Developer Notes

Dev Notes 3 – Alternative History as Social Justice

Regardless of genre, role-playing is ultimately an exercise in fantasy. We want to imagine that we are knights, or wizards, or vampires, or space marines. There is a cathartic release that comes from pretending to be something we are not, in a world unlike ours. That world may have drawbacks as well as advantages, but even the drawbacks are things that we enjoy imagining. We are intrigued by how different they are from the challenges of our own daily lives, and we rest in the knowledge that those drawbacks will disappear as soon as we step away from the table (or out of character, in the case of a LARP).

Dev Notes 2 - RPG Archetypes in Historical Gaming

Warrior, Thief, Wizard, Priest.

They are the four classic archetypes of tabletop roleplaying, so iconic that they have been rendered into one form or another in nearly every class-based RPG since the dawn of gaming. When MMOs entered the scene, they took slightly different names: Tank, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, and Healer. The MMO has also added the concept of "crowd control," which has in turn made its way back into tabletop gaming. But essentially we can still find places for most roleplaying characters that correlate to those four original archetypes. Certainly, systems and players have added layers of complexity on top of these paradigms, but we fall back into these patterns for a reason. They are powerful in their ability to inspire us and yet clearly understandable in their depictions of role and identity.

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Dev Notes 1 - Another Steampunk Game?

Almost three years ago, the core concept behind Steamscapes was born in long conversations on the drive back from GenCon. At the time, we would be forgiven for presuming that the genre of "steampunk RPG" was largely unrepresented. Frankly, it was. In the intervening time, a number of games have appeared to try to fill this gap with varied success. However, our commitment to bringing Steamscapes to completion has not wavered, largely because those offerings have failed to provide what we think Steamscapes provides.

So to answer the question we have posed ourselves rhetorically, we believe we can confidently say, "No. Steamscapes is not just another steampunk game."

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