aspqrz
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 15:24

Wow. It looks like a lot of you have Political Science degrees.

Double History Major (Ancient/Medieval and Modern) with a Minor in Government & Public Administration (aka 'Political Science') ... and lived through the period in question.

So I guess I qualify :-)

And that may be the market portion that is most dubious (or may not be) - the ones who played the original versions and who lived through the period in question.

Phil McGregor
========
Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).
 
Arrigo74
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 15:28

History Degree (ancient), War Studies MA and PhD... lived through the latter portion of the Cold War, attended Military Academy just after the end, familiar with 1st and 2nd edition... so probably I fit in Phil's category.

Heck, when I was doing selection for the Academy, my and some roommates brainstormed a new post cold war background for T2K!
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aspqrz
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 15:29

And that is a problem <sigh> a number of backers (possibly large, possibly small) expected it to be both ...
To some extent, of course it is both, there is certainly plenty of military simulation in the game, but at it's core, it's a survival roleplayig game. And I think we have been very clear about this. All games need a focus.

Well, for some extremely limited values of 'both'

This is literally from the first two paragraphs of the Kickstarter:

"The new retro-apocalyptic edition of Twilight: 2000, published in partnership with Game Designers' Workshop, goes back to the roots of the franchise with a boxed set for sandbox roleplaying in the devastation of World War III. Just like the original version, the new edition is set in a year 2000 devastated by war – now in an alternate timeline where the Moscow Coup of 1991 succeeded and the Soviet Union never collapsed."

"Our goal is to build on the amazing sandbox survival gameplay and develop it further, making it more accessible using the tools of modern game design."

None of which necessarily precluded giving us a game that did both.

Phil McGregor
========
Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).
 
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 15:33

Moderator Message: Stop this measuring contest, all of you or I will be forced to do something else than just write messages.
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Vader
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 20:02


To some extent, of course it is both [an open-world survival game and a military simulator], there is certainly plenty of military simulation in the game, but at it's core, it's a survival roleplayig game. And I think we have been very clear about this. All games need a focus.

Well, for some extremely limited values of 'both'

Interestingly, in the months preceding the Alpha, we had very lively discussions going here, in multiple threads, regarding the game’s applicability to the various types of gameplay we wanted to see ... centred exclusively around the system mechanics!
Now that we have the Alpha, that discussion has evaporated. Apart from obviously fixable details like the Ammo Die mechanic, most appear confident the system will, eventually, deliver what they’re looking for.

Instead, the discussion has shifted here — is the setting’s military background scenario serviceable for the games and campaigns we want to play?

We did have some very good discussions — again, in multiple threads — also on various aspects of the background scenario before the Alpha, but those discussions took place in a vacuum — we had no data whatsoever on where the game was taking the worldbuilding; only speculation.

And hope.


But indeed — there should really be nothing to preclude the game from delivering both, if there is an interest in letting it do so.
And if many enough here show that there is indeed a commercial demand for it — who knows; maybe it’ll still happen?
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 22:32

I will make a short comment here for now - there will be plenty of opportunities to talk specifics later.

The main point: Any alternate history scenario that sees the Soviet Union bouncing back to invade Poland and mount a war across Europe against NATO, and having US troops scattered "on their own" in Poland by the year 2000, will be unrealistic. Of course it will - it didn't happen in the real world, after all.

Agreed, Twilight: 2000 is a game that requires more authenticity than other RPGs, but you cannot get around the main point above. No matter what backstory we write, there will be complaints about how unrealistic it is. And those complaints will of course be valid - because the core premise of the game is unrealistic. This is not the real world - it's an imaginary, fictional setting, created to be an interesting world to roleplay in.

That said, we are happy to take constructive feedback on specifics elements in the timeline. It's not perfect. It's an Alpha.
As I posted in in-pdf feedback, the Clinton term not following up in a number of US military interventions is good reason to relabel the president then, as well. Clinton was rather hawkish for a Democrat.(Haiti, Bosnia, No-Fly zones, and many smaller things)... Portraying him as a do-nothing really isn't in character for him, so a fictional alternate would be less of an insult to the historical (and still living) man.
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omnipus
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 23:19

Well, he never presided over a world where the USSR was still in existence. So in many respects it was the first administration in a long time that had true carte-blanche to do all sorts of foreign adventuring. It's very hard to say how that might have been different in a world that still has a Soviet Union in it.
 
