules, leveling up, random tables etc. 

If all goes well, the Engine book will available in December, free to existing players and priced pretty aggressively for newcomers. Cheaper than the current book obviously.

If I can swing it, the Battlefield book will be available as quickly as I can afterwards. I am not sure what the price level will be here, it depends on how much content ends up being in there. The current plan is that people who donated get it free and existing players get it half-off or something like that. We shall see.

Squad Hammer news

At the end of January or mid February, I hope to have Hammer of Unified Space available. This is a Squad Hammer powered "complete package" scifi game set in the Unified Space setting, containing game rules (based on a slightly expanded Squad Hammer Core) and at least 6 army lists, plus assorted scenarios and other goodies.

This is intended as a "mid-tier" package with simple rules, aimed at being easy and fun to play, but still offering a complete experience in a single book. 

Slaughter Sword

"Renegade Scout Fantasy" is being worked on, but I do not have a date to speak of and it won't be "soon".

I might make available a few creature profiles and whatnot to test out using the current RS2 rules to get people up to speed.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Renegade Scout update

 A quick update for Renegade Scout adds the following tweaks to the army builder:

* Vehicles with 2 or more mount points can add an external Auto laser or auto slugger without using a mount point.

* This can be pintle-mounted. If so, it is fired by a crew member from a hatch and is a bit cheaper.

* This can be remote-controlled. If so, it's a bit more expensive but can be fired by any crew member instead of performing another role that turn.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Renegade Scout 3??? Well, no but read on

 While working on the RS2 update, there were a thousand ideas that got rejected for being too wild or would have pushed the game too far away from its inspirations.

So I thought I'd share a look at what THAT version might have looked like. Maybe down the road we'll have a spin-off.

Leader skill and Cool Under Fire merged into a single stat (Fighting Spirit?)

Intellect and Observation merged into a single stat.

Power probably just removed.

All stats balanced around 1 die roll tests, instead of some testing on 1 die and some on 2 dice.

All dice rolls changed and rebalanced to use a D8 (yes).

Morale tests changed to a FAD-style 2D8 test (pinned if one die fails, broken if both fails).

No phases. Instead when a unit activates, it takes 2 actions.

Probably a bunch more stuff, but that's off the top of my head.

Want to see this some day? Let me know. 

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Renegade Scout 2 update

 After an absolutely brutal weekend, text is basically done for Renegade Scout 2.

That means all items I wanted to move into the rules have been done so, all new sections are written and sanity checked etc.

Next step is making it look nice, checking wordings etc. We are on the finish line folks!

Monday, 24 August 2020

Something a little different 

Me and my friend Dave got together to talk about roleplaying games, failure in games and how to tackle different scenarios and ...well.. a bit of everything.

Please forgive a bit of meandering and audio difficulties but do check it out :) 

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Assorted common questions

We've done this before, but there are certain questions I get frequently. 

As such, we're going to round them up and answer them. 

Note that questions have been paraphrased from original emails, messages etc. 

Who are you exactly?

My name is Ivan, I'm 40 years old, I'm from Denmark though at this point I have lived half my life in Denmark and half in the United States. 

What is your day job?

Writing games. Before that, I spent a decade and a half in middle management. 

Are you / do you believe in / do you support X ?

I've mostly retreated from discussing politics online except with close friends and my views on marginal tax policy is probably not something that would interest you.

If you need some sort of label, how about free trade leftist? 

What is your opinion on X ?

I don't tend to comment on on-going gaming drama in regards to personalities or companies. You can assume that the sort of product I make is also the sort of product I wish others would make. 

What do you play personally?

For wargaming, a bit of everything when I get a chance. 

Stargrunt II, Crossfire and 2nd edition 40K rank high currently.

For RPG's, my passion is anything BRP or BRP derived: 

Runequest, Stormbringer, Pendragon, Eon, HjÀltarnas Tid, Drakar och Demoner.

Is it true you write for 15mm first? 

I try to avoid being specific to a scale, but in general I do write with distances and movements that fit well in 15mm first and foremost.

From my experience, slightly smaller figures (10mm skirmish being a thing that keeps interesting me) will look fine with more realistic distances while 28mm gamers are used to those measurements to begin with. 

