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Interesting News From Monolith

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  • #1445079

    onlyonepinman
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    10603xp

    Monolith Games have just put out a sizable post via their Facebook page regarding the future direction of the company and it certainly contains some very interesting points and it links very closely with last weekend’s XLBS discussion topic about maintaining rules sets (although I think this announcement contains enough talking points to take up a show of its own).

    The general concept seems to be that Monolith want to split their product ranges into two streams – games systems and game components.  This could work quite well for Monolith as they have thus far produced two games based around the Conan Rules (Batman was an updated version of the conan rules set) and are already planning Mythic Battles Ragnarok using the Mythic Battles Pantheon rules.  But the idea is that you could essentially buy the rules engine once, say Mythic Battles, which gets you all the common components (rules, dice, card holders, tokens and such) and then you can buy the Universe boxes that interest you which will contain miniatures and stat cards

    The full update is here.  It all sounds interesting and I am looking forward to seeing how this develops (also excited for the possibility of more Conan)

     

    Beyond the Monolith… Article n°1The Beyond Monolith project is a major element of the company's future strategy. Its…

    Geplaatst door Monolith op Maandag 7 oktober 2019

    #1445152

    kantor72
    Participant
    2857xp

    Hopefully i’m not reading too much into this,but it definitely sounds like a Conan v2 is planned and i’m excited for MB:Ragnarok as well,whenever we see them hit the dirt.

    #1445154

    limburger
    Participant
    8114xp

    Isn’t that what most companies do in the background anyway ?

    They take their core rules, slap on a new theme and presto : new game.

    It’s kind of what Wizards/TSR used to do during AD&D 2nd edition : sell the core rules + campaign packs
    GURPS was built on this idea.

    And I’m pretty sure plenty of hex&counter wargames rely on similar constructs.

    It is cool to see a boardgame company try and do this though.

    However there’s always the problem of trying to fit everything into the same hammer&nail paradigm (*)

     

    (*) when you’ve got is a hammmer all your problems start to look like nails …

    #1445170

    onlyonepinman
    Participant
    10603xp

    Do companies do that?  It’s common among RPGs, occasional in wargames (mostly miniatures agnostic games) and as far as i am aware very rare of in miniatures board games (usually rules get tweaked between games, for example Star Saga is subtly different to Dungeon Saga, Batman is subtly different to Conan). So within their own sphere this seems to be an interesting development because they are essentially taking a direction that is very similar to that of an RPG.

    One of the things Monolith are saying in the arriva though,  is that they actually have 3 game engines which they could use for multiple different IPs.  They have the Mythic Battles engine, THS System (Conan and Batman) and they also have the Claustrophobia engine.  They’re negotiating more potential licences agreements for the future that they will release as Universe Boxes intended for use with one of those three game engines.

    It will be interesting to see whether or not the next Conan kickstarter includes the THS engine as a separate item.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  onlyonepinman.
    #1445226

    limburger
    Participant
    8114xp

    @onlyonepinman How many variants of Risk and Monopoly have we had ?
    Ok … those are a bit lazy and obvious, but Pandemic, Zombicide and Settlers of Catan have had sequels and re-themed variants of the core games. The various ‘legacy’ games kind of re-use the same sort of mechanics as well.

    One could argue that AoS and 40k 8th edition share a lot of their core mechanics.

    I think re-using the basic framework is a lot more common than you might think at first.
    It’s usually not sold as a concept to consumers, but it certainly is an efficient use of development resources if you can spend time tweaking rules sets as opposed to re-inventing the wheel.

    #1445245

    onlyonepinman
    Participant
    10603xp

    The variants of Monopoly and risk perhaps aren’t the best analogy.  Each variant is the exact same game.  At a push you could argue the occasionally different maps in risk might make the game play differently.  But Monopoly plays exactly the same regardless of the names of the properties on the board.  What Monolith are proposing, at least how I understand it, is that the game engine is common but it’s the Universe Boxes, the settings, that will determine how the game plays. It’s the units and stat cards that determine the tactics and strategies you will use.  So Mythic Battles Pantheon and Ragnarok will both use the exact same game engine but will play differently due to the different units and their different abilities.

