GMT Games’s much-anticipated Pendragon takes the battle-hardened COIN-system that’s been used to tackle wars in Vietnam and Afganistan… and takes it back in time to the bad old days of Roman Britain when Scotti and Saxons were plundering the land.
I got to try out a playtest copy at Prezcon and let me tell you: this one is neat! The InsideGMT blog has many articles by the designers on what makes this game different, but for an inside look at the nitty gritty of the design process, I recomned this interview from over at The Player’s Aid:
I guess the most difficult part was probably to accept that it was ok to let go, to stop pushing for the umpteenth marginal improvement of mechanisms, events or art, and recognize that this was more than fine enough already. Volko kept repeating to me, from very early on, that “a game is never finished, it only gets released”… I suppose I pushed back a bit on this maxim because there was no way I would be ready to settle for a less-than-perfect product to be released, but the truth is that 1. Volko is right (as most often he is) and 2. one has to recognize when the returns to changes are diminishing below the point where they are no longer worth the time or the effort.
By the way, it should be noted that Volko never pushed to short-circuit the development process: there was at least one time, when we were essentially done with rules development, but there was one thing I was still a bit uncomfortable with, and I came up with a fairly significant change to address it because incremental changes were simply not cutting it, that he told me, once I had explained the proposed change with the cautionary provision that this would mean significant rewriting and re-testing, that he told me: “Yes this is going to cost us a couple months, but now that you have told me about this, there is no way this is not included in the final release”…
Read the whole thing!