There’s a ton of skills involved in being a good line developer. Early in my career at FASA I can remember helping Bryan Nystul (then the BattleTech Line Developer) put together a job description. And man was I intimidated. Its a large, often almost eclectic set; and that doesn’t even includes the over-all temperament required.

At the end of the day, though, I think the most important skill is knowing when you’re wrong. Even when you believe passionately about a direction you’re going, that you can honestly listen to good arguments and admit you were wrong and appropriately change course.

One of those situations just occurred in the Alternate Eras section of Interstellar Operations. I was trying to go to a ludicrous level of detail on the dates of technology propagation across factions involving all eras (me? I know…shocking). Both Herb and Ray made superb arguments that while a small slice of the community might like them, they took up hideous amounts of pages and most players would never use them. Most importantly, however, it would potentially actually tie our own creative hands. Continuity on this universe is already one of the most complex of any fictional setting I know of…and I could’ve made it all the more complex while getting very little out of it on the back end.

Herb instead worked up a great single table (still large, don’t get me wrong, but no where near what I’d previously been working on) that takes dates from TechManual, Tactical Operations and Strategic Operations, folds in the technology advancement formats from the latest Technical Readouts, while also folding in all the newest technologies developed all the way through the Dark Ages, all while expanding and enhancing how it’s presented. Providing a single set of data that is new and improved (i.e. not simply cut and pasted from other sources) that almost any player is going to find useful in some fashion.

Can’t wait to get the Alternate Eras section out into an Open Beta and for your feedback.