Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

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msprange
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Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby msprange » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:44 am

The State of the Mongoose 2014 can be read here;

http://blog.mongoosepublishing.co.uk/

You are welcome to make comments or ask any questions in this thread!
Matthew Sprange

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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby TrippyHippy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:08 pm

Thanks for the report!

I think, for me personally, the major things are:

Traveller: If the release schedule for Traveller is as planned I might start buying physical books again. I have increasingly been buying just ebooks these past few years (especially for supplements) partially because of convenience, but also because of the general feel that the interior design of books was not something especially great. I’ll almost certainly get the Third Imperium book though, and may well look into the Pirates campaign which I’ve not read, although I do like Gareth’s Secrets of the Imperium so it’s probably just a matter of time.

One question: If you are revising the interior design of Traveller books (hurray!), would you also consider the same for the Core Rules book too? I get there are schedules for everything, but I do feel that it needs a bit of an update/review regardless, as it’s been quite a few years since it was originally released now and rules have been added/tweaked over the years. As you have said, the major issue that is frequently highlighted is simply the appearance though. I’d like an update, at some time. Incidentally, I bought the revised hardback 2300AD - I thought the page and general book quality was right up there. Add colour art, and I think that’ll make most gamers happy.

Another off beat question: Any unofficial rules for a Traveller/Star Wars mash-up? I’ll not hold my breath….

Paranoia: Yay that it is coming back! Kudos for the successful campaign, and nice to be part of it. Please don’t rush the final product though, regardless of Kickstarter deadlines (I mean, barely anybody else sticks to them do they?!).

Legend: Legend was a neat product - including the interior layout incidentally - particularly for the price and ease of use. The issue for the supplements et al, however, is that the whole RQ/BRP/Openquest/etc area of gaming has a lot of competition for a limited customer base (compared to D20, say). I’m glad Legend is still supported, but I understand the issues of priority. The main thing missing however is the iconic setting - namely Conan. If you had the Conan license, as a standalone ‘Legend-powered game', I am sure it would still be a big seller. Not knocking what else you’ve done - but it’s Conan that is the key if you want the brand to be a major player I think.

And here’s another question you might ignore: Any plans to return to supporting D&D as a third party, whenever they choose to clarify the open-or-not issues of 5E?

Wargames: I’m less involved in these things and the potential cost of importing big boxes to New Zealand (where I live) is a bit scary. That said, the Judge Dredd miniatures all look nice!

Regards, and good luck!
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Nerroth » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:21 pm

Thank you for posting this year's update!

I'm excited to see what lies in store for the ADB-Mongoose joint venture in 2015 - not least in terms of how things might line up for Traveller: Prime Directive.

Once the core book and the three current faction sourcebooks (for the Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans) have been ported over, I'd be keen to see where the PD series might go next.
The above post is 100% unofficial.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Lilor[FR] » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:27 pm

Thanks for this another year of good work, this State of the Mongoose was again really instructive, I'm glad that you're going to kick more asses in 2015 !!
Btw, I'm working on the translation in french of Arms of Legend, and I hope (and pray for) this will be published at the end :D
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby alex_greene » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:28 pm

Exciting times ahead for the Great Mongoose. :)
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby IanBruntlett » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:10 pm

I've read State of the Mongoose 2014 and here are my thoughts...

As a confirmed bookworm, I do prefer books. However, e-books are easier to update so I can see that releasing first as e-book first is helpful - you can get things just right before you commit to printed copies.

As for the "3i for players" book, I am so looking forward to that.

As for a new Traveller CRB, I feel a lot of effort might be needed to make it sufficiently unique to people who already have copies.

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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Rick » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:34 pm

I've been a big fan of the Battlefield Evolution system from its earliest incarnation as Starship Troopers through to the Judge Dredd game. I've also been a big fan of Ancients as a skirmish wargame and already own enough figures to do a few warbands so I'm really, really looking forward to Warriors of Antiquity; however, I'd like to see Macedonians, Persians, Imperial Romans and a broad range of warbands.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Nerhesi » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:24 pm

Great update Matt - I have a comment regarding Traveller. Since it seems like we're not going to be having a Revised Corebook, would it make sense to publish a set of errata/clarifications for Core/Highguard/other supplements? At least a PDF version? I believe Don(?) has a page with collected clarifications/questions? Or do you feel it isnt necessary as of yet.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby TrippyHippy » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:21 am

Well, if you’re going to have updates to the Core/High Guard etc, then you may as well simply update the PDFs. If you’re going to do that you may as well print the updated core rules then next time you need to do a new print run….