What happened to X product?

I sometimes get questions whether this or that game is "abandoned". I try as much as possible to write complete games that don't need a ton of extra stuff. Starting out I never intended to write much in the way of supplements, since I figured people would prefer a bigger main book instead.

Experience taught me pretty quickly that people prefer to have new content updates. 

The big challenge of course is that there's one of me. So I have to pick and choose (and occasionally draw in outside help) where to put my efforts and that tends to mean focusing where the sales and the market is. 

That being said, nothing sleeps forever. We recently did updates to Five Men in Normandy after all and no NWG game is older than that.

In regards to Trench Storm and Fast And Dirty, I have sold off the rights to both. 

Why do you often charge for beta tests?

I try everything at least once. I've offered beta tests for free, pay what you want and for money up front.

I find that the best feedback (and the best chance of getting feedback) is when I've charged a dollar or three up front. You can speculate as to why that is, but it broadly holds true. 

Why do some betas not get a full release?

Generally because there wasn't enough interest or because in hindsight the system was too fiddly or not sufficiently unique.

Why aren't you doing X obvious thing?

Likewise because I am not interested, because I am mostly a one-person operation or because I am risk-averse. 

Will you crowd fund more projects? 

In my own way yes.

I have found that indiegogo/kickstarter tends to result in very limited feedback, making them not very valuable for the development process.

Simply asking for people to fund a project directly through paypal has worked well for upgrades, and I will likely continue to do so. For regular releases, I find that writing a game and then selling it is the most satisfying process for everyone involved. 

Is there some secret logic behind what projects you do?

It has to be something I am interested in personally and something I feel isn't overdone or can find a unique angle to do. 

How do you decide new projects?

As above but I also think there's people who might want to pay money for it. 

Is it FiveCore or 5Core?

You do you but personally, I've always viewed writing it out as correct. 

I want to write games, what advice do you have? 

Write a lot. Build up a back catalogue. Every project will encounter "The Suck": Learn to power through it. Stay out of internet drama. Treat every person with kindness. Don't pursue internet trends. 

What things will you never do, so we should stop asking?

Any OSR or D&D product. 

Probably anything involving ships. 

Edgelord stuff. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

RS 2 update

The update process is proceeding pretty well.

Several updates have been added, the new close combat system is in place, light vehicles are now in the main book and the vehicle rules have received a rather overdue update and re-organization. 

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Setting deep dive. Unity.

Once in a while I get questions about various setting questions, so I thought I'd entertain a few about Unified Space: The open-ended setting that underpins Five Parsecs From Home and Renegade Scout.

The questions have been rephrased a bit from how they arrive in my email, just to fit the format.

A few general questions and then Unity specific ones.

Which of your games specifically take place in Unified Space?

Renegade Scout, Clash on the Fringe, Five Parsecs and Unity Field Agent.

Other games have had Unified Space content (Starport Scum, Laserstorm) but aren't meant to specifically exist in the setting.
Keen-eyed viewers will note that the alien species originated in No Stars in Sight, though it actually predates the setting as a semi-cohesive thing.

Is Unified Space based on sound scientific principles?

I would be highly surprised if that was the case.
"Semi hard space opera" is the best we can aim for and the setting often veers into space fantasy.

Is Unity an evil empire?

If you want it to, but they are not intended that way.
Essentially, any political organization that encompasses much of known space would be a massive, impenetrable, impersonal bureaucracy, so Unity will tend to stomp all over the desires of this or that colony.
It's perfectly conceivable for your Unity force to be the heroes fighting off an alien invasion, then turn to become the oppressors as the colonists rebel in turn.

How common are psionic powers in humans?

2-3% or so exhibit some minor psionic ability. Most of the time this is stuff like trivial premonitions, "I have a bad feeling about this", being good at guessing games etc.
Actual battlefield level psionics would be 2-3% of those 2-3%.

Are psionics and mutants poorly treated by Unity? 

No. Prejudice against psionics can and does happen, but is viewed as inappropriate. Psionics are generally viewed the same way you view a trained killer. Very handy to have around, provided they are on your side!

