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A scary update from Lore Forge Press

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A scary update from Lore Forge Press

Hello, Sorcerers and Vampires!

This update will have some spooky information, but first, we were reminded that we hadn’t shown off any of the pictures we took of the Prime War demos at Gen Con! (Thanks Patrick!)

Several Character cards
Some Trophy cards and boards (All art and layout subject to change)

Writhe! so spooky. (All art and layout subject to change)

Blood Countess Upside Down
Blood Countess Board and Trophy card (All art and layout subject to change)

PvP full Table
Versus mode Teaching Round setup (All art, component design, and layout subject to change)

It’s been almost two months, but the ghost of Gen Con content still lingers, oooOoOOooh.

Now that you’ve gotten to see what was shown off at Gen Con, let’s talk a little about how the development process works for Prime War. For the first few months of design, we created the core system, characters, and scenarios in-house in our VA Beach headquarters. We then brought all of that content to >G in St. Louis, where they refined some of the system, most of the characters, and a little of each scenario arc. That was the true beginning of the current development cycle of Prime War. What generally happens now is that we design a new thing (or iterate a bit on an existing environment/scenario), and we write on some cards so we can play it really fast to make sure it works in practice as well as it seems in our heads. We’ll then plop it into our Google Sheets -> InDesign -> TTS/PnP prototyping pipeline, and send it off to >G staff and the >G playtesters, generally on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. We’ll ask the playtesters to try things out and give us some feedback within a week or so, a turnaround about which they’ve been pretty good. We’ll then take that feedback and iterate on that thing while giving the material we were working on during the previous cycle, and on it goes!

Every month or so, >G will have a flurry of in-house testing of a particular scenario, an environment, or a new way of wording a particular rule or set of rules which they then communicate to us; generally, they include the reason for their concern, what feedback they got from their staff, and what changes they made to accommodate the concerns, be they due to production costs, marketing, graphic design and layout, story, mechanics, or rules interpretations. We’ve been pretty understanding of the majority of the changes, and asked for clarifying information when we’re unclear as to the issue or the proposed solution, and occasionally stood our ground when a change would have contradicted the goals or the core of the game. (We’re sometimes told very gently that the game needs to morph in order to be a product, and we pout like babies and give a big dramatic ugh, fiiiine, I guess… when this happens [= then we all agree as to what will make the game the best it can be)

We have visited St. Louis every 7-8 months or so since development started to have a time when both teams can focus on Prime War (we take vacation time from day jobs, and >G staff take most of the week) and address concerns, clarify design objectives, and discuss next steps. We also check in at Gen Con and PAX Unplugged to make sure we’re still in line to meet any goals. >G has a lot of oversight over Prime War, and sees every piece of content we produce, as well as all feedback from playtesters. The only true bottleneck in the process is having the time from Christopher and Adam to clarify lore points, but those are mostly ancillary to the actual development work, changing minor plot for scenarios or environments at this point, as most of the characters are solid mechanically and thematically.

Some of you have asked about videos or streams of previews, and we’d love to do some! I think >G has some plans to do character previews (as they’ve started doing for Spirit Island Spirits), so we will coordinate with them to make sure we’re not doubling anyone’s workload. Our game room doesn’t have nearly the quality of equipment that >G has, but we could potentially do some live play videos of some gameplay, and/or some commentated recordings of play, either through Tabletop Simulator or our physical components.

Similarly, we’d love to start putting up some posts about the characters, and potentially the environments. These would all need to be taken with an enormous grain of salt, as nothing is truly canon until posted, published, or podcasted by >G themselves; however, we could definitely talk about where each concept started and how they grew, both mechanically and thematically, into whatever the current iteration is. As the bulk of development from now on is going to be scenarios, and we’d like most of that to be a surprise when you open the mission packs, we probably won’t talk about any scenario design until after the game’s release.

We understand there’s some concern regarding >G’s workload and process as it could impact Prime War after a recent Legends of Sleepy Hollow update, and we want to let everyone know we’re unlikely to see any additional delays with these announcements. We have every faith that >G will buckle down and get both Legends of Sleepy Hollow and the Sentinel Comics Role-Playing Game up to standards and out the door (in that order) as soon as possible, and that Prime War will be tight on their heels with the same level of care and attention.

–Smith at the Forge

Development Progress:(all values are rough estimates from our perspective as designers, and do not include any art, layout, editing, or proofreading work still necessary) Sorry we forgot this in the last post!

Core Box:
Characters 95%
Versus Scenarios (3×3) 20%
Co-op Scenarios (3×3) 60%
System (rules, dice, maps, environments) 95%
Co-op system(rules, threat/boss structure) 95%
Component list: 65%
Rule Book 60% (Phrasing, order of teaching, examples)
Expansion 1:
Characters 95%
Versus Scenarios (2×3) 20%
Co-op Scenarios (3+3+5) 55%
Conversion Kit:
Characters (9 FoF + 6 UR) 90%
Scenario Maps 30%

TakeWalker's picture
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

All of this looks great, but I especially love Parse's new coat. :D I hope that sticks around.