October 06, 2016

In Focus – The Firestorm Galaxy

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It is always fun to go back and look at the models you have made for a game, and recently a collection of photographs sent to me by a French painter I know inspired me to kick off a new series of articles where I pick on some of my favourite fleets/races and discuss them with you all. I’m going to simply call them In Focus, and they will cater for our games and products.

My first choice of topic was a simple one after Francois Niaux, a talented painter who I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with two/three years ago, kindly emailed me images of his stunning Sorylian Collective models. His email actually got me thinking again about what I originally wanted the ground forces for the Sorylian Collective to look like, and his timing was uncanny given the work currently exciting being done to rework the background of the Firestorm Galaxy.

sorylian_core_helix

Models from a Sorylian Collective Planetfall Core Helix

When Spartan Games first launched Firestorm Armada (FA) I always wanted its Galaxy to be a gritty place to live and fight. I never truly wanted a simple divide between the so-called Good Guys and the Bad Guys. Those boundaries I wanted to be blurred, very blurred if I’m candid about it. I wanted the various alien species to be very different to each other, and even though alliances were formed by them, I wanted there to be limits as to how well they worked – distrust was to be an important part of the fabric of the Galaxy.

During the busy first years of the growth of FA we were so swamped by the creation, manufacture and sale of models that the background of the races was unfortunately not truly expanded, and by that I mean we did enough to keep it rolling along with any products books we created, but we never really delved deep enough for you, our customers, with the full story of the interstellar race you chose to game with.

As my normal eyesight loses its strength (oh the joy of aging) the one thing that becomes more clear to me is hindsight, which is why the background of the Firestorm Galaxy and every race within it is undergoing an important amount of recalibration.

sorylian_flyers

Sorylian Collective Flyers… quirky but VERY effective!

Spartan Sam, who first worked on Dystopian Wars background and stories for me, has embarked on a creative journey to look at every FA document to date and draw it together under a single unified storyline. As part of this he has been tasked with ensuring that both Armada and Planetfall come together under one common design brief.

When designing our stunning 10mm scale ground warfare game our vision for it diverged away from the background that was originally created for our exciting spaceships. Seduced by the excitement of making tanks, infantry, robots and leviathans some things ended up just feeling different and some colour text did not fit smoothly with the older spaceship background. In isolation this wasn’t a bad thing, but it wasn’t a good thing either. Another one of those hindsight moments…

Spartan Sam is therefore creating a single document for each core race that draws together their ground and space forces into one unified document. We will detail the historical aspect of the race, talk about its military structure from a single source point and establish its future development. You may see some amends made to previously written background and this will then become the new basis from which all new background for that race is developed. If we made any mistakes, or generated plotlines which didn’t, if I’m being honest, make that much sense… then we’ll use this refresh to fix it.

So what next?

You have to love a simple question like that. Embrace it even and enjoy the journey it takes you on. We have a myriad of players around the world gaming and enjoying FA and Planetfall, and now it is our new directive to make sure that we build on this and make it even more fun and exciting for them. The Firestorm Galaxy is an amazing place, very well populated by you, our worldwide community of gamers, and it has infinite possibilities for further adventure!

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Sorylian Heavy Infantry in their very personal APC!

OK, back to my original point – the images sent to me by Francois, several of which I have used to help break up my words. It is easy to see why people collect our models. Francois chose to ignore our colour schemes, as many of you often do, and went with what he felt was right for his vision of the Sorylian Collective – and what a stunning vision it is. I can picture his force rolling across an arid landscape, a desolate desert on some far flung quadrant of the Firestorm Galaxy, with the Sorylians looking for Zenian enemies to obliterate.

If we view our background documents as the glue that binds it all together, and the campaigns and scenarios as the hot-spots of excitement we share with you to help us realise different parts of the Firestorm Galaxy, the need for hindsight diminishes. It is images like those Francois shared with me that hammers home the power of a great background and narrative, and I’m thankful that images like his reaffirm to me the power of the Firestorm Galaxy!

sorylian_medium_walkers

I love these Sorylian Medium Walkers – cracking paint scheme…

I am personally excited by sharing our new work with you just as soon as it is completed and signed off. As we create these new Firestorm documents we plan to use our new Flashpoint Campaigns to generate excitement and momentum across both Planetfall and FA, with the Amber System campaign being is a great illustration of how this will work. Amber is, at its core, an ignition point for full on galactic warfare, moving you away from the grinding war of attrition that is the Storm Zone.

Additionally, and more exciting to me personally, it is the ability to extend the Firestorm Galaxy with new plotlines: What happened to the Pathogen? Just who are the Overseers? Are the Aquans telling us everything they know? Will the unrest in Saurian space spill out?

sorylian_spaceships

Quite nostalgic looking at this Fleet…

Look out for more In Focus blogs from me. Next will be my look at the Sorylian Collective, inspired by the images from Francois, as I discuss why the ground forces look the way they do, and we’ll discuss the future of this race’s space navy.

And my last note for this introductory blog is to say thank you to Francois for letting me use his images. I very much enjoy his work and I hope to share more of it in upcoming blogs.

Happy gaming,
Spartan Neil

 



from Spartan Games http://ift.tt/2dOhMH9

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