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Turn-based tactical 'Mech combat set in the classic 3025 era of the BattleTech Universe. From the creators of the Shadowrun Series!
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41,733 backers pledged $2,785,537 to help bring this project to life.

Introducing the Main Characters of our Mercenary Story + Merch, MechCon, & More...

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Hey everyone, Mitch here!

Wow, it’s December already! It’s shocking how time flies when you throw yourself into making video games and I think I can speak for the whole studio when I ask, “Where did the time go?” (BTW the answer is, “In the game!”) It’s been awhile since our last update because (as we mentioned last time) we’ve had our heads-down on a major milestone and this is our first chance to come up for air. I know that last time we said you should expect one more Kickstarter update before the end of the year but the team’s been making so much progress in so many areas simultaneously that we decided that we had to write two.

Along with all the great stuff we’ve been working on, the team has been refining our BattleTech story (similar to our process on the Shadowrun series) and we’re itching to share our cast of characters with you. So today’s update is focused on introducing you to some of the main characters and factions of our single-player campaign, as well as some info about the Backer Beta and a couple of announcements. In our final (and I mean it) update of the year, we’ll give you a nice overview of our production progress and maybe a few little surprises.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

For the purpose of making introductions, we're taking you three years beyond the point where our June Campaign Setting Details update left off, into the thick of a conflict that threatens to tear the Aurigan Reach apart. The bios and descriptions below could all be considered MILD SPOILERS - they occur after the inciting events of the game's Prologue chapter - so if you'd like to remain completely spoiler-free, you may want to skip reading this section. For everyone else: let's meet the main cast of BATTLETECH!

The Restoration

In late 3022, control of the Aurigan Coalition was forcefully seized by the old regime's longtime ally, House Espinosa. The rightful High Lady, Kamea Arano, managed to escape the coup and disappear into the Rimward Frontier. Working in secret, she began sowing the seeds for her own return to power: the Arano Restoration, a liberating army with the clandestine support of the Magistracy of Canopus.

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(Click for full size image.)

 

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(Click for full size image.)

 

The Directorate

When House Espinosa seized control of the Aurigan Coalition, they subjugated the Founding Houses and conscripted their House militias into a standing army. Under Espinosa leadership, the realm has been reformed into the Directorate, an authoritarian power with strong ties to the Taurian Concordat.

(Click for full size image.)
(Click for full size image.)

 

Mercenaries

The flight and command crew of your own mercenary outfit, these hardened veterans work behind the scenes to keep your MechWarriors fighting and the C-Bills rolling in.

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(Click for full size image.)

 

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(Click for full size image.)

 

In our story, you’ll interact with your mercenary crew on the Argo, along with various major personages from the Aurigan Reach. Over the course of the single-player campaign, you'll get to know these characters via personal conversations, crew briefings, and story cinematics. And of course, they'll also be communicating with you in-mission while your lance is deployed as seen in our Super-Pre-Alpha gameplay video.

MERCH! MERCH! MERCH!

That’s right, merch baby! Negotiations have concluded and we’re extremely pleased to announce that HBS has secured a license from The Topps Company (who own the intellectual property rights for physical goods) to create and sell a limited amount of BattleTech merchandise. We are also excited to say that we will be working with Piranha Games on this effort, so the merchandise line will support both the video games and the complete BattleTech timeline (yup, including the Clans).

Since we will be offering a limited amount of merchandise, we want each item to be as special as it can be. Therefore, we’re focusing on high quality items which are either artifacts from the BattleTech/MechWarrior universe or sophisticated celebrations of the franchise. The Kickstarter Backers heraldry kit and flight jacket rewards represent the level of detail and quality you can expect from all the items we offer.

In order to ensure that none of the funding you put towards developing BATTLETECH is at risk, we’ll set a minimum order quantity for each item and only manufacture exactly what y’all order. Think of it kind of like crowdfunding - until we have enough committed orders, we won’t make the item or complete your credit card payment, and then we’ll only manufacture what is ordered. That way, we don’t “waste” one of our limited offerings on something only a few of you want or make a ton of stuff that sits in a warehouse gathering dust.

It took us a long time to get this together but now that we’re here, it's gonna happen fast. So start squirreling away some C-bills and look for more info in our next update.

Huzzah for merch!!!

HOW ABOUT THAT BETA?

Whether it’s at GenCon, PAX, or on http://battletechgame.com/, the biggest questions we get these days is, “When’s the Backer Beta start?” The answer we’ve been giving is “Winter”. Well, Winter starts December 21st so it’s time to spill some (limited) info.

Now in case you didn’t know, HBS has never done an external beta before, so we’re entering new ground here. Obviously, we’ll do our best but as you well know, “No plan survives contact...” and all that. Therefore, in order to prepare for the Backer Beta, we’re currently working towards a dry-run of the beta experience for our family members to “blow out the pipes”, test our process, and make sure everything’s ready for you.