Mutants tend to experience a lot more prejudice, though they are still considered "Human" by Unity law. As such, mutant gangs are more of a thing in Fringe space, where Unity laws are poorly enforced. On a core world, you can have an extra arm and do just fine.

Is the standard fire arm of Unity troops projectile or energy based?

First line troops carry lasers, second line and most regional forces use projectile weapons.
Colonial forces almost always use projectile weapons.
Specific task forces may be outfitted in a particular manner, depending on the task.

Are Unity troops disposable cannon fodder?

Not at all. They are well trained troops, outfitted for modern warfare and deployed according to good tactical principles.
They ARE however also the grunts of a system that doesn't always have the ability to send a regiment to the right location or remember to send evac ships once the war is over.

Of course, the generic space marine guy is always doomed to get eaten by some horrible alien monster, but the survivors benefits are excellent.

Are typical humans genetically modified?

On Core worlds yes. At the very least, basic genetic adjustments take place to prevent common genetic flaws and diseases. As such, the wearing of eye-glasses (f.x.) is entirely a fashion statement.
Wealthier families, important functionaries of Unity administration and military forces tend to receive more comprehensive upgrade packages to ensure health, mental stability and a satisfactory level of physical performance.

Average life span is about 130.

Can a Unity Core world human marry an alien?

They can. You can marry a robot as well. Unity law dictates that all involved must be sapient, have a recognizable concept of long term romantic commitment and be agreeing absent any duress.
As a result, Swift can only be bound by marriage contracts until a psychological change compels them to a new course in life, while Soulless must agree to install long-term relationship commitment run-times to qualify.

Do Unity armed forces use ground vehicles or hover vehicles?

Troop transports are generally tracked or wheeled, depending on terrain.
Tanks are either tracked or hover, but are always segregated by unit type. A small number of hover-capable infantry regiments are in service but maintenance costs are substantial.

How are Unity armed forces organized?

There are 298 officially sanctioned formation types for front-line rifle infantry (1st line) alone.
Most formations follow a triangular structure where 3 sections make a platoon, 3 platoons make a company and so forth.
Each element from platoon up should have an attached support element suitable to its mission.
At regimental level, substantial additional forces are kept which can be detached out as needed.

Due to the immense cost of interstellar warfare, troop deployments are often single battalions or at most regiments.

Can aliens serve in the Unity armed forces?

They can, provided they have received certification that they are legally human. This means they are fully committed to Unity ideals and have undergone psych evaluations to ensure their emotional responses are within human parameters.

Unity does not hesitate to employ mercenary forces however, which is usually an easier avenue for a K'Erin or Precursor outfit seeking to make some Credits.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A few words

The US is on fire.
There's a pandemic that has killed over 100.000 people. City streets are thick with gas. Elected officials want ever-increasing surveillance and control of the internet. We are seeing daily video that looks like it was taken in East Germany in 1989.

People are worried. People are scared. People are upset. People are hurt.

Around the RPG sphere of the internet, I've seen a lot of people say that choosing to not address politics or "to keep politics out of gaming" is a sign of luxury and privilege. That a lot of people don't have that luxury because politics isn't an abstract hobby to engage in at their leisure.

And they are 100% right. I agree with them.

A lot of people are responding that for them gaming is a moment of respite from the grind of the world, to escape all the things that haunt us.

And they are 100% right. I agree with them.

I'm not sure what I even could say at this point that others haven't said better. And I don't think at this time anyone should especially care what I have to say in any event.

For now, I am continuing what I have been doing:
Trying to provide a few snippets in one corner of the internet where we can have a moment of respite from the world.

I support the voice of companies and designers that are opting to do the same.
I support the voice of companies and designers that are speaking out or donating or advocating.

I hope everyone stays safe.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

The game funnel

I thought I'd talk a bit today about the process I tend to use for ideas getting whittled down.

Step 0 is I have an idea in my head.
We all have those. Depending on caffeine intake, we sometimes have a lot.
Get three gamers together and get them talking and you will have 7 game pitches half an hour later.

This stage tends to deal in broad concepts and open-ended ideas.

For example:
"A robot skirmish game where your robot might malfunction and do random things!"

90% of the ideas from Step 0 never go anywhere. At this stage we're just dreaming and dreaming is easy (and fun!)

