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Old 06-07-2008, 08:12 AM   #10
griffin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Originally Posted by Caleban
I understand that the first word in the GURPS acronym is Generic and therefore its supplements are broad overviews of any given topic or genera but I have always felt that GURPS suffered from a lack of identity in the market due to not having any iconic original-setting type world books.
Why doesn't GURPS have original-setting world books?
It's hard to get good writers work cheaply and to commit to writing a setting which Steve Jackson Games would own and control. The setting would need to have a great concept which is compelling and differentiated from the rest of the market. It would also need to be FUN and escape Steve Jackson Games compulsion to suck the fun out of the setting by by deciding it needs an injection of realism, or if not realistic than it needs lots of humor.

Case in point - Black Ops. Vampires in the setting are mindless killers. The cool factor has been totally destroyed for vampires. Technomancer - billed as "Shadowrun for adults" - but saddled with killer penguins. Early iterations of Banestorm setting (Yrth/Ytarria) and to a leser extent the current setting has Sahud as it's achillies heel with the silly interpretation of Sahud asian culture. This is excessively pointed out in the adventure "Sahudese Fire Drill".

What GURPS needs is a killer cinematic setting. Something more akin the White Wolf World of Darkness setting, what R. Talsorian Games did back in it's prime with Cyberpunk 2020, or FASA's Shadowrun.

Steve Jackson Games has a stated goal of getting their games done as video/computer games. That will not happen with GURPS based on the rules set. What needs to be done is to come up with a compelling setting. Only then will a company want to expend the major investment need to publish an electronic version of a GURPS powered setting. For electronic gaming, the rules set takes a back seat to compelling setting.

The key is to tie into popular culture, make the game fun, and cool. Resist the temptation to be silly or overly realistic.
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