Until we complete our dry-run and make any necessary adjustments to our plans, we won’t be able to give you a firmer date for the Backer Beta, but we can tell you that it’s targeted to begin sometime in the late January - early March timeframe and will run for at least a month. Once that beta is up and running, we’ll start things off with SKIRMISH MODE and then add PVP MULTIPLAYER after a period of time. The goal of the beta is to test our core combat system and will only be a slice of the shipping game’s total content, so it won’t include ALL the ‘Mechs, MechWarriors, maps, and environments that will come in the finished game. (Also remember, the open-ended mercenary campaign and single-player story will NOT be part of our Backer Beta.)

As noted in our Kickstarter rewards, only Backers at the $50 MECHWARRIOR reward level and above will have access to the Backer Beta, but there will be no restrictions on participants sharing their impressions, screenshots, etc. so that everyone can stay in the loop.

More Beta logistics and details will be forthcoming closer to the Beta launch announcement.

In Case You Missed It...

If you want to participate in the Beta but aren't at the $50 MECHWARRIOR reward level yet, you still have time to upgrade your reward level. Just send us an email at info@hbs-studios.com and we’ll take care of you.

And for your friends and family who weren’t able to help during the Kickstarter and who want to get in on the beta, our Late Reinforcement Backer opportunity is still available and will remain open until the beta begins!

Click the banner to become a Late Reinforcement Backer.
Click the banner to become a Late Reinforcement Backer.

 

WE'RE HEADING TO MECH_CON!

Ah, yes indeed, it’s fun time, fun time! A bunch of us are heading north to Vancouver this weekend to participate in Mech_Con. Mech_Con is a special one-day event dedicated to the celebration of BattleTech and MechWarrior. Hosted by Piranha Games and featuring Harebrained Schemes, Catalyst Game Labs, and MechWarriors from around the world, it’s the ultimate MechWarrior event and a front-row seat for the Grand Finals of the MechWarrior Online World Championship Tournament!  

Jordan, Mike, and I will do some Q&As and you can meet members of the team, including DEATH FROM ABOVE “stars” Tyler (GM) and AJ (Beta). Hmm, maybe it’s not too late for you to plan a quick trip so we can hang out with you, too!

Click the banner for event details!
Click the banner for event details!

 

Okay, that’s it for now. Like I said, we’ll be back before the end of the year with one more update.  

Talk to you then!  

- Mitch and the BATTLETECH team

CaGeRit, Haevermaet Anthony, and 252 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. RC on October 22

      I think our player character (Merc Commander) can be anything we like.

      As a Caucasian male, the lot of you all wanting "white characters" just because you saw a handful of mixed race NPC's is just plain embarrassing, and very telling more about you than the game.

    2. Proxie on December 29, 2016

      Hope we'll see some white characters too (unless of course those home systems didn't have many, according to the lore).

    3. Missing avatar

      Jim Croteau on December 17, 2016

      Can we not bitch about the lack of a white male protagonist? Feel free to check my math, but I'm pretty sure at least 90% of games made in the history of the world have either a white male lead, or the option to have a white male lead.

      Chill, other people have had main characters of other backgrounds forced on them, turnabout is fair play.

      That said, If they do have a white male protagonist that hasn't been introduced yet, boy will there be egg on your face, won't there? I would also be kind of disappointed, because I have about a hundred games where I can play as a white male already.

    4. Darmin Hadzic on December 16, 2016

      NPCs look fine. It's not as if these are the only characters in the game. personality is more important to me than appearance of a character, so I hope they've got some.
      While I certainly don't recommend it, it'd be funny to include a white guy with a first name of Token.

    5. Akule
      Superbacker
      on December 15, 2016

      The NPC choices are excellent. I enjoyed reading about their backgrounds.

    6. Vytautas Malesh on December 9, 2016

      I just got around to reading this update, and I wanted to voice my approval - very happy to see POC represented significantly, in this game.

    7. RC on December 9, 2016

      @Ross I think it was because they came up with some interesting characters that fit their story in those NPC roles, and those were the ones we got to see, with no assumptions of intent beyond showing us something cool and interesting (which I think they were successful in doing). 1000 years into a fictional future some folks in a region of the Periphery we haven't explored much with mixed heritages sort of reminds me of Barbados, where we'd find lots of people mixed with British and other "white" ancestry due to its history, but the population is over ...was it 94% PoC (many with mixed heritages)? And that remaining 6% is split between various Caucasian, East Indian (as opposed to other Caucasians) and I forget the rest.

