Evolution of a gaming product
While working on my latest product I have to laugh at the way it has evolved and the way it evolved. My latest title started simply by me asking Jason Waters at hero games if I could use the Terror Inc. in a product. He put me in contact with Steve Perrin who owned the rights to the characters and he gave me permission to use them. So far, so good as it is said.
My plan was to make the product part of my S.I.D.s Report line. This line of products is small products that will introduce new villains and heroes for use with Champions. The characters powers and backgrounds are complete, though bases and vehicles are not usually included. This line was designed to simply be a small product that would introduce new characters while showing the difference between what is generally known about the character and the truth behind the character.
It wasn’t meant to be a large product or a campaign book or even a product that would greatly affect a campaign. I envisioned it more like the original enemies books where new characters were given and GMs took it from there. This was what I original plan for Terror Inc., to be included in this series of products. Plans to tend to changes though.
I mentioned on the Hero System Facebook page that I receive permission to use the characters. I figured that I couldn’t be the only person who liked the group and thought others might like to know. A few days later I noticed someone on the Hero Games forum mentioned the post. Through posting with them I realized there were others like me who would use the group. So I decided to make a thread and ask what they might like to see in the book. The posts and ideas start coming and I quickly realized that this was not going to fit in the S.I.D.s Report line at all. The information they were hoping for was not the information that is normally given in an S.I.D.s title. So a change had to be made to my plan and a lot more work was going to be needed.
Instead of an S.I.D.s title I decided to make it part of my Villainy Codex line, the second in the line to be exact. This line is a far larger and more detailed description of a group and the possible effects on a campaign they may have. The first product in the line was called Mutant Conflict and gave a description of a group that hunted down mutants. This group can greatly affect a campaign as can Terror Inc based on the information that I was adding to the group. With bases, vehicles and other information it was obvious that this was the product line for the supplement I was going to create. So the work started and through it all it was obvious that the book belonged in the series.
The work started and was progressing nicely the problem was the more I worked on it the more I added. The more I added the more Ideas I had for other things to add, so on and so on. The other thing I enjoyed about this title is the more I started working on it the more I discovered about the group. I’m not one to incorporate everything that comes out from Hero Games, or elsewhere, into my campaigns. However, there were things in 4th edition that I didn’t even know existed for Terror Inc. I never knew that they had an island stronghold of the coast of South America. I knew they worked out of South America but never knew that there was an island fortress there.
I never knew there was an island city that they were in the process of taking over either. All this, and some new characters Steve Perrin added, was news to me as I used the team from Classic Enemies. Now when Steve Long had Scorpia and Fuer, as he was known at the time, try and kill Professor Muerte and then moved on to Eurostar I knew about. This is where I started building my Terror Inc. as well as the history moving forward and the past as well.
This is what the supplement evolved into a supplement that was far larger and encompassed for more than I originally planned. Of course I’m sure this is the same thing other game designers and story writers have found when working on their projects. You start with a simple idea and sometimes it expands into something you didn’t plan but ultimately embrace.
You can find Villainy Codex II – The Return of Terror Inc. for sale at RPGNow, my website at http://www.tigerseyemedia.com/tiger/product.html , in the Champions section, and soon at the Hero Games Webstore