Battle Century G is a game born out of my desire to see a Roleplaying Game about anime action, giant robots, and clever mechanics. It takes inspiration from many sources, but the most obvious influence is the Super Robot Wars franchise.
Battle Century G has style. Super robots powered by the sun and mass-produced suits of power armor both play using the same set of rules. The game is effects-based, so how you do something does not matter as much as what you do. And what you do is pilot a kickass Mecha, command a badass Battleship, or ride a terrifying Kaiju.
Battle Century G has substance. You have to think about your options, choosing your loadout of weapons and how to tackle the challenges that the GM throws at you. What worked against your Rival the last time might not work again, this time they might be prepared. It is a game for smart players who like overcoming difficult challenges.
But don't just take my word for it: Download the beta and see for yourself.
Five reasons to play Battle Century G.
It is Cinematic. The game is about characters larger than life who make possible the impossible. The PCs are heroes, and that often makes them the most brave, intelligent, and charismatic people around. Just like the protagonists of a Mecha series.
It is Universal. If it is about giant robots and anime-themed, you can run it with BCG. In fact, if it is not about giant robots but giant robot-like things (such as battleships or pet kaiju) you can probably run it with BCG too.
It is Tactical. Heroes don't have it easy, they face overwhelming odds and still come out on top. To do that you will need teamwork, strategy, and a fair bit of luck.
It is Balanced. A balanced game is one where the majority of the options you can take are all worth taking, either because they're always good or because they are better than average under specific conditions. Instead of encouraging PCs to stack numbers really high, BCG encourages PCs to fill multiple niches at once to make sure everyone feels useful at all times.
It is Accessible. Games are meant to be played. It sounds obvious, but many lose sight of this ideal when money enters the picture. That is why once the game is fully finished I will release the rules sections (Most of Chapters 1-3 and the last third of Chapter 4) for free under a Creative Commons license. This is a game that wants to be played, that people deserve to discover and enjoy for themselves. But for everyone that would like to have something bigger and better, there is the full version with over a hundred extra pages of very useful material good stuff.
Five reasons to back Battle Century G.
Because you want a better finished product. I'm not going to lie, my focus here might be on substance over style, but I do like pretty things. I have been working with a very limited budget, and expanding said budget would be the difference between 30-40 pieces of art and 50-60 in the core book. Not just that, but if we overfund and I make an actual profit, I can spend more time on the game thus finishing it faster and making it even better.
- Because you want all the goodies the full game offers. What you will get for your contribution to the project is a touched up version of the Preview PDF, including all the art and tips you could need. Plus a few goodies I would like to add but haven't had the chance to yet, like premade adventure scenarios ready to run.
- Because you want a limited edition hardcover. Backing through Kickstarter is also your only way to receive a hardcover of the game, since the finished printed product will be available ONLY as a softcover otherwise. It is essentially a collector's item that will be worth hundreds of cents once I die and am recognized as an artistic genius.
- Because you want a piece of the game to be yours. The limited backer rewards I offer are kind that you don't see often, both because good game design is difficult and because other designers want to protect their creative vision. Fortunately for me, I am good at both game design and incorporating other people's feedback into my work without disrupting what is already there. Don't you want to tell your friends how you created this cool power or weapon in the book? Of course you do. Don't miss this unique opportunity.
- Because you want to tell the RPG world that rules matter. Let's face it, RPGs with a focus on the rules are few and far between. Entire game lines spend their budget and pagecount primarily on fiction and art. The creators of said game lines have bills to pay and people who care about rules are a minority, so I don't blame them. If you would like to tell the industry that there is money to be made in us rules-people, help me show them.
I am Juan Herrera, main designer behind this game and teacher. I had a large hand in Adeptus Evangelion during its first days and eventually wrote Giant Guardian Generation as a love letter to Super Robot Wars. This game is a spiritual sequel to GGG, so if you've played that one you'll see many familiar things in there. I approach game design the same way I approach teaching: My goal is that at the end of the day you've learned something new and had fun doing it.
Jason “LawfulNice” Walther is a full-time caffeine addict and writer who occasionally finds himself in an office as a trainer and call analyst for one of the nation’s leading contracted help desks. LawfulNice is the mind (determining if that mind is brilliant or insane is left as an exercise to the reader) behind Dungeons: the Dragoning 40k 7E. He's been involved as a writer, playtester, and beautiful assistant. He lives in northeastern Pennsylvania where he bravely battles road construction and snow on those long mountain roads.
This campaign is not just to fund the game of Battle Century G, but also its expansion Battle Century Z. Between the two you're looking at around 300 pages of content, give or take another fifty from potential stretch goals being met. You can expect to have your finished PDFs and printed equivalents of Battle Century G by May 31 of 2015, half a year after the campaign ends. Battle Century Z should be ready a year after that, by May 29 of 2016.
Battle Century Z will take Battle Century G to the next level. It will have everything I wanted to add to the core book but was too complex or off the wall for my liking plus whatever I couldn't come up with by the time of BCG's release. And that is where you come in, because one man cannot have the imagination of his whole player base, I want you to have a say in the contents of the expansion. This is not just my game, after all, a game is nothing without players and I want to give you the chance to truly make it yours too.
All physical product will be delivered via DrivethruRPG's Print On Demand service. That means you get a coupon to print and ship the books at your convenience. Estimated costs are $10-12 plus shipping for both softcovers and $20-22 for both hardcovers.
So if you back the RIVAL level for hardcovers of BCG and BCZ. You pledge $20 first and then another $20-22 (plus shipping) whenever you want to redeem your physical copies, though you could redeem one first then the other too if you want. You can find out the details in the FAQ at the bottom.