      That would be pretty cool. If while the Lyrans weren't all descended from German ancestors, due to House Steiner's rule the Commonwealth it's still often euphemistically referred to as "Germany in space" (at least until the latter 2700's before the end of the Amaris Civil War when the Lyrans absorbed a lot of rim worlds, reasonably further increasing their diversity). Then, why couldn't this area of the Periphery be "Barbados in space" or perhaps Casablanca/Morocco...yeah, that might fit better. OoOoh I like this idea. And if it's generically but non-specifically representative the way other BattleTech factional regions are, then it would well explain the ethnic makeup of the small sample of NPC's we've seen so far. Sweeeet! And ooooh! Throw in the Barbary Coast, pirates...etc. That would actually be really cool. ^_^

    8. Ross
      Superbacker
      on December 9, 2016

      @RC, I agree that one of the definitions of exclusion is that it is deliberate but I don’t think that’s the sole definition. When I said “even by accident” I meant that the series of actions or steps in the process taken by the Devs to create the images associated with this update unexpectedly / unintentionally created a state of exclusion. Again, my opinion that you don't agree with. that's cool. The lack of knowledge behind how the images were selected means neither of us really know why white people were not depicted in the images associated with this update and that lack of knowledge makes this discussion contentious. Probably best we simply agree to disagree and move on. :-)

    9. RC on December 8, 2016

      @dlux

      1) There's no conclusive evidence the game doesn't have white (main) characters. We only know the sampling of main NPC characters presented to us doesn't have a character with untanned white skin. As I've pointed out before, there may very well be "white" characters they haven't revealed, and our Player Character may have white skin tone options. We don't have enough information to come to, or jump to, a conclusion on this, which leads to...

      2) You weren't "just asking". You posed a logically fallacious leading question that infers white people (and you parenthesized Europeans) don't exist in HBS's content (as you put it, "HBS's take on the future"). People of European descent certainly exist in their content, and this game. They're represented in the NPC sample we've seen already. "White" people, may or may not exist in the game, and "HBS's take on the future".

      I agree with you that people can vote with their wallet. Those who opt out, I think will be missing what appears to be a great story, and a lot of fun gameplay from a studio that's shown nothing but respect for their community..

      And, while I may continue to respond to others, I won't be responding to you again on topics like this. I got a few DM's from Codexians with warnings that I was wasting my time, for reasons I won't repeat, but when that hive of scum and villainy reaches out to give a warning about someone... yikes. (Hey 'Codexians, I love ya all for the very informative keeping of PC gaming on the straight and narrow, despite the horrorshow that sometimes accompanies it, and thanks for the very unexpected friendly advisement :awkward:)

    10. RC on December 8, 2016

      @Ross That is amusing! And, hopefully some time we'll have that more positive conversation ^_^

      Now, when you state "particularly when your own opinion is based on a lot of knowledge about the subject matter of race/genealogy but no knowledge of the selection/decision-making processes used by the devs for this particular update" Granted, I don't have to have any knowledge of their decision making process in these matters, but I don't need it to point out that based on the information we have so far, there's no evidence to support an accusation, inferred or otherwise (as we see in your closing line) of exclusion.

      Perhaps the same way you used the word "Caucasian" to refer to "white skinned" people until you learned Pakistanis, Iranians, and Indians are classified as Caucasians, and then stopped using the term Caucasian to mean "white skinned people", maybe you're also misusing the word exclusion too? Here's why I ask...

      When you state "even by accident" - by definition, "exclusion" doesn't happen by accident. If you're personally using the term to mean something it doesn't (intentionally or unintentionally) it doesn't help communication. Something can be "excluded by accident" as in, "one of the images of a white-skinned character was accidentally left out when the uploaded image file was corrupted" (which no, I'm not suggesting is the case) but that still isn't racial exclusion in the manner of your inferred accusation. And, no this isn't an example of me being picky about the word exclusion, because it's the term being used as an inferred accusation of racial prejudice against white people, of which there's no supporting evidence. Again, a few character samples, even if they're the "Main (NPC) Cast" does not indicate exclusion, or even an intention to exclude white skinned characters from the game. All it means is these particular characters don't have untanned white skin. And, even if the story the game is based on doesn't include white skinned characters at all, it may still not indicate a lack of inclusion, which is why I'm discussing the definition of exclusion. Because a lack of inclusion, is not definitively the same thing as exclusion in the manner you're using it. An author can write a novel about ancient China while not including a non-Chinese person, and it wouldn't be an example of racial exclusion. The same goes for an author writing a novel set in Harlem, NYC. Although Harlem has a popular image of being a neighborhood with few "white" people, it's in a city full of white people, and white people do live in Harlem. Yet, a story which doesn't include an untanned white skinned character in its main cast, wouldn't be an example by itself of exclusion, unless the author conferred the sentiment they didn't want to use an untanned white skinned person in their story. Even then, that may or may not be based on racial prejudice, but if they conferred as much, then it would be exclusion, because then we would know they actively excluded characters with untanned white skin, as opposed to writing a story about characters in Harlem, who happened to not be characters with untanned white skin but weren't specifically chosen for not being white, which isn't exclusion. Does this (very important) distinction make sense in how I'm explaining it?

