I promised that once Infamy’s IndieGoGo campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/infamy-watson) hit $2,250 I’d reveal some information about the game. Starting out with a rambling preamble, here goes.
A few weeks ago I discovered a pile of adventures and house rules I had created in the late 90s for Warhammer Quest (a Games Workshop board game that came out in 1996). Clearly the work of a dungeon master who was big on enthusiasm but lacking in experience, they nevertheless reminded me of the thrill I’d felt making new quests and rules to pit my friends against.
Inspired, I located my battered copy of Quest and got a game on the go. Due to being home alone at about 1am it was a solo experience with no real purpose beyond reminiscing, but after reminding myself of the rules and working through a few rooms I couldn’t help it. I started to tinker. Little things at first – a stat tweak here, a system modification there. I didn’t want to get too into it because I was already up past my bedtime!
The next thing I knew birds singing outside, the sun was shining through my window and somehow I’d filled my notebook with pages of scribbles and created something very different.
I’m glad you asked! As a consequence I’m no longer working on a skirmish game for Infamy. I’m working on a dungeon exploration type game and a skirmish game for Infamy and they will tie together seamlessly should you be inclined to play both.
The first game to come out will be the dungeon explorer, hopefully as a boxed game near the start of next year.
Before I go any further there’s something I want to make very clear:
Developing and releasing an Infamy board game will actually speed up the development of the skirmish game!
I thought it was important to say that. I know a lot of folks are eager to pit Infamy gangs against one another in a skirmish style. I am too and if this was going to slow down the development of the skirmish game I wouldn’t be doing this right now.
So it’s a dungeon exploration game?
Well… um… not really. If I was forced to classify I’d have to describe the basic mechanics of the game as dungeon exploration, but what you’ll really be doing is exploring the city of London.
Instead of corridors and passageways there are streets and canals. Instead of cells, crypts and chambers there are abandoned shops, shipyards and factories.
Where you’d once be encountering skeletons and goblins you’ll have to fend off rogue automatons and swarms of repair bots. In place of trolls, elementals and dragons there are well-equipped factory overseers, imported defence droids and huge clanking steambots.
The dying barbarian warning you of traps ahead is now a friendly prostitute who will do her best to distract you from the mission at hand. Where a pesky goblin might have stolen your lantern a pack of street urchins will mob you and try to lighten your pockets.
What makes it relevant/interesting/unique?
There are sooooo many positives to developing this game:
- It builds the world and develops the setting and characters
- You’ll be able to get gaming in the world of Infamy with a very limited amount of models and do it sooner
- It gives me a chance to develop art, fiction, characters, settings and so much more, all of which will have a big impact on the skirmish game
- It will mean I can build up rules, stats and systems to transplant into the skirmish game
- It will be a huge amount of fun to play!
The penultimate point is probably worth expanding on.
All of the core stats, equipment and combat from the Infamy board game will be used in the skirmish game. There will obviously be further levels of complexity in the skirmish rules, but you’ll get a great taste of them by battling through the board game.
This has very beneficial outcomes:
- As you play the board game you’ll all be playtesting the hell out of the stats and rules that will be a part of the skirmish game
- You’ll learn all the basics of the rules, so, once the skirmish game arrives it’ll be a breeze to pick up a few extra concepts and get gaming
- The biggie – you can combine the two games to enrich your overall Infamy experience.
Combining the games
Most dungeon exploration games give an impression of life and grander combat outside of their slightly restricted close quarters gameplay. In Infamy you will be able to play that yourself in the skirmish game using the exact same characters that you just took adventuring through the city.
Most skirmish games have background stories about exploration and discovery in the rulebooks. In Infamy you will be able to be a part of that story and drive it to new levels through the versatility of the board game’s city exploration.
You’ve played the board game; taken Holmes and Watson through a warren of narrow streets, slums and collapsing tenements; done battle against thugs and corrupt Police officers; found a range of items, encounters and diversions along the way; but finally made your way to the objective location.
Ahead of you is a dockside hideout where a notorious crime lord called The Toad is rumoured to run his operations.
You could continue playing the board game, in which case it’s time to move into that board tile and draw from the objective event deck to determine what awaits you. That’s all good and will be a lot of fun. I’ve got particularly cool plans to ensure that the end of every quest is climactic, exciting and suprising.
But, if you wanted to take it further, you could. Bring in extra gang members to support Holmes and Watson, equip them with whatever items you may have found on your travels and set up a playing board to represent the hideout. Your opponent builds his or her roster with The Toad as its leader and you can fight out an even more tactical and involved battle using the Infamy skirmish rules.
If you just want to play the skirmish game you’ll be able to and there will be exciting and in-depth rules for doing so.
If you just want to play the board game you’ll be able to and there will be exciting and in-depth rules for doing so.
If you want to cram as much depth and story as possible into your gaming experience you’ll be able to get something more with Infamy. By combining the two games and making all of the stats and systems cross-compatible there will be huge scope. Essentially, you’ll be able to take part in the stories that most other games are left just writing about.
I am very excited by the prospect and I hope you are too.
There are tons of ideas, rules, systems and concepts that I’ll share with you all in time, but for now, please throw me your feedback.