21st May, 2009

My new 'WarSpike' game system is coming on. I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge considering the scope of the project. It consists of four games covering strategic, tactical, technical and political spheres, each can be played in it's own right, or combined into the complete WarSpike 'Spheres of War' system. It allows you to run games at a club level using Strategic sphere and zoom into the action with Tactical where the clubs members can resolve battles, and even focus into the Technical Sphere to fight duels between champions.

The four spheres allow a multitude of combinations and the Political-Technical combination allows players to run a WarSpike Role-Play Game, yet the other Spheres can be bolted onto this combination to allow a Player character to lead a unit of henchmen using Tactical to resolve their group actions, yet jump to Technical when focused in on the action surrounding the Player Character. The Player Character can even take charge of an army, and run a Strategic Sphere game 'in game', and send off orders that other players who can use Tactical to resolve the battles and report back as to their outcomes.

To complicate matters I want it to be 'realistic' yet 'streamlined', and it's the way combat is handled that the real innovations turn up, more of The ARMA school of thinking than the classic Hollywood nonsense. Along with the interoperable nature of all the Spheres (they all interact seamlessly. Once inside another, like Russian Nested Dolls, only these Spheres are arranged as a strange loop) it makes for an interesting system. A lot to learn, but I hope worth it to those who invest the time, and I try to make it easier as your can start with one Sphere, an while learning that you do not have to even look at the others. Yet if you do look at the other Spheres, you'll find it all very familiar, as they share so much.

Such a complex project took a bit of sorting out, and now I think the WarSpike sites work well together to show each step in the development process. I wanted to include fans in the development cycle, and so all the rules are posted on the WarSpike Development Blog to get some feedback. Once the concepts are sorted they are re-written and posted as Prototyping Pages to gain more feedback on the specific details. When the rules are working they move to the Static Site for all to see.

PDF: Once all of the content slots on the static site are filled the rules will be compiled into a PDF and released for download over P2P networks for free. I will be using magnet links to ensure the correct file is downloaded and hoping fans who like the rules leave a copy in their share folder to contribute to the downloads by other fans. The PDF will be licensed under a Creative Commons licence.

This is not the end on fan participation as WarSpike can be expanded with 'Augments' and source books. Fans can write up their own background (they can use Sciror but that's another story) and reference the rules etc. The only proviso is they can not duplicate the rules - they have to link back to the WarSpike site so players can download the rules. The rules will always be available for free.

I also plan to release a couple of Print on Demand editions, a cheap black and white spiral bound edition with no mark-up, and a premium edition rendered up as an old fight codex, full illuminated manuscript, containing all four Spheres in one massive hard copy. That I will charge for, and it will not be cheap! (If LuLu allowed me to embellish it with gold leaf I would!). This last one is about the only source of 'income' from the project based on product, though I think I'll add in a donation button just in case some one feels generous.

Well, that's what I've been up too in my spare time, and anyone is welcome to pop over and comment of the concepts and rules of WarSpike.

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Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concepts posted on this website. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!

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