Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yo, West End Games, what up?

The glorious resurrection of West End Games was the talk of the gaming world a few months ago. They had a shiny new product called Septimus, even including softcover print copies for sale at GenCon. They had a new business model, the Opend6 project. They started releasing old d6 products as free pdf downloads. It seems now, however, all that momentum has melted away. If you want a dead tree copy of Septimus, you have to order one of the softcover copies left over from GenCon, since the hardcover version intended for retail still hasn't shipped. The Opend6 website still hasn't been activated and some of the d6 products intended to be released for free have not yet been made available.

Regarding Septimus, it is a game setting that fills the same niche as Eclipse Phase by Catalyst Game Labs (an awesome game with an awesome setting) and Fadings Suns by RedBrick and Holistic Design (a mediocre game with an awesome setting) as well as games like CthulhuTech, Dark Heresy and Traveller to a lesser extent. Suffice to say, there is some stiff competition out there. WEG can't afford to be perceived as a fly-by-night operation.

Oh, one more thing. Please WEG, do something about the website. Your average cat blog looks better.

-Rognar-

3 comments:

Obiri said...

I detailed Vendlon under the last Gish post. It was meant to be short but... well you'll see.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

I'm not familiar with the d6 system. Are all rolls simply based on a d6?

Rognar said...

Yes, the d6 system uses a dice pool mechanic, the higher your skill, the more d6s you throw. As dice pools systems go, however, it's not too onerous, since you rarely throw more than 6 or 7 dice. One twist is the concept of the wild die. You include one d6 of a different colour from the rest which is your wild die, a critical success/critical failure mechanic. If the wild die comes up 6, you roll again and add it to your result. Another 6, you roll again. On the other side, if your wild die is 1, you subtract it and your highest other die from your total.

West End Games used to be a major player back in the early 90s when they owned the Star Wars and Ghostbusters licenses. They never disappeared completely, largely due to their moderately successful TORG game, but they've been on life support for years now.