Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Five or So Questions with Wade Dyer on Fragged Empire

Tell me a little about Fragged Empire. What excites you about it?
There is a lot about my project that excites me. But most of all, is the dream of having my book completed & being enjoyed by others. I have a real 'artisan' approach to my work, pouring all of my skill, time & passion into this project. But I long for it to be completed, for people to not only hold it & read it, but for it to be used. I want it to be sitting at peoples gaming tables, in their bookshelves & being discussed on obscure RPG forums.

Before we talk about the game - your website and art are bangin'! Tell me a little about the artist selection, art direction, and overall feel you were going for with the art.

Ha ha, love the word 'bangin'!

I'm a freelance graphic designer (who also dabbles in illustration) by trade, so I made the website myself & have a lot of experience working with other creatives.

I'm very passionate about working with emerging artists, you will intentionally see no big names in my books credits. I must have went through almost 200 hundred (no joke) different artists galleries. I then sent emails or DeviantArt notes to those who met my criteria. While I have artwork from almost a dozen different artists in my book, most of it will be done by 4 particular artists who demonstrated a passion for not only my project, but for their own trade. Clonerh Kimura, Fyodor Ananiev, Alexandrescu Paul & Niam. These guys & gal have been fantastic to work with, so full of passion & dedication, they really get what I'm trying to do.

I really want the art in my book to show 2 things. Firstly, it needs to convey the tone of the setting; beautiful, modern, detailed, subtle depth, but vibrant & fun. That mix of energy & grit. Secondly, it needs to convey the passionate craftsmanship that has gone into this book. Visual art is so easy & fast to consume, reading stories & non digital game mechanics can take a lot longer to grasp. Its my hope that people will look at the art & the website, & see that I & my team have really poured our passion & skill into this project, in every way.

On to the game! Tell me a little about the different character types in Fragged Empire. What makes them unique?
Characters in this setting are not defined by a class, they are a person. Able to draw their identity from anything they choose. Which could be as straight forward as their profession or weapon, or it could be through their relationships with other characters. Each choice they make, is also a choice to not be other things.

Each character will also carry a certain amount of baggage, primarily from their race & culture. Prejudice, regret & hope run deep through every race, but in dramatically different ways.

What kind of mechanics did you use to emphasize the game's aesthetic?
This is quite a big question, so I will focus on just two examples.

Cultural tension; when you choose a race, you automatically gain prejudice from at least one other playable race. By default, that race will be suspicious of you, possibly even violent towards you. Who you are, not just how good you roll, will often define how other characters respond to you. You will also have a number of game options (Traits) that will be opened to you, while others will be closed to you, simply because of your race & cultural upbringing. It is not possible for one person to completely overcome their racial baggage.

Post-apocalyptic; a lack of readily available civilized infrastructure & self reliance are two major themes of the setting. This is highlighted through a Spare Time Points system, where each character only has a certain amount of spare time to spend on their personal hobbies & side interests. Including: Research, Trading, Modifying their Weapon or exercising. How your character spends their spare time is important, as time is a valuable resource. Are you a practical or theoretical engineer? Do you spend all your time modifying, maintaining & upgrading equipment, or do you spend your time researching ancient mechanical artifacts & exploring theoretical ideas?

What players do you think would most enjoy Fragged Empire?
If you like long, sandbox games with miniatures, then this game system is ideal for you.
If you like culture & art (both visual & narrative), then you will enjoy this setting.
If you like science fiction, you will love this book.

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