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WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS…
On November 8, 2012
There’s been a lot of different discussions over the tidbits of released information concerning the possibility of a streamlined Quick-Strike Box Set, a time jump to 3250, and more. I felt it appropriate to weigh in on this subject and try and provide some much needed context.
The first question everyone is asking: “Are there actual plans to jump to 3250 and have the Quick-Strike rules be the new ‘Introductory Box Set?’” Yes, there are. Rather detailed plans that have been worked up across a good period of time.
Then again, we have a very serious proposal I put together for what a 3500 time jump might look like. We’ve also had numerous discussions over what a full reboot might entail if we went back to 3025 and started all over again. And of course we’ve taken a good long look at simply proceeding straight out of 3145 with no time jump.
Not to mention I still have on my hard drive, 12 years later, the fully playtested and developed “BattleTech Omega” rules set that utterly reshaped BattleTech into a pure tabletop miniatures game, tossing the entire current game system out the door. A rules set a year in the making and at the end I spent almost a month of 12+ hour days finalizing…all that work and effort and it never saw the light of day.
Why bring all of this up? Because it is a company’s job, when dealing with a large game line, to always be looking at multiple options for the future. One of the easiest traps for any creative person or team to fall into is to accept the first idea and run with it. Instead, a creative team should always take any “first” idea and twist it around and around and spin up several different new ideas based around the original concept. This is where the truly awesome storylines and rules concepts are developed. And that often means walking well down various paths to get a full understanding of what a given path might entail.
Additionally, there are a lot of production/timing issues that exist as well that can factor into what direction a creative team ultimately will take. For example, in the 3500 document that was generated, there’s a lot of cool, unusual items that make the new Era unique…if we were on the path heading in that direction and suddenly another game/universe is published that uses many of the same tropes/concepts, then we’d likely take a very long and hard look at whether we needed to significantly change things up, or perhaps move into a completely new path entirely. Not to mention if a movie deal suddenly surged forward, all bets would be off on what might happen in an effort to capitalize on such a situation.
Now I’m pretty sure I know you’re next question? “Then why release this info if we’re not guaranteed to be heading in that direction?” After all, we’ve developed and released a slew of wonderfully surprising storylines and additions to the BattleTech universe done in a fait accompli manner, such as Project Phoenix or the Blake Documents. The simple reason revolves around a desire to assure the community that with the Jihad Era over, we are committed to BattleTech and the storylines that will move us forward. Then again, after all of these years and all the ups and downs, that I and the entire Catalyst team still have an unwavering passion for BattleTech is, I hope, crystal clear; we are still as honored and devoted as ever to ensuring BattleTech lives and thrives through its next 30 years.
What does all of this ultimately mean for the future? It means the future isn’t written in stone until you’re reading it in a published PDF or are holding it in your hands. It means that there’s a good long time between now and then and for a host of reasons there’s a variety of different directions we may choose to run down like a Lyran Lance of 100 tonners.
Obviously we don’t expect you to stop speculating…after all, that’s half the fun of any universe we love to toss dice in or read about. In the mean time, we’ve got a slew of awesome products coming next year, from Historical: Liberation of Terra, Volume 2 to Era Report: 3145 and Field Manual: 3145 that answer some of the longest standing questions of the Dark Age Era…as well as a pile of supporting PDF-only epubs…just updated the Coming Soon page with a large number of new additions. Not to mention your chance to help shape a BattleTech rulebook as never before in the Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test!
Regardless of which path we ultimately travel down…I sure hope to see all of you firing PPCs and tossing Gauss slugs and having fun alongside us.