May 25th, 2010
In Focus - Werewolves, Vampires and Monster Hunters, Oh My!
Here's a little something I've had on the back-burner for a number of years now. I like to call this "The Coolest Game You'll Probably Never Play!" This is what I think would be the next big hit miniatures/wargame, in detail.
This would be a Skirmish game, utilizing stat cards which come with each miniature. This could be dice driven, or card-driven, but I'm leaning towards the card-driven game to capitalize on the current trend of card-driven versus dice resolution driven games. 5-10 miniatures per side, 4x4 table, and a ruler, is all else that would be needed. Terrain is always good, but it could even include a basic paper map of a graveyard, shopping mall, a medieval farm, (you get the picture). I'd lean towards this utilizing unpainted plastic/metal miniatures too, which would appeal to the hobby enthusiast crowd. Wahammer 40k, Warmachine and even Flames of War have all proven that's where the money truly is in this market now.
The initial time-line would take place in a Medieval/Steampunk/Spaghetti-Western/Victorian/Pirate genre, very similar to the setting of some other existing games. A later expansion could include time-travel too, giving us the means to handle the gameplay in a modern setting. This opens the door to a lot more profit, because you could now make alternate versions dressed differently, and for a reason, instead of the same character 3-4 times, dressed the same too in an alternate pose, like another manufacturer has done. At least an alternate piece in this game would truly be an alternate piece, not the same thing standing differently. Best of all, Time Travel would also serve a purpose.
The time-travel angle would allow us to do something we've always wanted to in other games, which is imagine if you could play Warhammer Fantasy Battles versus Warhammer 40k? In this game you could play the two different era character types against each other. This would open the door for some of the later classes to be added too, and loads of uber fun possibilities. It could be explained as easily as the Monster Hunter scientist monks were experimenting with some stuff they learned through investigating some occult activity, and poof, it accidentally opened up a portal which can't be closed now.
Overall this would be a game of monsters and monster hunters, utilizing many of the stereo-types we've seen time and again in the Horror/Sci-fi genre over the past century. This would be the ONE to have them all pretty much. Although it wouldn't need to include them all at once, and overwhelm the consumer. You don't throw all your cards on the table all at once, this is what expansions and later releases are for. The initial release would be called something like Immortal Moon (I know not the best title, but it's a working title), which would include monster hunters, vampires and werewolves in a clash for supremacy.
Here's a little breakdown of what I had in mind, without giving it all away...
Weaponry - Wooden projectiles/holy-water/liquid ultra violet/liquid garlic/claws and teeth
Overview - The primary werewolves would be rather large, about 9ft tall in scale to the average 6ft man piece. They would look very much like full on wolves, only standing upright, long snout, huge claws, the whole nine yards. Pretty much, the coolest form of werewolf we've seen to date.
The average humanoid werewolves would more resemble the classic mid-transformation werewolf, looking more like the classic Lon Chaney JR werewolf, and they would rely more on wooden projectile firing weapons, tips dipped in holy-water/garlic, ultra violet rays en-capsuled into bullet tips, and some basic claws. These would be more feral types, than full blown werewolves. These could be considered big-dawgs in training, and they would be the primary troop types.
The peon of this race would be what I'd consider the Keepers, which are full blooded humans, who are loyal to their wolf clans, and assist in making sure they're protected as they change, and help to protect them in their human form as well. These could even be considered bodyguard types, and idealistic animal lovers. Their usefulness would be support, they could possibly be wolf-medics in the battlefield just to name one possible usefulness for them.
Weaponry - Silver bullets/Silver blades/Fangs/Claws/blood draining tools?
Overview – 6ft average Human male sized for most regular Vampires, but super strength-driven. Full-on bat-oid vampires resembling a giant bat with large clawed hands and talon-like hand-feet, with huge fangs would be the workhorse behemoth pieces in the 9ft scale range. Half-bloods could be the day-walking half-breed vamps that can survive during the day.
Human Protectors can be those who are obsessed with vampirism (Goth/EMO-s), and who are responsible for taking care of their masters during the daylight hours, alongside their day-walker brethren. The peons would be the support role pieces, and these guys could add + or – modifiers for being so close, or healing vampire pieces, etc.
Weaponry - Silver bullets/holy-water/liquid ultra-violet/wooden projectile weapons, etc. These guys would have a little bit of everything at their disposal.
Overview - Think Van Helsing, only a lot cooler. These guys have to be prepared for everything, and would include humans who've dedicated their lives to ridding the world of monsters. This would include the holy-rollers who do it for religious beliefs, and those of the Mercenary variety who do it for money as well.
This is mostly a human class, however, for fun it may include some half-bloods, or those who have been cured of Vampirism (thro the death of the their maker), or who've had close calls with Werewolves. Like a grizzled old veteran hunter, with a huge scar on his face, neck and down his chest even from a werewolf encounter.
