Next is a project to design a fantasy roleplaying game using open source principles and web technology. It was inspired when Wizards of the Coast announced that they would be taking fan input into consideration for the next iteration of Dungeons and Dragons. Well, Wizards isn't the only group that can find out just what D&D fans want out of a roleplaying game.
Next is trying to take the best principles from gaming, including historic material from WotC's Open Game Content, and produce a game that will appeal to players of all experience levels and preferences. Its central tenets are simplicity, richness, and community.
Simplicity. The game will be easy for people just to pick up and go. Characters will be able to be designed in about five minutes, and the dungeon master will have plenty of hooks to get things going fast, right out of the gate. Gameplay will be simple and intuitive, without forcing you to memorize 300 pages of rules in order to be successful.
Richness. If you want it, it's there. There are plenty of gamers who want complex rules, and tons of options. They're in the mix, too, but you only use them if you want to. Somebody who took a character with no custom options will have a PC every bit as playable as the guy who spent an hour tweaking every little detail. But if you like that sort of thing, you'll be able to get just the kind of character you want to play.
Community. This is a game by the fans, for the fans. It's not an ego contest for who can be the awesomest game designer. If you've got an idea, we want to hear it, and even though we can't include every idea in the final product, we're willing to hear anything. We ask that you constructively build on what's come before -- we can't go back and rewrite every system in the game because you have a cool concept for something we designed three months ago. But even then, we are starting a sister site in March called rEvolution, where you can throw your ideas into the mix in a free-for-all game design experience that allows anyone to submit anything that they want. Hell, if rEvolution has a great idea that at first didn't seem to work for Next, if it builds enough support, maybe we can make it fit. This is your game, after all.
Money we raise here at Kickstarter will go back into the project, paying for things like web hosting fees, art, printing, etc. Thus far, overhead has been low, but we need to make sure we cover unexpected costs, too. Funds in excess of expenses can go to stuff like giveaways and contests, which is good for everyone!
At the end of the day, there will be three ways you can get into Next: a wiki, an ebook, and a print edition. The wiki will be free and open forever. The ebook will come in at least Kindle and ePub formats, and should hopefully compare favorably to iTunes tracks in pricing... nobody should get priced out of owning this game. For those who want a physical book in their hot little hands, we'll be self-publishing the print edition in a nice softcover, and it'll still be cheap enough that you should order one for a friend. After all, it's really annoying to be the only one at the table with the rulebook.
We look forward to hearing your design and development ideas over at thenexted.com, and we thank you for your support of the Next project.
- (30 days)