      The word exclusion itself is, in every use, the noun referring to the root word exclude, which itself is a verb by all definitions conveying the -action- "to exclude", and more specifically in this discussion are intentional acts of some form, whether it's actively ruling out, keeping out, removing, preventing...etc. So, someone writing a story in a setting that may have untanned white people in it, but telling the story of a group of people in that setting who aren't untanned white people, not because the author is intentionally excluding untanned white people, but because the story they imagined is about the characters they imagined who fit their story, isn't exclusion. Their cast of characters may not be racially diverse, but that isn't an example of exclusion. You could ask, "Why didn't you include characters that weren't untanned white skinned people?" and the answer could be, "My story was about these characters, that's why." ...now if the answer was, "Because I don't want to write about untanned white people." You then would have an example of exclusion based on skin color. The reasoning behind the author not wanting to write about untanned white people, may or may not be a matter of prejudice. So even if it's an example of exclusion, it's potentially not prejudice. The author may feel they don't know enough about untanned white people to write about them, because they've never seen or met one. That's inexperience, not prejudice.

      It's the reasons behind behaviors, that confer whether or not they're examples of exclusion or prejudice. Though some people certainly convey those intentions based on their actions and how they choose their words.

      Side note: For clarity, and because you mentioned it, the character I mentioned seeing as "white" (with sun-aged tan) was offered as a perspective. I definitely see the possibility she's a sun-damaged tan white person. The devs might say, "Hahaha no, no...we appreciate your perspective, but though she has (white) Northern European heritage, her African lineage in our story wasn't white and the genetic markers that result in dark skin would be considered active in this character." And that would be fine with me, because it's their character and story, and that clarification would be a detail. So whether or not you also see the perspective that she could be "white" with a tan, it still doesn't mean the accusation of (racial) exclusion is founded.

      Now, people feeling excluded as a reaction to not seeing characters they think reflects them based on skin color, is an important point to address. The emotional reaction can inform us when something isn't right. However, someone feeling excluded is not the same thing as exclusion having actually occurred. Feeling the emotion, doesn't mean the thing we're thinking is accurate. We perceive things that trigger emotional reactions that aren't always substantiated, but we still feel the emotion. This is why fictional entertainment, especially dramas, can really get us worked up. We know it's not real, but damn do we get the feels. Most of us anyway. It's no different then someone jumping out of nowhere to scare us. There's no real danger, but endorphins kick in and we react. Then often we laugh afterwards, because the thing that got us worked up (the perceived danger), wasn't actually a threat. People sometimes react to things they think they observe in the same manner, until they learn otherwise.

      Which leads us back to feelings and common understanding of those feelings. You're concerned the devs are excluding white untanned characters from the game, and the thought of it dismays you. Whether it's because you emotionally identify yourself with representations of white skin, or because you staunchly believe in skin-tone based inclusivism in all things (which in this part of the discussion is different from ethnic or racial inclusivism) because you've indicated specifically that a character with untanned white skin isn't available in the sample for you to connect with emotionally is the focus of your dismay. So you would reasonably ask the question of why there aren't characters with untanned white skin, but that isn't all that you did. You'd made a statement of being offended by it (emotional reaction), which you later corrected, but continued to infer the devs did something wrong (by inferring racial exclusion) in each post "even (if) by accident" by showing us a small group of NPC characters that (partially) make up the "Main Cast" (because our own player characters are the star of the show), nor are they likely to be the only NPC's in the game, and our player characters are likely to to include a range of skin tones. Although even if they don't, it still wouldn't be an example of exclusion, as explained above.

      So if they thought about excluding untanned white skinned characters from the game, then followed through on it based on skin color, that would be exclusion based on skin color.

      Anything else, isn't.

      So much more to say, but I think I hit Kickstarter's character limit. o.O

    11. ☆ dlux ☆ on December 8, 2016

      There is no need to imply that I might be a racist, RC. I was just asking why the game does not have any white (main) characters.

      Well, if this wasn't just a simple oversight and HBS is pushing a leftist (far left) agenda, then they should feel free to do so. They can do whatever they think is right and let people vote with their wallet.

    12. Dianne on December 8, 2016

      *Looks at cast, cast bios and setting* So, wait… this is basically Jagged Alliance: Now With Giant War Robots? Holy crap. Definitely glad I backed this.

    13. Ross
      Superbacker
      on December 8, 2016

      @RC, I find this whole discussion amusing, because i’m normally the one beating off politically correct people with a stick, yet here I am on a side of the fence I’m not used to debating a topic I have limited knowledge of with somebody that ordinarily I’d probably have more positive conversations with! The joys of the Internet!

      Anyway, just for clarity these character images were not put out as a small sample of NPC’s. This update was put out as the “main cast of Battletech!” and introduced us to the “main characters” of the mercenary story.

      I don’t know if there was a decision to exclude white people. I don’t know if it was an oversight. Thing is, unless you were part of the development team responsible for the creation and issuing of this update neither do you, so stating my opinion is either disingenuous or racist seems a bit harsh, particularly when your own opinion is based on a lot of knowledge about the subject matter of race/genealogy but no knowledge of the selection/decision-making processes used by the devs for this particular update (unless you were part of that process and can shed some light on it). I don’t have knowledge of this selection/decision-making process either, hence my concern and why I posted in the first place.

