It All Began With an Image

So begins my developer blogs on Leviathans; not gonna promise a schedule as I’ve far too many plates for that but I will make regular posts

I’m hoping to keep these more reasonable in scope, as opposed to my legendary BattleTech blogs more akin to electronic tomes. But it’s been a long road and we’re finally getting some serious headway and that means excitment. And when I’m excited I tend to type…and when you type as fast as I do, the words pile up pretty fast.

I’ll be at this for months to come, I imagine, as the game isn’t scheduled for release until the end of this year. But I’ve found over the years that a community, even a potential community, appreciates the behind-the-scenes look such blogs bring. However, there’s more to it than that. While often game designers feel like alchemists, hiding in caves and crafting their masterpiece brew to unleash on the world, it’s far from the truth. Especially on something so complex as a new game line (as opposed to a one-off game). Authors, artists, fact checkers, playtesters…they all work together to help me bring out a game that’ll make Catalyst, and myself, proud. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, the community can be a very important part of that equation, even during development.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And in our industry that couldn’t be more true.

Two years or so ago (in my sick-encrusted brain–been sick for several days but can’t seem to stop working–I can’t much remember a few days ago much less two years) Catalyst Game Labs received a game proposal from John Haward. Now Catalyst receives game proposals on a regular basis and we take a look at every one of them. However, John Haward is one of those volunteers that greases the wheels of Catalyst and so we made sure to take the time and look at his proposal. 

While the opening paragraphs of the description of the universe were compelling, it was the image he’d attached that sold us on the concept. It’s not something we could use as it was done for another game. But it was done so well and had such a great, epic feel to it we knew we’d be doing this game. Now the game mechanics that John proposed we took a hard look at and decided to set aside to completely craft a new game from the ground up. But that image and the Harry Turtledove-style alternate history universe concept we fell in love with and off I went.

Course that was near two years ago and the games gone through several complete iterations since then, not to mention the endless round and round on the art…but those are a host of blogs for the future.

See ya next duty shift.



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