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A new Cyberpunk game for your consideration

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Post originally by Ben Redmond at 2005-04-14 00:15:02
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Ross,

Given that you're rounding up your excellent cyberpunk analysis I thought I'd best mention a new game (written by me) coming soon that you might want to add to your list.

The game is Etherscope and our little pdf company, Malladin's Gate Press, have been lucky enough to get a publishing deal with one of teh 'big boys' to bring it to print. You can find out more from our website (www.malladinsgate.com) or email me and I'd be delighted to fill you in on some of the details (benr@malladinsgate.com).

Cheerio,

Ben
 
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Post originally by spike at 2005-05-22 12:33:14
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I hate to say it Ben, but what you've got there isn't Cyberpunk at all. Steampunk, maybe. He covered this sort of thing in his column. I think he was perhaps a bit to elitist in his definitions, but this is clearly a whole different genre, even without having to read the game. (Heck, the name told me enough to be suspicious...)
 
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Post originally by Ben at 2005-05-23 05:23:06
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Spike, Etherscope cettainly isn't just cyberpunk, and I would never claim that it was. It is cross-genre (to use a rather blunt definition) but is actually quite different from traditional steampunk, which is why we call it Cyberpunk/Victoriana.

Admittedly the only other cross-genre cyberpunk game that I can think of is Shadowrun, which got a deserved pasting, IMO, but if a game can successfully integrate the "good" themes of cyberpunk with other influences its surely "good cyberpunk" - if A-State can receive praise for having cyberpunk influences whilst not being a pure cyberpunk world, then I think so can Etherscope. Whether or not we achieve our goals is a matter of opinion that no-one can know at the moment (even me) as Etherscope is still in production.

Cheerio,

Ben
 
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Post originally by spike at 2005-05-23 09:43:59
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Ben

I think you are making some interesting points, and from what I read Etherscope certainly sounds like it could be a fun game to play. I guess my exception to your post was that you label it a 'cyberpunk game' when really it's some other critter that may have some cyberpunk bits in it. I would probably have not mentioned it, except Ross went on at some length about cyberpunk as a genre in his column. I think he may have been somewhat elitist in his definitions, but that's the problem with genres, they are flexible and subject to opinion. Rpgs, music, movies, anything labeled by genre suffers this problem.

I am not clear on exactly how you get cyberpunk elements into a victorian setting, especially one with 'magical elements' your Ether as it were. To me the elements of Cyberpunk; man's relationship with technology, his exploration of what is human, the gritty meanness contrasted with glittering heights, just don't work in a setting with zepplins and fedoras. If you have gritty streets and naval gazing, oops, I mean self exploration, in that sort of setting it's really more noir-ish.

I won't go on about shadowrun. The discussion of it, by itself and in relation to the cyberpunk 'genre' could fill up a column. I like it, for all it's flaws and warts, and there are many. Then again, I bought the first book I could get my hands on after months of waiting for it's release, so I may be biased.
 
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Post originally by Ben at 2005-05-24 02:13:49
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Hi Spike

This is a good interesting discussion, I'm glad it didn't end up in some sort of silly flaming :).

Amyway - I can see your point about me calling it a cyberpunk game. In all honesty I didn't want to post publically, I'd have been happy sending Ross a private email or something but couldn't find an address for him.

I think (and hope you will find that) we've managed to mix victoriana and cyberpunk particularly well in this setting. To generate the cyberpunk feel it concentrates on the industrial apsects of the victorian period, and the harsh conditions that people lived under. This period was the beginning of the rise of machine-driven factories and there's a very industrial edge to the cyberpunk in Etherscope.

Anyway, thanks for the comments, and I hope you at least have a nosy at the book on the shelf of your FLGS and come back and tell me if you think we succeeded or not :).

Cheerio,

Ben
 
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