With two version of Shadowrun done and a whack at Star Wars complete, I was at something of a loss as to what to do next. This entire exercise began as something I did to fill my own needs and expanded because I had a few spare ideas that I had the time to expand. Once that was done, however, I wasn't really sure where to go next.
A friend of mine did: "Write your own game. All your own. Then sell it."
Okay, sure, but the thing was, I didn't really feel a pull toward anything. If I learned nothing else, I've learned that the best games you can write are the ones you want to play. At the time I finished up Jedi Duels, I was full up, running Shadowrun under my own system semi-regularly (looks like we're settling into once a month, which is half as often as originally planned, but twice as good as we managed most the summer), as well as a pseudo- weekly 7th Sea game (that, too, doesn't meet as often as planned, but it's more regular than SR, probably because it's a weeknight instead of Saturdays). Between the two of those, I felt like I was meeting my gaming needs. I felt like keeping up with the two of them was absorbing plenty of creative energy and keeping me happy.
But my friend was insistent, so eventually I hit on an idea and made him an offer. I couldn't possibly run another game, which I'd need to in order to playtest anything I wrote, but I could write him something that he could run. He was thinking of pulling together something in the near future anyway. So, a short discussion later I had my first game design by request project. The goal of this one is to create a fantasy game in the classic pseudo-medieval Europe world that's "like D&D, but easy to run."
Well, sort of. There were a few other considerations, but there was one big one I grabbed onto: "I love stories about reluctant heroes."
Skip everything else that came out of our initial discussions. That statement right there is something to write a game about. It's something that can set yet another fantasy game set in a world with knights and wizards and all that other stuff that was old and overdone 20 years ago apart. It's not the setting that's new, it's the story structure supported by the mechanics.
And so was born Heroes of Destiny. I'll tell you a little more about it next post.