We are funded and our bases are covered, that means we can add more things to the game now. Here's what is coming up for us in the future:
$3500: We add either a system to create your own custom weapons and defenses to the expansion or three episodic scenarios for use with the setting in core. You can help decide which is going to happen with the poll below.
$4000: Everyone gets both of the above instead of just one.
You can vote here.
How are you spending your budget?
Let's break that down:
- Service Fees: This is pretty straightforward. Between Kickstarter and Paypal (we do most of our transactions through them) it adds up to 15% easy.
- Core Art: This is priority #1. BCG is a pretty big book by indie standards, so illustrating it is basically where most of the budget goes. Basic funding will give us just enough to cover our bases, but if we overfund we can aim higher and get fancy full-page chapter covers, short comics, and other neat things.
Expansion Art: While BCZ is going to be a shorter book, it has a disadvantage in that it has no art whatsoever yet, so it gets just as much budget as BCG itself.
- Production Costs: This should be just enough to get a small print run going. Should we overfund, this chunk of the pie won't be expanded to print more books but rather will be spent on producing some of the more unique stretch goals.
- Margin of Error: No plan survives contact with the enemy. Production prices go up, people back out of their pledges, art needs to be recommissioned, and so on. A full 10% is going to be set aside as a safety net so we can keep things running smoothly in case anything goes wrong - because let's face it, things always go wrong. Whatever we don't use of this will go to Kicking it Forward (http://kickingitforward.org), because we all like to see great projects come together.
How does the Print on Demand delivery system work?
All physical product is redeemed through self-service print on demand via DriveThruRPG. What this means is that, at your own convenience, you can have your copies of each game printed at shipped at cost. Here are said printing costs:
Once the game is finished, the full process of getting your stuff goes like this:
1) You receive your electronic copies immediately via DriveThruRPG.
2) If you backed a physical copy you also receive a coupon to redeem the printed game.
3) You redeem your physical copies at the lowest possible price.
4) DriveThruRPG prints and ships the game to you.
5) Repeat steps 1-4 for BCZ when it is done.
This is cheaper for me because I don't have to handle all the printing and shipping myself. That in turn makes it cheaper for you because I don't have to inflate the upfront pledge costs, you pay the exact printing and shipping cost and nothing more. Everyone wins.
And speaking of shipping, DriveThruRPG has a list of estimate costs for various locations all over the world here.
Do you have a schedule?
Here's the broad strokes of the plan:
- December - December is a busy month for most people so progress here will be mostly in securing contracts for all the art we're going to be getting in the next year. During this period I will also survey everyone about their commissions and start work on them.
- January - Feedback time! This is when all that intense playtesting and polling helps us figure out what changes we want to make to the game.
- February - I publish a separate, short pdf with experimental changes to the rules that we could use.
- March - I integrate everything we've learned from the February experimental pdf into the final rules update to the game itself.
- April - Art time! By now I can start showing previews of what the finished book would look like.
- May - A full month of quality checking to ensure everything is just right.
What happens after that depends entirely on how much we raise and what kind of stuff we add to the expansion.
How will the commissions work?
Once the campaign ends I will send a survey out. The conditions are as follows:
- A Character ability is a Skill, Trait, or Genre Power. General Skills are out because there's not much we can work with in them so we'll stick to Miracle Skills, Traits and Genre Powers. The only other caveat being that new Genre Powers won't be Default Powers.
- A Mecha ability is an Upgrade or Weapon. The only thing off-limits here are new types of Alternate Forms and Combinations.
- You can either make your commission about a strong fluff concept (Like "A Mecha teleport device") or about specific gameplay (A Power to hijack and control Enemy Grunts). It must be something reasonable to have in the majority of mecha-themed games. So no planet-busting cannons or +50 damage drills, please.
- I get back to you within 30 days with a proof of concept design or, if somehow the idea is not workable, we discuss personally what we could do instead.
- If your commission is something that was already going to be in the expansion (Hint: Both of the above examples are already being worked on) I'll tell you about it and we can either come up with something new or give you the credit for it, your choice.
- If you ask for an ability that someone else already requested (this is going to be first come, first serve for the sake of my sanity) I'll notify you so we can either make a slightly different variant or you can come up with something new altogether.
- Not only do you get a special place in the credits, but you also get a reference in the ability's description. This can be your name, that of your pet character and mecha, or something else. It will change depending on the ability requested.
Remember that these are for the expansion, so you won't see them released in their finished form for a while, but I will have working previews of them and the rest of Battle Century Z 2-3 months after the release of Battle Century G at the latest.
Risks and challenges
The written part of the core game is pretty much done barring new content from stretch goals. I have a good chunk of the art the game needs already finished. The current layout is functional and pretty decently arranged. The expansion is currently a draft but you can check the schedule in the FAQ if you'd like to know more about that one. There's not a lot that could go wrong here, but I'll list some things anyway.
From my end: Hard drives crash, people get sick, and meteors sometimes drop from the sky. Should any or all of these things happen to me, I have left instructions for someone else to access my computer or its various backups and carry on with the schedule. We both have a few games' worth of experience doing this and if anything happens you'll be the first to know anyway.
Artist complications: Artists can have all sorts of problems that will cause scheduling delays. Fortunately, some of the funds have already been set aside for emergency hirings in case an artist can't make the deadline. In case someone does not meet our final work deadlines, their art gets moved to the expansion, so nothing gets lost in the process.
Delivery accidents: The folks at DrivethruRPG/OneBookShelf make a living from printing and shipping physical books all over the world. They have done this for other Kickstarter-based games in the past so this should go without much in the way of complications. If somehow copies get lost or beaten in the process of delivery, we have set a percentage of funding apart to send you new ones at no extra cost to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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