      We’ve already established that with one of the characters you see a white person that’s lived in the sun all their lives and is standing in the shade. I’m sure there are other people that see what you see as well. Good for all of you. I don’t see it that way and there are other people who appear to share my views. That doesn’t mean either of us are right or wrong. What it means is some people feel excluded. Unfortunately, in typical/predictable fashion, the moment it was raised anyone who did so had their post wordsmithed, was labelled as racist/prejudice and a poor member of the community for raising it. Yay! +1 for equality/inclusion.

      It could well be that there was a conscious decision to exclude white people from the main NPC characters of the game. It could be an oversight. It could be that no one even thought about it. I would hope it’s the latter but again - exclusion, even by accident, is still exclusion.

    14. RC on December 8, 2016

      @dlux To address your other comment separately, this isn't a political matter, which "leftist" denotes. It's a factual one. We're discussing ethnicity, race, and skin color, in terms of inclusion or exclusion, and the reasons behind the observations being made surrounding a small sample of NPC characters presented for a video game with a fictional far-future setting.

      As to hating ones self for being white, why should anyone hate themselves for their skin color? I'm certainly embarrassed by the racist sounding commentary of some other folks, like yourself, who might superficially resemble me in the eyes of others people, no matter their skin color, due to my own skin tone, but hating myself for it? That's silly. And so is racism. ^_^

    15. RC on December 8, 2016

      @Ross You've essentially voiced an accusation of exclusionary behavior based on skin color (not ethnicity because the ethnicity is factually represented), the point being, you've done so without a conclusive foundation for having done so. Showing a small handful of NPC's in a game without one of them having pale white skin is not a conclusive example of exclusionary behavior. To claim so is disingenuous at best. Racist propagandizing at worst.

      @dlux see above. There's no evidence "white people" don't exist in HBS's tale of the future. People of European descent are included in the NPC selection shown. And "Europeans" aren't all white people.

    16. ☆ dlux ☆ on December 8, 2016

      So white people (Europeans) don't exist in HBS' take of the future? May I ask why?

      BTW, not everybody is a leftist or hates themselves for being white.

    17. Ross
      Superbacker
      on December 8, 2016

      @RC, By the same token, your argument doesn’t conclude that their lack of inclusion was not based on race one way or the other. Without either of us being involved in the selection process it is impossible for us to be aware of the reasons (if any) that white europeans were not included. Hopefully by raising it, any form of exclusion (perceived or otherwise) can be avoided in the future.

    18. RC on December 7, 2016

      Aww, Kickstarter's comments section doesn't support the LLAP unicode symbol :(

    19. RC on December 7, 2016

      @Ross That's true, it also doesn't mean if white Europeans aren't selected, that they're being excluded. It doesn't conclude exclusion occurred based on race one way or the other.

      Except, you keep meandering back to inferring it does. As Spock would say, your logic is faulty. �

    20. Ross
      Superbacker
      on December 7, 2016

      @RC, Even if white europeans are seen as the majority representation in the industry it does not mean that white europeans cannot be excluded. I don't think exclusion in any form is positive.

    21. RC on December 7, 2016

      Soooo...who wants to point out how lack of majority representation is not the same as exclusion or inequality in an already highly unbalanced industry biased towards that majority? ◔_◔

    22. Ross
      Superbacker
      on December 7, 2016

      @Spartakus, I agree that there was a lot of time and effort that went into designing the characters and developing the artistic image. I agree with you and also applaud HBS for giving everyone a mixed heritage. What I don’t agree with is their choice to not graphically depict a single white European/person with the options available to them. Again, that’s my opinion.

      To be clear, I would have chimed in on this had people of any other colour not been graphically represented (although I doubt this would have happened, mainly because someone would have picked up on it and pulled it at the design/discussion phase). However, had it happened I doubt there would’ve been the same reaction to my posts.

      I wanted to flag that from my perspective white europeans/people were not depicted in an image and according to some that makes me racist/prejudice (which, as highlighted to RC, can be understandable from my earlier posts). Some people don’t see it as I do and that’s fine.

      In all honesty I am glad I said something. I am far from an expert in this subject matter but for me, racial inequities will continue so long as they aren’t talked about and exclusion in any form should never be accepted - irrespective of whether it is intentional or not.

    23. RC on December 7, 2016

      @Ross Agreed, wouldn't want our Potatoes/Potahtoes stored in shitbags either.

