Monday, March 2, 2015

Direction for StarCluster 4th Edition

So, here's the thing. StarCluster 3 was huge. Intimidating. It did not give you a setting. It did not even give you a damned resolution mechanic. It threw tools at you and expected you to know what to do with them. There was no default style of play. It was too open. It gave people blank paper syndrome. They didn't know where to start. Too much information.

That is the negative feedback I got from SC 3. Of course, people who are comfortable working that way - like me - love it, but I'm in a tiny minority here.

I have to change that for StarCluster 4.

I hate to give defaults, because people take defaults and assume that they are canon, but maybe I have to. How do I do this without giving up the freedoms SC3 gave? What is the best way to approach this?

Should I create a package, with a default setting, a default chargen, a default resolution mechanic, some default aliens, and a default style of play keyed through a default Association? Maybe more than one such package?

Should I strip out the vague background universe entirely from the tools, and give tools to create your own background universe? So you can have your galactic empire or federation of planets or whatever, leaving the old Anti-empire trade and defense league as just another option?

Should I open up development entirely? I mean licensing SC3 was trivial - it cost you an extra buck to get the Developer's Edition and license, and opened up big chunks of the game for direct copy - but very few did anything with it. Should I bother? Did that really get SC out there to more people? I don't think so.

Or should I just put SC3 in the public domain and walk away? I can just keep SC4 for my friends and family, and be happy. It's not like I make money on this shit.


  1. Need more Starcluster. If you're done though, your done. Its if you want to share it and feel working on it will matter TO YOU, that's important.