Olefin
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Thu 03 Dec 2020, 00:18

One thing I'd add is the problem of incongruities and the way human imagination works. RPGs settings tend to unravel over time if they have certain in-built incongruities from the outset. As more people apply brain power to a setting, the more it can potentially become unravelled if it's core has various flaws. Now, no setting is one hundred percent bullet-proof, but if problems of logic, inter-relations, etc are problematic from the outset then the setting is shooting itself in the foot. It could also potentially limit future output for that rpg, and thus the rpg will die a slow death. If an rpg is to have legs and potentially be a source of income for a publisher, it's going to need a certain amount of setting consistency in order for that to happen.

Okay, it will be tricky to come up with a setting structure that satisfies everyone, but perhaps it would be useful to reach some sort of consensus about what does and doesn't work. If it's possible to amend and tweak things, so much the better. Otherwise, one would have concerns about the lifespan of the rpg and the potential for new material to be written for it, free or commercial.
Amen!!
 
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Thu 03 Dec 2020, 01:34

Moderator Action: Removed some posts that had nothing to do with this thread. This thread is about discussing The World At War as it is seen in 4e and give feedback about it to the designers/writers of the game, nothing else. If you want to discuss something else, do that in an appropriate subforum, in a new thread if no one exist yet. If you want to discuss admin/moderator actions do that through a pm.
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Vader
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Re: [ALPHA] THE WORLD AT WAR comments/feedback

Fri 11 Dec 2020, 13:50

I've been scratching my head over the Swedish scenario. For instance:

In the following months the odd missile came down, with Stockholm and Gothenburg being hit by multiple Soviet strikes. The nukes caused massive damage to the Swedish infrastructure and food riots became common.
...
The first winter after the big wheels stopped turning made it very clear that without electricity, central heating and trucks to deliver groceries to the grocery store, Sweden was not built for close to 9,000,000 people. On top of that, the winter of ‘98–’99 was horrible and brought sub-zero temperatures for three months in most of the country, and –40 degrees Celsius for weeks in the north. The cold restored the natural balance, so to speak. And it did not take sides. It killed anyone.

For those who followed the Swedish setting thread months ago, and/or are intimately familiar with Swedish conditions, the evolution of this scenario should come across as a bit odd.

To begin with — in the 90's (unlike now) Sweden was 100% self-sufficient on vital foodstuffs, with production taking place in large parts of the country. There was some concentration, but there were few populated parts of the country that didn't have any agriculture. You find rural regions with active agriculture within a 30min car ride even from central Stockholm.

Couple that with the stockpiles of strategic consumables — e.g. fuel — dispersed around much of the country, all road transport (and thereby food distribution, which, as noted, wouldn't even need long haul transports) stopping dead seems less than plausible. The system was intentionally designed to be resilient specifically even in a scenario of a few nukes dropping on the country.

So in the end, food riots, widespread famine, tons of people dying of starvation ... are all a bit difficult to see happening.


Furthermore, Swedish houses are — unlike e.g. British homes — extremely well insulated, and far from all of them reliant of central heating even today, even less so in the 90's. Many have wood burners of some kind installed.
And up in the far north, where the temperatures would creep to -40°C, the infrastructure would be even more resilient, with many homes possible to warm with wood (a plentiful resource) plus about half of the country's electrical power generation just around the corner. It would take a very great, highly concentrated effort to knock this out.

So, with sub-zero temperatures for months on end, sure, home temperatures may creep below the comfort level for many, forcing people to put on thicker clothes than normal and snuggle into blankets, but lethal...?

We've had occasions with weeks-long power outages in the dead of winter in some outlying regions. People didn't die en masse from them, either.


Again, I see that the setting's basic premise poses certain requirements, for certain. I get that.

But, again — surely that basic premise should be possible to fulfil here, as well, with a back story that doesn't break with plausibility too severely?
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