It’s that time of year in the tabletop industry, when board gamers and roleplayers gather together for several days in Indianapolis to celebrate their hobbies and find out the latest information on it. The prime releases of the year are done around this time in many things, and a lot of news comes out if you can sort through all the information. This piece here, we’re looking at some of the stuff that has come from Evil Hat, the rpg designers who have their Fate system, and have created various games with it, including the Dresden Files, which we reviewed earlier this year.
Each year Evil Hat has a tradition of sitting down and talking with fans about where things have been and where they are going, their State of the Hat, this year they did it at Gen Con 2015 and we’re going to give you some of the details of it. We’ve reached out to Evil Hat and are hoping to get more details in the future on a few of the points. Still it’s clear that Evil Hat has a lot planned for this coming year.
On the business side Evil Hat has continued their tremendous growth rate that has been burgeoning ever since the Fate Core kickstarter. While the Dresden Files really brought them a lot of notability, it was the Fate Core kickstarter that really pushed Evil Hat’s business into the type of engine churn that you see from some companies. It gave them not just the seed money but also marked a big change in how they handled production scheduling, with the final part of that kickstarter supposed to be sent out sometime this year. Part of that change was the hiring of Chris Hanrahan and Sean Nitter – for business and project management respectively. Marking the continued push, Chris Hanrahan has been formally promoted now to vice-president of Evil Hat Productions as they adjust to being a larger company than they were.
That push to keep going has also meant that more developers have worked with Evil hat, and some of the projects they’ve created allow for people to, at a relatively low risk to Evil Hat, show their craft and experiment and build the pool of experienced freelancers that Evil Hat has worked with. Their Fate Worlds patreon in particular has let a number of authors work with them and create a deep pool of creative and talented people who have worked with Evil Hat and Fate in the past.
They had a lot of other news though, especially in the area of new projects that they just announced and are working on now. They are going to be a while out as they’ve just begun but it is interesting to see.
Portal Jumpers is a kid focused game that takes the idea of Sliders and has the characters jump into different worlds and genres on a consistent basis. Going into each world, they have new problems to solve, and a world to save, in an action packed romp that has signed Adam Koebel (of Dungeon World) on, utilizing the Apocalypse Engine.
Fate of Cthulhu seems like one of those inevitable things – you knew they were going to take on Lovecraft at some point. Interestingly, it is set in the modern day and according to Evil Hat asks the question, “What if Cthulhu was Skynet?” Now, you can all prepare your fan fiction on tentacle monster super ais that have their grasp on everything frighteningly, and perhaps interestingly there are ways that it could make logical sense for an AI to do this if one were sufficiently advanced. What if… the AI was building all the horrors and designing them specifically to draw upon things it knew we found horrifying to break us?
Kaiju Incorporated has no such questions though, being a satirical setting that plays with the ideas of corporate excess and profiteering in the wake of giant Kaiju. Someone has to make all that money after Godzilla attacks, and things need to be rebuilt, so its your job to do it. Interestingly there is going to be both a card game and an RPG; the card game is compared to Pacific Rim meets Wall Street while the roleplaying game drew the comparison of Pacific Rim meets Ghostbusters.
Fate Accessibility is something I’ve reached out to hear more on, but at this point it appears to be an interesting idea of bringing both characters with disabilities to games in Fate, but also for making it easier for players with disabilities to play.
The Dystopian Universe RPG draws on Indie Boards and Cards near future setting that they have used in multiple tabletop games to create a Fate RPG of it. Themes of loyalty, betrayal and more focus here in this world of tomorrow where the setting of exactly where the game takes place, as well as the rules are in development by Brian Engard and Anna Meade.
Of course, Evil Hat also gave updates on their current projects, that one is more likely to see in the next year. These are things you may have heard of, or are looking forward to but it is interesting to see how they are coming along!
Dresden Files Accelerated is on track for an end of August beta round of testing. This is an attempt to simplify the Dresden Files rule set to its core essences using the Fate Accelerated rules and they are looking forward to having more feedback to continue polishing the game.
Bubblegumshoe features Evil Hat stepping outside its norms a bit to work with Pelgrane Press’ gumshoe system to create a game. Focused on teenage detective stories like Nancy Drew, Bubblegumshoe is expected to try some interesting things with the system and go for a lighter rule approach to fit the teen detective feel.
Atomic Robo RPG: Majestic 12 is the supplement to the extremely well received Fate adaptation of the Atomic Robo comics. As forbidden science gets out of hand, you are one of the frontline soldiers with a chance to contain it with the power of pulp fiction! It will be going into layout in early August
Young Centurions is the young adult, Fate Accelerated prequel to Spirit of the Century and is all pulp with those heroes as they are just coming into their powers and stepping forth to battle EVIL! It is expected to hit layout by the end of September.
War of Ashes RPG is getting printed right now, and you can evil instant PDF preorder it now if you so desire and are willing to put up with some minor copy-proofing errors.
Several others also got updates like Shadow of the Century, Don’t Turn Your Back, Do: Fate of the Flying Temple, and their Fate Patreon, as well as the various fiction they have been working on. Take a look at their full post for those and a bit more detail on all of these things.