Summer Report 2017

Posted by LoreshapersStuff on July 13, 2017

As I spend more time getting Loreshapers up and coming, I want to talk about our product line and my history as a developer.

I'm Kyle, Head Honcho at Loreshaper Games.

Some of you have followed this page longer than others, so here's a brief history of the events leading up to Loreshaper Games' founding and the ways we've developed since then.

Well over a decade ago (ow, age, ow), I discovered a site called 1km1kt, dedicated to free roleplaying games. That was my introduction to roleplaying games that weren't computerized. I was vaguely aware they existed, but I had never read one or understood one.

I was hooked immediately.

Over the years, I worked on a number of small free games, including competitions for Game Chef and other things. While I was in high school I took a reviewer position at DriveThruRPG, which I continued to do through college, so I never really worked on anything large because of fears of conflict of interest.

At this point, though, I had a pet project I called Orchestra. You can still find it in a couple places on the internet (its most prominent product was a StoryNexus module that was one of the largest at the time it was created).

Orchestra started as a cyberpunk tabletop roleplaying game, however, and though it never coalesced into a coherent set of rules under its own weight, it would be a major inspiration as I went forward.

During college, I worked on and off on minor projects (including Orchestra), but by my Sophomore year I burned out and stopped really working on my own games for a while. I wrote for Stuffer Shack a couple times, and would eventually use their help to fund the competition that started Loreshapers.

Later, I would found Loreshapers as a gaming community, though it would never really grow to a large extent. The main reason for this was 1km1kt having prolonged server issues, though by the time Loreshapers was operational 1km1kt was fully functional again.

At this point, I started to do homebrew seriously, creating two large unofficial supplements for Eclipse Phase, and one unofficial supplement for Degenesis. I appreciated the opportunity to work with mature rulesets, and the homebrews I created were generally well received, prompting me to move more seriously into work on my own project.

The result of that was Street Rats, a sort of prologue to Orchestra (it originally took place in an earlier version of the setting, before the two diverged). I released Street Rats under the Homoeoteleuton brand (see why I switched?) back in December 2015.

It was a total mess by the time it released. The design had high amounts of specialization for pretty much every possible mechanic, required a lot of hand-crafted content, and had major changes made to it at almost every point of development. Although it was well-received by a very small audience, it was too complex to see large-scale play, and it had expanded well past my ability to manage.

In 2016, I crossed paths with Open Legend. I began working on a science-fantasy setting called The Legacy of Eight, which was not ultimately adopted for Open Legend, but was heavily inspired by the game design principles of the same. Othenar was also born in 2016, beginning its life as a wiki.

2017 marked the formal creation of Loreshaper Games as a company offering entertainment products. One of my goals every year is to publish something, even a small thing. With Loreshaper Games, I hope to turn those little things in to great endeavors.

Right now Loreshaper Games is working on three projects, each of which represents what I would call a "core product line". I want to clarify for each interested party what exactly what each of those is:

Othenar is our oldest actively revealed product still in current development. The results of the first playtesting round showed that Othenar is not yet ready for prime-time, with significant changes needed to make it have a positive flow of play. There is no solid release date for Othenar. There is an Othenar novel in the works, The Gates of Arstelem.

The current version of Othenar can be found online at othenar.loreshapers.net

Othenar's currently on a little bit of a backburner, for three reasons: I don't think it'll be ready for release by the end of the year, and the work that has to be done on it is largely conceptual in nature. Progress continues on the novel, but development of the game itself is on pause until a new direction can be determined. The third reason is that Othenar is not really able to be monetized in its current state; I detest advertising, but I also have operating costs and other things that need to be paid, so to avoid compromising on either front our main focus is on what we hope to be a more profitable endeavor.

Today I would also like to formally announce PROJECT HAMMER, a multi-genre game with an associated science-fantasy setting. Contracts have already gone out to artists, and we hope to have more details on PROJECT HAMMER soon.

PROJECT HAMMER will be a flexible "moderate-crunch" game, aiming to strike a middle-ground between rules-lite games and much more complex games.

I am pleased to announce that barring delays a public PROJECT HAMMER v0 release, with playtest readiness, should be coming by the end of 2017.

We have a third product, not quite ready for announcement, in development as well. Depending on how PROJECT HAMMER progresses, this product should release in 2017.

Stay tuned, friends, because we're going to be back with new stuff soon.