Thursday, April 11, 2013

Warzone: Resurrection- 750 backers can't be wrong!

     okay, well, maybe they could.  However my misuse of a parody of the title of an Elvis Presley album isn't the point. The point is, Prodos has a winner on its hands, and this game is going to be big.

     Now, I know what you're thinkin'.  "But 2CE," you're saying, "a lot of kickstarters in TTGs hit a lot more backers than this. Why are you so sure this game is going to be big? Empire of the Dead: Requiem had over 600 backers, and Wild West Exodus had over 1,000- more than 20% more than Warzone does.  Not to mention Sedition Wars/Rivet Wars/Anything touched by CMoN hits deep into 4 digit backers? What makes 750 so impressive?"

     Well, good readers, Quality is a Quantity all its own.

     Look at a lot of those other Kickstarters, and examine the pledge levels.  Most of them were placed to maximize model count.  Soldierhoarding.  The intention of picking up cheaply priced high quality models for some other game.  Now don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against that, and been guilty of it from time to time (I'm looking at you, Prince August!), but while a million dollars for a short-term project makes a company a bucket of money to churn out soldierdolls, it doesn't mean there's longevity in the project. 

     Now, with that in mind, let's look again at Warzone: Resurrection.

     Very little in the way of free stuff in this Kickstarter. No, that's not a complaint. That's simply an acknowledgement of a different business approach. Prodos isn't trying to sell you a hoard of models you'll use in some other game on the cheap. They're selling you Warzone Resurrection. This means that unlike the four thousand people backing Sedition Wars, games of Warzone Resurrection are likely to get played- by 750 people to start with, and then quickly multiplying. 

     A sustainable game is more than a bunch of cheaply accessible figures. It has to be. A sustainable game needs a combination of amazing figures, a workable and balanced rules set, a varied market appeal, and back story that will drive fanaticism.  

     You've got a team of crack professionals at work here. Mark Rapson has done a great job putting this all together, and Jarek Ever has been no slouch on model and game design.  And this was before they added Alessio Cavatorre and long-time fluff-wizard and game designer Andy Hoare into the list! Andy has been a long time fan of Mutant Chronicles dating back to the first stint of Warzone, so I'm really, really excited to see what he's got coming. Warzone:Resurrection is slated to be able to accommodate many play styles: from RPG-like singularity of models (did we mention there's an RPG coming as well?) to small skirmish to massive battle to heavy armor tactics.  If that isn't a stellar example of varied market appeal, I don't know what is.

     The models we've seen are, simply put, stunning. Each faction has a singular look and feel, while still having diversity within its own range.  Simply put, it feels like Mutant Chronicles should feel.  From rock-hard veterans to cold mechanical killing machines to cheesecake pinups to non-cheesecake non-pinups to lightly armored infantry to tanks to zombies, everything you need to have the look and feel of Warzone is here. 

     The rules set is in development, collecting feedback from playtesters. Let me make this clear: Prodos is listening to gamers. Sure, Mark, Jarek, Alessio, and Andy have a preferred direction and great ideas from the start... but no one team can manage the polish of thousands of games being played by hundreds of testers. They put up the rules, free to download in their current demo form.  We break them. We tell them how we broke them, and they attempt to make it less breakable.  Not six months after a book comes out... before release. Working with the gaming public. 

     On to back story. This universe has been around for nearly two decades already. It has spawned multiple TTGs and RPGs, a series of novels, a comic book run, and even a full length movie (...well, sorta... it was only slightly more Mutant Chronicles based than Blade Runner was actually based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), but the point remains that no other TTG IP has successfully seen a big screen adaptation).  Yes, Star Wars has done it the other way around... but for a tabletop IP to make it into a movie is pretty unprecedented. Ask any long-standing fan of Mutant Chronicles and they'll tell you that all the source books and all the information so far written still only scratch the surface of what's in this sandbox...  There's a deep, rich, threatening game world left to explore. Enough to take another two decades of more novels, more source books, more models, and more imagination.

     Join in the party. Pledge to support this game. Talk to your gaming club and your FLGS about looking into it, playing it, and stocking it. You have four days left to be able to say you were there when it happened... when Warzone was Resurrected.   

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