      ...though, we shouldn't forget the soil they grew in was likely full of it... ~_^

      Hey, so shit ain't that bad after all! ^_^

    24. Ross
      Superbacker
      on December 7, 2016

      @RC, Agreed, some of my word choices originally were poorly chosen. My later comments were based largely on your posts which made me realise that my original comments came across in a manner that I don't think represents what I really wanted to say. You seem to have a very strong grasp of geneology and real world ethnicities and you look at things differently to me. I see an image that excludes a certain demographic. Again, my opinion. Short version: I don't see what you see so we'll agree to disagree. "Potatoes/Potahtoes" and all that jazz. So long as those "Potatoes/Potahtoes" aren't stored in shitbags i'm happy. ;-)

    25. RC on December 6, 2016

      Hint: The statement of "What a silly superficial thing to be "offended" about." is bait. ~_^

    26. RC on December 6, 2016

      @Ross Hello again! As a "white guy" myself, I don't think the question is why isn't an ethnicity of "white European" represented graphically in this small sample of 10 NPC's, because I think at least one is, but why do you think HBS should even answer the question of why a "white European" person isn't in your opinion "represented graphically" in their small selection of NPC's when they have over 5000+ real-world ethnicities to choose from? What ethnicity should they leave out of their graphical representation in order to shoehorn in a "white European" NPC? Why didn't they include the other 4,980+ enthicities in their 10 character sample of NPC's?

      Why should a small sampling of characters in HBS's story represent textually or graphically any specific culture other than the one that fits their story?

      If your answer is that you want to feel your own ethnicity or skin color is "represented" - nothing says that your own skin color or ethnicity isn't represented in the game, but in this small sample of 10 NPC's what ethnicity or skin color should they disinclude in the sample to include yours?

      In fact, based on the NPC character information, "white European" ethnicity is represented in the graphical representation of this small sampling of 10 NPC's. Just not an untanned/pale "white" skin tone. Because I see an NPC that may very well be representative graphically of a "white European" that has sun-damaged tanned skin (see below). Of course, we had that discussion already in the Comments Tab thread which leads us to...

      Let's remember your original statement wasn't about "white European" representation, but only "white" skin color. You added the "European" later after stating you found it "offensive" for there not to be a "white" person in the 10 character sampling of NPC's,

      Here's the direct link to that statement https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/webeharebrained/battletech/comments…

      So skin color is revealed as your actual issue, not ethnicity. What a silly superficial thing to be "offended" about. Particularly when, it's quite obvious to me there may be "white European" representation in the graphical selection of the NPC's presented who just happens to to have a tan. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/webeharebrained/battletech/comments… but that didn't seem to sate your desire to keep asking the question of why a "white European" isn't graphically represented.

      So I'll ask again, why do you think HBS should even answer the question of why a real world ethnicity of "white European" isn't in your opinion "represented graphically" in their small selection of 10 NPC's in a fictional far future game setting when they have over 5000+ real-world ethnicities to choose from? And why don't we see the other 4,980+ ethnicities that aren't represented asking the same question about their own ethnicity?

      The actual answer to your question, is in the motivation which drives you to ask your question.

    27. Spartakus on December 6, 2016

      @Ross, OK, first of all I agree with you on some things. Most importantly, insulting people hurts your own cause and is toxic for the discussion.
      You seem to be quite reasonable to me and I don't think you deserve a racist label based on your comments on this topic. However you were not the only one arguing in this direction and there were some comments here and on other sides where a few very strong words come to my mind. So I can understand if someone reacts strongly to this topic, however counter-productive I think of it.
      As for your original question about the graphical representation, well that is where I strongly disagree with you. You can't just take the graphical representation and ignore the heritage. An artist doesn't draw a person and then asks what nationalities could be in there. It's the other way around. HBS has decided to give everyone a mixed heritage, almost always from two different continents. And I applaud to that.

    28. Ross
      Superbacker
      on December 6, 2016

      @Matthäus, I agreed with most of your post up to the "And i'm really damn happy, blah, blah, reactionary shitbags" comment. I wanted to stop posting about this topic but being one of the "reactionary shitbags" you're speaking about I felt the need to yet again clarify what you've obviously misunderstood. I was asking why white Europeans/people were not graphically represented. I wasn't speaking about the character backgrounds or text that accompanies the images - I was speaking about the fact the images, in my opinion, do not show a single white European/person.

      Some people feel differently. That’s fine. Some people look at the art and see things I don’t. That is also fine. At least posters that have vehemently disagreed with this view kept it civil and put their argument across in a logical context. I maybe don't agree with their views (or them with mine!) but at least the comments were "respectful and considerate".

    29. RC on December 6, 2016

      @Saber-Scorpion Not ignoring you sweetheart, but the bait is obvious and lacks subtlety. ^_^

    30. Missing avatar

      Kereminde on December 5, 2016

      . . . these are the same people who made Shadowrun: Hong Kong and Shadowrun: Dragonfall, right? And you think this is a new thing with the diversity to the cast?

