Monday, May 7, 2012

Fading Suns 3rd Edition: I've Got A Bad Feeling About This

Rest in peace, 3rd Edition.
I read the following post about Mr. Darthgus being effectively fired from RedBrick's FS 3e Project.

After some shocked silence, I began to read a bit more closely.

Here are some choice lines in the communications sent to him (you can check his responses and reactions at the link above):
[April 30th, 2012] -- 

Dear Angus,

After serious consideration, I regret to inform you that your services are no longer required with regards to Fading Suns Third Edition and Noble Armada Third Edition development...

Brutal. No more 3rd Edition? And then this one was also sent after he sent some e-mails asking for clarifications and explanations:
I don't believe that I indicated the game line would be canceled. However, to avoid ambiguity, RedBrick will be continuing with the Fading Suns and Noble Armada licenses and with Third Editions of those games. I confirm that none of the content that you personally have created for FS3 and/or supporting materials (Dispatches, Shards, etc.) will be used by RedBrick.

More shocking there. Considering the project was written largely by Angus/Darthgus, pretty much all the posts I put up previously are out the window. Further communications show that he retains the rights to all the material he's written, except:
any and all elements directly related to HDI's Fading Suns and Noble Armada games, including, but not limited to elements of trade dress (logos, images), proper and place names, races, game elements, or content that has been published by Holistic Design and/or RedBrick under license from HDI. This includes use of and/or representation of the mechanics of FS3 as the Victory Point System.

So what does that mean, aside from someone essentially losing years of his life's work (until he can find someway to rewrite it and publish it in a manner that doesn't violate the agreements he signed)?

Here's what I think it means, based on pure speculation: RedBrick has probably gotten some promising numbers on their release of Earthdawn under the Savage Worlds and Pathfinder rulesets and is moving ahead instead to push Fading Suns under one or both of those rulesets.

Sadly, I play neither system.

UPDATE 1

A quick hop to this post on the RedBrick forums suggests they're still looking at a GenCon release. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the heck is going on here:
Too early to make that call, but we're still looking for a Gen Con release (Player's Guide only, however; not both Player's and GM Guides). The changes to the game won't be as extensive, however.

In terms of impact for the Savage Worlds and Pathfinder Editions, there are none at all. In this case, it means a closer alignment to the VPS product.
UPDATE 2

Well, the post I mentioned in Update 1 is down. Actually the entire thread is down. I guess they're sorting things out of the public eye, and I hope things are cleared up. In the meantime, there's a note on message boards that the discussion forums are closing (dated May 10, 2012).
We wish to advise that the RedBrick Discussion Forums will be closing in a few days' time.

In the meantime, current posts and threads have been set to read-only to allow people to archive material that they might find useful.

The News and Announcements and Downloads areas will remain open for now, to provide updates on current and new products.

Once we have migrated to the Online Shop, new product releases/announcements and errata will be available from the home page and/or product pages.

Should you wish to contact us, you can do so at:

General Inquiries: admin@redbrickllc.com
Product Errata: errata@redbrickllc.com

Thank you for your patience and support as we go through this period of rapid change.
And an official statement on the situation with Angus that posted earlier (dated May 7, 2012):
It is with regret that we announce that RedBrick will not be continuing with the work and vision previously laid out for Fading Suns Third Edition by Angus McNicholl. Angus is no longer a member of the Fading Suns Development Team.

The remaining members of the team -- including Vidar Edland, who has also been active with Fading Suns Third Edition to date -- will be taking on the responsibility and direction for the Fading Suns game lines. It is our intent to focus on a team approach to development, rather than the vision of individuals, moving forwards.

These changes were not made lightly, and while sudden, we regret any disruption in the production timeline.
RedBrick is committed to creating quality products in line with the vision held by and directives of Holistic Design, from whom we have full support. To this extent, we have recently negotiated a license for a revised Noble Armada space miniatures game and extended our license to include tabletop miniatures and game rules for the Fading Suns universe, among other yet-to-be-announced products.

While time is now against us, our expectation is to have a book released for Fading Suns at Gen Con 2012. While it is fair to say that the changes to Third Edition may not be as extensive as originally laid out by the previous Line Developer, it is still our business goal to ensure that Fading Suns is available in print and supported over multiple game systems, including VPS, Savage Worlds, and Pathfinder. This is as previously announced and no changes to those plans have occurred; this change affects only the VPS game line.

EDIT: There has been some misconception about the multiple systems with people concerned it means dual- or triple-statting books. Per our House of 'Brick newsletter, it's a separate game line for each system (people who don't want SW or PF can have VPS, or SW-only, or PF-only, as desired). Apologies for that confusion.

We understand that there will be some degree of emotional duress among Fading Suns fans over this announcement, and for that we apologize. However, the background and reasons leading to this decision will not be discussed by RedBrick or our members.

We respect Angus's skills and abilities and wish him every success with his endeavors in the future.
Which is troubling, since even this post will disappear when the message boards go down. So, still waiting for the dust to clear.

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