I think that the re-invention of classic GW games is a bit of a thing right now. The people who played them as kids are now looking back with nostalgia, wanting to recreate those magic times, or (like me) attempting to realise childhood dreams of writing their own versions. Many designers clearly loved Warhammer Quest, and games like Kingdom Death: Monster wear their heart on their sleeve. Frostgrave delivers a more modern and streamlined take on Mordheim, and the guys behind Guildball obviously played a few games of Bloodbowl here and there.
In this proud tradition, I am happy to admit that, amongst other design goals, one of my success criteria for the game is to provide a modern reimagining of Gorkamorka, Battlecars, Car Wars and maybe even Thunder Road. Ultimately, if people who have played and loved Gorkamorka (or Battlecars, or Car Wars) play Gaslands and say: “Yes, I love Gorkamorka, but I no longer need to play it, because I now have Gaslands,” then I shall die a happy designer.
I would like to capture what was great about these games, and identify what makes them feel dated now. I want to provide the same thrills and excitement and addiction, but remove any of the clunkiness or fiddliness that these classic games exhibit.
I want the game to be fun and satisfying as a one-off game. The game should be fast to teach and an individual game should take no longer than 60mins with four players.
I want the game to be one that people pull out when they have a spare hour at a tournament or a games evening, and they just want to have a silly time blowing things up and pulling doughnuts around the table.
I want the game to be even more fun and even more satisfying as a campaign among friends, be that across a weekend or a couple of months. I want the game to make people want to get a regular group of friends together to see a campaign through.
More than anything, I want the game to make people want to immediately dash to a poundshop or thrift store to grab some cheap matchbox cars and start hacking them up. The game has to be playable with easily acquired matchbox, Hot Wheels, micro-machines or similar toy cars.
That is my definition of success, let’s revisit this when the game is released and see how well I did.
Image from Svein Nordrum/Medavia.co.uk