    #1445249

    onlyonepinman
    Participant
    10603xp

    Lots of games share common mechanics but this is different.  Monolith aren’t proposing a common framework, they’re proposing a full common rules set.

    I can think of lots of games that are based on common frameworks, where there are some common elements and mechanics between them.  But I can’t think of many examples outside of RPGs where you buy a set of rules which you then add settings too and all the ones I can think of are Historical Wargames.

    @kantor72 It very much sounds like a Conan V2 is coming in the new year.  Mythic Battles Ragnarok is a given, they already teased that in Mythic Battles Pantheon.  There was a free Norse Warrior hidden away in the miniatures, much like there was a free Spartan Warrior hidden away in Conan.  Plus they gave a free Ymir model away with all the copies of Mythic Battles Pantheon 1.5 as well as adding Frost Dice as an add on.  I would say Mythic Battles Ragnarok is a given, the only question in my mind is whether that’s before or after Conan v2

    #1445413

    bobcockayne
    Participant
    6176xp

    The only company I know of that did a similar thing with rules is Two Hour Wargames with their chain reaction, and thats its about version 5 even though each new one is supposed to be the last.

    #1445419

    robert
    Participant
    13223xp

    Isn’t this similar to what Tim Korklewski is trying to do with the Morpheus Engine?  One set of core mechanics that will cover everything from mass combat fantasy to skirmish sci-fi, and a few special rules to give you your flavour.  Ragnarok: Heavy Metal Combat in a Viking Age looks pretty good.

    #1445483

    onlyonepinman
    Participant
    10603xp

    @robert I have never heard of Morpheus Engine although I don’t think this is quite as wide reaching as that sounds.  There are some aspects of the Conan game engine that are linked to the way their game boards are designed which will limit what they can do with it.  So I think this will most likely only work with games on a similar scale – i.e. all played on a game board about the size of one of the Conan or Mythic Battles boards (and presumably Batman).  The settings are for all intents and purposes a new “skin” for the game although I think the settings will also drive the tactical complexity of the game because that’s where all the abilities and therefore synergies will be held.  Obviously the success or failure of those settings, and I suppose the entire venture, will depend on how well suited a particular setting is to the rules mechanic.  I don’t know how well it will work with games that are very shooty so it’s probably not going to be great for Mech Combat.  But it’s very good for melee heavy games where shooting is actually the minority of attacks.  We will have to see what they have up their sleeve in that regard.

    #1445493

    shredhead
    Participant
    2854xp

    Isn’t that what Crooked Dice with 7TV is doing? One core set of rules, lots of different settings to which the rules get adapted?

    #1445495

    onlyonepinman
    Participant
    10603xp

    @shredhead it’s similar yes.  In some ways it’s also similar to Saga.

    #1445496

    bobcockayne
    Participant
    6176xp

    Think rpg games have been doing for years D20 and GURPS comes to mind, means that you know how base system works.

    I know for Two Hour Wargames, once we rapped our heads round the base idea of how they worked ( and Ed’s intresting initial rule writing) adapting to new genres wasn’t much of a problem. It was only later when we wern’t sure if it was version 1, 2.5 or 5 that it got annoying.

    #1445497

    onlyonepinman
    Participant
    10603xp

    @bobcockayne it’s rife in the RPG world, I can think of a fair few.

    #1445523

    limburger
    Participant
    8114xp

    The RPG world is also the place that shows how bad universal rule systems can be when used to make a game conform to the core rules (D20 Call of Cthulluh is so wrong on so many levels for example).

    I think the pros and cons of universal systems have been discussed in one of the shows as well.

    As such I think using Conans’ mechanics for melee focussed heroics is definitely possible.
    You’d lose a lot of the flavour text in the core rules, but one definitely could create a core box with Batman and Conan as ‘expansions’ because the real meat is in the statistics and skills for each hero/villain anyway.

    That loss of flavour might bother some people.

    The cost of the games is another factor that is going to get trickier with this system in place.
    Those who own the core rules of a system will find that adding ‘more’ games is cheap, but if you don’t own the system (or worse : own an ‘old’ version of the core rules) the price advantage dissappears.

    This might even result in maps that can be used by both systems, especially if one were to include add-on terrain like the Joker Funhouse map does in Batman.

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