I dunno, I just think if there is a policy of upgrading the general appearance of Traveller books, then the first book most new players are going to see is the core rules then attention should be given to it. The key areas of art, I think, would be in the career illustrations (“cartoonish” according to one review) and the starship plans (to 3D). Maybe change the cover logo as with the recent Mercenary and Cosmopolite* books. Then do a good spot check of text and layout - possibly with a bit of reformatting. Maybe, and I mean just maybe, introduce a few full colour templates and illustrations into the book (like they did with T4 and at the back of T5). Or maybe looking at redoing the layout to fit the lbb format (better than last time).

The other developments for Traveller that I’d like to ask about is the possibility of the fabled ‘Traveller App’, as well as miniatures games?

* Also, Matt, is it still OK to get a copy of the Cosmopolite when it comes out? I’m the one who suggested the title last year! If you’re going to send me a physical copy, I may order some more stuff at the same time to save on postage/packaging. :)
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:20 pm

TrippyHippy wrote:Well, if you’re going to have updates to the Core/High Guard etc, then you may as well simply update the PDFs. If you’re going to do that you may as well print the updated core rules then next time you need to do a new print run….
I think that the revision of the Core Rules will be a bit more substantial than just an update of the layout! Personally, I'd like to see a few rules from supplements folded into the Core Rules - things like the expanded rules for colony stats from 2300's Frontier Living. But I'd recommend that the revision of the Core Rules be done slowly and cautiously. You don't want to 'fix' the parts that aren't broken.

I suspect that High Guard will get a treatment similar to the Second Edition of Mercenary - this was a substantial revision.
TrippyHippy wrote:I dunno, I just think if there is a policy of upgrading the general appearance of Traveller books, then the first book most new players are going to see is the core rules then attention should be given to it. The key areas of art, I think, would be in the career illustrations (“cartoonish” according to one review) and the starship plans (to 3D). Maybe change the cover logo as with the recent Mercenary and Cosmopolite* books.
That does seem to be the plan, although perhaps there needs to be some discussion about what style of art should be used in the Core Rules. Over the years, there have been some fantastic pieces of Traveller art as well as some fairly dire ones. Part of the problem is that there is no unified consensus or house style that defines what the Traveller universe should look like...
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:22 pm

Does Mongoose still hold the RPG licence for Starship Troopers? Would there be any interest in a Traveller version?
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby TrippyHippy » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 am

Prime_Evil wrote:
TrippyHippy wrote:Well, if you’re going to have updates to the Core/High Guard etc, then you may as well simply update the PDFs. If you’re going to do that you may as well print the updated core rules then next time you need to do a new print run….
I think that the revision of the Core Rules will be a bit more substantial than just an update of the layout! Personally, I'd like to see a few rules from supplements folded into the Core Rules - things like the expanded rules for colony stats from 2300's Frontier Living. But I'd recommend that the revision of the Core Rules be done slowly and cautiously. You don't want to 'fix' the parts that aren't broken.

I suspect that High Guard will get a treatment similar to the Second Edition of Mercenary - this was a substantial revision.
2300AD: Frontier Living is a perfect example of a truly outstanding book, let down by some very weak illustrations in the equipment section.

