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Life in the FASA Lane

The Smith & Tinker Website has word that FASA founder Jordan Weisman has founded a new company called Smith & Tinker (named after a pair of characters from the Land of Oz series who never actually appear in any of the books) and licensed the "electronic entertainment rights" from Microsoft for FASA properties such as MechWarrior, Shadowrun, and Crimson Skies (thanks Gamasutra). It's not clear what limitations these rights may carry, and the announcement (which is dated back in October) promises surprises:

Smith & Tinker is pleased to announce that it has licensed from Microsoft the electronic entertainment rights for Mr. Weisman's previous creations of MechWarrior, Shadowrun, Crimson Skies and the other properties of the FASA catalog. We’re not quite ready to announce our plans for each property, but please be assured that our goal is to surprise and delight old fans, while welcoming new fans to these fantastic worlds.

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23. Re: Battletech game Dec 8, 2007, 20:07 Bubicus
 
Megamek is OK, but way too buggy for normal play. The interface is pretty difficult, too. My friends and I tried to set up a multiplayer battle a while ago, but it took so long to set up mechs, install the game, learn the controls, and figure out the game interface that we gave up after the game crashed or dropped a player for the umpteenth time.

I hope MegaMek's developers take some time to improve the interface and the network stability.

Mechforce's interface is much nicer. All of the commands and windows were fully labeled and accessible through mouse or keyboard, and the mech building tool was really easy to use, so newbies to the game could pick it up really easily and games could get set up quickly. The only big problems with Mechforce are 1) I have to drag out my Amiga to play it (I don't using the emulators), 2) my friends and I have to play it in hotseat mode because there's no network play, and 3) the movement and attack are time-and-turn-based instead of traditionally turn-based. Although it's not the same as the official rules, the third point is actually a good feature of the game as well, because it made a heck of a lot more dramatic to see mechs like Locusts and Fleas charge out of forests toward assault mechs that couldn't turn fast enough to respond.

I played Titans of Steel: Warring Suns (http://www.titansofsteel.de/), which was a recent remake for Windows of Mechforce, and though I like it, its interface has too many obscurities for it to be a pick-up-and-play game.

 
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22. Re: Battletech game Dec 7, 2007, 18:17 VoodooV
 
they just need to make a 3d version of all those old Battletech text based MUSE games. They had such a perfect mix of all the classic turn based RPG rules, but it was all done in real time.

I love MechWarrior, but I just don't want another shooter game. I want it to be stat based, not twitch based. I want to win because I have superior strategy, not because I can circle strafe better than the other guy.

 
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21. Re: Battletech game Dec 7, 2007, 12:54 Mead
 
In the meantime, there's MegaMek.

http://megamek.sourceforge.net/idx.php?pg=main

 
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20. Battletech game Dec 7, 2007, 12:37 Bubicus
 
I'd like to see a Battletech game, rather than a Mechwarrior game. A nice, turn-based, classic game with hexagons. It should have the ability to select a time period and generate random scenarios for single-player or multi-player battles, like Mechforce did on the Amiga, except with Internet capability and with all technologies available (2750-3100+). FASA could organize clans and houses, build an Inner Sphere galaxy map, create campaigns, and charge monthly fees so pilots could fight battles that could change the borders of the great houses and clans and affect the overall story, while independents could form merc groups and hire themselves out, or even just battle on Solaris for fame and money.

It'll never happen, of course. "Internet common sense" dictates that turn-based strategy games are dead. Come to think of it, though, classic Battletech can be adapted into a phase-based system, a la WoW and other MMOs. That could work.

 
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19. I notice a tendency with FASA... Dec 7, 2007, 10:13 MacLeod
 
They made a bunch of RPG stuff... went out of business in the pen-and-paper world... sold all their stuff to WizKids... who was created by the owners of FASA.

Now, FASA studios (computer games) shuts down. Microsoft owns properties, and they license the properties to a new company... thats owned by original FASA founder.

Are they like shutting down or something to avoid paying debts or something? It seems weird.

 
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18. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2007, 09:19 nin
 
id love to see a proper Shadowrun RPG for PC.. the SNES one wasnt that bad at all

Yes...for it's time. The SNES version of Shadowrun still paled compared to its Sega Genesis counterpart, though.


