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Let a Thousand Android Games Bloom


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#1 David Spangler

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:58 AM

The whole Android universe is now broadening out as a new FFG intellectual property.  With the addition of Netrunner now to Infiltration and the novels, it seems that this particular universe could become just as important to FFG as Terrinoth and the universe of Twilight Imperium, or Westros and Lovecraft, for that matter. 

The original game Android was a bit too complex and time consuming for the people I play with, so I've never had a chance to try it out.  I have greater hope for Infiltration, especially as much of my playtime is spent in solo play.  Netrunner, which I used to play years ago, doesn't lend itself to that.  But of all the universes that FFG now "sponsors," the cyberpunk format is one that most excites me.  So I'd love to see a broader reach of games in this area that hit different levels of complexity and play style, from solo play to deck building games like Rune Age to strategy board games simpler than Android. 

For that matter, since "sensies" and virtual reality are part of Android's universe, it  would be a perfect universe for "Dream Park" like adventures, where players are plunged into strategic contests in a virtual reality that simulates the Lord of the Rings, or the Cthulu Mythos or the fantasy worlds of Westros or Terrinoth.  And given there are colonies on Mars and the Moon, the possibility exists for intersystemic conflict as colonies revolt; and with the network or web extending into space, what about some alien force infiltrating it, creating a behind the scenes, Men in Black kind of secret battle within the web between human forces and aliens seeking to control humanity by controlling its collective electronic mind? 

Seems like this IP opens itself to numerous possibilities.



#2 JerusalemJones

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 11:32 AM

 With all this Android love that FFG is putting out lately, I am seriously thinking of hosting a "Welcome to New Angeles" weekend at my store this fall.

Cyberpunk is my primary genre for gaming. I ran a Cyberpunk RPG twice weekly for about 6 years, first with the R. Talsorian rules, then with GURPS. I even wrote up a 90+ page world background for my game. So anything that FFG does to keep pushing Android is fine with me!



#3 booored

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:47 PM

the weird thing is the android game is generally considered pretty sub-par. No one is arguing that the universe isn't awesome and the game had typical FFG style complainants of awesome quality.. and games like Arkham Horror are even more complex.. (spesh if you add expansions) Still Android the game was basically a fail. I liked the game myself.. but at 4-6 hours a game (depending on how much the board master needs to coach new players though the turns) tremendous setup time and what most consider a extremely viscous and unfun board dynamic of harsh set backs you play vs your oponants (this is one of those games eopel get angery at other players while playing)

I dunno.. it just kinda shocks me that Androoid is getting such attention.. even more so when you consider the "cyber punk" genre is practically dead.. it is in many ways a relic from the 90s. That is why us older guys kinda dig it so much. Still when Infiltration came out I was stocked.. but now netrunner?! Very excited… but still shocked android is so big in ffg.

 


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#4 subochre

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:51 AM

I suspect that the fact that it was KW's baby might have a little bit to do with it.  Plus, it fills a nice niche; at this point, FFG has pretty much every space opera and fantasy angle covered, and even has a surprising amount of alternate-early-20th-century stuff going on, but not much in the way of relatively-near-future sci-fi.  

Plus, Android itself was only slightly cyberpunkier than Blade Runner, although obviously they can't help but push the universe farther in that direction in order to accommodate Netrunner (and, to a lesser extent, Infiltration). (Which is not to say that Blade Runner is exactly current either; I mean, sure it got the Final Cut treatment a few years back, not to mention the whole BSG homage, but it too is still very much a nostalgia thing for us geezers.)

So yeah, I agree that it is a little bit surprising, but am definitely not complaining 



#5 dboeren

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:40 AM

I haven't played any of the Android games (Infiltration sounds interesting thought).  Is there somewhere I can read to get a basic idea of what this setting is like?



#6 booored

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:51 AM

there should be a rule pdf on the board game sub-site at FFG and there is a few books out now….


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#7 Big Head Zach

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:51 AM

dboeren said:

I haven't played any of the Android games (Infiltration sounds interesting thought).  Is there somewhere I can read to get a basic idea of what this setting is like?

dboeren said:

I haven't played any of the Android games (Infiltration sounds interesting thought).  Is there somewhere I can read to get a basic idea of what this setting is like?

I think there's a couple of novels they are publishing (hardcopy and e-book format), plus there's the original Android game that Randall and I both have (though there's a lot of debate about the original mechanics fitting the intended storyline of the game, and I'm in the process of fabricating Bleached Lizard's "Director's Cut" rules which seem a better fit).

But in short:

  • We've colonized and terraformed the Moon, and colonized Mars
  • Space elevators provide cheap orbital / translunar travel. The Earth-Moon elevator is termed "The Beanstalk".
  • There is something of an independence/civil war with the Martians (human colonists, that is)
  • Haas-Bioroid is the megacorp that dominates the artificial humanoid market
  • Jinteki is the megacorp that deals in biotechnology and genetic tinkering (i.e. human cloning)
  • Both HB and Jinteki are competing with each other for control of the synthetic labor market
  • Weyland Consortium is the construction conglomerate and are responsible for the Beanstalk and other gigastructures
  • Humanity Labor is an anti-bioroid, anti-clone supremacist organization that claims to be for worker's rights but in reality condones the active destruction of bioroids and clones (particularly with a sledgehammer).
  • Cities of note: New Angeles, BosWash (a megasprawl)


#8 subochre

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:09 AM

Android itself is actually fairly skeletal; before the novels came along, most of what we knew were just place names, a couple of major organizations, and whatever events directly related to the lives of the main characters.  

Zach hit most of the major details (though I'm not sure that Humanity Labor and Human First are necessarily connected), but the Android trailer provides a quick and fun, if somewhat frivolous overview.  Probably the most straightforward introduction is the blurb at the start of the rules (which, as Booored says, are available online) (and there are a few sidebars throughout the rulebook that provide a little extra background)



#9 Hellfury

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:39 AM

The gaming world needs more cyberpunk.

An underappreciated and underdeveloped thematic gaming background that at least FFG is fleshing out.

If R.Talsorian cannot be bothered, then I say "Let a thousand Android games bloom".

Also, I would not be the least bit surprised to see a revised 2nd ed of Android to be put out at some point in the not so distant future. I have no inside info on that other than logical extension of FFG going as far as they are with the property, then why not revise and and make an otherwise great game more playable to get as much profit from the IP they have created as possible.



#10 Penfold

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:09 AM

Hellfury said:

The gaming world needs more cyberpunk.

An underappreciated and underdeveloped thematic gaming background that at least FFG is fleshing out.

If R.Talsorian cannot be bothered, then I say "Let a thousand Android games bloom".

Also, I would not be the least bit surprised to see a revised 2nd ed of Android to be put out at some point in the not so distant future. I have no inside info on that other than logical extension of FFG going as far as they are with the property, then why not revise and and make an otherwise great game more playable to get as much profit from the IP they have created as possible.

I think you are completely correct there. I suspect they will wait until the game is out of their warehouse (if it is not already) and a fair amount of them are out of stores before they give any serious development time to this, but for every reason you mentioned I think this is all but a foregone conclusion.






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