Why does an idea fail to progress from here? Usually once you think about it a bit, there's either an existing game that already does it well enough or the idea, after a bit of time to think about it, doesn't have enough legs to stand on.

I've said before that a good game is usually a workhorse system with 1 cool idea. But if the idea isn't cool enough, then it's just one more set of rules in a world that definitely doesn't have a shortage of game rules.

Step 1 is the notebook stage.
At this stage we start writing things down. This isn't writing a full game (usually).
For me, it's a mixture of writing out concepts ("Robot Morality!"), a list of desired content ("20 robot morality modules") and fragments of rules written out.

Churn out 2-4 pages of hand-written notes at this stage. You could be a modern person and use a computer but I sometimes tend to "think better" with pencil and paper.

80-90% of the ideas that make this stage never progress beyond it.
Trying to actually put an idea down on paper has a brutal tendency to reveal that it's all gibberish.
Maybe the mechanics you write out just aren't that great and the "right" dice roll or engine keeps eluding you.
Maybe the passion just runs out at this stage.

Step 2 is the draft stage.
Turn to your computer (or a bigger, nicer notepad I guess?) and start writing an actual, playable game.
At this stage, you are writing actual rules, translating the ideas from step 1 and your head into something a group could sit down and play.

Include the basic concepts needed to play: This version needs to account for common, obvious questions ("What happens if I shoot at a tank?") but it can (and should) leave out a lot of the chrome. Campaign rules, your D1000 table for Situational Robot Morality Quirks, the rules for off-map artillery fire, that stuff can all be left to the side.

What you are hoping to end up with is a set of rules that are playable, at least with your own group. Page count will mainly depend on how complex your project is. I'd say 20-30 pages is a good middle ground for a typical game but don't sweat it exactly.

Once you are at this stage? The failure rate will depend primarily on experience.
You see, at this point you have what a lot of people are perfectly happy with: A game that broadly works, that you can tinker with and which your group can play.
Heck, for groups with a fairly open-ended play style, this may be all you ever need. The GM or group fills in any blanks when they show up.

So progressing to the next stage is not always a requirement (or even desirable).
But if you want to publish this thing, then we gotta get over the hump to Step 3 and that is where things get gnarly.
If you are inexperienced, you will run into the fact that you may not know what to look out for: The game will have rules that are worded poorly or ambiguously. An important concept may never be explained because it was obvious to everyone at the table.
Maybe you really hate writing out terrain rules and now you have to account for all of that.

Filling out a game from Step 2 to a stage where you can publish is often 50-80% writing crap you don't want to write, because someone else will need it. I hate writing terrain rules, but they have to be in there because some guy in Virginia is not going to know how I handle it at my own table.

What about that section everyone skips that talks about in-game scale and what each figure represents? Anyone enjoy writing those?

I tend to call this "The Suck" because its writing things that aren't that much fun, but are important.

So between The Suck and all the things you don't know yet, there's a high chance your game stops here. In fact, take a look at almost any project on forums and message boards and this is where they died.
When I did research before doing Renegade Scout, I found 6 or 7 attempts at reviving / cloning / redoing Rogue Trader. They all died here.

Am I amazing at writing then, since I made it?
No, but experience counts for a lot here. If you have a mental check list of obvious things people will ask about (because they asked you about them last time), you know where things should go and you have a sense of how to phrase things, you can get to a point where only 10-20% of designs fail at this stage.
How do you get those? By doing it and screwing it up. Or by doing it and doing okay.  Or maybe your first game is great! Either way, there's no substitute for actually putting in time at the keyboard.
The good news is that while talent matters, a systematic sense of what to look out for is something anyone can develop with experience.

Step 3 is the Actual game
Okay, so you've tested your game, badgering someone else into testing it too, you've fixed all the stuff that wasn't explained well, tweaked the mechanic that was obviously broken, adjusted the thing that made no sense.
You've added your chrome and fluff text and found some stuff to put in there to look pretty (or go for the 80's typewriter look).

Congratulations. You have a game to inflict upon the world.
Pour one out for the 100 games that died along the way so that "Laser Robot Feels Bad" can fly to the top of the Wargame Vault best sellers list.

If you have questions, let me know.

PS: Someone should definitely write this game.