    31. Saber-Scorpion on December 5, 2016

      I'm all for a diverse cast of characters, but this one seems to be lacking in representation for a particular group... The glaring avoidance of white people makes it obvious that this cast was created with a political agenda in mind. I'm disheartened to see HBS pushing this sort of agenda into what is supposed to be just a fun revival of a classic game. I'm glad others have complained about it too. Don't be this way, HBS, please.

    32. Matthäus Cebulla on December 5, 2016

      Battletech is the setting that brought us African/Japanese Samurai in the damn 80s. Not to mention that it treated female mechjocks and leaders as equally ass-kicking as their male counterparts from the start.

      If there's one setting where intermixing and diversity has been on the forefront from the start, it's Battletech.

      And I'm really damn happy to see it being continued here. :) Well done, HBS! Don't be dissuaded by reactionary shitbags.

    33. Michael Engard on December 4, 2016

      My two cents: between Britain, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland and northern Europe, I'd say that we pasty white folk have plenty of representation. :)

      In all seriousness, that's a vibrant, exciting cast of characters and I can't wait to meet them. I've played a lot of Battletech/MechWarrior as a game, but I have very little experience with the narrative side of this universe, so I'm really looking forward to it.

    34. RC on December 3, 2016

      @drow LOL Humanis can fraggin' slot-off, Chummer! ^_^

    35. drow on December 3, 2016

      and can i say, after the last several HBS games were SO GOOD on diversity, where the heck are all the dwarves, elves, and orcs? is battletech just a front for humanis? /sadcasm

    36. Missing avatar

      GM on December 3, 2016

      Man, I'm pumped about this game, just can't wait.

      As for ethnic diversity, HBS may have included too much. Chances are that humanity will be a nice, array of darker hues a thousand years into the future. The few science fiction stories that talk about race in the future recognize that as people's mobility increases, so does the range of possible partners. All "races" can expect to be diluted by all others in the near future. As a Canadian of Scottish/Irish/British descent, I have absolutely no reservations about the idea that "white race" will eventually dilute into non-existence, and it seems crazy to me that anyone cares. Loyalty to a race seems as crazy to me as loyalty to a height or a shoe size.

    37. Alex Clarke on December 3, 2016

      lol @ everyone freaking out over there not being more "White people". Get a grip on yourselves. Stupidity level over 9000.....

    38. RC on December 3, 2016

      @Khell I'm not going to assume that vocal accents in a fictional setting over 1000 years into a fictional future will align with current-day expectations of racial stereotyping.

      However, I do hope the feature has a diverse voice cast just to keep things interesting. From what I've seen through HBS's and related social media, they're already putting a lot into recording the voice actors, so I think (hope) it's unlikely that portion of the feature set will be cut. Never say never, but I also hope it...makes the cut...and doesn't get scrubbed ^_^

      ...and that there are subtitles for all voice work too. ~ _^

    39. mikogamer on December 3, 2016

      Love the characters. Never played as a Hawaiian / Maori before :)

    40. Khell on December 3, 2016

      @RC
      In video games more than any other medium, something promised is not always something delivered (*cough* NoManSky *cough). I have the utmost faith in HBS, but the simple reality of game development is that a feature can always be scrubbed. I'm hoping that one isn't, and that it has a wee bit more variety than, say, Saints Row 2/3/4 did.

      ...Let's see, we have the blatantly-generic voice that works with most anybody from white to black to Dr. Manhattan blue. Got the "black stereotype / ganger" sounding voice, the indistinct Hispanic voice, and the British (Male) / Russian (Female). Yep, that covers enough ethnicities, and the proper ones no less, for a game where the primary gangs are Japanese, Hatian, and Native American, and the single most awesome character is an unspecified Asian (Likely Chinese or like his voice talent, Korean).

      Yeah, you want to talk about a game with bad racial representation, grab your dubstep cannons and penetrator bats, because the Row, for all its customization, fell way short.

    41. Nohvarr on December 3, 2016

      I am impressed with the progress I see here and I love the way you are keeping the game consistent with the mixed heritages of the Inner sphere as shown in some of your older books, Like the character Minobu Tetsuhara, from Wolves on the border.

      I've already bought a jacket and hat from you guys but could be tempted into some other purchases depending on what your come up with.

    42. Missing avatar

      Lukas Daniel Klausner
      Superbacker
      on December 2, 2016

      I can't say anything nice (or likely to survive moderation :p) about or to the backers who are complaining about “too much diversity” in the character backgrounds, so I won't.

      Anyway, I think it's great the way it is. Thanks for having such a diverse array of backgrounds.

    43. RC on December 2, 2016

      @Khell "...we plan for you to be able to customize your MechWarriors - swap portraits or voice sets and rename them." - HBS_HighCommand (aka: Mitch)

      https://community.battletechgame.com/forums/threads/4924/comments/86870

    44. Khell on December 2, 2016

      I truly do hope we get to customize our player characters - not to shut up the suspiciously white-proud crowd, but because I really want my first playthrough to be as an exiled Kuritan looking to regain some honor on the periphery.