Maybe even going as far as including some really mauled hunters, missing a leg, or arm, which has been replaced by a weapon designed specifically to hunt the type of monster that took the limb to begin with. Hard as nails, full hard-on for killing beasty types is what I'm talking about. Sidekicks could be the support peons for this class.
The largest pieces can utilize specially designed exo-skeleton suits of armor of the same size as the largest Werewolves or full-on bat-like Vampires, only with specially designed Wolf/Vamp killing weaponry. This is where the steampunky feel would come into play. These would be of the 9ft variety too.
Some of the more unique weapons could be a huge Holy-Water Cooled Silver-bladed Chain-saw, and a Cross shaped Silver Hammer with big wooden stakes formed into tips along the hammer edges. This would be the type of weaponry reserved for a special character, or one of the larger pieces in the range.
SuperNatural (first expansion class)
This could include but isn't limited to Demons, Cultists, Mummys, and Zombies. However, I think the zombies have been featured everywhere else a little bit too much already, but if needed these would be smarter zombies, more like ones that have evolved and learned, and are more evil and effective because of it. This class would help set the stage for the time-travel expansion, which opens the door for the other classes.
Mutant Class (another expansion class)
Biologically created mutants, and flesh tearing monstrosities created by the hands of man. I'd also toss in creatures of man-made origin, like Frankenstein-monster-type creations. I'd consider the mutant class, anything created by the hands of man through accident or misuse. This class would also be possible via the Time Travel expansion.
Technology Class (another expansion class)
Cyborg, technology-driven Terminator-like, artificial intelligence gone wild. Big metal behemoths. This could also include human victims of the monsters, left with missing limbs and body parts, which have been replaced by cybernetic implants, and cybernetic prosthetic parts, who are now bent on evening the score. This would also be a class possible via the Time Travel expansion.
Tie in products could include T-Shirts, Baseball Caps, Action figures, PC/console FPS/RTS games, Cartoons, Movies, etc. A starter set could include Monster-Hunters versus Werewolves, leaving the Vampires to be purchased separately.
I know some of you are saying “we've had Horror-Clix already and it failed miserably”. I'd have to say that's because they went too far, too fast, during a period in which it was perfectly clear Wizkids was over with. They also really did take it too far, and included stuff like evil Barney the dinosaur, and other outlandish total crap, and it really never was a focused project, they just threw everything they could at us. Clix were pretty much dead by then too, the golden age of plastic crack was over.
Now I think is the right time for THIS game, because it could totally capitalize on the Twilight genre's popularity all the way to the bank. Even though I know and feel, IF this game were done right it would be NOTHING at all like Twilight, but since it would have Vampires and Werewolves in it, it would capture that market's attention straight out of the gate. I've had this idea in my head since long before anyone even heard of Twilight too, and it would be nothing like that tween drama nonsense, but to capture some tween dollars in the process certainly wouldn't hurt.
Before you shoot down the entire Time Travel thing too, look at the Deadliest Warrior TV show. They've pitted some ancient warriors versus modern day warriors before, and proven how effective the older combatants would be in our modern age time and again. If the game was balanced properly, the entire 16th Century versus a 20th Century combatant, would be not only loads of fun, but a very fair fight as well.
As for the artistic style, I'd opt for a combination of the larger than life, and whimsical style found in comic books, mixed in with the realistic and somewhat dark look and feel of say Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo and Joe Jusko art. I know it sounds crazy, but it would look fantastic.
I'm in no situation to develop and publish this game on my own, and I definitely have no means to produce miniatures on my own either, so IF this sounds like a project worth picking up by any company, feel free to email and talk to me about it. There's a lot more in my head which I haven't put out there, and in my free time I'm still moving ahead with background and rule development. It may never see the light of day, but wow if it did. Now that I think about it, if someone had enough money, imagine how cool it would be to create this game, and use the Creepy, Famous Monsters or even Fangoria name, and have it be a licensed game?
I know I'm really dreaming now, but the way I see it, if you're going to dream, dream big, or don't dream at all!
With the proper funding behind it, this could be the next big hit like Warmachine, only better. I won't hold my breath though. It certainly would be cool. Besides who better to create a game, other than a person who's spent decades criticizing and reviewing games? And honestly, tell me you wouldn't want to see the miniatures for this game, and play it if it existed? Like I said initially, too bad it will be "The Coolest Game You'll Probably Never Play"
Those are classic Creepy Covers depicted throughout this article. Some of which are even Frazetta art. I couldn't find anything else out there to visually depict what I imagine, except those covers. So if you're wondering where those pictures came from, they're covers of the classic Creepy Magazine. Creepy was a fantastic black and white comic book, in magazine format which featured the art of Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, Steve Ditko, Al Williamson, and Alex Toth (just to name a few), and some amazing horror and sci-fi stories. Creepy started in 1964 and ran up until 1983, but by then it was pretty much over, and wasn't nearly the same magazine it once was.