I do accept the notion of having more substantial rules development in a new revision, but I’m just trying to throw out ideas here really.
That does seem to be the plan, although perhaps there needs to be some discussion about what style of art should be used in the Core Rules. Over the years, there have been some fantastic pieces of Traveller art as well as some fairly dire ones. Part of the problem is that there is no unified consensus or house style that defines what the Traveller universe should look like…
Total agreement - it’s the consistency in the style and suiting a particular tone that needs ti be addressed. I like GK Games as a model. Their computer generated art isn’t necessarily all that complex, but because it’s used throughout it creates a coherent look and feel to the game. That’s the sort of thing I’d like to see.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby msprange » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:41 am

Prime_Evil wrote:Part of the problem is that there is no unified consensus or house style that defines what the Traveller universe should look like...
This is very much something we are looking at...
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Greg Smith » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 pm

Prime_Evil wrote:Does Mongoose still hold the RPG licence for Starship Troopers? Would there be any interest in a Traveller version?
I am pretty sure the licence expired.

IIRC, SST was going to be a Traveller game back when Mongoose first acquired the Traveller licence, but the SST licence had Hollywood problems and wasn't renewed, so it never happened.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby sjmiller » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:12 pm

One of the things that caught my eye in the State of the Mongoose is this:
The overall aim is to vastly improve both the presentation and playability of Traveller, switching from doing 2-3 ebooks every month to producing one printed book every 2-3 months. This will be accompanied by a major change (and improvement!) to the artwork and graphical design of Traveller, the area we have received the most calls for change.
Let me be one of the first to say that I would be excited to see changes in the presentation of Traveller.

I recently purchased Book 10 - Cosmopolite, and I must say that I was very disappointed in the appearance of the book. To me, it looked as if the book was still in the draft phase. The appearance of the tables was cringeworthy, and a lack of page headers made the pages look incomplete. It just seemed like it was unfinished. Layout and appearance of documents is something I deal with every day, and I would be very upset if I allowed something like that to go out to the general public.

A good looking game will attract many people. Bad presentation may not drive people away, but it will not attract more people to it.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby TrippyHippy » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:49 am

Another source that may be useful regarding layout/appearance of books might be Steve Jackson’s GURPS? I say that because they had exactly the same criticisms and comments made both before and during the release of GURPS 4th Edition. Indeed, the original cover of GURPS 4th edition was rejected and there was an online competition to get fans to design their own cover. Before that, while 3rd edition was still in place, there was a concerted effort and policy to change the interior design of the books to make something more attractive.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby Ben2 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:10 am

Warriors of Antiquity. - Very interested in this.

What basing scheme will you be usung?

If I were going to start putting together a force now, what would be a good start?

Is a single plastic box ok? Would you need characters from somehere else? Do you need skirmishers and archers?

I'm eying up the mercenary hoplite set. I'm such a slow painter I'm thinking of getting a force or two now so they are painted when the game is released.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby msprange » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:37 pm

Ben2 wrote:Warriors of Antiquity. - Very interested in this.

What basing scheme will you be usung?

If I were going to start putting together a force now, what would be a good start?

Is a single plastic box ok? Would you need characters from somehere else? Do you need skirmishers and archers?

I'm eying up the mercenary hoplite set. I'm such a slow painter I'm thinking of getting a force or two now so they are painted when the game is released.
1. Basing: singles, one model per base. We have been using 25mm round bases, but anything in the 20-25mm range will work.

2. Anything from the Victrix Warriors of Antiquity range will work! Note that Spartans, Athenians and Thebans are actually separate warband lists in this game. Republican Rome and Victrix's forthcoming Carthaginians have also already been factored in.

3. Given how many models Victrix cram into a box, a single set is a very good start. However, if you are grabbing Hoplites, you might also want to take a look at their Peltasts to give yourself some skirmish troops (not essential, but very useful!).

As for characters, you need at least one Hero to lead your force, but you can go a long way with the various pieces in the Victrix sets (cloaks, swords, helmet crests, etc) to mark your Heroes out.

You can see some (badly painted - they were done by me!) examples here;

https://ttgamingdiary.wordpress.com/cat ... /ancients/

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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby TheHistorian » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:25 am

I'm curious what this means for print/POD in addition to PDF, specifically for Legend. A while ago, it seemed like some titles would stay PDF only. Now, it seems more likely that we could see many/most titles available in both formats.
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Re: Discuss the State of the Mongoose 2014

Postby msprange » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:50 pm

TheHistorian wrote: Now, it seems more likely that we could see many/most titles available in both formats.
That is very likely!
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