Why can't we got those on the Virtual Console?!

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17. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2007, 09:17 Masa
 
id love to see a proper Shadowrun RPG for PC.. the SNES one wasnt that bad at all

Yes...for it's time. The SNES version of Shadowrun still paled compared to its Sega Genesis counterpart, though.

 
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16. No subject Dec 7, 2007, 08:46 Mead
 
Weeha!

I love all three, don't even mind which one comes out first, just bring em on!!

 
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15. Re: mechwarrior Dec 7, 2007, 08:44 PHJF
 
Well there has been a team at work creating Battletech total conversion for Crysis...

http://www.mechlivinglegends.net/

Obviously it isn't that far along seeing as Crysis just came out, but they were given the SDK early from Crytek as a show of good faith.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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14. Re: mechwarrior Dec 7, 2007, 07:46 4D-Boxing
 
Dalumberjack

MEchworrior with a new engine...I would pay 80$ if done right to make sure they amke $$ withthe game & support it for a long time (Epic style).

Even the Unreal 3 engine could make a great mech game...Darkwalkers in ut3 look awsome. I know PhysX is dying but they could even use those capabilities to add the deformable terrain that was in MW:3 & plus buildings that can be destroyed.

Mech worrior ..one of the most satisfying online experience ever!

 
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13. No subject Dec 7, 2007, 05:14 Hump
 
Looking at the "Jobs" listing part of the job description is the following:

* Evaluate core technologies for use in the company’s solutions
* Lead and participate in the hands-on architecture and development for our web-based economy platform
* Develop an SDK for use by development partners
* Build a team of software developers; implement best practices and oversee engineering activities
* Constantly build strong working relationships with development partners

Looks like they are going for a web-based portal platform which could mean a Multiplayer Battletech 3025 type thing. The SDK for "development partners" is interesting in that they might be planning on being more than a content provider. It could also mean user made content as well.

Some of Weisman's decisions on how he treats his IP's have pissed me off in the past but one things for certain, his product ideas are always very cool. I can't wait to see what he has planned.


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I am a Blues Nazi.
This comment was edited on Dec 7, 05:14.
 
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12. Re: mechwarrior Dec 7, 2007, 02:26 Ray Marden
 
You both suck?

Make a real Shadowrun game, give us another fun Crimson Skies game, and then kick ass with Mechwarrior.
If not, I'll hack into your head and make it explode.
Waving my paw; making it so,
Ray

-----
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Everything is awesome!!!
http://shoutengine.com/GarnettonGames/
I love you, mom.
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11. No subject Dec 7, 2007, 01:41 Midnight
 
My firstborn for a new Mechwarrior title for the PC!  
http://www.crimsondark.com
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10. No subject Dec 7, 2007, 00:39 Kedyn
 
After reading this news, I think tomorrow will be a good day.

 
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9. Re: swoon... Dec 7, 2007, 00:12 PHJF
 
2 Clan ER PPC

Target: Leg

FIRE!
 
Avatar 17251
 
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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8. Re: swoon... Dec 6, 2007, 23:46 Jerykk
 
It should probably be mentioned that Smith & Tinker will probably do cross-platform development and that the PC will get screwed as usual.

 
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7. Re: swoon... Dec 6, 2007, 23:45 ColoradoHoudini
 
I'd like both a new arcadey action flier and a new mech game.. but heres the deal with the mech game, it has to be a GAME and not feel like work.


 
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6. Re: swoon... Dec 6, 2007, 23:26 Overon
 
I want a TACTICAL ACTION SIMULATION mech warrior like in the books.

Not like the latter mech warrior games which lacked the nuanced depth of the technology in the books.


This comment was edited on Dec 6, 23:56.
 
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5. swoon... Dec 6, 2007, 22:43 ^mortis^
 
i have caught the vapors and may faint.
seriously, any of those properties, done correctly, are pretty much no-brainer must make/buys.

here's to hoping the next MechWarrior is first. hasn't been one in a while, and i'd love to see a steampunk mod.

 
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4. No subject Dec 6, 2007, 22:29 space captain
 
id love to see a proper Shadowrun RPG for PC.. the SNES one wasnt that bad at all

and of course another vote for MECHWARRIOR!

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