    45. Missing avatar

      Patrick Coyle on December 2, 2016

      I'm getting a lot of "one drop" vibe from the comments here - I suppose it doesn't matter that roughly half these characters count significant European descent, "pure" white is the only white that counts.

      Well, as far as this British/Irish/Mediterranean man feels - why get our undies twisted over it? I just like awesome characters, and the BattleTech universe keeps delivering on the awesomeness of smart, tough, battle-hardened veterans.

      HBS has a proven track record or creating some memorable casts of characters, and I'm sure this won't be any different.

    46. Missing avatar

      Kereminde on December 2, 2016

      I wonder, if the PC gets the chance to be your average Davion type from the general look of them before (white, male, affluent) . . . are we going to see the same names coming back here to complain about how unfair it is to have the appearance of needing a Caucasian character to come "get the minorities in line"? Cause you know . . .

      Or maybe because there's an inevitable chance you could be darker-hued, it'll be minorities and women taking over space. You know, the postage-stamp which the Aurigan Coalition represents which could be swallowed up even in the Capellan Confederation . . .

      Do we start taking bets now, because honestly this was the fourth game I've been watching in the last four months to get blasted heavily with the same particular complaint, and it's wearing real old.

    47. Spartakus on December 2, 2016

      @Kereminde ...19 hours from the update....
      You and me both brother :-(

    48. RC on December 2, 2016

      Because every single mercenary group ever before, and ever to be, included a white guy in the ship's crew? (White guy here snarkily asking a ridiculous rhetorical question.)

      It's possible our options for our Commander and our MechWarriors will include a Caucasian, it's possible they won't. This is our ship's NPC crew, and a few plot related NPC's. They look pretty interesting to me. They're also not the only characters that'll be in the game. Science says racial diversity will decline as population increases anyway. Folks mingle and mix and meet cool people they like and have babies, regardless of genetic origin or artificial human-made land boundaries. Such is life.

      In the mean time, we're getting a peek at story content in a game. The characters should be interesting, engaging, entertaining. These characters seem interesting. I Hope they're engaging and that I find them entertaining when I get to play the game.

      Those who disregarding characters without learning more about them because they're not the same genetic/racial, cultural, or national as one's self aren't sharing their "preferences" so much as exhibiting prejudice which is racial or cultural/nationalistic in nature. Maybe these NPC's won't turn out to be interesting or entertaining, maybe they will be deeply engaging.
      Now, it's understandable to want to connect on a personal level, to affiliate our selves with the characters we play in a game. We haven't yet seen the Player Character options or background options for our Player Characters" We've only seen NPC's that make up a small portion of this game's universe we'll be interacting with.

      People connect with alien species in games and other media because they share emotional, experiential, or interest based connections. But another human being is out of the question? I know I can personally connect with a Player Character of any race that shares story-based personal experiences that I have, or engages in activities that I do... whether it's an interest in baseball, a passion for technology, the same music I like..etc. I can enjoy a Player Character that doesn't physically reflect my external appearance because there are other interests that I can connect with.

      It's also understandable that some folks feel they can experience greater immersion if the Player Characters (our Commander, or MechWarriors) resemble themselves, or hail from a similar culture. Greater immersion can mean having more fun. But, none of the characters presented here are Player Characters.

      So, are some people saying because there's no explicit Caucasian among the very limited number of NPC's presented here which we'll encounter, not play as in-game, that they can't enjoy a game? Do people really feel the devs "must be" prejudice because a handful of (seemingly pretty interesting) NPC's aren't white?

      Yeah...that's called a kneejerk prejudice reaction.

      Granted, some folks might be trolling the issue because they enjoy causing consternation/stirring up trouble for other people, without genuinely caring about the issue. Or, writers/reporters/bloggers/media consultants are stirring up issues under pseudonyms they can use for article content that generates clicks and thus benefits them via the almighty dollar/euro/pound/yen...etc.

      So many agendas, so much self interested prejudice.

      My self interest? I'd like a damn good Battletech game with interesting characters and fun gameplay. So far, from the little we've seen, I think HBS seems to be delivering the goods. ^_^

    49. Khell on December 2, 2016

      ...no Mech con for me... *Sulk*

      Anyhoo, if I could chime in about the whole race issue people are debating. There is one "white" character I would do anything, pay anything to get included in the game.

      "Tiny Tina"

      You get Gearbox to license you Tina as a Mech mechanic, voice talent and all (Ashly Burch or no deal), and I would never turn the game off except to load fan-mod skins to redecorate my mech as Buttstalion.

      Odds of that happening...probably less than seeing Harmony Gold pay back former-Fasa staff and Battletech fans for all the hardship and damage they caused. But, a person can dream...

    50. Missing avatar

      Kereminde on December 2, 2016

      I really doubt everything which was in the backer reward kits will be available. At most I would suspect the banners/pins/patches will be available but that's still sketchy. The jackets? I'm totally expecting those not to be made available considering the logistical nightmares of getting them done.