Saturday, October 02, 2004

Darth Versus Doom

I really don't like it when the kids fight. I'm not talking about the Presidential debate here (of which there are only two results - "Our guy creamed the other guy" and "It was a tie, and debates don't really count"). I'm talking about the idea that if you like one game, other games are obviously substandard and must be dissed.

Case in point is going on over at the HCRealms boards, where I lurk. I left the Wizkids about a year ago, now, and most of the stuff I worked on (A lot of it being Heroclix: Unleashed, Ultimates, and Galactus) has now seen the light of day. But there have been a couple threads about the new Star Wars miniature game (which I worked on as well AFTER I left Wizkids), with the first-adaptors crowing about how good the game is and how its better than Heroclix.

This just makes me sigh. I worked on both projects, and I see Heroclix and SWM as completely different projects, each with their own strengths.

Heroclix is an excellent game. It is second generation, in that it builds off the popular Mage Knight game. It uses the strengths of that game (like the clicking dial) and incorporates new features like a movement grid to capture the feel of the 4-color comic book universe. It definitely plays to those universes' strengths by the wide variety of heroes and villains available.

Star Wars Miniatures is an excellent game. It is second generation, in that it builds off the popular D&D Miniatures game. It uses the strengths of that game (like an open system of special abilities) and incorporates new features like unlimited range to capture the feel of cinematic space adventure. It plays to the license's strengths by creating a strong dualism between the "marquee" characters like Darth and the blaster-carriers like the Stormtroopers.

They are two different games living in the same general product niche (collectable miniature games), but both are pretty darn cool, and I don't think any less of someone else in that prefer one over the other. Both have really cool strengths, and it really breaks down to a matter of taste. I helped bring both Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms to fruition, and both wrote Manual of the Planes and contributed to Planescape, so the idea that one is superior to the other (other than perhaps we always learn from earlier designs) is silly to me.

I love all my creations, and encourage others to enjoy them. Actually, I don't get a chance to play a lot of HC or SWM right now, since I'm working on a NEW collectable project that will be out early next year, which is REALLY cool.

So, the shorter version of the debate between Star Wars and Heroclix?

HC: Apples!

SWM: Oranges!

Me: Bananas!

More later,