Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2014

Worked to Death

Callea’s coughing was a regular fixture in the mines. She never could afford a breather and they aren’t standard issue. Instead, she wore a damp bandana over her mouth while she worked. She labored hard, pickaxe in hand, pausing to violently cough here and there. When she worked it through she just swung harder to keep pace with the other miners. She never wanted to be perceived as weak or lesser than despite her illness. Today the coughing fit started and it wouldn’t stop. Worrying about quotas, Overseer Billins told her to get back to work, an impossible request. Kollis dropped his shovel to go to her aid. That’s when he saw the blood staining her hands and mouth. Still she coughed. Then she choked. Overseer Billins was yelling for Kollis to get back to work, and Callea was on the ground, eyes vacant, blood dribbling from her mouth. He didn’t think. Kollis scooped her up and put her into the ore cart she was filling and he started pushing toward the exit. The words “Stand Down!” ech…

IX. Developing Scenarios

In my mind, scenarios are what keep a game varied and interesting. Games like Necromunda and Zombicide, though very different games, got a lot of their personality from an ever changing play environment defined by the scenarios themselves. With that in mind, I knew that linking the scenarios to create an ongoing narrative would be one of the defining characteristics of Broken Contract, but that would only be of value if the scenarios themselves were varied, interesting, and thematic.

Thus far, I've play tested a half dozen different scenarios drawing off of the general narrative and the constraints of how I envision the mines. The initial scenario I brainstormed, 'Its Time', was penned based on a piece of background narrative I had written to introduce a section of the rule book, and its about seizing an opportunity to turn on your masters. I played it a bunch of times by myself, tweaking it, and the board it was played on, before I had others play it. I went on to start …

Tangent III. Gen-Mods

This bit of color text probably won't see print, it was written more as me thinking out loud. One of the main characters in Broken Contract - Deep Underground is a Gen-Mod Brute named Trest. Trest is your archetypal ogrish character with high strength and a really big weapon. While working on concept sketches of Trest, Sam had questions that forced me to think a bit harder about how I envisioned Gen-Mods, how they came to be, and their role in this dystopian future. This is my attempt to articulate that. -Nick

Science. The quest for understanding and the ability to change destiny through its application has led to wondrous advances in civilization. But science always has an element of fumbling in the dark, as mankind tampers with the unknown.

Advancements in Genetic Experiments

Genetically modified organisms became a commonly accepted scientific advancement in the 21st century. In an effort to control agriculture, mega corporations began creating seeds that were more resistant to …

Broken Contract - Play Testing Rounds 3.5 and 4.

Preparing for AdeptiCon had pushed Broken Contract to the backseat for about a month. Art was being worked on and editing was still happening as I commuted on the train, but there was no time for play testing with myself and many of my play testers immersed in AdeptiCon related projects. Regardless, I brought all of my Broken Contract stuff with me to AdeptiCon in case anyone asked to try it out. A few people did ask, but with the fervor of everything else going I kept my play testing gear up in my room most of the time. On Saturday, however, there was some downtime and Dave Koszka from my old home town of Buffalo, NY asked to give it a go.

I was lucky enough to have an hour or so to meet up with him right after his dinner break on Saturday so we sat down to give it a whirl. I gave him the option of trying an already "tested" scenario, or something new I was considering for a demo game. He opted to try something new.

The demo that I had concocted for him involved a miner inj…

What is Broken Contract?

Broken Contract is a science fiction miniature strategy game filled with action and adventure. It is set in a dystopian future where humanity has begun colonizing the stars. Most folks live in indentured servitude to draconian mega-corporations. Though most accept their lot in life, there are those who yearn to be free of their masters. They break free from their mining colonies, agri-domes, and factory cities in the hope of starting a new life on the frontiers of backwater planets like Hathor. These once contracted laborers are called Breakers for short. Not surprisingly, these corporations hire overseers from shadowy security firms like Black Squadron Security, and keep them on site to prevent work stoppage and labor revolt. Two or more players take on the roles of Breakers and the Black Squadron trying to either make their great escape or stop it from happening.


Game play in Broken Contract combines elements of traditional board games, tabletop wargames, and RPGs. The mechanics are…

Tangent II. Would a Pilot Episode Work for a Game?

When I envisioned the eventual kick off to Broken Contract and the type of boxed game I wanted to strive for it to be, I was really targeting the Zombicide model. They ran a Kickstarter for this large 12"x12" square box packed full of high quality game tiles, miniatures, and cards. I've studied both of their Kickstarters (and the games themselves) in depth and they really had a lot of the art development done and miniature sculpts in hand. Much of the development was done and they just needed capital to cover manufacturing to launch Season 1. I, on the other hand, have the game mechanics pretty well set and have stumbled upon sketch artists engaged in "realizing the dream," willing to work in hope of some form eventual reward - but I don't have money to pay sculptors yet, and that's the principle hang up getting us from where Broken Contract is now, to the point where Zombicide was when they launched Season 1. Still, I had an idea...

"A "telev…