Monday, September 26, 2016

GW's Dark Future board game is getting a digital upgrade!


If your particular flavor of Gamma-style games runs to the road warrior side of the genre, then you'll be pleased to hear that Games Workshop's board game Dark Future is being developed into an incredible-looking crash-n-bash video game: Dark Future: Blood Red States. Here are a few mean lookin' street machines from the game:


But the source material isn't just being ported into the digital arena, it's also being updated to include a more modern and scientifically accurate take on the post-apocalyptic genre.


This behind-the-scenes video highlights the game's ties to science fiction and features interviews with the original creator James Swallow and game developers at Auroch Digital--and even a biologist who talks about the real risks that arise in a world affected by climate change. It's a fascinating way to think about creating or updating the source material and definitely great fodder for your own gaming inspiration!

Here's Auroch's new teaser trailer:


Side note: The box art features a nice little graphic labeling it a "3D Roleplay Game" which I adore, as an aficionado of antiquated marketing flair!



h/t to Phil Reed at Battlegrip!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Retro Mayhem: Mail Order Monsters for the C64

As a kid of the 80s, one of my favorite computer games on the Commodore 64 was Mail Order Monsters. In the game, you'd pick a template for a vat-grown creature--say a T-rex, giant spider, or lion/bear creature--outfit it with weapons, and send it into gladiatorial combat to win fortune and glory.

It has--at the very least--strong thematic ties to Gamma World, if not more specifically, Gammaruaders.

Your winnings would allow you to buy upgrades so you could be more effective in battle and (hopefully) ascend to become champion.

What really sold my young brain on the concept though, was the manual. It had this awesome box art which included photographed (!) prop weapons. The marketing and packaging around the whole game was genius--they wanted you to feel like this was the real deal.

You can imagine how this would effect on an impressionable young lad, such as myself:

Monsters fighting monsters? Cool. Slick futuristic weapons? WAIT--THIS IS REAL? Sold.
Right click to enlarge images

Yeah, and a scuba tank. But...whaddya gonna' do?

Now I just need to track me down a copy of the manual so I can stat these up!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

What is (and isn't) a mutant?

As I flesh out ideas for my own race categories in GWW, I thought I'd capture some quick thoughts about how mutants are presented in other settings.

With so many sources from which to field for inspiration, it's sometimes hard to pin down exactly what qualifies as "mutant" in a post-apocalyptic setting. In Marvel's universe--as with the X-men and other X-groups--the term "mutant" applies to a new class of human being called "homo superior," or a human who's genetic code is in someway altered to acquire any sort of superhuman (and I'll throw in here "non-human") abilities.

In the Marvel universe, Iceman with his power to create ice constructs, Jean Grey and her ability to read minds/use telekinesis, and Wolverine with his incredible healing ability are considered, mutants.

Switch to something like Total Recal where the mutants are more of a traditionally "deformed" depiction. Kuato, Benny, and a host of other melted-face Martians fill that role.

In GWW, I'm using it in a much broader sense--to mean an individual or group, who's appearance and makeup deviates from an ancestral species of origin. This includes hybrid types (e.g., any sort of were-creature), to the Cyborna races, which are at least partially robotic. There are enough of them that have, in some way, deviated from their collective original forms that they qualify as a new species or subspecies. I guess Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: After the Bomb would be a good example of this style.

It doesn't really matter how they became a mutant--they didn't need to be the result of some sort of evolutionary process. A mutant could be an individual who came in contact with some foreign, mutanagenic substance that caused them to change. In GWW, Spider-man would easily be considered to be a mutant, even though his classification as one is oft debated.

It might be easier to state what mutants aren't. They aren't pure strain humans, called Valids-- or flora or fauna, for that matter. They aren't purely robots, created for some specific task. They aren't unmended (reanimated dead). They aren't extraterrestrials. At least--in all of the above cases--they aren't until they begin to deviate from those baseline origins.

More later...



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gamma World War timeline of events, Part I

PRE CATALYSM (P.C.)

Late 22nd Century Earth
Advanced technologies in just about every discipline have brought prosperity to the world. Most of these miraculous breakthroughs have afforded humanity the promise of off-world colonies to ensure the survival of the species.

THE GREAT CATACLYSM (G.C.)

The disaster to end all disasters happens. All civilizations perish from the surface of the Earth. No one quite remembers what triggered it. Whatever caused it has passed from the collective consciousness, but it left the world in ruins.

AFTER CATACLYSM (A.C.)

Earth is in ruins. Anyone on the surface of the Earth who wasn't killed in the Great Cataclysm, either survived in underground strongholds or remained topside but mutated away from their genome of origin.

100 A.C. 
Some sub-terra bunkers begin to form city-states deep under the Earth, through totalitarian rule. Meanwhile, the surface-dwellers are left to fight over scraps. Evolution has accelerated, and the first cross-fauna mutants emerge.

150 A.C. 
Subterrans return to the surface with small, short-trip scouting parties. Due in part to encounters with brutal Mechlok gangs and frightening Inhuma tribes, news spreads of the devastation and the "horror" of the mutated "monsters" above.

360 A.C. 
Several pure-strain cities join to form a new government based on their un-mutated purity, calling themselves the "Valids," which is shorthand for the only acceptable form of humanity. Raiding parties have ventured topside for regular cullings of mutants who are feared and hated by Valids. Strange lights in the sky have been reported.

520 A.C.
Though skirmishes had occurred in the intervening years, the first real full-scale battle between Valids and several bands of roving mutants takes place near the Michigan Wastes. There's no clear victor, but the conflict fuels anti-Valid sentiment above ground.

775 A.C.
After centuries of hard-fought war, a league made up of Valid city-states has committed to retaking the surface in order to win back the Earth. Several mutant groups have been hunted to extinction, but many more have forged alliances in order to keep the human threat at bay.

899 A.C. 
The first New Evolutionaries are spotted. They appear quite alien, having few humanoid qualities.

960 A.C. 
Dysponia, the first mutant government is established. Hundreds of mutant factions flock to join a centralized effort to combat the Valids.

988 A.C. 
Mutants and Valids alike are preparing for a large-scale war, but with resources scarce, raiding parties are sent by both sides to reclaim ancient technology and raw materials. Inevitably skirmishes erupt.

1015 A.C.
Raiding has led to larger open conflicts but both sides are still cautious about full-scale war, citing supply issues and fear about what could happen to their respective, fragile civilizations. In a relatively short period of time, many more New Evolutionaries appear and while still alien in nature, appear more humanoid sized and shaped.

1016 A.C.
Intelligence on a Wonder of the Ancients has leaked from the Valids and the mutant forces are looking to beat them to it before they're forced into a surrender worse. Raiding parties are sent and stumble into forgotten stronghold from eons ago. Blood is spilled and laserfire exchanged as they clash over the scene--but a NEW threat has arrived!

Close to midnight, on a hot and humid, midsummer night an onslaught of energy weapons begins tearing up the Earth around the fortress. A fleet of extraterrestrial battleships has arrived! A three-way conflict between humans, mutants, and aliens--and the war for the future of Gamma Terra--has begun!

More to come...


Note: All years are approximate. I may totally mess with this timeline and revise as needed!