Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fate of Biomorph (and me!)

I enjoy a diverse variety of projects.

I'm in a tricky position right now.

No, not just that.  I was in a car crash.  Nothing serious, no one was hurt, but things rapidly got complicated, and now I'm in a protracted legal battle with an insurance company.

This isn't to whine or ask for pity, it's just to help you understand where I have been: it's been an extremely busy time for me, these past few weeks.  On the upside, my internship has finally morphed into a job, so that's nice.

But still, legal troubles bring depression.  I'm on the upswing now, but I was pretty low there for a while.  It's also given me quite a bit of time to think about Biomorph, especially with the impending 6th.

I have to say, I never expected both so much and so little community support.  So much in that a TON of people contacted me, offering help and services.  Our forum is excellent, and gives fantastic ideas.  Everyone involved is overwhelmingly positive.

On the other hand, no one really playtests.  Big thank you to those who have.  I always knew that would basically be the make-or-break of this project, and the current outlook doesn't look too good.  It's been three weeks since patch 1.1 came out, and we have a total of... 7 battle reports from our users.  It's disheartening.  Without that feedback, I'm going pretty blind, and my team can only do so much on our own.  I could even playtest every list in the game and still be blind, as they'd all be done in my play style and my methods.  Other perspectives are essential.

That's a bind.  I considered saying "1.2 comes out when we reach X number of battle reports" but that's a tough solution.  It could effectively kill the project if it's too high, and too low means we don't get enough data to effectively base future decisions off of.  I'd love 100 reports, but I doubt we'd ever get there.  I bet we could do 20, but then I just don't learn enough.

Then there's 6th, which is shaping up to be... interesting.  I'm still holding off on saying "good", but a lot of the behind-the-scenes info I've been getting is very encouraging.  It's not going to be a fantastic game, but I think it will be a step in the right direction from 5th.  Hell, I've had people contact me and ask if some of Biomorph's rules are based on 6th ed, and vice versa. (Silly. =P)  I do know that 6th won't solve some of the big issues, but I think it will be a better game.

But I don't really know, and that's part of the problem.  I've said before if 6th is fantastic I would drop the project, in truth, I don't see much point in it if it is even just okay.  >5th ed is a pretty good baseline.

If it is, it makes sense to me to drop Biomorph and instead focus on an area where we can have greater impact: the tournament scene.  Creating a standard mission set, standardized terrain setups, etc. would be a HUGE boon to our little hobby, one we can enact pretty easily, and which we can continuously communally develop.

I've always been 100% honest with you guys.  I do not want to mislead anyone or have people follow into my projects with a lie.  I feel a little guilty, after all, people have put work into Biomorph, pledged support, thrown themselves behind me.  Kirbs even bought me a forum.  It feels like a betrayal to abandon the project, but the further we go the harsher this gets.  I don't have the playtest I need, and 6th is looking to not suck.  The project is likely dead.

So what do I do?

I wait.  It's really the only option.  Until I can get my hands on a rulebook, there's no real decision to be made here.  I have another article coming up here soon, about all the 6th ed. analysts that have appeared, but suffice it to say: it's probably better to adjust the new set and interact with the community at large if the game is any good.

Until then, we'll integrate a bit more.  The forums have already expanded to include some gaming sections, eventually they'll be part of 3++ (we're at work on this currently, trying to get it setup just after 6th so all those great conversations in the chatbawks aren't so transient; the 40k stuff is up now so start using it! - Kirby).  I would like to expand our community here, push the site, and help the community at large.  Contrary to the belief of many, I am NOT looking for personal glory- my aim is to create a better community, a better competitive environment, and a happier playerbase.  Biomorph is an extension of that spirit, and if it does die, then it just means it's time to move onto different projects.

So why am I posting this?  I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.  Do you want me to keep on with biomorph, or would you rather I work on some of my other projects?

Feast has been extremely supportive of me, and these are a few of the projects I would be working on:

1.)  Mission Book.  An actual book.  This would have 60 missions in it, 30 win/loss and 30 battle point.  In addition, it would have rules for apocalypse scenarios (side tables that effect the main game, better themed objectives) and campaign play (themed asymmetrical scenarios, like ambushes, beach landings, etc) as well as campaign trees (scenario X leads to Y leads to either aa or AA depending on victor, etc.)  It would have art, fluff, all that kind of stuff as well.  It would be fun to do some community writing/art competitions, I bet I could get my hands on some sweet giveaways.

2.)  Battlefield Book.  If the mission book gets made, this would be the next one up.  The idea here would be to give some "standard" maps that the community could use as a base for competitive play.  Not only would it include layouts, but it would include instructions and costs for building the terrain, as well as some new terrain rules.

3.)  40k Casting.  Right now, this is in pretty bad shape.  No offense to the people casting right now, it's not your fault, we're all trying to figure it out.  But I'm a pretty good candidate for this.  I cast the last Feast of Blades livestream mission from the chat, and enjoyed it immensely.  I'll be doing the next one too.  I've already resigned as Feasts head judge next year so that I can cast all weekend instead, and I would LOVE to do it at other events.  That's a real possibility, and I would love to look into it.

If Biomorph does continue, I'd be thrilled, but it seems unlikely. (unless a bunch of people out of nowhere start to play it.)  If it doesn't, it was anything but a waste of time.  I really enjoyed the conversations I had with all of you, and even all the things I read but kept quiet on.  Maybe you won't want to be involved in future projects, but I hope you will, because you've all been fantastic.  I loved talking to you guys, sometimes for hours.  Sometimes for long, aggravating hours. =) I'm extremely grateful to you all, and you should keep in touch.  (And use the other parts of the forum when they come up, I'll be there.)

I'll make a final decision when 6th hits.  Until then, your thoughts?

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